25% Ponant Bonus
PONANT invites you to experience Australia’s unique and spectacular Kimberley coast in a remarkable new way, under sail aboard its emblematic yacht Le Ponant. The majestic three-masted yacht, with elegant lines and an intimate atmosphere for only 32 like-minded guests, is redefining barefoot luxury expeditions. A crew to guest ratio of more than 1 to 1 and an expedition staff to guest ratio of 1 to 8, combine to provide the pinnacle Kimberley expedition sailing experience. Unique to the experience, PONANT has partnered with the Paspaley group to include a spectacular scenic flight over the Kimberley landscape aboard their Grumman Mallard amphibious aircraft between Kununurra and Kuri Bay.
Often referred to as the “Antarctica of the tropics,” the Kimberley is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural significance. It is the pristine environment, wild, rugged and remote landscapes that gives rise to the comparison. The ancient landscape is the epitome of a sunburnt country, the vast plains and rugged red sandstone gorges are quintessentially Australian and like nowhere else. The Kimberley is one of the world’s last great Wilderness areas, and one of Australia’s greatest natural assets.
The 13,000km of remote isolated coastline boasts more than 2,600 islands and is home to the oldest continuous culture on earth, the world’s largest living reptile, the only two ‘Horizontal Falls’ on the planet, the world’s largest inshore reef, extensive undisturbed mangrove forests, wild rivers, important seabird and marine turtle breeding colonies and the largest population of migrating humpback whales on the planet. It is a national biodiversity hotspot and listed in the top 4% of least impacted marine environments worldwide.
Our Barefoot luxury sailing expeditions are fully flexible itineraries with no predetermined destinations. With a maximum of 32 guests, we are able to create bespoke itineraries showcasing the changing environment throughout the dry season from April to September. Each day’s activities will be determined by the Captain and Expedition Leader, taking into account the season, prevailing weather, tide and sea conditions to deliver the best experience possible.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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25% Ponant Bonus
Mistral Prestige Stateroom
25% Ponant Bonus
Alizés Stateroom with balcony
25% Ponant Bonus
Grand Privilège Alizés Suite with balcony
25% Ponant Bonus
Important trip details
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.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
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.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
Embarkation 07/04/2023 from 16:00 to 17:00
Departure 07/04/2023 at 18:00
Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.
Whilst there is no standard itinerary, our sailing expedition will feature the iconic destinations of King George Falls and Prince Frederick Harbour. Additional destinations that may be visited include the Prince Regent River home to the spectacular terraced waterfall of Kings Cascades and Camp Creek. Part of the Prince Regent National Park is the National Heritage listed Mermaid Boab at Careening Bay, recording the repairs undertaken by Philip Parker King and his men in September 1820 to Her Majesty’s Cutter, Mermaid. Prince Frederick Harbour is one of the largest and most scenic inlets of the Kimberley coast. Here, the Hunter River and Roe River curl through an awe inspiring landscape of flat top mesas, ancient folded mountains, deep gorges, craggy sandstone cliffs and spires. Just to the North lies the Mitchell River National Park known for its rugged scenery and First Nations Peoples heritage. From the cascading freshwater of the Mitchell Falls the Mitchell River has carved breath-taking gorges into the sandstone as it winds its way to the waters of the Admiralty Gulf. Within the gulf, the Low Rocks and Sterna Island Important Bird Area in the Montesquieu Islands support 4,000 breeding pairs of Roseate terns. The coastal embayments and offshore Islands of the Bonaparte Archipelago are rich in First Nations Peoples culture and heritage. Ancient rock art galleries depicting both the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion styles unique to the Kimberley region can be experienced at Bigge Island, Winyalkan Island, Swift Bay and Jar Island. To the North, the mangrove lined Drysdale River provides the ideal environment to spot crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife. Fed by wet season rainfall the nearby Glycosmis Falls and Casuarina Falls on the Berkeley River are at their most spectacular at the start of the season. No voyage along the North Kimberley coast could be complete without visiting the Iconic King George River. The colours and textures of the 80m high gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing wallpaper of passing scenery that is simply stunning. Culminating in the Twin Falls of King George, the highest waterfall in Western Australia.
Arrival 14/04/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 14/04/2023 at 07:00
Located 370km north of Broome and 460km west of Kununurra, Kuri Bay lies at the heart of the Lalang – Garram/Camden Sound Marine Park. It was the location of Australia's first cultured pearl farm and is named after the company's first principal, Tokuichi Kuribayashi. Today it is the home of Paspaley, the world’s most important producer of cultured pearls. Such is the superior and widely recognised quality of the gems they are in their own category and recognised simply as Paspaley Pearls.
Kuri Bay is the ideal location for starting or ending your Kimberley sailing expedition combining a spectacular scenic flight over the Kimberley landscape aboard a Paspaley Grumman Mallard amphibious aircraft between Kuri Bay and Broome or Kununurra
For your peace of mind, PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day of before your embarkation.
The day before embarkation – Darwin
Transfer from Darwin airport to the hotel.
Time at Leisure and dinner on your own.
Overnight at the hotel.
Embarkation Day – Darwin
Breakfast will be served at the hotel
Transfer to Darwin wharf
Disembarkation Day – Kuri Bay/Kununurra
Board a unique Paspaley Grumman Mallard amphibious aircraft for your scenic flight Kuri Bay/Kununurra. Approximate flight duration: 1 hour, 30 min.
Transfer from Kununurra Airport to the hotel and time at leisure
Overnight at the hotel
The day after disembarkation.
Breakfast at the hotel and time at leisure.
Transfer to Kununurra airport in time for check in of your onward flight.
Explore the planet’s most remote tropical regions during a PONANT expedition cruise. In the heart of Oceania’s archipelagos or the Indian Ocean atolls, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxury amenities and services will make your expedition cruise an unforgettable experience. Our expedition leaders and their teams of naturalist guides devise exceptional itineraries and organise daily outings, shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies, or snorkelling when the cruises are conducive to it, to take you as close as possible to nature. Aboard the ship, they share their knowledge during lectures on a variety of topics such as the fauna and flora, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology. On land, using the local transport options or during hikes, discover the must-see natural sites and, for a few hours, partake in the life and ancestral customs of the local populations.