Kimberley Cruises - Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you cruise?
Some cruises are part of a package between Darwin and Broome, which includes a cruise between Wyndham and Derby. Other cruises focus mainly on a group of 1200 islands in the ‘Buccaneer Archipelago’ and travel as far north as the Prince Regent River and the Hunter River.
Is there an opportunity to get off the boat?
Most days you will be off Discovery One once or twice a day, stopping at different islands or other places of interest. We have 2 purpose built tenders which do a great job in taking all our passengers at the same time on excursions, so we can usually fit in more excursions than similar boats.
Will I get sea sick?
Discovery One is a twin hull catamaran so it’s more stable in the water than single hull vessels. Also, as we are cruising around waters protected by the 1200 islands, it is usually very calm. If there are any times when the water is a bit choppy, the Captain will give you some warning. We suggest you bring seasickness medication with you for these occasions.
Should I leave from Broome or Derby?
If you have your own transport (car, caravan, motor home), we suggest you make your way to Derby where we will pay for your vehicle storage at Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park (08 9193 1055). We will pick you up from there and drop you back after the cruise.
If you are flying in to do the cruise, your destination will be Broome where we will provide you with a night’s accommodation before the cruise, and bus transport to Derby on the day the cruise commences. (Cruises 1, 3 & 5 start from Darwin and conclude in Derby so a night’s accommodation in Broome will be provided at the end of the cruise.)
What will I see?
There is so much to see around the 1200 islands so we have chosen the best and most varied sites. We take you to places such as Silica Beach with its pure white silica sand, Crocodile Creek with its freshwater rock pools where you can swim, Montgomery Reef – a 400 sq km reef that becomes exposed as the tide drops, Horizontal Falls where you can do a fast boat ride or a scenic helicopter flight, Sheep Island to see the graves of early settlers, Raft Point for some of the best preserved Aboriginal art. The list goes on…
What is included?
All meals, excursions and transfers are included from the time we pick you up in Broome or Derby, to the time we drop you back after the cruise. The exceptions are purchases from the bar, souvenirs and any optional excursions provided by 3rd parties which you can choose to put on your Bar Account. Your Bar Account is finalised at the end of the cruise using Visa or Mastercard.
How many passengers and crew do you take?
We take a maximum of 22 passengers per cruise and have 6 professional crew to look after you.
What type of accommodation is there?
We have 11 cabins which are all the same price. They are basic but very comfortable with individual air conditioning. The 5 window cabins have double beds. These are allocated on a first come-first served basis. The remaining 6 cabins are internal and slightly bigger; 2 of these are twin share with single beds, the rest have double beds and a single bunk so can be used as either a double cabin or a twin share.
Do I have an ensuite?
No. There are separate facilities for men and women. There are two showers with change rooms for the women and again for the men as well as several toilets in each. With only 22 passengers, you won’t have any problems with waiting for bathrooms to become available.
What is the food like?
The food is fresh and varied. It is usually buffet style so that you can help yourself to as much as you like. There will be several salads with each meal as well as a few hot dishes to cater for everyone’s taste. If you have any special dietary requirements, let us know before the cruise and we are more than happy to cater for you.
Is there a single supplement?
The single supplement for all cruises is 50% if a guest wishes to solely occupy a cabin. If a guest wants to book but is happy to share with another same-sex passenger, they will only pay the standard single rate and we will look for someone of the same sex to share with them.
When is the best time to cruise?
It depends on what you most want to see. March to May is the best time to see the waterfalls after the wet season. June to September are the cooler months and the weather is usually quite stable. July and August are wonderful for seeing the humpback whales with their babies.
When is the best time for the Horizontal Falls?
We rearrange the itinerary on each cruise to ensure you get to see the falls when they are running at their best. There is no month that is better than others to experience this, the tides change twice a day, every day of the month.
What are the bar prices like?
Similar to pub prices.
Why are you so much cheaper than other cruise companies?
