Boating this vast, unspoiled Kimberley coastline is a true adventure. There are no towns, marinas, or service facilities. You take everything with you. But it allows some unforgettable experiences: magnificent if stark scenery, utter isolation, showering under pristine waterfalls, experiencing the size and power of the tides, including the so-called "Horizontal Falls," and the brilliant night skies.
Several boat operators run fishing and adventure trips from Broome, Derby (221km/137 miles northeast of Broome), or Wyndham. Otherwise, there are cruises that can only be described as luxurious. North Star Cruises even travels with its own helicopter for sightseeing and heli-fishing. Some boats take scuba divers and snorkelers to Rowley Shoals, a marvelous outcrop of coral reef and giant clams 260km (161 miles) west of Broome.
Some of the most established operators are North Star Cruises (tel. 08/9192 1829; www.northstarcruises.com.au), Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises (tel. 1300/156 035 in Australia or 08/9193 6131; www.kimberleyquest.com.au), and Coral Princess Cruises (tel. 931/924 5253 in North America, or 07/4040 9999; www.coralprincesscruises.com), all operating from Broome; Buccaneer Sea Safaris (tel. 08/9191 1991;) operates out of Derby. The cruises run only in the Dry, generally between April and October, and tend to book up well in advance, often a year ahead.
The 34m (112-ft.) North Star can carry 36 passengers on 13-day cruises between Broome and Wyndham at A$13,995 to A$22,995 per person. It also offers some 6- or 7-day intermediate options, and September trips to Rowley Shoals. Pearl Sea carries 18 passengers onboard the 25m (82-ft.) Kimberley Quest II, with its 13-day Broome-Wyndham prices ranging from A$12,095 to A$19,355, but most of its cruises are 7 days, from A$8,345 to A$12,085. Coral Princess has the largest vessels: the 35m (115-ft.) Coral Princess and the 63m (207-ft.) Oceanic Discoverer (the more expensive), with 10-night cruises between Broome and Darwin for A$6,950 to A$9,950. All these prices are based on twin share. Buccaneer offers live-aboard facilities on Mahalo II, on trips of 5 to 10 days from Derby. You need to check what is supplied/included in the way of excursions or transfers, such as seaplane and/or helicopter flights.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.