The Vanilla Islands
* Subject to availability.
- Discovering the Seychelles, the Scattered Islands, the Comoros (new port of call), Mayotte and Madagascar, all on the one same cruise.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- Encounters with local people.
- A variety of idyllic landscapes: atolls, coral reefs, lagoons, granite landscapes, white-sand beaches, a rich and preserved fauna and flora.
- In the Seychelles, Anse Source d’Argent, the most famous beach of La Digue, surrounded by large blocks of granite and edged with coconut palms.
- Visiting Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the world’s largest population of tortoises.
- Discovering the Glorioso Islands, a geological sanctuary with nature reserve status since 1975.
- Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE BOUGAINVILLE
- Port of call & excursions
- Scuba diving
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom AU$8,550 Not Available Prestige Deck 4 AU$7,800 Available Prestige Deck 5 AU$8,180 Available Prestige Deck 6 AU$8,580 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$11,990 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 AU$11,990 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 AU$11,990 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$11,990 Available Prestige Deck 5 Suite AU$16,270 Available Prestige Deck 6 Suite AU$17,070 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 AU$17,910 Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 AU$17,910 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$24,460 Not Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$24,460 Not Available Owner's Suite AU$25,680 Available
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
As the third ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Port of call & excursions
Victoria, MahéEmbarkation 11/03/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 11/03/2020 at 18H00 .
Discover Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles and also the largest of the archipelago, home to the capital, Victoria. Mahé has almost 70 beaches of fine sand, framed by the emblematic granite rocks, and whose crystal clear waters are renowned for their rich underwater life. The island is also famous for its splendid mountain panoramas accessible on hikes, such as the Morne Seychellois, which is 905 metres high and overlooks the Indian Ocean. Mahé is also an island full of history where fine colonial properties rub shoulders with Creole houses - and don’t forget the marvellous Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
12 March 2020 – La Digue IslandArrival 12/03/2020. Departure 12/03/2020.
La Digue Island is a veritable concentration of all the beauty of the Seychelles. Located 6 km south-east of Praslin, this small piece of land that looks like paradise is the third-largest island in the Seychelles, despite its modest size (5 km by 3km)! Turquoise waters just asking you to swim in them, lush vegetation sheltering giant tortoises, beaches of fine sand fringed with coconut trees and surrounded with those emblematic large granite rocks with their pink highlights like at the famous Anse Source d’Argent: the perfect picture postcard… Authentic and preserved, the island follows a peaceful rhythm, with the only means of transport along its little roads being bikes or traditional oxcarts.
13 March 2020 – Alphonse IslandArrival 13/03/2020. Departure 13/03/2020.
Alphonse Island is located off the Seychelles archipelago. Discovered in 1730 by the Knight Alphonse de Pontevez, this island, specialised in coconut processing in the past, is now a veritable natural reserve, home to different species of marine mammals, sea turtles and many birds. Alphonse Island is also renowned for its rich underwater life and coral, among the best preserved in the Indian Ocean. A marvellous spectacle that can be admired with just a mask!
14 March 2020 – Astove IslandArrival 14/03/2020. Departure 14/03/2020.
Closer to Madagascar than to Victoria, Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles. It is part of the Aldabra group, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Now uninhabited, this coral island covered in coconut trees was once home to the employees that worked on the coconut plantations. Renowned for the richness of its seabeds, Astove Atoll is now a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. It also attracts experienced divers, who visit the atoll to explore the “Astove Wall”, where the sea floor drops to a depth of about 40 metres. The wall is covered in coral and many fish and green sea turtles can be found there.
15 March 2020▸16 March 2020 – Aldabra AtollArrival 15/03/2020. Departure 16/03/2020.
Located in the very heart of this faraway archipelago, the Aldabra Atoll is considered to be one of the last virtually untouched sanctuaries on earth, where a large population of sea turtles has found refuge. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast tract of land is formed by 4 small coral reef islands separated by narrow passes and containing an emerald-water lagoon lined with mangrove and fine-sand beaches. As your ship slowly nears the clear, reflective waters along its shoreline, do not miss your chance to discover this natural wonder, which is considered to be the largest atoll in the world and once fired the imagination of many an explorer.
