On cruises along the Kimberley coast, the Oceanic Discoverer is
accompanied by a smaller vessel, the specially design aluminium
Xplorer, which is used for landings and extensive exploration of rivers
and estuaries. It can accommodate the full company of passengers
travelling aboard to mother vessel. In addition, two inflatable landing
craft are carried aboard, to assist where landing on the beach is
required, or special places like Horizontal Falls, where the craft come
into their own zipping through the gaps in the rocks.
The Xplorer and the inflatables are pulled out at regular intervals
as there are plenty of river gorges to travel up, waterfalls to get so
close as to feel the spray, and sandy beaches and reefs to comb for
shells and other sea life.
Perhaps because of the cost and also because of the time taken do do
a journey up or down the North west coast of Australia, the majority of
people to take the cruise are over 65 and retired.
The cruise begins or ends in Darwin or Broome. Localities visited
include King George Falls, Vansittart Bay, Tranquil Bay, Cape Voltaire,
Bigge Island, Prince Frederick Harbour (optional scenic flights over
the Mitchell Plateau), Mitchell Falls, Careening Bay (Mermaid tree),
Prince Regent River, King Cascade, Camp Creek, Kuri Bay, Raft Point
(Bradshaw and Wandjina aboriginal cave paintings), Buccaneer
Archipelago, Montgomery Reef, Talbot Bay, Horizontal Falls, Langgi
Inlet, King Sound, Crocodile Creek, Lacepede Islands, Pender Day, Yampi