Set sail for South Africa and the Indian Ocean with Ponant, which has announced three new cruises for winter 2016-2017.
The first cruise will lead passengers from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope, aboard Ponant’s newest ship Le Lyrial. The itinerary begins in the city of Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, located off the coast of Argentina and considered the southernmost city in the world. From there, the 22-day expedition cruise will sail through the Falkland Islands and the sub-Antarctic region of South Georgia, formed by a chain of underwater mountains. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as king penguins, humpback whales, elephant seals and fur seals abound throughout the itinerary. Before arriving at the final destination of Cape Town in South Africa, the cruise will stop at three of the most isolated islands in the world: Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic island famous for its 6,500-ft. peak; Gough Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its seabird colonies; and Nightingale Island, a refuge for many penguins. The cruise takes place from March 4-25 and is priced from $7,210.52 per person.
The second cruise embarks from Cape Town on a 9-day tour of the essential sites of South Africa’s east cost. Destinations include Port Elizabeth, known as “the friendly city” for its welcoming inhabitants; and Richards Bay, which is the largest port in the country. The tour contrasts the bustling metropolises of modern South Africa with the natural beauty of the landscape—home to three of the world’s largest land mammals: the elephant, the rhinoceros and the hippopotamus. The cruise takes place from March 25-April 2 and is priced from $2,508.96 pp.
The third new cruise on the itinerary leaves from Durban on a 16-day tour that takes in Les Iles Eparse, which means “scattered islands,” located in the Mozambique Channel. The islands have been a nature reserve since 1975, and are so isolated that only 20 people have set foot there in the last three years. The tour will also visit the volcanic island of Nosy Komba, north of Madagascar, which is famous for its population of lemurs. The final stages of the cruise will stop at the islands of Alphonse, La Digue and Victoria, located in the Seychelles. The tour takes place from April 2-17 and is priced from $6,041.09 pp.