Coral Coast Cruise

Expedition: WA Coastal cruise Fremantle to Broome (Scenic Coach from Fremantle-Perth-Pinnicles-Port Denison-Geraldton) EDIT

Departs from: Fremantle March 23, 2018

After discussion on board with you – our guests, your experienced Cruise Director will consider the best tides and weather conditions to develop your cruise plan and provide for an unforgettable tailored expedition for you and your fellow explorers. The following itinerary is a guide.   You certainly wont be disappointed.

Day 1: Welcome Aboard – Reef Prince .

Your Expedition begins this afternoon in the Midwest City of Geraldton. Our crew will welcome you aboard this afternoon, introduce you to your cabin and give you a detailed briefing. Tonight we enjoy our first meal and a drink aboard whilst anchored just off Geraldton’s town beach.

Day 2: Abrolhos Islands – Easter Group.
We pull our anchor at 6am and steam West to the Easter Group of the Abrolhos Island. Discovered and charted by the Portuguese in 1619 and aptly named. Abrolhos means – “Keep Your Eyes Open”. Comprising 3 main island groups. Many of the 122 islands were heavily mined for Guano over a hundred years from 1844.   While they are still home for thousands of beautiful and rare sea birds the islands are currently supporting a thriving cray fish industry from the 15th March to the end of June each year.

Today we can snorkel or dive on the beautiful Anenomi lump – one of the best dive sites in WA. This afternoon we fish for today’s target species (and dinner) the Blue Bone Grouper.   We’ll grab a mooring sheltered by a small island, which provides sanctuary for a colony of Australian Sea lions. As the sun sets we can visit their island and share a memorable moment on the beach talking to these delightful puppies.

Day 3: Abrolhos Islands – Wallabi Group

This morning, during a tasty breakfast, we steam north to the Wallabi Group of Islands. If the weathers on our side we hope to have snorkel or dive on the Batavia wreck. In 1829 this Dutch vessel on her maiden voyage hit Morning Reef. The events that followed make an unbelievable tail. After our discovery of the wreck site we can steam to turtle bay and walk on West Wallabi Island to the site of the earliest European structures on Australian soil. The soldiers of the Batavia built stone forts to protect themselves from the murderous Mutineers. Well take you to the site of these forts whilst looking for the Tammar Wallabi and pythons.

This evenings target species is the Pink Snapper. The skipper knows a drop off that’s usually home to a school of Pinkies

Departing the Abrolhos at 1600 we enjoy our evening meal while we cruise thru the night to arrive at our next destination – Steep Point, within Shark Bay .

Day 4: Steep Point & Dirk Hartog Islands within Shark Bay.
This morning we arrive inside Steep Point for a snorkel or dive around Monkey Rock. Some may wish to stay on the surface and try their luck for a mackerel – todays target species.

We’ll cruise north up the inside of West Australias largest island. Dirk Hartog Islands is 80 kms long. The island was discovered on 25 October 1616 by Hartog in the Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship Eendracht from Cape Town to Batavia (Jakarta). Hartog inscribed his name and the date on a pewter plate and nailed it to a post.

In 1697 the Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh landed on the island and discovered Hartog’s plate. He replaced it with one of his own, which included a copy of Hartog’s inscription, and took the original plate home to Amsterdam, where it is still kept in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Well anchor at the top end of the island just beside the site of Dirk Hartogs landing. We’ll enjoy our chefs delights here then perhaps a drink or two under the stars on the upper deck.

Day 5 Dirk Hartog Island Cruise past the Cuvier cliffs

Departing Turtle Bay early we steam north past Bernier and Dorre Islands. Rising sea levels and wave erosion some 8 000 years ago left Bernier and Dorre Islands separated from the mainland and inaccessible for Aboriginal occupation. Dirk Hartog’s voyage in 1616 represents the first known landing on the islands and in 1696 William de Vlamingh surveyed and named Dorre Island from the Dutch words ‘Dor’ meaning dry or barren. The natural harbour of Cuvier is our next high light. Sheltered within high rocky cliffs lies a salt port. Feel free to drag a lure as we continue our cruise past Coral Bay and into the evening.

 Day 6 Discover Exmouth then cruise to Serrurier

This morning we awake as we steam past the Norwest Cape lighthouse.

Today we have the option to steam down into the Gulf and spend a few hours exploring Exmouth or head straight for the Mackeral islands.

Either way we’ll enjoy a very sheltered overnight anchorage at Serrurier Island – 40Nm northeast of Exmouth.

Day 7. Pilbara Islands opening with Serrurier

An early mornings beach walk and swim on Serrurier or a fishing expedition for today target species the Estuarine Cod – the choice is yours. Serrurier offers some great beach combing and swimming.

Departing our little island paradise we sail through the industrial islands of the Pilbara making our way to the heavenly Montebello Islands by tonight.   The fishermen will be keen to drag a lure while we head north east. Good chance of a charging Spanish mackerel for the patient. Tonight we arrive and anchor within the shelter of 174 beautiful little islands. The crews favourite destination.

Day 8, & 9   Explore the Montebello Islands.

2 Days will never do the Monte Bellos justice. From the mangroves to the Ornate crayfish and perfect little sandy bays.

These islands were significant for pearling from the end of the 19th century until recent years when the farms were disassembled.

The Montebello islands were the site of three nuclear weapons tests by the British military: one in 1952, and two in 1956. A bay on Trimouille Island was the site of Operation Hurricane, the first ever atomic weapon tested by the United Kingdom, on 3 October 1952. In 1956 there were two further tests, on Alpha and Trimouille Islands respectively. The second of these, codenamed “G2”, included the largest nuclear explosion in Australia, with a yield of 98 kilotons (6 times that of Hiroshima). Fallout from the Montebello tests is reported to have contaminated areas of mainland Australia as far away as Queensland. We can explore the, now safe, site of these blasts

Be it fishing, snorkeling, diving or just strolling the perfect isolated beaches the Montes are our playground for the next 2 days.

We depart our playground today to cruise to the Rowley Shoals.

Day 10 Cruise to the Rowley Shoals

This afternoon we arrive at the Rowley Shoals to watch the sun set over one of three pristine and virtually untouched coral atolls. The top deck is definitely the place to be for your first spectacular Rowleys sunset enjoying a nice beverage before munching a delicious meal. Tonight we anchor inside the lagoon

The Rowley Shoals are a chain of coral atolls on the edge of one of the widest continental shelves in the world. The three pear-shaped atolls have shallow lagoons inhabited by corals and abundant marine life. Each atoll covers an area of around 80 to 90 square kilometers. The three shoals are strikingly similar in dimension, shape, orientation and distance apart.

The Shoals rise with nearly vertical sides from very deep water. Mermaid Reef, the most northerly, rises from about 440 meters, Clerke from 390 meters and Imperieuse from about 230 meters.

The Rowley Shoals is an opportunity to experience a diverse array of snorkeling and diving environments including lagoons, canyons, sheer vertical walls, high speed drifts, night dives and snorkeling. You can experience the swimming pool like condition 300 km’s from the nearest land.

The coral atolls of the Rowley Shoals are famed for their almost untouched coral gardens, giant clams and other shellfish. Giant potato cod wait to be hand fed and follow divers around, while colourful reef fish show little fear, and trevally, mackerel and tuna hover in schools.

Rowley Shoals are among the few reefs in the world affected by a high tidal range. The dramatic five meter tides pour massive volumes in and out of the coral framework and have created unearthly and enchanting coralscapes. The turquoise lagoons are filled with coral bommies brimming with exotic tropical fish and unbelievably colourful formations. Drift diving in and out of the atolls sweeps you through pristine reefs with, maori wrasse, barracuda, potato cod, morays turtles and many shark.

