Between New Caledonia & Vanuatu
* Subject to availability.
• “Expedition” cruise to exceptionnal sites, accompanied by our professional naturalist- guides.
• From Espiritu Santo Island, snorkelling at the heart of the translucent lagoons and optional discovery of the historic locations dating from the Second World War (optional).
• On Tanna Island, visit of the Mount Yasur, imposing volcano with its numerous legends.
• A lecturer specialist of the Pacific Islands and their culture will be on board.
- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
AucklandEmbarkation 18/02/2017 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 18/02/2017 at 18H00 .
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the city of sails when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
19 February 2017 – Bay Of IslandsArrival 19/02/2017. Departure 19/02/2017.
On the east coast of the North Island, the Bay of Islands promises an incredible journey into the origins of the ﾓland of the long white cloudﾔ. Russell, the first harbour city founded in New Zealand by Europeans, is your entry-point into this corner of paradise. Among whitewashed houses and gorgeous gardens, Russell offers a gentle, romantic atmosphere. A few traces of its past remain, such as Christ Church, the oldest church in the country. Shimmering waters highly prized by local fishermen, beautiful beaches and wild nature make visiting this New Zealand town a picture postcard experience.
20 February 2017▸21 February 2017 – At seaArrival 20/02/2017. Departure 21/02/2017.
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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
22 February 2017▸23 February 2017 – Ilots du SudArrival 22/02/2017. Departure 23/02/2017.
24 February 2017▸27 February 2017 – Tanna IslandArrival 24/02/2017. Departure 27/02/2017.
Ureparapara, also known as Parapara for short, is the third largest island in the Banks group of Northern Vanuatu and formed by an extinct volcano cone that has been breached by the sea on its east coast, forming a spectacular 3km long harbour. During your voyage, your ship will sail into the natural harbour, affording guests spectacular views from the outer decks. You will also have the opportunity to go ashore for a welcome and custom dances. An opportunity to witness life in one of the remotest parts of Vanuatu. Very few vessels visit this part of Vanuatu and the local residents are eager to welcome visitors.
27 February 2017 – Sana IslandArrival 27/02/2017. Departure 27/02/2017.
The Reef Islands, also called Rowa, are a cluster of uninhabited coral cays between Mota Lava and Ureparapara, in northern Vanuatu, and enclosed by a large, horseshoe-shaped reef that protects an expansive lagoon with sandy shallows. The five small islands, including Sana, are mostly sand and coral cays built up over reefs. During your stop, you will be transferred ashore by Zodiac® to a wet landing onto a sand and rubble beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling from the beach.
28 February 2017 – Ambrym IslandArrival 28/02/2017. Departure 28/02/2017.
The island of Ambrym in Vanuatu is often referred to as the "black" island due to its volcanic ash and because of its 'black magic' steeped in mystery. In the villages, the ancient customs play a significant part in day to day living. The "Man blong Majik" are treated with the utmost respect and practice sorcery and magic beyond all imaginings. Ambrym prides itself on some unique characteristics, such as the magnificent tam-tams (or slit gongs) sculpted out of tree trunks, sand-drawing, black-fern masks and local dances. The most striking custom dance is the Rom (or masked) dance – where 9 foot covertly cloaked and masked 'spirits' stomp out ancient rhythms to the beat of the tam tam.
Port Vila, EfateDisembarkation 01/03/2017 at 07H00 .
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.
Vanuatu: No visa required.
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. Kindly print out a copy of your ETA and keep it with 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.
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advice relating to travel through these regions, including advice on Malaria prevention, dengue fever as well as Ross River fever, tetanus, hepatitis and typhoid.
Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar 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 ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, polar specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. 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 polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
From a very young age, Xavier Desmier has been passionate about the undersea world. In 1981 he was just 21 when he embarked on Captain Cousteau’s Calypso on which he would spend four years.
An underwater photographer and cameraman, he shot some 40 films for the Thalassa programme (France 3), and then joined the Rapho Agency in 1993.
Xavier Desmier is a regular on nature and scientific expeditions and participated in a mission to the Titanic wreck. He followed Jean-Louis Etienne on his Antarctica and Clipperton explorations. In 2006 he began a series of expeditions focused on biodiversity, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum and Pro Natura International, to Santo, Mozambique, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Guyana and New Caledonia, among other destinations.
Xavier also runs his own projects. In 1998 he won a World Press prize in the Environment category for his work on the Crozet Archipelago, and has tackled an important subject “in the footsteps of Paul-Emile Victor” to East Greenland.
His photographic work is increasingly focused on the environment. He is currently working on the relationship between Man and Nature in mangroves. In Guinea Conakry, he shares the lives of people living in the mangroves and their battle to survive in this fragile and little-understood environment. The second part of this project is to explore the world’s largest unbroken stretch of mangrove forest, the Sundarbans.
Language spoken: French
Photo credit: ARR
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (often with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Calls, landings & zodiac® cruises will depend on weather conditions, position of ice (during polar cruises) and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.
Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid for with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.
- Dressing tips :
- Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
- Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Waterproof backpack for camera
- Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
- Note: 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.
- Currency: Plan to have US dollars in small notes as they are easier to use outside of large cities.
- Vehicles: Road conditions are poor in certain countries. Timings are unpredictable due to heavy traffic conditions. The comfort of local vehicles cannot be compared to that of international vehicles and often lack suspension.
- Guides: PONANT is aware that the quality of guides is of utmost importance and puts all efforts in place to secure the best local guides available. Note that guides in these countries often have heavy accents. Several of our calls visit small and isolated communities where resources (transportation and guides) are scarce, resulting in higher prices.
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
After your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy