Western Australia & the Coral Coast
- 13 Days
- Broome, Australia - Fremantle, Australia
- Voyage code:
- Greg Mortimer
from AUD $15,596.00/pp Save 20%*
See 'Cabins & Prices' tab for discounted rates. This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.
Explore above and below the turquoise waters of northwest Australia’s spectacular Indian Ocean coast. Sail overnight from Broome to Rowley Shoals Marine Park, three coral atolls swept by nutrient-rich deep ocean currents. Kayak, snorkel and dive lagoons and spectacular drop-offs in crystal-clear waters shared with turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins. Discover the Montebello Islands, once the site of nuclear weapons testing, now breeding grounds for ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles, terns, and oystercatchers. On Barrow Island spot rare mammals like the spectacled hare-wallaby, golden bandicoot, black-flanked rock-wallaby and more. Immerse yourself in Ningaloo, the world’s largest fringing reef, and Coral Bay, where humpbacks, whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles swim. At Shark Bay, watch for the many dugongs feeding on extensive sea grass beds, then adventure throughout the exquisite Houtman Abrolhos islands, with its sea lion colonies, photogenic fishing shacks and perfect lagoons to swim, snorkel and kayak.
This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.
- Zodiac-cruise, snorkel or dive^ spectacular coral reefs, lagoons and canyons of Rowley Shoals Marine Park
- Dawn birdwatching to spy red-tailed tropic birds, ruddy turnstones, white-throated needle-tails and more
- Enjoy the Dampier Peninsula’s maze of waterways alive with hawksbill turtles, dolphins and shy dugongs
- Snorkel and dive^ among the magnificent coral gardens of Ningaloo Reef
- Discover sea lion colonies, seabirds and exquisite waterways in the adventure playground of Houtman Abrolhos Islands
- Explore and learn about the unique marine ecosystems designated as “Hope Spots” by Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue team, including the Exmouth Gulf and Ningaloo Coast and the Houtman Abrolhos Islands
^Optional activities at additional cost
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to weather conditions.
Day 1 Broome
Embark the Greg Mortimer in the afternoon. After boarding, take time to settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings. Enjoy the thrill of departure as we pull away. In the evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Days 2-3 Rowley Shoals
Sail overnight to Rowley Shoals Marine Park, three coral atolls rising from the seabed to the surface (and above at low tide). One of the world’s finest snorkelling and dive destinations, it features deep drop-offs festooned with soft coral, protected lagoons brimming with tropical fish and channels alive with larger marine animals, including sea turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins. Spectacular kayaking and Zodiac-cruising await those who prefer their adventures above the sea. Beach walk to caves where seabirds nest including red-tailed tropicbirds and the rarer white-tailed tropicbird.
Day 4 Dampier Archipelago
Named after William Dampier, an English buccaneer and explorer who visited in 1699, the 42 islands feature brilliant sapphire waterways, set against the Pilbara’s red and ochre-hued landscape, alive with hawksbill turtles, dolphins and shy dugongs. Snorkel, dive or kayak, or land on sandy beaches to discover amazing Aboriginal rock engravings of turtles, fish, kangaroos and wallabies.
Day 5 Montebello Islands / Barrow Island
Start the day in the Montebello Islands, an archipelago of some 174 small limestone islands about 130 kms off the Pilbara coast. The site of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s, including the United Kingdom’s first ever atomic weapon, the islands are now the breeding ground for beach stone curlews, fairy and roseate terns, ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles and sooty oystercatchers. Mala, (rufous-hare wallaby) has been reintroduced to the islands. After lunch, we land on Barrow Island, one of the most important conservation reserves in WA where oil and gas fields coexist with rare and endangered mammals like the spectacled hare-wallaby, golden bandicoot and black-flanked rock-wallaby. Among the 43 species of reptiles on the island is the perentie, Australia’s biggest lizard.
Days 6-7 Ningaloo Coast and Reef
Immerse yourself in UNESCO’s Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area and Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Hope Spot. It is the world's largest fringing reef and major migratory route for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales. Visit ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station harking back to the early 1900s, when a Norwegian whaling company ran whaling and factory ships before building the shore-based processing plant in 1915. After lunch, hike through stunning gorges of Cape Range National Park and swim in crystal-clear Turquoise Bay. Next day, swim, snorkel, dive and kayak Coral Bay’s prime spots like Asho’s Gap, where cleaner wrasse attend to the teeth and parasites of grey reef sharks, and loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles nest nearby. A sunset walk to Point Cloates Lighthouse to finish the day.
Days 8-9 Shark Bay
Wake to low-lying Bernier Island, one of three islands of the Bernier and Dorre Nature Reserve, two that hide a tragic past. In the early 1900s, the islands housed ‘lock hospitals’, where Aboriginal men, women and children were taken for treatment of venereal disease, many never to return to their homelands. Today these islands are home to some of the rarest animals in the world and we hope to go ashore to see the Shark Bay mouse, western barred bandicoot, banded hare-wallaby, and rufous hare-wallaby. After lunch we move to Dirk Hartog Island, to swim and snorkel, and learn of Dirk Hartog’s pewter plate, which now resides in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Next morning, visit Surf Point to snorkel and dive a marine sanctuary protecting vase and plate corals, a variety of staghorn species and tropical fish, including parrotfish, butterflyfish, wrasse, angelfish and snapper. After lunch, search for endangered banded hare-wallabies and hike to Steep Point to view magnificent Zuytdorp Cliffs.
