This itinerary combines our classic 10-day Kimberley itinerary with a visit to the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park and Ashmore Reef. Witness magnificent coastal vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, abundant wildlife, and massive tidal movements.
2023 departure dates: 26/09/2023
This itinerary combines our classic 10-day Kimberley itinerary with a visit to the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park and Ashmore Reef.
Witness magnificent coastal vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, abundant wildlife, and massive tidal movements.
Expert guides interpret 40,000-year-old rock art, and retrace the history of Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline 200 years ago. Board a Zodiac and touch the spray from the magnificent King George River and its towering 80-metre sandstone escarpments.
Join an expert guide to learn about the history of the ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock paintings.
Witness waterfalls cascading off Montgomery Reef as it rises out of the ocean on the ebbing tide, whilst discovering the reef’s diverse marine life.
Finish off the voyage at a chain of coral atolls offering some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world.
Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs.
Day 1: Depart Darwin
Make your way to the DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin for SailSAFE check-in from 7am, before boarding at 8:00am with time to settle into your cabin before our 9:00am departure.
Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities on board and join our Expedition Team in the lounge for an insightful introduction to the Kimberley.
As dusk falls meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks as we cross the Bonaparte Gulf.
Embark: Board at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 8:00am for 9:00am departure.
King George River & Falls
Cruise down the scenic King George River, through steep-sided gorges carved by a flooded river system that carved a swathe through the Kimberley landscape 400 million years ago.
We will take the opportunity to get up close and view the honeycomb erosion patterns of the 80m tall sandstone cliffs.
A Day of Rock Art
Today we will land at either Jar Island, Swift Bay, Wollsaton Bay or Bigge Island.
Each of these locations are home to fantastic Wandjina and Gwion Gwion Rock Art (Bradshaw) galleries.
Stretch your legs and explore the magnificent sandstone structures, providing an abundance of rock shelters.
On the walls of these shelters is where we will find examples of this rock art.
The territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is made up of the West, Middle and East Islands of Ashmore Reef, as well as Cartier Island and the surrounding 12 nautical mile territorial sea.
These islands are uninhabited, making them the perfect location for seabird breeding.
Each year around 100,000 seabirds flock to the marine parks three tiny islands.
The reef here boasts a wide diversity of marine life, including over 70 fish species and 255 varieties of coral.
To protect this reef, the Australia Government declared the Ashmore Reef National Nature Reserve in 1983.
The islands also have a significant marine turtle nesting area and migratory bird populations.
Here we will spend time birdwatching, swimming and snorkelling the pristine reef.
A group of four separate reef structures including Scott Reef South, Scott Reef Central, Scott Reef North and Seringapatam Reef – These atolls are situated on the continental shelf in the Timor Sea.
Weather and tide permitting we will snorkel and dive the outer reef – The sheer walls and diverse ecosystems of this acclaimed coral habitat will take your breath away!
Enjoy nature and history interpretations from your Expedition Team.
Weather and tide permitting we will visit the remote and beautiful Adele Island.
Pristine, teeming with breeding bird and supported by coral reef that surrounds it, Adele Island was declared a Nature Reserve in 2001.
Adele Island is recognised for its bird breeding sanctuary, classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area for its seabirds and waders.
Adele Reef is one of the more unique reef habitats on the planet, with exclusive discoveries reported in this area.
This area is of great scientific interest as it provides an environmental link between the Kimberley’s oceanic and inshore reef systems.
Montgomery Reef is a biologically diverse area covering over 300 sq km and was named by Phillip Parker King.
Twice daily, as the sea recedes in mammoth 11m tides, Montgomery Reef rises from the Indian Ocean in a cascade of rushing water revealing a flat-topped reef pockmarked with rock pools and rivulets.
As the reef emerges, we get up close in our Xplorer and Zodiac inflatable tenders to witness the spectacle as our Expedition Team share their knowledge on the formation of the reef and the myriad wildlife.
Opportunistic birds take advantage of the emerging reef, feeding on marine life left exposed in rock pools.
Turtles, dolphins, dugongs and sawfish too are also attracted to feeding opportunities as the ocean recedes.
