9 Day Great Barrier Reef Expedition
- Explore the Reef & Rainforest with Coral Expeditions
- Small ship cruise to remote reefs & islands
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a region of jaw-dropping natural beauty, of remote island chains and bountiful coral reefs ablaze with colour and life. Though many of us think we know all there is about this unique wonder, like it stretching for 2,300 kilometres and being visible from space and all, there are untold secrets still left to be revealed. And the best way to uncover them? On this nine day Coral Expeditions cruise and stay package visiting remote locations few ships will ever encounter. Want to enjoy sundowner drinks on a deserted island in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef? What about exploring the UNESCO listed Daintree with an expert guide, or snorkelling at majestic Osprey Reef? This ex Cairns adventure is the one for you. Includes one night at the 5-star Pullman International Cairns, seven nights aboard the Coral Discoverer with all-inclusive meals and shore excursions, fun and informative talks delving into the diversity of the reef, and so much more! About Coral Expeditions: Coral Expeditions is not your typical cruise line. The award-winning, Australian small ship cruise operator has carved out a reputation for taking you behind the tourist facade, showcasing the hidden wonders, the stories, and the people who make a destination what it is. Forget darkened casinos and planned seating, this style of cruising is all about freedom, flexibility and choice. Small group sizes (a maximum of just 72 guests aboard Coral Discoverer) ensure that your experience is personal, with minimal impact on the communities and environments visited.
Make your own way to Cairns for an early afternoon check-in to the Pullman International Hotel, your centrally located 5-star accommodation. Enjoy the evening at leisure to experience some of the many highlights of tropical Cairns. The Esplanade is a definite must visit! Please note: Two health screenings will be required prior to you boarding your cruise. Further details about the Coral Expeditions SailSAFE Plan can be found via the link in the Important Information below.Overnight: Pullman International Hotel, Cairns
Meals included: None
Enjoy a day at leisure in Cairns before checking out and making your own way to the cruise terminal just across the road. Board the Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm and enjoy meeting your fellow travellers before a 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as the ship makes its way northwards from Cairns toward Cooktown. At the end of the day join fellow explorers and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks. On board, discover a personalised style of cruising with no need for queues, waiting, or assigned seating. Instead, the relaxed and friendly atmosphere will give you an opportunity to meet fellow travellers and feel right at home. The Australian and New Zealand crew share their passion for our destinations and the explorer’s life. Join engine room tours, or chat with the Captain or officers on the bridge – they will be delighted to have your company. The chefs, inspired by destination flavours, prepare cuisine from fresh regional produce. You’ll also enjoy Australian wines and artisanal beers and spirits in the relaxed venues. Guests love to mingle over drinks as the sun sets, enjoy daily educational presentations by lecturers, participate in stargazing sessions after dark, or simply find a quiet corner on deck and enjoy the solitude. Please note: This Great Barrier Reef itinerary is flexible, to take advantage of changing weather, tides and reef conditions. This itinerary showcases a selection of the key destinations we aim to visit and alternative locations may be visited depending on the departure date.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Dinner
Today 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 drinks at Watson's Bay. Lizard Island is a granite island about 10 square kilometres in size, with three smaller islands nearby (Palfrey, South and Bird). Together these islands form the Lizard Island Group and their well-developed fringing reef encircles the 10 metre deep Blue Lagoon. The name Lizard Island was given to it by Captain Cook when he passed it on 12 August 1770. He commented, "The only land animals we saw here were Lizards, and these seem'd to be pretty plenty, which occasioned my naming the Island Lizard Island. Cook climbed the peak on Lizard Island to chart a course out to sea through the maze of reefs which confronted him and the island's summit has since been called ‘Cook's Look’.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
Today, 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. Tours of the Lizard Island Research Station are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed due to operational considerations.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
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. Today you will have the opportunity to take part in a number of excursions such as snorkelling on the reef, viewing the reef on the glass bottom tender vehicles or scuba dive (at an additional cost). Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
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 (included) or scuba tour (at an additional cost) led by our expert Expedition Team or a jump on one of the glass bottom tender boats 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.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
Today head to the mouth of the Daintree River, which cuts through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. Join an expert guide to 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. After, enjoy an afternoon snorkel and relax on Mackay Reef followed by Sunset Drinks.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
At Fitzroy Island, enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest. Or, for the more adventurous, a walk to the decommissioned lighthouse, where hikers will be rewarded with panoramic views of the 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 the 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 our own private sand island.Overnight: Coral Discoverer
Meals included: Breakfast;Lunch;Dinner
The Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am. Make your own onwards travel arrangements. A complimentary post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD Hotel or Cairns Airport is provided by Coral Expeditions for those who wish to take it up.
