West Coast Explorer (10 Nights) Fremantle to Dampier
Kimberley Waterfalls (10 Nights) Broome to Wyndham / Kununurra
Kimberley Ultimate (13 Nights) Kununurra / Wyndham to Broome
Kimberley Explorer (10 Nights) Broome to Wyndham / Kununurra
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 Our Small Ship Cruise Destinations

Choose Your Adventure

True North AIP Cruise
Join us on board our small ship cruises for the adventure of a lifetime.

Australia boasts more than 25,000 kilometers of spectacular coastline

Discover the still wild coast of Western Australia, the bucket list Rowley Shoals, the beautiful Sydney Harbour and surrounds, and the seafood rich waters of the Eyre Peninsula.

Get unparalleled access to one of the world's most admired shores on our adventure cruises.

Don’t just see the magnificent Kimberley Coast – Experience it!

The Kimberley region of North-Western Australia is a panorama of rugged mountains, spectacular gorges, and majestic waterfalls. The region attracts visitors from all over the world – but not everybody is fortunate enough to truly experience this ancient land. Purpose-built to go where bigger ships cannot, the stylish TRUE NORTH provides a level of access that is the envy of others. Experience the world’s most luxurious small ship cruises aboard TRUE NORTH and TRUE NORTH II.

Whilst others sail past – the TRUE NORTH can safely navigate the Kimberley’s many shallow bays and river systems providing our guests with intimate access to the region’s iconic natural features. And our activity-based itineraries include tactile experiences such as hiking, fishing, mud crabbing, picnics, natural history interpretation, seeing the ancient cultural rock art and exhilarating helicopter rides.

True North – setting the Kimberley benchmark for more than 35 years!

Experience remarkable culture, history, and nature aboard our small ship cruises

The Raja Ampats and nearby islands of the Indonesian Archipelago are a melting pot of culture, history and nature. The TRUE NORTH’s small ship expeditions offer unparalleled access to a region that is fast becoming one of the most talked-about destinations.

Meet traditional Indonesians on Banda Island and the Melanesian people of Gam and Waigeo. See the dragons on Komodo and swim with the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay. All whilst surrounded in comfort and style.


The land of the unexpected

The TRUE NORTH first visited beautiful Papua New Guinea in 2005. Since then, we've continued to refine our itineraries to ensure that they're filled with only the best experiences.

No matter how many expeditions we go on, the highlight is always the overwhelming hospitality of those who are fortunate to call this untouched paradise home.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are small ship cruises?
Small ship cruises offer a more intimate and personalised cruising experience with fewer passengers, allowing for more in-depth exploration of destinations.
How do small ship cruises differ from traditional cruises?
Unlike larger ships, small ship cruises often have a more relaxed atmosphere, offer unique itineraries, and allow closer access to ports and natural areas that larger cruises can't reach.
Can the ship really go where other ships cannot?
Many small ship operators claim that they can go where others cannot. However, in most instances the operator is comparing itself to much larger cruise ships. Whilst it is true that a ship built to carry 100 passengers will be able to come-in closer to an un-serviced coastline (when compared to a ship designed to carry 1000 passengers), that is often where the advantage ends. Only a true small ship can navigate shallow bays and wild rivers. The TRUE NORTH is not a repositioned asset – the ship is purpose-built and features an exceptionally shallow draft. No other ship in the same class currently offers the same level of access to our featured destinations.
Does the small ship mean it will be a small group?
Yes, it does. It’s not until you experience a small ship cruise featuring 36 guests or less that you truly begin to appreciate the small group. On the TRUE NORTH guests choose their own adventure and pretty much everyone onboard goes in different directions doing different things……..all day long! Having a small group offers many advantages. The experience is more intimate The crew can offer greater attention to detail and more personalised services The itinerary can offer a wider variety of daily activities.
Is the small ship itinerary activity-based?
A distinct benefit of small ship cruising is being able to truly experience the destination via activity-based itineraries. However, ships catering for larger groups cannot easily offer destination specific activities. TRUE NORTH itineraries feature the opportunity to engage in tactile activities such as hiking, natural history appreciation, cultural interaction, fishing, snorkelling and SCUBA diving - all made possible with a smaller ship.
What amenities can I expect on a small ship cruise?
The TRUE NORTH is not your regular cruise ship. Our amenities rival those of a top-tier hotel. Cabins come equipped with en suites, in-room entertainment, and free high-speed WiFi. Depending on your cabin choice, you'll have either large panoramic windows or portholes, and an amenities fridge. Communal spaces on the ship feature a sun deck, observation and ship lounges, an open-air bar, sports deck, and a dining area. Plus, we boast an onboard helicopter.
Can I get off small cruise ships?
A true small ship features the destination and, to adequately feature the destination guests need to be able to leave the ship often, without compromising their experience or comfort. The TRUE NORTH carries 6 dedicated tenders and with a guest complement of just 36 – our adventure boats can go in different directions at the same time whilst accommodating not necessarily more than 6 guests per boat. And, we have deliberately chosen to operate 6 metre runabouts (in preference to rubber boats) to provide greater comfort, practicality and safety. Our adventure boats feature ample seating and when they are not underway 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 also fully surveyed by the Australian marine authorities which means the wearing of life jackets is not required and, we also believe our adventure boats are a much safer option when operating in crocodile country. And not forgetting that the TRUE NORTH also carries its own helicopter!
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latest news & blog

