Scattered islands of the Banda Sea

12 days / 11 nights
    No single supplement
    Scattered islands of the Banda Sea

    Cruise Pacific and Oceania, Asia

    from 31 August 2019 to 11 September 2019
    12 days / 11 nights

    Departure Port : Darwin
    Arrival Port : Benoa, Bali


    • Ref : R310819

    Discover a PONANT itinerary that will take you to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world: Indonesia.

    From Darwin, we invite you to embark aboard Le Lapérouse for a 12-day tropical expedition cruise.

    You will sail to the heart of Triton Bay, surrounded by beaches lined with coconut trees and karst islets adorned in tropical vegetation. Located within a protected marine environment in the middle of the Coral Triangle, this idyllic and wild place is home to countless marine species. 

    The highpoint of your cruise: sailing in the Maluku Islands, dubbed the “Spice Islands”. In the 16th century, it was here that European settlers would come to get cloves and nutmeg, spices that were much sought-after at the time. You will discover Banda Neira, shaped by Dutch and Portuguese influences.

    You will then sail to the Wakatobi Marine Park, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world.

    At Kalabahi, in the Alor Islands, you will encounter ethnic groups of the Flores people who have succeeded in preserving their traditional way of life.

    You will conclude your cruise with the discovery of Komodo Island, famous for its eponymous dragon, a very large reptile that is a cousin to the dinosaurs.

    • Naturalists Naturalists
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    Special offer(s) :


    *The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.


    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • A cruise entirely devoted to discovering Indonesia and its most beautiful ports of call.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Komodo National Park, home to the famous monitor lizards.
    • Sailing in the heart of the Coral Triangle, a place of exceptional marine biodiversity.
    • The Malukus, the paradisiacal Spice Islands.
    • Pink Beach, a pink sand beach that is unique in the world.
    • Many opportunities for swimming and snorkelling in idyllic sites.

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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

      31 August 2019 – At sea


      Embarkation 31/08/2019 from 15H00 to 16H00 . Departure 31/08/2019 at 17H00 .

      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. Come discover the town’s still recent history through its emblematic buildings such as the new Parliamant House opened in 1994, a magnificent example of tropical architecture or Admiralty House declared heritage place, a tropical-style home elevated on stilts that has survived two cyclones and numerous air raids.

      1 September 2019 – At sea

      1 September 2019 – At sea

      Arrival 01/09/2019. Departure 01/09/2019.

      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.

      2 September 2019 – Kei Islands, Maluku Islands

      2 September 2019 – Kei Islands, Maluku Islands

      Arrival 02/09/2019. Departure 02/09/2019.

      The Kei Islands are blessed with kilometres of stunning, yet almost entirely empty, white-sand beaches and a deeply hospitable population. Beneath the mostly Christian facade, Kei culture is fascinatingly distinctive. Local history holds that ancestors of contemporary Kei islanders came from Bali, part of the expanding Hindu Majapahit kingdom from the western archipelago. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling on an idyllic uninhabited picture postcard tropical island.

      3 September 2019 – Triton Bay, West Papua

      3 September 2019 – Triton Bay, West Papua

      Arrival 03/09/2019. Departure 03/09/2019.

      Triton Bay is one of three regions in Indonesia’s West Papua province that comprise the Bird’s Head Seascape (the other two are Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay), which is now considered by marine biologists to be the epicentre of the Coral Triangle. It contains more fish and coral species than anywhere else on the planet. Its unparalleled marine biodiversity and endemism, habitat richness, and relatively intact nature of its ecosystems are unique. Join your expedition team for a zodiac voyage through the spectacular rainforest capped karst islands. Later in the day enjoy the opportunity to explore the richness of the underwater realm.

      4 September 2019 – At sea

      4 September 2019 – At sea

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

      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.

      5 September 2019 – Banda Neira, Maluku Islands

      5 September 2019 – Banda Neira, Maluku Islands

      Arrival 05/09/2019. Departure 05/09/2019.

      From age-old traditional cultures and ancient vestiges, to coral reefs and lush green jungle… The attractions of the remote Banda archipelago seem endless. Better known as the legendary “Spice Islands” of the Ancient World, these small volcanic landmasses were the fabled prize of colonial powers for more than four centuries. Every colonial power of significance fought for control of these ten small islands that today have become largely forgotten. Walking the streets of Banda Neira is a surreal experience as your eyes are drawn to the eclectic mix of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture, the remnants of a rich and tumultuous history. It is without doubt the most historically significant and interesting of all the “Spice Islands”.

      6 September 2019 – Ambon, Maluku Islands

      6 September 2019 – Ambon, Maluku Islands

      Arrival 06/09/2019. Departure 06/09/2019.

