Where do Kimberley Cruises depart from?

Kimberley cruises from Broome

When most people think of a cruise along the Kimberley coast, most instinctively think of Broome and they are correct. The vast majority of Kimberley cruises will either start or finish (sometimes both) in Broome.

Broome has a fascinating history, Pearling, WWII and indigenous culture – a true melting pot of and it is definitely worth a few days to spend either before your Kimberley cruise or at its finale.  (NOTE we include a FREE sightseeing tour of Broome when you book a Kimberley Cruise of 7 nights or more!)

As the port of Broome is several kilometres away from both Broome Town and Cable Beach and is not accessible by public transport. Most cruise companies offer transfers to/from Broome hotels.

Kimberley cruises from Derby

Derby used to be the main town of the Kimberley but it has long been superseded by Broome as a base. There are occasionally cruises that transfer you from Broome to Derby to board the vessel the main boat that departs from Derby but it is a low budget operation with guests sleeping on the beach.

Kimberley cruises to/from Hunter River

Kimberley “Southern itineraries” start or finish in the remote and beautiful Hunter River. Depending on your direction of travel you will take a light aircraft flight to the Hunter River and then transfer to a helicopter for a spectacular flight over the Mitchell Falls; a quick ‘figure of eight’ circuit over the falls for some pictures and then onwards. It is a wonderful way to start a Kimberley cruise. Or if the ship departed from Broome then it is a magnificent way to finish the cruise.

The tariff for any cruise that starts or finishes at the Hunter River will always include the helicopter and light aircraft to embark or disembark. But note that strict luggage weight restrictions apply.

Cruises starting or finishing at Hunter River involve a light aircraft flight between Broome and the airstrip at Mitchell Falls. The latter is not quite as extensive as Changi airport but more than adequate!

 

Operators that have Kimberley cruises that start or finish at Hunter River include Kimberley Quest II, Ocean Dream, and Odyssey.

Kimberley cruises from Wyndham and Kununurra

Essentially Wyndham is the port for the east Kimberley town of Kununurra. Wyndham is about an hour’s drive from Kununurra and the transfer between the two is always included by any cruise company that operates from there. When you see an itinerary that starts or finishes in Wyndham you are really looking at a cruise that starts or finishes in Kununurra.

Kununurra is a base to explore the east Kimberley region – Ord River and Lake Argyle, Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungles ranges.  We highly recommend some time in the “Heart of the Kimberley” email me for more information.

Obviously if you are planning to explore the east Kimberley region during your trip then a cruise that starts or finishes in Wyndham makes sense. But don’t let that influence your choice of cruise too much. It is just a 40-minute flight from Darwin to Kununurra making it easy enough to combine with a cruise that starts or finishes in the NT.

Operators that have Kimberley cruises that start or finish in Wyndham/Kununurra include: Kimberley Quest II, True North, Ocean Dream and APT (operator of Caledonian Sky)

 

Kimberley cruises from Darwin

Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory, is not in the Kimberley of course. However, many Kimberley cruises start or finish in Darwin for the convenience of both operator and passenger. Darwin has direct flight connections with most state capital cities so it easy and cheaper to get to. For the cruise companies, Darwin is great for reprovisioning of fuel and supplies and for turnaround of crew.

We find the convenience of starting or finishing in Darwin is very attractive to many clients. Darwin is a great base to explore the NT Top End especially Kakadu, Arnhem Land, Litchfield and even Katherine. Darwin as a port makes it easy to combine a Kimberley cruise with the iconic Ghan train that operates between Darwin and Adelaide with stops in Katherine, Alice Springs and (on the south-bound Ghan Expedition) Coober Pedy.

Or if you have already visited Darwin you can usually fly out the same day (check with me first mind you – I said ‘usually’) as your cruise finishes.

Darwin port is quite close to the waterfront area of Darwin. if you are finishing in Darwin a transfer to your hotel is included.

Operators that have Kimberley cruises that start or finish in Darwin include Coral Expeditions (operators of Coral Adventurer, Coral Discoverer and Coral Geographer), Eco Abrolhos, Reef Prince, Ponant (operators of Le Bellot, Le Laperouse and Le Soleal)

Frequently asked Questions

  1. Darwin to Broome or Broome to Darwin; which way?  I genuinely do not believe it matters. Both directions have exactly the same itinerary. Factors we do consider for you; flights costs and what you plans are before and after the cruise.
  1. Small plane? How small? It varies but not bigger than an 8-seater twin engine. As previously mentioned, luggage limits of around 10kg per person will apply.
  1. Where can I get directly flights? The easiest city to get direct flights to is Darwin. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth all have direct flights to Broome but only once or possibly twice a week. Kununurra is best visited via Darwin or Perth.
  1. How do I get more information? Book a call with me and we can explore your options together. CLICK HERE to book a call at a time that suits you.

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.