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Friscorays
October 8th, 2009, 10:09 AM
This new ship launched today:

http://www.ponant.com/boreal-austral/en-boreal-austral-2010.html


Anyone considering a trip to Antarctica on it?

parischris
October 24th, 2009, 08:24 PM
Abercrombie & Kent have chartered Le Boreal for the 2010 Antarctic season, replacing the Minerva.

Pricing is a lot more expensive due to the 'all balcony' concept on this ship.

Friscorays
November 3rd, 2009, 07:10 PM
It is a beautiful ship, I love the contemporary design.

I know the pool won't be getting much use in Antarctica but I guess a balcony would be nice to have.

thomastoo
March 7th, 2010, 12:36 PM
Just returned from a fabulous Antarctica trip on Le Diamant. Le Boreal is owned by same company and will replace Le Diamand for Antarctica. Captain Garcia the former captain of Le Diamand will be captain of Le Boreal. He has extensive Antarctic experience. The ships of Ponant give first class service.

Minya
March 26th, 2010, 06:47 AM
I agree with thomastoo . i was on the fab Le Diamant antarctica trip Dec 23rd to jan 5th 2010. Same super amazing captain Garcia. Cruise was absolute magic including first time ever special New years Eve zodiac landing and champagne celebration on an iceberg in the Weddell sea and a sail around/three hour landing on Cape Horn.

laurelhollow
April 6th, 2010, 08:54 PM
We are booked on the December 18 sailing. Yes, pricey. Should be an amazing trip. Soooo looking forward to it.

The brochure pix of the ship are awesome.

pke-atlanta
April 13th, 2010, 02:37 PM
It does indeed look beautiful. More shaped like a private yacht than a cruise ship or expedition ship, and the interiors look very stylish. The only drawback I might have concerns about is the passenger capacity. I hear Le Boreal carries somewhere around 250 passengers. Since the Antarctic Treaty limits landings to 100 at a time, it seems like each passenger will not get to spend as much time at each stop, as they will have to rotate.

On the PA II, our particular sailing was lucky in that we only had 99 passengers on the trip. So we all got to maximize our time on land at every stop. Still, as pretty as Le Boreal is, I just might be tempted by her for the next Antarctic visit!

dileep
April 14th, 2010, 10:10 AM
We are booked on the December 18 sailing. Yes, pricey. Should be an amazing trip. Soooo looking forward to it.

The brochure pix of the ship are awesome.

A&K had a great staff on the Minerva this year. You will have a great time!

ear_doc
May 7th, 2010, 07:34 PM
@pke-atlanta: A&K has limited the number of passengers on Le Boreal to 199 on its Antarctic sailings - so we'll have plenty of landing time and even more space on board this ultra-luxurious expedition vessel.

@Friscorays: The pool is heated, so I expect it will be a delight to have on an Antarctic sailing.

@laurelhollow: See you onboard, we're on the same sailing!

P.S. Le Boreal set sail on her maiden cruise yesterday, from Marseilles to Nice, France. http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid214164.aspx

dileep
May 8th, 2010, 01:02 AM
@pke-atlanta: A&K has limited the number of passengers on Le Boreal to 199 on its Antarctic sailings - so we'll have plenty of landing time

They had only 200 passengers on the Minerva too this year. You will be divided into 2 groups for the landings and you will alternate who goes first morning and afternoon, and each day. Only 100 are allowed on land at any time.

laurelhollow
May 8th, 2010, 05:14 PM
Neat!

We will be in Buenos Aires for two days prior to the schlep down to Ushuaia. Looking forward to the trip. Just hope we don't have some of the extreme weather that had been reported in some of the reviews. :eek:




@laurelhollow: See you onboard, we're on the same sailing!

Friscorays
June 29th, 2010, 07:12 PM
We are booked on the December 18 sailing. Yes, pricey. Should be an amazing trip. Soooo looking forward to it.

The brochure pix of the ship are awesome.

@pke-atlanta: A&K has limited the number of passengers on Le Boreal to 199 on its Antarctic sailings - so we'll have plenty of landing time and even more space on board this ultra-luxurious expedition vessel.

