I am hosting the trip of a lifetime to one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world, the remote Kimberley region of Australia. From there, we will sail to remote island villages of Indonesia where history comes alive in traditional ceremonies.
Together, we will discover a land so old that vast tracts pre-date the very existence of fossils—and see it in the manner befitting its immense scale: by sea, aboard the fully-equipped expedition ship, National Geographic Orion. We will explore the immense and complex landscape of western Australia, encompassing spectacular gorges, waterfalls, caves, and rainforests. See signs of the immense geological forces that over the course of eons have buckled the earth’s crust leaving contorted folds of ancient indigenous rock art. Zodiacs land virtually anywhere and take us up close to the unique wildlife in this region—watch for crocodiles, migrating humpback whales, and endearing wallabies. Once we venture to Indonesia, we can snorkel and dive remote reefs with galaxies of colorful fish before visiting Komodo National Park in search of the legendary Komodo dragon.
Why Ralph Recommends this trip…
- As some of you may know, I LOVE my relationship with Lindblad Expeditions. Their 2023 voyage to this remote area is the first one since 2015! Take a look at the compelling video below to learn more about the area and what we will experience!
- Australia is huge and beautiful with so much to see and do. Plus, we have the opportunity to seek out the legendary Komodo dragon!
- Get the most out of your camera on this once in a lifetime trip by working with the National Geographic Photography Expert and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
Ready to book? Click here to book your spot today!
Saturday, June 8, 2024, Arrive Perth, Australia
Spend a night at the InterContinental Perth Hotel (or similar).
Sunday, June 9, 2024, Broome, Australia / Embark ship
Fly to Broome to board National Geographic Orion and cast off in the afternoon. (B/L/D)
Monday, June 10, 2024, Rowley Shoals
With abundant marine life and untouched corals, Rowley Shoals is comprised of atoll-like reefs and is one of the world’s most pristine marine environments. Enjoy time to snorkel, dive, and explore this remote and incredible place by Zodiac. (B/L/D)
Tuesday-Wednesday, June 11-12, 2024, Day-at-Sea & Montgomery Reef
Conditions permitting, the tide at Montgomery Reef may drop rapidly away and a raging torrent of water erupts, as miles of surrounding reef appear to slowly rise out of the ocean. A Zodiac maneuvers us into a channel in the reef as water cascades down on either side. It is the perfect spot to watch for cormorants, egrets, and sandpipers foraging for sea life trapped on the surface of the reef. Below the waterline, opportunistic sea turtles, reef sharks, and many larger fish also take advantage of this feast. (B/L/D)
Thursday, June 13, 2024, Hunter River
This is one of the most scenic parts of the Kimberley coast, lined with green rainforest, mangroves, and soaring red cliffs. National Geographic Orion drops anchor near Naturalists Island, also known by its indigenous name, Wunumpurramarra—a stunning backdrop to our day’s explorations. The Hunter River has many crocodiles, and we keep an eye out for them on a Zodiac foray through the mangroves. (B/L/D)
Friday, June 14, 2024, Bigge Island
Aboard Zodiacs, visit this rocky island jutting out of aqua seas, famous for Wandjina rock art. Composed of weathered sandstones and dolerites forming a rugged terrain, Bigge Island is crisscrossed by many deep grooves in the rock, forming valleys and fissures which support the island’s vegetation. Small monjon rock wallabies and the northern quoll thrive here free of predators. (B/L/D)
Saturday, June 15, 2024, King George River and Falls
Zodiac up the King George River with its almost vertical sheer canyon walls. Enjoy the opportunity to explore it at water level, and experience its towering red rock canyon walls. The river drains the Gardner Plateau here into spectacular King George Falls, the highest single-drop waterfalls in the Kimberley. (B/L/D)
Sunday, June 16, 2024, Wyndham and Ord River
Set out via small boat up the Ord River to Lake Argyle. The Ord River is one of the most stunning river systems in Australia. We navigate a massive stretch of river between Kununurra and Lake Argyle (Ord River Dam) to then view the lake from a scenic lookout and have a visit to the historic Durack homestead to enjoy a riverside lunch. (B/L/D)
Monday-Tuesday, June 17-18, 2024, Vansittart Bay / Jar Island & Day-at-Sea
Today our naturalists lead us to an outdoor Gwion Gwion Aboriginal art gallery on Jar Island. Discovered by Joseph Bradshaw in 1891, the rock images are estimated to be up to 40,000 years old. Nearby there is a wreck of a DC-3 aircraft that became lost and crashed during World War II. If time allows, explore the crash site and the remains of the plane. (B/L/D)
Wednesday, June 19, 2024, Sawu Island, Indonesia
