What is the weather like in the Kimberley?
The Kimberley region of north Western Australia has a tropical climate with two very distinct seasons – The Dry Season and the Wet Season. Most visitors come during the Dry Season (May to September) when the skies are blue, the winds are light, rain is very unlikely and nights can get a little chilly. With balmy days and great weather, outdoor activities can be confidently planned in advance. Temperatures in the Dry Season range between 26 and 36 degrees in March and April, 14 and 30 degrees from June until August and 19 to 32 degrees during September. The Wet Season spans from October to April. During the Wet Season it is very hot, humid and the Kimberley receives 90% of its annual rainfall. The Wet Season is also the cyclone (monsoon) season. For this reason, cruises operate during the Dry Season, or the shoulder season months of the Wet Season.
What shall I pack?
It depends on your cruise boat, as some are a little fancier than others when it comes to on-board attire. However, we recommend ‘Kimberley casual’ – lightweight clothing for shore excursions (popular items include long-sleeved, lightweight fishing shirts; long-sleeved cotton tops; long, lightweight pants; shorts and cotton shirts). Worn-in hiking shoes or joggers with a good grip are recommended. Reef sandals with support around the ankle and the back of the foot are much better than Crocs or any sandal that can get slippery. Note that some of the smaller boats have a ‘no shoes on board’ policy.
A cap or a hat with a drawstring is hand for excursions (hats are prone to blowing off) and two pairs of sunglasses are a good idea, in case you lose one overboard. Polarised sunnies are best.
Bring a cardigan/sweater for cooler evenings. For evening meals, a smart-casual button-up shirt is fine with some dress shorts or trousers (the bigger the boat, generally, the fancier the evening attire). For the ladies, you may wish to wear a dress for evening meals.
And don’t forget your swimwear!
Are cruises BYO?
Different boats have different rules, depending on whether they have a liquor license or not. Please check with us. Generally, the bigger boats all have licensed bars and therefore do not allow BYO.
If your cruise begins with a scenic flight to meet the boat, you will have luggage weight restrictions. In this case, we will send you a list from a local bottleshop for you to choose your beverages and your cruise staff will pick it up and deliver it to the boat before it leaves port. For this reason, we generally ask for these lists to be returned to us weeks prior to your cruise disembarkation date.
What is included in the cruise cost?
All adventure boat excursions are included (unless otherwise specified, such as the instance of a third party operator being used at particular locations such as the Horizontal Falls); meals and non-alcoholic refreshments; generally all fishing gear is included (but some boats charge a fee if you lose any gear).
Scenic helicopter flights (unless they are part of a transfer to or from the ship); visitor pass fee; other purchases made on-board, and alcoholic beverages are extra (unless otherwise stated by the cruise company).
What if I have special dietary requirements?
When booking your cruise please inform us of any special dietary requirements you may have.
Is there internet or phone access along the Kimberley coastline?
Part of the Kimberley experience is to be off the grid for a while. By day two you won’t even be reaching for your phone except to take some holiday snaps.Most of the Kimberley coastline does not currently have phone reception. All of the boats have satellite phones, which are generally not for the use of passengers except in the case of an emergency. A cost is also incurred, which can be pricey due to satellite phone fees.Some cruise vessels have internet access (generally the bigger ships) and some cruise vessels do not.
Are flights or hotel stays included before or after the cruise?
Your cruise fare does not include accommodation, however, the Kimberley Cruise Centre offers some great packages for flights, hotels and tours. We are local people who live in the Eastern Kimberley and we are more than happy to share some of our local advice about the best tours, flight times and accommodation options. We also book these things.
Are transfers to & from the vessel included in the cruise cost?
Many of the boats do include hotel transfers, but some of the bigger boats do not include them – please enquire with us.
Does SCUBA diving feature on this cruise?
Crocodiles are a viewing highlight on our Kimberley cruises however they tend to be a little territorial when it comes to getting in the water! So, unfortunately diving or snorkelling in the sea is not an option. Staff on board your cruise will advise which places are safe to swim (generally waterholes above the high tide mark or above a waterfall). At no point should you even jump off the boat for a swim or jump into the water for a swim anywhere unless cruise staff have said that it’s ok.
What medical supplies should I pack?
We recommend that guests bring their own personal first aid items and personal medications sufficient for the cruise duration. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover the event of medical evacuation, which is expensive due to helicopters and light aircraft extractions from remote locations (there are no roads for ambulances to come and get you from the Kimberley coastline). Insurance with unlimited medical evacuation costs is highly recommended.
Are there power points in each cabin?
Yes, each boat generally has 110v and 240v Australian power points. Please check with us.
What species of fish are commonly caught?
Only the highest quality in eating fish – mangrove jack, coral trout, finger-mark bream, monster golden snapper & the revered barramundi are caught in tropical waters. In ‘cooler climes’ (mid year) West Australian jewfish, pink snapper, emperors and whiting are always popular.
Do I need travel insurance
Yes. Absolutely. And we recommend that you purchase this at the same time that you pay your cruise deposit. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover your cruise deposit, your luggage and medical evacuation, which is expensive due to helicopters and light aircraft extractions from remote locations (there are no roads for ambulances to come and get you from the Kimberley coastline). Insurance with unlimited medical evacuation costs is highly recommended. From our 20+ years of experience in this field, we can recommend Covermore insurance https://www.covermore.com.au/
If you are relying on your credit card insurance, please check that it covers unlimited medical evacuation costs.