Reports of rain in The Kimberley have prompted passengers to hold off booking holidays to see when the weather would improve. The result: the 2023 cruise season, with more ships sailing than ever, is offering unbeatable bargains.
Lines like APT, Silversea, Coral Expeditions and Ponant are offering great Kimberley savings worth thousands of dollars. And they claim the weather has made the region, one of Australia’s oldest and largest wilderness landscapes in the world “more beautiful than ever”.
Cher Lontok, Head of Product Australia APT says this season has seen holiday makers booking later than usual. “As always, we have seen great interest in Kimberley Cruising, however, the booking period has been slightly different. While we used to expect bookings a year out, now guests are locking in their dream tour closer to the departure date.”
Ms Lontok said that the weather appeared to create hesitation, but those who have been sailing have said the region looks better than ever.
“While our Kimberley cruising has been great, unfortunately, there is a perception the recent weather events in the Kimberley have impacted the area negatively, which isn’t the case. In fact, we are hearing it is the opposite and that the recent rain events have made the region incredibly beautiful and lush right now.
“Our guests have commented this back to us for this season and are delighted to be able to witness it for themselves.”
Jeff Gillies, Commercial Director of Coral Expeditions says Coral also has availability through the coming months making it the perfect opportunity for an impulsive escape.
“We have had an amazing early season in the Kimberley with all 3 vessels in the fleet in the region from April. The waterfall season has been spectacular and as usual, guests are having the time of their lives.
“We will carry over 3500 passengers this year at approximately 85% occupancy. We still have availability through the coming months, so it is an ideal opportunity for travellers who want to head to the Kimberley last-minute this year.”
Mr Gillies says new foreign ships creating more competition and the weather events have created some difficulties but the season is continuing strongly.
“This year has seen some effects of travel perception due to land-based flood impacts and a surge in offshore travel as credit holders can now get overseas. There has been increased competition with the entry of some new foreign vessels who are passing by in June and July for small seasons.
“But we can see the direct customers and trade really seeking to preference local operators due to their expert knowledge, credibility and the reliability they provide.”
Charles Boutet, Marketing & Communications Director Australasia for Ponant says they’re also seeing last minute cabins being snapped up.
“We are seeing the last cabins being booked at the moment for this season, with some last minute interest on our superyacht Le Ponant and the sailing expeditions we are operating this year only.”
APT has a range of last-minute deals for the Kimberley, with the opportunity to save up to $1000 per person on 10-day Broome to Darwin cruises, starting from $11,695 on July 2, July 20 and August 7. You can also save up to $1900 per person on a Kimberley Coast and the Top End sailing, with the remaining availability on August 28 from $11,595. You can also save up to $2100 per person from a Kimberley Coastal Expedition itinerary, with departures on July 13 and August 2 from $19,895.
Coral Expeditions: “We have two great offers in market,” says Mr Gillies. “A Kimberley Vista Offer of $15,000 per person on Explorer Deck Balcony Staterooms (Save over $4000 per person ) and we also have a new Art and Culture of the Kimberley and Tiwis voyages in September with a $500 per person travel credit (prices from $9,775).
Silversea spokesperson says: “Silversea is currently running an Expedition Month with “Limited time Expedition Exclusives” valid until 30 June. This means you can sail from Darwin to Darwin exploring the beauty of Kimberly for only $9,150 all-inclusive, departing on 30 July.
“Silversea has also added a very different 17-day Perth to Darwin itinerary that will run at the end of the season in August. It ranks as one of the most popular Kimberley itineraries, particularly among our local Australian travellers. The itinerary includes the Kimberley region as well as the west coast of Australia which is less frequented and hard to reach such as Buccaneer Archipelago, Dampier Archipelago, Ningaloo Reef, and the ‘Galapagos of the South’, Abrolhos Island.”
Ponant has sailings from Broome to Darwin and in the opposite direction, starting from $10,550. The luxury French expedition line has a 15 to 30 per cent bonus on selected sailings.
Mr Boutet says: “We have last minute availability on our 2023 season including our Australia’s Iconic Kimberley itineraries onboard Le Soleal and Le Laperouse and also our one season only onboard superyacht Le Ponant, with our 10% extra savings available for new bookings made before 5 July 2023, as part of our 35th anniversary offer.
“This is combinable with our welcome offer and PONANT yacht club benefits, as well as our PONANT Bonus, which is a svings of up to 30% off the brochure fare. We have departures until late September this year with last minute availability.