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Monday, February 28, 2011


With a record breaking wet season in progress, the True North crew are gearing up for the Ultimate 2011 Kimberley Waterfall season.

Andre, our onboard naturalist stated that, “last month Kuri Bay on the Kimberley coast recorded 1395mm – the highest monthly rainfall recorded in WA – EVER! The Bureau of Meteorology says the heavy rainfall is expected to continue as the water temperature is still so warm".

Any True North guest who has travelled in our early waterfall season, will tell you there’s nothing better than seeing the Kimberley coast in all its glory. Feel the force of the mighty waterfalls, swim in one of the many fresh water swimming holes and capture the beautiful lush green vegetation that surrounds you.

Come and join the crew on board the True North to experience the 2011 ground breaking waterfall season.

We can’t wait to share this with you.

Our waterfall season kicks off on the 12th March, please see below our cruising schedule for your perusal:

Kimberley Ultimate 1 Broome - Wyndham 12 March - 25 March

Kimberley Gorges 1 Wyndham - Hunter River/Broome 26 March - 02 April

Kimberley Islands 1 Broome/Hunter River - Broome 02 April - 08 April

Kimberley Ultimate 2 Broome - Wyndham 09 April - 22 April

Kimberley Gorges 2 Wyndham - Hunter River/Broome 23 April - 30 April

Kimberley Islands 2 Broome/Hunter River - Broome 30 April - 06 May

For up to date Kimberley cruise availability, please click on the following link

or call us on 08 9192 1829.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Secrets of the Kimberley

The relative cool of autumn is a fine time of year to take in one of the world's last great wilderness areas, the Kimberley.

Its coastline is a craggy land of deep gorges, coral reefs and mangroves, and World Expeditions ( or 1300 720 000) gives travellers a window on this wild land from their expedition cruise boat Odyssey on a nine-day cruise, accessing the Kimberley coastline without the need for weeks of punishing bush-bashing in a 4WD.

The cruise leaves Broome and heads north into this unforgiving place, where you'll encounter such remote gems as the thousand-island Buccaneer Archipelago with its horizontal waterfalls, white sandy beaches and Aboriginal sites.

The accent is on day walks and shore exploration, including visits to the Lacepede Islands, Montgomery Reef, Sale River, Prince Regent River, King Cascade and Camp Creek.

From Naturaliste Island passengers will have the chance to take a stunning helicopter flight over the Mitchell Falls before flying back to Broome.

All meals are included, as are Zodiac excursions and helicopter transfers.

The trip departs continually from the beginning of April, also operating in reverse, and costs $7200 for a standard cabin.

Friday, February 18, 2011

“Awesome” wet season bodes well for Kimberley coastal cruising

A very wet, yet “awesome” wet season will mean spectacular waterfalls for the March-May start of the Kimberley cruise season, according to Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises which has been operating cruises there for 17 years.

PSCC Director Jeff Ralston said Broome had 400mm of rain in January alone, compared to 140mm last year, “so there is already plenty of water across the region to sustain the spectacular nature of our waterfalls and rock pools”.

“While we are mindful of the damage and heartache brought by big summer rains in the eastern states, for our tourist industry the rains here are awesome and that will mean great conditions for seeing the Kimberley coast at its very natural best,” he said.

Kimberley cruise discounts for 2011 and 2012

Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises is offering discounts on its seven and 13-day Kimberley coast cruises this year and next year -- a five percent discount for two or three cabins booked together or a 10 per cent discount for four-plus cabins booked together.

PSCC operates the boutique Kimberley Quest II, a nine-cabin/18-passenger cruiser, on seven-day cruises between Broome and Mitchell Falls and Wyndham and the Mitchell Falls plus 13-day cruises between Broome and Wyndham.

PSCC Director Jeff Ralston said there was still availability across the March-May start to the season which continues until October.

The seven-day cruises are from $8345 per person twin share and the 13-day itineraries are from $12,095. There are four cabin styles.

The prices include private cabin with ensuite bathroom, all chef-prepared meals served on the shady stern deck or in the air-conditioned lounge, full use of the vessel and guided land and water excursions. The seven-day cruise price also includes a light aircraft and helicopter flight between Broome and the Mitchell Plateau.

On 12 of 25 departures, naturalist and researcher Tim Willing is on board to provide expert commentary on this region’s stunning flora and fauna.

Excursions to waterfalls, rock pools, rock art, for bush walking, bird watching, nature viewing, and fishing (to eat) and scenic tender rides to the must-see Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef are on the itinerary. So too is time out to relax in the spa on the forward deck, or to help yourself to the caffe latte machine day and night on the stern deck.

Contact: Tel 08 9193 6131, or see

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Orion's Inland Sea of Japan - Samurai, Sake and Soba

Orion Expedition Cruises' new ship Orion II will be making her inaugural voyages to Japan in June and July 2011. The ten night Inland Sea of Japan voyages live up the promise of a path less travelled, with the specialist expedition team introducing guests to insider experiences, many exclusive to Orion.

Orion II will visit Kanazawa, one of the few places in Japan where geisha culture is still alive, its 100 year old former geisha house retaining the look and feel of 19th century Japan. Guests will enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at Kenrokuen Garden, considered to be one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. Ponds, fountains, waterfalls, pagodas and bridges harmonise within landscaped gardens first established in the 17th century by the feudal lords of Kaga as their private garden.

Cruise the moat surrounding imposing Matsue Castle; learn to make Soba noodles; stroll the main street of Sakaiminato with hundreds of bronze statues depicting animated cartoon monsters and enjoy a visit to Sakai's Sake brewery to sample their fine rice wine.

