(Kakadu, Australia Cruise, Cairns)
Experience Australia's Northern Territories onboard a luxury expedition cruise. Start your tour in Darwin and explore the city with a private vehicle and driver. Board the cruise for an in-depth exploration of the remote art communities along Australia’s spectacular Arnhem Land coastline. At the end of the cruise spend few days in the beautiful city of Cairns and explore the Great Barrier Reef, or extend the journey to other cities in Australia.
The expedition cruise departs: 13 September, 2011.
Welcome to Darwin! Upon arrival you will be transferred to Kakadu National Park by Cessna Aircraft or similar.
Bamurru Plains is an extraordinary bush experience on the edge of Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. This luxury camp exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ ensuring that guests are exposed to the sights and sounds of this spectacular environment in style and exclusivity. Activities from the camp focus on exploring the surrounding country, with airboat trips on the wetlands, river cruises in search of crocodiles, bush drives and guided walks. Kakadu’s rich indigenous culture is a day trip of its own. Relaxing in camp, the wet edge pool and deck is a great spot to sit back with a cool drink and let the wildlife come to you. It is the soft touches that surprise in this remote bush location, and the understated luxury is very much in tune with the surrounding environment.
The Mary River catchment is home to some 236 species of bird, many of which are found at Bamurru Plains. The significance of this particular property comes in the variety of habitat: black soil floodplains, paperbark swamps, savannah woodland, river mangroves and coastal beaches support an extraordinary diversity of birdlife. Even in the dry season the Swim Creek floodplain retains large areas of water where the birdlife congregates in vast numbers. The floodplains on the property still retain large areas of water to which the birdlife congregates in extraordinary numbers rarely seen elsewhere in Australia.
The floodplains and neighbouring savannah woodlands host an immense variety of wildlife. Species that you might encounter include Agile Wallabies, Antilopine Wallaroos, Dingos, Estuarine Crocodiles, wild pigs and buffalo. Other species appear at night and include a variety of reptiles, possums, water monitors and other amphibians.
People hailing from at least 56 countries make up the mellow, modern metropolis of Darwin. This sociable hub is where non-Aboriginal meets Aboriginal (Larrakia), where urban meets remote, and where industry meets idleness. The city attracts itinerant workers and visitors from around Australia, and its university and port bring students and sailors. The population ebbs and increases with the seasons. Forty percent of the population only settled in the last 40 years, the majority intended only to stop by, but ended up staying. Explore this historical city with your private vehicle and personal guide.
Meet your driver for a private port transfer.
Embark on Orion Ship today and get ready for a luxury cruise.
Technically and aesthetically, Orion is arguably the most sophisticated vessel in its class. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships guide describes her as "the latest in the quest to build the ideal expedition cruise ship". Constructed by the world-leading Cassens Shipyard in Emden, and launched in November 2003, she boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Although custom-made for expedition cruising, Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and calibre of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship and her guests are few; around just 50 couples, all cared for in 5-star comfort by a crew of 75. Chart your own path less travelled.
Zodiac landings at Pirlangimpi and access to the Munupi Art Centre are included today. The Art Centre is a short walk from our Zodiac landing site.
Optional activities are also available today. You may choose one of the following options:
TIWI MARINE ECO EXPERIENCE (2-3 hours)
Guests will gain an amazing insight into the Tiwi culture. Your personal guide will navigate you through the mangroves searching for turtle tracks, and mud crabs in their holes. Gain an understanding about the abundance of food available in and around these waters. This is the experience we suggest if you want to get up close and personal amongst this unique environment. Be prepared to get wet and muddy.
GUIDED ART CENTRE AND FORT DUNDAS TOUR (2-3 hours)
Munupi Art Centre features some of the most highly acclaimed indigenous artists in Australia. Their works are more colourful than traditional indigenous art and many gallery owners from around Australia buy their works from this centre. Guests will have an opportunity to see the artists at work and to view the exceptional works from this region. You will also visit Fort Dundas which was opened on 30 September 1824 by Captain James Gordon Bremer who arrived on the Tamar. He named the fort for Sir Philip Dundas, First Lord of the Admiralty. You’ll also be given the chance to sample native fruits and other bush tucker in season.
HALF DAY SPORT FISHING AT PIRLANGIMPI: (Half Day)
This is the chance to fish for some of Australia’s most notoriously difficult to catch marine life! Barramundi, Reef Fish and Jewfish are just a few of the species you could potentially find on the end of your line. All equipment is included; locations and style of fishing will be adapted to suit tides and conditions on the day.
To participate in an optional activity, please contact your travel consultant.
After a Zodiac landing on Galiwin’ku’s town beach, we will visit the Elcho Island art centre on the cliff top overlooking the sea. Local artists will be present at the art centre during our visit. A series of select cultural performances has been arranged for you throughout the day
You will be transferred by Zodiac to Shady Beach where you will be met by local Yolngu community leader Timmy Barawanga who will give you a personal insight into the life and culture of his people. During this tour you will also have the opportunity to visit to the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre and Museum.
The Federal Government’s recently amended regulations require the ship to operate internationally. On arrival at Merauke, Orion will clear Customs and Immigration, giving you an opportunity to go ashore, and then immediately depart for the next Australian port.
