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Expert team backs Ponant’s 2020 Kimberley voyages

September 18, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Ponant has just released itineraries for Kimberley voyages in 2020, featuring luxury expedition ship Le Lapérouse (every cabin with private balcony) and an expedition team headed by a photographer and adventurer and a group of 10 experienced geologists, historians, cultural experts, marine biologists, naturalists and conservationists.

Le Lapérouse is one of the new fleet of luxury expedition ships coming into service for Ponant over the 2018-2020 period.

The Ponant Kimberley May-August 2020 series of 10- to 13-night voyages follows exceptional bookings for the 2019 season.

“We have barely any cabins left in 2019 for the inaugural Le Lapérouse season of Kimberley voyages and so have released our 2020 season for sale now to give guests a jump start on planning their Kimberley expedition in 2020” Ponant Asia Pacific’s vice president, Monique Ponfoort, explained.

The new Kimberley program gives an exceptional opportunity to explore  – by land, sea and air – a huge land larger than the State of Victoria and home to saltwater crocodiles and an extraordinary wealth of indigenous rock art.

“Set sail on Le Lapérouse, the most modern and ecologically responsible ship in the region, an intimately sized, 92-cabin ship, for a voyage along one of the most spectacular coastal regions in the whole of Australia,” Ponfoort said.

  • The 2020 Expedition Team will be headed by award winning photographer and adventurer Mick Fogg, a veteran of over 125 Kimberley expeditions, backed by a group of 10 experienced geologists, historians, cultural experts, marine biologists, naturalists and conservationists.
  • Eleven 10-night voyages between Darwin and Broome and vice versa are scheduled between May and August 2020.
  • The Kimberley is a national biodiversity hotspot, listed in the top 3.7% of least impacted marine environments worldwide.
  • Guests on Le Lapérouse, the youngest and most environmentally responsible ship in the region, will see extraordinary Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art; view vast landscapes that predate the existence of fossils, wonder at precipitous waterfalls and the myriad colours of ever-changing light.
  • Modern in design and construction, Le Lapérouse is one of the youngest fleet in the world, featuring the very latest in maritime technology, including 3D sonar for seabed vision, a dynamic positioning system to avoid dropping anchor in sensitive maritime environments, and electric propulsion for reduced emissions. Perfect for exploring this region, much still uncharted, with its dramatic tidal changes.

Paspaley Pearls plane

  • As well as visiting areas home to saltwater crocodiles, the voyages coincide with prime time for observing the largest population of migrating Humpback whales in the world – estimated to be 40,000 individuals or more – and with a compact ship and 12 Zodiacs this is potentially another exciting experience.
  • Ponant itineraries include classic must-see Kimberley highlights – the Hunter River, King George Falls, Mitchell Falls, Montgomery Reef and the Horizontal Falls, as well as a number of rarely visited other destinations.
  • Le Lapérouse’s compact size (just 92 staterooms and suites) and manoeuvrability will allow the ship to get close to shore before launching her fleet of Zodiacs. The perfect ‘search engine’ for expeditions, the Zodiacs will provide access for exploring bays, mudflats and mangroves, venturing beneath vertiginous waterfalls, probing rivers that carve through sandstone walls of dizzying heights, and viewing heaving emergent tidal reefs.
  • Back onboard the mobile base camp, Le Lapérouse, creature comforts prevail – plus the exclusive world-first Blue Eye underwater lounge, a cocoon of surrounding maritime sights and sounds.
  • Guest enjoy French luxury and ambiance, and experience the difference small ship cruising offers. Cool off in the swimming pool, enjoy spa therapy to ease tired muscles or simply as a pampering indulgence. An inclusive Open Bar provides guests the chance to relax with a beer, wines, champagne or, perhaps, a cocktail. Later, the choice of fine cuisine, the flavours complimented with world-class wines.
  • Every cabin on Le Lapérouse features a private balcony. This is very civilised way to explore a remarkably remote destination, imbued with PONANT’s trademark dash of panache.
  • Specials include: Darwin – Broome: “Australia’s Iconic Kimberley”, 7 July 2020 / 10 nights from AUD 10,520 in a Prestige Stateroom with balcony Deck 4. And     Broome – Darwin: “Exploring the Kimberley – with National Geographic”, 26 August 2020 / 13 nights from AUD 15,710 in a Prestige Stateroom with balcony Deck 5.

Edited by Peter Needham

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