Choose carefully; not all “Kimberley cruises” are the genuine article

It seems that almost every month I hear that a new cruise company on their way to the Kimberley.

These are usually large, overseas operators – cruise ships; not expedition ships.

These include Hurtigruten from Norway, Swan Hellenic from Germany, Seabourn from the US, Silversea from Italy, Orion from the US and more to come no doubt.

These companies advertise widely in the newspapers and often have some really attractive deals. 

Seabourn vessel

But buyers beware. 

The Kimberley is a unique experience and the truth is that there is a huge difference between different companies and different vessels in what you see and do.

I always say ‘the prices for Kimberley cruises are not for the faint hearted’. So it is very important to be on the right vessel in this region. If not then you might feel you have wasted your money.

In particular I wonder how genuine the expedition experience is going to be on these large vessels for whom the Kimberley is going to be just one of 100s of destinations.

A few years back I took my mum on a 10 night Kimberley cruise. This was my fourth cruise along that wonderful coastline but my first with this particular operator. I chose that specific vessel because I knew it would provide exactly the experience that would suit my mum. She is reasonably fit and healthy but with some limited mobility so I knew we needed a ship with an appropriate level of activity. This ship was very comfortable with plenty of opportunities to experience the coast without being strenuous.

There was one passenger on the trip (not booked by me I should quickly add) who did not enjoy the experience. I could see almost from the first morning that he was on the wrong cruise. 

He was a farmer. In his early 80s; super fit and,quite frankly, easily bored.

He wanted more activity on his cruise. He wanted more hands-on experiences; more opportunities to walk and swim than was available on this ship. And he wanted to fish. This last activity was definitely not an option with this particular cruise company who did not possess a WA fishing license.

He was on the wrong cruise and eventually felt he had wasted his money.

Sure he saw all the ‘must see’ highlights of the Kimberley coast; Horizontal Falls, King Cascade, Montgomery Reef, King George Falls etc. He saw rock art and towering gorges. He landed on shore with the rest of the passengers twice a day.

But he wanted much more from the experience. Whoever had booked that cruise for him hadn’t bothered to talk to him and discuss what he wanted from the experience. By the end of the cruise he was seriously unhappy and felt that he had wasted his money. 

I suspect that he had booked the cruise with his local travel agent who had no idea about the differences between cruise vessels and companies and no idea how significant those differences are.

I am not a generalist travel agent. I specialize in ‘expedition cruising’ and I know the Kimberley especially well. I have cruised the Kimberley with four different vessels. I knew the cruise vessels that were not right for my mum’s needs. But they would have been perfect for this unhappy farmer. 

In simple terms; there is no one size fits all with Kimberley cruising.

That’s why I offer an initial ‘discovery call’ (phone or Zoom) for anyone contemplating booking a Kimberley cruise. During this call I spend 15-20 minutes talking to people about their interests, their fitness and mobility levels (and those of their partner if applicable). From this conversation I am able to narrow down the options and usually make a recommendation tailored to them. It is my intention to get you on the right cruise for you.

It’s a lot of money – it is important to get it right.

If you are planning a Kimberley cruise then why not book in a ‘discovery call’ with me to discuss your plans. I look forward to chatting to you about your plans.

Oh and remember, we offer two free nights’ accommodation in either Broome or Darwin (or even Kununurra) and a free Broome sights tour with all Kimberley cruises. 

We cannot thank you all enough for arranging the wonderful experience and adventure on our Kimberley cruise then on to Broome, El Questro and Kununurra.  We are so grateful that you encouraged us with the itinerary you organised, it far exceeded all our expectations. Colette Forbutt NSW

About Jenny

I’m an expert in small ship cruising in the Kimberley and have completed four cruises on different vessels along this spectacular coastline. With a family I now work part-time so if you would like to have a chat with me about Kimberley cruising at a time that suits you book in a call here  and I will call you then.

Cruises in the Kimberley are not ‘one size fits all’ scenario; there are different ships and itineraries each offering their own special elements.  If you would like some general information to start your research then download my free guide to Kimberley cruising here.   I have also written some really interesting blogs (if I do say so myself) click here to have read.

Book your no obligation 20 minute discovery call with our Kimberley cruise expert.

Book a time and date that works in with your schedule and we will call you. Let us discover together the right Kimberley Cruise for YOU.