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The Kimberley's coastal waterfalls.

16-day Solar Eclipse 2023: Indonesia to Australia's Kimberley – with Smithsonian Journeys

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Le Laperouse
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Board 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 occurs on April 20, 2023. Set sail from fabled Bali and discover 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.
Ride a zodiac down Horizontal Falls of Kimberley.Take a zodiac to get closer to wildlifeView the historical rock art of KimberlyMountain Range in Komodo National Park, IndonesiaKomodo dragon huntingThe Kimberley's coastal waterfalls.
Highlights
  • Enjoy white sand beaches, music, and crafts of the coast east of Baucau
  • View the spectacular sandstone cliffs of the King George River
  • Behold the solar eclipse of April 2023
  • Engage in discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Benoa, Bali | Embark

If it's a taste of exotic authenticity you're after, prepare to be spell-bound by the island of Bali, tucked away in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago. The beauty and diversity of its landscapes, the depth and richness of its cultural heritage and the plethora of activities on offer here make Bali a little slice of heaven on Earth. The island's southern coast enthralls with its white sand beaches, its picturesque little fishing villages such as Benoa, and its hills patch-worked with terraced rice paddies further inland. Nicknamed 'the Island of Gods' for its sumptuous temples, Bali is the beating heart of Indonesian Hinduism.

Day 2-3: Komodo National Park

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
/> Between the islands of Sumbawa and Florès, Komodo National Park welcomes you to discover its natural wonders. At the very heart of the Indonesian archipelago, the three islands that form it – Komodo, Rinca and Padar - owe their renown to the famous eponymous dragons, enormous lizards over two meters long, which live in its grassy Savannah. This jagged and hilly volcanic territory belonging to the Sunda Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its incredible terrestrial and marine biodiversity. Admire its palette of colors, intermingling the sparkling whites of the beaches, the deep blues of the coral-filled water and the soft greens of its pastures.
 

Day 4: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
 

Day 5: Dili

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the northern coast of the island of Timor, along the narrow plains between the central mountains and the Ombai Strait, the seaside resort of Dili is the capital of East Timor, a former Portuguese colony that has been independent since May 2002. The uniqueness of this territory, still preserved from the tourist routes, is unveiled thanks to the beauty of its intact landscapes, with dense tropical forest covering undulating hills, coral reef and immaculate sandy beaches. You will be enchanted by this small and peaceful town with a distinctive Portuguese atmosphere, and will discover the riches of its historic and cultural heritage during your visit.

Day 6: Baucau

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the north coast of East Timor, not far from the Wetar Strait, the city of Baucau inspires wanderlust. The country’s second-largest city, where the vestiges of a Portuguese colonial past spanning nearly four centuries can still be found, is a small corner of paradise known among diving enthusiasts. And with good reason: this earthly paradise, nestling between lush green hills and long white-sand beaches lining a turquoise sea, is particularly renowned for its Coral Triangle. The latter is home to multiple protected marine species, some fifteen endemic corals, and 76% of the world’s coral reefs.

Day 7: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 8: Wyndham

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wyndham is the northernmost town in Western Australia and in many ways is the gateway to the Kimberley. It is surrounded by some of the most spectacular landforms, rivers and wetlands in the Kimberley. 
 

Day 9: King George River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking. The 80-metre-high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of weathering of the ancient Warton sandstone. The colors and textures of the gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a continual changing scenery that is simply stunning. The journey culminates at the King George twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley (80 m or 260 ft). Fed by wet season run-off the level of water cascading over the falls varies from year to year. Your Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs® or ships tenders to the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological formations of the canyon.
 

Day 10: Swift Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Bonaparte Archipelago, is a stunningly rugged maze of islands stretching almost 150 km along Western Australia's remote Kimberley coast. Its color and scale conspire to take ones’ breath away. Its distant location has meant it has remained an unspoilt and remarkably pristine location to explore and experience. Phillip Parker King named “Swift's bay" after Jonathon Swift (1667-1745) the author of Gulliver’s travels. The ‘T’ shaped bay is composed of heavily fractured sandstone providing an abundance of rock shelters. On the walls of these shelters are examples of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style rock art. Join your expedition team ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting these unique rock art styles.
 

Day 11-12: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Observe TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE on 20th of April 2023.

Day 13-14: Collier Bay

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Lying to the east of the Buccaneer archipelago, the ancient landscapes of Collier Bay have been shaped by the massive tidal movements the region is renowned for, creating a photographer’s paradise. With a tidal range exceeding 14 meters, recorded near Yule entrance at the southern end of the bay, they are among the largest in the world. This massive daily movement of water creates unique phenomena that occur nowhere else in the world. Nestled in the center of the Bay is Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest inshore reef system. As the tide falls a raging torrent of water cascades off the top of the reef, creating turbulent ‘rivers’ and mini waterfalls. At the Southern end of the Bay, Talbot Bay is home to the world’s only ’Horizontal Falls’ described by Sir David Attenborough as “One of the greatest wonders of the natural world.” Hidden in the many caves and grottos of this ancient landscape are a multitude of ancient Rock Art galleries. Here you can find spectacular examples of the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion styles.   
As we are at the mercy of weather and tide conditions in this region, the activities mentioned above are only possible experiences and can’t be guaranteed.
 

Day 15: Lacepede Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding habitat for Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas), and have been named by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly the largest in the world. Up to 20,000 Roseate Terns have also been recorded here. Other birds breeding on the islands include Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds, Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oyster catchers. Join your expedition team for a guided Zodiac® tour to view the prolific wildlife. Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the Lacepede Islands.

Day 16: Broome | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and its glorious pearling era. The fascinating Chinatown district, which is the historic city center, and the famous Japanese Cemetery, dates back to 1896, and has a past marked by the immigration of numerous Chinese and Japanese workers, attracted by the prosperous pearl industry at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique spectacle provided by nature.

Ship/Hotel

Le Laperouse

Le Laperouse Ship
Le Laperouse - Blue eye lounge
Reception

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$20,480
Cabin
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
Included
  • 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite. 
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • A program of onboard enrichment provided by two Smithsonian Journeys Experts
  • Luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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