Created specially for like-minded travelers.
The ports of call on this voyage from Vietnam to Japan introduce us to the rich historical and cultural diversity of the western Pacific.
Set off to encounter age-old civilizations during a 14-day cruise in Asia aboard Le Lapérouse. A PONANT itinerary taking you from Vietnam to Japan via China.
From Haiphong, you’ll discover the Bay of Ha Long, a real jewel of Vietnam. Sailing among the limestone pillars, grottos and arches of this site with its surreal atmosphere will undoubtedly be the defining moment of your cruise.
A former British colony, Hong Kong is unlike any other city. Hiding behind the crowds and the neons are temples and markets, a strange mix of modernity and tradition.
Le Lapérouse will then set sail for Shanghai, a futuristic city with a thousand faces. In this Chinese megalopolis with contrasting architecture, the spirit of the 1930s still seems to reign over certain streets, particularly in the Bund waterfront area.
In Nagasaki, don’t miss out on the visit of the Peace Memorial, built in tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb in 1945.
We will call at Hiroshima, the gateway to the Miyajima, home to the majestic Shinto Shrine, whose entrance is guarded by a magnificent vermilion torii.
- A cruise with great cultural value, discovering four Asian countries: Vietnam, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Ha Long Bay, the Itsukushima Shrine and its vermilion torii on Miyajima (from Hiroshima), the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.
- A spectacular sail around Ha Long Bay, amidst scenery of stunning beauty.
- Hong Kong, city of lights: with its unforgettable bay, modern buildings reaching towards the sky, typical markets and lively shops.
- Shanghai, a modern and cosmopolitan city, blending skyscrapers, gardens and night life.
- From Hong Kong, Xi’an and Guilin overland: visit of the mausoleum of Qin Emperor with its famous terracotta army, visit of the Shaanxi Historical Museum, and cruise on the Li River, one of the most beautiful panoramas in China.
- Before your cruise: possibility of visiting Hanoi and the imperial city of Angkor, in Cambodia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- After your cruise: possibility of discovering Osaka, one of the biggest Japanese metropolises, and its famous castle, and the ancient imperial capitals of Kyoto and Nara.
- All accommodations, meals, and excursions described in itinerary
- Gratuities to guides and drivers on included excursions
- Comprehensive 13-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Paperouse, with all the amenities for which Ponant ships are famous.
- All meals while on board ship (from dinner on embarkation day to breakfast on disembarkation day)
- Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties
- One gala dinner
- Open bar: select wines by the glass, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands (list available upon request).
- 24-hour room service (special selection)
- Evening entertainment and events
- On selected cruises: lecturers, guides, naturalists, expedition leaders, special themes
- Baggage handling from pier to the ship and vice versa
- Gratuities to on board crew, local guides, and drivers
- Port and safety charges
- Park entry fees into protected areas
- Travel Insurance
- Items of personal nature, gift shop purchases
- Pre and post cruise extensions and hotels
- Optional Excursions
ARRIVE HAIPHONG, VIETNAM - Embark
It is strongly recommended that you plan to arrive at least one day early. Se something of Hanoi, and then travel to Haiphong, the port.
Embark 16H00 to 17H00; Departure at 18H00
On the banks of the Red River Delta, Haiphong is one of Vietnam’s three major ports. Contemporary and outward-looking, the city also has a rich past. One stunning example of its old colonial town is the Du Hang pagoda, the gateway to Hanoi, the county’s capital and a symbol of its anti-colonial struggle. Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam’s independence here in 1945, where his body rests in the middle of the Ba Dinh square in his mausoleum. A few hundred meters away is the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the Presidential Palace and the delicate One Pillar Pagoda. Further south kick back in the peace and quiet of the Confucian Temple of Literature.
