The Vanilla Islands
* Subject to availability.
- Discover Madagascar, Mayotte, the Comoros, the Scattered Islands and the Seychelles all on the one same cruise.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: in Praslin, the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve.
- In Madagascar, a rich and preserved endemic flora and fauna.
- Encounters with local people.
- A variety of idyllic landscapes: atolls, coral reefs, lagoons, granite landscapes, white-sand beaches, a rich and preserved fauna and flora.
- Discover the Glorioso Islands, a geological sanctuary with nature reserve status since 1975.
- Possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board and of snorkelling with your expedition team.
Outbound domestic flight included
- Staterooms & Suites
- LE BOUGAINVILLE
- Port of call & excursions
- Scuba diving
- Cruise Package
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
Deluxe Stateroom $6,220 Available Prestige Deck 4 $6,820 Available Prestige Deck 5 $7,090 Available Prestige Deck 6 $7,390 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $9,880 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 3 $9,880 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 4 $9,880 Available Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $9,880 Available Prestige Deck 5 Suite $13,000 Available Prestige Deck 6 Suite $13,600 Available Privilege Suite Deck 6 $14,210 Available Privilege Suite Deck 5 $14,210 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 6 $15,510 Available Grand Deluxe Suite Deck 5 $20,150 Not Available Owner's Suite $21,110 Available
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.
As the third ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bougainville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.
Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
Port of call & excursions
Nosy BeEmbarkation 23/02/2021 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 23/02/2021 at 18H00 .
Nosy Be (from the Malagasy: Nosy meaning island and Be meaning large), in the Mozambique Channel, is located near the north-eastern coastlines of Madagascar. A former French protectorate, known under the promising name of “the scented island”, of volcanic origin, it is located on a maritime route with access to India and Asia. Cosmopolitan, a boulevard of encounters, its mixed-race and multicultural population still remembers its past as a significant trading post. Today, its 321 km² enchant lovers of nature and idyllic beaches. Its sumptuous primary forest is home to animals that are endemic to the island as well as surprising flora.
24 February 2021 – Nosy KombaArrival 24/02/2021. Departure 24/02/2021.
During your cruise, your ship will stop in Nosy Komba, otherwise known as “lemur island”. Not far from the Madagascar mainland, this volcanic island shaped like a gigantic turtle shell is covered in dense tropical rainforest. This vegetation is home to amusing black lemurs – furry orange-brown and black creatures that are surprisingly agile and call to each other from amongst the trees. The many small beaches and the emerald-coloured water make Nosy Komba a natural gem that only a select few visit.
25 February 2021 – MamoudzouArrival 25/02/2021. Departure 25/02/2021.
26 February 2021 – MohéliArrival 26/02/2021. Departure 26/02/2021.
Moheli is the smallest island in the Comoros archipelago; it is also the wildest. Covered in luxuriant vegetation, it is home to the first protected natural environment in the Comoros: Moheli National Park. A huge sanctuary with rare and endemic fauna, this marine and terrestrial reserve provides the opportunity to discover the island’s incredible biodiversity. Among other animals, the rare visitors to the park may spot the Comoro falcon, the maki (a lemur living exclusively in this region) and Livingstone’s fruit bats, the largest flying foxes in the world with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres. The site is also an important egg-laying spot for green sea turtles.
27 February 2021 – Glorieuses, Scattered IslandsArrival 27/02/2021. Departure 27/02/2021.
The Scattered Islands are like minuscule confetti sprinkled around Madagascar and form an archipelago of unrivalled beauty. Their geographical isolation, and their very limited human settlement make them a true geological sanctuary, classed as a nature reserve since 1975. Regularly used as the “zero point” in scientific studies, they offer their rare visitors almost pristine vegetation composed mainly of mangrove, as well as long beaches of shimmering sand stretching out behind turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs that are home to the world’s highest concentration of sea turtles.
28 February 2021 – Assumption IslandArrival 28/02/2021. Departure 28/02/2021.
Assumption Island is part of the Aldabra group (Outer Islands), situated in the south-west of the Seychelles. Discovered in the mid-18th century by the French captain Nicolas Morphey, this bean-shaped island covered in dunes and shrubs is relatively flat. A handful of people live there, in a small village in the island’s west. The island’s beaches are a major egg-laying and breeding site for sea turtles. The surrounding waters are ideal for scuba diving. This is where Jacques-Yves Cousteau filmed some of the scenes for his famous documentary film “The Silent World”, released in 1956.
1 March 2021 – Astove IslandArrival 01/03/2021. Departure 01/03/2021.
Closer to Madagascar than to Victoria, Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles. It is part of the Aldabra group, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Now uninhabited, this coral island covered in coconut trees was once home to the employees that worked on the coconut plantations. Renowned for the richness of its seabeds, Astove Atoll is now a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. It also attracts experienced divers, who visit the atoll to explore the “Astove Wall”, where the sea floor drops to a depth of about 40 metres. The wall is covered in coral and many fish and green sea turtles can be found there.
2 March 2021 – Alphonse IslandArrival 02/03/2021. Departure 02/03/2021.
Alphonse Island is located off the Seychelles archipelago. Discovered in 1730 by the Knight Alphonse de Pontevez, this island, specialised in coconut processing in the past, is now a veritable natural reserve, home to different species of marine mammals, sea turtles and many birds. Alphonse Island is also renowned for its rich underwater life and coral, among the best preserved in the Indian Ocean. A marvellous spectacle that can be admired with just a mask!
