Australia’s northwest coastline continues to thrive in popularity, with Island Escape Cruises the latest cruise company to reveal a new program to the region later this year.
The New Zealand small ship cruise company will deploy its new ship, Island Escape, to Broome from July, offering six departures on a 12-night Wild Kimberley Coast itinerary.
The 4 July sailing will also be Island Escape Cruises’ inaugural voyage for its new ship, which is currently under construction at the Vard shipyard in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam.
Highlights of the Kimberley program include the Horizontal Falls, Doubtful Bay, Careening Bay, helicopter flight to Mitchell Falls, King George Falls, Swift Bay, Prince Regent National Park, Montgomery Reef and Silica Bay.
Prices start at $12,950 per person twin-share for the lead-in Ocean Suite, $15,950 in the Horizon Suite and $17,950 in the Owner’s Suite.
Island Escape will feature 17 suites and accommodate 32 guests. The premium Owner’s Suite and Horizon suites are located on the upper deck and have private balconies.
The new sailings will complement Island Escape Cruises’ other Australian operations to the Great Barrier Reef program that was unveiled recently and scheduled to operate between Brisbane and Cairns. There are currently two Northbound and Southbound voyages planned for the Queensland coastline from late September through until late October 2021.
The vessel will operate in Kiwi-waters from December 2021 through to April 2022, offering voyages to the Bay of Islands, Fiordland and Steward Island. Future destinations for Island Escape include the South Pacific and Tahiti.
More at islandescapecruises.com
Visitors “clamouring” to experience the Kimberley
CEO of Australia’s North West Tourism, Natasha Mahar, welcomed the fresh product to the Kimberley, which builds on the recent decision by Scenic to deploy Scenic Eclipse and Aurora Expeditions’ to operate MS Greg Mortimer in 2021, on top of re-occurring capacity with the likes of Ponant, Silversea, True North, Great Escape Coral Expeditions, and others.
“The Kimberley Region has become a ‘bucket list’ destination for travellers, and now in our current situation with restrictions on overseas travel due to COVID, visitors are clamouring to experience the Kimberley’s majestic landscape and ancient soulfulness.
“Kimberley expedition cruising is up there with a trip to the Galapagos or Antarctica according to many adventurous travellers who have experienced the ‘trifecta’,” Mahar told LATTE.
“The region’s appeal as one of the most awe-inspiring wilderness adventure in the world is due to its wide-open spaces, rugged cliffs that rise from the ocean, breathtaking waterfalls, ancient Aboriginal rock art, island beaches, magnificent gorges and pristine reefs.
“As a result, in 2021 most vessels operating along the Kimberley coast are heavily booked, with some companies receiving reservations well into 2022,” Mahar added.