The major reason we can keep our prices down is that we don’t use Travel Agents to market our cruises for us. We do all our own marketing which means we don’t pay commissions of 20%. This has to be built into the price of other cruises. Also, with almost 40% of our bookings coming from past passenger recommendations, our own marketing costs are comparatively low.
We are the best value in the Kimberley and work hard to stay affordable for the average person. We are not a luxury cruise, however, we go to all the same places as other cruises, and in some cases we even fit in more excursions! Ours is a friendly, relaxed and casual cruise with a fantastic crew who make sure you have a great time. We want you to kick your shoes off, relax on the deck and have fun while you’re travelling with us.
Can you book my domestic flights/accommodation prior to the cruise?
We would be glad to assist you in booking flights if you don’t have access to a computer. We provide a night’s accommodation in Broome for all our cruises, but if you wish to stay in Broome longer, we would be happy to organise this for you.
What age group are the other passengers usually?
Most of our passengers are over 50, but generally our cruises attract any adventurous, nature loving and down to earth people.
Do you take children?
We don’t encourage children onboard, especially less than 12 years old. Our boat is not equipped for children both in terms of safety and amusements to keep them occupied. If an older child accompanies a parent, they are the sole responsibility of the parent(s).
Do you do charters?
Yes – if we have an empty scheduled cruise we would consider doing a charter.
Do you give a discount for group bookings?
We don’t discount, except for a last minute booking where there is availability or a cancellation. For groups of 6 or more, we can offer a Bar Credit which would be deducted from final accounts. This is not redeemable for cash or transferable, and can only be used onboard Discovery One.
When is the deposit due?
A booking is not confirmed until we receive a signed booking form and a deposit of 30%. The final balance is due 6 weeks prior to the cruise.
What time will my pick up be for the cruise?
Pick up times depend on tides, flight times, weather etc. Pick up times from Broome and Derby will usually be in the morning so it is preferable for all passengers to arrive the day before.
What time will I be back in Derby/Broome afterwards?
We can’t give a specific time until we have studied tide charts, but usually before 6pm.
What type of vessel is Discovery One?
Discovery One is an 25mt steel catamaran. It has 4 levels and is a very spacious boat for 22 passengers with plenty of deck space. Features include air conditioning throughout, roof top sun deck with spa, licensed bar, dining aft deck, 11 air conditioned cabins, spacious lounge.
What do I need to bring with me on a cruise?
Some of our cruises have strict weight limits for luggage due to light air, seaplane and helicopter flights. To reduce luggage weight we provide a lot of items onboard such as linen, towels, beach towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, hairdryers, sunscreen, insect repellent, hiking sticks, day packs, peaked caps and drink bottles. A list of what we recommend that you bring with you will be provided after booking. To make it easier for you, we also provide a free laundry service on the boat.
Do I need to purchase any insurance?
Yes. If you are an Australian citizen you should purchase Domestic Travel Insurance when you pay your deposit. This ensures that you are covered for the cost of the cruise (either part payment or full payment) should anything happen prior to or during the cruise which necessitates you cancelling or leaving a cruise in progress (please refer to our Terms & Conditions for our refund policy).
The other type of insurance you will need is to cover you if you should become ill or have an accident during the cruise, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service needs to charter a seaplane to evacuate you from the boat (they have only fixed wing aircraft). Please check with your Private Medical Insurance Company to make sure you are covered for this event.
If you are an International guest, you should have suitable Travel Insurance to cover you for any emergency.
Can I use my mobile phone or internet while on the cruise?
No. We are travelling in a wilderness area where there is no mobile phone or internet coverage. Discovery One has a satellite phone for emergencies only. We have a computer on board where you can download photos to a memory stick if you wish.
How can people contact me in an emergency?
If someone needs to contact you urgently, they should call 1800 185 960 and either relay or leave a message. The boat will be contacted on their behalf.