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Setting sail from Darwin
More of a large town than a city, Darwin is less about what's contained within the city limits and more about the huge expanse of wild landscape that's outside it. Closer to Jakarta than Sydney, the city really does feel remote in its tropical perch. There are a number of waterfront restaurants and pretty parks, making it a pleasant place to relax after a long flight. For those with the energy we highly recommend a visit to Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks.
With rugged escarpments, sites of Aboriginal art, dramatic waterfalls and huge wetlands, Kakadu National Park is truly beautiful. The iconic scenery is some of Australia’s best, and served as the backdrop to the film 'Crocodile Dundee'.
Indonesia: Banda Neira
Indonesia: Mommon Peninsula (West Papua)
Indonesia: Cenderawasih Bay
The broad sweep of Cenderawasih Bay, off the northern coast of Papua, is known for its spectacularly biodiverse coral reefs. These waters are home to dolphins, dugongs and four different species of turtle, but the star attraction is the resident population of whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea.
Jayapura, also known as Port Numbay, is the capital of Indonesia’s Papua province. This busy city is well off the tourist trail, and provides an introduction to the fascinating customs of the region. Nearby sights include beautiful Lake Sentani, where you can take a trip on a local longboat out to one of the islands.
Papua New Guinea: Kopar Village (Sepik River)
The legendary Sepik River takes you into the remote and unspoilt heart of Papua New Guinea, a place where headhunting and cannibalism existed within living memory. The region is also known for its remarkable art, and for the ceremonies where young men are ritually scarred so that their skin resembles that of a crocodile.
Papua New Guinea: Madang
Madang, first settled by Germans during the 19th century, was once known as the ‘prettiest town in the Pacific’, and retains its charm despite significant damage during the Second World War. There is some great snorkelling and diving just offshore, while the city’s towering casuarina trees support a noisy population of flying foxes.
Papua New Guinea: Tami Islands
This small archipelago consists of four atolls around a central lagoon, where the vibrant coral reefs attract plenty of divers and snorkellers. The islanders lead a simple village life and are renowned for their intricately carved ‘Tami bowls’, traditionally used for dowry payments.
Papua New Guinea: Trobriand Islands
Arriving in Honiara
Honiara is the capital of the Solomon Islands and the nation's only real port, situated on the largely unspoilt island of Guadalcanal. Reminders of the famous Second World War battle that took place here can be seen all over the island, as well as under the water at the fantastic dive sites off the north coast.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay near Darwin
Don’t hang around in Darwin itself; if you want to see more of the Top End, we recommend Bamurru Plains.
Visit the Red Centre
From Darwin take a flight to the Red Centre to see the magical sites of Uluru and Kings Canyon, yet another one of those once in a lifetime experiences!