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Monday, September 8, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Kimberley

Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

I'm almost embarrassed to say it has taken me this long to get to the Kimberley.

Such is the demand for Australia's premier adventure cruise destination that passengers are having to book many months, sometimes years ahead.

I've just spent six days aboard the multi-award-winning, True North, an acknowledged Kimberley expert. We're all aware of the other acclaimed itineraries by Orion, Coral Princess and Kimberley Quest, but with twenty-plus years of intimate experience, knowledge of the uncharted river systems, off-the-radar rock art sites and an onboard helicopter, the North Star Cruises product is hard to beat.

I wish they wouldn't use the term ?finest of fine dining?, because bare feet and t-shirts sort of precludes that experience. The food, however, is beyond reproach. Ex-Cable Beach Club chef, Ian ?Irish? Prendergast received a standing ovation on the last day as a fitting tribute to his efforts. The wine list, with many beautiful Margaret River vintages, will please finicky tipplers too.

Days were jam-packed with activities including fishing, light trekking, freshwater swimming in gorgeous hidden spring-fed water holes, usually with a sublime waterfall under which to rinse off and, of course, the breathtaking helicopter flight-seeing.

Premium cabins are equivalent to better 4-star hotel rooms and everything is meticulously maintained by an all-Australian crew. Just three years old, it still feels brand new.

I just had time to chat to luxury doyenne, Claudia Rossi-Hudson, as she embarked for the next six night instalment. We may be seeing much more of North Star Cruises.

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