Australia's Iconic Kimberley - Classical Music cruise
* Subject to availability.
- A musical cruise in partnership with RADIO CLASSIQUE, with the exceptional presence on board of Alain Duault and of artists.
- Join our highly qualified local expedition team
- Enjoy regular Zodiac® outings & shore visits to get close to Kimberley nature
- Discover billions of years-old landscapes & ancient rock art
- Listen to stories of the dreamtime from the oldest continuous culture on the planet
- Explore pristine mangrove environments, home to the world’s largest living reptile
- Witness unique tidal phenomena such as the Horizontal Falls
- In Wyndham, enjoy one of the 3 complimentary excursions (subject to availability, on a first come first served basis in chronological order of booking, please contact our travel agents):
- Ord River experience: navigation on the Ord River between Kununurra and Lake Argyle. You will have the opportunity to enjoy remarkable wildlife and stunning landscapes. The tour includes a simple buffet lunch served on a riverside camp.
- Bungle Bungle scenic flight: panoramic flight onboard a Cessna airplane from Kununurra to the Bungle Bungle massif. You will, in particular, fly over Diversion Dam, Carr Boyd Range or Purnululu National Park.
- El Questro experience: guided by an El Questro ranger, the tour includes an all-encompassing journey through Emma Gorge and Zebedee Thermal Springs. Take a mid-day break for lunch and end the full day with the Chamberlain River Cruise.
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE LAPEROUSE
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom AU$14,290 Not Available Prestige stateroom Deck 4 AU$12,940 Available Prestige stateroom Deck 5 AU$13,580 Available Prestige Deck 6 AU$14,250 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 AU$19,900 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$19,900 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 AU$19,900 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$19,900 Available Prestige Suite Deck 5 AU$27,030 Available Prestige Suite Deck 6 AU$28,380 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 AU$37,060 Not Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 AU$29,790 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 AU$32,750 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 AU$32,750 Available Owner's Suite AU$42,790 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 Lapérouse 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
DarwinEmbarkation 28/05/2020 from 14H30 to 15H30 . Departure 28/05/2020 at 16H00 .
Darwin is located in Australia’s Northern Territory which is also known as the “Top End”. It is the capital city and the most populated town of the Northern Territory. Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures, over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle. Discover the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture and Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids. You will also enjoy the bustling waterfront on the Timor Sea.
29 May 2020 – Pulau Meatimiarang (Technical Stop)Arrival 29/05/2020. Departure 29/05/2020.
30 May 2020 – WyndhamArrival 30/05/2020. Departure 30/05/2020.
Wyndham is the northernmost town in Western Australia and in many ways is the gateway to the Kimberley. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands in the Kimberley, including the spectacular Ord River, the manmade Argyle Dam, and Purnululu National Park, home to the Bungle Bungle ranges. The wildlife is very rich, offering a great opportunity for bird-watching and spotting Freshwater crocodiles. During this stop, you will have the choice between 3 excursions: a cruise undertaking the remarkable Ord river wildlife, a scenic flight over the east Kimberley including the Bungle Bungle Ranges or a day exploring El Questro station including Emma Gorge and Zebedee springs.
31 May 2020 – King George RiverArrival 31/05/2020. Departure 31/05/2020.
The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The 80m high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The colours and textures of the gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing scenery that is simply stunning. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80m or 260ft). Fed by wet season run-off the level of water cascading over the falls varies from year to year. Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.
1 June 2020 – Vansittart BayArrival 01/06/2020. Departure 01/06/2020.
Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion style unique to the Kimberley region. Mainly neglected by, or unknown to, the early European researchers of Aboriginal culture in the Kimberley in favour of the dominant & more dramatic Wandjina art, Gwion Gwion art has in recent years gained world prominence. It is generally thought that this art may extend back to over 30,000 years BP & represent the first wave of seagoing colonisers of the Australian continent. As it is, these are the oldest detailed depiction of human figures in the world. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.
2 June 2020 – Swift BayArrival 02/06/2020. Departure 02/06/2020.
The Bonaparte Archipelago, is a stunningly rugged maze of islands stretching almost 150km along Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast. Its colour and scale conspire to take ones’ breath away. Its distant location has meant it has remained an unspoilt and remarkably pristine location to explore and experience. Phillip Parker King named “Swift's bay" after Jonathon Swift (1667-1745) the author of Gulliver’s travels. The ‘T’ shaped bay is composed of heavily fractured sandstone providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters are examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art. Join your expedition team ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting these unique rock art styles.