@Friscorays: The pool is heated, so I expect it will be a delight to have on an Antarctic sailing.

@laurelhollow: See you onboard, we're on the same sailing!

P.S. Le Boreal set sail on her maiden cruise yesterday, from Marseilles to Nice, France. http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid214164.aspx

I would love to hear about both of your experiences when you get back!

Friscorays
July 27th, 2010, 08:12 PM
A few pics courtesy of Carsten:

http://carsten.smugmug.com/Ships/Le-Boreal/12875408_iPwq2#929516028_FL5sG

Thread where he posted the link:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1232846

Friscorays
August 22nd, 2010, 06:45 PM
And some more pics courtesy of "keltic":

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/360277/index.html

Thread "keltic" discussed Le Boreal in:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1239220

laurelhollow
November 17th, 2010, 06:55 PM
Hi - hope you are still on for this sailing. Sadly, my husband died two weeks ago so I will be doing the expedition alone. Figured that I won't know my health status next year and this was on the bucket list.

looking forward to a truly amazing expedition. sad, but what he would have wanted.



@laurelhollow: See you onboard, we're on the same sailing!

ear_doc
November 17th, 2010, 07:41 PM
So sorry for your loss, laurelhollow. Yes, we are still on this sailing - counting the days. I'm sure your decision to go on the expedition alone was difficult.
See you onboard! ---Randy & Pam

laurelhollow
November 20th, 2010, 08:13 PM
Thank you. It was a difficult decision but decided it would be a good one.

Are you guys going to be in Buenos Aires early? I will be arriving the day before the group meeting. Want to find a guide and do a exploration. I am in contact with the Argentinian community in the New York area and am looking for a good guide. If you will be there on Friday and are interested in touring give me a shout-out.




So sorry for your loss, laurelhollow. Yes, we are still on this sailing - counting the days. I'm sure your decision to go on the expedition alone was difficult.
See you onboard! ---Randy & Pam

ear_doc
November 21st, 2010, 09:42 PM
We have been to Buenos Aires before, so we probably won't go with the group. What did you have in mind? I sent you a "friend" request so that we may discuss this privately.

Are you guys going to be in Buenos Aires early? I will be arriving the day before the group meeting. Want to find a guide and do a exploration. I am in contact with the Argentinian community in the New York area and am looking for a good guide. If you will be there on Friday and are interested in touring give me a shout-out.

laurelhollow
November 24th, 2010, 07:09 PM
Um - never got a 'friend' request. can you send again?
Will be getting a private guide for the day. She will formulate a day for what I want in terms of interest.
She suggested a private visit with a tango dancer, lesson, and evening with the group. Something like that. :) Contact me if interested.



We have been to Buenos Aires before, so we probably won't go with the group. What did you have in mind? I sent you a "friend" request so that we may discuss this privately.

Yuri0611
November 29th, 2010, 04:11 PM
Sounds like a number of people are doing the Le Boreal trip on Dec 18. Count two more in. I'm traveling with my bf and arriving in Buenos Aires a day early.

bellebaby
December 7th, 2010, 12:20 AM
We're considering this trip in December of 2011. Would love to hear your feedback upon your return.

Thanks.

B

Mike2131
December 9th, 2010, 02:50 PM
The direct booking rates for the 2011-2012 Antarctica season on the Le Boreal and her new sister ship, the L'Austral, are now up on the Ponant site. They are much less expensive than the Tauck and A & K 2010-2011 season rates; so if you are interested in Antarctica, they certainly rate a look.

laurelhollow
December 13th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Part of the difference might be in the tour part of the A&K and Tauck prices.
They do shepherd their people about.

That being said - bummer we signed up for this year.


The direct booking rates for the 2011-2012 Antarctica season on the Le Boreal and her new sister ship, the L'Austral, are now up on the Ponant site. They are much less expensive than the Tauck and A & K 2010-2011 season rates; so if you are interested in Antarctica, they certainly rate a look.

dileep
December 13th, 2010, 09:16 PM
Part of the difference might be in the tour part of the A&K and Tauck prices.
They do shepherd their people about.

