Sunday, 17 June 2012

Orion's Kimberley Expeditions

Anyone watching the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics will never forget the uplifting moment when a 35-metre-high aboriginal Wandjina spirit sculpture appeared, the artwork rising out of the ground to float above the enraptured crowd.

Donny Woolagoodja (above), the appointed owner/guardian of the Wandjina rock art in the Raft Point Area of the Kimberley, is the artist responsible for the Wandjina image used at the Sydney Olympics. His direct connection to Wandjina art is inherited, his father having painted the most recent images at Raft Point.  

Now, exclusively, guests on Orion Expedition Cruises' 10-night Kimberley Expedition voyages have the opportunity to meet Donny and several other traditional land-owners at Raft Point. They will be welcomed ashore with a traditional purification smoking ceremony and enjoy indigenous interaction with the traditional owners and authentic interpretation of the precious Wandjina rock artworks that abound in the area.

Additionally, when deluxe expedition ship Orion arrives, local artists travel to Raft Point to display and sell their artworks, providing a unique opportunity for guests to purchase original pieces directly from the artist, thereby supporting local communities through encouraging a continuation of traditional art skills.

Orion’s Kimberley Expedition voyages include outstanding examples of pre-history Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art, landing on remote islands and beaches, exploring vast gorges, climbing to the plateau next to the highest waterfall in the Kimberley, King George Falls, and venturing in Zodiacs into waterways in search of saltwater crocodiles.

The voyages run from late April to early September, alternating between Darwin and Broome, including King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point, Talbot Bay/Horizontal Waterfalls, Crocodile Creek and Nares Point.

Prices start from £4,915 per person, including 10 nights on board Orion, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes. In 2013, prices start from £4,575 per person.

For bookings, see this link to our sponsors and the UK's leading adventure-cruise experts, The Cruise Line Ltd.