Ponant adds a second Explorer ship to the Kimberley

Le Bellot to join Le Laperouse in the Top End

Ponant will add additional capacity to the Kimberley region in 2021, announcing the deployment of a second vessel for the region to meet “growing demand” for the company’s expeditions.

“We are increasing the number of departures in 2021 to provide more choice of travel dates and an expanded range of itineraries,” said Monique Ponfoort, Pontant Vice President Asia Pacific.

“Commencing at the conclusion of the ‘Big Wet’, when the Kimberley waterfalls are at their most spectacular, through to whale watching in August and September we have 12 voyages scheduled: nine 10-night expeditions, plus an additional three 12- and 13-night expeditions held in conjunction with National Geographic, featuring exciting new itineraries.”

“2021 will also see the arrival of the second of our new fleet of eco-responsible Explorer ships in Australian waters, Le Bellot, launched earlier this year. Identical to Le Lapérouse, the deployment of Le Bellot in addition to Le Lapérouse further confirms PONANT’s long term commitment to luxury and expedition cruising in this part of the world.

“These are the most modern and ecologically responsible ships in the region, intimately sized, with just 92 suites and staterooms, their construction, shallow draught and manoeuvrability, ideally suited for exploring one of the most spectacular coastal regions in the world,” Ponfoort added.

Ponant’s latest ships are small and nimble, and can showcase the best of what the Kimberley coast has to offer, including King George Falls, the Lacepede Islands, the Horizontal Waterfalls, Montgomery Reef and Mitchell Falls.

The 2021 program will feature twelve 10-, 12- and 13-night voyages between Darwin and Broome (and vice versa), between the months of April and September. The voyages coincide with prime time for observing the largest population of migrating humpback whales in the world – estimated to be 40,000 individuals or more.

Modern in design and construction, Le Bellot (launched 2019) and Le Lapérouse (2018) feature the very latest in maritime technology, including 3D sonar for seabed vision, a dynamic positioning system to avoid dropping anchor in sensitive marine environments, and electric propulsion for reduced emissions. All of which make the vessels perfect for exploring this region, much still poorly charted, with its dramatic tidal changes.

Details of PONANT’s Kimberley 2021 luxury expeditions including itineraries, pricing and shore excursions are available at au.ponant.com/

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