An unforgettable experience that combines the best of The Top End, as it is affectionately known, The Great Barrier Reef, Cape York Peninsula, Arnhem Land and the Coburg Peninsula.
The northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef are the most remote and pristine areas of this magnificent national park. Your journey follows Captain James Cook's voyage of discovery into the communities and cultures of the peoples of this remarkable coast. Experience the diverse cultures of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Tiwi Islanders who call this remote and beautiful region 'home'.
Here, nature is an all-powerful force: monsoons rejuvenate the rivers and floodplains, bringing wealth to the cattle ranchers of the savannah lands and providing the lifeblood to the inhabitants of the sleepy coastal towns. The mighty estuarine crocodile is indeed King of the Wild and the waters of the Arafura Sea are alive with marine and birdlife.
Join an expedition that will see you encounter The Top End from the comfort and style of our superb luxury vessel!
Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms.
All Cabins Feature: Air-conditioning, Private ensuite bathroom, Wardrobe, Suitcase cupboard, Windows or Portholes, Speaker, Hairdryer
Main Deck B: Size is 17-18m² (190-200sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Main Deck A: Size is 18m² (195sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade B: Size is 13m² (137sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade A: Size is 16-17.5m² (172-190sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Bridge Deck: Size is 17-18m² (180-195sqft). Bedding is 1 King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d'hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Day 1: Depart Darwin
Board Coral Discoverer at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 5:00pm ahead of a 6:00pm departure. This evening enjoy the Captain's Welcome Drinks before sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners as we cross the Arafura Sea.
Day 2: Tiwi Islands
This morning we visit Melville Island. With traditional Tiwi people as our guides we learn of the unique cultures of the Tiwi islanders and visit their fascinating art centres. There is the opportunity to purchase wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings and pottery.
Day 3: Cobourg Peninsula
On Cobourg Peninsula, Port Essington is famous for the ruins of the failed Victoria Settlement. Here we use the services of the National Park Rangers to guide and help us explore the ruins. We will also visit the Ranger's Interpretation Centre at Black Point.
Day 4: Arnhem Land Coast and Art Centre
Having cruised through Bowen Strait and across the Arnhem Land coast we make landfall onone the remote islands of the area. Join our Expedition Leader and Guest Lecturers as we share a unique cultural experience enjoying the opportunity to view and purchase local art and share the life and traditions of the community.
Day 5: Elcho Island Artists
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre. This evening we enjoy a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ on one of the
beautiful islands as we toast the sunset over the Arafura Sea.
Day 6: Wessel Islands, Hole in the Wall, Gove
We farewell the Wessel Island cruising through 'The Hole in the Wall', Malay Straits and onwards to the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove). On disembarking we are transferred to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight's accommodation.
Day 7: Gove and Horn Island
This morning join our Expedition Leader to discover this frontier town and experience local culture, industry and history. After a refreshing lunch we visit the Yirrkala Arts and Crafts Centre before transferring to the airport for our charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn
Island. Tonight we stay at the historic and pioneering Gateway Torres Strait Resort, a longstanding family business which offers an insightful, personal war museum sharing the local history from World War II.
Day 8: Thursday Island
This morning we embark on a short tour of Horn Island prior to our transfer by ferry to Thursday Island where we rejoin Coral Expeditions I. During the tour of Thursday Island we learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets. We will also have the opportunity to observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals. Following a short cruise to Cape York we travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the 'Tip' of Australia.
Day 9: Forbes Island and Reef
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island. Whilst the reef offers some fantastic swimming and snorkelling opportunities, you may also wish to enjoy a short walk to the summit and enjoy the outlook over the surrounding reef and islands.
Day 10: Davey Reef and Flinders Group of Islands
At Davey Reef and Cay we enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery. Later we go ashore at Stanley Island where our Expedition Leader and guides will escort you to view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery depicting sailing ships of the last
century. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location.
Day 11: Lizard Island
Here we spend the day at one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast. We have the opportunity to climb Cook's Look, enjoy swimming and snorkelling anda beach walk. Subject to availability we may be invited as special guests to visit the Lizard Island Research Station, where we learn more about the research being undertaken to help understand and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
Day 12: Cooktown
We visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery. This evening join the Captain and crew for Farewell Drinks.
Day 13: Cairns
Awaken as we cross Trinity Bay before arriving into the Port of Cairns at 8:00am. Farewell the Captain and his staff before farewelling new friends at the end of our great adventure.
**This itinerary is an indication of the destinations that Coral Expeditions cruises visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition they may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.**
Cairns to Darwin: Reverse 12 Night itinerary boarding in Cairns is also available. Boarding is 10.00am for 11.00am departure.
Details: Length 63 metres, Speed 14 knots, Beam 13 metres, Cabins 36, Draught 3 metres, Passengers 72, Tonnes 1838, Crew 20
Facilities: Large sundeck, Wireless internet broadband access (additional cost applies), Comprehensive reference library, Phone and fax facilities, Lecture lounge with large plasma screen, Limited laundry facilities, Three fully stocked cocktail bars, Gift shop, Air-conditioned public areas.
Expeditions: The "Xplorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of the excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Xplorer" will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the "Xplorer" is equipped with an awning and toilet.
There are also two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches.
Cairns to Darwin
2018: 24 March
Darwin to Cairns
2017: 21 September
2018: 12 October
Children: Under 12 years of age are not recommended
Excludes: Pre and Post flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance
Environmental Management Charge (EMC): Is additional and payable on board
Cancellation Fees: Apply for cruises cancelled inside 90 days of travel. Change fees may also apply.
Operated By: Coral Expeditions