      Ambon is an island steeped in history from the first European contact by the Portuguese in 1526 to its strategic role in WWII. Today there still remains many historical and cultural sites among the remnants of forts built by the Dutch East Indies Company during the heyday of the spice trade. The ANZAC War Cemetery near Ambon commemorates the Allied soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. All this aside, it is the friendliness of the Ambonese people that will leave the greatest impression. Today you have the opportunity to undertake a tour by local bus with your expedition team and local guides to visit the historical and cultural sites across the island.

      7 September 2019 – Wakatobi Marine Park, Sulawesi

      7 September 2019 – Wakatobi Marine Park, Sulawesi

      Arrival 07/09/2019. Departure 07/09/2019.

      Legendary underwater explorer and conservationist, Jacques Cousteau referred to the Wakatobi islands as an “Underwater Nirvana”. The Wakatobi Marine Park comprises a total of 1.4 million hectares and is recognised as being one of the most biodiverse marine systems on earth. The region is also home to the largest barrier reef in Indonesia, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  Located right in the heart of the Coral Triangle, the Wakatobi Islands offer crystal clear pristine waters containing a rich biodiversity of underwater life, a true paradise for snorkelers and divers. Enjoy a day of swimming and snorkelling on an idyllic uninhabited tropical island.

      8 September 2019 – Kalabahi, Alor

      8 September 2019 – Kalabahi, Alor

      Arrival 08/09/2019. Departure 08/09/2019.

      The unique culture of the Alorese continues among the Takpala indigenous group who have preserved their traditional architecture and ceremonies. The island of Alor is also known as the island of a Thousand Moko’s. The Moko is a small bronze kettledrum which is believed to have originated from the Dong Son culture of Vietnam. However, it remains a mystery as to how these prehistoric Dong Son drums arrived in Alor. Local legend says that the Moko’s were discovered buried in the ground, and indeed mokos are still being uncovered today. Join the expedition team and local guides for a tour by local transport to Takpala village, the Museum of a Thousand Mokos and the thriving main market of Kalabahi.

      9 September 2019 – Pink Beach, Komodo National Park

      9 September 2019 – Pink Beach, Komodo National Park

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

      Imagine a pure blue sky with only a few cotton wool clouds lazily bobbing across it, a calm sea that gently laps against a beach where the soft sand is neither golden nor black, but a delicate powder pink... Pink Beach is one of just seven beaches on the planet where this very special pink sand can be seen. The distinct pink hue results from the mixture of calcareous white sand with the eroded deep red skeleton of the organ pipe coral. The fringing coral reef is in excellent condition, the waters are crystal clear and harbour colourful reef fish that can be found just a short distance from shore. Enjoy an afternoon ashore at Pink beach, one of the easiest places in the tropics to snorkel and explore nature’s richest realm.

      10 September 2019 – Loh Liang, Komodo National Park

      10 September 2019 – Loh Liang, Komodo National Park

      Arrival 10/09/2019. Departure 10/09/2019.

      Situated on the volcanic island of Komodo, Loh Liang is the gateway to Komodo National Park. This protected nature reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, is home to a wonderfully rich marine environment and numerous terrestrial species. Most notably, the world’s largest living species of lizard, commonly called “the Komodo Dragon”, can be observed there. These prehistoric-looking reptiles can measure more than 3 metres in length and weigh around 70 kg. They can be found nowhere else. You will set off in search of them during a trek, accompanied by park rangers. A unique and unforgettable experience.

      11 September 2019▸10 September 2019 – Benoa, Bali

      Benoa, Bali

      Disembarkation 11/09/2019 at 09H45 .

      If it's a taste of exotic authenticity you're after, prepare to be spell-bound by the island of Bali, tucked away in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago. The beauty and diversity of its landscapes, the depth and richness of its cultural heritage and the plethora of activities on offer here make Bali a little slice of heaven on Earth. The island's southern coast enthrals with its white sand beaches, its picturesque little fishing villages such as Benoa, and its hills patchworked with terraced rice paddies further inland. Nicknamed 'the Island of Gods' for its sumptuous temples, Bali is the beating heart of Indonesian Hinduism.


      • 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.

      • Indonesia: Visa delivered and charged onboard (€ 35 to date, subject to change), this visa on arrival is valid for 30 days. For Australian citizens, a visa is delivered onboard free of charge.

      • 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

      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.


      Clothing tips:

      • 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).


      Please 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.

      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:

      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

      1. Before your cruise

        30/08/2019 – Discover Darwin (1 night)

        300.00 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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