That being said - bummer we signed up for this year.

There should be no difference in the tours (i.e. landings) in Antarctica. Last year the prices from A&K were higher than Swan Hellenic's on the Minerva but no difference in the experience!

bellebaby
January 4th, 2011, 09:12 AM
Just saw this:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4299

B

Mike2131
January 5th, 2011, 04:07 PM
The Ponant site now shows only the next two sailings with direct booking prices. The other Le Boreal and L'Austral sailings are there, but without direct booking pricing. Partial or full charters with Tauck and/or A&K again? Interesting.

dileep
January 15th, 2011, 11:35 PM
There should be no difference in the tours (i.e. landings) in Antarctica. Last year the prices from A&K were higher than Swan Hellenic's on the Minerva but no difference in the experience!

That is correct. And Swan Hellenic would not sell to anyone in the US!
But we found an agent in Australia who gave us Swan Hellenic's prices!

jetwet1
April 5th, 2011, 06:16 PM
I'm sorry to bring this thread back to life, but could anyone give me their thoughts on this cruise, I have just come across Le Boreal and I am thinking about booking for next year.

laurelhollow
May 30th, 2011, 10:42 PM
I'm sorry to bring this thread back to life, but could anyone give me their thoughts on this cruise, I have just come across Le Boreal and I am thinking about booking for next year.

I thought it was the trip of a lifetime. The scenery, the penguins, the seals, the whales, all parts were stunning! A&K provided exceptional naturalists. Each one was an expert in their field.
Sadly, the ship left much to be desired. It was a sailing shortly after they launched so there were some major shake-out problems. There was leakage in many of the cabins, drains backed up and certain cabins got so flooded that the pax had to be moved.
Also, sadly, I thought the food was ghastly. There was no cohesion to the menu - it seemed like the chef just looked around the kitchen and said what's easy? On the other hand, the pastry and bread chef was fine. Enjoyed deserts and breads.
I am waiting to hear what the current cruisers report about Le Boreal. After our expedition they canceled the next sailing and took the back ship for modifications. :eek:

Friscorays
September 22nd, 2011, 02:20 PM
Many pictures of Le Boreal courtesy of USA Today:

http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Le+Boreal

nomoss
October 5th, 2011, 06:09 PM
Hi folks,

Please share your input and advice, but also please comment specifically on:

- The hotel-to-ship and ship-to-airport transfer seems pretty expensive at $21/pp and $30/pp respectively, especially considering we are a family of 4.

- Any advice on which hotel would be the best value for money considering we are getting in at 635pm on 12/20 (cruise leaves on 12/21 morning)?

dileep
October 5th, 2011, 06:28 PM
Hi folks,

Please share your input and advice, but also please comment specifically on:

- The hotel-to-ship and ship-to-airport transfer seems pretty expensive at $21/pp and $30/pp respectively, especially considering we are a family of 4.

- Any advice on which hotel would be the best value for money considering we are getting in at 635pm on 12/20 (cruise leaves on 12/21 morning)?

What city? Unless you air is booked with the cruise line youa are taking a risk wrt flight delays. We were almost 24 hours delayed! Taxi in BA or Ushuaia should be cheaper than the transfer costs above. Will all your luggage fit in one taxi?

Ritzy
October 5th, 2011, 09:12 PM
nomoss, I think my family and I are on the same trip as you (Dec 21st 2011 on L'Austral). I'm looking forward to it!

dileep
October 5th, 2011, 11:58 PM
Any advice on which hotel would be the best value for money considering we are getting in at 635pm on 12/20 (cruise leaves on 12/21 morning)?

Try www.tripadvisor.com (http://www.tripadvisor.com)

nomoss
October 6th, 2011, 11:05 AM
What city? Unless you air is booked with the cruise line youa are taking a risk wrt flight delays. We were almost 24 hours delayed! Taxi in BA or Ushuaia should be cheaper than the transfer costs above. Will all your luggage fit in one taxi?

