Golden Shores, Technicolour Reefs and the Kimberleys - Cairns to Broome
13th May 2023 FOR 18 NIGHTS | Silver Explorer
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This fly cruise holiday is financially protected by SILVERSEA under ATOL 4681
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WHY WE RECOMMEND Australasia CRUISES
With so much to see and do across Australasia, cruisers will be spoilt for choice on a luxury voyage across the region. From the iconic cities and incredible natural beauty of Australia to the dramatic landscapes and welcoming ports of New Zealand, there are simply so many amazing itineraries and experiences to savour.
In Australia, some of the most popular highlights and attractions include the bustling city of Sydney, home to many world-famous landmarks including the majestic Sydney Opera House and the impressive Harbour Bridge, as well as the incredible Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef located off the coast of colourful Cairns. There are plenty of other exciting destinations to explore along the coast of Australia when you embark on a luxury Australasian cruise, including the cosmopolitan and culturally-rich cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, alongside the opportunity to travel further inland to see iconic wildlife, stunning scenery and incredible natural landmarks like Ayers Rock.
Not far from Australia lies New Zealand, offering a wonderful combination of breathtaking mountainous scenery and charming port town and cities. New Zealand is well-known for its vibrant ports, incredible landscapes and rich biodiversity, and wherever you travel in this marvellous nations, you are sure to be greeted by friendly locals and find plenty to keep you busy whilst in port. From impressive metropolises like Auckland and Wellington to the dramatic fjords of Milford Sound and beyond, both New Zealand's North and South Islands have so much to offer.
With SixStarCruises.co.uk you will find a collection of the best cruises across Australasia with some of the finest luxury cruise lines. You can spend time in ports and enjoy excursions along the coast of Australia and New Zealand within a dedicated Australasian voyage, or as part of a wider itinerary travelling to other exotic regions of the world – it simply depends on your personal preference. Take a look at some of the unforgettable itineraries available to book now and secure your place on-board while you still can.
what's included on-board?
Cairns, Queensland00:00 - 20:00
Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife. Along with wallabies and grey kangaroos in the savannah and tree kangaroos in the rain forest, you'll find stealthy saltwater crocodiles, venomous snakes, and jellyfish so deadly they put the region’s stunning beaches off- limits to swimmers for nearly half the year. Yet despite this formidable setting, Cairns and tropical North Queensland are far from intimidating places. The people are warm and friendly, the sights spectacular, and—at the right time of year—the beachside lounging is world-class.
13 May 2023
Michaelmas Cay06:00 - 11:30
Michaelmas Cay, located on the western end of Michaelmas Reef, is part of the Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park and the larger UNESCO Word Heritage Great Barrier Reef. The 1.8ha cay is formed of the broken coral and shells which currents brought over and onto the reef and over time the cay has been covered partially with beach spinifex, stalky grass, sea purslane, beach morning glory and bulls head or puncture vine. View less Michaelmas Cay is considered one of the most important seabird breeding areas on the Great Barrier Reef with up to 20,000 pairs of seabird at the height of the season. As a result of the many seabirds the cay even had a guano mining lease in the early 20th century. Sooty Terns, Crested Terns, Lesser Crested Terns and Common Noddies nest all year round and another at least 12 species of seabirds have been recorded. Green sea turtles are seen occasionally and the reefs are an excellent area for snorkeling with visitors coming from Cairns, some 40 kilometers away.
14 May 2023
Willis Island, Queensland07:30 - 08:30
Willis Island is the only permanently inhabited island in the Coral Sea Islands Territory,It is the southernmost of the Willis Islets, a group of three islands which with their associated sandy cays stretch in a NNE to SSW line for about 12
15 May 2023
Lizard Island National Park, Queensland08:30 - 14:30
The Lizard Island National Park consists of six islands some 33 kilometers off Cape Flattery and 93 kilometers northeast of Cooktown, of which Lizard Island is the largest. This is the only continental group of islands found near the outer barrier reef and Lizard has a height of 359 meters. Acacia and eucalypt, grassland as well as mangroves contrast with sparkling blue waters and rich reefs surrounding the island. View less Watson’s Bay on Lizard Island’s northwestern side has a beautiful beach and easy access to snorkel areas, as well as the possibility to start on trails leading to the top of the island and Cooks Look or to Mangrove Beach on the south side for views of the lagoon and surrounding reefs. Before Captain Cook came on the Endeavour exploring Australia’s east coast in 1770 and stepping ashore on Lizard Island to gain a bird’s-eye view of the reefs, the Dingaal Aboriginal people had used the island for ceremonial purposes and to collect shellfish, while later European and Asian visitors were looking for sea cucumbers. The name of the island goes back to Captain Cook remarking on the amount of yellow-spotted monitors seen ashore. Slightly more than 100 species of birds have been recorded, for some of which the neighboring Seabird Islets, Osprey, South and Palfrey are important. There is an airstrip with the northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef at the northwestern end and a world-renowned tropical marine research station at the southwestern side.
