Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard launched L’ AUSTRAL, the second of two luxury cruise ships for France’s Compagnie du Ponant. Florence Rousset served as Godmother of the soon-to-be French registered ship while Jean-Emmanuel Sauvee, Director General of Compagnie du Ponant, Véronique Saade, Ponant’s Deputy Managing Director and Fincantieri’s Ancona Shipyard Director, Antonio Quintano, were all present for the April 8 occasion. L’AUSTRAL measures 142 meters long (466 ft) and 20 meters wide (65 ft). Passenger capacity is for over 260 guests, accommodated in 132 cabins and suites, all with a sea view, 94% of which have a private balcony. At 10,700 gt, L’ AUSTRAL will be delivered in May 2011 and followed by her sister, LE BOREAL. Compangie du Ponant is headquartered in Marseilles with a fleet of three super-luxury market cruise ships. Founded in 1988, the company is a member of CMA-CGM Group, the world’s third largest container shipping conglomerate.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.