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Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer

Enjoy 17 day cruise aboard Island Sky discovering Kimberley. Experience an unforgettable world of exclusive moments, incredible cultures and charming surprises

29 June, 2020 to 15 July, 2020 Make a booking request for Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer, departing on 29 June, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Twin/Double £ 13095 GBP pp
Single £ 18709 GBP pp
25 July, 2020 to 10 August, 2020 Make a booking request for Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer, departing on 25 July, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Twin/Double £ 13095 GBP pp
Single £ 18709 GBP pp

Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1 Arrive Darwin, Embark Ship
Arrive in Darwin early this morning, where we meet you and transfer you to your expedition ship. Leave dry land behind as we set sail, and learn how Arnhem Land was named after a Dutch ship of the same name, which explored this coastline in 1623. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers during a relaxed dinner at sea.
DAY 2 Cobourg Peninsula, Victoria Settlement, Caiman Creek
This morning visit Port Essington, an inlet on the Cobourg Peninsula. Arrive in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, home to pristine beaches, lush rainforests, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. Follow the Port Essington coastline to Victoria Settlement, a British outpost that was established in 1838 to strengthen their claim over the north of Australia. Hear tales of the hardships faced by the settlers here as you are led through the remains of the settlement, accompanied by a local expert. Later, you might like to further explore the settlement's hospital camp, complete with sweeping views over the Arafura Sea, or set out on a walk through the Eastern Paperbark Wetland. After lunch, join your expedition team and hop aboard a Zodiac for an exciting exploration of Caiman Creek.
DAY 3 Wessel Islands, Hole In The Wall
As your ship arrives at the Wessel Islands, today begins with a Zodiac adventure to the Hole in the Wall, a cleft in the rock which passes through the island chain from north to south. Learn how these islands were an important site for the Macassan trepang (sea cucumber) traders who visited the Arnhem Land coast between the 16th and early 20th centuries. Signs of pre-European contact between the Indigenous peoples of the area and these fishing fleets from Sulawesi are evident in the language, stories, art, tools and cuisine of the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land. There are also depictions of prau, the sailing ships of the Macassan, in rock art which has been dated to the 15th century. In return for access to trepang fishing areas, the Yolngu received goods such as cloth, tobacco, rice and metal tools including knives.
DAY 4 Gove Peninsula, Yirrkala
Be greeted with a Welcome to Country smoking ceremony and dance performance while at Yirrkala, located on the Gove Peninsula. Arrive at the Gove Peninsula, a place where the first British contact with the Yolngu came about in 1803 as Matthew Flinders made his circumnavigation of Australia. Continue to Yirrkala and enjoy a Signature Experience. Get an insight into local art styles at the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, then try your hand at spear throwing during a friendly competition, or master the art of basket weaving.
DAY 5 Galwin’ku, Elcho Island
Soar high above the impressive 700 square kilometre Arafura Swamp on a scenic flight. No doubt the best way to grasp the sheer size of this vast wetland, a habitat to hundreds of bird species including brolga, spoonbill and magpie geese. It is also said to have the largest population of crocodiles on the planet. Today is sure to be a highlight of your journey as you set out on an incredible Signature Experience. Your Indigenous art experience then continues at Galwin’ku, located at the southern tip of Elcho Island, where you will be greeted with a traditional ceremony. Visit a number of Indigenous-owned art centres and see first-hand the amount of work that goes into creating local crafts including bark paintings, woven pandanus baskets, carvings and shell jewellery.
DAY 6 Warruwi, Goulburn Islands
Experience a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony performed by the friendly locals of South Goulburn Island. After breakfast, climb aboard a Zodiac and head to South Goulburn Island, where you’ll take part in a special Signature Experience. Then, the choice is yours when it comes to discovering the island. You might like to visit a local arts centre and see the many creations on show, or take in more of the island's natural landscapes on an in-depth exploration. Alternatively, get a deeper understanding of life on the island as you hear stories of local traditions and sea cucumber harvesting.
DAY 7 Tiwi Islands, Bathurst Island
Set out on an exploration of the pristine Tiwi Islands today. Wake to the serenity of the Tiwi Islands today, where you’ll disembark to explore the first of the two islands, Bathurst Island. Enjoy a locally guided walk through the community of Nguiu. Spend time with the locals while they work on their weaving and painting, enjoying some freshly baked damper and billy tea as you watch. Visit the Patakijiyali Museum to see traditional art that depicts Tiwi Dreamtime stories. Then, enjoy a demonstration of totem dances and a smoking ceremony. Later, head out on a Zodiac adventure through the intricate creek systems of Melville Island (subject to weather and tidal conditions).
