Embark the ship in Port Vila.
Day 1: Port Vila, Vanuatu
Arrive in Port Vila and board L'Austral. Settle into your cabin and explore the onboard amenities as the vessel sets sail this evening and you sit down to your first gourmet dinner.
Day 2: Santa Ana, Solomon Islands
Your first destination is Santa Ana, Solomon Islands, a beautiful lush island ringed with white sandy beaches and blue lagoons. On arrival this morning, disembark the ship by zodiac directly onto the beach. You will be welcomed by the Warrior Challenge, a traditional welcome performed by selected men who are armed with spears and shield. You may join a local guide for a two hour walk through the forest to the sacred spirit house.
Day 3: Honiara - Mbike (Solomon Islands)
Arrive at Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands Peace Memorial Park, built by the Japanese war veterans in memory of all those who were killed in World War II, is about 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) down the coastal road. There are numerous other relics from World War II in and around Honiara. You will have the choice between two optional tours focusing on WWII history or a village cultural tour. Later continue onto the small uninhabited Mbike Island, surrounded by beautiful white sand beaches and fringing coral reef. These clear warm tropical waters give rise to a myriad of colourful corals only meters from the shore. To add to this stunning environment, nosed up onto a nearby beach, listing heavily to its port side is the wreck of the World Discoverer; an expedition cruise ship beached here in 2001 after striking a charted rock at the Northern entrance to Sandfly Passage. Enjoy swimming and snorkeling from the beach on Mbike Island.
Day 4: Kennedy Island (Solomon Islands)
Arrive at Kennedy Island, a small uninhabited island that was named after John F. Kennedy, following an incident involving Kennedy during his World War II naval career. You will have the opportunity to go ashore at Kennedy Island for swimming and snorkelling. More experienced snorkellers will be able to snorkel offshore from one of our zodiacs equipped with ladders.
Day 5: At Sea
Spend the day at sea as the ship sails towards Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.
Day 6: Rabaul (Papua New Guinea)
Arrive at the tropical port town of Rabaul, famous for its spectacular setting. Nestled beside Simpson Harbour, the township is surrounded by six volcanoes, one of which, Mt Tavurvur, is still active today. The area played a significant role in WWII and the Japanese occupation in 1942 saw the building of hundreds of kilometres of tunnels underneath the town and the Gazelle Peninsula as protection against constant Allied bombing raids. You may join an optional Rabaul History and Highlights Tour or an optional Volcano Adventure Tour.
Day 8: Kopar Village (Sepik river, Papua New Guinea)
Arrive at Kopar Village located along the Sepik river, Papua New Guinea. Here, life revolves around the river, with men paddling narrow dugout canoes full of goods for trade, women fishing or making sago and children joyfully swinging from trees to splash down in the river. In the morning the ship will make a brief stop at Wewak for clearance formalities and continue to Kopar where you will transferred for a welcome ceremony and cultural performance. You will have the opportunity to walk around the village.
Day 9: Jayapura (Irian Jaya - Indonesia)
Arrive at Jayapura is the capital and largest city in Papua. From the port transfer by local transport for an optional tour of Jayapura and surroundings including Lake Sentani where you will board a local wooden style boat for a one hour trip along its tranquil waters to a traditional village. You will be welcomed with a traditional cultural performance and see local carvings and bark paintings. Later discover the vast collection of Papauan artifacts and tribal art at the Loka Budaya Museum.
Day 10: At Sea
Spend a full day at sea as the ship sails towards Wayag Islands.
Day 11: Wayag Islands - Rajah Ampat archipelago (Indonesia)
Located off the northwest tip of the Bird's Head Peninsula on New Guinea Island, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, comprises over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo. p is renowned for its beautiful atolls and amazing marine life. Enjoy the pristine beaches and clear waters where you may swim and snorkel.
Day 12: At Sea
Spend the day at sea as the ship sails towards the Bunaken National Park Sulawesi.
Day 13: Pulau Lihaga - Bunaken National Park Sulawesi
Arrive at the Bunaken National Park. A rich coral ecosystem covers most of Bunaken National Park, comprising fringing and barrier reef systems. At least 390 species of hard coral have been recorded in the waters in the park. There are 22 villages inside the park, where most locals work as fisherman or farmers. Transfer by zodiac directly onto the beach where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
Day 14: Tangkoko National Park
Arrive in the afternoon at the Tangkoko National Park located in the Sulawesi region of Indonesia. The Tangkoko Nature Reserve is a flora and fauna conservation area particularly attractive for its unique wildlife that can be observed roaming free in the forest including black macaque monkeys, maleo birds, cuscus and hornbills.
Day 15: At Sea
Spend the day at sea as the ship sails towards Borneo.
Days 16-17: Sandakan (Borneo)
Arrive at the historical city of Sandakan, the second largest city in Sabah. Sandakan is the gateway for eco-tourism destinations in Sabah such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Labuk Bay proboscis reserve, The Kinabatangan River and the Gomantong Caves. You will have opportunity to join an optional excursion to either, Labuk Bay, the Sepilok Oran-Utan Centre or join History and Cultural Tour of Sandakan.
Day 18: Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
Your cruise comes to an end this morning as you disembark in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo for your onward journey.
Disembark the ship in Kota Kinabalu.
- All meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
- Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
- Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
- 24 hour room service (selected menu)
- Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
- Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
- English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)
- 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
- Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
- Flights and transfers
- Beverages, other than those already mentioned
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance and medical expenses
- Passport and visa requirements
- nboard purchases
- Optional excursions