The Rowley Shoals were so named by Captain Phillip Parker King in 1818 in honour of Captain Rowley who first sighted the ‘Imperieuse’ reef in 1800. The Rowley Shoals have been visited by fishermen from Indonesia, since the mid-18th century. The Indonesian fishermen were collecting or hunting for trepang, turtle shell, trochus shell and shark fin.

Day 11 Dive, Snorkel & Fish Clerk Atoll.

Today you may wish to join a fishing expedition or beach comb the sandy cay within the atoll, however we recommend you join the some of the crew to snorkel or dive three channels that feed the interior of these pristine atolls. The crystal clear waters pouring in and out of these channels make a thrilling ride for divers and snorkelers. This afternoon we steam to the Mermaid Atoll. Pending tides we have an amazing dive for you at the Cod hole. On the edge of the channel feeding the interior of the coral atoll lies hundreds of fish and sharks waiting to greet us.

Day 12 Dive & Snorkel Mermaid Atoll

Enjoy a hearty breakfast before your first dive on the outer reef. There’s plenty of time to explore diving country along the outer reef including “Mermaid Wall” and “Mermaid Caves” with the possibility of seeing a sailfish or humpback whale display its acrobatics in all its glory..

No fishing here we’re inside a marine park. Dive or snorkel one of the many walls and gutters that await within the clear waters of Mermaid Reef.

This afternoon we begin our over night steam back into Broome.

 Day 13 Arrive Broome

We’ve shared some amazing experiences together. We’ve made some great new friends. Today we disembark in Broome during the morning hours.  We will arrange transfers to your hotel

To undertake some of the shore based excursions you will need to have a moderate level of fitness. You are however, quite welcome to enjoy the views from the vessel without going ashore.   Please call Lorie or Nick to discuss your requirements further.



MV Reef Prince is a 38m, fully air conditioned, large stable catamaran, just perfect for exploring the coast in comfort and style.   She caters for all guests with cabin options ranging from deluxe en-suited doubles to well priced twin share single bunk beds. A choice to suit your budget. All cabins are air conditioned, with storage cupboards, DVD players, and personal bar fridges and very comfortable commercial mattresses.


10 guest cabins separated from the dinette area to ensure you have plenty of quiet time. Main deck cabins offer a choice of 6 interior double cabins – 4 with ensuites, 2 without. 4 well priced twin share bunk style cabins with windows.

Nine shared ablutions close at hand mean you are never waiting long.


10 guest cabins. Two internal well priced ensuited twin share bunk style cabins.

Eight external cabins all with large windows. Two of which are comfortable double berths   Two are well priced double bunks and four are deluxe en-suited doubles. Four ablutions on this level cater well for the 4 cabins without ensuites. (PHOTOS)


MV Reef Prince carries several smaller expedition tenders which allow guests to choose from a wide variety of activities available such as bush walking, touring waterfalls and gorges, beach picnics and sunset drinks, fishing, mud crabbing, turtle spotting, and on our Rowley Shoals expeditions; scuba diving and beach walking.

YOUR VESSEL – MV Reef Prince
Click here to read about MV Reef Prince


Reef Prince’s offers you numerous areas to relax. Under the sun on your choice of open air decks or under cover on the alfresco deck or inside within her lounge, coffee shop, reading rooms, library, movie room, or office. The choice is yours. Her spacious open dining room provides bar facilities and a place to relax and take in the spectacular passing scenery. The lounge area is an excellent place to catch up on some reading while enjoying a fresh cappuccino or make a selection from our choices of teas, chais or hot chocolate.
Reef Prince carries a compliment of the latest navigational equipment, radios, satellite communications, data facilities and a full DVD entertainment system. Full digital and audio visual presentation equipment for corporate functions and a library of informative and fictional books.

Enjoy an early morning cappuccino, hot chocolate or a selection choose from our selection of tea’s. Alcoholic beverages are available from our licensed bar at very reasonable prices. We stock several beers, both mid and full strength, champagne, premixed spirits and a selection of nice house wines with a focus on our lovely Margaret River Wine Region. Let us know what you might like and we’ll make sure we have plenty at hand.

Our meals are based on healthy local produce and fresh seafood wherever
possible (with a light smattering of extremely tasty irresistible desserts that may not be so healthy). Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements upon final payment.

Cancellations or unexpected evacuations can be an extremely costly exercise. For this reason travel insurance is essential. Kimberley Expeditions strongly recommends you have comprehensive person travel insurance to cover all emergency evacuations, medical situations and late cancellation refunds. We have found Fast Cover Insurance on 1300 409 322 to offer a good value package. Please ensure you ask for “Cruise domestic & Pacific”. A link is available on our web site.

i) 20% non-refundable deposit to be paid to confirm your reservation.
ii) 80% (being the non refundable balance) due 60 days before the charter.
iii) If cancellation occurs at the operator’s discretion (i.e. due to weather) a full refund will be given.
iv) Payment can be made by Direct Debit, Visa or Master Card (with a small % surcharge) or Cheque’s (marked Not Negotiable) can be made payable to Kimberley Expeditions

Included in your cruise fare is :
➢ Accommodation as booked on board.
➢ Cruise transportation excursions and tender transfers.
➢ All meals onboard.
➢ Facilities, port & handling charges, Govt. Fees & Taxes.
➢ Whilst on the vessel all your catering, ice, tanks, weight belts and air fills.

Fares do not include items of a personal nature, including but not limited to:
➢ Travel and medical insurance and emergency evacuation.
➢ Shopping on-board.
➢ Bar expenses.
➢ Medical treatment.
➢ Telephone and internet charges.
➢ Optional experiences including meals ashore in Exmouth.
➢ Single fare guests who do not wish to share with a same sex passenger.
➢ You will need to bring your own dive & snorkel equipment.

Experience the cruise of a lifetime and let your crew use their years of experience and passion for West Australia’s coastal secrets, show you the best WA has to offer

Ashmore Reef

We’ve just released the brochure for our 2018 Eight Day Birdwatching Expedition Cruises on MV Reef Prince.

Cruise price is $5,650 per person twin share.


Trip Details

This new Ashmore Reef trip in the March period offers birders a first time opportunity to visit Ashmore Reef, the Lacepede Islands and seas off the NW coast during the late wet season. Visits in March in recent years have turned up an extraordinary list of species and birding experiences, so much so that it has prompted the creation of this exciting charter.

The route is shown on the map on the following page and a detailed itinerary will be forwarded to people booking the trip. Our journey north from Broome targets deeper water along the continental shelf as we track north to Scott Reef and ultimately Ashmore Reef. These waters can be incredibly exciting, with huge potential for rare pelagic seabirds like Jouanin’s Petrel, Leach’s Storm-Petrel, Abbott’s Booby and even Persian Shearwater. Cetaceans can also add to the excitement with mixed species pods of dolphins including Spinner, Pan-tropical Spotted and Fraser’s Dolphin. Larger animals like Pilot, Melon-headed and Sperm Whale have been recorded regularly and rarer cetaceans including Beaked Whales species also hunt canyons that form the continental shelf, presenting plenty of spotting and ID challenges. More regular tubenoses include Bulwer’s and Tahiti Petrel, Streaked, Wedge-tailed, Fleshy-footed and Hutton’s Shearwater, and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel. All three Jaegers species; Pomarine, Arctic and Long-tailed have been recorded.

Tropical Seabirds are in no shortage when close to Ashmore and the Lacepede Islands with three species of Booby, Lesser and Greater Frigatebird and eleven tern species. On Ashmore we have a chance to see Common, Black and Lesser Noddy breeding in close proximity while Roseate Terns in full breeding plumage take some beating.

The trip will also give participants the chance to compare Sooty and Bridled Tern and Crested and Lesser Crested Tern. Ashmore Reef and the Lacepede Islands also support large numbers of migratory shorebirds and many of the twenty-odd species will have attained breeding plumage. Rare shorebirds recorded on Ashmore include Common Redshank, Little Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Asian Dowitcher.

