Kimberley cruise expeditions and Covid (19)
What if I want to change / cancel my cruise?
- Flexible deposit arrangements allow for changes with several of our expedition cruise operators. If this is a point you would like to ensure applies to your cruise, just ask our expedition cruise specialists to mark this as per of your criteria requirements.
What if I need to change / cancel my cruise due to Covid ?
- The majority of our expedition cruise operators have policy in place that if you are at late notice unable to travel due to Covid (or suspected) illness, or a hot spot complication to your travels to meet the cruise, you will receive a credit. In some cases, a cash refund is available under these circumstances. Ask our expedition cruise specialists for details on this per specific operators when forming your decision to which company will suit you best.
What if the cruise company needs to cancel my cruise due to Covid ?
- In most cases a credit for your payments is offered as a future cruise credit and available for use 1-3 years post the cancellation. In some cases, a cash refund
What safety policies and measures are in place to ensure safe sailing?
- Our Kimberley expedition cruise vessels range in guest capacity from just 12, to then 14, 18, 36, 38, 46 72 then 120, 184 and 264. The protocols for both pre cruise screening to boarding checks, then on board management vary as are all based on expert scientific advice relative to the situation of that specific vessel such as size – both indoor and outdoor, as well as ventilation, on board activity and shore side activity. Management statements or guidelines are available per vessel and be sure to ask our expedition cruise specialists for specific information regarding your preferred vessel choice.
Will my cruise be all Australian or have international guests / crew on board
- All 2021 expeditions are Australian only guests and crew. On our larger vessels some international crew make up the ship’s compliment and are on board after meeting strict quarantine measures in line with Australian bio security measures. At time of writing APR 2021, international bookings are not being taken by any Kimberley expedition operator other than in a waitlist capacity where by clearing of waitlist will only apply if Australian international boarders allow to do so closer to time of sailing. Any international crew in 2022 will need to comply with quarantine or any other international boarder guidance.
Will I be in contact with people other than those I travel with when going ashore
- No. your Kimberley expedition is remote by the nature of the itinerary and even if in proximity to another vessel, captains navigate to rarely encounter other vessels and shore side locations are visited per vessel at only once time. Any exclusion to this may only be the Horizontal waterfalls which being tide dependent create a more pressing time frame per day though all guests are in tenders or Zodiacs of their vessel ONLY – and not encountering others other than possibly for a friendly wave as passing.
How can I be sure about the viability of the cruise company I book with?
- Whilst Kimberley expedition cruise operators experienced disruption to the 2020 season, 2021, and forward 2022 trajectory of bookings have been tremendous and record breaking demand now pushing a number of operators into earlier than usual 2023 scheduling and bookings. Most operators have been doing so successfully for many years – some over 30 consecutive years and understand how to build the resilience necessary to weather ebbs and flows of business which was demonstrated through the scale back to usual operations of 2020 to develop plans for safe sailing re starts of 2021.
Larger international lines such as Ponant, Silversea and smaller scale of Coral expeditions are coming from 25 year plus foundations and have varying means of liquidity and support. Each having “new build” ships currently being built with demand in the mainstream cruise sector seeing an tremendous surge in demand for smaller expedition cruise experiences and ‘boom times’ for 2021 onward bookings as mainstream large cruise ships gives up some of their market to expedition (and small capacity) cruising.
Can I get travel insurance to cover Covid disruption or cancellation?
- At time of writing APR 2021, insurance for Covid is rare to find and when it is, is quite conditional and or at additional premium. Like other travel sectors such as airlines, cruise operators are adopting flexible policies such as afore mentioned to counter this challenge for those travelling.