Enjoy a Once-In-A-Lifetime Kimberley Adventure

By Sue Wallace

Enjoy a Once-In-A-Lifetime Kimberley Adventure
It’s the colours of the Kimberley Coast that seduce you - the red dirt, turquoise waters, aqua blue skies and the occasional fluffy white clouds that dance across the sky.

Then there’s the wildlife – a knobbly crocodile lazing on a sun-drenched sandbank or peering out from tangled mangroves, keeping an eye on you.

Watch out for the occasional whale breaching on the horizon, dolphins riding the waves and if you are handy with a rod maybe you will land a barramundi or two.

No wonder the Kimberley is hot news when it comes to cruising, these days.

There’s a fleet of cruise ships tapping into Western Australia’s unique colourful coast ensuring guests discover the many wonders of the region.

Here are a few cruise lines heading that way.

Ponant’s Kimberley Expeditions

A world-leader of luxury expeditions, Ponant last year launched a 52-page Ultimate Kimberley Guide.

The guide delves into the fleet’s particulars and showcases the unique features of each vessel, with specific itineraries.

Ponant operates Kimberley expedition cruises between Darwin and Broome, showcasing iconic landscapes and natural wonders.

Size matters in the Kimberley and as a small- ship design, Ponant has access to extraordinary places.

There are multiple departures in 2024 for 11 day / 10 night cruises.

Cruises leave from Darwin to Broome aboard Le Laperouse or Le Jacques-Cartier.

North or South Bound

Ponant offers both north bound and southbound Iconic Kimberley 10 night cruises from Broome to Darwin aboard Le Laperouse or Le Jacques-Cartier.

A highly qualified local expedition team shares their knowledge with regular zodiac outings and shore visits.

There are visits to billion year old landscapes and ancient rock art. The pristine mangrove environments are home to the world’s largest living reptile and there’s a possibility to reach the Mitchell Falls by helicopter, from the Hunter River.

In Ashmore Reef, take a zodiac cruise to view the abundant birdlife and marine life and experience the unique tidal phenomena, the Horizontal Falls.

For more information, visit ponant.com

True North Ventures by Sea and Helicopter

True North and True North II are purpose-built to access remote wilderness areas where bigger ships cannot go.

The True North operates six dedicated adventure boats that provide greater comfort, practicality and safety.

They are more comfortable than rubber boats and easier to get into and have ample seating.

It is possible to stand-up and walk around, so they are well suited for fishing, snorkelling, diving and photography. They are fully surveyed by the Australian Maritime Authorities which means the wearing of life jackets is not required.

There are also options for scenic flights via the onboard helicopter. Daily activities include snorkelling, diving, fishing, hiking, picnics, natural history and cultural activities.

Popular cruises include the 10-night Kimberley Waterfalls Cruise from Broome to Wyndham / Kununurra or reverse. The 13-night Kimberley Ultimate from Kununurra / Wyndham to Broome or reverse includes the Kimberley iconic attractions exploring at a leisurely pace and a heli-picnic.

Short on Time?

For those pressed for time – the flagship Kimberley Ultimate itinerary is condensed into a single week voyage. The Snapshot itinerary features several Kimberley icons.

True North itineraries are activity-based with multiple choices plus time to relax onboard.

For more information, visit truenorth.com.au

Silversea Kimberley Cruises Expand

Silversea is expanding its Kimberley itineraries next year and bringing a bigger boat Silver Cloud – with a pool.

In 2025, Silversea will offer an enhanced portfolio of voyages consisting of 10-night classic Kimberley itineraries and two types of extended exploration voyages. They include one on the Kimberley and Western Australia coast and the other one on the Kimberley and Indonesia.

This is the result of feedback from overseas guests seeking a longer and more comprehensive exploration of the region.

A 10-night Darwin to Darwin Expedition cruise from June 12- 2025 starts in Darwin, navigates the enchanting Buccaneer Archipelago’s maze of islands and Montgomery Reef, a marine wonderland unveiled by dramatic tidal shifts.

There are a variety of Broome to Darwin cruises this year visiting the Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef.

It includes encounters with wildlife and a visit to Aboriginal artworks.

For more information, visit silversea.com


Seabourn’s Waterfalls and Wandjinas

Seabourn Expedition cruises offer a great insight onto the Kimberley with a variety of cruises.

The itinerary includes cruising through Montgomery Reef as the tides rush out and passing rugged sandstone peaks and gushing waterfalls, desert expanses, and mangrove forests.

Highlights feature King George Falls, an amphibious Mallard flight and guided showings of the unique Gwion Gwion artwork.

Experiences include a visit to the Kuri Bay Pearl Farm where you may also see tawny nurse sharks in the crystal-clear waters.

The Wunambal Gaambera people share their traditional face-painting ceremony plus stories and traditions that have been passed down through generations. A traditional smoke ceremony concluded the day. The 10 – Day Kimberley Expedition: Waterfalls & Wandjinas departs Darwin for Broome on Seabourn Pursuit on July 2 2024.

For more information, visit seabourn.com

Two Iconic Aussie Experiences for 2025

Two of Australia’s most iconic travel experiences, the Kimberley Pioneer cruise by Coral Expeditions and The Ghan train journey by Journey Beyond, feature in a new package for April to July 2025.

This pairing showcases the best of Australia’s red centre and remote wilderness landscapes.

From Adelaide, venture north into the vast expanses of central Australia to Darwin by train, and then westwards along the rugged coastline of the Kimberley into Broome by sea.

Coral Expeditions’ small-ship cruises are renowned for their intimacy, quality and focus on immersive expedition cruising, complementing The Ghan’s journey through the heart of Australia, which includes immersive off train experience. Departures are available across a wide range of dates and in premium class categories.

Journey programs are now on sale for travel dates across 2025.

For more information, visit journeybeyondrail.com.au and coralexpeditions.com



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