Australia’s love affair with cruising in the wilds of the Kimberley coast is off to a flying start, with few cabins available for this year – and we’re only in January!
An astonishing 90% of APT’s 13 cruises are already sold out. Nine of APT’s 11-day voyages to the Kimberley coastline have been booked out.
“We are nearly 90 per cent sold for the season with nine cruises already booked out or close to booked out,’’ says Rob Tandy, general manager of APT Kimberley Wilderness Adventures.
Silversea Expeditions, which will have six Kimberley voyages on Silver Discoverer has also reported strong bookings. One itinerary has sold out and limited cabins are left in the remaining five. The all-inclusive, 10-day cruise includes on-shore excursions and a helicopter ride.
Scenic offers two popular itineraries which combine land and a seven-day cruise component called Top End and Kimberley Snapshot.
Boutique line True North Cruises, which has 17 journeys to the Kimberley region, has sold out many of its cruises. The ship can only accommodate 36 passengers.
Newcomer, French cruise line Ponant has been attracted to the Kimberley feeding frenzy, launching its inaugural cruise to the region for the first time next July.
“With only four voyages next year, sales have gone through the roof since our campaign started earlier this month,’’ a Ponant spokesman says.
Lindblad National Geographic Orion pulled out of cruising in the Kimberley this year, leaving a big gap, which is now being filled.
“The Kimberley coastline is one of Australia’s – and indeed the world’s – last truly untouched coastlines. Its massive tides, big wet seasons, local sea life, and epic and inhospitable landscapes make it inaccessible by road,” says APT’s Mr Tandy.
APT has its own ship, the 57-suite MS Caledonian Sky with 114 guests. It also charters the 72-passenger Coral Discoverer for its all-inclusive expedition cruises between Darwin and Broome.