HA LONG BAY, VIETNAM
Located 170 kilometers east of Hanoi, in the gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long bay is a marvel of marvels. A must for all who wish to soak up the spirit of Vietnam, at once peaceful and mysterious. You’ll sail into the heart of this legendary natural beauty, not surprisingly listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Over approximately 1,500 square kilometers, the famous bay offers an infinite quasi supernatural and ghostly spectacle of limestone pillars rising from the sea in all shapes and sizes, sculpted by nature for centuries. This exceptional scenic beauty of this site includes myriad creeks, caves and other interior lakes to feast your eyes on.
DAY AT SEA
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.
Hong Kong, known as the “Fragrant harbor”, bordered by the South China Sea, is a heady place attracting tourists from the world over. This former British colony today combines ultramodern shopping malls and authentic markets like the Ladie’s Market or the night market on Temple Street. At first sight, you’ll be overwhelmed by the city’s architecture which, because of lack of ground space, reaches skywards, with its 1,250 skyscrapers and other towers. Believing is seeing, so if you go up to Victoria Peak, the highest point on the island, you’ll see a dizzying and unforgettable view of the bay.
DAYS AT SEA
During your days 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.
Set in the most amazing geographic location, Shanghai has fast become the largest economic and commercial hub in China. Although this futuristic megalopolis is the capital of excess, it still has soul. See for yourself as you stroll around the Bund district, emblematic of old Shanghai. From here, you can reach People’s Square, a must-see vast and luminous space bordered by historical monuments. In the former French concession, you’ll be able to appreciate the charm of the most Westernized of Chinese cities: a haven of peace in the heart of an urban jungle!
Located on the north-west coast of Kyushu, Nagasaki will impress you by its rich heritage. Despite the destruction in 1945, you can visit several ancient sites, including the beautiful 19th-century Catholic Church of Oura and its garden, the sanctuary of Suwa Shrine or several Buddhist temples. A visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum gives you insight into the extent of the damage caused by the nuclear attack. Close by, a walk in the Memorial Peace Park leads you to a collection of objets d’art offered as a gift from Japan to the world.
Karatsu Bay is edged with long sandy beaches and a huge pine forest that was planted over 350 years ago to protect the coast from the winds and tides of the Genkai Sea. From the top of the donjon of Karatsu Castle or Mount Kagami, you will be able to admire magnificent panoramas. In the north of the Higashi-Matsuura Peninsula, the waves have eroded the lava plateau and carved a magnificent natural site, the seven Nanatsugama Caves, out of the basalt. The city of Karatsu is famous for the quality of its pottery, which is influenced by the craftsmanship of nearby Korea. Very fine pieces are displayed in the city’s galleries and at Karatsu Castle, alongside magnificent samurai armor.
HIROSHIMA & MIYAJIMA ISLAND
Visiting Hiroshima is a moving experience. The town spreads along Honshu Island, along the inside coasts of Seto. While firmly focused on the future, Hiroshima doesn’t forget its past, and a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Genbaku Dome is a must. You’ll enjoy the city’s modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and effervescent nightlife just as much as the peaceful stillness of its natural parkland areas such as splendid Shukkei-en, the town’s historic garden.
A former fortified city, ruled over by the Matsudaira clan from the Tamamo castle with its seawater moats, the city is home to one of the most beautiful classic gardens in Japan, the Ritsurin. It was created by the barons of the city at the start of the Edo period, during which time gardening became a profession in its own right. Its landscape incorporates Mount Shiun in the background, an example of what is known as the shakkei technique, which uses the surrounding landscapes to increase the beauty of the gardens.
OSAKA, JAPAN - DISEMBARK
Like its big sister Tokyo, Osaka is the product of ancestral traditions and amazing technological innovations. And despite its size, its location on the Pacific Ocean give it a sense of serenity. The main historic landmark is the 16th-century Osaka Castle, which stands proud in the midst of majestic skyscrapers. The lively streets of Dotomburi and the bizarre Shinsekai district attract thousands of locals and visitors. A multitude of restaurants offer menus full of regional specialties: takoyaki, made with octopus, and other succulent dishes such as kushikatsu kebabs.
