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 exclusive itineraries with a choice of 3, 4 and 7 night cruises 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 44 guests ensuring an intimate and personalised cruising experience.
This 7 Night Great Barrier Reef Cruise departs from Cairns and travels to Lizard Island, Hinchinbrook Island and Dunk Island. The Cairns departure travels northwards passed Palm Cove 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, glass bottom boats tours of the reef and talks from the ship's very own Marine Biologist. Passengers have the chance to explore Coral Expeditions own Hinchinbrook Island for a beachside BBQ.
Coral Expeditions operates Coral Expedition II on the Great Barrier Reef. Passengers will not only experience the reef, rainforest and islands but can also relax on the sun deck, open-bridge or spa as your cruise takes through this beautiful tropical region.
Coral Expeditions offers resort style cruising at its best. Passengers can select from four types of spacious and elegantly appointed accommodation.
All Cabins Feature: Air-conditioning, Private ensuite bathroom, Wardrobe, Suitcase cupboard, Speaker, Large windows or portholes, Desk, Hairdryer, 240 volt Power Point - Australian Plug Shaving outlet in bathroom
Cabin: Size is 10.5m². Bedding is either Bunk Beds OR Twin Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Stateroom: Size is 14m². Bedding is either Twin OR Double Beds. Maximum room capacity is 3 Adults.
Upper Deck Stateroom: Size is 14m². Bedding is either Twin OR Double Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Deluxe Stateroom: Size is 15m². Bedding is either Twin OR Double Beds. Maximum room capacity is 2 Adults.
Throughout your Coral Expeditions adventure cruise you will savour three delicious, healthy meals per day as well as tempting morning and afternoon teas. Buffet style meals are served and a complimentary tea and coffee station is open 24 hours. A selection of Australian and New Zealand wines, beers and spirits are available at additional expense.
The galley will attempt to meet special dietary requirements, however a minimum of three weeks notice must be provided prior to departure to allow this service to be provided.
Day 1: Board your Coral Expeditions small ship at 10.00am for an 11.00am departure from Cairns. As you depart Cairns and cruise Trinity Bay there is time meet your fellow travellers, settle in and explore your home for the next seven nights. After a delicious lunch, arrive at the exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay. Join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat for your first encounter with the reef before gathering on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed. Discover some of the 1,500 species of fish that live on the reef, including Spangled Emperor, Giant Trevally and the Hump-Headed Maori Wrasse as they are hand fed by the Marine Biologist. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon to snorkel in the shallow waters for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colourful corals and tropical fish. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers. In the evening, join the crew and travelling companions in the top deck lounge as the sun spectacularly sets over the reef before sitting down to a memorable dinner.
Day 2: Awaken this morning as you cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island's towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, you will cruise the length of the channel, separating the Australian mainland and the island, one of the most diverse marine environments on the Australian coast. Keep an eye out for myriad marine life including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs, all of which feed on the region's plentiful sea grasses and can often be seen frolicking in these waters. Next, enjoy the afternoon to discover Coral Expeditions' very own tropical island paradise. Join your fellow companions on the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. Then, explore the surrounding rainforest on a guided nature walk. The islands fringing reef, in the shallow waters just metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Admire the colourful corals from the glass bottom boat with the Marine Biologist, accompany the Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!
Day 3: This morning join the naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island's unique flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to see the brightly coloured Blue-Winged Ulysses Butterfly, impossible to miss against the ancient rainforest background. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for many of the up to 100 species of native birds recorded on the island, including the Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Emerald Dove and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Following lunch, discover Nathan Reef at your own pace. From the exclusive mooring experience some of the most colourful coral gardens found anywhere along the entire length of the reef. View many of the 400 different species of coral living in this World Heritage-listed wonderland. Venture in to the warm tropical waters to explore the corals and marine life on a guided snorkelling tour and join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour. For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, take the plunge in the company of the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. Later, discover some of the amazing creatures living on the reef at the on-board display tank. Enjoy the rare opportunity for a close up look at sea cucumbers, brightly coloured starfish and other marine life. Laze away the late afternoon on the sun deck, enjoying the comfortable onboard facilities..
