Small-ship cruise company AdventureSmith Explorations has a diverse lineup of voyages in Australia that seek to explore this vast country in depth. Of course, you don't want to rush through a destination as amazing as Australia, which is loaded with adventures and stunning wilderness that you spend weeks discovering.
AdventureSmith is offering a new batch of Australia voyages, and the line focuses on the most sought-after destinations along the country's largely uninhabited, 16,000-mile coastline. This is where small ships can enjoy exclusive access. These regions include, for example, remote areas of the Kimberley outback, the Great Barrier Reef and the beaches of Tasmania.
Kimberley in the northern territory is considered the nation's last frontier. This is the least densely populated part of Australia, which in turn is one of the least densely populated places in the world. On the 11-day Kimberley Cruising to the Australian Outback itinerary you can experience a coastal topography with tides that rise and fall up to 33 feet, view aboriginal cave art of indigenous populations and enjoy world-class birding on an island that harbors 18,000 breeding pairs of brown boobies as well as Roseate terns. This is also a significant breeding area for green sea turtles.
Activities include hiking, kayaking, skiff tours, land treks, wildlife observation, cultural and village visits and participating in conservation efforts. Cruises depart from either Darwin or Broome from March through October on any of three small adventure ships for 46 to 120 passengers.
In Tasmania, national parks are the star, some featuring gorges with nearly 1,000-foot-high cliffs. Seals, dolphins and albatross can be spotted throughout the cruise. You'll enjoy kayaking or hiking with an expert expedition team. Cruising is available in an inflatable skiff, glass-bottom boat and in the ship's special Xplorer tender. This cruise itinerary is offered roundtrip from Hobart (accessed from gateway cities in Australia) in January, February and March.
The 15-day circumnavigation of the entire island of Tasmania (alternative itinerary within Pristine Tasmania) adds stops along northern and western shores and on nearby islands.
Great Barrier Reef Cruises are four-, five- and eight-day year-round cruises on two small adventure ships for 42 or 46 passengers. These cruises reveal a world hidden just beneath the surface, as the Great Barrier Reef parallels much of Australia's eastern coast.
AdventureSmith Explorations' cruises travel farther, allowing for more time to explore healthy, thriving and complex reef structures without competing for space with hordes of snorkel and dive boats. The longer eight-day tour begins in Cairns and visits Cooktown where Capt. James Cook in 1770 claimed Australia as a British colony. You'll be introduced to indigenous culture at a cultural park and in botanic gardens and may glimpse the antics of native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies.
Moving along Australia's eastern coast, the reefs become the centers of attention. The Great Barrier Reef is a series of thousands of individual coral cays. When joining a glass-bottom boat excursion with a marine biologist you will explore sea turtles, giant clams and rays, while seeing some of the more than 200 species of native birds and and 1,500 species of fish that inhabit this World Heritage-listed site. Marine life also thrives in a mangrove eco-system: crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs all feed on plentiful sea grasses. On Dunk Island, a rainforest walk might reveal the blue-winged Ulysses butterfly, yellow-bellied sunbird, emerald dove and orange-footed scrub fowl. And more than 400 species of coral exist at Nathan Reef.
Activities include guided scuba diving (extra cost) and beach time, swimming, snorkeling and hiking. The gateway city is Cairns.
Do you have plans to visit Australia? How do these adventure cruise itineraries sound to you?
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