Saturday, 17 September 2011

On a Kimberley Expedition with Orion Cruises

On Orion's Kimberley Expedition
Lynn and Brien chose the Kimberley Expedition in Australia's northwest because they wanted to see more of the region. By going on this Orion adventure cruise, they were able to access some of the most remote and scenic places in Australia that would not be possible to visit on larger cruise ships.
   Their 10-day cruise started in the town of Broome and leapfrogged up the Kimberley coast, to Yampi Sound, Raft Point and Montgomery Reef, Talbot River and the Horizontal Waterfalls, the Hunter River, Vansittart Bay, King George River, and the town of Wyndham. Then they sailed across to East Timor, and back to Australia to end in Darwin.
   At each day's destination area, they transferred, in small groups, to Zodiac craft (inflatable rubber boats) to go ashore or stay out on the water to explore rivers, reefs or waterfalls. Some days they landed on deserted beaches and hiked to see ancient Aboriginal rock art. At other times they could go on a fishing tour, or a flight over the Bungle Bungle ranges, an area of great natural beauty, or on a helicopter flight to Mitchell Falls, or walk to see the wreck of a World War II transport plane. 
   Another aspect of the cruise was the opportunity to see an interesting array of bird life and, sometimes at very close quarters, crocodiles and snakes. Some great photo opportunities there!
   I asked Lynn if passengers needed a certain level of fitness to go on this Orion expedition cruise as some of the activities involved walking up steep hills and over uneven ground, as well as getting in and out of the Zodiacs.
   She replied that when she booked the cruise, she was told very specifically about what passengers needed to be able to do physically and what they would need to take in the way of clothing, but also that help would be available from the Expedition Team.
  Lynn thoroughly enjoyed all the shore tours, especially the treks to see Aboriginal rock drawings and the scenic flights over some really interesting rock formations. Out on the water, one of her favourite experiences was seeing the Horizontal Waterfalls - "a real adrenaline rush."

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