South West Australia Cruise
Discover endless beaches
Join the TRUE NORTH in Esperance and discover the endless beaches that skirt Cape Le Grand. Encounter the wonders of the Bremer Bay Canyon. Indulge in delicacies from the sea – perhaps washed down with a bottle or two from the revered cellars of Margaret River. And prior to disembarking in Fremantle, revel in the party atmosphere of WA’s favourite island playground – Rottnest Island. Includes joining flight from Perth to Esperance.
Charter flight between Perth and Esperance is INCLUDED in the tariff. The below Australian cruise is a sample itinerary only. Prevailing conditions, local arrangements and indeed, what we discover on the day, may cause variation. Helicopter flights can be purchased additional to the indicated tariff as a package or individually.
Your adventure begins in Perth – capital of the sprawling state of Western Australia. Occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent, Western Australia is Australia’s largest state but despite its vastness, the state has just 2.6 million inhabitants representing only 11% of the nation’s population. The capital is a modern and vibrant city that has been ranked as one of the World’s Most Liveable Cities. Not a bad starting point for a luxury cruise adventure and it’s just a short flight to the town of Esperance, on the state’s stunning south coast.
On arrival, we will transfer you to the on-board luxury of the TRUE NORTH and the delights of our renowned galley.
The Recherche Archipelago
Middle Island is the largest of more than 100 islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, a chain of islands stretching 230km from Esperance to the Great Australian Bight. Go ashore to visit pristine Lake Hillier, first discovered in 1802 by Matthew Flinders who took samples from the lake and mentioned its existence in his journal. Lake Hillier will delight your eye, the contrast between the pink hue of the lake and royal blues of the Southern Ocean is simply striking.
Enjoy a delectable lunch as TRUE NORTH cruises to Woody Island. The island is named for its towering tall trees, a rare sight in this Archipelago. Wander along one of the islands many walking trails and enjoy close encounters with curious birds and lazy lizards or take a plunge into the crystal-clear waters of Shearwater Bay and explore the marine life on the interpretive snorkel trail. The adventure boats will also be standing-by for guests who would like to wet a line!
Duke of Orleans Bay
A short overnight cruise will take us to our anchorage at the secluded Duke of Orleans Bay. The area is home to numerous colonies of New Zealand fur seals and schools of bottlenose dolphins. Explore the underwater world on a dive or snorkel, enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters or relax under the shade of one of our colourful umbrellas! Take a stand up board for a paddle or explore the coastline in one of our twin kayaks. Fishing boats will depart in search of tasty herring, tailor and whiting or set off to deeper reefs in search of pink snapper and dhufish!
When you’re not on excursion, relax onboard TRUE NORTH and enjoy our renowned cuisine in air-conditioned comfort. The licensed open-air bar will definitely be the spot to witness another spectacular ‘West Coast Sunset’.
The Bremer Bay deep sea canyon lies 70 kilometres off the small town of Bremer Bay. The discovery of this biological hotspot is relatively new, marine scientists first visiting the site only a few years ago. During a short period over summer, a cold, salty current flows from the Antarctic, filling the canyon with nutrient filled water. This phenomenon attracts one of the Southern Hemispheres biggest seasonal populations of killer whales along with sharks, dolphins, sperm whales and giant squid. Make your way to the bow of TRUE NORTH for some optimal viewing!
Our afternoon anchorage will be in the turquoise waters of Bremer Bay, this area is renowned for having some of the most beautiful, pristine white, beaches in the world. Spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkelling or fishing!
The town of Albany
Sample our fruit platter and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before exploring the town of Albany. The town is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and the port of Fremantle. Albany is well known for being the departure point of troop convoys bound for the First World War. Join a town tour to discover it’s fascinating Aboriginal and European history and, visit the National ANZAC centre, honouring Australia and New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War.
There will also be opportunity to visit the town’s historic Whaling Station – explore a historically preserved whale processing factory and whale chasing ship, the only experience of its kind in the world. Alternatively, join our knowledgeable guides for a fishing session targeting herring, King George whiting, flathead, cobbler and pink snapper.
Then it will be time for cocktail hour on-board the TRUE NORTH before another unique dining experience.
This morning we wake in picturesque Hamelin Bay. Be amongst the first on deck and join an early morning fishing expedition in one of the adventure boats or, join a shore party and meet the curious local stingrays who congregate along the water’s edge to feed on scraps left by fisherman. The combination of friendly stingrays, plus the interesting fish and plant life in the bay make it an excellent snorkelling location.
Afterwards, join a tour of the world-renowned Margaret River wine region. Sit back, relax and enjoy the informative commentary aboard our luxury coach while we guide you along the south west wine trail to culinary heaven! An exquisite lunch will showcase the finest of Margaret River’s local farm produce and fresh seafood harvested from the area’s pristine ocean.
Begin the day with a leisurely walk around the rugged coast of Cape Naturaliste, these walking tracks are some of the very best in the Margaret River region, offering breath-taking views. The adventure boats will depart for a scenic meander along the coastline, be sure to keep your eye out for a local colony of New Zealand fur seals. Hopefully the keen fishers will continue to delight our chefs with an abundance of freshly caught fare! How about a visit to the settlement of Dunsborough - this is one of the state’s favourite seaside resorts.
In the afternoon the TRUE NORTH will shift anchorage to Eagle Bay. This long stretch of white sandy beach skirts stunning azure water and has a Mediterranean feel – without the crowds! Enjoy a cool beverage and hors d’oeuvres on the beach as we drink-in a blazing West Aussie sunset!
Swim with Dolphins
Have you ever dreamed of swimming with wild dolphins? Experience an exhilarating and unique wildlife encounter that will stay with you forever. With all equipment provided (including wetsuits), interact with these fascinating creatures amongst the sheltered waters of Rockingham’s bays and islands.
Then we’re off to Rottnest Island! A protected nature reserve, it’s home to the quokka, a small wallaby-like marsupial recently famed for posing in ‘selfies’ with celebrity visitors! There will be plenty of opportunity for beach combing on the Island, relaxed snorkelling in waist deep water or perhaps join today’s quest for the catch of the day! Our divers can enjoy the warm waters of the Leeuwin current and explore reef which feature a variety of hard corals and fish, unique swim throughs, channels and caves! Alternatively, bus or bike your way around the island at your own leisure. Rottnest Island will prove to be a fun filled, action packed afternoon!
Return to Fremantle
With a vast and remarkable coast now discovered in style, it’s time for your early-morning disembarkation in the port city of Fremantle.
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True North Tales
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.
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.