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…to escape soggy southern weather and head to the Kimberley, in northwest Australia. It’s now the middle of the dry season, with temperatures ranging from 15C to 30C and very little rain. And the best way to explore the Kimberley is by small ship, to experience at close hand the region’s amazing wildlife, ancient rock art, spectacular waterfalls and soaring gorges. Fishing, swimming, snorkelling and bush walks are among the popular activities on offer.

Check out these ships and their specialist Kimberley itineraries from now until September:

Coral Princess carries 48 passengers in 24 cabins and operates 10-night cruises from Broome to Darwin and vice versa. The ship has a specially designed expedition craft that accommodates all passengers plus Zodiacs.

Diversity II takes a maximum of 12 guests and has 7-night, 8-night, 10-night and 14-night itineraries. Fishing is a speciality.

Kimberley Quest II takes a maximum of 18 guests and operates 8-day and 14-day itineraries. The onboard helicopter takes guests on heli-picnics and other flight-seeing trips.

Oceanic Discoverer (Coral Princess’s bigger sister) carries 72 passengers in 36 cabins and also operates 10-night cruises from Broome to Darwin and vice versa.

Orion Expedition Cruises’ 106-passenger luxury expedition ship Orion offers 10-night itineraries between Broome and Darwin. Highlights include a complimentary flight-seeing trip over the famous Bungle Bungle ranges.

True North has a passenger limit of 36 and offers a range of 6-night, 7-night and 13-night cruises. The onboard helicopter adds another dimension to Kimberley excursions.

For more information, contact your travel agent, the individual cruise lines or check out the useful Kimberley Cruise Centre website at kimberleycruises.com – there are special deals for this season’s departures.