Kangaroo Island, Broome, and Perth
Calling on Australia’s four biggest south coast cities, Seabourn’s 458-passenger Sojourn sails from Sydney to Bali on a 21-night voyage with an overnight stay in Melbourne. Adelaide serves as a launch-pad for Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale tasting rooms; on Kangaroo Island, passengers can visit Flinders Chase National Park to explore the Remarkable Rocks and search for koalas, long-nosed fur seals, platypuses, and other wildlife. Following a visit to the boom town of Perth, head north to Broome for sunset camel rides along 14-mile-long Cable Beach. Departure: March 7, 2023.
Stretching nearly 700 nautical miles, the wild Kimberley coast is mostly inaccessible by vehicle but primed for small-ship expeditions. Journey inland along the deep-red King George River gorge, capped by thundering twin waterfalls, and call on Jar Island, where 30,000-year-old rock art is thought to contain the world’s oldest known depictions of human figures. Ponant’s ten-night cruises between Darwin and Broome aboard the 184-passenger Laperouse and 264-passenger Soléal also visit Collier Bay to witness Horizontal Falls – aka the Horries – which form daily during the 33-foot tidal range. Departures: Multiple dates, April 24 through October 7, 2023.
Exploring the Kimberley’s King George River.
Silversea’s 144-passenger expedition vessel Silver Explorer sails between Darwin and Perth on a 17-night voyage that visits Wyndham for flightseeing over the Bungle Bungles, a range of beehive-shaped formations that rise abruptly from the Outback. Spend two days cruising the Buccaneer Archipelago, where a pearling industry once flourished, before heading to the Lacepede Islands to spy brown boobies, roseate terns, and endangered green sea turtles. Zodiac excursions explore the coral reefs, beaches, and lagoons of the Dampier Archipelago, Montebello Islands, and Ningaloo Reef – one of the world’s longest and most pristine fringing reefs. Departures: August 9 and August 26, 2023.
Princess Cruises’ 1,545-passenger Coral Princess circles the continent on a 28-night, counterclockwise sailing from Sydney that calls on cosmopolitan Brisbane and on Cairns, where excursions include a train ride to the mountain village of Kuranda, white-water rafting on the Barron River, and snorkeling off Green Island. In Darwin, learn about Aboriginal heritage at Litchfield National Park before cruising the Kimberley and calling at Margaret River (one of Australia’s premier wine regions) and Tasmania (spot free-roaming koalas, kangaroos, and Tasmanian devils at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary). Departures: April 2 and October 25, 2023.