French luxury expedition cruise ship L'Austral undertakes an inaugural series of sailings to Australia's Kimberley region 2017.
The 264-passenger, environmentally accredited yacht of Compagnie du Ponant, set to be the youngest ship in the outback destination, offers 14 Zodiacs, electric propulsion and 3D sonar to avoid sensitive environments when dropping anchor.
The four 10-night voyages between Darwin and Broome are planned to be led by adventurer and photographer Mick Fogg, veteran of 120 Kimberley expeditions, and 12 marine biologists, conservationists and naturalists.
“Larger than 75 percent of the world's countries, the Kimberley is a national biodiversity hotspot, listed in the top 3.7 percent of least impacted marine environments worldwide,” Fogg said. “At 1.8 billion years old, much of the Kimberley pre-dates life as we know it.”
Attractions include Horizontal Falls, Montgomery Reef, the Hunter River, Mitchell Falls, King George Falls, whale and saltwater crocodile sightings, and indigenous rock art with the world's oldest known depictions of human form.