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Solar Eclipse

The Solar Eclipse Expedition

Darwin to Broome13 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $13,490.00* PP

This voyage is fully booked

Join us aboard Coral Adventurer on our special ‘The Solar Eclipse Expedition’ in partnership with the Australian Geographic Society in April 2023. For a unique viewing position, we will sail to the remote Australian territory of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Islands – a wildlife haven for marine turtles, whale sharks, dugongs and migratory birds. Here, we will view the rare hybrid solar eclipse event from the ship’s decks in the sheltered anchorage of the lagoon. Watch as the birdlife reacts to the celestial event, flying home to roost in the middle of the day as the sky darkens. Enjoy the phenomenon with champagne and canapes, with our knowledgeable astronomy specialists on hand. Later, cruise the lagoon in tenders and zodiacs for wildlife and scenery viewing. Continuing on, we visit iconic natural attractions along the Kimberley coast including legendary waterfalls, awe-inspiring tidal phenomenon and soaring rock formations carved by immense tectonic pressure. This is an expedition that features the forces of nature in its diverse glory.

  • Be surrounded by the forces of nature experiencing a rare hybrid solar eclipse at isolated Ashmore Reef. Watch the birdlife react to this celestial event, flying home to roost in the middle of the day as you plunge into darkness
  • Enjoy the company of expert guides who will be with you each step of the way, sharing their knowledge and interpretation of wildlife, astronomy and nature photography
  • Witness the grandeur of King George River in a close encounter with the power of its twin falls. Hear the torrents of water cascading into the river below after wet season
  • Walk amongst natural ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art galleries at Vansittart Bay and Bigge Island
  • Snorkel and dive in the pristine waters of far-flung Scott Reef
  • See the natural phenomenon of Montgomery Reef as it rises out of the sea on the falling tide
  • Experience the thrill of riding on a Zodiac through Horizontal Falls
  • Cruise through the tumultuous Whirlpool Passage and enjoy a swim at stunning Silica Beach
  • Birdwatch and encounter marine life at remote Adele Island and Lacepede Island
  • Conditions permitting, snorkel and dive at Rowley Shoals – a group of three coral atolls with untouched coral gardens, superb water clarity and teeming marine life
  • Enjoy an optional extra helicopter flight over the spectacular four-tiered Mitchell Falls
  • Receive a commemorative photo book featuring images captured by Scott Portelli during the expedition

Itinerary

Coral-Expeditions_The-Solar-Eclipse-Expedition_Darwin_Broome_13-Nights-Map

Darwin Port

Arrive at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf to board Coral Adventurer at 8:00am for a 9:00am departure. Once on board, meet the crew and attend the safety briefing before spending the evening mingling at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks as we cross the Bonaparte Gulf.

Solar Eclipse

The Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is made up of the West, Middle and East Islands of Ashmore Reef as well as Cartier Island and the surrounding 12 nautical mile Territorial Sea. The islands are uninhabited and are a haven for wildlife including marine turtles, whale sharks, dugong and migratory bird populations. Here we will view the rare hybrid solar eclipse event from the sheltered anchorage of the lagoon. Watch as the birdlife reacts to the celestial event, flying home to roost in the middle of the day as the sky darkens. Enjoy the phenomenon with champagne and canapes on the Vista Deck with our knowledgeable astronomy specialists, including Professor Fred Watson AM, on hand.

coral-expeditions-horizontal-falls-buccaneer-archipelago

The Horizontal Falls are created as the ocean is forced through a narrow gorge in the McLarty Ranges, creating a rushing horizontal waterfall of swiftly flowing seawater. Riding the rapids on our Zodiac inflatable tenders is one of the highlights of our Kimberley expedition cruises. See evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations as we cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.

Edeline Island

Another phenomena caused by the local high tides, Whirlpool Passage divides Chambers and Hidden Islands (Banggoon) in the Buccaneer Archipelago. When conditions allow, passing through the passage when the tide is running is a dramatic experience as the ship negotiates the whirlpools. However, get there at the turn of the tide and it looks like a millpond and ever so peaceful.

Explore Edeline Island, home to the Elgee Siltstone structures that showcase the power of nature through unique patterns carved into the rock face. Discover this wild and unspoiled destination with guidance and insight into the flora and fauna from our experts.

At Silica Beach, take a barefooted stroll along the flawless white sand, surrounded by towering rock formations. If conditions allow, we will take to the pristine waters for a refreshing swim here. Rock Figs ficus platypoda and rock-dwelling Eucalypts like eucalyptus brachyandra thrive in this wild landscape, as well as birdlife including Striated Pardelotes and Double-barred Finches.

