12 Things To Know Before Taking Your First Luxury Kimberley Cruise
Before heading off on your first luxury Kimberley cruise, we’d like to share some common questions and answers that will help prepare you to get the best experience from your holiday.
Simply click each question below to reveal the answer.
Kimberley cruises operate between March and October. If you are flexible with your travel dates, then we would recommend cruising early in the season.
March to May is the time when the waterfalls are at their optimum with the likelihood of massive flows after the wet season.
The months of June, July and August are peak travel times with beautiful sunny days and cool evenings.
From mid-July, the migration of humpback whales makes its way along the Kimberley coast, giving you a great chance to spot the majestic creatures from the vessel or during an excursion.
September and October will offer a great opportunity to see the exquisite bird life.
The best time to see the Kimberley waterfalls is at the start of the season, generally between March & May. During this time, the waterfalls are at their most magnificent after seasonal rains.
In a good wet season, it is expected that The Kimberley coast would receive about 1500mls of rain. This represents 90% of The Kimberley rainfall being received during the wet season.
Kimberley Cruises vary in length from 4 nights up to 13 nights.
The shorter 4-night cruises will concentrate on the lower region of the Kimberley cruising from Broome usually as far as Montgomery Reef.
A 7-night cruise will give you 3 options: cruising the southern part of the Kimberley to the Mitchell Plateau from Broome, the northern part from the Mitchell Plateau to Wyndham or all the way between Broome and Wyndham.
A 10-night cruise will take you from Broome to Darwin (or vice versa) and some vessels offer a more leisurely 10 to 13 nights travelling between Broome and Wyndham.
Your cruise choice will depend on your own goals, travel styles and budget.
The smaller vessels (up to 36 passengers) offer more flexible, active excursions (2-3 excursions per day) and potentially fishing opportunities.
The larger vessels (72 and above) have more onboard facilities (multiple dining options, gift shop, theatrette for lectures and one even has a swimming pool). The larger vessels usually offer 2 excursions per day — one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The choice is up to you, but we would recommend having a look at our “Cruise Selector” or speaking to one of our knowledgeable consultants regarding what vessel will best suit your needs and interests.
Kimberley cruises aren’t strictly about a fitness level but the ability to walk moderate distances over uneven terrain. if you play golf, take a daily walk or stroll then you will be able to complete most excursions.
Some vessels offer a more active experience which might include clambering over rocks and boulders to a hidden swimming spot. Walks can require about 20-30 minutes walking; often on uneven ground and up some inclines. You certainly do not have to be a mountain goat to complete the excursions!
If you are a bit hesitant about being able to complete some of the excursions due to the unevenness of the ground, we would recommend you buy a collapsible walking pole (available from most outdoor stores) prior to your cruise.
Importantly, all vessels require guests to be able to move around the vessel unassisted and to be able to navigate the sometimes-steep stairs between decks and evacuation points. For further clarification, we would recommend speaking to one of our consultants.
On all Australian registered vessels, a passport is not required. On some internationally registered vessels (Caledonian Sky, Le Bellot & Le Laperouse) clients are required to a take their passport as the vessel will leave Australian waters and berth at an international port (either an island in Timor or Indonesia) to complete their international maritime requirements.
All Kimberley cruises include accommodation, all meals, excursions using the tender vessels and port charges. Some vessels will include beer, wine and soft drinks, whereas others will have a bar to purchase drinks.
Some of the smaller vessels allow clients to pre-order drinks prior to the cruise and have them delivered and available onboard.
The Kimberley coast does not have mobile phone coverage. There may be small degree of access close to Broome, Darwin and Wyndham but otherwise you are mobile phone free for the cruise.
All Kimberley cruise vessels have a satellite phone so that there is always a communication method if there is an emergency. Some cruise vessels have internet access via Wi-Fi. Plans can be purchased onboard and are ideal for checking emails and keeping up to date on the sports scores.
There may be opportunities to swim in some of the freshwater pools as you cruise the Kimberley Coast. The smaller vessels (up to 36 passengers) may offer more opportunities due to the flexibility of the excursions. Any opportunities will be done as a group.
While the temptation may be to dive off the side of the vessel into the ocean and rivers, the friendly prehistoric creature, the crocodile, will be lurking nearby. We would recommend you heed the advice of the crew on all occasions.
The smaller vessels (up to 36 passengers) will provide opportunities to fish for the elusive Barramundi, Mangrove Jack and others such as the Finger Mark (check out Brenda’s blog for some further information).
Fishing lines and lures are available onboard to be used but you may bring your own. We would recommend you letting us know when you are booking your cruise of your interest in fishing. We can make the crew aware of your desire to chase a catch.
There is no official attire policy for any Kimberley cruise vessel. Onboard attire is generally casual and due to the climate and nature of the off-vessel excursions, clothing is best to be light weight, loose fitting and sun smart.
Loose, cotton, long-sleeved shirts and pants offer wonderful protection against the sun and insects. Sturdy walking shoes and amphibious type shoes are recommended as they have a rubber sole and dry easily.
Evening wear tends to be smart casual and although days can be warm, evenings can still be cool so a lightweight jumper or cardigan may be handy. A water and windproof jacket is recommended as well as non-slip, shoes on board. One vessel even has a barefoot only onboard policy!
Yes, all vessels have Covid-19 Health and Safety plans in place. All vessels understand the changed environment, and a client’s welfare and well-being is a priority. It is of paramount importance to ensure the clients and crew of each vessel are protected in a safe environment.
Have you still got questions we haven’t answered here? Please get in touch and one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members will be happy to assist.