Ponant has been swamped with “incredible demand” for its sailings to the iconic and unspoilt Kimberley region starting this month that it has added two new itineraries to meet overwhelming response.
“Kimberley 2022 is almost full and Kimberley 2023 is not far behind, people are already enquiring about Kimberley 2024,” said a spokesperson for the French luxury line.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the spokesperson added: ”Demand is even stronger as people have been waiting for more than two seasons to finally experience small ship cruising in Australia and see expedition cruising return to Australian waters. We also have a few Australian expeditions on the East Coast and Tasmania for the end of 2022 getting a lot of interest with bookings tracking well.”
Increasingly, Australians are booking up the popular, 10-night Kimberley voyage between Darwin and Broome which showcase the “wild and grandiose landscapes of the Kimberley” on board the line’s small luxury ships, Le Soleal and Le Laperouse.. Known for its wild landscape with ochre cliffs, roaring waterfalls and saltwater crocodiles, the Kimberley has always evoked a sense of mystery among curious travellers.
“Australia’s Kimberley is one of the greatest wonders of our country with such grandeur and majestic beauty. It’s certainly an absolute bucket list destination for both Australians and international tourists and we look forward to sharing it again to those hose travel plans have been put on hold for the past two seasons,” said Deb Corbett, Ponant general manager sales and marketing Asia Pacific.
When Western Australian government lifted its ban on small interstate and international expedition ships with a maximum of 350 passengers, Ponant announced the restart of its Kimberley 2022 expedition season starting from 28 April to October this year.
Highlights of the Kimberley expeditions include visiting the Hunter River which is inhabited by crocodiles, discovering King George River on a Zodiac excursion and reaching the majestic Twin Falls, the highest in WA and exploring Collier Bay and Montgomery reef, the world’s largest inshore reef with vast expanses of lagoons filled with plentiful marine life, all accompanied by an expert and experienced expedition guide.
Guests will also be able to discover billions of years-old landscape and ancient rock art, explore the pristine mangrove environments ad witness the unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls.
There are two additional sailings – a 10-night expedition fro Darwin to Broome on board Le Soleal which departs on 28 May with prices starting from $10,060 per person for a deluxe stateroom.
The second is also a 10-night voyage from Broome to Darwin on board Le Soleal with departures from 7 June 2022 and prices starting from $10,060 pp in a deluxe stateroom.
Sarina Bratton, chairman Asia Pacific will also host a Chairman Cruise’s Fly & Cruise package in early June.