Meals included: Breakfast
Tour InclusionsShow All
- Experience the intimacy and adventure of an expedition cruise
- Step ashore on remote Great Barrier Reef islands with local experts
- Enjoy all-inclusive shore excursions on your cruise (scuba diving at an additional cost)
- See the underwater world on a glass-bottom boat tour
- Visit the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island and participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef
- Snorkel on the Ribbon Reefs, which sit on the edge of the continental shelf
- Be captivated by the diverse marine life of remote Mackay and Osprey Reefs
- Learn about Indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown
- Cruise the beautiful Daintree River
- Sip sundowner drinks on uninhabited islands and sand cays
- Hike to the summit of Cook’s Look on Lizard Island and enjoy the stunning view
- Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay on Lizard Island
- A complimentary SCUBA skills session is included for all first-time divers
- 1 night 5-star pre-cruise accommodation at the Pullman International Hotel Cairns
- 7 night Outer-known Adventures of the Great Barrier Reef expedition cruise
- Sail aboard Coral Expeditions’ Coral Discoverer/Geographer ship
- A boutique Australian ship with max 72 guests per sailing
- Enjoy 21 meals including high-quality Australian influenced meals onboard the cruise
- Selected wines, beers, juices, soft drinks and selected spirits are served complimentary with lunch and dinner
- 24-hour complimentary barista-style coffee and tea station
- Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
- National park fees
- Professional Australian & New Zealand based Expedition Leaders & Guest Lecturers
- Cruise taxes and surcharges
- Snorkelling equipment
- Post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD Hotel or Cairns Airport
Important infoShow Less
After purchase, you will receive a receipt and a Purchase Confirmation, directing you to an online Passenger Information Form. The Passenger Information Form must be completed within 72 hours of purchase.
Any special requests, preferences and optional extras MUST be clearly stated in your Passenger Information Form. Any change requested after submitting your Passenger Information Form cannot be guaranteed, is strictly subject to availability and will incur surcharges as outlined in the Schedule of Fees below.
On purchasing this Travel Offer you are bound by the General Terms and Conditions, in addition to the specific terms and conditions outlined in this Important Information.
Please note: all additional charges are payable direct to your Travel Consultant in NZD (unless otherwise stated).
Travel offer is valid for travel on selected dates until the 30th November 2022.
This travel offer is priced for one person based on twin share.
Single Traveller Supplement
Promenade Deck (Category B) Cabins are reserved solely for use of solo travellers and is available at check out (subject to availability on each sailing) as a total cost (not a supplement)
November: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Health & Safety Plan
Coral Expeditions takes the safety and wellbeing of passengers very seriously. The team have collaborated with experienced medical advisory agency Respond Global to create an extensive SailSAFE Plan, which includes enhanced onboard sanitisation protocols, a pre-screening process prior to departure, and a government approved Covid response plan. All guests and crew must complete a pre-screening process seven days prior to travel. This includes a questionnaire and visit to your GP, a recommended self-isolation to the extent possible prior to departing, and a PCR Swab test within 72 hours of boarding to be provided to Coral Expeditions medical staff at check in to be cleared for travel. More information can be found here: https://www.coralexpeditions.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SailSAFE-plan-final-1.pdf
Please note: All health checks and the PCR Swab test will be at the customers expense
5 Star (self-rated)
Cairns: Pullman International Hotel
4.5 Star (self-rated)
Coral Expeditions: Coral Discoverer Ship
Please note: rooms offered are based on a lead-in room type, and are subject to availability based on seasonality. Properties will be confirmed, no later than two weeks prior to travel.