Day 4: Travel ashore to explore beautiful Fitzroy Island. Surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Fitzroy Island offers wonderful bush walking opportunities and idyllic white sandy beaches. Enjoy time to explore, relax on the beach or perhaps enjoy a swim in the sheltered waters or a snorkel over the island's fringing reefs. This afternoon enjoy time to explore Cairns on your own or join an included visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a taste of indigenous culture before re-boarding Coral Exploration II. Cruise past the pretty coastal village of Palm Cove as the sun sets over the Macalister Range.
Day 5: You have the morning to discover historic Cooktown. It was here that the famous explorer Captain James Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery after claiming Australia as a British colony in 1770. You have the option to visit Cooktown's fascinating historical museum, featuring artefacts from Cook's ship - Endeavour. See the original anchor and cannon, jettisoned overboard after Endeavour struck a reef and began taking on water. Cooktown is steeped in history with most stone buildings dating back to the 1870s. Enjoy time to discover Cooktown at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Botanic Gardens, where you may catch a glimpse of native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies. This afternoon visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Day 6: This morning awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join the guides on a walk to 'Cook's Look' on the island's peak. It was from here, the highest lookout on this part of the reef, that Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the Endeavour near Cooktown almost 250 years ago. A photographer's delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent. Lizard Island's fringing reef, in the shallow waters just metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Discover giant clams and a profusion of fish. Enjoy the remainder of the morning at your leisure. You may wish to simply relax on the golden beach soaking up the sun, join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour, or for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef where the activities will include more snorkelling opportunities and glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist.
Day 7: The Great Barrier Reef is not actually one continuous reef, but a series of thousands of individual coral cays stretching over 3,000 kilometres between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. Spend today visiting two of the most pristine sections of the reef, Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Explore the coral gardens and marine life with guided snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours. The Marine Biologist will explain the natural history and evolution of the reef and help you discover the local wildlife, which includes sea turtles, giant clams, rays and over 200 different species of native birds. Today will also be your last opportunity to experience the reef through SCUBA diving, so allow the Dive Instructor to guide you on the experience of a lifetime. This evening, enjoy your final memorable night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.
Day 8: Farewell the Captain, crew and new-found friends before disembarking at Trinity Wharf in Cairns at 8.00am.
**Due to weather, tides or any other event affecting the operation of the vessel the itinerary may be subject to change without notice.**
Itinerary can also be taken as below:
Day 1 - Cairns
Day 2 - Historic Cooktown and the Reef
Day 3 - Lizard Island and Ribbon Reefs
Day 4 - Ribbon Reefs
Day 5 - Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay
Day 6 - Hinchinbrook Channel and Hinchinbrook Island Beach BBQ
Day 7 - Dunk Island Rainforest and Nathan Reef
Day 8 - Fitzroy Island and Cairns
Coral Expeditions operates Coral Expeditions II in the Great Barrier Reef region.
Coral Expeditions II: Length 35 metres, Beam 12 metres, Speed 12 knots, Draught 2.5 metres, Tonnes 884, Cabins 24, Passengers 46, Crew 12
Facilities: Air-conditioned dining room, two modern air-conditioned lounges, sundeck and spa pool, reference library featuring DVDs and books, telephone communications (additional fee), a range of souvenirs and personal items is available for purchase, limited laundry facilities.
Cairns - Lizard Island - Hinchinbrook Island - Cairns: Departs Monday at 5.00pm
Cairns - Hinchinbrook Island - Lizard Island - Cairns: Departs Friday at 11.00am
Children: 0-3 years are free of charge
Exclusions: Pre and Post flights and transfer to vessel, personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges and travel insurance
Environmental Management Charge (EMC): Is additional and payable on board
Cancellation Fees: Apply for cruises cancelled inside 60 days of travel
Operated By: Coral Expeditions