Discovering the hidden treasures of New Caledonia

14 days / 13 nights
    New itinerary
    Discovering the hidden treasures of New Caledonia

    Cruise Pacific and Oceania

    from 7 April 2019 to 20 April 2019
    14 days / 13 nights

    Departure Port : Auckland
    Arrival Port : Nouméa


    • Ref : R070419

    On this cruise, PONANT invites you to discover an all-new itinerary in New Caledonia, a world’s end French territory located right in the middle of the South Pacific. A 14-day expedition cruise, with an emphasis on the idyllic lagoons of the Kanak culture.

    You will board Le Lapérouse in Auckland. This New Zealand city bordered by two seas will surprise you with its modernity and its cosmopolitan atmosphere. In the far north of New Zealand, you will also fall under the charm of Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, where you will be able attend a Maori ceremony.

    After a first stop on the Norfolk Island, your ship will then set sail north to reach New Caledonia. Admire the mysterious beauty of the Great Southern Lagoon, one of the six lagoons in New Caledonia that are UNESCO World Heritage sites for the diversity of their coral reefs and their ecosystems, on the Kouare Island and the Isle of Pines, known as the “Jewel of the Pacific”.

    Le Lapérouse will then take you to the sublime islands of Maré and Lifou with their picture-postcard landscapes of white-sand beaches and tropical vegetation, before discovering further north Hienghène and the isolated and authentic Bélep Archipelago that welcomes you in the heart of a UNESCO-designated lagoon, unique in the world and home to abundant marine biodiversity.

    Before disembarking in Noumea, admire the wonderful Tenia Island, and discover the natural and cultural treasures of the Prony Bay.

    • Naturalists Naturalists
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    • A brand-new PONANT cruise to explore the diversity of New Caledonia, from the world’s most beautiful shores to cultural discoveries.
    • Zodiac® outings & shore visits with your expedition team.
    • Discover the tropical lagoons of New Caledonia, an exceptional example of UNESCO-designated coral reef ecosystems: the Isle of Pines in the Great Southern Lagoon and Bélep archipelago in the Great Northern Lagoon.
    • Hienghène, with its black limestone cliffs, and the discovery of the arts and traditions of the Kanak culture.

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    Staterooms & Suites


      There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.




      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

      7 April 2019 – Bay of Islands, Waitangi


      Embarkation 07/04/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 07/04/2019 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.

      8 April 2019 – Bay of Islands, Waitangi

      8 April 2019 – Bay of Islands, Waitangi

      Arrival 08/04/2019. Departure 08/04/2019.

      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.

      9 April 2019 – At sea

      9 April 2019 – At sea

      Arrival 09/04/2019. Departure 09/04/2019.

      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.

      10 April 2019 – Norfolk Island

      10 April 2019 – Norfolk Island

      Arrival 10/04/2019. Departure 10/04/2019.

      This unspoilt South Pacific island lies off Australia's east coast. The choice is yours: relax on its deserted beaches or dive among the multi-coloured fish and corals of Emily Bay lagoonNorfolk Island National Park is the place to see parrots hidden under the araucaria branches and tree-ferns. The lookout perched at the top of Mount Pitt offers you a 360-degree panorama of sparkling coastline. Discover more about the island's turbulent history at the Norfolk Island Museum in Kingston, one of Australia's oldest towns.

      11 April 2019 – At sea

      11 April 2019 – At sea

      Arrival 11/04/2019. Departure 11/04/2019.

      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.

      12 April 2019 – Kouaré Island

      12 April 2019 – Kouaré Island

      Arrival 12/04/2019. Departure 12/04/2019.

      Aboard your Zodiac® dinghy, you will sail along the turquoise waters of New Caledonia’s coral reef, the second largest in the world. When you land on Kouare Island, in the heart of the southern lagoon, you will discover an idyllic environment. On this small tract of uninhabited land, in a marine area listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the animals rule supreme. From the white-sand beaches where marine turtles and sea snakes like to lay their eggs, take off with your mask and snorkel to discover an abundant underwater world that is home to multicoloured fish, beautiful coral, and marine reptiles. Look up to the sky and admire the incessant ballet of terns and black noddies that appear to be jealously guarding their island.

      13 April 2019 – Isle of Pines

      13 April 2019 – Isle of Pines

      Arrival 13/04/2019. Departure 13/04/2019.

      Known as the “Jewel of the Pacific”, the Isle of Pines is the southernmost of the Caledonian islands. It is the largest island in the marine area of the Great Southern Lagoon, one of the six lagoons in New Caledonia that are UNESCO World Heritage sites for the diversity of their coral reefs and their ecosystems. Discovered by James Cook in 1774, the island owes its name to the New Caledonia Pines that line the many white sandy beaches with their transparent waters, for which it is famous. During your visit, you can complete your exploration of this exceptional natural heritage with the discovery of the vestiges of the penal colony, where at the end of the 19th century, political prisoners from the Paris Commune and Kabylians from Algeria were deported.

      14 April 2019 – Maré, Loyalty Islands

      14 April 2019 – Maré, Loyalty Islands

      Arrival 14/04/2019. Departure 14/04/2019.