The path less travelled varies according to each voyage, including an introduction to the strict code of the samurai when guests meet a direct descendent of the Shoguns. Or guests may witness an extraordinary special event, the Sumo of the Bulls. Far from the barbaric Spanish bull rings, and in keeping with the respect shown to Ushioni, the great bull demon, participating bulls are treated with great respect. Two massive bulls pit their intuition against each other, locking horns until one of the bulls is brought to its knees, the other declared the victor.

Other experiences include traditional drumming with Japan's best Taiko drum troupe, Kodo, and a trip in a Taraibune - round barrel boats traditionally used to collect abalone and other molluscs from narrow coves.

An added attraction on these voyages is a side-trip to Busan (South Korea) with its world renowned Jalgachi Fish Market, arguably the best of its kind in the world, where every kind of edible sea creature is on sale.

With Orion even traditional Japanese highlights have an unexpected twist. A visit to one of the most recognisable images of Japan, the large vermillion coloured O-Torii symbolic entrance gate to the Miyajima (Shrine Island) is itself visually spectacular, yet when Orion II visits guests will be treated to an exclusive Kagura performance, with sacred music and dance of traditional ceremonies held in Japanese shrines.

The visit to Hiroshima revolves around the Peace Park, Peace Museum and the A-Bomb Dome and includes meeting one of the few remaining survivors of the actual bombing who will relate personal experiences of that day and life since the bombing in Hiroshima (the lecture will be translated into English).

Art lovers will be excited when, in Kurashiki with its cobblestone streets and boutique shops lining the river, guests visit the Ōhara Museum of Art. Established in 1930 by Magosaburō Ōhara, the museum houses works by El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, and Renoir.

Mixing traditional highlights with the unexpected - providing fascinating insights into the culture, history and geography of a region - is part of Orion's DNA, revealed this time during inaugural expeditions to Japan.

PLEASE NOTE: some aspects of these itineraries may change as arrangements are finalised and not all shore experiences are included on each voyage - refer to Orion Expedition Cruises or your travel agent for detailed itineraries. Check for latest updates on

Orion's voyages to the Inland Sea of Japan all start and finish in places with international flight access. Kobe and Aomori are the points of embarkation or disembarkation.

Fares Guide: Pricing onboard all Orion and Orion II voyages is in Australian dollars.

Early booking savings currently available

2011 Inland Sea of Japan - Discovery of an Ancient Culture 10 night fares begin from $8,150 per person for an Ocean View Suite/Category B. Junior Suites from $11,300 per person and Penthouse Suites with balcony are $16,400 per person

Expedition fares per person twin occupancy include accommodation, all meals, landings, port charges, gratuities and selected activities ashore.

Additional information:

Orion Expedition Cruises' itineraries for 2011 will include 49 voyages to 17 countries and more than 170 remote and exotic destinations stretching from Antarctica to the Russian Far East including Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Inland Sea of Japan (onboard Orion II) and Australia's Kimberley coast and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and the Sub Antarctic islands and Papua New Guinea (onboard Orion).

Akin to a private mega-yacht, accommodating just 50 couples, Orion II's staff of 70 professionally caters for the needs of everyone in an unobtrusive yet attentive way.

All 50 suites and staterooms have ocean views, marble bathrooms, flat screen TV and DVD/CD player, internet accessibility and choice of queen or twin bed configuration.

Elegant throughout, Orion's features include a sauna, health spa and gym, boutique, library with internet access, a wide range of water sport activities, plus a choice of dining areas and innovative menus created by multi-award winning chef, Serge Dansereau.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website
For reservations or to obtain a brochure of 2011 voyages call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) / 0800 444 462 (New Zealand) or see your travel agent.


Sunday, February 6, 2011



The True North, one of the finest adventure-cruise ships in the world has significantly reduced prices for many of its 2011 and 2012 North Star Cruise options. The company explained that the move to lower prices was an affirmative action designed to keep North Star in-step with a changed market.

The company's general manager, Peter Trembath, said "the changes are consistent with North Star's reputation for being a market leader and will surely make our cruises even more irresistible to the discerning adventurer!" 

In addition to lower prices –  North Star also announced 4 completely different options to cruise the magnificent Kimberley region: 

The Kimberley Ultimate has always been North Star's flagship adventure. A two-week soirée along the Kimberley coast featuring a wild and beautiful panorama of rugged mountains, spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls. Plus unexplained rock-art, extraordinary wildlife and monster barramundi!

Kimberley Gorges (7 nights)

The Kimberley Gorges itinerary features the northern half of the Kimberley Ultimate cruise. Here the landscape is dominated by the Kimberley's stunning gorge country including the Berkeley River, the King George Falls and the Mitchell River. The cruise includes helicopter/aircraft transfer to Broome.

Kimberley Islands (6 nights)

The Kimberley Islands itinerary features the southern half of the Kimberley Ultimate cruise. A totally different Kimberley experience featuring the exhilarating Horizontal Waterfalls, intriguing Montgomery Reef and the mighty Price Regent River. The cruise includes helicopter/aircraft transfer from Broome.

Kimberley Snapshot (7 nights)

And finally, the best of the best! For those pressed for time or perhaps considering the budget – the Kimberley Snapshot is the flagship Kimberley Ultimate itinerary condensed into a single week. The cruise features several Kimberley icons including the King Gorge Falls, the Hunter River, the Prince Regent River, Montgomery Reef and the Horizontal Waterfalls. 

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 (6) allow passengers greater opportunity to do "what they want, when they want". 
  • To add another dimension to adventure – most cruise options feature an onboard helicopter.
  • The purpose built True North is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems.
  • Adventure-cruises are conducted all around the Australian coastline and in the stunning waters of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
For more information visit