Dileep, Thanks for the tip on fight delays. I will reconfirm that the flight to and from BA is by the cruise line. What are the usual causes of flight delays between BA and USH and back? Right now, we get into BA on 18th morning; fly out to USH on 20th midmorning and the cruise is on 21st morning. Return flight from USH to BA is on 5th evening and BA to the US is on 6th night. Hope this is not cutting it fine...

I think our luggage should fit in one taxi - we plan to take only backpacks plus the warm gear. Any input on the hotel and sightseeing in USH?

Thanks,

nomoss
October 6th, 2011, 11:08 AM
nomoss, I think my family and I are on the same trip as you (Dec 21st 2011 on L'Austral). I'm looking forward to it!

Hi Ritzy,

We are spending a couple of days in BA and getting into USH on 20th afternoon. Hope that will give us enough time to catch some sightseeing in USH. What are you doing for the transfers? My family is - me, my wife, my teenage daughter and tween son.

dileep
October 6th, 2011, 08:48 PM
Dileep, Thanks for the tip on fight delays. I will reconfirm that the flight to and from BA is by the cruise line. What are the usual causes of flight delays between BA and USH and back? Right now, we get into BA on 18th morning; fly out to USH on 20th midmorning and the cruise is on 21st morning. Return flight from USH to BA is on 5th evening and BA to the US is on 6th night. Hope this is not cutting it fine...

Our problem was that our flight out of NYC was cancelled and we were rerouted through Dallas the next day. We lost our day in BA and barely made the flight from BA to USH! Ushuaia can have wind gusts and that can result in flight cancellations. If your flights are booked through the cruise line and get delayed, they will delay the departure.

I think our luggage should fit in one taxi - we plan to take only backpacks plus the warm gear. Any input on the hotel and sightseeing in USH?


We stayed in a nice B&B (Hosteria Foike) about 10 minutes away by taxi. There is a hotel close to the port; even walking distance. Check tripadvisor to see your options.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/HACSearch?geo=312855&q=Ushuaia%2C+Argentina&inDay=21&inMonth=12%2F2011&checkIn=12%2F21%2F2011&outDay=22&outMonth=12%2F2011&checkOut=12%2F22%2F2011&searchAll=false&adults=4#02,1317948682121,bc_airports:S,bc_convent ion_centers:S,nameContains:S,distance:S0,distanceS elect:S0,cat:-1,tb:S0

h2so4
October 6th, 2011, 09:39 PM
Dileep, Thanks for the tip on fight delays. I will reconfirm that the flight to and from BA is by the cruise line. What are the usual causes of flight delays between BA and USH and back? Right now, we get into BA on 18th morning; fly out to USH on 20th midmorning and the cruise is on 21st morning. Return flight from USH to BA is on 5th evening and BA to the US is on 6th night. Hope this is not cutting it fine...

I think our luggage should fit in one taxi - we plan to take only backpacks plus the warm gear. Any input on the hotel and sightseeing in USH?

Thanks,

Aside from the usual weather related delays (at both departure and arrival port), there can be strikes or work slow-downs that impact the schedule. That's what happened to us and we were delayed several hours going fm BsAs to Ushuaia, arriving around 1:00a the next day. Luckily, it was a non-issue for us since we were flying in to Ushuaia several days before embarking the ship.

nomoss
October 8th, 2011, 07:27 PM
Our problem was that our flight out of NYC was cancelled and we were rerouted through Dallas the next day. We lost our day in BA and barely made the flight from BA to USH! Ushuaia can have wind gusts and that can result in flight cancellations. If your flights are booked through the cruise line and get delayed, they will delay the departure.



We stayed in a nice B&B (Hosteria Foike) about 10 minutes away by taxi. There is a hotel close to the port; even walking distance. Check tripadvisor to see your options.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/HACSearch?geo=312855&q=Ushuaia%2C+Argentina&inDay=21&inMonth=12%2F2011&checkIn=12%2F21%2F2011&outDay=22&outMonth=12%2F2011&checkOut=12%2F22%2F2011&searchAll=false&adults=4#02,1317948682121,bc_airports:S,bc_convent ion_centers:S,nameContains:S,distance:S0,distanceS elect:S0,cat:-1,tb:S0

Hi Dileep,

We are scheduled to leave from here on 12/17 evening to BsAs, on to USH on 12/20 mid-day. Our cruise leaves on 12/21 in the evening. Hope this will give us enough slop...

Ritzy
October 17th, 2011, 01:15 PM
Hi nomoss,

We're leaving the US on 12/17, getting to BA on the 18th. We're doing the cruise line's charter flight from BA to Ushuaia on the morning of the 21st (and back on the 5th). It's expensive but allows us to spend more time in BA, which is what we wanted. As far as airport transfers/etc I guess we will do taxis, or public transit if possible.

We are myself and my husband (in our 20s) and my parents (in their 60s).

nomoss
October 19th, 2011, 10:30 AM
Hi nomoss,

We're leaving the US on 12/17, getting to BA on the 18th. We're doing the cruise line's charter flight from BA to Ushuaia on the morning of the 21st (and back on the 5th). It's expensive but allows us to spend more time in BA, which is what we wanted. As far as airport transfers/etc I guess we will do taxis, or public transit if possible.

We are myself and my husband (in our 20s) and my parents (in their 60s).
Hi Ritzy,

Based on Dileep's advice, we are more comfortable arriving into USH a day before the cruise; though we are tense about ensuring we don't get delayed on the way back home - my daughter would already be missing the first week of school.

BTW, did you find any easy info on stuff (gear) we need to purchase - like brand, model, type, where-to-buy, etc.?

Thanks,

Ritzy
October 20th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Hi nomoss,

I agree with your desire to get to Ushuaia early, and we would have done the same if it weren't for the cruise line's charter flight. I hope I am correct in understanding that the boat would wait if that flight is delayed. We're fortunate to be relatively flexible on the return side.

I have not looked into gear much yet. Being from Northern climates I think we're fairly well equipped for warm clothes, but will need Wellies and waterproof pants. I think REI and/or Cabela's should be good sources for that stuff.

hockey27
November 14th, 2011, 05:36 PM
Hi would be interested in finding out how your cruise goes - we are travelling with le ponant on 5th Jan 12 and not sure what to expect from the cruise as it is new. We will be traveling in BA Iguassi and El Calafate before arriving in Ushuaia so would like to know your experience of the flights/delays!
Have fun can't wait to be there.:p

hockey27
November 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM
Hi let us know how your trip went will be taking the 5th jan trip on L'austral so very interested in your adventures

nomoss
November 14th, 2011, 05:40 PM
Hi Hockey27,

I guess I can let you know about some details if I go online aboard. Unfortunately, we have an overlap and I was not planning to stay connected with the world :(

nomoss
November 14th, 2011, 05:44 PM
Hi nomoss,

I agree with your desire to get to Ushuaia early, and we would have done the same if it weren't for the cruise line's charter flight. I hope I am correct in understanding that the boat would wait if that flight is delayed. We're fortunate to be relatively flexible on the return side.

I have not looked into gear much yet. Being from Northern climates I think we're fairly well equipped for warm clothes, but will need Wellies and waterproof pants. I think REI and/or Cabela's should be good sources for that stuff.

Hi Ritzy,

Do you want to send me a friend request? If you want to compare notes/figure out the checklist etc.
For instance, my travel agent tells me that we should carry some formal clothes too... Also, do you know if someone has started a "roll call" for our cruise? I looked around didn't find any.

dileep
November 14th, 2011, 11:44 PM
Hi nomoss,

I agree with your desire to get to Ushuaia early, and we would have done the same if it weren't for the cruise line's charter flight. I hope I am correct in understanding that the boat would wait if that flight is delayed. We're fortunate to be relatively flexible on the return side.

I have not looked into gear much yet. Being from Northern climates I think we're fairly well equipped for warm clothes, but will need Wellies and waterproof pants. I think REI and/or Cabela's should be good sources for that stuff.

If you are on the cruise lines charter they will wait for you! look at what Eddie Bauer and Columbia have to offer too. Go with fleece instead of wool.

