Day 1. Broome. Embarkation.
Located in the northwest of the Kimberley region and in the far north
of Western Australia, the town of Broome is reputed for its history and
its glorious pearling era. Broome is also famous for the “Staircase to the
Moon”, an optical illusion created by the Moon reflecting on the sand
banks at low tide, like a staircase climbing up towards the sky, a unique
spectacle provided by nature.
Day 2. Lacepede Islands, Australia.
The Lacepede Islands are Western Australia’s most important breeding
habitat for Green Turtles, and have been named by Bird Life Int. as an
Important Bird Area. The breeding colony of Brown Boobies is possibly
the largest in the world. Birds breeding on the islands include Roseate
Terns, Masked Boobies, Australian Pelicans, Lesser Frigatebirds,
Eastern Reef Egrets, Silver Gulls, Crested, Bridled and Lesser Crested
Terns, Common Noddies, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers. Due to the
sensitive nature of the environment, landings are prohibited on the
Lacepede Islands. Join your expedition team for a guided Zodiac® tour
to view the prolific wildlife.
Day 3. Collier Bay, Australia.
Shaped by the massive tidal movements the region is renowned for,
Collier Bay is a a photographer’s paradise. With a tidal range exceeding
14 metres recorded near Yule entrance at the southern end of the bay,
they are among the largest in the world. Nestled in the centre of the Bay
is Montgomery Reef, the world’s largest inshore reef system. As the tide
falls a raging torrent of water cascades off the top of the reef, creating
turbulent ‘rivers’ and mini waterfalls. At the Southern end of the Bay,
Talbot Bay is home to the world’s only ’Horizontal Falls’. Hidden in the
many caves and grottos of this ancient landscape are a multitude of
ancient Rock Art galleries. Here you can find spectacular examples of
the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion styles.
Day 4. Careening Bay, Australia.
Named by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King after his ship, HMC Mermaid,
was careened there during his third voyage of discovery in 1820. At high
tide, he ran the Mermaid onto the sands where his crew worked hard
on repairs before refloating the vessel. The ship’s carpenter carved
the name of the vessel and the year into a conspicuous boab tree. The
famous boab tree is now 3 metres wide and National Heritage listed. A
reminder of a by gone era of exploration.
Day 5. Hunter River, Australia.
Lined with ancient rainforest pockets, pristine mangroves and mosaic
sandstone cliffs, the area is considered to be home to some of the
most pristine mangrove forests in the world, containing up to 18
different species, supporting a rich and diverse fauna. The sandstone
escarpment at the river mouth, rises over 200 metres high before giving
way to extensive mud banks and mangrove forests, home to numerous
bird species and the iconic saltwater crocodile. Our Expedition Team
will share their knowledge with you as you explore this pristine
mangrove environment by Zodiac®. You will also have the opportunity
to reach the Mitchell Falls by helicopter from Naturalist Island beach on
an optional excursion.
Day 6. Swift Bay, Australia.
The Bonaparte Archipelago, is a stunningly rugged maze of islands
stretching almost 150 km along Western Australia’s remote Kimberley
coast. Its colour and scale conspire to take ones’ breath away. Its
distant location has meant it has remained an unspoilt and remarkably
pristine location to explore and experience. Join your expedition team
ashore for a guided walk to a number of rock art galleries depicting
these unique rock art styles.
Day 7. Vansittart Bay, Australia.
Jar Island contains ancient rock art galleries depicting the Gwion Gwion
style unique to the Kimberley region. It is generally thought that this art
may extend back to over 30,000 years before our time and represents
the first wave of seagoing colonisers of the Australian continent. As
it is, these are the oldest detailed depiction of human figures in the
world. Join your Expedition Team ashore for a short walk, past some
fascinating rock formations, to the site of the Gwion Gwion art galleries.
Day 8. King George River, Australia.
The journey up the King George River is nothing short of breathtaking.
The 80-metre-high sides of the gorge display varying degrees of
weathering of the ancient sandstone. The colours and textures of the
gorge change with the light as you travel further up the river creating a
continual changing scenery. The journey culminates at the King George
twin falls; the highest single-drop falls in the whole of the Kimberley. Your
Expedition Team will escort you in either the Zodiacs® or ship tenders to
the foot of the twin falls, and explain all about the stunning geological
formations of the canyon.
Day 9. At Sea.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and
activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa
or stay in shape in the fitness centre, be tempted by the swimming pool
or a spot of sunbathing. You will also have an opportunity to enjoy the
conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the
boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers. As for lovers of the
open sea, you will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the
spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine
Day 10. Darwin. Disembarkation.
Located in Australia’s Northern Territory, also known as the “Top End”.
Darwin is a beautiful tropical city, a melting pot of people and cultures,
over 50 different cultures live and work side by side that prides itself in
its unique and friendly laid-back lifestyle.