This was Broome to Darwin, then Darwin to Cairns, two very different cruises.
Broome to Darwin was more about scenery, birds, geology, nature and seeing "outback" Australia. There were only 38 passengers on the 72 passenger ship.
Broome to Cairns included some of this but concentrated on indigenous communities and their art. The ship had 68 passengers on this leg.
We enjoyed both parts but perhaps the thing we will remember most is the spectacular scenery of the Kimberly.
Having the Explorer that takes all the passengers and tour guides off the ship and up rivers and onto beaches is a big plus.
Passengers board from the deck and then the Explorer is lowered to the water. On the return the Explorer is lifted from the water up to the deck and everyone walks onto the deck.
There are zodiacs too, although unlike the Explorer, they have no shelter from the sun and don’t have comfortable seating for a long time in them. It was easy getting on and off the zodiacs from the back of the Explorer.
The Explorer, with its flat bottom, is able to get close to river vegetation and land you on beaches usually without wet feet. We did spend some time in the zodiacs but felt the Explorer was as effective in getting us to see the flora and fauna.
Our Darwin to Cairns cruise was very interesting with visits to aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands. It was an art cruise and we visited art galleries in the different communities.
There was also an artist from Torres Strait, David Bosun, on the ship and he held Lino cutting and printing workshops. He also lectured on Torres Strait history and about the animals and the legends about them.
We were able to snorkel 3 times during this part. The masks and fins were good quality and the safety of the swimmers was monitored well. Two snorkels were off a beach and one off the Explorer.
The tour guides and the guest lecturers for the whole cruise were professional and informative. Most were friendly and socialised with the passengers and we enjoyed our time with them.
Food was plentiful and quite tasty. Not gourmet but adequate. Breakfast had fruit, cereal and hot food, a good start to the day. Lunch was a buffet offering different food every day. Salads were plentiful and good.
Dinner was 3 course with a few choices for each course.
Drinks were included with lunch and dinner. They choice for this was limited but drinkable. At pre dinner drinks I bought a bottle of better quality wine and drank it over a few night rather than have the house wine. They had a cocktail of the day each night.
Service from the team was very good. They were friendly and I felt they went out of their way to get to know you and your preferences.
The cabin was smaller than the other ships we had sailed on ( Silversea and Regent) and the bathroom was small, but we weren’t in it much during the day so wasn’t a problem.
The bed was comfortable and the linen and towels were very good. They serviced it twice a day.
There was plenty of storage in the cabin and bathroom.
This is Expedition cruising so we were off the ship at least twice a day. Breakfast was at 7am most mornings and usually boarding the Explorer at 8.30 or 9am for our explorations. After lunch there another expedition before returning to get ready for pre dinner drinks, a recap of the day by a guest lecturer, then plans for the next day by the tour leader.
After about 10 days we needed a day off, and stayed on the ship.
As long as you understand that an expedition cruise is unlike a luxury cruise and are open to see and learn about the areas, in-depth and up close, you will have a wonderful cruise.
Cabin had plenty of storage. Bathroom small but adequate with good shower with plentiful hot water. Serviced twice a day. Shampoos etc good quality.