March 2018 marks the debut of Tourism Western Australia’s first-ever expedition cruise line collective, Kimberley Expedition Cruising, introducing one of the world’s last true wilderness areas, the Kimberley region in Australia’s North West.
In partnership with Down Under Answers, Qantas Vacations and Southern World, nine select cruise operators are represented in one brochure to showcase expedition cruise travel in the untouched and beguiling wilderness of the Kimberley with trusted operators who’s experience in the Kimberley is unrivaled. Aboard these expedition cruises, travelers will experience ancient UNESCO World Heritage-listed rock formations, ancient Aboriginal rock paintings, and thousand-island archipelagos that spread out like confetti on water. The Kimberley coast oceans are so untouched, whales nurse their young in its warm waters. The Kimberley is more than a remarkable region in Western Australia; it’s one of the most fascinating and unexplored places in the world.
Western Australia’s immersive Kimberley region sprawls across the top of the State, where dry and wet seasons characterize the landscape. The best time to visit is in the dry season between April and October, when the skies are blue, the sun shines constantly and temperatures range from 82 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The Kimberley is best known for its pristine unique natural wonders such as the magical Bungle Bungle Range, world’s only Horizontal Falls, Montgomery Reef, thundering King George Falls and its wildlife. The coastal excitement continues with a diving experience at Rowley Shoals Marine Park, a web of shallow lagoons inhabited by diverse corals and marine life. The lagoon walls are covered in colorful soft corals for an underwater view like no other. No more than 500 people witness the Rowley’s each year.
A cruise expedition in the Kimberley is exclusive, luxurious, and customized. Several vessels are topped with a helicopter, allowing outstanding access to cliff top waterfall pools. All cruise operators have tender vessels to explore remote island beaches, select fishing spots and narrow river reaches. With a variety of cruise lines available, travelers can select a boat and design their own Kimberley adventure. Some lines are catered to the intrepid adventurer and others to travelers seeking the utmost in luxury. One common theme is the importance placed on excellent food and service, as chefs entertain guests with gourmet fare, providing an unexpected element of a cruising journey. Some vessels offer butler service, and all cruises have a high crew-to-guest ratio providing the upmost in personalized service.
All Kimberley Expedition Cruising have availability for 2018 and 2019 departures. See the full cruise collective below:
- APT Kimberley Cruises
- Coral Expeditions
- Kimberley Pearl Charters
- Kimberley Quest
- Ocean Dream Charters
- Silversea Expeditions
- The Great Escape Charter Company
- True North Adventure Cruises
Pre and Post Cruise Travel
Along with cruising the Kimberley coast, visitors are including air and land adventures to explore this extraordinary wilderness, either via The Kimberley Aerial Highway or the famed Gibb River Road. A 6 day air safari with Helispirit completes the journey by linking outback air strips with 3 unique wilderness lodges Berkeley River Lodge, Kimberley Coastal Camp, and El Questro Homestead in exquisite locations. The Gibb River Road offers 4-wheel drive tag-a-long adventures, you or your driver does the driving on your outback land safari between Broome and Kununurra with Kimberley Outback Tours.
Kimberley cruising offers a host of pre and post travel options further customizing travelers’ Kimberley experience. The pearling paradise of Broome is a main departure point for expedition cruising in the west Kimberley. Home to some of the largest and most prized pearls, the town is famous for its daily sunset camel rides on Cable Beach. Guests also have the opportunity to experience select immersive Aboriginal educational tours in and around Broome. Travelers can place their foot inside 1.3 billion year old fossilized dinosaur prints during a hovercraft tour, or with an Aboriginal guide. When conditions are just right, travelers to Broome are treated to a natural phenomenon with the sound of indigenous didgeridoos in the distance – the Staircase to the Moon. A number of Broome’s luxury resort accommodations provide travelers the perfect balance of adventure and leisure preparing guests for their cruising excursion ahead.
In the east Kimberley, the township of Kununurra with massive Lake Argyle (10 times the size of Sydney Harbour) offers boating and fishing along with day trips to the Argyle Diamond Mine, home to some of the world’s rarest pink diamonds; the expansive El Questro National Park; and the Bungle Bungle Range, located within World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park are not to be missed.
Pre and post cruise travel is incredibly popular, especially in Western Australia’s capital city. Perth is one of the fastest evolving cities in Australia and has more sunny days than any other Australian capital city. Diverse in its offerings, the city is home to wine growing regions, one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, Kings Park (bigger than New York’s Central Park) and a pristine line-up of world class beaches– including the favorited Rottnest Island.
Perth’s vibrant nature is full of new restaurants, dozens of laneways, urban tours, and excursions to complete a well-rounded Western Australian vacation. Since 2012, 25 new or redeveloped hotels have opened in or around Perth, adding nearly 2,600 rooms evolving Perth into one of Australia’s leading cities. Recently coined one of the “World’s Friendliest Cities” by Conde Nast Traveler, visitors are promised a kind farewell from Western Australia.