      Secluded and wild, Maré Island, located in New Caledonia, is the southernmost of the Loyalty Islands group. You will see unusual cut-out reliefs sculpted by time: here, old coral reefs transformed into impressive cliffs plunge into the ocean; there, the turquoise waters of peaceful lagoons lap on white sand beaches, rimmed with coconut palms and Cook pines. Inland, a central plateau shelters numerous caves and water “holes”. Maré Island is also known as “ the market garden of New Caledonia”. Don’t forget to eat the island’s succulent avocados.

      15 April 2019 – Lifou

      15 April 2019 – Lifou

      Arrival 15/04/2019. Departure 15/04/2019.

      You’ll land around 100km east of Grande-Terre. An ancient coral atoll atop a collapsed volcano, Lifou is today the largest and highest of the Loyalty Islands. This is an outstanding natural site, waiting to be explored: to the north, the coastline ends abruptly in sheer cliffs, while to the south lie expanses of long white sand beaches. Lovers of wild plantlife may well be tempted by a walk further inland, where the rich and authentic Kanak culture is proudly upheld by the local community.

      16 April 2019 – Hienghène

      16 April 2019 – Hienghène

      Arrival 16/04/2019. Departure 16/04/2019.

      The cradle of the Kanak culture, Hienghène is one of New Caledonia’s most emblematic communes. Located on the country’s east coast on the edge of the lagoon listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, it offers visitors magnificent landscapes including black limestone rocks, spectacular waterfalls, and prolific vegetation. In the ocean, fans of scuba diving will marvel at the unique biodiversity to be found on the Caledonian seabed. On land there is plenty to see too, including the surprising Linderalique cliffs that rise majestically from the water, as well as the must-see rock formations known as the “Poule Couveuse” (brooding hen) and the Sphinx, at the entrance to Hienghène Bay.

      17 April 2019 – Belep Islands

      17 April 2019 – Belep Islands

      Arrival 17/04/2019. Departure 17/04/2019.

      The Bélep Islands, in the far north of New Caledonia, are composed of two main islands: the uninhabited Pott Island, and Art Island, on which live a community of around 800 people. Because of its isolation and the absence of facilities catering to tourists, this archipelago remains an important place for the Kanak culture. No fewer than eight different tribes live there, following deeply rooted traditions. Nestling in the heart of one of the six zones in the New Caledonia lagoon listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the Bélep Islands are home to an exceptional marine flora and fauna. In the water, it is not uncommon to see rays, sharks and turtles swimming along the coral reefs, which are still very well preserved.

      18 April 2019 – Tenia Island

      18 April 2019 – Tenia Island

      Arrival 18/04/2019. Departure 18/04/2019.

      Shady white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and multicoloured coral reefs; Tenia Island is a small and idyllic desert island to the north of Passe Saint Vincent, within the protected marine area of the South Province. Located on the outer layer of the coral reef, you can admire the dense aquatic fauna and will surely see dolphins which like to play around small boats, sea kraits, stripy sea snakes that are emblematic of New Caledonia, sea turtles and the wedge-tailed shearwater.

      19 April 2019 – Prony Bay

      19 April 2019 – Prony Bay

      Arrival 19/04/2019. Departure 19/04/2019.

      The ochre red of the hills rich in iron oxide, the flora with their infinite shades of green, the intense blue of the Coral Sea and the dazzling light of the sky combine to form the spectacular landscapes of Prony Bay. Part of the marine area of Grand Lagon Sud, one of the six lagoons in New Caledonia that are UNESCO World Heritage sites for the diversity of their coral reefs and their ecosystems, Prony Bay offers some splendid landscapes. During your outings in Zodiac® dinghies and your landings in the Cap N’Dua nature reserve and the marine protected area of Casy Island, you will explore the exceptional natural and cultural heritage of this region marked by the colonial, penitentiary and mining history of the island.

      20 April 2019▸19 April 2019 – Nouméa


      Disembarkation 20/04/2019 at 00H00 .

      Perched on a peninsula between bays and hills, on the south-west coast of Grande Terre, Noumea enjoys a magnificent natural setting. The town shelters some exceptional biodiversity, thanks especially to the coastal mangroves. To feel the town’s heartbeat, you can mosey in the place des Cocotiers, where Noumeans love to gather. The Tjibaou cultural centre unveils the secrets of the kanak culture. As for the Hagen castle or the maison Célières, these are precious witnesses of a colonial past. But Noumea is also about sumptuous beaches.


      • 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 Carriers should be aware that there will not be any physical evidence in your passport. A copy of your ETA must be sent to PONANT at the latest 45 days prior to your cruise date. We also ask you to keep a copy of your ETA and keep it with your passport throughout the duration of your trip.

        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 :

        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.


      Tropical Expedition

      Tropical Expedition

      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. On the cruises that permit this activity, the naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the submarine fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

      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 from 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.

      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/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

      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
      • Binoculars
      • 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.

      Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address:

      Benefits of the PONANT shop:

      • expert advice to gear up
      • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
      • Duty Free prices
      • delivery directly on board

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. After your cruise

        20/04/2019 – Discover Noumea (1 day)

        590.00 AU$ **

        More information

      2. Before your cruise

        06/04/2019 – A glimpse of Auckland and Waitakere Ranges (1 night)

        830.00 AU$ **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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