PHOTO: L'Austral is a sister ship of Le Boreal (shown here), a luxury "megayacht" that carries 264 passengers in 132 cabins.
In 2012, a dozen cruise lines are offering roundtrip cruises from Venice--among them, major brands such as MSC, Costa, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity. One of the more intriguing entries, however, is Compagnie du Ponant, a long-established French cruise line that has begun catering to English-speaking travelers in the last few years.
Compagnie du Ponant is currently on on a shipbuilding binge, with three 264-passenger "megayachts" either at sea or under construction. The company's newest vessel, l'Austral, is offering weekly roundtrip Adriatic cruises from Venice between late May and mid-September, 2012. The itinerary includes stops at eight ports in Croatia and Montenegro.
Rates for the seven-night luxury cruise start in the US $2,500 range, depending on departure date. (Tip for cruisers from North America: The company is offering a "La Grande Invitation" savings package for early bookings between now and April 16.)
Photo: Compagnie du Ponant.