What’s on True North

Mar. 26, 2024 TRUE NORTH unveils major makeover ahead of 2024 season

TRUE NORTH unveils major makeover ahead of 2024 season

Multi-awarded TRUE NORTH has completed a major makeover for both their small ships, True North and True North II.

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Mar. 05, 2024 A deep dive into the unique Kimberley climate

A deep dive into the unique Kimberley climate

Dive into Australia’s Kimberley climate. Your ultimate guide to navigating this untouched wilderness, from majestic waterfalls to vibrant wildlife.

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Mar. 05, 2024 When is the best time to visit Rowley Shoals?

When is the best time to visit Rowley Shoals?

Discover the best time to visit Rowley Shoals for pristine snorkelling and diving. Explore untouched coral atolls with True North's luxury cruises.

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Experience the adventure

True North Tales

Returning to International

True North’s founding director Craig Howson and managing director Chad Avenell, recently met with local representatives ahead of recommencing Indonesian itineraries in 2023. Watch the video above to discover how True North ensures smooth operation well in advance of departure.

Time to Book Ahead

Hear from someone who truly knows about the value of booking ahead. “Cheggers” has travelled on the TRUE NORTH more than anyone else!

True North Sails into 30 Years

True North Adventure Cruises - has sailed into 30 years of continuous operations. The now revered adventure-cruise operator first cruised Western Australia’s remote Kimberley coast during 1987 when founding director Craig Howson commenced fishing type charters along a coastline that was and still is largely inaccessible from land.

The Helicopter

Adding another dimension to the adventure, most cruise options on the TRUE NORTH feature an on-board helicopter! Carrying guests in air conditioned comfort, the ship’s helicopter provides unique opportunity to witness grandeur; unique opportunity to fish billabongs that have never been fished; unique opportunity to discover your very own wilderness!

Myles Pollard's Fishing Adventure

There is nothing better than a day out on the water, especially when the fish are biting! Fishing on-board the TRUE NORTH is a much-favoured activity both with guests who have never picked up a rod before and, with those who have "caught them all!” Our guides encourage everybody on-board to “give it a go” and the TRUE NORTH’s multiple adventure boats never fail to bring back a swag of ‘fishing tales’! Stories about the ladies who out-fish the boys are pretty common, humorous equipment failures also come to note on a regular basis, then there are the ‘birthday fish’, the ‘monster fish’ and of course, the ones that got away! Our guides have seen and heard it all! Watch the video to find out more about actor Myles Pollard's fishing adventure!

TRUE NORTH Impresses Again

The TRUE NORTH has once again impressed on the world stage coming second in the 2020 Traveller Made Brand Storytelling competition. Traveller Made is Europe’s largest travel consortium and its members represent the very best in luxury travel providers and suppliers. The group’s inaugural Brand Storytelling competition was an opportunity for leading travel brand’s to showcase “the story behind their brand” and, the competition attracted entries from some of the world’s most respected travel brands. In such esteemed company, True North’s marketing team was especially pleased to receive this additional acknowledgement.

Adventure En Plein Air

West Australian artist Jacob 'Shakey' Butler joined the TRUE NORTH earlier this season and discovered the Kimberley's raw beauty. As the artist in residence, Jacob set up his canvas on remote beaches, beside freshwater billabongs and on-deck surrounded by pindan-coloured gorges. Watch the video above to hear Jacob describing how the Kimberley inspires the art of adventure.

Catriona Rowntree Talks With Craig Howson

A commonly asked question is “When is the best time to see the Kimberley?” And the answer is “The Kimberley is always at its best!” However certain times of the year can make it easier to satisfy particular interest. For example, if you would like to see plenty of whale action then departures in August and September are definitely for you! From late July humpback and southern right whales reach the Kimberley after swimming-up the west coast to reach breeding grounds in the north and it’s very common for guests to get great views of whales breaching and basking on the surface.

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The True North Experience

We curate activity-based itineraries that are designed to satisfy the world’s most discerning travellers. We specifically exclude sea-days and feature unparalleled access to stunning coastal environments and, unequalled opportunity to truly experience the destination.

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 Our Small Ship Cruise Destinations

Choose your adventure

True North AIP Cruise