From Australia to the Philippines
* Subject to availability.
- “Expedition” voyage accompanied by our professional naturalist-guides.
- Take numerous trips in Zodiac® dinghies to get closer to nature and wildlife.
- Discover Coron Island, listed at the UNESCO World Heritage.
- Discover the Maluku Islands, truly a paradise on earth, the original Spice Islands.
- Visit the Tangkoko National Park to look for the famous Tarsier, one of the tiniest primates in the world.
- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
CairnsEmbarkation 15/03/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 15/03/2018 at 18H00 .
Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbour town of Cairns is located on Australia's north-east coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for their fauna and flora from the Gondwana era.
16 March 2018 – At seaArrival 16/03/2018. Departure 16/03/2018.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
17 March 2018 – Cape YorkArrival 17/03/2018. Departure 17/03/2018.
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located at the tip of North Eastern Australia. The region has been described as the largest unspoiled wilderness in Australia. The relatively undisturbed eucalyptus wooded savannahs, tropical rainforests and other types of habitat are now recognised for their global environmental significance. At the tip of the peninsula lies Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian continent, that usually takes travellers 5–7 days over some of the planet’s toughest and remotest roads. The easiest way to “stand on the tip” is to take a luxury voyage, be transferred ashore by ship’s zodiac directly onto the beach and walk the last 500m!
17 March 2018 – Thursday IslandArrival 17/03/2018. Departure 17/03/2018.
Located at Australiaﾒs northernmost tip, Thursday Island is one of more than a hundred in the Torres Strait ,between Cape York Peninsula and Papua New Guinea. The historic military fort of Green Hill offers magnificent views and you can discover more about the region and its pearling history at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.
18 March 2018 – At seaArrival 18/03/2018. Departure 18/03/2018.
19 March 2018 – Asmat, West PapuaArrival 19/03/2018. Departure 19/03/2018.
Occupying half the Island of New Guinea, Western New Guinea (once known as Irian Jaya) is one of the most remote and mysterious regions of the world. Even today, there are at least 44 tribes that have never had contact with the outside world. Nestled in the South West corner of the island is the Asmat region, long fabled as the realm of head-hunters and cannibals. Where ancient traditions of ancestor worship have resisted the influence of Christian missionaries. Today’s expedition starts with a zodiac transfer to the village of Syuru where you will be met by a multitude of Asmat warrior canoes. Once ashore a traditional ceremony will take place. In the afternoon guests can undertake a guided walking tour of Agats township.
20 March 2018 – At seaArrival 20/03/2018. Departure 20/03/2018.
21 March 2018 – Kei Islands, MalukuArrival 21/03/2018. Departure 21/03/2018.
The Kei Islands are blessed with kilometres of stunning, yet almost entirely empty, white-sand beaches and a deeply hospitable population. Beneath the mostly Christian facade, Kei culture is fascinatingly distinctive. Local history holds that ancestors of contemporary Kei islanders came from Bali, part of the expanding Hindu Majapahit kingdom from the western archipelago. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling on an idyllic uninhabited picture postcard tropical island.
22 March 2018 – Banda Neira, MalukuArrival 22/03/2018. Departure 22/03/2018.
From age-old traditional cultures and ancient vestiges, to coral reefs and lush green jungle… The attractions of the remote Banda archipelago seem endless. Better known as the legendary “Spice Islands” of the Ancient World, these small volcanic landmasses were the fabled prize of colonial powers for more than four centuries. Every colonial power of significance fought for control of these ten small islands that today have become largely forgotten. Walking the streets of Banda Neira is a surreal experience as your eyes are drawn to the eclectic mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture, the remnants of a rich and tumultuous history. It is without doubt the most historically significant and interesting of all the “Spice Islands”.
23 March 2018 – Ambon, MalukuArrival 23/03/2018. Departure 23/03/2018.
Ambon is an island steeped in history from the first European contact by the Portuguese in 1526 to its strategic role in WWII. Today there still remains many historical and cultural sites among the remnants of forts built by the Dutch East Indies Company during the heyday of the spice trade. The ANZAC War Cemetery near Ambon commemorates the Allied soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. All this aside, it is the friendliness of the Ambonese people that will leave the greatest impression. Today you have the opportunity to undertake a tour by local bus with your expedition team and local guides to visit the historical and cultural sites across the island.