DAY 8 Darwin
Arrive back in Darwin and spend the day at leisure, or relax on board as you prepare to explore the Kimberley Coast.
DAY 9 Koolama Bay, King George River And Falls
Anticipation builds as your Zodiac approaches King George Falls, plunging 80 metres over a towering sandstone cliff. Edge closer to this epic cascade and learn how it turns to a raging torrent during the monsoonal wet season. Wake this morning as your ship cruises into Koolama Bay. Hear how this harbour was renamed following the Japanese bombing of the MV Koolama in 1942. Next, it's on to King George River. Join your expedition team and jump aboard a Zodiac to meander through the river's gorge system, passing hidden mangrove-fringed coves and soaring red cliffs. It is here you’ll experience your first Signature Experience.
DAY 10 Vansittart Bay, Jar Island
An intriguing exploration of Vansittart Bay awaits today. Join your expedition team and set out across the bay's vast salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force C-53 that crash landed on the beach during World War II. Later, step ashore at Jar Island and see examples of mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings, dating back some 20,000 years.
DAY 11 Bigge Island
In caves throughout the island, see examples of first contact art depicting European tall ships dating from the 15th to 18th century. Having been repainted annually for the past 5,000 years, it is thought to be the oldest continuous sacred painting tradition on the planet. Discover Bigge Island today, known for its Indigenous rock art created by the Wunambal people. During your time here, take in a Signature Experience.
DAY 12 Prince Frederick Harbour, Hunter River, Mitchell Falls
Your expedition ship arrives at Prince Frederick Harbour today, home to soaring red cliffs and mangroves. With its extreme tides and pristine ecosystems, the harbour is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles and mudskippers. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for kingfishers, egrets, herons and white-bellied sea eagles. It's time to jump aboard your Zodiac vessels for an exploration of the Hunter River and Naturalist Island. As your day of discovery draws to a close, you might choose to set out on a helicopter flight and view the natural spectacle of Mitchell Falls from above (own expense).
DAY 13 Careening Bay, Prince Regent Reserve, St George's Basin
Reach Careening Bay today, home to the historic Mermaid Boab Tree. It was here in 1820 that Lieutenant Phillip Parker King used the area’s massive tides to beach his damaged ship, the HMC Mermaid. During this time, King's carpenter carved the ship’s name into a boab tree that overlooks the bay. Continue on to Prince Regent Nature Reserve, only accessible by boat. Explore this protected area and see why it is recognised as a national biodiversity hotspot. Next, it's on to the untouched coastal area of Hanover Bay. While you're here, you might like to hop aboard your Zodiac for an enthralling visit to St George's Basin. If the tide allows, perhaps catch a glimpse of a saltwater crocodile, among other marine life.
DAY 14 Montgomery Reef, Doubtful Bay, Raft Point
Excitement builds this morning as you join your expedition team for an in-depth exploration of Montgomery Reef by Zodiac. Witness the reef rise out of the ocean as the tidal waters cascade rapidly into the surrounding channels. Keep an eye out for unique bird life and turtles who may pop their heads up from time to time. Start your day with a phenomenal Signature Experience. Then, cruise through Doubtful Bay, a hotspot for whale watching during the season. Later, step ashore at Raft Point to visit an ancient Wandjina rock art site. When available, you'll be joined by a local Indigenous guide.
DAY 15 Talbot Bay, Horizontal Falls
Subject to tidal conditions, set out on a thrilling ride through the falls aboard a high-powered fast boat. Hold on tight as your boat skims across Talbot Bay to the mouth of the falls before making its way through the churning waters. Today your ship cruises through to Talbot Bay, known for its epic 12-metre tides that create an astonishing natural spectacle, the Horizontal Falls. Here, enjoy a Signature Experience. The adventure continues as you jump aboard your Zodiac vessel for an exploration of Cyclone Creek. See dramatic folding in the rock formations as you navigate through the creek, accompanied by your expedition team member.
DAY 16 Buccaneer Archipelago, Adele Island
There’s promise of yet more turquoise waters today as your ship arrives in the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to more than 800 islands. Cruise to Adele Island and join your expedition team member for an exploration of this remote coastal area by Zodiac. The island is surrounded by Adele Reef, teeming with an array of coral and marine life, including reef sharks and stingrays. Back on board, toast the end of an epic adventure during a farewell dinner. Then, take in the amber glow of a Kimberley sunset for the last time as your ship sets sail towards Broome.
DAY 17 Disembark Ship, Depart Broome