Plan to visit nearby Kyoto, Nara and Himeji, and continue to Tokyo if you like. We can help with all the arrangements.
Premiering in June 2018 through Summer 2020, PONANT’s six new luxury expedition ships will set sail to the world’s most inaccessible locations and go further—where others do not go. The PONANT EXPLORER yachts, each measuring 430 feet in length, are designed for just 184 guests and served by 110 crew members. They feature innovative technology, elegantly-designed guest accommodations with private balcony, welcoming lounge areas that open to the outside, and an infinity pool. And, in a world exclusive, the PONANT EXPLORER yachts are the first ships in the world to be equipped with an underwater, multisensory lounge, called Blue Eye, located within the hull eight feet beneath the water line. Two large oculus windows provide views of the underwater marine life, and guests can also hear and sense this life through unique wave technology.
THE PONANT EXPLORERS
Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Bellot & Le Surville
• Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .430 ft.
• Beam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 ft.
• Draft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 ft.
• Average cruising speed . . . . . . .12.5 knots
• Ice Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1C
• Classification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bureau Veritas
• Flag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .French
• Guest Decks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
• Crew members . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
• Guest capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to 184 guests (double occupancy)
• Staterooms with balcony . . . . .88
• Suites with bay windows and terrace . . . . .. . .4
• Zodiacs (Mark V HD) . . . . . . . .10 Zodiac craft
• Boston Whaler-type boats . . . .1
• Gross tonnage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9,900 UMS
• Stabilizers (2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.1 ft. long x 4.7 ft. wide
• Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VARD, Norway
1,507 sq. ft.
Concierge lounge including reception and customer relations.
• Panoramic Restaurant
2,798 sq. ft.
Inside capacity: 184 Outside capacity: 35
Main dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving French
and international cuisine. Cold buffet for salad, dessert, and cheese.
• Grill Restaurant
2,530 sq. ft.
Capacity: 70 (outside only)
Casual eating venue for lunch and dinner.
• Main Lounge
2,153 sq. ft.
Accommodates all guests. Afternoon tea, lounge, live music, dance
floor, and cocktail bar. Access to outside pool area.
• Observation Lounge
Smaller lounge surrounded by windows with bar and library.
• Blue Eye Underwater Lounge
807 sq. ft.
Multi-sensory underwater passenger lounge, a world first.
• Pool area
Infinity pool, solarium, lounge chairs, bar.
Transforms to 3 positions:
1. Sun deck (when sailing).
2. Immersed connector port for disembarkation into Zodiacs,
SCUBA diving, or deep sea fishing.
3. Sea level for water sports including kayaking and stand up
RECREATION / RELAXATION
Inside capacity: 184
Main venue for lectures and entertainment. State-of-the-art audio and video technology. LED wall behind stage for projection.
• Fitness & Spa/Beauty Corner
Fitness room with top-of-the-line equipment
Spa/Beauty Corner: hairdresser, massage rooms (3), Finnish sauna, sheltered terrace.
• Infinity pool with counter-current swimming.
• Internet corner, library, and art gallery.
• Infirmary staffed by a doctor.
• Glass door leading to private balcony
• Queen bed or twin-size beds
• Connecting cabins available
• Individually-controlled air conditioning
• Private bathroom with Hermès bath products, hair dryer, and bathrobes
• 110/220-volt outlets
• Direct-dial satellite telephone
• WiFi access
• Flat-screen satellite TV
• Movies on-demand
• iPod™ player
• Desk with stationery
• 24-hour room service
(484 sq.ft. + 328 sq.ft. private patio + Jacuzzi)
(484 sq.ft. + 328 sq.ft. private patio)
(409 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony)
(344 sq.ft. + 86 sq.ft. private balcony)
(291 sq.ft. + 65 sq.ft. private balcony)
(205 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony)
(205 sq.ft. + 43 sq.ft. private balcony)