Rowley Shoals Cruise – Coral Atoll 5 Days
The Rowley Shoals feature exaggerated corals, mind-blowing fish life and stunning underwater clarity; but perhaps more important than anything else – even today they are visited by only a fortunate few!
Guided by a marine biologist and a team of underwater naturalists; divers and snorkelers alike will revel in a diverse wonderland of coral habitats including maze-like lagoons, surging tidal canyons and breathtaking walls. And the keen anglers will match wits with big blue-water pelagics such as black marlin, sailfish, wahoo and yellow-fin tuna. Wander the enticing shores of Bedwell Island, see the rookeries of the red-tailed tropicbird and indulge in a TRUE NORTH favourite – sunset drinks on the beach – 300 kilometres from the shore! The Rowley Shoals are Western Australia’s premiere coral playground!
Night One – welcome aboard the True North
Your “welcome aboard” the luxurious TRUE NORTH is in the frontier pearling port of Broome. embarkation is at 1700 – time for a cocktail with your fellow adventurers before departing at approximately 1800. Dinner is served shortly after leaving port and then it’s an overnight steam to the Rowley Shoals.
(Please note that the TRUE NORTH visits the Rowley Shoals only during the months of September, October and November. These months are normally associated with “the doldrums” – a period of light winds and calm seas. In addition, the TRUE NORTH is fitted with computer controlled motion stabilisers that minimise vessel movement. Guests can therefore anticipate comfortable conditions when travelling to the Shoals – however observing the normal precautions associated with the prevention of seasickness is always recommended.)
Day One – Arrive at the Rowley Shoals
We arrive early at Clerke Reef. enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before exploring the atoll’s huge lagoon. You will marvel at crystal clear waters teaming with life – clouds of fish and corals of every imaginable colour and shape. There will be plenty of opportunity for beach combing on Bedwell Island, relaxed snorkelling in tropical waist deep water or perhaps some “catch and release” lagoon fishing using eco-friendly tackle. our qualified and experienced crew will be on-hand to personally introduce everyone to the delights of this pristine environment.
When you’re not on excursion, relax onboard TRUE NORTH and enjoy our renowned cuisine in air-conditioned comfort. The licensed open-air bar will definitely be the spot to witness your first spectacular ‘Rowley’s Sunset’.
Day Two – World Class Snorkelling
Start the day with a visit to the Aquarium! Forget the Great Barrier Reef – this is world-class snorkelling at its very best! even if you’ve never put your head under water before – this is an absolute must. The water is only waist deep however the experience is literally “out of this world”! More brilliantly coloured corals, giant clams and more than 600 of the world’s most beautiful fish species at your fingertips!
Don’t forget your underwater camera!
In the afternoon we’ll “crank up the action” with something very unique – high-speed snorkel drifts through the outer reef! Again our friendly crew members will be on hand to ensure that everyone gets to try this once-in-a lifetime experience – as many times as you like! our anchorage tonight is in the “swimming pool like” waters of Clerke Lagoon – 300 kilometres off the coast of Australia!
Day Three – Trophy Fishing
Another day in paradise – perhaps an early morning swim and breakfast on the deck before the adventure boats set off to explore the outer reef! outer reef snorkelling is a totally different experience – the sheer coral walls teeming with life will take your breath away. The fishing boats will troll the deep blue in search of pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel, giant dog toothed tuna, wahoo and of course the fastest fish in the sea – the prized sailfish! Close encounters with humpback whales and manta rays are also on the agenda. Finish the day with sunset drinks on the beach and one of our famous Island Parties. Then it’s back to the ultimate comfort of TRUE NORTH and another perfect night in Clerke Lagoon – 360° stars reflected in a glassy ocean!
Day Four – Exploring the Outer Reefs
By now you will be addicted to snorkelling and diving amongst the untouched corals of Clerke Reef and your wish is our command! Spend the day exploring the outer reef, or perhaps ‘The Maze’ – an assortment of coral bombies inside the lagoon. Stroll along your very own sand cay, enjoy a swim at the beach or relax in the shade of one of our colourful umbrellas! Take a stand-up board for a paddle or circumnavigate the island in one of our twin kayaks. The dedicated fishers will be out again – one last chance to win the ‘Fish hat’!
Then all too soon it’s time for our overnight steam to Broome. Join the crew in the bar lounge and reflect on our shared adventures. Re-live what is guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime as the Rowleys merge into a blazing western sky!
Day Five – Arrive in Broome
Early morning arrival in Broome in time to disembark at 0800 hours. Transfer to the airport or your accommodation – your voyage on the TRUE NORTH need only be the start of a Kimberley Adventure!
Larger ships are typically confined to oceanic waters and even smaller ‘expedition ships’ are generally only able to cruise up and down coastal regions.
The TRUE NORTH is able to explore shallow coastal waters and river systems – in the Sepik River for example we venture more than 100 nautical miles from the ocean!
This unique access enables our guests to comfortably engage in activities that cannot be offered on larger ships or, that can only be offered following an arduous journey in a rubber boat!
A classic example is experiencing the King George River’s majestic twin falls. Guest’s on the TRUE NORTH sail up the King George River sipping champagne and listening to classical music on the ship’s sundeck. When the TRUE NORTH arrives at the falls – the master positions the boat under the falls* allowing the guests to have a shower on the bow! After this very unique experience, guests can return to their cabins and change out of their swim wear before either hiking to the top of the falls or, flying above the falls in the helicopter. Larger ships can only anchor off the mouth of the river and ferry their guests to the falls in rubber boats. Upon arrival the rubber boats can be driven under the falls but the only remaining guest option is to endure another extended journey back to the ship – this time in wet clothing. The difference is really quite stark!
The Small Group
The convenience of just 36 guests also allows the crew of the TRUE NORTH to offer a much greater range of activities, for example fishing, mud crabbing, collecting oysters and sunset drinks on the beach. The small group also allows our crew greater opportunity to cater for personal preference and specific interests such as birdwatching and photography excursions.
Fulltime on-board Helicopter
When helicopter excursions are offered – the helicopter generally remains on the TRUE NORTH for the duration of the cruise. This allows helicopter activities to be scheduled for most days of the itinerary and, for personalised excursions such as sunrise and sunset flights.
Dedicated Adventure Boats
The TRUE NORTH operates 6 dedicated adventure boats.
Our adventure boats are 20’ runabouts. We have deliberately chosen this configuration to provide greater comfort, practicality and safety.
Our boats are much more comfortable than rubber boats. They feature ample seating and when the boat is not under way, it is possible to stand-up and walk around. This is a definite advantage when engaging in activities such as fishing, snorkelling, diving and photography. Our adventure boats are fully surveyed by the Australian maritime authorities which means the wearing of life jackets is not required and, we also believe that they are much safer than rubber boats when operating in crocodile country!
Every Day is an Activity Day
And perhaps the greatest adventure-cruise difference is that every day on-board the TRUE NORTH is an activity day! We specifically exclude any extended periods at sea and offer a choice of multiple activities on every day of your itinerary. Our guests tend to spend most of every day away from the TRUE NORTH truly experiencing what the destination has to offer! When comparing – make sure you discover how much opportunity you have to engage in shore-based activities!
11-16 September 2021
3-8 September 2022
8-13 September 2022