3 June 2020 – Hunter River & Mitchell FallsArrival 03/06/2020. Departure 03/06/2020.
Arguably one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River are lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic sandstone cliffs. They are considered to be some of the most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18 different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone escarpment at the river mouth, known as “Kampamantiya” rises over 200 metres high before giving way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests home to numerous bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. Our expert Expedition Team will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine mangrove environment by Zodiac® keeping a constant lookout for wildlife.
4 June 2020▸5 June 2020 – Collier BayArrival 04/06/2020. Departure 05/06/2020.
Collier Bay is located on the rocky and deserted coast of one of the most remote region of the Kimberley, that visitors can only approach by ship. The tidal movements, amongst the largest range of anywhere on the planet create amazing phenomena as seawater comes in or out: the “Horizontal Waterfalls”, a waterfall up to 4m high between the narrow passages of the vertiginous cliffs in Talbot Bay or Montgomery reef, a spectacular example of the impact of these tides cascading in mini-waterfalls as the entire reef appears to rise from the turquoise-blue waters of the bay. Containing large areas of shallow lagoon, seagrass beds and corals, Montgomery reef is Australia’s largest inshore reef. In this majestic landscape, you enter an aboriginal area. Some outstanding open air painted caves galleries alluding to their myths of creation can be observed after a hike on the hills. As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned below are only possible experiences and can’t be guaranteed.
6 June 2020 – Lacepede IslandsArrival 06/06/2020. Departure 06/06/2020.
The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly the largest in the world. Up to 20,000 Roseate Terns have also been recorded here. Other birds breeding on the islands include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Join your expedition team for a guided zodiac tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.
BroomeDisembarkation 07/06/2020 at 07H00 .
Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and its glorious pearling era. Start your visit in the fascinating Chinatown district and then discover the history of Japanese immigrants in Broome’s famous Japanese Cemetery, which dates from 1896. Your visit will perhaps involve an unusual encounter at Gantheaume Point, where dinosaur footprints more than 130 million years old can be seen. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique spectacle provided by nature…
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.
Australia: an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) must be obtained before your arrival in Australia. For more information, please visit www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas. Carriers should be aware that there will not be any physical evidence in your passport.
Australian customs regulations are very strict, especially for the import of food items such as fresh food (even sealed), fruits, eggs, meat, plants, vegetables, seeds, grains. Fur and feathers are also forbidden. We highly recommend you consult this website for further details : www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas/customs-clearance.
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions, including advice on Malaria prevention and dengue fever.
Discover the delights of our cultural cruises where music takes centre stage, combining sumptuous scenery and exceptional artistic heritages.
A waterborne musical journey
Whether you are a fan of instrumental classical music or opera, or you prefer jazz or Celtic melodies, why not enjoy a different and very special experience aboard a PONANT ship? Set sail for a luxury cruise combining the charms of music and the sea.
These cultural cruises, where the tempo is set by concerts on land or at sea as well as a series of conferences, bring together music lovers and artists around a shared passion: music.
An exceptional selection of artists*
Aboard the ships, our guests of honour, all well-known artists, talented performers and brilliant virtuosos will share their knowledge and their passion in an accessible and intimate way.
According to the theme of each cruise, PONANT welcomes prestigious artists, be they pianists, violinists, singers and more.
Come and share alongside them the refined adventure of a PONANT musical cruise.
*See the list of guests of honour present during your cruise in the “Guests” tab.
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…
The novelist, poet, journalist, musicologist and radio and television presenter Alain Duault has been sharing his passion for and knowledge of classical music for more than 30 years. Considered to be one of the greatest opera specialists in France he is now President of the Prix Pelléas jury, and has been made an Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et Lettres.
Alain Duault studied literature, philosophy and psycho-analysis in Paris, then musicology and piano. His first TV appearance was as a guest of Bernard Pivot for his book of poems, Colorature. This led to a number of radio programmes dedicated to classical music, notably on RTL, the radio station where Alain Duault would be “Mr Classical Music” for 22 years, before joining Radio Classique with daily slots until 2018. A role that he also took on for the France 3 television channel, presenting a number of exceptional programmes (masterclasses with Ruggero Raimondi in the Salle Gaveau, Musiques en fête at the Chorégies d’Orange festival…).
In 1999, he conceived and presented Intégrale Chopin (225 works, 60 pianists), broadcast on France 3. Then in 2001, he wrote and performed an ambitious and very popular show, Verdi, une passion, un destin (with Jean Piat and 250 musicians). In the wake of this success, he wrote and performed two other shows: Victor Hugo, la légende d’un siècle in 2002 and Rencontre avec George Sand (with Marie-Christine Barrault) in 2004 and 2005.
