Six tips for getting the best deal on a Kimberley Coast cruise.
Plenty of people ask me “how easy is it to get a Kimberley cruise deal?” Below are my six tips on making sure you get a good deal.
Before we go through these tips though please remember that you want the Kimberley coast cruise ‘best advice’ as much as a deal. Kimberley cruise boats vary greatly; it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ situation. I have been on more than one of these cruises where other passengers (not booked my me!) were not given the best advice, and to their major disappointment, were not on the right trip for them. I have even spoken to another company’s customer who thought he had scored a bargain only to find out he was on a huge cruise ship that merely sailed along the Kimberley coast and observed it from the distance!
Factors we consider before recommending a cruise includes; specific interests, preferred style of cruising, fitness and mobility, travel plans before, and after, the cruise and budget. Getting these wrong is a costly mistake regardless of whether you are getting “a deal” or not!
So, with that said here are my best six tips to get a Kimberley coast cruise deal:
- Book early – If you know you want to take Kimberley coast cruise then you really need to be looking many months (even years) prior to your preferred departure. This is a very popular destination with limited inventory. Our most popular vessels take less than 40 passengers per cruise so it doesn’t take long for their season to fill up. Every year I have a ‘pre-registration list’ for departures two years hence. If you are on this list you will receive a further $50pp discount on top of any other offer there is and you can get 1st dibs on the cabin/date you want.
Occasionally some operators, when releasing the dates and prices for a new season of Kimberley cruising do have early-bird deals to kick off the bookings.
- Consider travelling in shoulder season – one operator, Coral Expeditions, has from 2022 divided the Kimberley cruise season into two – peak season (May-July) and off-peak or shoulder season (March, April, September, October). If you are looking to control your costs then catching one of these off-peak deals is worthwhile. Their ships include Coral Discoverer, Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer. For more information about when it is the best time to cruise the Kimberley check out this recent blog.
- Stay on our mailing list. Click here to join our list. Don’t worry we won’t bombard you with e-mails – we are acutely aware that people don’t want that. Nor do we share your information with anyone else; absolutely not. But we do send out (along with informative e-mails) occasional special offers that our Kimberley cruise partners send to us when applicable.
- Book with us! Our prices are the same as you’ll get booking with the cruise direct but with us you get more. Our exclusive special offer is in conjunction with all Kimberley cruises that we book. All our Kimberley cruise passengers are eligible for 2 free nights’ accommodation in either Broome or Darwin plus a choice of a free sight-seeing tour in either Darwin or Broome.
- Take the inclusions into account. Most Kimberley cruises are very inclusive. Unlike the big cruise ships, this expedition style of cruising empathises the off-ship excursions, so the vast majority of daily activities (helicopter trips excluded) are already part of the cruise price. That’s worth taking into account when looking at the overall costs. A few ships include alcoholic drinks with meals on board which can help-out with your on-board bill at the end of the cruise. And a couple even throw in an occasional laundry run.
- Talk to me! Even if you are not ready to book it’s great to have a chat about your options. That way we can work out what would be your best option and work together to get the option deal for you.
What almost never works is holding out for a last-minute bargain. Very occasionally a late cancellation can mean a cabin becomes available with a discount. But it is genuinely quite rare. Most operators are not keen on dropping their prices at the last minute. This is especially the case with the owners of the smaller vessels who believe such discounts are not fair to their guests paying the normal price.
If a last-minute deal does become available then that’s great – we usually send this out to everyone on our mailing list -see point 3 above. But be warned. A last minute trip to the Kimberley during the peak season means you’ll be paying handily for accommodation and flights.
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.