- 12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 12 Dinners
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, the Master and Expedition Team may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximize your eclipse viewing and expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for weather, tidal conditions, cloud coverage and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. As clear skies for optimal viewing of the eclipse event is our priority, there may be substantive changes made to the itinerary to accommodate this experience.
SPECIAL EVENT: SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWING
ASHMORE REEF - SOLAR ECLIPSE. The Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is made up of the West, Middle, and East Islands of Ashmore Reef as well as Cartier Island and the surrounding 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea. The islands are uninhabited and are a haven for wildlife including marine turtles, whale sharks, dugong, and migratory bird populations. Here we will view the rare hybrid solar eclipse event from the sheltered anchorage of the lagoon. Watch as the birdlife reacts to the celestial event, flying home to roost in the middle of the day as the sky darkens. Enjoy the phenomenon with champagne and canapes on the Vista Deck with our knowledgeable astronomy specialists, including Fred Watson, on hand.
HORIZONTAL FALLS & BUCCANEER ARCHIPELAGO. The Horizontal Falls are created as the ocean is forced through a narrow gorge in the McLarty Ranges, creating a rushing horizontal waterfall of swiftly flowing seawater. Riding the rapids on our Zodiac inflatable tenders is one of the highlights of our Kimberley expedition cruises. See evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations as we cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.
BUCCANEER ARCHIPELAGO, WHIRLPOOL PASSAGE, EDELINE ISLAND & SILICA BEACH. Whirlpool Passage divides Chambers and Hidden Islands (Banggoon) in the Buccaneer Archipelago. When conditions allow, passing through the passage when the tide is running is a dramatic experience as the ship negotiates the whirlpools. Explore Edeline Island, home to the Elgee Siltstone structures. Discover this wild and unspoiled destination with guidance and insight into the flora and fauna from our experts. Depending on the tides, stroll along the flawless white sand, surrounded by towering rock formations at Silica Beach.
MONTGOMERY REEF (YOWJAB) & DOUBTFUL BAY. In a one-of-a-kind marine spectacle, witness the ocean recede with tidal flow anywhere from 4 to 10 meters to reveal a thriving flat top reef. Witness birds hunting in the newly exposed lagoon for marine life in the rock pools and be entertained by green sea turtles exploring the shallow reef. Our expedition team will share their knowledge of the reef and wildlife.
UNIQUE CULTURAL LANDSCAPES
ANSITTART BAY (BANJAL). Discover culturally and historically significant sites such as the Gwion Gwion Aboriginal rock art galleries estimated to be up to 20,000 years old before heading to the Anjo Peninsula to view the well-preserved wreckage of a US Air Force C-53 Skytrooper aircraft.
BIGGE ISLAND (WUUYURU). Bigge Island is known for its historical Indigenous rock art. An easy 50-meter walk from our beachside landing site, admire the artworks on the cave walls. Rare vulnerable species thrive here including the Northern Quoll, Scaly-tailed Possum, and Monjon.
KING GEORGE RIVER & FALLS (OOMARI). Fed by the King George River draining across the Gardner Plateau, the 80m tall King George Falls is the most impressive Kimberley waterfalls and the highest twin falls in Western Australia. Before reaching the base of the falls we cruise through some 13 kilometers of steep-sided sandstone gorge. Enjoy getting up close to the falls, which will be in full flow following the wet season, by Xplorer or zodiac.
MITCHELL FALLS & WOLLASTON BAY. Tumbling down the Mitchell Plateau in a series of tiered waterfalls and emerald green rock pools, the Mitchell Falls (Punamii-Uunpuu) are the photogenic poster child for the Mitchell River National Park. Take a scenic helicopter flight available at an additional cost for a unique perspective of this unspoiled landscape. An alternative option to Mitchell Falls is exploring the sandstone caves of Wollaston Bay. This probable former sea cave is now a fascinating art site featuring Gayarra Wanjina and Wanjina paintings.
ROWLEY SHOALS & SCOTT REEF. If conditions allow, we will visit the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid, and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals offer some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the world with the unparalleled water clarity. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by countless coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, and species of coral and fish of which many are not found on other coral reefs. Conditions permitting, we will spend a full day at Clerke Reef. Guided by our onboard marine biologist, snorkel and dive on the atoll that covers about 90sqkm. Scott Reef is an incredible snorkeling and diving location, here we will explore the diverse underwater ecosystems of this acclaimed coral habitat. If weather and tide conditions allow, we will land on a sand cay.
ADELE ISLAND & LACEPEDE ISLANDS. Pristine Adele Island is recognized as a wildlife sanctuary, declared as a Nature Reserve in 2001, and classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area for its seabirds and waders. This location features a unique reef habitat, with exclusive discoveries having been reported here, sparking scientific interest. The Lacepede Islands are a protected Class-A nature reserve and are significant as a seabird nesting rookery for brown boobies and roseate terns. Other species often sighted at the Lacepedes include Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, and gulls. The four low-lying islands are also an important breeding and nesting habitat for green turtles. We will explore these locations via Xplorer and zodiac.