The nation of Indonesia includes an incredible 17,000 islands, ranging from ones that are home to bustling metropolises to others that are uninhabited, palm-fringed islets. There is no better way to visit them than on a ship, and specifically an expedition cruise with Ponant
. Its 15-day Exploring the Indonesian Archipelago
itinerary is a sampler of some of the astounding variety and beauty of the country.
You’ll begin on Indonesia’s most famous island, lush Bali, with its volcanic peaks, emerald green rice terraces, and Hindu temples. Indonesia’s highlights are natural as well as cultural. From Bali, you’ll continue on to Komodo, home of the famous dragons—the world’s largest lizards. As your journey continues, you’ll call at the fabled Spice Islands, coveted by the Portuguese, British, and Dutch who all left their mark on the islands’ architecture and culture. In Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province, you’ll encounter a region of remarkable biodiversity and tribes that continue to follow traditional animist religions. Your cruise will end in Australia, with a stop at Lizard Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, before you disembark at Cairns.
There’s no better way to go island hopping than on your own private yacht, and the brand-new Le Lapérouse
, with only 92 staterooms, offers a unique combination of luxury and intimacy. Its small size also allows it to call at ports that are inaccessible to larger ships.