Let multi award-winning Coral Expeditions introduce you to Australia's magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Coral Expeditions has over 25 years cruising experience and offers an exclusive 7 night itinerary of the Great Barrier Reef. See the very best of the Great Barrier Reef and stunning tropical islands with this exclusive cruise holiday. Coral Expeditions has exclusive reef moorings that mean you won't be surrounded by hundreds of other visitors on the reef. Coral Expeditions` small ships accommodate a maximum of 72 guests ensuring an intimate and personalised cruising experience.
This 7 night Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef Cruise departs from Cairns and travels northwards towards Cooktown then onwards to Lizard Island before cruising to beautiful reefs teaming with fish life. There are plenty of opportunities for snorkelling or diving at Osprey Reef, Ribbon Reef #9 and Escape Reef. Visit Hope Island, Sudbury Cay and Fitzroy Island and its Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
Coral Expeditions operates Coral Discoverer on the Great Barrier Reef. Passengers will not only experience the reef, rainforest and islands but can also relax on the sun deck and open-bridge as your cruise takes through this beautiful tropical region.
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 18m². Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Main Deck A: Size is 18m². Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Promenade B: Size is 15m². Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed. Maximum room capacity is 1 Adult.
Promenade A: Size is 18m². Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom: Size is 20m². Bedding is 1 Junior King Bed OR 2 Single Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Soft drinks are complimentary. House wine and selected beers, juices and house spirits are served with lunch and dinner service. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Day 1: Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your stateroom before the 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before joining your fellow explorers on the sun deck for Captains Welcome Drinks at Double Island, overlooking the lights of Palm Cove.
Day 2: Come ashore in historic Cooktown and learn the history of 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 artefacts are on display.
Later, cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.
Day 3: 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.
Day 4: Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000 metre 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.
Day 5: 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 an 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.
Steve's Bommie at Ribbon Reef #3 rises from 30 metres deep up to just 5 metres below the water and attracts schools of bigeye trevally, barracuda, yellow-lined snapper, Moses perch, yellow-lined goatfish and many others. The amazing visibility and vibrant colours make it great for underwater photography.
Day 6: 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, 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.
Learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem that is the Daintree, which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world.
Afterwards, relax on the picturesque beach that is Mackay Cay, and enjoy snorkelling the pristine reef that surrounds it. Mackay Reef is a mid-shelf platform reef, with vibrant hard and soft corals abound. The northern side enjoys additional protection from the cay, making it the perfect playground for turtles.
Day 7: 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, arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, slip off your shoes and feel the sand between your 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, enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as you relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain's Farewell Drinks at sunset on your own private sand island.
Day 8: Your Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as you bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am..
The itinerary and vessel are an indication of the destinations and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, changes to the itinerary may be made 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.
Details: Length 63 metres, Speed 10-12 knots, Beam 13 metres, Cabins 36, Draught 3 metres, Passengers 72, Tonnes 1779, Crew 24
Facilities: Open deck space with a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views, WiFi available in guest areas (additional cost applies), small on-board library, lecture lounge with multimedia for daily expedition briefings and presentations, indoor and outdoor bars, air-conditioned public areas and wine cellar.
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.
Departs: Cairns at 5.00pm (boarding from 4.00pm)
Returns: Cairns at 7.00am (disembark at 8.00am)
Children: 0-3 years are free of charge
Excludes: Pre and Post flights/accommodation, Visa expenses, Travel Vaccinations, PCR testing/GP appointments, pre-cruise transfers, fuel surcharges if applicable, personal items such as telephone, WiFi, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance, gift shop purchases, pre booked premium wine packages, optional excursions on some itineraries and optional SCUBA diving. Any undisclosed fee imposed by government or organizational bodies prior or during cruise.
Operated By: Coral Expeditions