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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Coral Princess Expands in the Kimberley in 2010 – with Early Bird Discounts!


An exploratory cruise along the wild and beautiful Kimberley coast – much of it only accessible by sea – is Coral Princess Cruises' most popular voyage. In the just-released 2010 Kimberley & Across the Top of Australia brochure, the company is offering an unprecedented 36 departures and, for the first time, an early bird discount of 15 per cent.

Responding to popular demand, Coral Princess – which pioneered small-ship cruising in the Kimberley 14 years ago, has added 4 departures to its 2010 complement, with a choice of vessels: the 48-passenger Coral Princess or the luxurious 72-passenger Oceanic Discoverer.

And for bookings on voyages departing between April 01 and May 17, 2010, a 15 per cent discount off the cruise-only cost applies to all cabin categories. These departures coincide with the early stages of the Top End dry season, when the many waterfalls that plummet directly into the sea or into dramatic gorges are at their most spectacular.

The Kimberley wilderness of Western Australia is three times larger than England with a population of just 30 000. Coral Princess's 10-night voyages cruise between Darwin and Broome through one of the planet's oldest and most awe-inspiring sea and landscapes. Rivers carve their way through ancient, eroded mountains that were once the height of the Himalaya, dropping in champagne waterfalls such as the 80-metre King George Falls. Excursions ashore visit rock art galleries where Bradshaw (Gwion) paintings - the world's oldest known art - record a human history stretching back 50,000 years.

There is an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Plateau for views of the impressive four-tiered Mitchell Falls, and bushwalks to idyllic swimming holes. The cruise explores the 800-odd islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago, including an exhilarating Zodiac ride through the Horizontal Waterfalls, where the largest tides in the southern hemisphere force their way between rocky cliffs in a formidable display of the forces of nature.

Prices for the 10-night Kimberley cruise start at $6850 per person, twin share, aboard the Coral Princess and $8250 aboard Oceanic Discoverer, including all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board, excursions and group transfers. There are regular departures from both Darwin and Broome between April and October 2010.

At the beginning and end of the season, the Kimberley cruise can be combined with an 11-night voyage, Across The Top of Australia, between Cairns and Darwin, exploring the remote reaches of the Great Barrier Reef, Cape York, Torres Strait, Arnhem Land and the Cobourg Peninsula – visiting places of exquisite beauty and cultural significance so remote that they can't be reached any other way. Departing in March, April and October, prices for this 11-night cruise start at $6850 per person. There is a 10 per cent discount for booking the two cruises together.

Next year, Coral Princess is venturing into the Kimberley by both land and sea, with a 24-night Kimberley Cruise & 4WD Expedition, combining the 10-night cruise and a 4WD tour through the Kimberley's rugged and beautiful interior.

The 4WD journey travels the length of the legendary Gibb River Road, stopping at million-acre El Questro station to hike into Emma Gorge and soak in the hot pools of Zebedee Springs. Further along the road, Lake Argyle is the largest man-made lake in the Southern Hemisphere, with 18 times the capacity of Sydney Harbour. A highlight of the road trip is World Heritage-listed Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park, and 'camping out' in style overnight at the award-winning Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge.
The 24-night Cruise & 4WD Expedition starts at $12 745 aboard the Coral Princess and $14 145 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. Prices are per person, twin share. This includes the cruise and 4WD transport, all meals and group transfers.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.

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