Kangaroo Island Explorer



Marvel at the regenerative powers of nature while exploring Australia’s third-largest island from the comfort of your floating base camp. Following on from the devastating bushfires of January 2020 this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see new life bursting forth, the return of koalas, wallabies, echidnas and dunnarts. Each day you’ll choose from a menu of activities, from swimming with dolphins and sea lions, to exploring wilderness tracks and participating in post-fire ecological surveys. By ship, Zodiac or kayak, encounter spectacular granite coastlines and fossils of ancient sea creatures. Treat your taste buds with local fare, from gin and wine to fresh seafood and honey while gaining new insights into habitat restoration from renowned experts. Local artists will share their insights, and local guides will introduce their natural world on an expedition you will cherish forever.

This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian and New Zealand residents.

Highlights include:
  • Swim or snorkel with dolphins, Australian sea lions and long-nosed fur seals^
  • Marvel at the artistic works of locals, from Janine MacIntosh’s ‘assemblages of nature’ to Indiana James’s sculptures
  • Participate in habitat restoration, bird banding and other citizen science projects, and enjoy encounters with koalas and short-beaked echidnas
  • Experience remote coastlines few have seen before you, and learn about Kangaroo Island’s unique geology, including the highly eroded granite of Remarkable Rocks and unique fossil record at Emu Bay
  • Discover the unique ecosystems designated as “Hope Spots” by Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue team, including the ‘Great Southern Reef’ and Kangaroo Island’s North Coast
  • Enjoy the warmth and gratitude of the locals as you help their recovery efforts

^Optional activities at additional cost

Package Inclusions

  • Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1 
  • Welcome Reception / Pre-Embarkation Briefing on Day 1 
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Adelaide on Day 1  
  • City tour on Day 2 
  • Mandatory pre-embarkation health screening and COVID test on Day 2 
  • Departure transfer from Greg Mortimer to airport or hotel on last day 
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service 
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage 
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner 
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages 
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises 
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic 
  • Complimentary spray jacket 
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information 
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees 
  • Gratuities for ship crew

PLUS!  Ultimate Cruising guests also receive:

  • Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers from your home to the airport and return (within 35km)

Cruise Highlights

American River
Anchor in the area first surveyed by Matthew Flinders in 1802, and named for a group of American sealers who landed a year later of the brig Union hailing from Rhode Island. Following a chance meeting with French explorer Nicholas Baudin in King George Sound, the Union’s captain, Isaac Pendleton, took Baudin’s advice and sailed to Kangaroo Island. Not only did he find abundant seals, but also excellent timber for shipbuilding. In just four months, the sealers built the 35-ton schooner, Independence, South Australia’s first ship. A memorial plaque honouring the sealers can be seen. Today sets the style of this unique voyage. Most days you’ll have a number of adventures to choose from. In American River, this means walking, bird banding, habitat restoration and recovery programs focusing on glossy black cockatoos, short-beaked echidnas and dunnarts. Watch for the return of koalas in the wild, a beautiful sight after the bushfires. 

Land in Penneshaw, a small town on the northeast coast of the Dudley Peninsula and walk to Frenchman’s Rock, a replica of the original carving by one of Baudin’s crew marking their arrival in 1803. Explore the coastline, sample local wines at the cellar door, admire local artist Indiana James’ exquisite sculptures from found materials, or enjoy a hike in Baudin Conservation Park. 

Vivonne Bay
During the night, our floating base camp is repositioned to the south coast, anchoring in Vivonne Bay. Zodiac ashore at the head of a perfectly U-shaped bay, landing on a stretch of white sand once-voted ‘Australia’s best beach’. Relax, jump off the jetty into tur quoise waters, beachcomb, kayak or snorkel. Follow a local guide into Seal Bay Conservation Park, where we hope to get close to a wild colony of some 1000 Australian sea lions; and marvel at the spectacular Admirals’ Arch and Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park. Other activities might include a ‘Bugs and Art’ experience with locals Janine MacIntosh and Dr Richard Glaetz; or participating in a post-fire ecological survey in the bush, searching for dunnarts and little pygmy possums with Heidi Groffen and Pat Hodgen from Kangaroo Island’s Land for Wildlife programme. Enjoy an afternoon surveying the spectacular scenery of KI’s wild, west coast from our ‘mother ship’. Marvel at soaring sea cliffs, and note the uniquely square shape of Cape Borda lighthouse as we round the north-western corner of the island.

Emu Bay
After breakfast, Zodiac ashore in stunning Emu Bay on KI’s north coast, with its long beach and clear waters, to join a local guide to snorkel with dolphins (additional expense). Discover the joy of organic bee keeping, learn about the unique fossil record at Emu Bay, or enjoy a gin tasting with Kangaroo Island Spirits. Finish your day’s adventures in Kingscote, South Australia’s oldest settlement and the island’s largest town.

Departure Dates & Pricing

Departs 14 and 20 October 2021 from Adelaide.

Pricing starts at A$8,396 per person share twin.  Must be booked by 30 June 2021.  Pricing is subject to availability and subject to change at any time.  Please ask us for the best available pricing.



Cruise Category
  • Expedition
  • Soft Adventure
  • Gratuities
  • Meals + Wine
  • Medical Services
  • On-Board Lecturer
  • Shore Excursions
Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

American River
Vivonne Bay, West Coast
Emu Bay, Kingscote

Technical Details

  • Built Date 2019
  • Capacity 132
  • Length 104M

Cruise Category

  • Expedition Style
  • Soft Adventures

Greg Mortimer

Purpose-built for expeditions to the most remote places on earth, Greg Mortimer was the first passenger ship to feature the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW, allowing the ship to cross oceans more comfortably and efficiently, with expansive observation decks to bring you closer to the environment, inviting communal areas and unsurpassed environmental credentials.  The Greg Mortimer offers the perfect base camp for adventures at the outer limits of human exploration.

Accommodating an average of 132 expeditioners per voyage within 76 cosy, comfortable cabins – all cabins have a view of the ocean and 85% of cabins have their own balcony. The ship also features a modern lecture lounge, multiple observation areas, zodiac launching platforms, a restaurant serving excellent meals, a gym and wellness centre, jacuzzis, a mudroom and many other amenities.

The Greg Mortimer has redefined expedition cruising for the future.