The Kimberley

Darwin to Broome or reverse

Aboard Oceanic Discoverer and Coral Princess

  • 11 daysDuration:

“The Kimberley” is an Australian outback adventure experience of a lifetime. This 11 day exploration voyage has so many highlights, it’s hard to know where to begin. Your expedition cruise starts in either Darwin – the capital city of The Northern Territory, or Broome – famous for its beauty and cultured pearls. Both are unique frontier centres and the gateways to the magnificent Kimberley wilderness. Experienced, highly informative tour guides will supervise the expedition itinerary, maximising the experiences offered by the breathtaking scenery and the magnificent sunsets as well as interpreting the cultural remnants of the Australian Aborigine, one of the world’s most ancient people.

Access to the remote Kimberley is aboard the catamaran “Coral Princess” and the new luxury expedition cruise ship, “Oceanic Discoverer”. Her shallow draft and manoevrability make the vessel ideal to safely navigate the mighty rivers and scenic inlets of The Kimberley. On board is a powerful and specifically designed excursion boat, the Explorer. Both the Explorer and the zodiacs are more than a match for the strong currents resulting from the dramatic tidal changes in this area, allowing you to explore the gorges of the Mitchell, King George, Prince Regent and Hunter rivers. For the more adventurous, optional helicopter flights to the Mitchell Plateau are also available. The enormous variety of bird life and native wildlife including the saltwater crocodile makes every moment of the expedition unique. The hundreds of islands in Buccaneer Archipelago, the tidal phenomena at the Montgomery Reef and the extraordinary Horizontal Waterfalls near Talbot Bay… the Kimberley has it all!

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Darwin to Broome or the Reverse

Day 1:

Depart Darwin

8:00am: Board Coral Princess in Darwin for a 9:00am departure. Farewelling Darwin Harbour we cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters. This afternoon join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley before meeting your fellow travellers and friendly crew at the Captain’s Welcome Cocktails.

Day 2:

King George River and Falls

Today we discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard Explorer, our specially designed excursion vessel, we’ll explore scenic gorges and in our inflatable zodiacs we’ll cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below. Later, we visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.

Day 3:

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II. Later, visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery. Our Guest Lecturers will point out fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.

Day 4:

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

After anchoring in Winyalken Bay we travel ashore aboard Explorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway. Later, helicopters are available for optional scenic flights over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expsense). This evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.

Day 5:

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art. Our Guest Lecturers will be on hand to explain these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them. Then, explore Careening Bay which was named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley. Our lecturers will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription “HMC Mermaid – 1820″, still clearly visible almost 200 years later.

Day 6:

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

We cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Explorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools.

Day 7:

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

Today savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Join our Expedition Staff aboard the Explorer and zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close and discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks. Later, cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.

Day 8:

Raft Point and Ruby Falls

Cruising through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry, we travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion). Later, explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a leisurely swim at Ruby Falls.

Day 9:

Horizontal Falls and Bucaneer Archipelago

Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands. In Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world”. The amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs. Board the zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls. Later, explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters.

Day 10:

Lacepede Islands

We cruise through Pender Bay and, subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef. This nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world. Board the zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigatebirds, egrets, gulls and terns. The islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting on the islands. This evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Cocktails.

Day 11:

Arrive in Broome

8:00am: Our incredible adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

 

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Reverse itinerary: Broome to Darwin.

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Dates on Coral Princess 2015 & 2016

  • 11 days  – departs 2015 June 5 – 15 D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 July 17 – 27 D-B & 27 – 6 Aug B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 August 7 – 17 D-B, 17 – 27 B-D & 28 – 7 Sep D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 Sept 7 – 17  B-D, 18 – 28 D-B & 28 – 8 Oct B-D
  • 11 days –  departs 2016 April 1 – 11 D-B & 11 – 21 Apr B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 May 2 – 12 B-D, 13 – 23 D-B 
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 June 24 – 4 Jul D-B & 4 – 14 Jul B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 August 5 – 15 D-B & 15 – 25 Aug B-D & 26 – 5 Sep D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 September 16 – 26 D-B, 26 – 6 Oct B-D

Dates on Oceanic Discoverer 2015 & 2016

  • 11 days  – departs 2015 June 19 – 29 D-B & 29 – 9 Jul B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 July 10 – 20 D-B & 31 – 10 Aug D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 August 21 – 31 D-B & 31 – 10 Sep B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2015 Sept 11 – 21  D-B & 21 – 1 Oct B-D
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 April 15 – 25 D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 May 6 – 16 D-B & 27 – 6 Jun D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 June 27 – 7 Jul B-D & 8 -18 Jul D-B
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 August 19 – 29 D-B 
  • 11 days  – departs 2016 September 9 – 19 D-B & 19 – 29 Sep B-D

Costs for 2015 & 2016

OCEANIC DISCOVERER CORAL PRINCESS
Cabin Type TWIN SHARE SINGLE Cabin Type TWIN SHARE SINGLE
Main Deck B $9,390 $14,085 Cabin $7,790 $11,685
Main Deck A $9,690 $14,535 Stateroom $8,790 $13,185
Prom Deck B $9,990 $14,985 Upper Deck S. $9,290 N/A
Prom Deck A $10,390 $15,585 Deluxe S. $9,590 N/A
Bridge Deck $10,790 N/A