24 March 2018 – At seaArrival 24/03/2018. Departure 24/03/2018.
25 March 2018 – Pulau Lihaga, North SulawesiArrival 25/03/2018. Departure 25/03/2018.
Established in 1991, Bunaken Marine Park was among the first of Indonesia's marine parks. The park is globally renowned for its rich ecosystems, comprising fringing and barrier reefs. There are seven times more genera of coral than in Hawaiian waters, and more than 70% of all the known fish species of the Indo-Western Pacific. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling on one of the many islands within the marine park. During lunch your ship will relocate to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, home to at least 127 mammal, 233 bird and 104 reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy a guided walk through the rainforest in search of the Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, and the Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
25 March 2018 – Tangkoko Nature Reserve, North SulawesiArrival 25/03/2018. Departure 25/03/2018.
Tangkoko Nature Reserve is home to at least 127 mammal, 233 bird and 104 reptile and amphibian species. Enjoy a guided walk through the rainforest in search of the Celebes crested macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, and the Spectral Tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world.
26 March 2018▸27 March 2018 – At seaArrival 26/03/2018. Departure 27/03/2018.
28 March 2018 – Cuatro IslandsArrival 28/03/2018. Departure 28/03/2018.
Travelling through the eastern provinces of the Philippines enables us to discover some of the last remaining pristine environments and remote untouched villages scattered throughout this nation of contrasts. The Cuatro Islands is a 12,500-hectare protected landscape and seascape situated in the municipalities of Inopacan and Hindang. The Cuatro Islands are four small islands renowned for their white sand beaches, traditional fishing villages and colourful marine environment. Here you will have the opportunity to witness village life in a remote, traditional fishing village and snorkel in the clear tropical waters.
29 March 2018 – Sibuyan IslandArrival 29/03/2018. Departure 29/03/2018.
Sibuyan is the second largest island in the Romblon archipelago and has always been isolated from the other islands in the Philippines, a particularity that is due to its geological history. The island remains very much untouched and wild. It boasts an exceptional ecosystem and is home to several endemic species, which is why it is sometimes dubbed “the Galápagos of Asia”. Dominated by Mount Guiting-Guiting, which rises to an altitude of more than 2,000 metres or 6,750 feet, it will provide a perfect insight into the natural beauty and culture diversity of these parts. Right near Sibuyan, you could get the chance to swim at the beautiful white-sand beaches on the minuscule Cresta de Gallo Island, surrounded by crystal-clear waters.
30 March 2018 – CoronArrival 30/03/2018. Departure 30/03/2018.
Anchored off the extreme north of Palawan in the heart of the Philippines' Calamian Islands, the little island of Coron is an emerald gem adorned with lakes. Among the many activities here, you can explore the shores of Lake Kayangan in a bangka, a traditional outrigger cano dive in the ﾠfresh, warm waters of Lake Barracuda. Famous for its limestone cliffs pierced with caves, the island also has an extraordinary cultural heritage. A stopover in Coron offers an excellent opportunity for meeting the indigenous Tagbanua tribe, a fishing and hunting people who ensure their island remains unspoilt. And it has paid off. Coron has retained all its natural wonders.
ManilaDisembarkation 31/03/2018 at 09H00 .
On first sight, the Philippines' capital shows its highly Americanised Asian megalopolis side, with ultramodern skyscrapers set all along the waterfront. But when you stroll through the cobbled streets of the Intramuros district, you'll discover a different side of Manila, one that's full of old-world charm. An enchanted pause in the middle of urban bustle, Rizal Park's 60 hectares of magnificent green parkland is perfect for recharging your batteries. To see the city from a different angle, take a walk along Roxas boulevard, a popular seaside promenade.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Australia: an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) must be obtained before your arrival in Australia. For more information, please visit www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas. Carriers should be aware that there will not be any physical evidence in your passport. A copy of your ETA must be sent to PONANT at the latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. We also ask you to keep a copy of your ETA and keep it with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.
Australian customs regulations are very strict, especially for the import of food items such as fresh food (even sealed), fruits, eggs, meat, plants, vegetables, seeds, grains. Fur and feathers are also forbidden. We highly recommend you consult this website for further details : www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas/customs-clearance.
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions, including advice on Malaria prevention and dengue fever.
Indonesia: Visa delivered and charged onboard (35€ subject to change) valid for 30 days.
Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
How did the Ponant cruise to Borneo come together?
