Constellation Journeys enters domestic arena

Melbourne-based luxury private tour operator charters expedition cruise vessel

King George Falls on the north Kimberley Coast | credit: Tourism Western Australia

Constellation Journeys has confirmed a partnership with fellow Australian travel company, Coral Expeditions, to operate a new Kimberley Coast travel experience in 2021. The luxury private tour operator will offer its maiden domestic product, and first cruise experience, aboard the 14-month old Coral Adventurer on a voyage from Broome to Darwin in April next year.

The charter of the 110-passenger expedition ship is the first of future ‘at home’ upmarket travel experiences for Constellation Journeys, Managing Director Dan Kotzmann told LATTE.

Coral Adventurer at sea

Kotzmann explained that there were many synergies between Constellation Journeys and Coral Expeditions, in terms of quality product offering, customer service ethos and company values. Both are Australian-owned and -operated with local employees.

“At this time we particularly want to support operators within our local industry,” he said.

Jeff Gilles, Commercial Director for Coral Expeditions, said the new partnership augers well for the like-minded companies.

“At a time when the focus more than ever is on exploring our own country, we are looking forward to building the relationship with Dan and his Constellation Journeys team and to sharing the spectacular Kimberley Coast with their adventurous guests,” Gilles said.

Explorer Deck Stateroom aboard Coral Adventurer

Kotzmann continued: “Coral Expeditions has a stellar 35-year history operating expedition cruises in Australia and we have had wonderful feedback from our own guests who have also travelled with Coral Expeditions previously. Add to that the opportunity to exclusively secure a very new ship, the Coral Adventurer, and we are thrilled to partner in this product offering.”

He said the addition of domestic Australian product hadn’t been an “immediate intention”, but the coronavirus pandemic saw it necessary for the company to pivot its direction. “We’re seeing first hand, the opportunities that can be created in a crisis if you can think laterally and stay in touch with the market.”

“After the popularity of our international journeys, our regular guests are crying out for an opportunity to travel with us again as soon as they are able, and no one wants to wait until international borders open.

“With such pent up demand to get out and explore again, coupled with a focus on domestic travel at present, this is a brilliant travel experience to a magnificent part of Australia.”

Mount Trafalgar, Kimberley Coast | credit: Garry Norris Photography

The charter of Coral Adventurer is just the start. Kotzmann revealed further domestic travel experiences on the horizon, but the Melbourne-based travel company is staying true to its future plan for international trips while monitoring the situation in overseas markets.

“We have rescheduled our trans-Siberian railway journey in the second half of next year and are tentatively planning further international tours for later in 2021,” he added.

Other cruises are also in the pipeline, with Constellation Journeys planning a Japan tour and cruise product, as well as other cruising ideas in mind.

“Our approach is to seek out leading, unique cruise product and to build around it, enhancing the experience in our own Constellation Journeys way to create something truly special for our guests,” he said.

Montgomery Reef, Kimberley | credit: Garry Norris Photography

For guests booking on the Coral Adventurer charter next April, the company has added a pre-cruise night at Cable Beach Club in Broome with a welcome dinner, as well as a separate cocktail function for solo travellers. Kotzmann himself and his experienced team will join the tour, and Constellation Journeys will add another layer of confidence, including their own doctor for the duration of all journeys.

Interest in the 11-night Kimberley Coast Expedition has been “overwhelming” since the company sent out a ‘save the date’ email to its database last week.

“There is an incredible enthusiasm amongst our frequent travellers,” Kotzmann concluded

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