Maximum Room Capacity
- No child discounts. Full price applies for all children travelling with their parents.
Please note: Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult 18 years old and over to travel. No unaccompanied minors allowed.
2 x Twin or 1 x King/Queen (subject to availability).
Please note: Twin share is not available in Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom Category
Adjoining / Interconnecting Rooms
Subject to availability and at the hotel's discretion. Please enquire on booking if you require this option.
Optional Tours / Activities
Scuba Skills Lesson: Free
- Scuba Diving (Non-Certified Divers) - 1st and 2nd Dives - $100AUD per dive, then $82AUD per dive for all subsequent
- Scuba Diving (Certified Divers Requiring All Equipment) - $85AUD per dive
- Scuba Diving (Certified Divers Requiring weight belt & tank) - $74AUD per dive
- Prices are based on per person, are subject to availability, time permitting and weather conditions, and are payable direct to the tour operator in the currency specified
- Visa fees and requirements (A visa is not required if travelling on a New Zealand passport)
- International or Domestic flights / transfers not stated in the itinerary
- Meals/beverages not stated in the itinerary
- Pre cruise health check and PCR Swab Test
- Optional activities/tours
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance (Strongly recommended)
CORAL EXPEDITIONS - TRAVEL INSURANCE
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise.
- Please note and share the following facts when considering insurance coverage and speaking with suppliers:
-- Coral Expeditions do not have Doctors or Nurses onboard their domestic cruises, however, the senior crew are trained and qualified in remote area first aid. If a passenger has injured themselves or is having a medical issue onboard, the crew will make contact with doctors on land to determine whether a medical evacuation is necessary. For this reason, it is advisable that passengers obtain a policy with remote area evacuation and repatriation coverage.
-- The domestic cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, Kimberley, Cape York and Arnhem land and Tasmania do not leave domestic waters, however, our locations are considered remote.
-- Coral Expedition ships are Australian flagged.
-- On selected International cruises there will be a Guest Doctor and a first aid room onboard Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer. It is important to note that these services are for medical emergencies only and do not offer a clinic service.
-- Travel Insurance is required by each travelling guest and if an urgent medical event or situation occurred that required medical evacuation or offload from the ship, it is mandatory that this is financially covered by insurance or by guest payment at the time.
THE CORAL EXPEDITIONS EXPERIENCE
- Coral Expeditions have built a reputation on offering a very different expedition cruise experience:
- No organised entertainment on board – instead, they offer a daily program of lectures, briefings and themed documentaries and movies.
- No multiple glitzy restaurants – but the chefs prepare fresh daily, high-quality cuisine using Australian and local ingredients.
- No ‘formal’ nights or assigned seating – you can dine with whom you please and share the day’s stories.
- No room service menus – but the crew will be happy to serve you a meal in-room if you are under the weather or prefer to eat in.
- No minibars – guests love to mingle over drinks on the sundeck or in one of our comfortable lounges.
- No casino – but captains welcome you to the bridge to observe operations and have a chat.
- No butlers and spas – but all staterooms have their own ensuites, some with balconies, large picture windows or portholes, all outward facing. Serviced daily and come with nightly turndown service.
- No swimming pool – but all ships have swimming platforms from where you can take a dip in the ocean.
- No extra charge for shore excursions.
- They welcome young and old.
CORAL EXPEDITIONS - ITINERARY
- Coral Expeditions will endeavour to follow the Cruise itinerary as described in the itinerary and the passenger accepts that Coral Expeditions has the right to change the itinerary, the Ship or cancel the Cruise as a result of some Unexpected Event or prevailing inclement weather conditions and the passenger accepts that the passenger will not be entitled to any compensation or a refund of the fare paid should this occur.
