Cruise

NZ debacle sees Ponant shift focus to Australia with eight voyages in 2021

After being forced to cancel its cruise season in New Zealand, Ponant has announced the return of Le Lapérouse and Le Soléal to Australian waters this year.

The cruise line has unveiled a new collection of eight immersive ‘must-do’ itineraries featuring the Western Australian, South Australian, Tasmanian, New South Wales, and Queensland coasts.

Each itinerary will showcase diversity of wilderness, wildlife, heritage, and cultural encounters found along Australia’s coastline.

The new range of seven- to 15-night itineraries have been created by Ponant’s Australian expedition leader and marine biologist Mick Fogg.

“Most people don’t realise that 45 per cent of our birds, 83 per cent of our mammals and more than 90 per cent of our amphibians, reptiles and fish are only found in Australia. That makes us pretty unique,” he said.

“Add to that the age of the landscape, diversity of habitats and the world’s oldest continuing culture and you have the perfect recipe for creating remarkable immersive experiences as encapsulated in this collection of voyages.”

Image source: Ponant/Nathalie Michel

Ponant’s general manager of sales and marketing for the Asia Pacific, Deb Corbett, said visits to Port Lincoln, regarded as Australia’s seafood capital; exploring the acclaimed wineries of McLaren Vale; or enjoying the award-winning wines and cheeses of Tasmania’s Tamar Valley “will complement the fine world-class cuisine and inclusive wines that showcase Ponant’s relaxed yet luxurious French ambiance on board”.

The pivot to Aussie voyages comes after the cruise line was forced to cancel its ‘bubble expedition’ season in New Zealand, disrupting the plans of more than 650 Kiwis.


Featured image source: Ponant/Philip Plisson

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