If Australia’s dramatic and ancient Kimberley landscapes have always been on your bucket list, you’re in luck as Ponant increases its 2022 expeditions to the region.
Following great demand for the cruise line’s 2021 Kimberley sailings, the company has increased the number of 2022 Kimberley voyages to 26 to accommodate Australians looking to explore their own backyard. By increasing the sailings to the highest number Ponant has ever offered, the line will allow guests that chance to visit the region during the Big Wet, in March, the perfect time to see the region’s spectacular waterfalls in full force, and in September, during the peak of the humpback whale migration period.
To facilitate so many departures, the small-ship cruise line will deploy a second ship to the Kimberley, meaning two modern and luxurious vessels – Le Soléal, or Le Lapérouse – will offer exciting 10-day itineraries in one of Australia’s most beloved destinations. Highlights of the itinerary include visits to Darwin in the Northern Territories, and Broome in Western Australia, as well as the twin falls of the King George River, Talbot Bay, the Lacepede Islands, Raft Point, and the Hunter River.
Le Soléal provides 95% balcony accommodation, while on Le Lapérouse all accommodation includes a balcony or private deck area. Both vessels offer a selection of world-class dining options and bars, plus the must-have inclusion of a swimming pool – the only ships in the Kimberley to do so – and essential in a region where saltwater crocodiles are the apex predator.
These luxurious floating base-camps are perfect places to relax after a day spent exploring King George River and twin falls, experiencing the tidal emergence of Montgomery Reef, challenging the Horizontal Falls, or absorbing the wonders of pre-history Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art. All multiple Zodiac outings and shore excursions are accompanied by members of the knowledgeable Australian Expedition team, ensuring a unique insight into this dramatic locale.
The perfect balance for an adventurous exploration of these untouched remote locations, both modern purpose-built luxury expedition ships combine the day’s immersive expedition experiences with Ponant’s signature French-inspired ambiance, discreet and personalized service, fine dining, open bar, 24-hour room service, and little luxuries such as Hermès toiletries, Charles Heidsieck champagne for the asking, and renowned Sothys Spa treatments.