The ocean is awash in a swirl of eddies and whirlpools as the moon’s gravitational force takes hold.
Then, a few hours later the entire water-borne drama is reversed as the tide comes in and Montgomery Reef disappears below sea level.
Raft Point guards the entrance to Doubtful Bay, a vast body of sheltered water which harbours significant sites such as the ancient Wandjina rock art galleries located a short walk from the beach and are considered some of the finest in the Kimberley and we visit the rock art galleries when Traditional Owners are available to guide us.
Doubtful Bay is the traditional country of the Worrora people who follow the Wandjina, their god, law-maker and creator.
Images of Wandjina are found throughout the Kimberley, recording their stories, knowledge and culture in stone.
Depending on the tides we will visit Red Cone Creek, which flows gently downstream until it meets the small but impressive Ruby Falls. Named by local mariner Capt. Chris Trucker after his daughter, Red Cone Creek is carved through rock formations stacked atop each other like building blocks.
These rock walls are great for climbing and clambering over before reaching a series of freshwater swimming holes and waterfalls.
The falls may be a gurgling torrent or a gentle trickle, depending on the time of the year.
If traditional owner guides are available we may visit Wijingarra Bard Bard (Freshwater Cove) with a hike to the hinterland to view rock art at Cyclone Cave.
Horizontal Falls & Buccaneer Archipelago
The Horizontal Falls are one of the Kimberley’s biggest attractions and are a result of the mammoth 11m tides for which the Kimberley is renowned.
Naturalist David Attenborough described the Horizontal Falls as ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.’
The Horizontal Falls are created as the ocean thunders through a narrow gorge in the McLarty Ranges.
Water builds up on one side and is forcibly pushed through the bottleneck, creating a rushing horizontal waterfall of swiftly flowing seawater.
Riding the rapids on our Zodiac inflatable tenders is one of the highlights of our Kimberley expedition cruises.
Talbot Bay is at the heart of the Buccaneer Archipelago, where rocks on the 800 or so islands are estimated at over 2 billion years old.
At Cyclone Creek, you will see evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations and cruise through the Iron Islands past Koolan Island.
The Lacepede Islands are a protected class-A nature reserve and are significant as a seabird nesting rookery for brown boobies and roseate terns.
Other species often sighted at the Lacepedes include Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets and gulls.
The four low-lying islands are also an important breeding and nesting habitat for green turtles.
If weather and tide conditions are suitable, we will explore the lagoons by Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels.
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs.
The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world.
Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs.
Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish.
Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for superb underwater photography opportunities.
Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities.
With each atoll covering approximately 90sq km, there will be plenty to see!
Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons.
If time and tide permit, we may also visit Bedwell Island, with a chance to look out for the rate red-tailed tropicbird.
Arrive in Broome
Our incredible adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am.
Bid farewell to new-found friends, the Captain and crew.
A post-cruise transfer to Cable Beach, CBD hotel or Airport is included.
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.
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at Deep Water Port, Broome at 8:00am.
2023 departure date: 26/09/2023
Scuba Diving – minimum age 12
Scuba Diving Restrictions
All cancellations must be in writing.
Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee.
Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.
Tour Operator's T&Cs:
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY:
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing. At the time we receive your cancellation the following penalties will apply:
***Final Payment due 90 days prior to departure***
Up to 90 days prior to departure – forfeit your deposit of 20% of the fare.
60 to 89 days prior to departure – forfeit 50% of the fare.
No-show to 59 days prior to departure – forfeit 100% of the fare.
Unexpected Events – during the pandemic there have been some schedule interruptions and cancellations. This situation is classed as unexpected events and we will issue cruise credit for future travel. We do not refund in this circumstance where schedule is affected by restrictions beyond the control of passengers or our company.
Date change fee made more than 90 days before departure – $500pp fee.
Date change within 90 days of departure is considered a cancellation and standard Cancellation Policy applies.
A $200 per person fee is applicable for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed.
Applicable to all itineraries: A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and Cancellation Penalties will apply.
TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE:
It is a requirement for all guests to have travel insurance coverage to voyage. Travel Insurance is not included in your cruise fare. We advise that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes (without limitation) coverage for the cost of your cruise, medical expenses, loss of luggage, cruise and land content and airfare charges that may occur due to cancellation, the impossibility of performance or unexpected events including other frustration, disruption, loss of deposit or strikes. This is a policy that protects you.
Accommodation on the Ship is based on twin share occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share accommodation, a room mate will be assigned to your cabin whenever possible. When pairing room mates we always pair participants of the same sex. In the event of a share partner not being found, standard twin share stateroom rate will be applied.
Upon payment of the fare for the Cruise and the confirmation of the booking by us or our authorised travel agent a Contract is concluded between us (the carrier) and you (the passenger) concerning the Cruise in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. Any payment of the cruise fare implies acceptance of all Terms and Conditions.
In these Cruise Ticket Conditions:
“brochure” means this brochure and any other promotional material published by the Carrier with reference to the Cruise.
“carrier” means and includes Coral Expeditions, the Ship, the Ship’s owners, operators, managers, charterers, agents, sub-contractors and employees.
“Coral Expeditions” means Coral Princess Cruises (NQ) Pty Ltd (A.B.N 51 010 809 417) of Hartley Street, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
“Cruise” means the passage agreed to be undertaken by the carrier in the Contract.
“passenger” means each person purchasing or accepting the Contract entitled to board the Ship for the Cruise.
“Queensland” means the State of Queensland in the Commonwealth of Australia.
“the Ship” means the Cruise Ship used by the carrier to conduct the Cruise.
“Unexpected Event” means any act, circumstance or event beyond the control of the carrier caused or arising from but not limited to acts of God, public enemies, government restraint, riots, strikes, lockouts, labour troubles, epidemic, civil disturbances, perils of the sea, harbours, rivers or other navigable waters, fuel shortages or abrupt and unexpected increases in fuel costs, collisions, stranding, fire, lightning, storm, rough and adverse sea conditions, tidal waves, cyclones, theft, barratry or any other crime by any person, faults or errors of navigation or management of the Ship or any other vessel, explosions, breakage of shafts or any defect or unseaworthiness in hull, machinery or appurtenances, equipment, furnishings or supplies of the Ship or launches or vehicles or any defect of the carrier’s premises, fault or neglect of pilots, tugs, crew, agents or independent contractors, port closures, delays in allocation and permits to berth the Ship at ports on arrival and seizure of the Vessel under legal process.
Where this brochure contains particulars of our conditions or policy about reservation procedures, bookings, cancellations, refunds of fares and itineraries for the Cruise then it forms part of these Cruise Ticket Conditions and if there is any inconsistency these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall prevail.
Passengers do not have the right to transfer their rights and obligations under these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The fare paid shall not be refundable except as permitted in these Cruise Ticket Conditions and the carrier will not be liable to make any refund to the passenger if the passenger fails to embark on the Ship for the Cruise.
CRUISE CHANGES, DELAYS OR CANCELLATIONS:
The carrier will endeavour to follow the Cruise itinerary as described in the brochure and the passenger accepts that the carrier has the right to change the itinerary, the Ship or cancel the Cruise as a result of some Unexpected Event or prevailing inclement weather conditions and the passenger accepts that the passenger will not be entitled to any compensation or a refund of the fare paid should this occur. If the carrier cancels the Cruise for any other reason the carrier will refund the fare paid and if the departure of a Cruise is delayed or if the Cruise itinerary is shortened for any other reason the carrier will refund part of the fare paid on a pro rata basis to allow for the time lost. So far as these Cruise Ticket Conditions constitute a contract for the supply of services then and in no event shall the liability of the carrier to the passenger for a breach of an express or implied condition or warranty in that respect exceed, at the election of the carrier:
an obligation on the part of the carrier to supply the services again, or;
the refund or payment to the passenger of an amount equal to the fare paid by the passenger for the Cruise.
PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY:
The passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the Ship and the scope of the activities contemplated by the passenger during the Cruise (including those relating to off Ship activities such as excursions in the Ship’s tenders, snorkelling and diving) and assures and undertakes to the carrier:-
that they are in good health and well able to undertake the Cruise and the contemplated activities;
that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them imposed by these Cruise Ticket Conditions should they wish to do so;
that they accept the risk that they may suffer from sea sickness;
that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for the Cruise was made;
that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of the carrier, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. The carrier will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the cruise;
that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programmes either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted in the Ship except on designated open deck spaces outside all air-conditioned and sealed areas of the Ship;
and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.
LIMITATION OF CARRIER’S LIABILITY:
The liability of the carrier to the passenger is limited with respect to both personal injury and damage to loss of property to the full extent permitted by law and in terms of these Cruise Ticket Conditions. The carrier accepts no responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss, death, or delay of, or injury to any passenger or loss, damage or delay to a passenger’s baggage, personal effects or other property arising from or caused by an Unexpected Event. These Cruise Ticket Conditions remain in effect for all periods when the carrier is under any responsibility to the passenger or the passenger’s property. No variation or waiver of any term or condition of these Cruise Ticket Conditions will have any effect unless they are in writing and signed by the carrier. No undertaking, guarantee or warranty is given or shall be implied as to the seaworthiness, fitness or condition of the Ship. In addition to any other limitation of liability contained in these Cruise Ticket Conditions the carrier shall have the benefit of any statutory limitation of liability available in Queensland including but not limited to the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Act 1989 (Cwth). Where tours and services of operators other than the carrier are engaged e.g. tour operators and hoteliers, which are not under the control of the carrier, whilst the carrier takes all reasonable care in selecting these operators it cannot accept responsibility for those operators’ conduct or the conduct of their representative employees or agents or for any ramifications of that conduct.
PASSPORT AND ENTRY VISAS:
It is a requirement that all passengers have a valid passport and appropriate visa/travel permits for the countries to be visited. Passport must have a validity of more than six months beyond the duration of travel. The company cannot be responsible for any travel restrictions or expenses arising through passengers not having relevant documentation.
All baggage brought on board the Ship by a passenger remains in the possession and control of the passenger during the Cruise and must be stored and kept in the cabin allocated to the passenger. The carrier has made recommendations with respect to baggage in the brochure. Baggage should be prominently marked with the name and address of the passenger. The passenger must not bring on board the Ship in baggage or otherwise any dangerous or inflammable substance including any prohibited drug or non-prescribed drug. Liquor laws prohibit passengers from bringing supplies of alcohol or liquor on board the Ship. Baggage remaining unclaimed on arrival of the Ship will be stored at the passenger’s sole risk and expense. The carrier is not responsible for money, jewellery, documents and any other valuables which passengers keep on their person, in their cabins or in their baggage and the carrier strongly recommends that passengers obtain adequate insurance to cover any loss or damage in this respect. In no event will the carrier’s responsibility or liability to the passenger for loss of baggage or personal effects exceed $100 and the passenger agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified the carrier from and against any claims made against the carrier in excess of this amount in this respect.
The carrier will not be liable to passengers for any injuries or damage which occur while the passenger is participating in recreational activities aboard the Vessel or otherwise including but not limited to passenger participating in snorkelling or scuba diving programmes. By utilising these facilities passengers agree to assume all risks associated with those activities and fully release and discharge the carrier from any and all claims, demands, damages, causes of action, present or future, resulting from or arising out of the passenger’s use of or participation in those facilities. The passenger may be required to sign a release or waiver prior to undertaking these activities and the carrier will be entitled to refuse to allow the passenger to participate in those activities if the waiver or release is not signed by the passenger prior to participation in those activities.
Should any provision of these Cruise Ticket Conditions be contrary to or invalid by virtue of the laws of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia or for any other reason the relevant provision will be deemed to be severed from these Cruise Ticket Conditions and shall be of no effect but all remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. These Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be governed in all respects by the laws of Queensland and the passenger agrees that any claims or disputes between the passenger and the carrier in connection with these Cruise Ticket Conditions shall be commenced, filed and litigated before a Court of proper jurisdiction in Queensland and if possible in the State of Queensland.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. Although our new ship Coral Adventurer features a lift, it is still essential that all guests have reasonable agility to use the steep stairways between decks. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.
Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.
Tour Code: 1095