The Kimberley and World’s Largest Whale Migration

When does the Kimberley's annual whale migration take place?

There are countless reasons why keen adventurers from all around the world love Kimberley cruises. Experiencing the world’s largest annual humpback whale migration must be pretty close to the top of the list.

Did you know, that from June to October each year, the world’s largest pod of Humpback Whales, estimated up to 40,000, give birth in the pristine waters of Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast ? Each year, these majestic mammals make the 13,000km round-trip from Antarctica to the warmer waters of the Kimberley to birth calves before gradually making their way home to cooler waters, the newest additions to their pod in tow.

And, there’s no better way to experience this whale migration than aboard one of our luxury small ships during a Kimberley cruise. Personally, on one of my first Kimberley cruises, I had the great joy of travelling aboard the Kimberley Quest during the peak of the humpback migration, and what a fantastic experience it was.

On several occasions we came across pods of three or four giant whales (on average, humpbacks measure up to 15 metres in length and tip the scales at more than 30 tonnes!), the expedition leader beckoning us all out on deck for a close up look as the skipper idled the engines. Floating along in silence, these mighty mammals and their newborn calves swam around and under the boat, making for fantastic photographic opportunities. They seemed to love nothing more than swimming close to say hello and to show off with playful tail slaps and impressive breaches. What an experience for the lucky adventurers onboard!

Odyssey Kimberley Cruises Whales

A small ship like the Odyssey offers fantastic whale watching experiences.

Which Kimberley cruises showcase the whale migration?

The Kimberley Quest II continues to offer outstanding whalewatching experiences, and you do have lots of choice when choosing which small ship to cruise the Kimberley on to experience the yearly migration. On every ship you will see whales, but obviously on a smaller ship you feel much more ‘up close and personal’ to all the action. Therefore, vessels like Great Escape, True North, Diversity, Odyssey and Kimberley Pearl all offer top-notch experiences, as do slightly larger ships including Coral Discoverer and Coral Adventurer, along with the great-value Eco Abrolhos and Reef Prince.

If you would like to experience the world’s largest humpback whale migration for yourself, now’s the time to start planning you 2021 Kimberley cruise. With strong pent up demand due to the deferral of guests from the 2020 season, it is important to secure your place early for 2021 cruises. But if you’re quick we do still have a number of berths available during the 2021 whalewatching season across a range of the Kimberley’s best ships.

For more information and to book your Kimberley whalewatching cruise contact the expert team at Kimberley Cruise Specialists on 1800 90 20 80 or visit

Are you interested in learning more about the Kimberley’s annual whale migration? The ABC have put together a great resource with lots of interesting information. Visit the page on the ABC website here.

A Kimberley Cruise aboard the Kimberley Quest II is a great option for guests wanting to experience the whale migration.

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