3 March 2021 – Praslin IslandArrival 03/03/2021. Departure 03/03/2021.
Situated some forty kilometres away from Victoria, Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles. Its idyllic beaches where granite rocks nestle in immaculate sand correspond perfectly to how we imagine the Seychelles to be. They invite visitors to dive into the turquoise waters, which are ideal for snorkelling. In the centre of the island, hidden in the heart of a stunning tropical rainforest, lies the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this veritable plant sanctuary, several endemic species of palm trees can be observed, as well as the famous sea coconut, which can weigh up to 20 kg and is sometimes called “coco fesse” because its shape calls to mind a pair of buttocks.
Victoria, MahéDisembarkation 04/03/2021 at 07H00 .
Discover Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles and also the largest of the archipelago, home to the capital, Victoria. Mahé has almost 70 beaches of fine sand, framed by the emblematic granite rocks, and whose crystal clear waters are renowned for their rich underwater life. The island is also famous for its splendid mountain panoramas accessible on hikes, such as the Morne Seychellois, which is 905 metres high and overlooks the Indian Ocean. Mahé is also an island full of history where fine colonial properties rub shoulders with Creole houses - and don’t forget the marvellous Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Scattered Islands: some nationalities may require a visa. Please check on https://france-visas.gouv.fr/
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advice relating to travel through these regions, including advice on Malaria prevention and dengue fever.
In order to participate in diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1 year old and their up to date dive book.
Madagascar: A visa is required. This formality is subject to change.
Immunization against diphtheria-tetanus-polio is essential. Anti-malaria treatment is highly recommended. It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions.
Fauna and flora of the Indian Ocean
The fauna of the Indian Ocean is very varied. During the various dives, divers can observe various species of benthic fauna such as napoleon fish, oriental sweetlips, blackspotted sweetlips, batfish and pelagic fauna such as manta rays, gray reef sharks, dolphin fish,rainbow runner as well as endemic wildlife such as different soft corals.
Supervision of the dives
Your dives will be led by your PONANT instructor. He will take care of your safety and that all goes smoothly. On some diving sites, as in natural reserves or if the local regulations require it, a local guide will escort the diving.
Level required for scuba diving on this cruise
The minimum level required for scuba diving on this cruise is 2 stars CMAS or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent). The certification card, the diving log book and a recent medical certificate (less than 12 months) must be presented at the beginning of the cruise to our main diving instructor.
Process of the dives (certified divers)
The instructor can dive with 4 certified divers at a time. The instructor reserves the right to check divers’ ability for maximum safety. As we will dive in remote places, the dives will be done without decompression stop. A safety stop of 3 minutes at 5 metres will be mandatory. The depth that can be reached will depend on the certification of the divers:
- For those with PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate (or equivalent), the maximum depth can be up to 25 metres.
- If two PADI Advanced Open Water Divers (or equivalent) wish to dive together independently, they must have a briefing first. They must have dive computers and are allowed to go to a maximum depth of 20 metres.
Duration of the dives
The diving activity lasts from 2 to 3 hours, which includes the journey to the diving site and the diving. This duration may vary according to the site, the level of divers, weather conditions and the number of participants. For experienced divers, the duration of dives varies between 35 and 60 minutes depending on the site, the diver’s experience and consumption.
- Diving wetsuit
- Stabilising jacket
- Fins, mask and snorkel
- Regulator with octopus and pressure gauge
- Diving computer (for divers mastering their use)
Scuba diving activities on this cruise
DISCOVER SCUBA DIVING
MADAGASCAR – Nosy Komba
MAYOTTE – Mamoudzou
COMOROS – Moheli
SCATTERED ISLANDS – Glorieuses
SEYCHELLES – Assumption Island
SEYCHELLES – Astove Island
SEYCHELLES – Alphonse Island
SEYCHELLES – Praslin Island
SEYCHELLES – Victoria, Mahé
These sites are indicative. The proposed diving excursions may be changed depending on weather and safety conditions and the number of divers.
Price per person
- Exploration (1 dive): € 80
- Excellence Package (3 dives): € 225
- Passion Package (6 dives): € 420
- Master Package (10 dives): € 650
Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, expedition cruise specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
Flight Nosy Be/Mauritius + transfer
For your serenity, PONANT selects a flight and organizes the transfers between the airport and the port. This package is included in your cruise fare.
Embarkation Day – Mauritius / Nosy Be
Flight Mauritius / Nosy Be selected by PONANT.
Approximate flight duration: 2h00.
It is highly recommended to arrive in Mauritius the day before this flight.
Meet and greet at Nosy Be airport.
Transfer to the pier for embarkation.
– Cruise on board your ship –
Your programme includes:
- Flight Mauritius / Nosy Be selected by PONANT in economy class.
- Transfer airport / pier.
Your programme does not include:
- Personal expenses.
- Other services not mentioned in the programme.
- Flight included in the programme is, as of today, operated in economy class.
- For passengers in transit in Mauritius, we recommend staying one night in Mauritius before this flight to ensure your connecting flights.
- Package is subject to availability.
- This programme is subject to change.
To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents. Passengers must check in at least two hours before flight departure time.
Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
- Cotton comfortable and light-weight shorts/bermuda shorts
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable SPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeved T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeved T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming
- Aquatic non-slip sandals
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap and veil to protect the neck
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Highly protective sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and after-sun with high SPF index & insect repellent
- Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
- Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
- Camelbak (backpack with water pockets)
- Walking poles (highly recommended).
During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.
Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT store:
- Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
- A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
- Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
- Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items
Pre/Post & Overlands
After your cruise
Before your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy