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Kimberley in Depth aboard Greg Mortimer

Kimberley in Depth aboard Greg Mortimer

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Description

Explore the rugged beauty of the Kimberley coast in depth. Marvel at the contortions of a rocky landscape that’s been sculpted across an implausible geological timescale. Be awed by the power of its waters, with massive tides, foaming whirlpools and rapid currents. Visit Aboriginal rock art galleries and the enigmatic beings of the Wandjina and Gwion Gwion traditions. Meander along mighty rivers and winding creeks while you search the banks for a sunning “saltie” saltwater crocodile, or catch a glimpse of a shy dugong in the waters around you. Sit quietly alongside lush mangrove forests listening to a morning chorus of birdsong. At sea, look for humpback whales, green sea turtles, manta rays, sea snakes and the endemic snubfin dolphin. At the end of each day’s adventure, savour the spectacular palette of the Kimberley’s sunset hues.

This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.

Trip Name
Kimberley in Depth aboard Greg Mortimer
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 104 metres Passenger Capacity: 132 Built: 2019 Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, with just 132 passengers on board in the polar regions. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base! As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with our guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in our fleet's capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze! Greg Mortimer ULSTEIN X-BOW™ Our expeditions face some of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. However, this won't be problem on the Greg Mortimer with the introduction of the patented X-BOW™, created by Norwegian ship designer ULSTEIN. As one of the leaders in marine engineering, ULSTEIN's X-BOW™ is an inverted bow concept that's been built on over 100 vessels in the shipping industry. Excitingly, we are the first expedition cruise operator to utilise this technology for the challenging open ocean waves!  Hydraulic viewing platforms  Although there is no doubt that you'll love the aesthetics of the Greg Mortimer, we are all here to admire the spectacular landscape and spot the elusive wildlife in their natural habitat. To ensure you get the best views possible, the new ship features unique viewing platforms, custom-built for the Greg Mortimer. Accessed from Deck 5, the two platforms fold out hydraulically for unobstructed views of passing marine life and seabirds – make sure your camera is locked and loaded! Zodiac launching platform Zodiacs are a vital part of getting up close and personal on your adventure – sneaking into areas that the Greg Mortimer can't reach. On this new ship, there are specially designed launching platforms that enables us to load Zodiacs easily and quickly, allowing you to spend more time exploring on the two to three daily landings. There are 15 Zodiacs that are boarded from either side of Deck 3 (sea level), perfect for when there is a group of fluffy cute penguin chicks that we need a photo of!  Activity Platform Regardless of your destination, we offer a number of additional activities to allow you to see more of the environment. From kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, it's these optional activities that often leave the biggest impression on your trip as a whole. Onboard the Greg Mortimer, there is a spacious prep and loading platform for these activities and more – designed in consultation with our expert activity guides. Environmentally friendly Climate change and carbon emissions continue to be major issues that everyone needs to be aware of and actively managing. This includes reduced emissions into the air and sea, lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption and lower on-board plastic use. It's vital to also mention the state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology of the X-BOW™, which means the ship can float anchorless while launching Zodiacs, kayaks etc, without disturbing delicate sea floor areas.  Safety features This starts with the return-to-port equipment – not compulsory on a ship of this size – which duplicates the propulsion system. This enables the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. Furthermore, the Greg Mortimer is Polar Code 6 compliant, holds BV class and is fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements. It's also built with a Rolls Royce stabiliser system.  If there's an incident or accident during your adventure, the ship has an on-board, fully-stocked medical centre – where our trained medical team can provide necessary treatment in a timely fashion. Safety continues to be an issue that our team takes very serious and the Greg Mortimer allows us to create an environment where you can concentrate on the brilliant landscape and wildlife, without worrying about your wellbeing. Ship Life Greg Mortimer is designed to serve your every need. It's your bedroom, bathroom, lounge, dining room and even your observatory. Make yourself at home, the Greg Mortimer is yours to enjoy! Observation Points Let's face it – you don't want windowless rooms when travelling around some of the most beautiful locations around the world. This is why the Greg Mortimer is designed with plenty of dedicated observation spaces – ideal for keen bird spotters, wildlife watchers and those wanting to watch the scenery go past. From the indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, both on deck 8, to the 270-degree open sundeck on level 7, there are plenty of observation points to share around the ship! If these are full, then you can take up a spot on one of the two hydraulic viewing platforms on deck 5. Aurora Expeditions also has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer.  Shore excursions Although the ship is fun, the real enjoyment comes from the many shore excursions that are available. Depending on the weather and itinerary, it's possible to take two to three landings daily, taking a look at everything from rock formations and ancient ruins to cute groups of penguins. We know time is of the essence in these wild locations, so the Greg Mortimer has been designed with 15 Zodiacs, which means you can maximise your time on shore. From four dedicated sea level launching platforms, transfers are quicker, safer and enable you to get closer to the action for a longer period of time. Just remember to charge your camera before you step onto the Zodiac! Activity options From kayaking and skiing to diving and climbing, these are one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you need to take advantage of.  Aboard the Greg Mortimer there is a specially designed launching platform for all activities, a concept overseen by our activity experts. This area also includes individual lockers in the expansive mudroom and rapid drying areas for wetsuits so you can quickly get warm after exploring in the elements!   Dining From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, we aim to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain's welcome, as our guests, you're welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to the range of different menu options and courses for each meal. Meals are served in large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow. On the last day of your trip, the team on the Greg Mortimer put on a special farewell four-course dinner and cocktails – a perfect way to reflect on your time on the ship and consolidate lifelong friendships with the people you've met on-board. On-board entertainment When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty! On all our expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change, these presentations aim to educate and entertain. If you're keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape. The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 5 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Feeling a little sore after walking around all day? Treat yourself to a massage at the Wellness Centre and feels the aches disappear! Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on Deck 5.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 Embark in Darwin
You’re welcomed aboard the Greg Mortimer, and shown your cabin before mandatory safety drills are carried out. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners at our voyage briefing, and Captain’s Welcome Dinner. Enjoy the rich colours of a Top End sunset as we depart Darwin Harbour and set sail on our Kimberley adventures.
Day 2 - Day 2 At Sea
First sighted by Abel Tasman in 1644 - and named by French explorer Nicholas Baudin in 1803 after Napoleon’s brother – the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf is an inlet of the Timor Sea with relatively shallow waters. As such, the seas can get quite choppy compared to the Kimberley’s mostly protected waters. Enjoy a day at sea, and with informative talks to introduce you to the magic of the Kimberley coast’s compelling natural and human history.
Day 3 - Day 3 Koolama Bay, King George River
Wake to your first Kimberley dawn in Koolama Bay, and make your first foray off the ‘mother ship’ with the expedition team as we head to the mouth of the King George River by Zodiac. Cruise this majestic waterway below towering, rust-red sandstone cliffs to its 80-metre-high twin falls, and enjoy explorations of these striking surrounds from water level.
Day 4 - Day 4 Vansittart Bay: Jar Island & Anjo Peninsula
Named by explorer Phillip Parker King due to the pottery shards he found there (likely from Macassan fishermen looking for trepang, or sea cucumber), Jar Island offers encounters with ancient rock art galleries, including the mysterious, human-like Gwion Gwion (also known as Bradshaw) figures. On the bay’s eastern side, land on a pristine white beach of the Anjo Peninsula and take a short walk across salt flats leads to the well-preserved wreck of a C-53 (a cargo variation of the DC-3) that crash landed here in World War II.
Day 5 - Day 5 Northwestern Kimberley /Montague Sound
Sailing on to the remote north-western reaches of the Kimberley, we may explore either the treasures of either Swift Bay or Bigge Island. Both offer exceptional opportunities to explore rugged sandstone shelters, caves and overhangs whose surfaces are adorned with rock art of the Wunambal people, including the more recent Wandjina style.
Day 6 - Day 6 Prince Frederick Harbour, Hunter River
Delight in the breath-taking scenery of Prince Frederick Harbour and the Hunter River – from the colossal sandstone escarpments and full palette of greens in the lush mangrove forests, to the rhythmic flitting of a friarbird, soaring flight of a white-bellied sea eagle, and flicker of a sunning saltwater crocodile’s eye. Join the expedition team to explore these dynamic waterways by Zodiac.An optional scenic heli-flight may be on offer today (or possibly from Swift Bay), allowing for a visit to Mitchell Falls as well as spectacular bird’s eye view of the diverse colours, textures and patterns of the landscape – from the brilliant blue coastal waters to the rugged gorges of the Mitchell Plateau.
Day 7 - Day 7 Prince Regent National Park
