How much is a Kimberley cruise?

I’m Jenny Flower and I have specialised in booking Kimberley cruises for over fifteen years. My team and I at Kimberley Travel and Cruise spend all our working day talking about Kimberley cruises. We know the vessels, their owners, their cabins and their itineraries. And, of course we know the prices for all the ships; sometimes just off the top of our heads. So on occasions we forget that people are just beginning their research into this magnificent destination and really just need a quick ballpark guide to the prices.

So then; “how much is a Kimberley cruise?”

It is not a simple question unfortunately (I know you were probably expecting me to say that!). We work with over a dozen vessels operated by different companies with varying passenger numbers, numerous itineraries and of course different cabin types. And at least one operator is now dividing the Kimberley cruise season into two – high season (May, June and July) and low season (March, April, September). So the answer to ‘how much is a Kimberley cruise’ is dependent on a huge number of variable factors. The following is my attempt at a really general guide to the costs of a Kimberley cruise:

To start with, let’s address the elephant in the room; this is not a cheap destination! The prices for Kimberley cruises are not for the faint hearted. The reason why is the subject of a different blog which you can find here.

Aerial view of the Horizontal Falls

The majority of our clients pay between $12000 and $15000 per person for a Kimberley cruise. There are definitely cheaper options around and there are plenty of more expensive options but this seems the most popular range. Here are a few of the factors that will affect the price:

Big vessel versus smaller vessel

All the vessels we work with our small ships by any standard. We don’t book the huge cruise ships that can only look at the Kimberley coast from sea. Our ships range in size from 12 passengers to around 180. The most popular ships carry between 70 and 120

A simple rule of thumb is the smaller the vessel (in terms of passengers) the more expensive the trip. It is simple economics that a Kimberley cruise on a vessel with 12, 20 or 30 passengers is going to be more expensive to operate (on a per person basis) than a ship with more than 100 passengers.

Note there are very significant differences between the different ship types and each has a specific appeal . Please read my free guide to Kimberley cruises for information on that or book a call and we can have an informal chat about the differences.

Cabin type

Naturally this is a big factor in the price. There can be quite a variation in price for the same cruise based on your accommodation but don’t forget that these are expedition cruises. There are very few ‘days at sea’ on these itineraires. On the contrary, the emphasis is about getting off the boat and seeing all that the Kimberley has to offer. You will want your cabin to be comfortable and most people want their own bathroom and a good size window. But you are not spending lots of time in your cabin.

En-suite bathrooms

With one exception, all our vessels have cabins with en suite bathrooms. The one exception is Odyssey Expeditions. My colleague, Karen is a big fan of Odyssey and would be happy to have a chat about the experience of cruising the Kimberley coast.

Balconies

More and more we are being asked for cabins with balconies. Until a few years ago it was very unusual to have balconies available for Kimberley cruises but this is becoming more of a feature. The international ships usually have the best deal on balcony cabins but 

Note the smallest vessel that offers balcony cabins for expedition cruising along the Kimberley coast is the 78 passenger coral discoverer followed by its sister ships the coral geographer and coral adventurer which both take 120 passengers 

The larger international ships tend to have balconies priced lower than this but beware their dynamic pricing – see below. Cabins with balconies can start at $10500 pp on these ships.

International vessels versus domestic vessels

Again this is covered in one of my previous blogs but the international vessels have a significant price advantage over the local vessels. I still prefer the Australian registered ships.

Dynamic pricing

This tends to be the preserve of the international ships who have a frustrating habit of constantly changing prices on all their departures. Those departures with higher demand go up in price.

Booking early is the number one way to get a good deal on a Kimberley cruise.

High season and shoulder season

Currently only one operator, Coral Expeditions, has its pricing formally divided into high season (May-July) and shoulder season (March, April, September, October) but others may follow. 

Landscape view at the top of one of the twin King George Falls in flood during rainy season.

May and June are extremely popular months for Kimberley cruises; if these are the months that you wish to sail then you need to book quickly.

Singles

Most single travelers know that it can be hard to secure a good deal on a cruise. I have written a blog on the best options for single travelers after a Kimberley cruise.

So ‘how much is a Kimberley cruise?’ It depends on all the factors above. 


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.