Thursday 28 April was a historic day for the French expedition cruise company PONANT, with operations finally resuming down under and Le Lapérouse setting sail again to begin its Kimberley 2022 season between Darwin and Broome.
The small expedition ship Le Lapérouse arrived in Darwin on Monday 25 April, following a 2-year pandemic stand-by in Noumea.
Sarina Bratton AM Chairman for PONANT Asia Pacific, met with Captain Xavier Rutten in Darwin on Monday 25 April to welcome the ship, before the inaugural sailing of the almost sold-out 2022 Kimberley expedition season.
Embarking on a 10-night expedition from Darwin to Broome, Le Lapérouse set sail on 28 April to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Kimberley.
“We celebrate the restart of cruising in Australia, and specifically expedition cruising in the northwest region of Australia. I am personally thrilled that PONANT’s Le Lapérouse will be the first international ship to return to operations in Australia and the first international expedition ship to commence the 2022 Kimberley season. ,” Ms Bratton said.
“Not only is this an emotional moment for thousands of Australians whose travel dreams were put on hold since 2020, but it is also a major milestone in terms of economic benefits to the north-west indigenous communities who work with us to showcase the beauty of the Kimberley region and whose income relies on the international expedition sector.
“Our suppliers, port authorities, food and beverage providers, hoteliers and last but not least, our supportive network of travel agents and trade partners are also excited with our company restarting Kimberley operations. It has been a long two years of inactivity in Australia for our suppliers, our travel partners, and for our company,” she said.
Le Lapérouse will be accompanied in late May in the Kimberley by the small luxury expedition ship Le Soléal. This is PONANT’s second expedition vessel which will cruise the Kimberley across multiple departures of its 10-night ‘Australia’s Iconic Kimberley’ luxury expedition itinerary between April and September this year.
Due to high demand, PONANT has recently released two new sailings available for booking, departing on 28 May and 7 June onboard Le Soléal.
For more, head to au.ponant.com
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