Coral Expeditions will return to its originally planned one-way voyages to and from Darwin to the Kimberley following a COVID-19 policy update by the Northern Territory Government late last week.
The Australian expedition line was forced to revise a number of its deployments to a roundtrip Broome operation last month after the NT imposed a 100-passenger capacity limit on ships operating from the capital.
Two of Coral Expeditions’ vessels, Coral Adventurer and the brand-new Coral Geographer, carry 100 guests and up to 48 crew. Sailings on those vessels that had initially been planned to operate from Darwin were adjusted.
“The NT government has changed its position unexpectedly, increasing permitted capacity to no more than 150 persons at one time and aligning with the national definition of Biosecurity Act,” the cruise line said.
As a result, Coral Expeditions’ vessels from mid-May will revert back to their normal Darwin/Broome (and vice versa) schedule and return to Darwin during the season.
“This is good news for our guests, staff, crew and suppliers and we will gladly return to our regular published schedule in this, our 26th year of operating in the Kimberley region. We thank all involved in assisting with our contingency plans over the past weeks,” Coral Expeditions said.
Four sailings that had already been adjusted to start and end in Broome (on 23 & 30 April and 3 & 14 May 2021) will stick to the same format, which is “substantially the same itinerary”, Coral said.
The charter flight arrangements organised for these four departures will remain unchanged.
“All future expeditions will revert to our originally published scheduling pattern between Darwin and Broome, subject to final approvals by Northern Territory authorities we are now obtaining,” Coral said, adding that now the regulations for the Kimberley region are set by the authorities, “we are hopeful of no further changes”.
Lead image: Coral Adventurer at Darwin | Source: Darwin Port Operations/Facebook