Arriving into Broome this morning marks the end of your journey. Enjoy a fleeting exploration of this pearling town before being transferred to Broome Airport this afternoon.
Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Itineraries are subject to change.
Arriving into Broome this morning marks the end of your journey. Enjoy a fleeting exploration of this pearling town before being transferred to Broome Airport this afternoon.
There’s promise of yet more turquoise waters today as your ship arrives in the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to more than 800 islands. Cruise to Adele Island and join your expedition team member for an exploration of this remote coastal area by Zodiac. The island is surrounded by Adele Reef, teeming with an array of coral and marine life, including reef sharks and stingrays. Back on board, toast the end of an epic adventure during a farewell dinner. Then, take in the amber glow of a Kimberley sunset for the last time as your ship sets sail towards Broome.
Subject to tidal conditions, set out on a thrilling ride through the falls aboard a high-powered fast boat. Hold on tight as your boat skims across Talbot Bay to the mouth of the falls before making its way through the churning waters. Today your ship cruises through to Talbot Bay, known for its epic 12-metre tides that create an astonishing natural spectacle, the Horizontal Falls. Here, enjoy a Signature Experience. The adventure continues as you jump aboard your Zodiac vessel for an exploration of Cyclone Creek. See dramatic folding in the rock formations as you navigate through the creek, accompanied by your expedition team member.
Excitement builds this morning as you join your expedition team for an in-depth exploration of Montgomery Reef by Zodiac. Witness the reef rise out of the ocean as the tidal waters cascade rapidly into the surrounding channels. Keep an eye out for unique bird life and turtles who may pop their heads up from time to time. Start your day with a phenomenal Signature Experience. Then, cruise through Doubtful Bay, a hotspot for whale watching during the season. Later, step ashore at Raft Point to visit an ancient Wandjina rock art site. When available, you'll be joined by a local Indigenous guide.
Reach Careening Bay today, home to the historic Mermaid Boab Tree. It was here in 1820 that Lieutenant Phillip Parker King used the area’s massive tides to beach his damaged ship, the HMC Mermaid. During this time, King's carpenter carved the ship’s name into a boab tree that overlooks the bay. Continue on to Prince Regent Nature Reserve, only accessible by boat. Explore this protected area and see why it is recognised as a national biodiversity hotspot. Next, it's on to the untouched coastal area of Hanover Bay. While you're here, you might like to hop aboard your Zodiac for an enthralling visit to St George's Basin. If the tide allows, perhaps catch a glimpse of a saltwater crocodile, among other marine life.
Your expedition ship arrives at Prince Frederick Harbour today, home to soaring red cliffs and mangroves. With its extreme tides and pristine ecosystems, the harbour is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles and mudskippers. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for kingfishers, egrets, herons and white-bellied sea eagles. It's time to jump aboard your Zodiac vessels for an exploration of the Hunter River and Naturalist Island. As your day of discovery draws to a close, you might choose to set out on a helicopter flight and view the natural spectacle of Mitchell Falls from above (own expense).
In caves throughout the island, see examples of first contact art depicting European tall ships dating from the 15th to 18th century. Having been repainted annually for the past 5,000 years, it is thought to be the oldest continuous sacred painting tradition on the planet. Discover Bigge Island today, known for its Indigenous rock art created by the Wunambal people. During your time here, take in a Signature Experience.
An intriguing exploration of Vansittart Bay awaits today. Join your expedition team and set out across the bay's vast salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force C-53 that crash landed on the beach during World War II. Later, step ashore at Jar Island and see examples of mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings, dating back some 20,000 years.
Anticipation builds as your Zodiac approaches King George Falls, plunging 80 metres over a towering sandstone cliff. Edge closer to this epic cascade and learn how it turns to a raging torrent during the monsoonal wet season. Wake this morning as your ship cruises into Koolama Bay. Hear how this harbour was renamed following the Japanese bombing of the MV Koolama in 1942. Next, it's on to King George River. Join your expedition team and jump aboard a Zodiac to meander through the river's gorge system, passing hidden mangrove-fringed coves and soaring red cliffs. It is here you’ll experience your first Signature Experience.
Arrive back in Darwin and spend the day at leisure, or relax on board as you prepare to explore the Kimberley Coast.
