In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travellers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
This 16-day cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, designed to explore the natural wonders of eastern Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and the Kimberley region of Australia, has been specially adapted to include observation of the total eclipse of the sun that will occur on April 20, 2023.
Setting sail from fabled Bali, your expedition begins with two days of swimming, snorkeling, and hiking in Komodo National Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1989, and home to unique flora and fauna, including the emblematic Komodo Dragon.
A day at sea brings you to the northern coast of Timor-Leste, where your time is split between discovering the history and culture of this recently independent country in the capital city of Dili and enjoying the white sand beaches, music, and crafts of the small villages that dot the coast east of Baucau.
Heading south across the Timor Sea, you arrive in Wyndham, Western Australia, gateway to the Kimberley region. Devote three days to the exploration of this great wilderness area, including a Zodiac™ tour of King George River and a sampling of the aboriginal rock art of Swift Bay. You will also have the opportunity to cruise the Ord River, fly over the fascinating Bungle Bungle mountains, or explore one of the world’s last remaining frontiers in El Questro.
Next comes the centerpiece of your expedition, as Le Lapérouse sails back into the Timor Sea to take up a position in the path of totality of the solar eclipse, which will last for more than three hours from late morning to early afternoon on April 20, with an approximate period of totality of just over one minute.
Returning to the Kimberley, enjoy three more days of exploration, including the world-famous Montgomery Reef, revealed each day by massive tides, the “Horizontal Falls” of Talbot Bay, described by Sir David Attenborough as ‘one of the greatest wonders of the natural world’, and the rich breeding ground for Green Turtles, Brown Boobies, Roseate Terns, and many other species in the Lacepede Islands.
Your voyage ends in the resort town of Broome in Western Australia.