L’Austral Launched for Ponant

Today at Ancona shipyard there was the launch of “L’Austral”, the first of two super luxury cruise ships ordered from Fincantieri by the French Owner Compagnie du Ponant. Due to take up service in autumn 2010, in terms of size and sophisticated décor in many respects the ship is very similar to a mega yacht.

“L’Austral” is the sister ship of “Le Boreal”, which will be presented soon always at Ancona shipyard. The two ships are destined to became the fleet’s new flagships.

Present at the ceremony were: Jean-Emmanuel Sauvee, Director General of Compagnie du Ponant, Véronique Saade, Deputy Managing Director, and, representing Fincantieri, Antonio Quintano, Director of Ancona shipyard. Godmother to the ship was Florence Rousset.

The new ship, which will fly the French flag, is approximately 10,700 gross tonnes, 142 metres long and 20 wide. Passenger capacity is over 260 guests, accommodated in 132 cabins and suites, all with a sea view, of which 94% with a private balcony.

Equipped with cutting edge technologies to reduce environmental impact, “L’Austral” will be able to reach ports and destinations which are inaccessible to larger vessels.

Compagnie du Ponant, whose head office is in Marseilles, is ranked # 1 in French-flag cruise-lines. Currently has a fleet of three cruise ships serving a super-luxury customer target. Founded in 1988, the company is a member of CMA-CGM Group, the world’s third ship owning group in the container sector.

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