The Sea of Cortez (L'Austral)


from$ 8480 AUD



Note: Current p/p indicative rate. Final price may change due to currency fluctuations.

Ship
L'Austral
City
San Diego to Puerto Quetzal

Specials expires 2023-01-01
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Ponant Bonus - Save up to 30% on Ponant Small Ship Cruises


2019-10-11

2023-01-01


Overview

PONANT invites you to enjoy an unforgettable experience discovering the Sea of Cortez, during a 13-day expedition cruise. Aboard L’Austral, feast your eyes on the unique landscapes and unrivalled biodiversity of the Gulf of California, following an exceptional itinerary. You will board your ship in San Diego, an American city at the far south of California, renowned for its pleasant climate. Your ship will sail along Baja California peninsula before entering the Gulf of California, known since 1539 as the Sea of Cortez in tribute to the conquistador Hernan Cortés. For four days, you will spend your time observing the incredibly rich marine wildlife, a veritable Eden which has rightly earned the region a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Playful sea lions, dolphins, tortoises, dozens of different species of fish: the teeming wildlife is quite simply fascinating. L’Austral will drop anchor on a number of occasions near the different islands of the Sea of Cortez, and outings in Zodiac® dinghies will offer the chance for some unforgettable snorkelling and hiking tours. Your ship will then chart a course towards Huatulco in Mexico and its preserved bays edged with magnificent beaches, before reaching your final destination: Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, very close to the charming colonial town of Antigua.

Overview

  • COZPN
  • 13 Days
  • L'Austral

Cruise Itinerary

  • San Diego (USA)
  • Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala)
  • Central America

Departures

Note: Current p/p indicative rate. Final price may change due to currency fluctuations.

Cruise Itinerary

To the south of California, close to the border with Mexico, San Diego enjoys a privileged natural environment on the shores of the Pacific. One of the largest fleets of US Navy vessels is stationed in this strategic port. The sunny climate and the beautiful sandy beaches compete for visitors’ attention with the picturesque historic districts such as the Gaslamp Quarter, always lit up at dusk by gas lamps, a real journey back in time. Do not miss Balboa Park and its museums as well as San Diego Zoo, one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, home to a large number of endangered species. But the show also continues on the surrounding beaches where it is not uncommon to come across sealions!


During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.


A seaside resort located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean come together, Cabo San Lucas has much to offer. Famous for its rock formation emerging from the ocean and its magnificent white sand beaches, the small town also has lively nightlife. Surrounded by charming landscapes, between arid deserts dotted with cacti and spectacular rocky pinnacles, this very popular destination will certainly win you over.


Off the coast of Baja California, land on Zodiac® dinghies on Monserrat, one of the islands that form the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park. Created in 1996 and covering more than 2,000 km2 in the heart of the Sea of Cortez, this park offers many panoramas: rocky shorelines, underwater canyons, mangroves, sea cliffs… On Monserrat, you will discover an enormous white sand beach: this will also be your departure point for a snorkelling trip accompanied by your expedition team to discover the wonders of a preserved underwater world. To the south of the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park, the largest protected area in the Gulf of California, discover Puerto Agua Verde, with its superb rocky formations and its almost surreally coloured waters. Off the coast, Bahia Agua Verde, a small island with lush vegetation and rugged relief, will offer you an idyllic natural setting that you’ll be able to admire and explore during an excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy, a simple swim and a snorkelling trip.


