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 www.coralprincess.com.au.