Coral Expeditions is a leading Australian cruise company offering Kimberley cruises from Darwin to Broome and Broome to Darwin. Coral Expeditions pioneered the concept of small ship expedition cruises and provides guests aboard the ship just the right mix of comfort and adventure along with unforgettable locations and scenery.
The Kimberley region takes its evocative name from its most imposing landmark and ancient mountain range visible from the rugged sea coast. Covering more than 400 square kilometres in North West Australia it is a place universally acknowledged as the world's last and possible most beautiful wilderness. It is a place of magnificent vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, wide savannah plains and waterfalls which defy nature. Passengers aboard this Coral Expeditions cruise also discover Broome, the capital of the Kimberley that was once the pearling capital of the world as well as a chance to visit the heartland of Australia's northernmost unspoilt outback.
Select from four types of accommodation - all spacious and elegantly appointed. The choice of accommodation on board the Coral Expeditions I includes Staterooms, Upper Deck Staterooms and Deluxe Staterooms, while the more budget conscious may select a Cabin.
All Cabins Feature: Air-conditioning, Private ensuite, Hairdryer
Cabin: Size is 10-13m² (108-140sqft). Bedding is 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Stateroom: Size is 13m² (140sqft). Bedding is 2 Single Beds OR 1 Double Bed. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Upper Deck Stateroom: Size is 14m² (151sqft). Bedding is 2 Single Beds OR 1 Double Bed. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Deluxe Stateroom: Size is 17m² (183sqft). Bedding is 2 Single Beds OR 1 Double Bed. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
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. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Day 1: Board Coral Expeditions I at 4.30pm for a 6.00pm departure from Broome. This evening meet your fellow travellers and friendly crew at the Captain's Welcome Cocktails. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner and stunning views as you cruise north towards Cape Leveque.
Day 2: 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 bird life including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, 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 afternoon, join the Expedition Staff in the Lounge for an interesting introduction to the Kimberley.
Day 3: This morning travel ashore to Hidden Island for a walk on the fine white sands of Silica Beach. Then, 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 the greatest natural wonders in the world". Board the zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls.
Day 4: This morning explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a cooling dip at Ruby Falls. Cruising through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry, travel ashore at Raft Point and visit a secluded Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and the mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion).
Day 5: Cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay before savouring a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef 'rises' out of the ocean as the tide ebbs. Join the 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.
Day 6: Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Explorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations. Enjoy refreshments at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is time for a leisurely swim in the fresh water pools.
Day 7: At Careening Bay the lecturers lead you to the site of a large boab tree bearing the inscription "HMC Mermaid - 1820", still clearly visible almost 200 years later. Then, discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island, featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art.
Day 8: After anchoring in Winyalken Bay, 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 expense). This evening, enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as you indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.
Day 9: Join the 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 WWII. Later, visit Jar Island and discover the island's outstanding rock art gallery. The Guest Lecturers will point out fine examples of the Kimberley's mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Day 10: Visit Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration. Later, discover the last of the Kimberley's 'big' rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard Explorer, the specially designed excursion vessel, you'll explore scenic gorges, and in the inflatable zodiacs you'll cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Western Australia towering some 80 metres above the river below.
Day 11: Expedition concludes in Darwin at 8.00am.
**This itinerary is an indication of the destinations you can visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition Coral Expeditions 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. **
Coral Expeditions I is custom-made vessel and is 35 metres in length and carries just 46 passengers.
Details: Length 35 metres, Beam 13 metres, Speed 13 knots, Draught 2.5 metres, Tonnes 730, Cabins 27, Passengers 46, Crew 12
Facilities: Air-conditioned public areas, Sundeck, Comprehensive reference library, Wireless internet, phone and fax facilities (additional fee), Lecture lounge, Limited laundry facilities, Fully stocked cocktail bar, Gift shop, Dive shop
Expeditions: The "Explorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of the excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Explorer" is 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.
The Coral Expeditions I also carries two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boat is damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect none-the-less to wade through shallow water to reach the shore.
01 & 22 May
04 & 25 September
09 & 30 April
02 & 23 July
03 & 24 September
Departs: 6.00pm from Broome
Arrives: 8.00am to Darwin
Children: Under 12 years of age are not recommended
Excludes: Pre and Post flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance
Environmental Management Charge (EMC): Is additional and payable on board
Cancellation Fees: Apply for cruises cancelled inside 60 days of travel (up to 31 March 2017) and 90 days of travel (from 01 April 2017).
Operated By: Coral Expeditions