It attracts travellers from around the world, but Australia’s Kimberley region is largely taken for granted by many local travellers – that is, until they have the opportunity to travel there and see it for themselves.

The continent’s far north-west is a resolutely beautiful part of Australia, with much of the land protected and designated as National Parks. In turn, travel & touring can be expensive, particularly due to the landscape requiring specialist vehicles, supplies and considerable experience in order to safely traverse it. This is why many people visiting the region do so with a qualified, experienced and reputable tour operator.

Cruising the Kimberley region is rapidly growing in popularity, largely due to a very limited accommodation supply outside of established towns and cities. The ability to be able to venture out from the comfortable surrounds of a ship to explore what is a very remote part of the world and easily return without a long drive to a fixed address means sea travel is set up perfectly to facilitate exploration of the Kimberleys. Here are just some of the ways you can cruise this spectacularly natural part of Australia’s coast.


Extensive and well established touring programs exist for travellers wishing to see the Kimberley region either by land or sea. In the case of the latter, APT utilises four ships of different sizes on a range of itineraries, most of which cruise between Broome and Darwin over a period of time around two weeks or so.

Depending on when you’d like to travel, you could see the region onboard ships such as L’AustralCoral DiscovererCoral Expeditions II or even APT’s own MS Caledonian Sky. Each ship features a number of smaller zodiac exploration vessels where guests can be delivered directly to shore for more in-depth guided tours to nearby highlights and attractions.


While certainly present in the region, cruising in the Kimberley is lightly covered by Scenic, in the form of a single comprehensive ‘Top End & Kimberley Snapshot’ tour between Darwin and Kununurra, via Broome. This includes a seven-night cruise onboard True North as the last component of the tour between Broome and Wyndham, before concluding in Kununurra.

Guests visit Talbot Bay, Montgomery Reef, Prince Regent River, Mitchell River and King George River, with special Scenic Freechoice activities in many of these places, before the tour arrives in Wyndham. The 18-day itinerary is priced from $20,955 per person twin share.

Princess Cruises

North-west Australia is certainly one of those parts of the world where in-depth cruising is the ideal way in which to see it. But if you’ve also travelled on a big ocean-going ship, there are obviously some huge differences in the type of experience you have. Very few small ships operating in the Kimberley region have Broadway style shows performing in a full size theatre and capacity for thousands of people at any one time.

Princess Cruises however is one of very few cruise lines where you can see parts of the Kimberley, albeit with the trade-off being that you can’t get as close to the shore as the smaller ships can. If you’re rounding the top end of Australia on a Princess ship, it will pay to have a pair of binoculars in your possession in order to make out the red cliff faces and some of the wildlife on shore.

All three of Princess’ ships that live in Australia year-round – Sun PrincessDawn Princess and Sea Princess – visit the Kimberley region at different times of the year, usually taking in the region as part of various Northern and Western Australia Explorer itineraries.


The French expedition brand is yet to visit the Kimberley region but will be doing so on its maiden itineraries from next year.

Arriving during the 2017 mid-year dry season, Ponant’s L’Austral will spend two months in the region from July to September, operating four voyages of 10 nights / 11 days duration, three of which will travel between Darwin & Broome, while the fourth will cruise round-trip from Darwin. Each will visit many of the highlights of the Kimberley, with guests able to go ashore via the L’Austral fleet of zodiac craft.

Joining passengers onboard will be an expedition crew of 12 experts in fields such as marine biology, photography and ecotourism, who will be on hand to share their knowledge, all led by Ponant’s resident Australian wildlife photographer and adventurer Mick Fogg.