Sunday 31 March 2024

From On Board Reef Prince: The Way of the Wandjina

The Kimberley is full of surprises, mysteries, tragedies and more than a few controversies.  

One of the persistent debates is that which concerns the abundant rock art that proliferates throughout Australia's North West. Is it the oldest rock art in the world? Is it all of the same origin? What art was produced by which ethnic groups? The arguments continue.

Friday 29 March 2024

From On Board Reef Prince: Under a watchful gaze

#expeditioncruising .

(c) Silvia Furtwangler

Like a stealthy submarine running at periscope depth, he eyes us suspiciously. All we see from the front of the tender are two yellow baubles and a slender trail of spiny scales receding into the murky water. Then, just as surreptitiously, he slides silently below the surface and is gone. Gone, to our gaze at least.

Tuesday 26 March 2024

From On Board Reef Prince: Atlantis Rises

Montgomery Reef (c) Paul Hogger

As the enormous tide falls, the structure appears to rise like the lost Atlantis. Water cascades down channels formed in the coral substrate over millennia creating a sight not repeated anywhere else on the planet.

Turtles, sharks, rays and predatory fish congregate in the gutters while wading birds gorge themselves on the sealife momentarily left stranded by the receding ocean.

Montgomery Reef is truly one of the wonders of any Kimberley cruise and regardless of who you choose to cruise with, this amazing disappearing reef will be a feature of that itinerary.

Our expedition leader aboard Reef Prince, Paul Hogger, has chosen a dawn exploration of the reef due to the rare coincidence of a full moon to complement the rising sun, creating a superb pastel hue on the facing escarpment.

Montgomery Reef was named by that hero of Australia's Northwest, Philip Parker King, in honour of his ship's surgeon, Dr Andrew Montgomery, who was speared in the shoulder during an interaction with the Worora people. Despite his grave wounds, Montgomery survived.


"Montgomery Reef is the largest inshore reef in the southern hemisphere," Paul tells us, "Sixty kilometres by forty kilometres with a total area of 550 square kilometres. That's at low tide. But at high tide, it's just 40 square kilometres."

This phenomenon occurs because way back when sea levels were much lower, the reef was actually a flat top mesa. When sea levels rose, the level perfectly aligned with the top of the mesa.

By the way, an enigmatic tribe of about 300 individuals once lived on the small islands within the reef complex itself. Known as the Yawijibaya, they were genetically distinct from mainland Aboriginals and adults of the tribe were known to be more than seven feet tall. Contact was first established in the 1920s, but within the decade they had vanished leaving behind their implements and dwellings. A mystery that persists to this day.

Ruby Falls (RE)

The balance of the morning was spent exploring the idyllic Ruby Falls, a favourite freshwater swimming hole and photo opportunity accessed via a spirited tender ride along Red Cone Creek.

I'm aboard the 36-passenger Reef Prince, the sole vessel of Kimberley Expeditions, for their 12-day Broome to Darwin itinerary.

For more details on cruising in the Kimberley, contact Kimberley Expeditions

Main Pic: Paul Hogger / Kimberley Expeditions

Sunday 24 March 2024

From On Board Reef Prince: Fish On!

"I'm on!" comes the cry from Polly, as the tip of the fishing rod bends violently towards the water. It's a big fish and Polly, all 63 kilograms of him, strains at the reel as the prize catch tries to pull him into the turbid waters.

Saturday 23 March 2024

From On Board Reef Prince in the Kimberley

Followers of this blog will know I have travelled with several of the best-known small ship operators in the Kimberley and even worked as an expedition guide for part of the 2022 season.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Win a Wendy Wu Mekong Cruise

#expeditioncruising .

Picture yourself indulging in breathtaking riverscapes as you cruise down one of Asia's most vibrant waterways.

Monday 18 March 2024

The ecological crisis no one is talking about

#expeditioncruising .

Unless you’ve you been tuning in to some of the more erudite media channels, you probably have no idea about the crisis unfolding in polar and sub-polar regions. The cruise companies certainly are not talking about it.

Hurtigruten goes all-inclusive


HX (Hurtigruten Expeditions), announced plans to further enhance their onboard guest offering. As part of a phased approach, starting with Antarctica and Galápagos expeditions in October 2024, they will be introducing an 'all-inclusive' offering as standard across the whole fleet from November 2024, covering all destinations.

Journey with one of the world’s smallest cruise lines through the wild isles, lochs and canals of Scotland

#expeditioncruising .

One of the world’s smallest cruise lines, Lord of the Glens, which operates an elegant, boutique vessel of the same name inspired by the Royal Yacht Britannia, offers lovers of ‘slow travel’ an intimate journey through the wild and far-flung isles, lochs, canals and highlands of Scotland. And to help more Australians get onboard the classic, 52-guest Lord of the Glens, for the unique experience, Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, is offering a saving of £200 British pounds per person for bookings made by September 6, 2024.

Thomas Lennartz joins Polar Adventure Company

#expeditioncruising .

Former Vice President of Global Sales for Quark Expeditions, Thomas Lennartz has joined the Polar Adventure Company to oversee the company’s global sales and customer service strategies.

Previously, Lennartz spent 14 years at Arctic Kingdom as an expedition leader before progressing to Head of Global Sales, Marketing, and Product Development.

Friday 15 March 2024

Albatros Expeditions to christen Ocean Albatros

#expeditioncruising .

Albatros Expeditions, a leading name in polar exploration and adventure travel, proudly announced the christening ceremony of their latest state-of-the-art vessel, the Ocean Albatros. The event is taking place on 7 May 2024 at Nordre Tolbod, in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Swan Hellenic Announces Deep Arctic Northern Lights Specials

#expeditioncruising .

Swan Hellenic continues to entice adventurous, curious minds with its expert-curated, cultural expedition cruises, this time announcing details of four exceptional “Northern Lights Voyages” across the Arctic aboard its luxurious ice-class vessel SH Vega.

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Offers Early Bird Savings on Unforgettable Expeditions to Tonga and Samoa

Expedition cruise specialists of the Pacific Captain Cook Cruises Fiji has launched limited time early bird savings on its highly sought after voyages to Tonga and Samoa onboard small ship MS Caledonian Sky set to depart in August 2024 and March 2025. 

Monday 11 March 2024

AdventureSmith's New Indonesian Sailing Route

#expeditioncruising . 

A new sailing route in Indonesia offered by AdventureSmith Explorations, the leader in small-ship adventure cruising, is giving expedition travelers more opportunities to explore and immerse themselves in Indonesian culture and its distinct wildlife experiences. Aboard either the 24-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina traditional Indonesian sailing vessels, the 9-day trip sets sail from and returns to Flores Island between April and August. The perfect introduction to Indonesia, the compact yet robust itinerary gets active travelers up close and personal with Komodo dragons, whale sharks and volcanic islands, while also connecting them with the people living and working in local villages.