Not that it needs it, but there’s going to be an added ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the Kimberley when French-flagged cruise ship Le Laperouse enters the region’s waters.
Recently launched, La Laperouse is the younger, more innovative, design-conscious sister, to Ponant’s other small ships. As the first of a series of new yachts, Le Laperouse will take her passengers through the waters surrounding the Kimberley region from May 2019.
When she does arrive in the Kimberley, it will not just be La Laperouse who is shiny and new. Just like its ship, Ponant’s ‘Australia’s Iconic Kimberley’ tour is new-born too.
The ‘Australia’s Iconic Kimberley’ expedition is an 11-day tour which includes the regional highlights of King George River and Horizontal Falls. Passengers will sail alongside the spectacular coastline where the rugged and untouched landscape will mesmerise and captivate. Finally, no trip to the Kimberley would be complete without stopping at Collier Bay and Montgomery Reef to see the underwater garden and lagoon.
While La Laperouse’s 5-star facilities ooze sophistication and authentic French chic; there is something unique about its ethos. Ponant is very up-front about their ‘green’ tendencies. They use innovative engineering in their ships, thereby adopting an environmentally-friendly approach to cruising – great news for the Kimberley region as it is known as one of the world’s most pristine regions. Ponant’s green credentials mean their ships all follow the best practices in recycling, dealing with waste and are energy efficient. Hence the bounty of ‘green’ awards they have under their belt.
Inside the La Laperouse, the consideration for the environment continues as does the elegance and authentic French-styling. There are 92-staterooms and suites onboard, each with a private balcony. Being a French ship, gastronomy on La Laperouse plays a significant (and tasty) role. Diners can choose between the Panoramic Restaurant on Deck 4 which extends outdoors. Or, remain al fresco by dining at the outdoor grill where the chefs serve grilled meats, exotic salads and sumptuous desserts.
The ship’s innovative design means that it feels spacious without compromising on its intimacy. There is a boutique for those essential (or not so) purchases, excursion desk and reception area. With accessibility for all in mind, there are toilets for those with reduced mobility as well as an adjustable hydraulic platform that allows for easy boarding, embarkation and disembarkation onto the zodiacs and for swimming and water sports.
If you don’t fancy an ocean dip, you can replicate it in the ship’s pool. Not only does it have a panoramic view but a counter-current swimming system.
When you feel like socialising, you can join passengers and crew in the 200m² lounge or the near 200-seater theatre. The latter, equipped with the latest sound system, lighting technology and a LED wall backdrop. Oh là là!
La Laperouse tours the Kimberley region from May 2019