Days 10-12 Houtman Abrolhos
Over three days, explore the Abrolhos Islands, another of Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue Hope Spots. They are a stunning necklace of 122 islands surrounded by the southernmost coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Beginning in the Wallabi Group of islands, puzzle how such a peaceful setting could be where the 1629 shipwreck of the Batavia, and the subsequent mutiny and massacre, took place. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling and diving, or kayaking past remote fishing camps, watching for tammar wallabies, successfully reintroduced on North Island. On day two, explore the Easter Group, its islands, like many in the Abrolhos, are breeding grounds for up to 100 bird species including the prolific wedge-tailed shearwater, lesser noddy’s, storm petrels, pacific reef herons, white-bellied sea eagles and osprey. Wake on the third morning in the Pelsaert Group, a wonderland of tern nests and scene of some of the worst shipwrecks in Australian maritime history, including the Zeewijk, the last of four Dutch East Indiamen to be wrecked there. The Zeewijk’s crew lived for 10 months off seals, seabirds, eggs, and supplies salvaged from the wreck before finishing an 18 m boat that, over nearly a month, they successfully sailed to Sunda Strait. Each day in the Abrolhos Islands promises to bring new and memorable adventures.
Day 13 Fremantle
After breakfast, farewell your expedition team before you disembark for your transfer to the airport or hotel accommodation.
Important 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 weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.
- Arrival transfer from airport to Greg Mortimer on Day 1
- Departure transfer from Greg Mortimer to airport or hotel on last day
- Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
- Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
- Snorkelling activities and use of snorkelling equipment
- Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
- Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
- Complimentary spray jacket
- Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
- Gratuities for ship crew
- International or domestic flights not mentioned in the itinerary
- Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Passport, visa, and vaccination charges
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
- Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
- Optional activity surcharges
- All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges.
Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
Whale and mammal spotting
From AUD $1,000.00/pp
Led by highly-experienced and enthusiastic guides, join a small group of up to 20 like-minded adventurers and create lasting memories …
Led by highly-experienced and enthusiastic guides, join a small group of up to 20 like-minded adventurers and create lasting memories immersed in some of the world’s wildest, remotest and most pristine destinations. Paddle over colourful coral reefs, in sheltered bays, where you may encounter dolphins showing off acrobatic skills, among mangroves harbouring nesting seabirds or along spectacular coastal desert landscapes surrounded by sparkling seas and perhaps playful sea lions.
Rather than travelling large distances, our aim is to see as much as possible. We paddle anywhere between 5 to 15 kilometres (2 to 4 hours) per outing, sometimes taking a snack and a flask of hot chocolate to enjoy on our excursion.
Each group of 4 to 10 kayakers will have their own intimate exploration of the small hidden bays and coasts that may be inaccessible to the Zodiacs and will also make time for their own shore excursions and wildlife encounters.
When we visit the poles, the elements play an important role. It is important that you have an adventurous attitude and understand that our kayaking time will be affected by the weather that we experience.
Even if your experience is limited, we’d encourage you to call us to discuss your suitability. There is often ample time to gain the required experience before you depart. Kayakers should be aged 14 years or over.
- Kayak & Paddle
- Neoprene boots
- Safety gear
- A 15-litre dry bag
- Life jackets
- Pogies (insulated mittens that attach to your paddle)
Our guides have years of kayaking experience in our destinations. The sea kayaking guide will lead the group on each excursion, explaining facts about the wildlife and other highlights we paddle across. Read about our expert guides below.
How to Book
Please return the kayaking form at time of booking that you would like to include the optional sea kayaking activity for your expedition. Places are limited so we recommend reserving your place early.View more details
From AUD $1,500.00/pp
Discover some of Earth’s most biodiverse marine ecosystems, many of which have been designated as ‘Hope Spots’ by Mission Blue. …
Tropical Scuba Diving
Discover some of Earth’s most biodiverse marine ecosystems, many of which have been designated as ‘Hope Spots’ by Mission Blue. Perhaps embark on a wreck dive, encounter majestic marine wildlife including dugong, sea turtles and whale shark, and marvel at spectacularly-shaped and brightly-coloured coral. Buddy up and be part of a small group of up to 8 divers to experience the magnificent underwater world that few others get to see.
Our team of experienced dive guides have over 20 years polar diving experience and provide divers with detailed briefings and best practice procedures to ensure a safe diving experience. Your dive master will ensure Standard Safety Diving Practices are adhered to at all times.
How to Book
Please return the scuba diving activity form at time of booking. If you have any queries regarding our scuba diving option, please contact our friendly Expeditions Experts or your preferred travel advisor for more information.View more details
All you need is to be a competent swimmer and to have a sense of curiosity and wonder to enjoy …
All you need is to be a competent swimmer and to have a sense of curiosity and wonder to enjoy this fun activity – we will provide the mask, snorkel, fins. In some of the warm climate destinations that we explore, you will enjoy aquatic scenes usually reserved for privileged and experienced divers. Snorkel among a kaleidoscope of coral reefs brimming with brightly-coloured tropical fish and perhaps swim with curious sea lions.
Our team of experienced guides have over 20 years’ diving experience and provide snorkellers with detailed briefings and best practice procedures to ensure a safe snorkelling experience.
How to Book
Please return the polar snorkelling activity form at the time of booking. Simply inform our Expedition Experts at time of booking that you would like to include the optional snorkelling activity to your expedition. Places are limited.View more details
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*Terms & Conditions apply. Offer is only valid on new bookings and on select ship voyages only which must be booked and deposited by 24th April 2021. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with the back to back voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The promotion can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. Prices and offers correct at time of printing and subject to change. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of AUD 2,500 per person is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see full terms and conditions.