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Rail-Sail: Journey Beyond teams up with Coral Expeditions

Cruise lines partnering with land-based operators to provide even more choice of itineraries and experiences is a win-win for everyone, especially travel advisors and guests.

Cruise lines partnering with land-based operators to provide even more choice of itineraries and experiences is a win-win for everyone, especially travel advisors and guests.

Combining sea and land journeys is increasingly popular for Aussie travellers who want a longer, more destination-intensive holiday, whether it’s in Europe, Asia, the US or in our own backyard. 

In fact, especially in our own backyard, where distances are vast and many of the most desirable destinations are remote and hard to reach. 

Two of Australia’s leading travel companies, Coral Expeditions and Journey Beyond, recently announced they have joined forces to create a new 14-day rail-sail package: the Kimberley Pioneer, launching in April 2025.

Just the ticket

The Ghan in Manguri, South Australia_Journey Beyond
The Ghan in Manguri, South Australia.

It’s an inspired partnership, bringing together the classic Ghan train journey through the heart of Australia – from Adelaide to Darwin – and a spectacular 11-day sailing onboard Coral Expeditions’ Coral Adventurer from Darwin to Broome.

“We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Journey Beyond with the inclusion of our Kimberley cruise product into the rail program from 2025,” said Jeff Gillies, Commercial Director at Coral Expeditions. 

“This brings together two bucket-list Australian experiences delivered by proud and long-standing experts in Australian travel and tourism.”

Justine Lally, Executive General Manager, Marketing & Product for Journey Beyond agreed. “We’re excited to be able to offer this fantastic Kimberley Pioneer and Ghan train and cruise package that takes in so many incredible places and experiences. 

“Journey Beyond and Coral Expeditions share a strong connection with and respect for the remote and rugged landscapes of this country, and this pairing will offer guests an authentic Australian journey of discovery.”

On the right track

The Ghan_Journey Beyond_Coral Expeditions
The Ghan_Journey Beyond

The three-day rail trip on the Ghan includes two nights onboard the train, all meals, drinks and off-train experiences along the way. 

When the train stops on Day 2 at Alice Springs, off-train experiences include a mountain bike adventure, the Alice Explorer tour, a cultural experience at Standley Chasm, meeting the wildlife at the Desert Park or taking in the astounding beauty of Simpson’s Gap. Or you can view it all from the air on an optional helicopter flight.

On Day 3, guests have the chance to see one of the Top End’s most impressive natural wonders on a boat cruise along Nitmiluk Gorge. Alternatively, the Katherine Outback Experience invites you into the lives of those who call the Outback home. There is also a helicopter flight available.

Guests then stay overnight in a Darwin hotel before being transferred to the port to board Coral Adventurer the next morning.

Dreamtime in the Kimberley

Mitchell Falls_Coral Expeditions_Journey Beyond
Mitchell Falls.

Because it is an expedition cruise, Coral Adventurer’s 11-day itinerary from Darwin to Broome may vary slightly from day to day, but you can be sure that you will experience Australia’s most extraordinary, unspoilt wilderness with an Australian-flagged cruise line that knows the region like no other.

The many highlights of this sailing include riding the Horizontal Falls in a zodiac; visiting Indigenous rock art galleries and learning about ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art; cruising the scenic Hunter, King George and Prince Regent rivers and their spectacular waterfalls; and spotting an incredible variety of marine and birdlife at Montgomery Reef. 

Coral Expeditions on the Kimberley Cruise.
Coral Expeditions on the Kimberley Cruise.

Onboard Coral Adventurer you’ll stay in modern, comfortable accommodation and enjoy regionally inspired Australian cuisine, a relaxed atmosphere and expert-led tours.

The first 14-day itinerary departs from Adelaide on 13 April, 2025, followed by five more packages in 2025 – 4 May, 25 May, 15 June, 6 July and 27 July.

Coming soon

Coral Expeditions_Wandjina Art -Bigge Island - Wary Bay
Wandjina Art, Bigge Island.

There’s more on the horizon, with Coral Expeditions and Journey Beyond joining forces to offer exclusive experiences that pair Coral Expeditions with Outback Spirit’s small-group tours. 

This new program will see land-based touring through northern Australia connecting with expedition cruise options for the Great Barrier Reef and Cape York departing from Cairns; Arnhem Land and Kakadu departing from Darwin; and the Kimberley and Northwest departing from Broome.

About Coral Expeditions

Explorer Deck Stateroom with Coral Expeditions.
Explorer Deck Stateroom with Coral Expeditions.

Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley, Tasmania’s wilderness coast, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to New Guinea, the Spice Islands, Japan and the East Indies.  

Starting with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Expeditions’ current fleet comprises the 72-guest Coral Discoverer and the 120-guest sister ships Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer. 

All ships feature the company’s trademark complement of multiple zodiacs and Xplorer tender boats that take guests to shore quickly and comfortably.

For more information, visit coralexpeditions.com

About Journey Beyond

The Ghan and guests stopped for dinner at Telegraph Station, Alice Springs_Journey Beyond
The Ghan and guests stopped for dinner at Telegraph Station, Alice Springs.

Established in 2016, Australia’s leading experiential tourism group Journey Beyond operates 13 well-known travel brands across the country. 

These include classic trains The Ghan, Indian Pacific, Great Southern and The Overland; premium small-group outback operator Outback Spirit; eco-luxe lodge Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef; aquatic adventures Cruise Whitsundays, Rottnest Express, Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, Darwin Harbour Cruises and Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney; and heading skywards, Melbourne Skydeck and Eureka 89.

For more information, visit journeybeyond.com