FAR NORTH QUEENSLANDOuterknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef
Journey to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, discovering abundant marine life, ancient cultures, seabirds and solitude!
Covering an area of over 2600 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Coral Expeditions’ yacht-like exploration vessel, Coral Discoverer, is offering unique and immersive 7 night adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reef precinct. You’ll explore hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems.
Meet charismatic marine species including the sea turtles surfing the ocean currents, find Nemo nestled amongst the coral gardens and marvel at the magnificent humpback whale migration in the deep blue of the Coral Sea. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey, Escape and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.
This isn’t your standard fly and flop Great Barrier Reef holiday – this cruise will take you away from the tourists and showcase the Great Barrier Reef in all her glory.
The Coral Discoverer takes just 72 guests, all in ocean-view staterooms, so you can be assured of personal attention. You won’t get lost in the crowds here! It’s easy to get to know fellow guests in a relaxed and casual atmosphere with personal touches that just aren’t possible on larger ships.
You will be accompanied by expert guides aboard purpose designed small ships that are custom built for exploration cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders Coral Expeditions will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.
Your cruise price includes:
- Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Discoverer
- Snorkelling & scuba equipment
- Expert Expedition Team, including a Great Barrier Reef expert Marine Biologist
- Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels, and kayaks where conditions allow
- Small batch local dining, prepared fresh onboard: buffet breakfasts, buffet lunches and table d’hote dinners
- Showcase wines, selected beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service
- 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
- Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
- All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
Plus! Also Receive:
- $500 per person travel credit
- 1 night accommodation in Cairns pre-cruise
- An extended 30-day deposit window
- Complimentary deposit protection
Plus! Ultimate Cruising guests also receive chauffeur driven luxury car transfers to/from your nearest airport (within 35km)
Prices start from NZ$5,0790pp share twin, Main Deck Category B.
A 35-year-old Australian pioneering expedition cruise company, Coral Expeditions operate and manage a fleet of four small expedition ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered, regions of Australia, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Islands. Over 8,000 travellers from all over the world travel with Coral Expeditions every year who are attracted by the relaxed small ship atmosphere and itineraries which larger ships cannot replicate. The bespoke operations may sometimes not be commercially justifiable but result in a more personal product that guests appreciate.
At a time when the cruise industry is moving to larger and less personal ships, Coral Expeditions has limited the size of their ships to maximise the expedition experience. Their small-batch cuisine is freshly prepared onboard with a simplistic and generous approach to quality and freshness, accompanied by quality Australian wine. Coral Expeditions operate to high Australian standards of safety with Australian crew wherever they go. They were the first to offer interpretive programs reflective of the destinations they visit and to employ Expedition Leaders, Guest Lecturers, Marine Biologists, and SCUBA Instructors – a tradition that continues today.
Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artifacts are on display.
Later, cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset drinks at Turtle Beach. After dinner, look for giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks during a fish feeding exhibition off the aft deck.
We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson.
There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.
Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough.
Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.
RIBBON REEF #9 & HOPE ISLAND
The Ribbon Reefs are a narrow line of outer coral reefs on the edge of the continental shelf and are renowned for their prolific marine life and extensive coral species. Enjoy the rare opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Ribbon Reefs which sit on the edge of the continental shelf.
Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles.
In the late afternoon we stretch our legs on remote Hope Island before joining fellow explorers and crew for sunset drinks on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon.
DAINTREE RIVER & RIBBON REEF #3
Explore the 127km-long Daintree River which cuts through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. With an expert guide onboard we look for the region’s famed wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, rare and endangered cassowaries and the prolific bird species that inhabit the forest and mangrove-lined river banks.
We step ashore at a Daintree wilderness centre on the banks of the river and walk on forest trails overhung with lush vegetation. Immersed in the rainforest, we learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world.
Cruising southwards along the Ribbon Reefs, there are more spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities at Ribbon Reef #3 where we look for iconic species as well as the vibrantly coloured coral gardens the Ribbon Reefs are renowned for.
FITZROY ISLAND & SUDBURY CAY
At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges.
Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and lend a hand to the volunteers as we learn about the turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild.
Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.
14 October 2020
28 October 2020
04 November 2020
11 November 2020
18 November 2020
25 November 2020
09 December 2020
10 July 2021
Pricing starts from NZ$5,079pp twin share.
- Luxury Expedition
- Soft Adventure
- Meals + Wine
- On-Board Lecturer
- Shore Excursions
MORNING AT LEISURE
EMBARK L'AUSTRAL THIS AFTERNOON
- Tonnage 1779
- Crew 24
- Capacity 72
- Length 63M
- Luxury Expeditions
- Soft Adventures
Fully equipped with latest technology active stabilizers, modern safety and navigation equipment, tender vessel that can seat all 72 passengers, an Australian and New Zealand crew, Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Images courtesy of Coral Expeditions
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