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Anyone who baulks at the word ‘cruise’ should cast aside their preconceptions and read on, because True North is more than just a boat; she’s one of the finest hotels in Australia (and Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia) that just happens to cruise around some of the remote and beautiful places in the region.
Even better, True North was designed to be as manoeuvrable as possible, and is small enough to reach coastal parts that other cruise ships cannot reach. The flagship voyages are along the stunning coastline of Kimberley region in Western Australia, but other Australian cruises take in the Abrolhos Islands, world famous snorkelling and dive destination Ningaloo Reef, the Monte Bello Islands, the coral atolls of Rowley Shoals and the South Australian coastline around Kangaroo Island. The remaining voyages take in some of the most remote and unspoilt waters around Papua New Guinea and Indonesian West Papua, including the Louisiades Archipelago, the Coral Triangle, legendary dive spot Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay for diving with whale sharks. Please ask us for the full calendar of set departure voyages in the next two years.
True North has just 18 very comfortable cabins with ensuite bathrooms and in-cabin entertainment systems. The larger Explorer Class staterooms on the Upper Deck and River Class rooms on the Main Deck have king sized double beds (which can be converted on request) while the Ocean Class twin rooms on the Lower Deck have two singles.
Away from the cabins there are several spots for guests to relax during voyages or in the evenings, including a sundeck, observation lounge, formal lounge where the on-board naturalist or guest lecturer gives evening presentations on the voyage's destinations, and even an al fresco bar.
Another place with excellent viewing potential is the dining room on the Lower Deck, which has wonderful panoramic windows allowing guests to appreciate the surroundings while they dine on a fine array of excellent modern Australian and pan-Asian cuisine using the freshest available ingredients, including fish such as barramundi often caught that day by guests, all complemented by a fine selection of Australian wines. For true dining with a difference, guests can enjoy one of True North's heli-picnics, where the onboard helicopter (did we forget to mention that?) whisks diners to a beautiful picnic spot such as a waterfall for a traditional Aussie barbie with a very original wilderness twist.
The helicopter plays a major role in some of the other activities available, ferrying guests to remote corners of the mainland or islands, overnight camping adventures or just for stunning scenic flights above invariably beautiful land- and seascapes. Other activities, often using True North's expedition boats, include walking trips, fishing, snorkelling, diving (with a marine biologist on certain trips), cultural tours and bird spotting and wildlife trips with the naturalist.
The True North philosophy is one of open doors, so guests are encouraged to meet the captain on the bridge, explore the engine room with the chief engineer and see the chefs in action in True North's galley.
Miranda, Original Traveller