Montgomery-Reef-The-Kimberley-Western-Australia

In a one-of-a-kind marine spectacle, witness the ocean recede with tidal flow anywhere from 4 to 10 metres to reveal a thriving flat top reef. Witness birds hunting for the newly exposed lagoon for marine life in the rock pools and be entertained by green sea turtles exploring the shallow reef. Our expedition team will share their knowledge of the reef and wildlife.

Depending on the tides we will visit Red Cone Creek, which flows gently downstream until it meets the small but impressive Ruby Falls. These rock walls are great for climbing and clambering over before reaching a series of freshwater swimming holes and flowing waterfalls. Admire the sunset at the iconic Raft Point (Ngumbree) which guards the entrance to Doubtful Bay.

coral-expeditions-vansittart-bay-DC3-jar-island

Vansittart Bay is home to many cultural and historically significant sites like the remarkable Gwion Gwion Aboriginal rock art galleries estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. Nearby, on the Anjo Peninsula lays the well-preserved wreckage of a US Airforce C-53 Skytrooper aircraft, the result of a pilot losing his bearings flying from Perth to Darwin in 1942 and putting down on a salt pan near present-day Truscott Airbase.

The-Kimberley-Bigge-Island-Beach-BBQ

Bigge Island is known for its historical Indigenous rock art. An easy 50 metre walk form the beach landing site, admire the art works on the cave walls including depictions of Wandjina figures telling powerful tales of first contact between Aboriginal society and others from over the waves. Rare vulnerable species thrive here free from feral predators including the Northern Quoll, Scaly-tailed Possum and Monjon.

King-George-Falls-in-Xplorer

Fed by the King George River draining across the Gardner Plateau, the 80m tall King George Falls are the most impressive Kimberley waterfalls and the highest twin falls in Western Australia. Before reaching the base of the falls we cruise through some 13 kilometers of steep-sided sandstone gorge. Enjoy getting up close to the falls by our Xplorer tender or zodiac. As we will be visiting in the transition period between wet to dry season, the falls will be pumping with torrents of water.

Kimberley Coral Expeditions Mitchell Falls

Tumbling down the Mitchell Plateau in a series of tiered waterfalls and emerald green rock pools, the Mitchell Falls (Punamii-Uunpuu) are the photogenic poster child for the Mitchell River National Park. Take a scenic helicopter flight available at an additional cost for a unique perspective of this unspoiled landscape.

An alternative option to Mitchell Falls is exploring the sandstone caves of Wollaston Bay. This probable former sea cave is now a fascinating art site featuring Gayarrra Wanjina and Wanjina paintings.

Rowley Shoals

If conditions allow, we will visit the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world with unparalleled water clarity. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by countless coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse and species of coral and fish of which many are not found on other coral reefs. Conditions permitting, we will spend a full day at Clerke Reef. Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel and dive on the atoll that covers about 90sqkm. If tides and conditions permit, we will beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roost there.

Osprey Reef Darren Jew Photography 1

Scott Reef is an incredible snorkelling and diving location, here we will take to the waters to explore the diverse underwater ecosystems of this acclaimed coral habitat. Those who are interested in photography will have plenty of opportunity to capture the natural beauty of the remote environment as our expert guides share their knowledge of the nature and history of the land. If weather and tide conditions allow, we will land on a sand cay.

Brown Booby

Pristine Adele Island is recognised as a wildlife sanctuary, declared as a Nature Reserve in 2001 and classified by Bird Life International as an Important Bird Area for its seabirds and waders. This location features a unique reef habitat, with exclusive discoveries having been reported here, sparking scientific interest. If conditions allow, we will cruise around the island on our Xplorer and zodiac tenders to spot some of the diverse wildlife native to the area.

The Lacepede Islands are a protected class-A nature reserve and are significant as a seabird nesting rookery for brown boobies and roseate terns. Other species often sighted at the Lacepedes include Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets and gulls. The four low-lying islands are also an important breeding and nesting habitat for green turtles. If weather and tide conditions are suitable, we will explore the lagoons by Zodiac tender vessels.

Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes this morning at 8am on arrival at Deep Water Port. Bid farewell to new-found friends and the Captain and crew. Post cruise transfers to Cable Beach, CBD hotels or the airport are included.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling. As clear skies for optimal viewing of the eclipse event is our priority, there may be substantive changes made to the itinerary to accommodate this experience.



Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

Fully Booked

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
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Additional Information

Inclusions

  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer and Zodiacs
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)

Not Included

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are traveling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

Coral-Adventurer-Ship-Information
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