Explore this outstanding list of cruising experiences on offer in Australia's Kimberley region.
The remote Kimberley coast of Western Australia displays two billion years of natural history. The geology alone is astounding, with ochre rock formations that were shaped by the earth's violent motions and then bent and degraded over thousands of years. Giant boab trees stand as tall sentinels, waterfalls blow fine mist over the clifftops, and Aboriginal rock art is hidden in the cracks. The most sought-after item in this day and age is peace, which is best attained when lounging on a cruise ship's deck.
There are multi-day trips available that follow a similar route that leave from Broome, Wyndham (via Kununurra), and occasionally Darwin. Here are the top Kimberley cruises.
TRUE NORTH ADVENTURE CRUISES
True North Adventure Cruises has been in business for almost 30 years and offers tours that guarantee close-up interactions and private vistas. True North, a multimillion dollar yacht that can accommodate 36 passengers, maintains a boutique atmosphere while providing a five-star hotel-style experience. Visitors are flown over cliff cliffs, islands, and waterfalls by an on-board helicopter. Select from shorter, seven-day excursions, longer, 14-day excursions, or specialized expeditions that concentrate on the shore and coral.
THE GREAT ESCAPE CHARTER COMPANY
Only 14 passengers can be accommodated on The Great Escape Charter Company's 26-meter (85-foot) luxury catamaran by six crew members, including a superb chef. The company is family-owned and operated. A queen bed, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom are included in each room. Importantly, a helicopter is perched on the roof and offers access to such challenging locations. Additionally, there is wi-fi and a spa on the front terrace.
The Silver Discoverer, a recently renovated ship from Silversea Cruises, offers the pinnacle of big boat luxury. There are 120 people on board, and every cabin has butler service and a view of the ocean. There are lounges, two gyms, a beauty salon, a pool with a grill by the water, and a sundeck. Zodiac boats transport visitors to shore-based attractions, fishing locations, and congested waterways. A flight to the Bungle Bungles is included, and helicopter excursions can be booked to destinations like the four-tiered Mitchell Falls. On board are historians, naturalists, and geologists.
KIMBERLEY EXPEDITIONS AND ECO ABROLHOS
Although environmental sensitivity is a feature of practically all Kimberley cruises, Kimberley Expeditions and Eco Abrolhos each have a distinct emphasis. Both boats are sturdy catamarans with short drafts that enable them to nose straight under waterfalls, reducing the need for frequent Zodiac boat jumps to take in the scenery. They are owned and run by devoted couples who have been in the region for years and seek to tread gently on the beautiful nature they visit. There will be no more than 38 other people on one of these trips, ensuring intimacy and companionship.
APT KIMBERLEY EXPEDITION CRUISING
Highly regarded touring company APT owns and operates two 'sister' expedition vessels in the Kimberley. Travel with a limit of 100 passengers, 75 crew members, and a knowledgeable Expedition Team of 10, who will offer helpful insights throughout the whole journey. By using a Zodiac, inflatable boats that let you get near to the action, you can explore the reefs, the shoreline, and the secluded gorges. Additionally, go ashore to investigate far-off places. Profit from the cozy atmosphere on board while still taking advantage of the roomy suites, eateries, bars, library, gym, and salon.
When to travel
The ideal months to visit the Kimberley are typically April and May when the waterfalls are at their most active following the rainy season. But any period throughout the sailing season (April to October) will undoubtedly be memorable.