Across the Top of Australia

Overview

  • BERNC
  • 17 Days
  • Island Sky

Cruise Itinerary

  • Perth (Australia)
  • Darwin (Australia)
  • Kimberley

Overview

The Kimberley region of Western Australia was the last great empty section of Australia to be explored, with European settlers only arriving just over 100 years ago. Ignored by the early settlers, the Kimberley is today one of the richest areas of the continent with record gold and diamond rushes, great cattle drives and hauls of pearl shells having put the region well and truly on the economic map. However, for all its latterly discovered wealth, it still remains one of the most untouched areas in the world. Covering nearly 423,000 square kilometres, the region has fewer people per square kilometre than almost any other place on earth and is truly one of the world’s last great wilderness areas with a complex landscape which encompasses spectacular gorges and waterfalls, fascinating cave systems and an incredibly diverse variety of wildlife. Due to its wild and undeveloped nature, the Kimberley is a wonderful place for the genuine traveller to explore and it is perfect for expedition style cruising. There are so many highlights, it is difficult to know where to begin when extolling its virtues. From the tidal phenomena at the Montgomery Bay Reef to the Horizontal Waterfalls near Talbot Bay, from the hundreds of islands in the Buccaneer Archipelago to the gorges of the King George and Hunter rivers. The whole vast area offers a cornucopia of natural world delights on a scale seldom witnessed anywhere else in the world.

Departures


7295

Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


7495

Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


7995

Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


8295

Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


8795

Suites measure approximately 20.9m2 with an extra 4 m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


8995

Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.


9295

Suites measure approximately 22m2 with an extra 8m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full-length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator


9295

Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Cruise Itinerary

Arrive today with group transfer available to our hotel for a two night stay.


After breakfast in the hotel we enjoy a tour of Perth which will include a guided walk of Kings Park, perched on Mount Eliza. Absorb impressive views of the city and the Swan River and visit Caversham Wildlife Park. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace before we meet tonight for a welcome dinner.


This morning enjoy a cruise along the Swan River to Fremantle which is famous for its wonderful beaches and well-preserved colonial architecture. We have time to explore before returning to Perth airport for our scheduled flight to Broome. On arrival transfer to the MS Island Sky and sail this evening.


Arrive this morning at the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef. This nature reserve has been identified by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of brown boobies and roseate terns, possibly the largest such population in the world. Board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns. The islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the green turtle, often seen nesting on the islands.


Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to more than 800 islands and arrive at Adele Island, a hook-shaped island off the central Kimberley coast. It is an important location for breeding seabirds including the lesser frigatebird and the brown booby.


Talbot Bay is known for its massive 12 metre tides that create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls. David Attenborough described the phenomena as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world”. Subject to tidal conditions, we will board local boats for an exhilarating ride through the falls. This afternoon we will use our Zodiacs to explore Cyclone Gorge. Here we hope to see crocodiles and fiddler crabs in the waters whilst observing the unique geology and amazing rock formations.


This morning we arrive at Raft Point where we will use Zodiacs to land on the beach. Either enjoy time to relax or join the energetic and climb to a secluded Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art which is over 4000 years old. Take in the spectacular views from the top before returning to the ship. Over lunch we position to the magnificent Montgomery Reef which ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tidal waters cascade down into the surrounding deep channels in an awesome display of the power of nature. Join the expedition team and board a Zodiac to experience this natural phenomenon up close and discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks.


Today we arrive at Careening Bay. Visit the iconic site of the ancient carved double-trunked Boab tree bearing the engraving ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’. Carved by one of the crew, the inscription commemorates the site where the ship was grounded and repaired.


The Prince Frederick Harbour is home to some of the most spectacular scenery we will see. Soaring red cliffs, green rainforest and mangroves paint a beautiful canvas for our arrival as we sail through Nine Pin Head, the sandstone bluff that marks the mouth of the river. We follow the Hunter River to reveal the spectacular backdrop of Mount Trafalgar while to the north Mount Anderson rises to an impressive 480 metres. We will drop anchor at Naturalist Island and have the choice to join a Zodiac excursion around the island and mangroves looking for wildlife, especially crocodile, or an optional helicopter excursion to Mitchell Falls. This amazing four-tiered waterfall drops 80 metres and is surrounded by the red escarpment lands of the Mitchell Plateau making the view from the air quite stunning. We will land at the top for a short walk to the lookout points and may even have a chance to swim in the river at the top of the falls.


Off the coast of the Kimberley, approximately six kilometres from the mainland, Bigge Island is filled with fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities and is well known for its Indigenous Australian rock art, created by the Wunambal people. In caves throughout the island you will be able to see paintings including fascinating examples of first contact art and Wandjina figures.


We have the whole day to explore Vansittart Bay but first we will use the Zodiacs to land on Jar Island to see the Gwion Gwion Aboriginal art gallery. Discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, some of the art has been dated back over 17,000 years and is unique to this region. We will walk to the two rock art galleries and see the rocky burial mound between the sites. Return to the vessel for lunch and this afternoon land on the Anjo Peninsula. Our onboard naturalists will lead various walks over the mud flats, rock pools and sand dunes looking for wildlife, birds and plants.


At dawn we will start our 12 kilometre journey through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery along the mighty King George River. Millions of years of erosion have created vertical sheer walls that resemble stacks of sandstone. The highlight is sure to be King George Falls, the highest single drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley and our expedition team will get you to the cascading waters. Those feeling active may like to accompany some of the expedition team on a trek to the top of the falls for breathtaking views. For those that remain at the foot of the falls, we will run a series of Zodiac cruises through the gorge looking for wildlife such as flying foxes, dugong and crocodiles.


Enjoy a day to relax at sea and attend a lecture or two.


This morning we arrive in Darwin. Enjoy a full day tour to Litchfield National Park which is famous for its spectacular waterfalls. See Florence Falls and enjoy an interpretive bush and monsoon vine forest walk. Travel onto Tolmer Falls for a magnificent view of the water cascading down to the deep waterhole at the base of the falls. We will return via Wangi Falls with its large crystal-clear pool; maybe take a dip in the cool waters and witness Litchfield’s amazing stand of termite mounds.


Disembark after breakfast and group transfer available to the airport for your onward travel.


Island Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 116  Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017 Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck. Services: World-Class Cuisine Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner Live Entertainment Complimentary Coffee/Tea station Voyage Photographer On-board MD and Facilities Dedicated Passenger Service Manager Pre-voyage hotel night Complimentary Expedition Jacket Facilities: Elevator serving all passenger decks Upgraded WIFI Internet Library with computers Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities DVD Movie Library Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck World-Class Cuisine: Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage. Accommodations: All Suites Feature: Exterior views Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds Sitting area with sofa and side chair Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player Telephone Independent temperature controls Mini-Bar Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries Hair dryer 220 square feet or more Sofa can be converted to bed for third person PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.

Highlights

• Enjoy a tour of Perth which will include a guided walk of Kings Park, perched on Mount Eliza • Enjoy a cruise along the Swan River to Fremantle which is famous for its wonderful beaches and well-preserved colonial architecture • Discover the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef • Cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to more than 800 islands and arrive at Adele Island • Experience the unique Horizontal Falls. David Attenborough described the phenomena as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world”

No Departures date available. Please contact us at travel@wildiaries.com for more information.