North of the bay of La Paz, discover San José Island and its exceptional landscapes. To the west, Punta Colorada will reveal its majestic beauty. Here, huge red and ochre coloured cliffs stand opposite the sea: you’ll be able to appreciate every detail of this spectacular setting as you approach the coast aboard your Zodiac® dinghy. Inland, you’ll be able to admire giant cacti, whereas the underwater world has an unforgettable show in store for you, with angel fish, butterfly fish and damselfish. Further south, in Bahia Amortajada, your expedition team will lead you into the heart of the mangrove forests to discover completely unspoilt nature. North of the bay of La Paz, discover San José Island and its exceptional landscapes. To the west, Punta Colorada will reveal its majestic beauty. Here, huge red and ochre coloured cliffs stand opposite the sea: you’ll be able to appreciate every detail of this spectacular setting as you approach the coast aboard your Zodiac® dinghy. Inland, you’ll be able to admire giant cacti, whereas the underwater world has an unforgettable show in store for you, with angel fish, butterfly fish and damselfish. Further south, in Bahia Amortajada, your expedition team will lead you into the heart of the mangrove forests to discover completely unspoilt nature.


Los Islotes are rocky islets located to the south west of the California Bay: the site is famous for sheltering a large colony of California sea lions. Used to humans, these sea lions are not shy and can be easily approached. An excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to admire these playful animals, and you will have the possibility of swimming alongside them: a moving experience. Jewels of the Sea of Cortez, the twin islands of Espíritu Santo and La Partida will reveal the splendour of landscape that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only accessible by boat, they will reveal to you the beauty of their sheer cliffs, turquoise bays and stunning beaches. La Partida is particularly rich in secret viewpoints from which you’ll be able to admire exceptional panoramas. As for the island of Espíritu Santo, it has an exceptionally well-preserved ecosystem that enables the observation of exceptional fauna and flora. With a little luck, you may have the opportunity to admire the fascinating and emblematic mobula ray. Jewels of the Sea of Cortez, the twin islands of Espíritu Santo and La Partida will reveal the splendour of landscape that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only accessible by boat, they will reveal to you the beauty of their sheer cliffs, turquoise bays and stunning beaches. La Partida is particularly rich in secret viewpoints from which you’ll be able to admire exceptional panoramas. As for the island of Espíritu Santo, it has an exceptionally well-preserved ecosystem that enables the observation of exceptional fauna and flora. With a little luck, you may have the opportunity to admire the fascinating and emblematic mobula ray.


Also called Jacques Cousteau Island in honour of the famous French oceanographer who undertook several expeditions in the region, Cerralvo Island is a real nature sanctuary. Located at the entrance of the Gulf of California, this land of intact beauty is home to superb jagged cliffs and many sandy beaches. The underwater reliefs and surrounding ocean currents have fostered the development of extremely rich marine life. During a snorkelling trip, you may thus perhaps meet golden groupers, sailfish or marlins. Your expedition team will also take you to explore inland during a walk along a dry river bed.


During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.


A seaside resort on the Mexican Pacific coast in the southern State of Oaxaca, the Huatulco region is made up of nine turquoise bays. Youメll be spoilt for choice with no less than 36 beaches, four of which are ecological preserves. In addition to the beautiful bays and beaches, you can explore and shop in the small communities of the Huatulco area, such as La Crucecita, Santa Cruz or old Santa Maria Huatulco (the district's municipality).


During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.


Located on the Pacific coast, 100 kilometres south of the capital, the city of Puerto Quetzal is the largest port in the country. Close to the city, the ravishing little old city of Antigua, is a former colonial capital listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. You’ll admire the wealth of its historical monuments.


Itineraries are subject to change.


L'Austral

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 142 metres Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica) Built: 2011 This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being. A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”. Cuisine Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark. Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner. Life On Board Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest. Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please. Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Highlights

• An expedition cruise, to discover the fabulous biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez, “the world’s largest aquarium” according to Jacques-Yves Cousteau. • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides. • UNESCO World Heritage sites: the islands and protected zones of the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez), La Antigua de Guatemala and its colonial architecture from Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. • The landscapes: reliefs of red volcanic rock plunging into the turquoise water with the desert as the backdrop in the Sea of Cortez, dazzling white sandy beaches in Huatulco (shore excursion for sale). • The wildlife: California sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, tuna, barracuda, rays, pelicans, countless species of fish and sea birds. • Bathing and swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes. • Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.

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