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North Star Founder Awarded Medal of the Order of Australia

June 15, 2016 Accolades No Comments Print Print Email Email

The founding director of North Star Cruises Australia, Mr Craig Howson, has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to tourism in Western Australia.

The award was announced in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.


Mr Howson first offered adventure-cruises along Western Australia’s Kimberley coast in 1987 and, in 2017 North Star will celebrate 30 years of successful operations.

Responding to the award Mr Howson said “It is very humbling to receive this recognition. It makes me realise how fortunate I was to pioneer adventure-cruising in the Kimberley. To see what has evolved from those early days is also very rewarding and I am extremely grateful to those who joined me along the way.”

An adventure on North Star’s adventure-cruise ship, the TRUE NORTH, has become one of Australia’s most desirable holiday experiences and the offering is also developing an equally revered reputation in international markets.

Mr Howson explained that the focus at North Star had always been on giving guests greater opportunity to experience the destination.

“We are very different to a big ship holiday. Our itineraries are always activity-based and much more suited to travellers who are looking for a holiday that is also a rewarding experience.”

Mr Howson added that “Life at North Star had not always been plain sailing.”

“There have been some tough times. It certainly wasn’t easy getting everything up and away and just when we started to gather some momentum – the global financial crisis took the wind out of everyone’s sails. Fortunately we had already developed a loyal following and we never lost sight of making sure that a holiday on the TRUE NORTH was the best holiday that you could ever have!”

“Currently we are experiencing another strong sales period and everyone at North Star is looking forward to growing the company.”


  • North Star Cruises has won a plethora of awards for excellence including state and national tourism awards, export awards and numerous consumer awards.
  • Australia’s premier luxury adventure-cruise ship, the TRUE NORTH is purpose-built to sail deep into the heart of the wilderness, visiting areas that larger ships cannot access. Guests  are privy to very-high quality off-ship experiences courtesy of the ship’s biologist and a team of naturalists, a ship’s helicopter and six dedicated expedition boats.
  • Exceptional food and wine are also at the heart of a TRUE NORTH experience. The ship’s modern Australian cuisine is supplemented with locally sourced ingredients and complemented by an outstanding selection of Western Australian wines. Cabins are spacious and modern; there is a panoramic lower deck dining room, an alfresco bar, an observation lounge and a dedicated sports deck.
  • Daily activities include scenic walks, fishing, snorkelling, diving, picnics, cultural events and spectacular flights in the ship’s helicopter.
  • Destinations include the Kimberley – a panorama of rugged mountains, spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls; the still-wild coast of Western Australia featuring the intriguing Abrolhos Islands, world-famous Ningaloo Reef, fishing paradise at the Montebello Islands and, the pristine Rowley Shoals; some of Indonesia’s most stunning volcanic islands including Komodo – home to the largest lizard on the planet; the breathtaking islands of the Raja Ampat; the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay; the mighty Sepik River and the un-spoilt islands of Papua New Guinea; beautiful Sydney Harbour and, a seafood safari around South Australia’s delightful Eyre Peninsular!

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