A 10 night exploration voyage to the Kimberley has so many highlights, it's hard to know where to begin. Your expedition cruise begins from Broome - famous for its beauty and cultured pearls.
Experienced, highly informative Expedition Leaders and Guest Lecturers will supervise the expedition itinerary maximising the experiences offered on our shore excursions. Sensitive arrangements are also made allowing guests to absorb the cultural remnants of one of the world's most ancient people, the Australian Aborigine.
A specially designed excursion vessel allows 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 abundance of bird life and native wildlife including the salt-water crocodile make every moment of the expedition unique. The hundreds of islands in The Buccaneer Archipelago, the tidal phenomena at Montgomery Reef and the extraordinary horizontal waterfalls near Talbot Bay ...The Kimberley has it all.
Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms.
All Cabins Feature: Air-conditioning, Private ensuite bathroom, Wardrobe, Suitcase cupboard, Windows or Portholes, Speaker, Hairdryer
Main Deck B: Size is 17.5-18.5m² (190-200sqft). Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Main Deck A: Size is 18m² (195sqft). Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade B: Size is 13m² (137sqft). Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed. Maximum room capacity is 1 Adults.
Promenade A: Size is 16-17.5m² (172-190sqft). Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Bridge Deck: Size is 17-18m² (180-195sqft). Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in 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. Soft drinks are complimentary. House wine and beer will be included with lunch and dinner service. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Day 1: Board Coral Discoverer 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.
Day 3: 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 David Attenborough as "one the greatest natural wonders in the world". 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 4: 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 Xplorer 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 Xplorer 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 Xplorer 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 Trainquil Bay for beach walking and exploration. Later, discover the last of the Kimberley's 'big' rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard Xplorer, 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: Arrive in Darwin at 8.00am this morning.
**This itinerary is an indication of the destinations Coral Expeditions Cruises visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition they 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 suggest that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.**
Details: Length 63 metres, Speed 10-12 knots, Beam 13 metres, Cabins 36, Draught 3 metres, Passengers 72, Tonnes 1779, Crew 24
Facilities: Large sundeck with bar, wireless satellite internet broadband access (additional cost applies), comprehensive reference library, phone and fax facilities (additional cost applies), lecture lounge with large plasma screen, limited laundry facilities, three fully stocked cocktail bars, gift shop and air-conditioned public areas.
Expeditions: The "Xplorer" 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 "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.
There are also 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 boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches.
Departs: 6.00pm from Broome
Arrives: 8.00am to Darwin
Children: Under 14 years of age are not recommended
Excludes: Pre and Post flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, WiFi charges, travel insurance
Environmental Management Charge (EMC): Is additional and payable on board
Cancellation Fees: Apply for cruises cancelled inside 90 days of travel
Operated By: Coral Expeditions