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Compagnie du Ponant has confirmed L’Austral will be the line’s first expedition ship to visit Australia.

The ship’s arrival is part of the line’s plans to target the growing Australian expedition market and follows the recent appointment of former Orion head, Sarina Bratton to lead the company’s Australasian operations.

The company told Cruise Passenger that the 264-passenger vessel will visit Australia and New Zealand late 2014, following voyages through Asia.

She will arrive in time for the 2014/15-wave season to sail short cruises around Australia and across the Tasman.

L’Austral’s first Australian port will be Cairns on 27 December 2014. She will then sail to Sydney on 3 January 2015 for an east coast cruise to Melbourne arriving on 10 January.

Following her arrival in Melbourne, she will make her first Tasman journey and will arrive in Auckland on 22 January. She will then sail two Tasman voyages from Auckland to Melbourne on 22 January to 3 February and then Melbourne to Auckland from 3 February to 15 February.

For her final journey she will sail from Auckland to Darwin from 15 February to 4 March then Darwin to Hong Kong before she makes her way to Vancouver for a series of Alaskan voyages.

2015 voyages have not yet been released, however the line will release more information on 6 February.

Keep an eye on Cruise Passenger for more information.