Ritzy
November 15th, 2011, 01:02 PM
hockey27: There's no way my family will survive 2+ weeks without internet, so I'll post some updates from onboard.

nomoss: I tried to start a roll call a while back but nobody responded. I'll refresh it, and I'll send you a friend request so we can compare packing lists. I think I may need space bags for all the stuff I'm planning to pack! I think you're right about there being at least one formal night, maybe two.

hockey27
November 17th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Thanks any advice or updates on the cruise, clothes, weather would be great. We leave on 25th Dec but will be online while we are away. Guess we will be arrivin as you guys will be leaving.:)

nomoss
November 17th, 2011, 05:49 PM
If you are on the cruise lines charter they will wait for you! look at what Eddie Bauer and Columbia have to offer too. Go with fleece instead of wool.

Dileep, Unfortunately, we are not on the cruise lines' charter - so fingers crossed! I am finding most of stuff in the local sporting goods store (Dick's) and the rest in REI/EMS. We also prefer fleece (as wool must be itchy). We are yet to buy our Wellingtons. Were those provided to you special for cold weather, or were they regular rubber boots meant to wade in the rain, slush and puddles?

Thanks,

nomoss
November 17th, 2011, 05:56 PM
hockey27: There's no way my family will survive 2+ weeks without internet, so I'll post some updates from onboard.

nomoss: I tried to start a roll call a while back but nobody responded. I'll refresh it, and I'll send you a friend request so we can compare packing lists. I think I may need space bags for all the stuff I'm planning to pack! I think you're right about there being at least one formal night, maybe two.

Ritzy,

Interesting comment about the internet. I am forcing my wife to stay off it and I am promising her to reciprocate! We are way too "connected".

Our shopping is making good progress - just some minor discussions on the mid-layer and the outer-layer bottoms. We are thinking about "Wellies" - we are thinking of getting the regular rubber rain-boots that come up to just below the knees. The only motivation for them is to avoid paying $280 (for the family) to ShipToShore. Any comments?

Ritzy
November 17th, 2011, 07:18 PM
We got regular rubber rain boots/Wellies from a local outdoor store, for $25/pair. The advantage is it's cheaper than shiptoshore and you can try them on, but it's a lot of space and weight in luggage. If we're desperate for luggage space we can always wear them on the plane. They are not insulated, but you can buy fleece liners for them, or just wear extra socks.

PerfectlyPerth
November 19th, 2011, 11:27 AM
hockey27: There's no way my family will survive 2+ weeks without internet, so I'll post some updates from onboard.


Trust me - when you are in that part of the world the last thing any of you will want to be doing is to be holed up in a cabin paying a fortune for mega slow internet.

The internet will not disappear - it will still be there when you return. Stay out side on the decks and revel in the real world right in front of you. When are any of you going to experience sights like this again ?

I survived 30 days without the net - and I really didnt start missing it till about 3 days before we finished.

dfb
March 22nd, 2012, 03:32 PM
We got back last month from Le Boreal and I have finally gotten our trip blog posted. We were on an all English-speaking charter and that is probably the only way I would want to go on Le Boreal. That is my only caveat.
http://antarcticaonleboreal2012.blogspot.com/

mj_holiday
March 23rd, 2012, 09:36 PM
thank you so much for the blog of your trip, it was very helpful for us planning such an adventure in the coming years.

h2so4
March 24th, 2012, 09:24 AM
We got back last month from Le Boreal and I have finally gotten our trip blog posted. We were on an all English-speaking charter and that is probably the only way I would want to go on Le Boreal. That is my only caveat.
http://antarcticaonleboreal2012.blogspot.com/

Hmmm - I wonder what happened to my first response commenting on the terrific whale encounter you had. Oh well; I finished reading your blog and want to thank you for sharing your experience. We went to the Antarctic in January 2007 and had terrific weather and a terrific time. Next time, might go later in the season for a slightly different experience.

dfb
March 24th, 2012, 09:38 AM
Thank you both for your comments. If I can answer any questions, ask away and I'll try to help. Debbie