Island Escape Cruises pushes back Kimberley debut

NZ cruise company consolidates Great Barrier Reef program

Island Escape undergoing sea trials in June 2021

Island Escape Cruises has added two new inaugural season departures in the Kimberley for its new yacht, Island Escape, in the process of postponing its launch date by a few weeks.

The new 9-night Southern Kimberley voyages will operate roundtrip from Broome on 17 and 26 September 2021, and complement four 12-night Australian northwest coastline sailings, the first two of which are sold out.

The shorter duration cruises on the 32-passenger Island Escape will take guests to the Horizontal Falls, Doubtful Bay, Mitchell Falls, Swift Bay, Prince Regent National Park, Montgomery Reef and Silica Beach. Prices for the voyages start at $9,950 per person twin share in an Ocean Suite.

“The Island Escape Kimberley season is almost sold out, however, we have been able to accommodate two shorter, 9 night Southern Kimberley voyages,” the New Zealand company noted.

Island Escape being put through its paces during its recent sea trials.

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Island Escape‘s maiden cruise has been pushed back 3.5 weeks from the originally slated 4 July 2021 departure, resulting in a number of voyage cancellations.

“Unfortunately, we had to cancel the departures due to closed borders in Vietnam which again led to service engineers being unable to travel to the yard to do the commissioning of critical equipment. These issues have now been sorted out and we have concluded the last of three sea trials,” Erik Helseth, CEO of Island Escape Cruises told LATTE.

The yacht’s new launch cruise in Western Australia will now commence on 29 July.

“We are in the final stage of completing the yacht and have started to bring the owners furnished equipment onboard,” Helseth added.

Also impacted by the extended Kimberley season are a number of Great Barrier Reef voyages between Cairns and Brisbane, with those 10-night cruises consolidated to a one-off departure on 17 October 2021. Originally there were multiple one-way departures on this itinerary. However new Australian East Coast itineraries are in the pipeline for this season.

Island Escape Cruises’ offers an all-inclusive experience, with all meals, select wines, spirits, beer and other drinks included. Unlimited WiFi and all excursions and helicopter flights mentioned in the company’s itineraries are also complimentary.

For guest peace of mind due to continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Island Escape Cruises says it has implemented health procedures to “ensure that we operate safely and responsibly”. Booked clients can cancel due to COVID-10 and receive a Future Cruise Credit of monies paid, valid up to 18 months from the original booked sailing date. Terms and conditions apply.

The cruise line has shared a video (below) on social media which offers some of the first glimpses of the yacht. The 56-metre vessel was designed by Vard in Norway and was built at the Vard Vung Tau shipyard in Vietnam.

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