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 Scattered 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.
Return regional flight included
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE BOUGAINVILLE
- Port of call & excursions
- Diving in the Vanilla Islands
- Cruise Package
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom AU$7,270 Available Prestige Deck 4 AU$8,000 Available Prestige Deck 5 AU$8,330 Available Prestige Deck 6 AU$8,680 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$11,660 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 AU$11,660 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 AU$11,660 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$11,660 Available Prestige Deck 5 Suite AU$15,410 Available Prestige Deck 6 Suite AU$16,100 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 AU$16,850 Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 AU$16,850 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$25,550 Not Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$18,410 Available Owner's Suite AU$26,770 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 first 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 – Poivre IslandArrival 13/03/2020. Departure 13/03/2020.
At some 200 km south-west of Mahé, discover Poivre Atoll, a small paradise that is part of the Amirantes archipelago, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Consisting of two coral islands, Poivre Island and Ile du Sud, separated by a small lagoon, it owes its name to Pierre Poivre, the Mauritius intendant who introduced spices to the Seychelles in the late 18th century. Once used for coconut plantations, Poivre Island is now focused on tourism. Visitors come here for scuba diving or big-game fishing in waters that are particularly rich and clean, where the marine life includes sea turtles.
14 March 2020 – Alphonse IslandArrival 14/03/2020. Departure 14/03/2020.
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!
15 March 2020 – At seaArrival 15/03/2020. Departure 15/03/2020.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
16 March 2020 – Aldabra AtollArrival 16/03/2020. 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 08H00 .
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/
Diving in the Vanilla Islands
Diving in the Vanilla Islands
Cruise Mahe – Nosy Be
From March 11th to March 20th , 2020
Your dives will be led by Patrick Brissac your 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.
Thanks to check below.
PORTS OF CALL
LA DIGUE ISLAND
The minimum level required for scuba diving on this cruise is 2 stars CMA or the Open Water Diver Padi.
What is a confirmed diver?
A confirmed diver is 2 star CMAS certified diver, or the Open Water Diver (PADI).
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 diving instructor Patrick BRISSAC. You must have done at least 1 diving during the year before the “Expedition” cruise.
How does it work?
The instructor can dive with 4 confirmed divers at a time, according to their certification. The instructor reserves the right to check divers’ ability for maximum safety.
The depth that can be reached will depend of the certification of the divers:
- For the 2 stars CMAS, or Open Water Divers, the maximum depth will be 25 meters.
- If 2 divers with the above certifications want to dive together, they will have a briefing before the dive. They will have to dive with a diving computer. The maximum depth will be 20 meters.
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 is given as an indication and 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. As we will dive in remote place, the dives will be done without decompression stop. A safety stop of 3 minutes at 5 meters will be mandatory.
- Diving wetsuit
- Stabilizing jacket
- Regulator with octopus and pressure gauge
- Diving computer
Price per person
- Certified dive :
- Exploration (1 dive): €80
- Excellence Package (3 dives): €225
- Passion Package (6 dives): €420
Fauna of the Indian Ocean
The fauna of the Indian Ocean is very varied. During the various dives, divers can be observed various species of benthic fauna such as emperor angel fish, Meyer butterfly fish, raccoon butterfly fish, and pelagic fauna such as manta rays, Gray reef sharks, as well as endemic wildlife such as spiny orange sponges and fried egg anemone.
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…
Transfer + flight Nosy Be / Mauritius
For your serenity, PONANT selects a flight and organizes the transfers between the port and the airport. This package is included in your cruise fare.
Disembarking Day – Nosy Be / Mauritius
Disembarkation and transfer to Nosy Be airport.
Flight Nosy Be / Mauritius selected by PONANT.
Approximate flight duration: 2h00.
It is highly recommended to stay one night in Mauritius after this flight.
Your programme includes:
- Flight Nosy Be / Mauritius selected by PONANT in economy class.
- Transfers pier / airport.
Your programme does not include:
- Personal expenses.
- Other services not mentioned in the programme.
- Flight included in the programme is, as of today, operated in economy class.
- For passengers in transit in Mauritius, we recommend staying one night in Mauritius after this flight to ensure your connecting flights.
- Package is subject to availability.
- This programme is subject to change.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents. Passengers must check in at least two hours before flight departure time.
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