The Kimberley coastline is one of Australia’s special places, an astonishing wilderness of wild rivers, red cliffs and crystalline beaches that stand stark against a teeming blue sea. This is also one of the most remote parts of the country. It can only be explored from the waterline, and Oceanic Discoverer and Coral Princess are small cruisers that make 10 or 11-day trips from Darwin to and Broome between April and September. Large enough to provide a high level of creature comforts yet sufficiently small to sail into the river mouths and to the foot of waterfalls, these expeditionary-style cruisers are equipped with excursion boats and zodiac inflatables that take in for a close-up view of basking crocodiles, reefs, rock art and the scenic splendours along the shoreline.
True North is a sleek, handsome, 36-passenger vessel has been taking its passengers where others seldom go in a style that set a new benchmark for expeditionary cruising.These are not voyages for those who prefer to watch the scenery unfurl from a deckchair. You’re signed on for adventure, as conceived and choreographed by owner Craig Howson, and that means plenty of everything – snorkelling, diving, village tours, island walks and fishing at every possible opportunity, a few late nights and plenty of laughs.
The crew could well be their children – energetic and efficient 20-somethings with the ability to turn out bistro-smart meals for lunch and dinner. Something else that sets True North apart is the helicopter on the top deck, whisking you away to rock art sites, fishing spots, swimming holes and picnics at plunging waterfalls that would otherwise be completely inaccessible. Cabins are crisp and comfortable with the emphasis on practicality. Whichever you choose, you’ll have your own en suite bathroom, individual air conditioning and a TV monitor with a DVD player.