On a beautiful calm and clear afternoon on the 25th of December 2015 L'Austral approached Deception Island and the entrance to the bay. The island is actually the caldera of an active volcano which seriously damaged local scientific stations in 1967 and 1969.
L'Austral is an expedition cruise ship operated by the French cruise line company Ponant. L'Austral was built in 2010 at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard, Italy. She has 132 cabins and suites for 264 passengers and 140 crew members and is 142m in length. She was put into service on April 20, 2011.
Deception Island, in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, played an important part in the history of the region as it had one of the safest harbours in Antarctica. The island previously held a whaling station; it is now a tourist destination and scientific outpost, with Argentine and Spanish research bases. While various countries have asserted sovereignty, it is still administered under the Antarctic Treaty System.