New Zealand-based small-ship operator Island Escape Cruises has received authorisation from Australian regulators to operate its planned Great Barrier Reef and Kimberley coastline itineraries in 2021.
The move provides potential cruise customers with the assurance that the operator will proceed with its local deployment, which includes the inaugural sailing of its brand-new 32-guest yacht, Island Escape.
“After a long process we have received our permits to operate commercial cruises in both Great Barrier Reef and Kimberley,” the company said on social media.
Island Escape Cruises’ CEO Erik Helseth told LATTE the company’s Kimberley coast series have been “very well received” since its launch a few weeks ago.
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The inaugural voyage of Island Escape is scheduled for 4 July 2021, a 12-night roundtrip voyage from Broome, as revealed by LATTE earlier this month. The cruise line will then reposition to the Queensland coastline in September for a series of one-way 10-night sailings between Cairns and Darwin until November.
Island Escape Cruises also highlighted that the Australian permit means it is not necessary for Island Escape to visit another country on its cruises, a condition required for some of its competitors.
“We do not need to make [a] technical stop in another country as some of the other cruise lines have to,” the company said on Facebook.
Island Escape will feature five suite categories, including the Owner’s Suite and Horizon Suites with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows on the Horizon Deck, a helicopter and dual tenders for shore excursions.
Lead image: Horizontal Falls, Talbot Bay, Western Australia | Credit: Tourism Western Australia