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Unique boutique Tiwi Islands cruises sail next year

A rare opportunity to visit to the vibrant modern community of the Tiwi Islands, taking in the vast Kimberley coast and its ancient rock art galleries dating back over 40,000 years, has been announced in Coral Expeditions cruises for 2023 and 2024.

Boutique cruise ship Coral Discoverer – carrying fewer than 70 guests – will set sail across the Josef Bonaparte Gulf and arrive for a hosted visit with the local community and co-operative gallery at Munupi Arts Centre, where guests can purchase art at the source, participate in workshops, and enjoy an intimate cultural performance.

The newly launched 10-night Art and Culture of the Kimberley and Tiwi Islands expeditions will depart 28 August 2023 Broome to Darwin and 8 September 2023 Darwin to Broome. In 2024 it will depart Broome to Darwin on 26 August and Darwin to Broome 6 September.

On this journey Coral Discoverer will traverse the coastline to discover natural cave galleries scattered through the escarpment, revealing hidden Wandjina and Gwion Gwion paintings from early contact times.

Guests will experience the majestic landscape and powerful natural forces of the Kimberley, on shore excursions to the King George Falls and the tidal phenomena of the Horizontal Waterfalls and Montgomery Reef.

Expert guides and special artists on board will share their knowledge along the way.

Kimberley Rock Art

Coral Discoverer off the Kimberley coast

Guided tour at Swift Bay

Sunset drinks on board

Screen printing

Tiwi Island Fishermen

Careening Bay Boab Tree


Arts and crafts on Tiwi Island

A welcome dance on Tiwi Island

Painted pots and shells, Tiwi Island

Landing on Jar Island

A big saltie watches with interest

Expedition highlights include new additions alongside the major highlights of the classic Kimberley voyage we have become renowned for:

  • Visit Munupi Arts and Tiwi Design centres to discover both traditional and contemporary Tiwi art where you can purchase directly from the source
  • Enjoy a hosted walk on country in the company of a local Tiwi guide and enjoy a traditional dance performance
  • Gain valuable historical and cultural insights from our expert expedition team and local guides
  • Partake in onboard art workshops under the guidance of a special guest artist and learn the skills of lino cutting, paper printing + more
  • Walk among ancient Indigenous rock art galleries at Swift Bay, Bigge Island, Wollaston Bay and Vansittart Bay and learn about Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art history
  • Enjoy wilderness cruising on our Xplorer vessels through the pristine marine sanctuary of the Lacapedes to spot rare seabirds, mating turtles and juvenile sharks and rays in the protected marine nursery
  • Enjoy the thrill of a zodiac ride through the rapids of the Horizontal Waterfall at Talbot Bay and be amazed tidal phenomena of Montgomery Reef as it emerges from the ocean depths on the lowering tide

 Coral Expeditions Commercial Director Jeff Gillies says the new cultural expedition is of significant value to not only the travellers on board but the communities they visit.

“Our voyages have always made strong connections with remote communities and have proven to be extremely valuable both in terms of sharing of knowledge and culture and the economic value our guests bring to remote communities,” Mr Gillies says.

“Our guests are prone to engage deeply with the experience and from recent experience, many will purchase art from the source leaving an immediate and ongoing legacy for the community”.

“We recently explored the Tiwi Islands on a charter voyage and received guests feedback that was overwhelmingly positive, so we feel a need to offer this as a more regular product for our guests. This is the nature of expedition cruising – to discover and share new adventures”

For more information about Coral Expeditions’ Art and Culture of the Kimberley and Tiwi Islands click here

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