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Ponant’s 2021 Kimberley cruises on hold, line plans bumper 2022 season

Deb Corbett said the Kimberley is ‘the absolute hallmark of Australian expedition destinations'
With the Australian government’s ban on foreign flagged ships extended until June 17, Ponant’s planned 2021 season in the Kimberley, scheduled to run April to August, is in abeyance.

The French cruise line has put a record 26 10-night Kimberley departures in the market for 2022, to be operated by Le Soléal and Le Lapérouse from March 19 to September.

GM Sales and Marketing APAC Deb Corbett said there has been an ‘unrelenting demand’ for Ponant’s 2021 cruises by Australians wanting to explore their own backyard and the company will use two ships for the expanded 2022 season.

‘Big Wet’

Corbett said Ponant’s biggest season ‘ever offered’ includes the end of the ‘Big Wet’ in March when rivers and waterfalls are thunderous, through the peak humpback whale migration until September. 

She said both purpose-built luxury expedition ships combine immersive experiences ashore with Ponant’s signature French-inspired ambiance, fine dining, open bar, Charles Heidsieck Champagne for the asking and 24-hour room service.

‘Essential’ swimming pools

Both ships have swimming pools which she said are ‘essential in a region where saltwater crocodiles are the apex predator.’