Experienced guides on board will take you on plenty of shore excursions to explore amazing landscapes, inaccessible by road. See towering waterfalls cascading through rugged gorges, admire some of Western Australia’s oldest Aboriginal rock art and marvel at the area’s unique plant and wildlife. You’ll also visit mysterious Bigge Island and the beautiful Montgomery Reef as you travel along the fringes of the Indian Ocean.
On board, enjoy well equipped cabins, fine dining and the company of no more than 120 fellow guests on this unforgettable one-way cruise from Darwin or Broome.
Day 1: Depart Darwin
Your 11 day epic cruising adventure begins with an early morning boarding from Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf. Saying farewell to Darwin Harbour, cross the Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters.
This afternoon join the Expedition Staff for an informative introduction to the Kimberley before meeting your fellow travellers and friendly crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.
Day 2: King George River and Falls
Today we discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George. Aboard ‘Xplorer’, 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.
Feel humbled by nature’s awesome force as thousands of tonnes of water cascade over the ancient sandstone cliffs. Early in the season, you may cruise under the mist of the falls, while in later months we get up close to the sandstone walls to view the honeycomb erosion patterns.
Day 3: Vansittart Bay C53 and Jar Island
Vansittart Bay contains many sites of cultural and historical significance. Here you will have the opportunity to view the remarkable Gwion Gwion galleries and Macassan sites at Jar Island.
On the Anjo Peninsula, discover the wreckage of the downed C-53 Skytrooper, well-preserved since it crashed in 1942. Along with the on board Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Day 4: Hathaway's Hideaway and Mitchell Falls
Carved through layers of sandstone, Mitchell Falls descends over four tiers, creating pools of emerald green on each level. Take an optional scenic helicopter flight which will give you a breathtaking view, or alternatively explore the maze of sandstone caves of Hathway’s Hideaway by small zodiac boat.
Swift Bay reveals a series of fine Wandjina art galleries. This evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as you indulge in a gourmet BBQ on the sundeck or the beach.
Day 5: Prince Frederick Harbour
At the southern end of the York Sound lies one of the most spectacular locations in the Kimberley: Prince Frederick Harbour. It is home to many islands, mangroves and monsoon rainforests, set against a backdrop of steep red escarpment. White-bellied sea eagles and other birds of prey are often seen here, and at low tide expansive mudflats reveal large populations of various mudskippers and mangrove crabs.
Spot massive saltwater crocodiles on a cruise up Porosus Creek, visit art sites, and marvel at rock formations.
Day 6: Prince Regent River
Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard ‘Xplorer’ to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations.
Running on a fault line, this straight river is a haven for native species. If the tide is right, there may be an opportunity for swimming at Camp Creek (Note: swimming at freshwater swimming holes is subject to group size and local conditions), and here we visit the beautiful King Cascade.
See the National Heritage Listed ‘Mermaid Tree’ at Careening Bay. It still bears the name carved by the crew of Phillip Parker King’s ship HMS Mermaid when the ship was careened here for repairs in 1820.
Day 7: Montgomery Reef
Today savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs.
Montgomery Reef is a biologically diverse area covering over 300 sq km. Named by Phillip Parker King, this marvelous reef is home to several species of marine turtles, dolphins, dugongs, and crocodiles. As the reef emerges from the sea at low tide, we get up close in the Xplorer and inflatables to witness the spectacle. Our guides will share their knowledge on the formation of the reef and the myriad wildlife here.
Day 8: Raft Point, Ruby Falls & Doubtful Bay
Cruising through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry, we travel ashore at Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and the mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion).
Later, explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a cooling dip at Ruby Falls before cruising through scenic Doubtful Bay.
Day 9: Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago
Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands. In Talbot Bay, the region’s 12 metre tides (tidal dependent) create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist David Attenborough as “one the greatest natural wonders in the world”. The changing tide thunders through narrow gorges in the McLarty Ranges, and you can experience the thrill of traversing the falls at high speed aboard inflatable tenders.
Later, at Cyclone Creek, view evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations, or take an Xplorer cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.
Day 10: Lacepede Islands
Subject to weather and tides, you will 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 Bird Life 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, 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 evening we farewell new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Drinks.
Day 11: Broome
Your adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome.
11 day Cruise - from £4695
Departs selected Fridays from Darwin and selected Mondays from Broome between Apr – 23 Sept.
Cabin Upgrade Options
Upgrade your cabin accommodation with the following options. All offer picture windows with ocean views.
Stateroom – 14 square metre cabin providing ocean views from deck C (Lower Deck) – from £5649
Upper Deck Stateroom – 14 square metre cabin located on deck B (Middle Deck) – from £5879
Deluxe Stateroom – 15 square metre cabin with double or twin beds to the rear of deck B (Middle Deck) – from £6165