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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coral Princess Explores the Kimberley Wilderness by Cruise & 4WD in 2009

Coral Princess Cruises has released its new Kimberley & Across the Top of Australia brochure, with 2009 and 2010 dates and rates for Coral Princess's most popular cruise: a voyage exploring the remote Kimberley coast between Broome and Darwin.

The 10-night Kimberley cruise visits Kuri Bay, home of the South Pacific pearl industry, and ventures ashore to view the world-famous Bradshaw (Gwion) paintings, - the world's oldest known indigenous art – and the towering, 80-metre King George Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Western Australia. There is an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Plateau for views of the impressive four-tiered Mitchell Falls, as well as excursions into secluded gorges and to rock pools perfect for swimming. The cruise explores the Buccaneer Archipelago – made up of 800 islands – and includes an exhilarating Zodiac ride through the 'Horizontal Waterfall', where the tide floods between rocky cliffs.

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

The Kimberley wilderness of Western Australia is three times larger than England with a population of just 30 000. The combination cruise/drive reaches areas that are largely inaccessible by other means.

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.

Coral Princess operates two ships in the Kimberley. The Oceanic Discoverer accommodates a maximum of just 72 guests and travels with a purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer and inflatable Zodiacs. Coral Princess accommodates a maximum of just 48 guests. In true expedition
style, the itinerary may vary to take maximum advantage of opportunities to venture ashore or to explore the many waterfalls, river systems, reefs and other natural attractions.

Prices for the 10-night Kimberley cruise start at $6450 aboard the Coral Princess and $7750 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. The 24-night Cruise & 4WD Expedition starts at $12 610 aboard the Coral Princess and $13 910 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. Prices are per person, twin share. This includes the cruise and 4WD transport; all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board and group transfers. There are regular departures from both Darwin and Broome between April and September 2009.

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. Prices for this cruise start at $6450 per person. There is a 10 per cent discount for booking the two cruises together.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coral Princess Cruises Awarded “Top Gong” at Tourism Awards

Coral Princess Cruises was recognised at the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) Tourism Awards on Saturday night, taking out the top tourism award category of Major Tour and Transport Operator for the company’s three, four and seven-night Great Barrier Reef cruises.

In Coral Princess Cruises’ 25th anniversary year, the tourism award is welcome acknowledgement of the company’s commitment to the local industry and eco-sensitive cruising on the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral Princess Cruises’ Founder and Managing Director, Tony Briggs, pioneered small ship, expedition-style cruising in Australia, beginning in North Queensland 25 years ago and still based in Cairns. In the years since, the company has grown to become Australia’s premier small ship cruise line and has expanded operations to include itineraries in the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Melanesia and New Zealand.

“Being recognised by our industry peers in such a vibrant and competitive market is a great honour – especially in our anniversary year. We are very proud to have played a founding role in the development of environmentally-sensitive tourism in North Queensland and – along with our dedicated and highly-skilled staff - we’ll continue to promote the Reef as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders,” said Mr Briggs.

Coral Princess is a family-owned, eco-accredited and multi-award-winning company that operates two vessels – the Coral Princess and Coral Princess II – on the Great Barrier Reef, taking up to 48 passengers on each ship. The third ship in the company’s fleet is the luxury 72-passenger Oceanic Discoverer which operates in the Kimberley, PNG, New Zealand and the Pacific. For further information, call 1800 079 545 or visit

Nearly 500 tourism representatives and supporters attended the Tourism North Queensland Awards, held at the Cairns Convention Centre on Saturday, October 11, where winners who had excelled in their field over the past 12 months were announced in 23 award categories.