CORAL EXPEDITIONS SHIP - CORAL DISCOVERER
- Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.
CORAL EXPEDITIONS - STAFF/CREW
- Throughout your cruise, you will delight in the attentive service of the professional Australian and New Zealand residency crew. Carefully selected for their engaging personalities, attention to detail and commitment to delivering the highest standards of service, our staff will ensure you receive a warm welcome aboard.
- On each voyage, Expedition Leaders bring guests the depth of experience required to put together daily programmes given prevailing weather and local conditions. They are complemented by an expert Guest Lecturer, with knowledge of disciplines ranging from anthropology, geology, history and flora and fauna of the region, offering layers of insight relevant to your itinerary and to support the depth of immersion in your travel experience.
CORAL EXPEDITIONS - ALL INCLUSIVE SHORE EXCURSIONS
- A Coral Expeditions cruise is not about just passing through a region and seeing it from the ship’s deck. Instead, each day you will travel ashore and fully immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes, fascinating history and vibrant cultures of these remarkable locations.
- On most days you’ll have the opportunity to participate in two shore excursions or activities (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), along with onboard briefings and presentations. The vast majority of excursions are included in the cruise price and in key locations, you will have the opportunity to enhance your experience through participation in optional activities (additional costs applicable) such as a helicopter flight over the Kimberley’s spectacular four-tiered Mitchell Falls.
- On the Great Barrier Reef you will enjoy ample opportunities to snorkel and SCUBA dive over the most colourful and pristine coral reefs. Our snorkelling and scuba diving departments are fully stocked with a wide range of snorkels, fins and masks (to fit all sizes) along with all the necessary equipment to allow you to try the unforgettable experience that is SCUBA diving (SCUBA incurs additional costs). Snorkelling equipment will be assigned to all guests at the commencement of each cruise.
ACCESS TO REMOTE DESTINATIONS
- Access to remote destinations and communities is unique in three special ways:
- Firstly, the shallow draught of the small ships allows them to safely access and anchor in close to bays and landscapes that larger ships cannot reach, allowing a bird-eye view of spectacular beaches, bays and at times, bustling port communities.
- Secondly, the unique Xplorer tenders, comfortably appointed with shading and on-board toilet facilities, enable penetration inland with explorations into shallow rivers and streams, close to waterfalls and other extraordinary landscapes. Inflatable Zodiacs and kayaks enable guests an up-close-and-personal view of reefs, islands and atolls and allow peaceful explorations of sheltered locations.
- Lastly, the experienced Expedition Team, guided by an Expedition Leader and complemented by qualified experts with specific knowledge of local people, cultures and landscapes have the knowledge and connections, enabling unique access to areas often restricted to other travellers.
CORAL EXPEDITIONS - CUISINE AND WINE
- At Coral Expeditions dining is a celebration of great food and good company enjoyed in extraordinary destinations. People and place are key to enjoyable dining experiences, where food becomes the vehicle for conversation and creating memorable occasions. The approach to cuisine is about simplicity and generosity, creating dishes bursting with flavour made from fresh ingredients sourced locally and sustainably wherever possible.
- Coral Expeditions’ cuisine has a distinctly Australian accent influenced by the culinary landscape of regions we visit. Wonderful friends and unique locations will always enhance the eating experience, allowing the produce to speak for itself.
- From Australia’s Kimberley and Great Barrier Reef regions through to the exotic Spice Islands, New Guinea and islands of the South Pacific, Coral Expeditions foster a community of local providores, farmers and growers. Regional menus champion seasonality, allowing chefs to adapt menus and source local produce at its seasonal best.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Start your day with a tempting choice from a fresh continental or a hot breakfast. The fleet of small expedition ships offer a sumptuous hot and cold family share platters complemented by daily made-to-order specialties.