The island of Borneo provides endless opportunities for exploration, from the ancient Dayak cultures and rajahs of Sarawak, through the opulence of Brunei, to the rainforests and picture postcard islands of Sabah. However, its sheer size and mountainous terrain can make it a difficult island to travel across. Quality hotels can be hard to find, flight connections are rarely convenient, cancellations are common and the alternate of local bus travel over endless corrugated and potholed roads is a daunting prospect. L’Austral is the ideal platform for exploring this part of the world. It allows guests to experience the many facets of the island before returning to an attentive crew delivering refined luxury with French flair and sophistication. Guests need only unpack once and they are delivered to new and exotic destinations each day. Partnering luxury and adventure in remote seldom visited destinations is the essence of a Ponant luxury Expedition voyage.
What is the experience like?
The diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures mean that no two destinations are the same. Every destination has its own unique charm and intrigue. Guests have the opportunity to experience one of the world’s oldest rainforests, home to the famed Orang-Utan and the ‘Jimmy Durante’ of the primate world – the unique looking proboscis monkey. They can marvel at the opulence and unique architecture of Bandar Seri Begawan in the Sovereign State of Brunei. Or they can journey through the lowland rainforests and mangroves of the Kinabatangan river in Sabah. Described as Malaysia’s gift to the earth, it is one of only two places in the world where nine species of primate can be seen. There’s also seven species of Hornbill, countless other bird species and the world’s rarest elephant, the Bornean Pygmy elephant.
What has it been like to work in that region?
I find working in the region very rewarding. The locals are a very proud people, willing to showcase their culture and beautiful landscapes. Most people visit the island to explore the jungles and see the exotic wildlife. However, it is the genuine friendliness of the people that they remember the most.
Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia are countries that want to expand their cruise markets. This provides a good basis to further develop the region and we continually seek new destinations and experiences for our guests. The island abounds in unique experiences awaiting discovery by even the most seasoned Traveller. The variety and style of destinations are able to cater to all facets of the cruise industry, from the large mass market ships, to small luxury vessels like L’Austral.
Can you elaborate on why itineraries don't normally go there and what spurred Ponant's interest?
Borneo conjures images of a faraway primeval land, a land of head hunters and Orang-Utans beckoning exploration. As the global leader in luxury small ship expeditions we are continually seeking new destinations and itineraries. Our fleet of small luxury ships visit over 400 destinations in more than 80 countries and with four new vessels on the way, we are always searching for new exotic destinations to showcase to our guests. Borneo’s location at the heart of the Malay Archipelago, its incredible diversity and breathtaking beauty make it an ideal destination for exploration by small luxury ships, like L’Austral.
Are there any challenges when sailing to Borneo?
Borneo is an ideal destination for exploration by luxury small ship. The island is blessed with good air access to major international hubs. From Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali or Kota Kinabalu a small luxury ship can explore the many coastal destinations the island has to offer. Guests need only unpack once to experience the rainforests, rajahs and riches scattered across the island. With such a multitude of destinations on offer, each day is a new adventure.
Any personal favorite excursions?
Without doubt my favourite shore excursion would have to be the overnight experience on the Kinabatangan river in the Malaysian state of Sabah. From Sandakan guests travel up the lower reaches of the river to experience the biodiversity contained within the region. The Kinabatangan River meanders 560km from the Crocker Range to the Sulu Sea and sustains one of the world's richest ecosystems. It has been described as Malaysia’s gift to the Earth and the original lowland forests and mangrove swamps near the coast contain some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife. It is considered the best area for viewing wildlife, not just in Sabah but all of Malaysia.
Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, expedition cruise specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (often with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Calls, landings & zodiac® cruises will depend on weather conditions, position of ice (during polar cruises) and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.
Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid for with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.
Dressing tips :
- Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
- Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Waterproof backpack for camera
- Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
- Note: During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.
- Currency: Plan to have US dollars in small notes as they are easier to use outside of large cities.
- Vehicles: Road conditions are poor in certain countries. Timings are unpredictable due to heavy traffic conditions. The comfort of local vehicles cannot be compared to that of international vehicles and often lack suspension.
- Guides: PONANT is aware that the quality of guides is of utmost importance and puts all efforts in place to secure the best local guides available. Note that guides in these countries often have heavy accents. Several of our calls visit small and isolated communities where resources (transportation and guides) are scarce, resulting in higher prices.
Pre/Post & Overlands
After your cruise
Before your cruise
12/03/2018 – Flights From/To Paris (Bussiness Class) + Cairns, at the Edge of the Australia's Tropical Rainforest 1N (Pre) + Discover Manilla (Post)5175.00 € **
12/03/2018 – Flights From/To Paris (Economic Class) + Cairns, at the Edge of the Australia\'s Tropical Rainforest 1N (Pre) + Discover Manilla (Post)1975.00 € **
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy