© Jen BoldtMV L’Austral, Past and Present

MV L’Austral

© Jen Boldt

© Jen Boldt

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2010 by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, Trieste, Italy (Yard No 6193) as a cruise ship

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $100 million
  • Length: 142.10m
  • Breadth: 18.00m
  • Draught: 4.80m
  • Tonnage:  10,944 gross/3,427 net/1400t deadweight
  • Engines: Two Wartsila 8L20 diesels
  • Power: 4600 kW/HP
  • Speed: 16.0 knots (service) 18.5 knots (max)
  • Passenger Decks: 6
  • Cabins: 132
  • Capacity: 264
  • Crew: 140
  • Call Sign: FLTU
  • IMO Number: 9502518
  • Port of Registry: Mata-Utu/Wallis and Futuna
  • Sister-Ship: Le Boreal,  Le Lyrial, Le Soléal

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April 8th 2010: Launched/Floated out.

September 30th 2010: Delivered to Compagnie des Iles du Ponant, Mata-Utu, France as the MV L’Austral.

© Jen Boldt  © Jen Boldt

© Jen Boldt

October 2010: Commenced world-wide cruising.


© Josep Pretel

November 18th 2015: The L’Austral went to the aid of her sister vessel Le Boreal after she suffered a serious engine room fire just North of the Falklands on her way to South Georgia.

With the engines incapacitated the vessel was initially drifting and in danger of being wrecked on the nearby coast. The Master made the decision to abandon ship.

Despite very big seas and near gale force winds, all 347 passengers and crew were safely evacuated using the life rafts, ship’s tenders and with assistance from several helicopters, other aircraft and ships. These included RAF Search and Rescue, Bristows and British International helicopters, HMS Clyde, an oil-rig support vessel Pacific Leader and an MOD tug. The stricken vessel’s sister ship L’Austral was also quickly on the scene.

Passengers and crew were conveyed to Stanley where the local community rallied round to provide clothes and accommodation. Le Boreal was taken under tow to Mare Harbour in East Falkland where initial repair work was undertaken, before the vessel was taken under tow again for further repairs” – MercoPress (South Atlantic News Agency)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jens Boldt, Josep Pretel and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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