Q: Darwin to Broome on a Ponant ‘Australia’s Iconic Kimberley’ experience sounds like a great way to discover some unspoilt land on and off the coast of Australia. Firstly, what made you choose this one and, now that you’re back, what has really stayed with you?
Sally: When someone says to me ‘how was it’, I say incredible! As a family we had previously done the East Kimberley region by land along the Gibb River Rd and were keen to see it by sea as most of it is inaccessible any other way. It’s so completely untouched and beautiful and more Aussies need to see it.
Q: You’ve obviously cruised with Ponant before and in your role as a luxury travel designer at Executive Edge Travel have booked plenty of clients with Ponant. What makes this particular brand so special?
Sally: Ponant are world leaders in the 5 star expedition ships. They have a very new fleet and they are continually improving their product. For me, in my age bracket, it has strong appeal perhaps that’s because they are new ships. I feel they don’t have the same air as some of the other 5 star ships. They breathe a slightly younger vibe to me but with the exceptional service.
Q: This was a classic multi-generational holiday experience with ages ranging from 8 to 78. I imagine there were some pretty special connections and moments throughout the journey?
Sally: I was fortunate to have my 78-year-old dad and 77-year-old mum, my husband, my 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter all travelling together. Firstly, my dad is trying to do things he’s never done before and he’s actually terrified of boats and water. In particular, I remember an amazing day on the Hunter River searching for crocodiles through the mangroves. I remember looking across to see my kids’ eyes wide open searching and also my dad’s eyes wide open and searching, forgetting his fears for that moment! it was unforgettable and how amazing it was to do that all together.
Q: Tell me a little about the zodiac outings through the mangroves, seeing such things as crocodiles and other wildlife. I imagine the children would have loved that?
Sally: We saw crocodiles, dugongs, turtles, sting rays, sharks, birds and an incredible close encounter on a zodiac with some Humpback whales, so it wasn’t only the kids who loved it. We all loved it but yes, it was like a safari on water. The experience amongst the naturalists on board Ponant was incredible and we certainly benefited from the diversity of their fields. To see the children just absorbing all that information and actually being in it was wonderful.
Q: Why do you think cruising is experiencing such a boom time?
Sally: It’s just such a great way to see and do things. You pack/unpack only once, you can wake up in a new destination every day and you are fed and watered all day and you can do it with varied aged groups and everyone can get something out of it. with all the decisions there are in the world with places to go and see and do, when you cruise all the decisions are made for you.
Read the full article with Sally and her husband Will at The Departure Lounge