Turquoise lagoons, coral-fringed reefs and impossibly clear water ... Queensland's famous Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea beckons.  Just when you think it couldn't possibly get any more beautiful than the gorgeous, rugged Lizard Island (with no less than 24 powdery white sand beaches!), you'll discover Willis Island - an island that's tiny on size but big on charm.  Surrounded by a pristine coral fringe, sitting atop an extinct volcano and measuring just 450 metres by 150 metres, Willis Island is a nesting site for the green sea turtles.  

But there's much more to the Great Barrier Reef than just white-sand beaches.  With over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over 2,300 kilometres, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and is the only living thing visible from space.  In fact, it's bigger than the Great Wall of China. It became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and with the Reefword pontoon, you can really experience the underwater world with opportunities to view by semi-submersible, underwater viewing chamber, snorkelling or diving.

Toward the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef lies Lady Musgrave Island, a 14 acre coral cay.  This is another nesting site for green turtles as well as loggerhead turtles.  It's a favourite spot with several species of birdlife too, including the wedge-tailed shearwaters (also known as Mutton Birds) who nest in burrows in the ground. Lady Musgrave Island is another fantastic snorkelling spot and if you're lucky, you may even spot the little white tip reef sharks.  But if not, the hundreds of colourful fish will more than make up for it!  

There is one problem with the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea, however... once you've had a taste, you'll want to go back for more!




THE CORAL SEAAustralia's East Coast Islands



Discover the magic of Australia’s East Coast islands on this 11 day cruise on-board Ponant’s luxurious Le Laperouse. Departing from Cairns on 16 December 2019, you’ll head for Hardy Reef where you’ll have the opportunity to see some of the world’s most beautiful coral and unique marine-life. Continuing down the coast, you’ll stop at Percy Island and Lady Musgrave Island – perfect snorkelling opportunities. As you head further south, you’ll stop at Fraser Island, known for its wildlife and beautiful Lake McKenzie. You’ll spend a festive Christmas Eve at sea enjoying all the facilities and fine dining on-board without having to lift a finger! Christmas Day is spent in Sydney either exploring or simply spending a luxuriously relaxing day on board. Disembark the ship on 26 December in Sydney – just in time to take advantage of those Boxing Day Sales!


Package Includes:

  • Economy class airfare from Sydney to Cairns
  • Transfer Cairns Airport to hotel 
  • 1 night accommodation in Cairns
  • Transfer from Cairns hotel to port
  • 10 night cruise from Cairns to Sydney on-board Le Laperouse
  • All meals and beverages onboard
  • Zodiac expeditions and guided walks with expert naturalists
  • Chauffeur driven luxury car transfer from your home to the airport (within 35 km)

Pricing on request


 (*conditions apply to all bookings)


Cruise Category
  • Luxury Expedition
  • Modern
  • 24 Hr Room Service
  • All meals
  • Boutique &/or Salon
  • On-Board Lecturer
  • Ponant Exclusive Service
  • Pool &/or Spa
  • Shore Excursions
Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

Fly Sydney to Cairns
Overnight Cairns
Embark Le Laperouse at 3pm
Willis Island

At Sea

Hardy Reef

Percy Island

Lady Musgrave Island

Fraser Island

At Sea


Technical Details

  • Built Date 2018
  • Crew TBA
  • Capacity 184

Cruise Category

  • Luxury Expeditions

Le Laperouse

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, Le Lapérouse embodies the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.  Le Laperouse is the first ship to offer the underwater passenger lounge, allowing guests to see and hear the undersea world. Images Courtesy Ponant.