Ponant strengthens Kimberley program for 2022

French cruise line commits to Australia with dual ship operation in Australia's North-West

Repressed demand for domestic luxury expedition cruising has seen Ponant bolster its newly released Kimberley program for 2022.

The French cruise line has unveiled more than two dozen departures on two ships in the Kimberley for next year, operating between March and September. That number is on top of nearly 20 sailings offered in 2021.

“We have been simply amazed by the unrelenting demand for our 2021 Kimberley season, clearly confirming pent-up local interest in immersive Australian coastal exploration voyages,” said Ponant’s Deb Corbett, General Manager Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific.

“With the Kimberley being the absolute hallmark of Australian expedition destinations, for 2022 we are increasing the number of voyages to 26 to accommodate the continuing demand by Australians to explore our own backyard.”

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Kimberley by Zodiac | image credit: Nick Rains

Corbett continued, “This means we will be increasing our already-significant presence in the Kimberley to the highest number we have ever offered, which will allow us to expand the 2022 season to include the end of the Big Wet, in March, for those who want to feel the power and majesty of the mighty rivers and waterfalls, through the peak humpback whale migration period, and into September.”

To achieve the increased footprint in Australian waters Ponant will continue with a second ship as a permanent deployment for the cruise company’s expanded Kimberley portfolio.

Le Soléal has a capacity of 264 guests, while Le Lapérouse accommodated up to 184.

The six-deck Le Soléal provides 95% balcony accommodation, while on the five-deck Le Lapérouse all accommodation includes a balcony or private deck area. Both ships offer a selection of world-class dining options and bars.

Exploring the Kimberley | credit: Nick Rains

“So, if choice, quality and expertise matter, then Pontant is the logical selection, even more so now with our continued commitment of two modern luxury expedition ships and an unprecedented 26 ‘Australia’s Iconic Kimberley’ 10-night departures on offer.”

Corbett said the new program may appeal to guests already holding a cruise credit with Ponant from a cancelled sailing in 2020/2021.

Ponant is offering up to 30% in bonus savings on its 2022 Kimberley program. Prices start from AU$9,310 per person, twin share (includes current 30% PONANT Bonus saving) in a Deluxe Stateroom. Conditions apply.

For further details contact PONANT on 1300 737 178 (Australia) or 0800 767 018 (New Zealand), or email reservations.aus@ponant.com

Lead image: Le Lapérouse in the Kimberley © Ponant/Nick Rains

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