West Island on Ashmore Reef is an extraordinary place for rare birds and the Australian list is complemented by a number firsts recorded on the island. The location is a perfect migrant trap for Australian and Asian landbirds and this trip offers birders a unique opportunity to experience the excitement of finding something new, rare or unexpected.

The bird list for Ashmore speaks for itself. Species found during April include Crested Honey Buzzard, Japanese Sparrowhawk, Siberian Thrush, Siberian Blue Robin, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Arctic, Yellowbrowed and Eastern Crowned Warbler, Asian Stubtail, Middendorff’s & Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Redrumped Swallow and Pechora Pipit. The diversity of this impressive list alongside the species recorded on the October trips over the years demonstrates the mouth watering potential this trip has to offer.

Join the Crew aboard the vessel MV Reef Prince for this 8 day adventure at sea. The cruise departs and returns into Broome.

Addl. Info.

Inclusions & Exclusions

Ashmore Reef is a National Nature Reserve. A permit is required to visit and special permits are required to go ashore on each of the three islands. We have the necessary permits to land on West Island at any time and can approach East and Middle Islands by boat to ‘within a metre’ but not land. However, by special invitation from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations & Communities officers aboard the Customs Vessel at Ashmore, we may be able to land.

Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation in Broome for the nights immediately prior to and following the trip. We will provide transfers between your hotel accommodation in Broome and the boat.

Data collected on these trips by the leaders and participants has contributed significantly to our understanding of the birdlife at Ashmore Reef and in the surrounding seas.

Packing List

When packing for your Ashmore Reef cruise we recommend that all passengers pack lightly. Laundry facilities are available on-board free of charge. You do have room to store suitcases either under your beds or in the cupboards provided in each cabin.

Travel documents
As we are very close to International waters we ask our guests to please bring along a current passport with 6 months left to expire.


Ashmore Map


What to Bring

Toiletries and Medications
We do require you to bring your own private toiletries which include:

  • Personal toiletries/hygiene items (we provide hair-dryers)
  • Prescription medication
  • Vitamins
  • Motion sickness preventative
  • Chapstick
  • Sun protection (sunscreen is provided on-board)
  • Insect repellent (Repellent spray is provided on-board)

Beautiful clear and gorgeous water, don’t miss your chance to explore Ashmore’s gorgeous reef. Bring along your mask, snorkel and fins or inquire about a loan set.
* Ashmore Reef and Adele Island only.

The Kimberley is a semi-tropical region experiencing two warm, balmy days with minimal rainfall and cool, starry nights during our cruise season.

We advise guests to pack four to five changes of casual clothing which are comfortable. There is no dress code for dining as a rule, generally “Kimberley casual” attire for evenings is recommended.Excursions
Light-weight and quick-dry clothing for excursions is recommended. This includes a few pairs of shorts, T-shirts, a long-sleeved shirt and pair of light-weight pants that offer protection against the sun.

You will need a pair of enclosed shoes that offer good ankle support for bush walking. We also recommend you bring another pair of shoes that you do not mind getting wet as we regularly have wet landings. This includes;; reef sandals, booties or equivalent. Shoes can be worn on-board.

T-shirts/Blouses – Short-sleeved, quick-drying and sun protected
Long-sleeved Shirts – Quick drying, sun-protected and breathable (Can be purchased on-board)
Jumper/Jacket- Suitable for cooler nights
Shorts – Loose, quick-drying and comfortable
Pants – Long, light-weight and comfortable

Wet Shoes
Reef shoes or equivalent with good ankle support

Dry Shoes
Enclosed walking shoes (sneakers) .
Shoes/Sandals (for on board and scenic excursions)

Sleep wear, undergarments and socks
Bathing suits for swimmers
Wide-brim hat (available for purchase on-board)
Polarised sunglasses

From $3875pp

For the Coastal Cruise!

From $5,650pp

Ashmore Reef

See the Sights!

  • Turtles
  • Whales
  • Seabirds
  • Rare terrestrial species
  • Shorebirds, Seabirds & More!

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