Careening Bay gained its name as the place where Phillip Parker King chose to careen and repair His Majesty’s Cutter Mermaid in September 1820. While there, the crew carved ‘HMC Mermaid 1820’ into a large boab tree. Visit this slice of early Australian history; look for vibrant mulla mulla, ancient cycads and spiralling pandanus in the surrounding woodland; and relax with a gentle stroll along the wide sandy beach.Enjoy forays into the coastal fringes of the Prince Regent National Park, and discover the outstanding biodiversity that earned it ‘UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve’ status before sailing southwards into the waters of the Lalang-Garam/Camden Sounds Marine Park. Considered the most important humpback whale nursery in the southern hemisphere, it’s a seasonal sanctuary for an estimated 40,000 humpback whales returning from Antarctica to give birth in these warmer waters. Keep watch for the sea snakes, dugongs, sea turtles, and dolphins that also call it home.
Day 8 - Days 8-11 Collier Bay, Talbot Bay & Yampi Sound Area
Over these next expedition days, the nature and timing of our outings will be dictated by the tides and tidal currents.The striking landscape and natural wonders around Collier Bay provide a myriad of adventures. Discover Montgomery Reef – Australia’s largest in-shore reef, covering some 400 square kilometres – and the diversity of its lively marine life. On a falling tide, witness the extraordinary phenomenon as the reef appears to ‘rise’ from the sea as foaming water cascades off it, and seabirds arrive to forage as the reef’s tasty inhabitants are exposed. Be equally enthralled by the unique geology and massive tides that create the Horizontal Waterfalls in Talbot Bay where you have the opportunity to take a thrilling boat ride through the falls*. Quietly cruise the meandering waterways of Cyclone Creek, and remain alert for glimpses of shy rock wallabies. Marvel at Mother Nature’s artistry in the contorted sculptures of the rocky landscape around Yampi Sound, and explore a maze of jewel-like islands encircled by foaming whirlpools and rapid currents.*Please note that while Zodiacs are not permitted to pass through the Horizontal Falls, our explorations will include views from the outer waters of Talbot Bay. We plan to offer you the opportunity to pass through the falls on a fast boat with a local operator (included in expedition cost).
Day 9 - Day 12 Lacepede Islands; At sea
Weather permitting, delight in the thousands of brown boobies and that call the Lacepede Islands – a group of offshore sand and coral cays – their breeding grounds. The brown booby colony is possibly the largest in the world, with an estimated 18,000 breeding pairs. Other seabirds may also be spied, including lesser frigatebirds, crested and roseate terns, eastern reef egrets, and pied oystercatchers; as well as the bobbing heads of curious green turtles or sleek shovel-nosed rays in the waters around you. While landings are not possible on this designated Class A Nature Reserve, exceptional Zodiac cruising along the island’s shores will thrill.As we set sail for Broome, toast your adventures in the wash of a final Kimberley sunset and celebrate with friends – both new and old - at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Day 10 - Day 13 Disembark in Broome
In Broome, the ‘port of pearls’, farewell the crew, expedition team and fellow travellers before your transfer to the airport or your hotel accommodation.
Day 11 - Please Note:
In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to tides, weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array18,595Balcony Stateroom - C
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array19,495Balcony Stateroom - B
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array20,995Balcony Stateroom - A
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array22,995Balcony Stateroom Superior
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array28,795Junior Suite
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array34,195Captain's Suite
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Triple
08-07-202120-07-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Twin
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array20,995Balcony Stateroom - A
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array22,995Balcony Stateroom Superior
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array28,795Junior Suite
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array34,195Captain's Suite
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Triple
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array0Aurora Stateroom Twin
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array18,595Balcony Stateroom - C
19-08-202131-08-2021Array Array19,495Balcony Stateroom - B

Inclusions

    • Explore the majestic King George River below towering sandstone cliffs to its 80-metre-high King George Falls
    • Contemplate the enigmatic Wandjina and Gwion Gwion beings at Aboriginal rock art galleries
    • Experience the remote northwestern reaches of the Kimberley coast, with its striking scenery and vast human history
    • Scan the shorelines, mangroves, woodlands and skies for an abundance of birdlife, including terns, herons, egrets, flycatchers, frigatebirds, boobies, pelicans and sea eagles
    • Discover Montgomery Reef – Australia’s largest in-shore reef – and the diversity of its lively marine life
    • Delight in Mother Nature’s artistry displayed in the contorted and weathered rock sculptures around Yampi Sound

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