16 May 2023
Little Boydong Reef, Australia12:30 - 17:00
Little Boydong Island is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, off the coast of northern Queensland, Australia.
17 May 2023
18 May 2023
Mornington Island09:30 - 17:00
28 kilometers off the coast of mainland Australia in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Mornington Island is the largest of the North Wellesley Islands. Twenty two islands make up the Mornington Shire Council with the only township, Gununa, on Mornington. The islands and surrounding seas have been traditionally used by the Lardil, Yangkaal, Kaiadilt and Gangalidda peoples before Matthew Flinders anchored the HMS Investigator off Sweers Island (South Wellesley) in 1802 and named several islands, including Mornington. View less All islands in the Wellesley groups were declared ‘Aboriginal Reserves’ in 1905 and a mission was eventually started on Mornington in 1914 when some 400 Lardil were believed to live on the island. Over the years Aboriginal groups from other neighboring islands were brought to live on Mornington. Although the mission originally tried to (re)educate and convert Aboriginal children and kept them in isolated dormitories, eventually the mission supported a cultural revival and the communities’ goal of self-management and recognition of Aboriginal land tenure. Today the Mornington Island dancers and the acclaimed artwork that has been produced in the last couple of years show the rich Aboriginal culture. The unique natural environment with swamp flats and windswept beaches with sea oaks and mangroves is also an important marine area for turtles, endangered dugongs and an abundant underwater marine life –it is considered one of the best fishing destinations in Australia. … Despite having opened the island, permission to visit must still be sought from Mornington Shire Council six weeks prior to any intended visit.
19 May 2023
Groote Eylandt13:30 - 19:00
Anindilyakwa people were brought to Groote Eylandt on a series of song lines some eight thousand years ago according to Aboriginal history. Although the island and area had thereby long been used by Aborigines, Groote Eylandt was seen and received its current name in the early 17th century when Dutch explorers entered the Gulf of Carpentaria (named after the then Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in 1623). View less It was Abel Tasman who in 1644 gave the quite indicative name of “Large Island”, not knowing that it was and is one of Australia’s largest islands. Groote Eylandt is part of the East Arnhem Region in the Northern Territories and has three townships. In 1921 the Church Missionary Society (CMS) started an Anglican mission at Emerald River which was moved northward in 1943 and is now known as Angurugu. Most clans living on the western side of the island had moved to Angurugu by 1950. On the northeastern side Umbakumba, a second indigenous community, was started in 1938. Additionally there are a number of family based outstations across the island. Today there are some 1,600 Anindilyakwa living on Groote Island. In the 1960s mining for manganese was permitted on the island, which now produces 10% of the world’s manganese supply. Many Aborigines have found work with the mine, but Alyangula, a third township north of Angurugu, was started primarily for the non-native mining company workers. The Groote Eylandt archipelago was declared an Indigenous Protected Area in 2006. Apart from the cultural importance of song lines and sacred sites, the marine environment supports unspoiled reef systems with abundant marine life. Considering the remoteness –and until recently limited access to the area- the Groote Eylandt archipelago possesses a unique ecosystem. The island shows extensive lateritic plains, rugged sandstone plateaus and hills in the central and southern part with large dune fields and sand plains in coastal areas, yet still has 4% of the Northern Territories rainforest. The area is considered of international importance for turtles and supports the densest nesting area of marine turtles in the Northern territory. One of the islets supports more than 1% of the world’s Roseate Terns.
20 May 2023
Yirrkala, Northern Territory06:30 - 17:00
Follow the red sand paths along the shoreline surrounded by gum trees to arrive to the dwellings inhabited by the indigenous communities of Yirrkala. In there, you can discover their unique art and culture at the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka art centre, where you can admire a wide selection of local artwork. Don’t miss the chance of hearing musicians playing the yidaki – a traditional wooden didgeridoo –, or to attend a demonstration of ritual dancing. If you’re lucky, you might even be invited to some of the propitiatory ceremonies practiced by this community.
