In Transit Blog: A New Cruise to Tasmania

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 19 Agustus 2014 | 17.36

Photo L'Austral, the Compagnie du Ponant boat.Credit Philip Plison

Tasmania, the Australian island about 150 miles south off the mainland, isn't the most frequented or easy to reach spot, but the French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant has a new excursion that gives travelers a chance to discover this remote destination.

The seven-night trip, which starts in Sydney and ends in Melbourne, is from Jan. 3 through 10 and follows in the footsteps of Abel Tasman, the Dutch explorer who discovered the island.

Stops along the way include Wineglass Bay on the east coast in the heart of the Freycinet National Park, considered one of the country's most beautiful natural environments, a place where visitors can take a walk through forest with a naturalist guide or go snorkeling in the sapphire waters.

A visit to Maria Island,  just off the east coast, is also on the itinerary: This former penal colony is now a national park and is known for its ocher sandstone cliffs, wild coastal landscapes and broad range of flora and fauna like the 40-spotted pardalote, a rare bird.

L'Austral is a 132-room small yacht-style boat and is from a company based in Marseille, France, that specializes in expeditions to less-traveled and far-flung ports.

It also has a reputation for its French-inspired cuisine. Instead of preset menus, chefs tend to shop for seafood and produce at local markets, and there is a dedicated pastry chef and bread baker on board. Prices start at 2,320 euros, about $3,015.

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