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Monday, June 22, 2009

Whale watch in the Kimberley – and save 15% on Orion

Late July and August is the prime time to see migrating whales in the Kimberley – and what better way to see the largest Humpback whale population in the world as they head north from the Antarctic to rest and calve than from on board the luxury expedition cruise ship, Orion?

Limited space remains for some of Orion’s 10 night Kimberley Expedition Kimberley voyages in 2009. Take in the highlights between Darwin and Broome, including visits to mighty King George Falls, the dramatic Horizontal Waterfalls, Montgomery Reef and the spectacular ancient indigenous rock artwork of Bigge Island – plus the chance to see whales breaching, tail slapping and blowing.

Kimberley Expedition – Select from 5 voyages between 22 July and 31 August 2009:10 nights. Darwin/Broome and v.v. typically including King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, Bigge Island, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point, Talbot Bay/Horizontal Waterfalls, Cape Leveque, the Lacepedes – refer to specific itineraries for details.

Fares Guide:

Special offer – save 15% on these prices

Fares begin from $8,790 per person for an ocean view Category B Stateroom.

Suites begin from $12,125 per person for a Junior Suite and Owners Suites with French Balcony are $18,410 per person

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on all Orion Expedition Cruises to Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Asia, New Zealand, the Kimberley and Arnhem Land can be obtained by visiting the website

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email:

Cruise the Kimberley with Coral Princess – and Explore the Reef for free.

Coral Princess Cruises has added two extra departures for its most popular cruise: a voyage exploring the remote Kimberley coast between Broome and Darwin. And for new bookings before 31 August 2009, Coral Princess is offering a second three- or four-night cruise on the Great Barrier Reef, valued at up to $4392 per couple, for free.

Due to ever-popular demand, the two extra voyages aboard the company's luxury flagship Oceanic Discoverer depart on October 2 and 12 2009. New bookings will also include a free Great Barrier Reef cruise that can be used any time in the 12 months following the Kimberley cruise and can even be passed on to family members as a memorable gift.

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.

The Kimberley wilderness of Western Australia is three times larger than England with a population of just 30 000.

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 Coral Princess and $7750 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. Prices are per person, twin share and include the cruise, 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 October 2009.

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

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Original Kimberley Quest destroyed by fire

Note from Editor: Kimberley Quest II continues to sail advertised voyages


FIRE has destroyed a $2.3 million luxury cruise liner in the West Australian town of Broome.

The fire was reported about 11.30pm (WST) yesterday and was still burning late this morning.

Police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said it was believed no one was aboard the boat.

The Kimberley Quest, a 24.9m fiberglass vessel built in 2000, had been in port at the Broome slipway undergoing repairs.

Ms Weatherall said two arson squad detectives were on their way from Perth to investigate the cause of the blaze.

"Because it is still burning, no one has been able to get too close to the boat,'' Ms Weatherall said.

"Hopefully the fire will be out soon and police can take a closer look at it.''

The boat's owners have asked police to clarify that the destroyed vessel was not the Kimberley Quest II, which is currently cruising the Talbot Bay area with 18 people on board.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

North Star Cruises Special Offers

Travellers offered unique opportunity to experience ultra luxury adventure cruise ship True North with special ‘beat the economic slowdown’ incentives.

North Star Cruises has unveiled a raft of special incentives to battle the economic slowdown.

For a limited time, consumers can take advantage of three 10% discounts.

North Star Cruises General Manager Peter Trembath said there had never been a better time to experience the luxury and adventure of a True North cruise.

“If you were ever thinking of experiencing the iconic True North, now is the time, with discounted special deals that are never likely to be repeated,” said Mr Trembath.

Specials include:

Previous Guest Discount: All previous guests will receive a 10% discount on repeat arrangements.

Early Bird Tariff Discount: All guests will receive a 10% for bookings outside 12 months.

Early Bird Deposit Bonus: All bookings received for departures outside 12 months will be subject to a 10% deposit only. The balance of the normal 25% deposit will become payable 12 months from departure.

The special deals are valid for all new bookings and will continue until further notice.

Mr Trembath said incentives could be combined meaning some excellent savings for those who qualified for more than one special deal.

“For many people, the True North is that once in a life time experience – so if you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing one of our cruises, it’s time to take advantage of these unbeatable special offers.”

“We travel to some of the most exotic locations in the world including the stunning Kimberley coastline, and into the Pacific Islands.”

Highlights for the rest of the 2009 season include:

• The Kimberley Photographic Workshop with renowned photographer Christian Fletcher onboard the Kimberley Wilderness Cruise departing Broome August 29
• The West Papua Discoverer cruise which explores an untouched paradise of hidden culture and incredible natural scenery departing Darwin in October.

For more information visit or phone 08 9192 1829.

True North Background

The multi award winning adventure cruise ship, True North, allows discerning guests to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world’s most exclusive hotels. Lavish features include:

• A sundeck, forward observation lounge, ship’s lounge, alfresco bar, internet café, plasma screens with interpretive information, lower deck dining room with large panoramic windows, and fine dining.

• All cabins feature enhanced décor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment and satellite telephones.

• Multiple expedition boats allow passengers to do “what they want, when they want”.

• The True North is the only Kimberley adventure-cruise ship that sails with its own helicopter.

• The purpose built True North is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems.

• Adventure cruises and expeditions operate along the magnificent coastlines of Australia and the South Pacific.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Orion Wins Covetted Adventure Award

GT Travel Awards 2007: Best adventure tourism
Orion Expedition Cruises

Source: Gourmet Traveller Magazine

Orion’s great success in its three years of operation has been to make the inaccessible accessible, and to do so in supreme comfort. Until Orion commenced cruising in 2004, it was almost inconceivable that you could explore the fascinating but remote Kimberley coastline without your own yacht and a sense of adventure. Similarly, the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea used to be off-limits to all but the most courageous travellers; now it’s possible to explore these demanding destinations with Champagne in hand and expert commentary on tap. Zodiac excursions, sea-plane flights and outback sightseeing by 4WD offer further opportunities to experience areas off-limits to most Australians. Onboard Orion’s custom-built craft, ocean views and internet access are standard in all suites, as are flat-screen televisions, gym and sauna, and ample staff to cater to the needs of a maximum 100 cruisers. With menus created by Sydney chef Serge Dansereau and five-star facilities at their disposal, Australian explorers never had it so easy. Judges’ comments: "Orion combines luxury, intimate cruising, top accommodation, superb service and exceptional cuisine with the opportunity to journey to places that are way off the beaten track."

Orion Expedition Cruises (02) 9033 8700 or 1300 361 012,