21 May 2023
Elcho Island07:30 - 13:30
Elcho Island, known as Galiwinku by the indigenous Yolngu, is the largest of the Wessel Islands in Northeast Arnhem Land. The main settlement on the island’s southwestern side had started during WWII as a refuge from possible bombings of an air force base on nearby Milingimbi Island, some 70 km away. Banthula is one of the homelands on Elcho Island’s northwestern side facing the Arafura Sea. It was founded in 1979 when the Australian government encouraged the indigenous population to return to lands they had used before contact with the western world and to establish small settlements, the so-called homelands or outstations. Banthula is some 300 meters inland from Refuge Bay’s 7 kilometer long sandy shore. Some 40 Aborigines live in Banthula, almost 2% of Elcho Island’s population. The school closest to the Banthula children is some 12 km away at Gawa –it actually is one of Australia’s most remote schools. The area around Banthula has dry rain forest and an extensive mangrove growth is found around a creek at the northern end of the beach and bay. Green turtles, flatback turtles, hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles, as well as dugong and Australian snubfin dolphins have all been recorded in and around Refuge Bay and Bridled Terns have been found nesting.
22 May 2023
Victoria Settlement, Australia09:30 - 18:30
23 May 2023
24 May 2023
Wyndham, Western Australia07:00 - 16:00
Wyndham is a small settlement with the spirit of a Kimberley outback township. It was established in 1886 with the Halls Creek gold rush and sits on the Cambridge Gulf where several rivers converge. Today Wyndham has a population of roughly 900 people and operates largely as a port exporting cattle, servicing the mining industry and hosting a few small ships. For these vessels Wyndham is a gateway to the breathtaking Bungle Bungle mountain range and the nearby Ord River. The Bungle Bungle Mountains in Purnululu National Park are now a World Heritage Site. In excess of 350 million years have shaped geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground into a landscape unlike any other. Known to the local Aboriginal people for thousands of years, the Bungles were only discovered by the outside world in the mid-1980s. Conversely, cruising the peaceful and tree-lined Ord River is a chance to look for freshwater crocodiles, fruit bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones.Please note: All destinations on voyages in the Kimberley region, and the order in which they are visited, are subject to tidal variations and weather conditions. Other destinations may be visited in lieu of the stop described above.
25 May 2023
The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most magnificent natural wonders. At 80 meters (260 feet), the thundering spectacle of twin cascades are among the highest in Australia. The river weaves through an amazing landscape of near vertical red rock formations and a parade of wildlife — carnivorous saltwater crocodiles and amazing birdlife, including giant raptors and the Brahminy Kite.
26 May 2023
The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system surrounded by soaring red sandstone cliffs. Narrow mangrove channels shelter numerous bird species, mudskippers, fiddler crabs and the infamous saltwater crocodile; the most aggressive crocodile species known to man. Naturalist Island at the mouth of the river has a stunning stretch of sandy beach that makes a perfect landing site for small helicopters that can pick up visitors wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior. View less The highlight inland is the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the mighty Mitchell River. The headwaters of the falls are cool and a dip in the fresh water is a welcome reprieve from the heat of the heartland.
27 May 2023 - 28 May 2023
Buccaneer Archipelago, Western Australia
Roughly 800 islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago surround and shelter the impressive spread of Yampi Sound (from the aboriginal word for water, “Yampee”). The area was named in 1821 by Captain Phillip Parker King, in commemoration of William Dampier’s visit in 1688. Pearlers began visiting the area in the late 1800s, and more recently mining operators established open-cut mines on Koolan Island on the east side of the Sound. Some of the richest iron ore in the world is extracted here to this day. The coastline of Yampi shows rock layers wildly twisted and contorted into great folds. White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy Kites, Ospreys, Common Sandpipers and Eastern Reef Egrets inhabit the archipelago and the area is rich in fish life, which in turn is an attraction for bottlenose dolphins that come here to feed. Yampi Sound is also occassionaly a calving ground for humpback whales and mothers and calves can sometimes be spotted in the relatively shallow turquoise waters.
29 May 2023 - 30 May 2023
Broome, Western Australia
Traffic in the Broome Harbour (a very busy working harbour) is restricted, requiring special permits for all vehicles accessing the pier area. Guests are not permitted in this area on an individual basis. In order to make disembarkation as smooth as possible Silversea will be providing a group motorcoach transfer from the pier to the airport. This transfer will depart shortly after the ship is cleared. Exact timings will be communicated by the ship's staff.Guests who do not wish to go to the airport immediately following disembarkation will be transferred to Pearl Luggers, located 10 - 15 minutes from the airport, where taxis are available for hire.
31 May 2023
(This holiday is generally suitable for persons with reduced mobility. For customers with reduced mobility or any medical condition that may require special assistance or arrangements to be made, please notify your Cruise Concierge at the time of your enquiry, so that we can provide specific information as to the suitability of the holiday, as well as make suitable arrangements with the Holiday Provider on your behalf).
Silversea’s purpose-built Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of 12 Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.