What’s included

    • 10 nights accommodation in selected room grade
    • All meals, morning and afternoon teas
    • 24 hour tea/coffee and soft drinks
    • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell cocktails
    • Use of onboard facilities
    • Access to islands, marine and national parks
    • Guided tours on Explorer expedition vessel and Zodiacs
    • Touring as described in the itinerary
    • Services of Expedition staff and lecturers including briefings
    • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

What’s not included

    • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
    • Travel Insurance
    • Personal items such as communications and bar charges
    • Optional Mitchell Falls Helicopter Flight (approximately $500 per person)

How to Book

The completion and return of the booking form is mandatory to the acceptance of reservation. We advise that you book as far ahead as possible. To initiate your reservation, please complete the Booking Form which must be signed and returned to Adventure Associates along with the applicable Deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the Booking Form and deposit payment. Ticketing and joining instructions are normally issued two weeks prior to departure.

Deposit required: AUD 1000
Balance due: 95 days prior to departure
If booking within
95 days of departure:
full payment must be made

Cancellations and refunds

Written instructions only will be accepted by Adventure Associates to cancel a reservation. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, cruise companies, coach and tour operators, hotels (where applicable) and any other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable provisions will apply.

More than 95 days prior to departure AUD 500 per person
Between 94-30 days prior to departure 50% of tour cost per person
Within 29 days prior to departure No Refund

Once a cruise has departed there will be no refund for any unused portion of the trip. Rates and itineraries are subject to change without notice. Children, charter and group prices available on request.

B-D = Broome to Darwin

D-B = Darwin to Broome 

PelicanKimberleyRaftPoint Cruise costs are quoted in Australian Dollars per person unless otherwise indicated. All itineraries and prices may be subject to changes beyond our control as a result of airline rescheduling, tour arrangements, fare and hotel rate increases. Prices may also be adjusted due to currency fluctuations. Please check before you book with your travel agent or Adventure Associates to ascertain if there are any alterations to the tour you select.

Oceanic Discoverer

This multi-million dollar ship has recently been built at NQEA Australia in Cairns. The ship carries 72 passengers in 36 cabins and has a cruising speed of 14 knots. The shallow draft of the 63m ship allows it to access the isolated places that Coral Princess is famed for visiting. Oceanic Discoverer carries the latest in safety and navigational equipment and is the only Australian passenger ship registered with full SOLAS compliance allowing opportunities to explore a multitude of international voyages.

Onboard Accommodation

Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms offering a choice of twin through to junior king-size doubles. All staterooms have an ocean view, en-suite facilities, settee, large wardrobe, desk, luggage storage, individual air-conditioning control, and are serviced daily.

Dining

All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d’hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day’s activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.

Excursion Boats And Zodiacs

The ‘Xplorer’ is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of our excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The ‘Xplorer’ will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the ‘Xplorer’ is equipped with an awning and toilet. We also carry two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty infla tables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect nonetheless to wade through shallow water to reach the shor

Deck Plans

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Onboard Facilities

  • Large sundeck
  • Spa Pool
  • Internet booth
  • Comprehensive reference library
  • Phone and fax facilities
  • Lecture lounge with large plasma screen
  • Limited laundry facilities
  • Two fully stocked cocktail bars
  • Boutique and dive shop
  • Air-conditioned public areas

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Coral Princess

The custom-made Coral Princess is 35 metres in length and carry up to 50 passengers. With its shallow draft and manoeuvrability makes it ideal to safely navigate the often uncharted waters of the Kimberley coast. Experienced and informative expedition leaders and guides will accompany you on all excursions to point out and interpret the wildlife and culture you encounter. The information and experiences you receive during your excursions are augmented with onboard discussions and informal lectures. While cruising enjoy the professional service and precise attention provided by the diligent crew and staff on board these very comfortable cruise vessels.

Onboard Accommodation

Resort style living at its best. Select from four types of accommodation – all spacious and elegantly appointed. The discerning traveller has a choice of Standard, Deluxe, Upper Deck Staterooms, while the more budget conscious may select a Cabin. A number of Staterooms have extra divans or Pullman berths, and others have connecting doors. All accommodation is spacious and air-conditioned with private ensuites and the choice of single or double beds. All rooms are serviced daily.

Dining

All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are usually served the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day’s activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.

Excursion Boats And Zodiacs

The ‘Explorer’ is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of our excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The ‘Explorer’ will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the ‘Explorer’ is equipped with an awning and toilet. We also carry two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty infla tables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect nonetheless to wade through shallow water to reach the shore.

Deck Plans

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Onboard Facilities

  • Air-conditioned dining room
  • Two modern air-conditioned lounges
  • Sundeck and Spa Pool
  • Comprehensive reference library featuring videos and books on the reef, islands and outback
  • Phone and fax facilities
  • Security Safe
  • Fully stocked cocktail bar
  • Comprehensive dive shop
  • A range of souvenirs and personal items is available for purchase

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