This morning we arrive in Indonesia at the small island of Sawu, located in the Sawu Sea. The deep trenches and strong current of the sea in this region make it an important corridor for migrating whales and sea turtles. Many species of fish can also be found in the vibrant coral reefs. Explore the area both above and below the sea by snorkel, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. (B/L/D)
Thursday, June 20, 2024, Waingapu, Sumba Island
The ancient harbor of Waingapu on East Sumba Island is one of Indonesia’s hidden gems, with a beautifully rugged coastline that beckons to be explored. Our arrival will be celebrated with music, bright costumes, and traditional dance. The quality, pattern, and motifs of the ikat of East Sumba make it one of the most unique textiles in Indonesia. We’ll head inland to meet the locals and learn the history of these colorful pieces of woven art. (B/L/D)
Friday, June 21, 2024, Komodo National Park
Explore Komodo National Park, home to the world’s largest living lizard—the Komodo dragon. Learn about the conservation of these prehistoric giants from park rangers, who join us on a hike to spot the lizards in their natural habitat. Then enjoy an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or beachcombing at Pink Beach, named for the soft pink hue that arises from the blending of red coral fragments and white sand. (B/L/D)
Saturday, June 22, 2024, Satonda / Sumbawa, Lesser Sunda Islands
Today we visit the uninhabited Indonesian island of Satonda—a small circular island that is an ancient volcanic cone. Spend the morning snorkeling or diving the vibrant reefs or hike inland to the island’s sacred lake. This afternoon visit the island of Sumbawa, where villagers welcome us with a lively cultural display. (B/L/D)
Sunday, June 23, 2024, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia / Disembark ship
This morning we arrive in Denpasar on the lush island of Bali. Following disembarkation get a taste of this paradise, where life and art are interwoven. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B/L)
Click here to view cabins and the vessel’s deck plan.
Ready to join me? Simply click here to pay your deposit & choose your stateroom. NG Orion sails with only 53 staterooms, this trip will sell out fast.
What's included in this trip:
- All accommodations aboard ship or in hotels per itinerary or similar
- All meals and alcoholic beverages aboard ship (excepting certain super-premium brands) and tips (including to ship’s crew)
- Meals on land as indicated, accompanied by nonalcoholic beverages
- Shore excursions; sightseeing and entrance fees
- Special access permits
- Transfers to and from designated flights
- Services of local guides, the Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, naturalist staff and ship’s physician
- Use of snorkeling equipment and wetsuits (where applicable); use of kayaks and/or stand-up paddleboards (where applicable)
- Taxes, service and port charges
What's not included:
- Air transportation (except where specified as included)
- Charter airfare (where applicable)
- Extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees
- Meals not indicated
- Scuba diving aboard National Geographic Orion for pre-qualified divers (available at additional cost)
- Travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as internet access and laundry
We want to speak with you prior to booking to be sure you have made the right choice, explored all options before during and after this trip including flights, transfers, travel insurance, passports and visas.
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Advance and Final Payments
effective May 1, 2023
To reserve your place, an advance payment for the program is required at the time of reservation. Payment is accepted by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or check. Receipt of your initial payment indicates your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions.
Once your reservation is confirmed, we urge you to use your personalized online account for important information to help you prepare for your voyage. Managing your documents online will facilitate fast and accurate communication and allow you to provide us with pertinent details required to complete your reservation. Your online account gives you access to your Expedition Guide, which includes valuable information specific to your voyage. You can also use your online account to make easy payments, view recommended flights and reading material, packing list, and so much more.
Advance payment amount will be 15% of the cabin fare. Final payment will be due 120 days prior to departure. For groups of 8 or more a 50% advance payment is due 180 days prior to departure.
*Advance payments will be credited in the form of a Lindblad Expeditions Travel Certificate, valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation, and which may only be applied towards final payment on any future booking.
**Trip cost is total price paid including extensions, charter airfare, and other additional services.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.