- Family share platters for lunch showcase a selection of hot and cold dishes, from salads and cold cuts to soups, fresh local seafood and seasonal tropical fruits.
- Evenings are a convivial time to dine with new friends and reflect on an exciting day of discovery over dinner. We welcome you onboard with a seafood dinner on the first night. Other evening meals vary between a barbeque, carvery or a three-course table d’hote dinner menu, when selections are offered as you enjoy table service.
- All expeditions feature a memorable pre-dinner event ashore where the crew serve sunset drinks and canapés, often on a beach, and always in a beautiful location with a sunset view. These casual ‘sundowners’ are hosted by the Captain and are the perfect time to kick off your shoes and enjoy a beer, wine or cocktail while mingling with fellow guests in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Lunch and dinner are accompanied by a curated beverage list featuring boutique Australian and New Zealand wines and beers.
- Each voyage the Captain hosts a Captains Table for invited guests and ship’s Officers will endeavour to host dinner guests on an evening when operational matters allow.
CLIMATE & AVERAGE TEMPERATURES
- Cairns has a tropical climate, with generally hot and humid summers and milder, drier winters. The average annual rainfall is 1992mm on an average 154 days. The majority of Cairns rainfall occurs during summer between January and March.
- The tropics have fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year. Typical daytime min/max temperature ranges in Cairns are 23C/31C in mid-Summer and 18C/26C in mid-Winter.
- The prevailing winds are East to South Easterly with strongest winds (cyclones excluded) usually occurring during April and August. During the summer months, North to Northeasterly sea breezes dominate the winds along the coast. The cyclone season is normally confined to between December and April but exceptions do occur.
- Itineraries are subject to change at any time without notice.
All meals are included on the cruise. It is your responsibility to notify TripADeal of any dietary requests/requirements. Please note; we will do our best to meet your requests/requirements, however cannot guarantee that we will always be able to.
You will be responsible for all your personal belongings whilst on the tour.
Fitness Level Required / Mobility:
Our vehicles are not equipped with wheelchair access, so unfortunately our tours are currently not suitable for wheelchair users and those less mobile.
Please note: For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. There are no lifts on Coral Expeditions ships and the stairways between decks are steep, so a reasonable agility is required. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.
Gratuities / Tipping:
Gratuities (tips) are not required for Coral Expeditions cruises
Please note: In the event entrance to a site is affected by changes in operating hours or public holiday closures, your itinerary where possible, will be adjusted or a similar activity will be offered in its place (subject to availability).
A tourist visa is not required for Australia if travelling on a New Zealand passport.
Please note: Passengers who are not New Zealand citizens must check with the respective consulate or visa agency to determine what their visa requirements are and what personal identification is required. It is also important to note, some areas of employment such as journalism, government authorities and charity organisations may have additional restrictions in applying for Visas. This may in turn affect the type of application required.
We are proud to offer a range of travel insurance products - please ask your Travel Consultant for more information.
This includes booking changes requested by you, including but not limited to those changes requiring an airline ticket or a Purchase Confirmation reissue.
- $50 NZD per change request post-purchase + any additional charges applied by the travel partners associated with the order.
In the event the Travel Offer you have purchased is unable to proceed, and/or a travel Supplier is unable to fulfil the Travel Offer due to external circumstances (Limitation of Liability e.g. a Force Majeure event), there may be a fee or amount of money that is withheld by our Suppliers and is unrecoverable. This may be due to non-refundable airline tickets, cancellation penalties with cruise cabins or unrecoverable payments with our land/accommodation partners. TripADeal has committed to these costs as your Agent and will endeavour to recover all funds committed and/or paid for your Travel Offer, but this may not be possible in all circumstances. If refunds are not available from Suppliers, we will endeavour to obtain a travel credit on the best terms available and communicate these outcomes to you. In the event, TripADeal is unable to obtain a refund or travel service credit, or part thereof, this cost is passed on to the customer as a Supplier Fee. This fee is not revenue-raising and is paid to or withheld by our suppliers when recovering payments.