L’Austral’s maiden voyage from Marseille

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Four years ago, the founding members of France’s Compagnie du Ponant sat down together to dream up their ideal cruise ship. The result was two luxury mega-yachts: Le Boréal, launched last year, and L’Austral, which made its maiden voyage last night.

I was on board, sipping champagne, as L’Austral drew out of Marseille just before sunset – and discovered that the French ideal of a mega-yacht is just as elegant and sophisticated as you might imagine.

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