Papua & Solomon Islands

13 days / 12 nights
    Expedition
    New itinerary
    Papua & Solomon Islands

    Cruise Pacific and Oceania

    from 16 December 2016 to 28 December 2016
    13 days / 12 nights

    Departure Port : Cairns
    Arrival Port : Port Vila, Efate

    Ship : L'AUSTRAL

    • Ref : A161216

    From the tumultuous 400 year history of the Spice Islands to the traditional 40,000 year old cultures of Melanesia, this voyage of discovery will inspire even the most discerning of travellers. Experiencing the unparalleled cultural diversity of the ancient lands of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

     Green Expedition to remote areas with an experienced and knowledgeable Expedition Team and the Expedition Leader Mick Fogg, Australian award-winning wildlife photographer and adventurer.

    Discover the tumultuous Spice Island History of the Maluku archipelago.

    Experience traditional ancient cultures on the remote coasts of Papua New Guinea.

    Swim and snorkel in crystal clear tropical waters. 

    • Naturalists Naturalists
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    Special offer(s) :

    CONSECUTIVE CRUISES  

    Take advantage of our special consecutive cruises offers *

    -When this cruise is in 2nd position get a -20% discount

    -When this cruise is in 3rd position get a -30% discount

    - When this cruise is in 4th position get a -40% discount

    * Reduction does not apply to the first cruise and relates to the port/port fare excluding port taxes, non available for Ocean Voyages and subject to availability. The offer is only available on selected cruises. Please, contact us.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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      L'AUSTRAL

      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL
      • L'AUSTRAL

      L'AUSTRAL

      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

      16 December 2016 – At sea

      Cairns

      Embarkation 16/12/2016 from 14H00 to 17H00 . Departure 16/12/2016 at 18H00 .

      Washed by the Coral Sea, the harbour town of Cairns is located on Australia's north-east coast. The seafront esplanade is a popular place for locals and visitors to walk, swim and picnic under the shade of swaying palm trees. The hills surrounding Cairns form the gateway to the Queensland Rainforests, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site for their fauna and flora from the Gondwana era.

      17 December 2016 – At sea

      17 December 2016 – At sea

      Arrival 17/12/2016. Departure 17/12/2016.

      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.

      18 December 2016▸19 December 2016 – Alotau

      18 December 2016▸19 December 2016 – Alotau

      Arrival 18/12/2016. Departure 19/12/2016.

      20 December 2016 – Kitava Island

      20 December 2016 – Kitava Island

      Arrival 20/12/2016. Departure 20/12/2016.

      The Trobriand Islands remain one of the most culturally intact places in the Pacific. Their unique social system is dominated by hereditary chiefs who wield tremendous power, although inheritances and lines of power are matrilineal. The Trobriands are often referred to as the ‘islands of love’. A reference to the customs and sexual practices of the islanders during the Yam harvesting festival of Milamala. Dance and celebration continue to play an important role in society with the rhythm of the dances retaining their sensuality, despite the best efforts of missionaries.

      21 December 2016 – Rabaul

      21 December 2016 – Rabaul

      Arrival 21/12/2016. Departure 21/12/2016.

      22 December 2016 – Rabaul

      22 December 2016 – Rabaul

      Arrival 22/12/2016. Departure 22/12/2016.

      23 December 2016 – At sea

      23 December 2016 – At sea

      Arrival 23/12/2016. Departure 23/12/2016.

      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.

      24 December 2016 – Gizo

      24 December 2016 – Gizo

      Arrival 24/12/2016. Departure 24/12/2016.

      Gizo is situated on Ghizo Island and is the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, after the capital, Honiara. The people of the Western Province are regarded as amongst the most skilled carvers in the world. They produce carvings from various woods including ebony and rosewood. These amazingly intricate carvings can take months to make and accordingly command a high price. There are plenty of opportunities for world class snorkelling, diving and underwater photography throughout the Western province and the Islands around Ghizo are considered among the most popular. Guests will have the opportunity to visit the traditional markets of Gizo.

      24 December 2016▸25 December 2016 – Kennedy Island

      24 December 2016▸25 December 2016 – Kennedy Island

      Arrival 24/12/2016. Departure 25/12/2016.

      26 December 2016 – At sea

      26 December 2016 – At sea

      Arrival 26/12/2016. Departure 26/12/2016.

      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.

      27 December 2016 – Espiritu Santo

      27 December 2016 – Espiritu Santo

      Arrival 27/12/2016. Departure 27/12/2016.

      28 December 2016▸27 December 2016 – Port Vila

      Port Vila, Efate

      Disembarkation 28/12/2016 at 09H30 .

      Formalities

      • 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.

      • 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.

      • Vanuatu: No visa required.

      • Solomon Islands: Visa delivered onboard free of charge

      • 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.

      Theme

      POLAR EXPEDITION

      POLAR EXPEDITION

      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…

      Important information

      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
        • 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.

       

      • 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.
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