Alain Duault also puts his writing skills to the service of classical music. The author of a number of books, including Dans la peau de Maria Callas, (Le Passeur Éditeur, 2014, pocket edition, 2017); Dictionnaire amoureux illustré de l’Opéra (Plon Gründ, 2016). Ce léger rien des choses qui ont fui, poetry (Gallimard 2017), he also writes editorials for Classica.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Laurent Rouvrais @Radio Classique
François Chaplin trained at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM) with the Bulgarian pianist Ventsislav Yankoff and with Jacqueline Robin (accompaniment and chamber music), and was unanimously awarded first prizes for piano and chamber music. He then followed the advanced course with Jean-Claude Pennetier.
He won the International Piano Competition in Senigallia (Italy), and received in 1989 the Mozart and Robert Casadesus Prizes at the International Competition in Cleveland. Those distinctions are the start of a brilliant international career.
François Chaplin now appears as a soloist in many of the world’s capitals, including Tokyo, Berlin, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Riga, Paris, Almaty and Mexico, to name but a few, and with many fine orchestras such as the Orchestre National de Lille, the Japan Philharmonic, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de Lorraine. He appears regularly at important festivals, including La Roque-d’Anthéron, the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, and the Yokohama International Festival in Japan. His vast discography is acclaimed by the national and international press. It includes recordings of all of Debussy’s work, Schubert’s Impromptus, and Chopin’s Nocturnes.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: Caroline Doutre
With degrees from Science Po and in piano performance, she started out in the role of Violetta in "La Traviata" performed by the Opéra de Rouen, which is where the French public and the musical press first noticed her. She was quickly chosen to sing the role of the Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro", Juliette in "Romeo & Juliette" and Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni". She went on to sing Verdi’s "Requiem" on a number of occasions.
Her musical ability and her solid technical skill in the performance of the four heroines of "The Tales of Hoffmann" opened the way to European stages. She was offered a number of starring roles such as Manon by Massenet, Lucia di Lammermoor, Mireille and Mimi ("La bohème"), Cio-Cio-San in "Madama Butterfly", Micaëla ("Carmen") and Princess Maria in "Cinq-Mars" by Gounod. Her acting ability won her the role of Eliza, the heroine of "My Fair Lady".
She has performed at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the National Opera in Lithuania, the Leipzig Opera, the opera houses of Massy, Rouen, Lübeck, Saint-Étienne, Tours, Reims, Metz and the Salle Pleyel, under the direction of conductors such as M. W. Chung, J. Lopez Cobos, E. Inbal, L. Acocella, C. Diederich, with directors such as R. Carsen and V. Boussard. She toured Russia, played with the Ensemble Musicaeterna of T. Currentzis, and performed at official European ceremonies and in a very vast oratorio repertory.
For the coming season, she is notably preparing for the starring role in "Norma" by Bellini.
Languages spoken: French, English, German, Spanish, Italian
Photo credit: ARR
Geneviève Laurenceau began playing violin at the age of three in her hometown of Strasbourg.
The instrument, similar in range to that of the human voice, from then on became both the shape and the voice of her dreams and remains hers for life.
Her teachers – Wolfgang Marschner, Zakhar Bron and Jean-Jacques Kantorow – turned her into a multifaceted artist with a foot in all three of the great European violin traditions. After several international successes, Geneviève was invited to perform as a soloist with major French and international orchestras under the direction of conductors such as Michel Plasson, Walter Weller, Tugan Sokhiev, Thomas Søndergård, Antony Hermus and Christian Arming.
A lover both concert platform and of collaboration, Geneviève believes deeply in the fundamental values of the arts, of culture and of music. She is equally passionate about collaborating whether in teaming up with the philosopher Raphaël Enthoven, the « bird’s singers » Jean Boucault and Johnny Rasse, or with the actor Didier Sandre. Since September 2007 until June 2017, Geneviève Laurenceau has been first violin and super soloist with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.
In 2009, Geneviève founded the « Festival de Musique d’Obernai » of which she is artistic director. In 2016, she was awarded a « Diapason d’Or » for her most recent album which was dedicated to the composer Albéric Magnard and issued on the CPO label.
Since September 2014, Geneviève has headed the violin department of the Centre d’Enseignement Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Toulouse (ISDAT), and she will be teaching at the « Académie Jaroussky in 2017.
Languages spoken: French, English, German, Italian
Photo credit: Yvan Schawandascht
Clarinetist PIERRE GÉNISSON is one of the leading wind instrumentalists of his generation.
At the age of 21, he was appointed principal clarinet of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne. He has regularly performed as a guest soloist with major European and international orchestras. Pierre splits his time between France and the U.S., performing as a soloist in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle
Languages spoken : French, English
Photo credit: Vandoren
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
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