Set out on an exploration of the pristine Tiwi Islands today. Wake to the serenity of the Tiwi Islands today, where you’ll disembark to explore the first of the two islands, Bathurst Island. Enjoy a locally guided walk through the community of Nguiu. Spend time with the locals while they work on their weaving and painting, enjoying some freshly baked damper and billy tea as you watch. Visit the Patakijiyali Museum to see traditional art that depicts Tiwi Dreamtime stories. Then, enjoy a demonstration of totem dances and a smoking ceremony. Later, head out on a Zodiac adventure through the intricate creek systems of Melville Island (subject to weather and tidal conditions).
Experience a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony performed by the friendly locals of South Goulburn Island. After breakfast, climb aboard a Zodiac and head to South Goulburn Island, where you’ll take part in a special Signature Experience. Then, the choice is yours when it comes to discovering the island. You might like to visit a local arts centre and see the many creations on show, or take in more of the island's natural landscapes on an in-depth exploration. Alternatively, get a deeper understanding of life on the island as you hear stories of local traditions and sea cucumber harvesting.
Soar high above the impressive 700 square kilometre Arafura Swamp on a scenic flight. No doubt the best way to grasp the sheer size of this vast wetland, a habitat to hundreds of bird species including brolga, spoonbill and magpie geese. It is also said to have the largest population of crocodiles on the planet. Today is sure to be a highlight of your journey as you set out on an incredible Signature Experience. Your Indigenous art experience then continues at Galwin’ku, located at the southern tip of Elcho Island, where you will be greeted with a traditional ceremony. Visit a number of Indigenous-owned art centres and see first-hand the amount of work that goes into creating local crafts including bark paintings, woven pandanus baskets, carvings and shell jewellery.
Be greeted with a Welcome to Country smoking ceremony and dance performance while at Yirrkala, located on the Gove Peninsula. Arrive at the Gove Peninsula, a place where the first British contact with the Yolngu came about in 1803 as Matthew Flinders made his circumnavigation of Australia. Continue to Yirrkala and enjoy a Signature Experience. Get an insight into local art styles at the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre, then try your hand at spear throwing during a friendly competition, or master the art of basket weaving.
As your ship arrives at the Wessel Islands, today begins with a Zodiac adventure to the Hole in the Wall, a cleft in the rock which passes through the island chain from north to south. Learn how these islands were an important site for the Macassan trepang (sea cucumber) traders who visited the Arnhem Land coast between the 16th and early 20th centuries. Signs of pre-European contact between the Indigenous peoples of the area and these fishing fleets from Sulawesi are evident in the language, stories, art, tools and cuisine of the Yolngu people of East Arnhem Land. There are also depictions of prau, the sailing ships of the Macassan, in rock art which has been dated to the 15th century. In return for access to trepang fishing areas, the Yolngu received goods such as cloth, tobacco, rice and metal tools including knives.
This morning visit Port Essington, an inlet on the Cobourg Peninsula. Arrive in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, home to pristine beaches, lush rainforests, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. Follow the Port Essington coastline to Victoria Settlement, a British outpost that was established in 1838 to strengthen their claim over the north of Australia. Hear tales of the hardships faced by the settlers here as you are led through the remains of the settlement, accompanied by a local expert. Later, you might like to further explore the settlement's hospital camp, complete with sweeping views over the Arafura Sea, or set out on a walk through the Eastern Paperbark Wetland. After lunch, join your expedition team and hop aboard a Zodiac for an exciting exploration of Caiman Creek.
Arrive in Darwin early this morning, where we meet you and transfer you to your expedition ship. Leave dry land behind as we set sail, and learn how Arnhem Land was named after a Dutch ship of the same name, which explored this coastline in 1623. This evening, get to know your fellow travellers during a relaxed dinner at sea.
* = Indicative
Map for Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer
Island Sky, the ship servicing Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer

Island Sky

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2018

There is a high ratio of crew to passengers- the friendly crew of 75 crew and Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Standard cabin                                                       

Balcony suite, Erikson Deck

 

Cabin layout for Island Sky
• Welcome To Country. Take part in a stirring Welcome to Country ceremony at the East Arnhem Indigenous community of Yirrkala.

• Soar High Over Arafura Swamp. See millions of breeding waterbirds during an included scenic flight over Arafura Swamp.

• Spectacular Horizontal Falls. Board a high powered fast-boat to ride the massive tide at the spectacular Horizontal Falls.
Enquire now about Grand Kimberley Coast And Arnhem Land Explorer

Travel on the Island Sky

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