Zodiac transfers are available ashore today. If you are in the mood to explore you will find the Gab Titui Cultural Centre and the township just a short walk from the harbour area. Optional shoreside expeditions are also available today:
TORRES STRAIT SCENIC HELICOPTER FLIGHT (30 minutes)
You will be transferred to the airport to commence your exhilarating flight today which begins by flying over Horn Island before continuing south to Zuna or Entrance Island. This island was given its name by Lt. James Cook as the entrance to Australia for ships coming from England. The largest island in the Torres Strait is Prince of Wales Island, named in honour of the Prince of Wales in 1770. Orion guests will then be flown back towards Thursday Island, more affectionately known as T.I., which is the main administrative centre of the Torres Strait Islands. This is a spectacular way to see the many islands in this region of Australia.
GREEN HILL FORT TOUR
You will board a local bus today for an informative tour around the island, which includes discovering the Green Hill Fort with its’ tunnels and bunkers. Some of the tunnels are home to the Torres Strait Historical Museum. This unique and fascinating museum holds rare artefacts from the rugged past of the Torres Strait, including displays from the pearling era, traditional relics from the Torres Strait Islands, nearby Papua New Guinea and more. Orion guests will proceed to visit other local sites including the cemetery and the Pearl Diver’s memorial. Along the way 100 year old churches and many lovely quaint buildings unique to Thursday Island can be viewed.
Today, relax aboard the Orion ship. The vessel offers a gymnasium, hair & beauty salon, jacuzzi, lecture theatre, library, leda lounge and cocktail bar, library, sporting facilities, sun deck and the health spa. Late morning consider joining a presentation in the Lecture Theatre by one of our Expedition Staff or a Guest Speaker. Luncheon is served both indoors and out and the timeless tradition of afternoon tea is observed at 4:00pm.
Once you get in Cairns, disembark the Orion Ship.
Transfer between Cairns airport and the beautiful town of Port Douglas with private vehicle and driver.
Join this fun and informative tour as you discover the sights of Cairns and its northern beaches area. Visit the historic Royal Flying Doctors base, Cairns best scenic lookouts, paradise palms golf course, and some of the most pristine northern beaches with your professional naturalist guide.
Nestled in the heart of Cairns, the recently refurbished Hilton Hotel Cairns(5*) is the perfect base from which to explore the world's most diversely beautiful tropical region. Situated at the beginning of Cairns' scenic boardwalk, close to the shopping, tourist and business districts, Hilton Cairns is only 10 minutes from Cairns International Airport. Among its many attractions, the hotel features a restaurant with its panoramic water views, a bar and grill, directly on the Cairns waterfront, and a cafe.
After leaving your accommodation you will be taken onto the Bruse Highway to the Daintree River. You then cross the Daintree River and continue on to the Daintree Environmental Centre for a refreshing morning tea. Here an expert guide will take you on a boardwalk whilst explaining some of the fascinating secrets of one of the world’s oldest rainforests. After the walk, you can learn more through theatre presentations and the interactive displays, or obtain a closer look at life in the rainforest by ascending the Rainforest Canopy Tower. Afterwards, you continue onto Cape Tribulation Beach while your driver explains the rich history of the area. Walk the beach or boardwalk and relax in this tranquil setting. The next stop is for lunch in a rainforest setting. Relax and enjoy the delicious food, and maybe a glass of wine. You then return to the Daintree River, with a stop en route to enjoy the panoramic view from Alexandra Lookout. Re-crossing the river, you join a calm water cruise of this important waterway observing the wildlife that inhabits this environment. Your guide will point out the different types of wildlife and plants that make their home along the river. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive and fearsome estuarine saltwater crocodile! The cruise terminates in Daintree Village, where you will board your coach for the return journey to Cairns.
A private transfer between Cairns airport and your hotel accommodation, or vice versa, is provided for today.
VISA/PASSPORTAmerican and Canadian citizens are required to have a valid passport to enter Australia. Americans and Canadians must enter with an Australian visa or, if eligible, through Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). The ETA replaces a visa and allows a stay of up to three months. It may be obtained for a small service fee. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. Please note that American citizens who overstay their ETA or visa, even for short periods, may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check information about the ETA, other visas, and entry requirements with the Embassy of Australia HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/australia.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Canberra. Government: Constitutional Monarchy. Gained independence from the UK in 1901. Language: The official language is English. Many other languages are retained by minorities, including Italian, German, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese dialects and Aboriginal languages. Religion: 27% Roman Catholic, 21% Protestant and smaller minorities of all other major religions. Time: Australia spans three time zones: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from October to March, except Queensland; starts a month earlier in Tasmania). GMT + 9.5 (GMT + 10.5 from October to March, except Northern Territory). GMT + 8 (GMT + 9 from October to March, three-year trial in Western Australia until 2009 followed by referendum). Some states operate daylight saving time during the Australian summer. Electricity: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use, however sockets are different from those found in most countries and an adaptor socket may be needed. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances are found in most hotels. Telephone: Country code: 61. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good in and around populated areas; access in some of the more isolated, outback and rural areas is limited. US handsets are not compatible. Internet: Available throughout Australia. Internet cafes are prevalent in all capital cities and tourist towns, and individual hotels may also provide facilities. Wi-Fi access is increasing in cities and is mainly found in hotels, bars and cafes.
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