17 March 2020 – Glorieuses, Scattered IslandsArrival 17/03/2020. Departure 17/03/2020.
The Scattered Islands are like minuscule confetti sprinkled around Madagascar and form an archipelago of unrivalled beauty. Their geographical isolation, and their very limited human settlement make them a true geological sanctuary, classed as a nature reserve since 1975. Regularly used as the “zero point” in scientific studies, they offer their rare visitors almost pristine vegetation composed mainly of mangrove, as well as long beaches of shimmering sand stretching out behind turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs that are home to the world’s highest concentration of sea turtles.
18 March 2020 – MohéliArrival 18/03/2020. Departure 18/03/2020.
Moheli is the smallest island in the Comoros archipelago; it is also the wildest. Covered in luxuriant vegetation, it is home to the first protected natural environment in the Comoros: Moheli National Park. A huge sanctuary with rare and endemic fauna, this marine and terrestrial reserve provides the opportunity to discover the island’s incredible biodiversity. Among other animals, the rare visitors to the park may spot the Comoro falcon, the maki (a lemur living exclusively in this region) and Livingstone’s fruit bats, the largest flying foxes in the world with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres. The site is also an important egg-laying spot for green sea turtles.
19 March 2020 – MamoudzouArrival 19/03/2020. Departure 19/03/2020.
Nosy BeDisembarkation 20/03/2020 at 08H15 .
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.
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.
Madagascar: visa delivered and charged onboard (20€ subject to change), valid for 14 days.
Immunization against diphtheria-tetanus-polio is essential. Anti-malaria treatment is highly recommended. It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions.
Mayotte and Comoros: entry and exit by sea - no visa required
Scattered Islands: some nationalities may require a visa. Please check on https://france-visas.gouv.fr/
In order to participate in diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1 year old and their up to date dive book.
Fauna and flora of the Indian Ocean
The fauna of the Indian Ocean is very varied. During the various dives, divers can observe various species of benthic fauna such as napoleon fish, oriental sweetlips, blackspotted sweetlips, batfish and pelagic fauna such as manta rays, gray reef sharks, dolphin fish,rainbow runner as well as endemic wildlife such as different soft corals.
Supervision of the dives
Your dives will be led by your PONANT instructor. He will take care of your safety and that all goes smoothly. On some diving sites, as in natural reserves or if the local regulations require it, a local guide will escort the diving.
Level required for scuba diving on this cruise
The minimum level required for scuba diving on this cruise is 2 stars CMAS or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent). The certification card, the diving log book and a recent medical certificate (less than 12 months) must be presented at the beginning of the cruise to our main diving instructor.
Process of the dives (certified divers)
The instructor can dive with 4 certified divers at a time. The instructor reserves the right to check divers’ ability for maximum safety. As we will dive in remote places, the dives will be done without decompression stop. A safety stop of 3 minutes at 5 metres will be mandatory. The depth that can be reached will depend on the certification of the divers:
- For those with PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate (or equivalent), the maximum depth can be up to 25 metres.
- If two PADI Advanced Open Water Divers (or equivalent) wish to dive together independently, they must have a briefing first. They must have dive computers and are allowed to go to a maximum depth of 20 metres.
Duration of the dives
The diving activity lasts from 2 to 3 hours, which includes the journey to the diving site and the diving. This duration may vary according to the site, the level of divers, weather conditions and the number of participants. For experienced divers, the duration of dives varies between 35 and 60 minutes depending on the site, the diver’s experience and consumption.
- Diving wetsuit
- Stabilising jacket
- Fins, mask and snorkel
- Regulator with octopus and pressure gauge
- Diving computer (for divers mastering their use)
Scuba diving activities on this cruise
PORTS OF CALL
(for certified divers)
DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING
SEYCHELLES- La Digue
SEYCHELLES – Alphonse Island
SEYCHELLES – Astove Island
SEYCHELLES – Aldabra Atoll
SEYCHELLES – Aldabra Atoll
SEYCHELLES – Assumption Island
SCATTERED ISLAND- Les Glorieuses
These sites are indicative. The proposed diving excursions may be changed depending on weather and safety conditions and the number of divers.
Price per person
- Exploration (1 dive) : € 80
- Excellence Package (3 dives) : € 225
- Passion Package (6 dives) : € 420
Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, expedition cruise specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
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.
- Cotton comfortable and light-weight shorts/bermuda shorts
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable SPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeved T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeved T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming
- Aquatic non-slip sandals
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap and veil to protect the neck
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Highly protective sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and after-sun with high SPF index & insect repellent
- Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
- Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
- Camelbak (backpack with water pockets)
- Walking poles (highly recommended).
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.
Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT store:
- Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
- A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
- Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
- Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy