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Monday, March 28, 2011


North Star Cruises Australia is pleased to announce that some very special guests are scheduled to embark on the adventure-cruise ship TRUE NORTH during 2011 for part of the 'extraordinary people in extraordinary places' campaign.  Special guests to be announced for the first phase of the campaign include pioneers from the arts and entertainment industry with many more to be announced later in the year. 

Jacinda Bayne
To kick off the campaign, guests will enjoy the company and insight of Jacinda Bayne who is a much-lauded landscape artist and recent winner of the Mandjar Art Award. Jacinda will surely be in awe of the 'waterfall season' when she joins a Kimberley Ultimate cruise in early April and guests will have unique opportunity to see Jacinda bring this spectacular landscape to canvas.

Multi-award winning art teacher, Mark Norval is fast establishing himself as a TRUE NORTH favourite. Mark's relaxed and informal lessons were very popular with guests when he completed a 2010 Kimberley cruise and the inspirational Kimberley will again be 'centre of piece' when Mark rejoins the TRUE NORTH in late April.

Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie will be a real treat for guests embarking on the TRUE NORTH in May. At 22 years of age Sarah is already a pianist, vocalist and composer of remarkable flare and technique. Sarah has performed at some of Australia's highest profile jazz events and alongside headliners such as James Morrison and Michael Buble. Sarah's performances in the ship's lounge are bound to compliment an already impressive stage.

True North also welcomes Linda Klarfeld who is one of Australia's most accomplished bronze sculptors. Her works can be seen in many venues from places of worship to sporting halls of fame. However, when Linda joins a Kimberley cruise in August it will be the first time that she has taken her art to sea. Linda will offer guests opportunity to 'try their hand' at sculpting and some may even be fortunate enough to have their Kimberley experience immortalised in a very different form indeed!

Phil Ceberano and Russell Robertson
True North is thrilled to welcome back one of Australia's most talented guitarists, Phil Ceberano.  Phil has previously impressed True North guests with his entertaining performances – both on and off the stage when he embarked on an 'Ultimate Kimberley' cruise in April 2010. This time Phil teams up with good mate and former AFL Star, Russell Robertson. Phil and Russell met during the filming of the TV show 'It Takes Two' where Russell was runner-up performing with Phil's sister the fabulous, Kate Ceberano.  The pair went on to record Russell's debut album 'Higher' with Phil producing and performing.  Phil & Russell perform around Australia for many one-off VIP events. No doubt we have a couple of characters on our hands and the entertainment is bound to extend well beyond the ship's lounge!

For more information visit

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The crew of the adventure-cruise ship TRUE NORTH is sailing into the ultimate Kimberley waterfall season. The Kimberley has enjoyed a record breaking wet season with Kuri Bay recording 1395 millimetres in a month, the highest monthly rainfall recorded in Western Australia. Crew-members aboard the mighty TRUE NORTH have confirmed that the ‘waterfall season’ is living up to its name. Anyone who has travelled aboard the TRUE NORTH during the waterfall season will tell you there’s nothing better than seeing the Kimberley coast in all its glory.

The period immediately following the wet season presents the best opportunity to see iconic features such as Kings Cascade, Mitchell Falls and the King George Falls at their thundering best. The whole region is transformed by rivers in flood, towering waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. Billabongs are swollen, immense wetlands are alive with birdlife and the barramundi will be biting!

Guests on the TRUE NORTH enjoy unique daily experiences including helicopter flights to remote and otherwise inaccessible locations.

This year’s ‘waterfall season’ kicked-off on the 12th March. This is always one of the most popular times of the year and the remaining cabins won’t last long. For up to date availability, please click on the following link: or email North Star Cruises at

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Welcome to the Wet Season!

We hope you've enjoyed a great start to 2011, and we look forward to keeping you informed of all the fun and action taking place across the Kimberley during the new season now just upon us.

If you ask any long-time Broome or Kimberley local how this year’s Wet Season is faring, you will hear a resounding "it's been amazing!”

After one of the biggest Wet Season's on record, it promises to be an impressive year in the Kimberley and we are excited about what we'll discover on our Kimberley Classic Adventures beginning next Saturday.

From December onwards we have had constant heavy rain on most days, amidst some of the most spectacular storms. It has bucketed down in the streets of Broome, and the heavens have opened onto the Kimberley Coastline, with Kuri Bay receiving an incredible recorded 1300 mm! While sadly the East has suffered terrible flooding, over here in the North West we have welcomed the wet conditions, for to us it brings the intense power and action to our countless magical waterfalls, making the Kimberley Coast one of the most astounding and majestic places on earth.

Renowned professional Kimberley photographer Yane Sotiroski, had the very good fortune of viewing the coastline by helicopter recently, and came back with some stunning snaps taken from the air. You can view the gallery here. Yane has lived in Broome since the age of 5, experiencing a lot of Wet Seasons over the years, and on reflection Yane says "this year I'd have to say is one of the best. This truly is a beautiful part of the world. I think this year the Cascades, Mitchell Falls and the mighty King George will be flowing well into the Dry Season." Have a look at Kings Cascades thundering down in this very short video taken from the chopper. Taken from a phone camera!

Yane will be travelling on the 13 night Kimberley Classic Adventure departing April 2nd and welcomes budding photographers to join him for an unsurpassed photographic experience in the Kimberley due to the sensational conditions. Yane will be available for on-site photographic workshopping and advice. To view Yane's photographic work visit

For anyone considering cruising the Kimberley Coast, with time to travel this year, you would be absolutely mad not to take advantage of this year's phenomenal Wet Season follow-on.

If you're keen to join in this experience we have just 3 Horizon View Staterooms remaining on the 2nd April 2011 departure (the 2nd cruise for the season), and only 2 Horizon View Staterooms remaining on the 30th April departure for our 13 night Kimberley Classic Adventures. Email us or phone 08 9193 5983 for more information.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

AdventureSmith Explorations Expands Australian Cruise Itineraries

Thanks to Fleet of Three Small Expedition Vessels

Cruise broker AdventureSmith Explorations,, the active travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small, expedition ships, announces re-configured Australia cruise itineraries made possible by a fleet of three small ships carrying only 46 (Coral Princess), 50 (Coral Princess II) and 72 (Oceanic Discover) passengers. Their sizes mean that the ships can maneuver hard-to-reach points of interest such as the Great Barrier Reef that larger vessels can't.

For example, an 8-day Great Barrier Reef small ship cruise aboard Coral Princess is the "most popular and most comprehensive Great Barrier Reef cruise available in Australia," combining the lore of discoverer Captain Cook with the intrigue of the reef itself. Guests rub elbows with marine biologists and snorkel and dive nearly at whim. Rates are from AUD$2,883 per person double, representing "one of the best values in cruise vacations to be found anywhere in the world," according to AdventureSmith Explorations. Departures from Townsville and Cairns are weekly year-round. For details please see:

"Smaller boats mean more activity for guests," said Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith Explorations. "It is a lot easier to get 46 snorkeling-bound passengers onto the reef than it is to get 100 there. Plus Coral Princess has more experience as a dive/snorkel operator, having pioneered reef cruising in the region."

Small ship cruising in Australia is up according to Smith and 2011 is promising to be a banner year.

"According to Tourism Australia, it continues to be one of the hottest destinations in the world with 2010 visitors increasing by 6% over 2009. One of the hottest trends seen, Australia small ship cruise business has increased an impressive 30% each year for the past two years. Tourism Australia anticipates an even larger increase in 2011," said Smith.

Smith said that the fleet makes available "Explorer," an awning-draped aluminum excursion vessel used for landings and extensive exploration of King George Falls and secluded rivers.

Another cruise adventure accesses the Kimberley, a region on the northwest side of Australia bordering the Indian Ocean. An 11-day cruise is from AUD$6,950 per person double. The cruise aboard Coral Princess II or Oceanic Discoverer begins from the frontier towns of either Darwin or Broome and makes extensive use of "Explorer" on forays along the Outback. For details please see:

About Adventure Smith Explorations

AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore. The company matches guests with the top names in small ship cruising as well with intimate, boutique ships that may not make the radar of most travelers.

In moving through exotic natural environments and exploring vibrant native cultures seldom associated with more mainstream cruise itineraries, AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Hawaii, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica, and Australia.

The company's mission is to give back to the individuals, communities and environments touched by AdventureSmith Explorations trips by connecting travelers with a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide including the Alaska Natural History Association, Neotropica Foundation and Galapagos Conservancy. The company was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of "The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" and is the recipient of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious "World Savers Award."

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, California along the western shore of Lake Tahoe.  Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775. Email: or visit:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Invitation to the Kimberley's Remote Coast from Aurora Expeditions

© Andrew Halsall

Discover this magical yet remote coastline with legendary Kimberley expeditioner, Mike Cusack on the Coral Princess. In 1987, Mike and his wife Susan were chosen to be the first Australian Geographic's Wilderness Couple. Mike will share his experiences with you of this once forbidding ancient and forgotten land.

Unlock her secrets in over one thousand miles of towering cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and beckoning white beaches which will touch your soul like no where else on Earth. After a remarkable wet season this year, Kimberley will be at its best for the start of Aurora Expeditions' thirteenth season.

Join Mike on the Kunmunya 'Wilderness' Walk, exclusive to Aurora Expeditions' passengers. The optional 9.5 km, or seven hour, rock-hopping journey is an inspirational and authentic bush experience, and one of the best ways to discover the true heart of the Kimberley.

32404.jpgWith such an isolated coastline, many of the Kimberley Coast's most fascinating sites can only be accessed by sea. Passengers will visit islands with nesting boobies and frigate birds, revel in the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art galleries and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles. Carved by millions of years of extreme tidal patterns, complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley delights.

The voyages will also be joined by eminent indigenous art historian Garry Darby and the inimitable Chris Done, whose years of research as a naturalist bring the wonders of the Kimberley Coast to life.

As with all Aurora Expedition's voyages, emphasis is placed on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element. Our onboard team of lecturers and naturalists are Kimberley experts who interpret history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.

Departures still available in May and June 2011.

Voyages 1 & 2 - Broome to Broome

Depart - 30th May & 10th June 2011 (11 days)

These unique expeditions travel from Broome to Bigge Island off the Kimberley's northwest coast and back again. Along the way travellers will see the Lacepede Islands, a prime breeding ground for green turtles and tens of thousands of breeding birds; the tidal pools of Montgomery Reef; and the secrets of the Wandjina spirit paintings.

Voyage 3 - Broome to Darwin

Departs - 20th June 2011 (11 days)

The third voyage explores from one end of the Kimberley Coast to the other, crossing Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and visiting the spectacular King George River on the north coast. Cruising north, expeditioners will explore the renowned Horizontal Waterfalls, the shark, turtle and whale rich waters of Montgomery Reef, Prince Regent National Park and the spectacular 90 metre plunge of the King George Falls.

Prices are from AU$6,950 per person twin-share, including all meals on board and Zodiac excursions. Solo travellers are welcome.

Special offer - Simply book on any of Aurora Expeditions' 2011 Kimberley voyages before 31 March 2011 to receive a FREE accommodation and Minyirr Park tour package valued at $300. Conditions apply.

For more details or to obtain a copy of the Kimberley Coast 2011 brochure, contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688 (Australia only) or +61 2 9252 1033, visit