8 Day Great Barrier Reef Expedition Cruise 2023
OverviewAustralia’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 eight 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 uncovering incredible Indigenous culture in Cooktown, or snorkelling at majestic Osprey Reef? This ex Cairns adventure is the one for you. Includes 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.
- 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
- 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
- 7 night Outer-known Adventures of the Great Barrier Reef expedition cruise
- Sail aboard Coral Expeditions’ Coral Discoverer ship
- A boutique Australian ship with max 72 guests p er sailing
- Enjoy 20 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
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 countries and territories have different entry requirements in relation to vaccinations, quarantine/isolation periods and travel restrictions. Due to the evolving nature, we would ask all of our customers to monitor, meet and adhere to the specific requirements of their intended destination(s) in the lead up to and immediately prior to travel, as well as any requirements post-travel upon their return.
Covid-19 Booking Policy
• TripADeal Tour packages are non-refundable. If your Tour package is affected by Covid-19 related travel restrictions and you are unable to travel, you will receive either a free date change (credit that is specific to your original package and purchase value) or an open credit less any non-recoverable supplier fees to the value of your original purchase for use on any other package available via the TripADeal website.
Please note: Date change credits are subject to availability and not guaranteed until confirmed by TripADeal, not the property you are due to stay with.
Please note: all additional charges are payable direct to your Travel Consultant in AUD (unless otherwise stated).
Travel offer is valid for travel on selected dates until the 28th of November 2023.
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: 7, 14, 21, 28
Please note: See checkout for live dates and availability.
As we operate in the changing environment that the presence of COVID-19 has created, it is Coral Expeditions priority to keep guests and crew safe while travelling. Coral Expeditions wants guests and crew to have the greatest confidence that their safety and wellbeing have been thoroughly considered. Coral Expeditions have put in place a range of protocols to manage our expeditions in a world in which COVID-19 exists. Coral Expeditions have partnered with Respond Global, an experienced medical advisory agency, to assist in developing a prevention and response system that is among the most thorough in the world.
All passengers must follow specific declaration and testing requirements pre-cruise. As your voyage departure approaches, please read through the SailSAFE Plan carefully, and review the requirements detailed in the SailSAFE Questionnaire. With three levels, the SailSAFE Plan is intended to guide you through the medical requirements to ensure you are cleared to board our vessel. Please also review the guides on receiving a PCR Test.
Vaccination Policy requires all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated.
Part A requires you to simply return a form advising of a general health self-check.
Part B requires you to take a COVID-19 PCR test between 48 to 90 hours prior to check-in.
Pre Cruise Check-In requires you to arrive at the check-in location for a Rapid Antigen Test and medical screening prior to boarding the vessel.
Vaccination Policy: As an Australian-flagged operator, Coral Expeditions is required to follow state and federal government health mandates and legislation. Coral Expeditions have requirements to maintain a safe work environment for our crew and to protect the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew in our small ship expeditions to remote places. As a result, Coral Expeditions have adopted a Vaccine Policy involving a mandatory requirement for all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel from 1 December 2021. Vaccination for children will follow Federal Health and AHPRA guidelines. We note that some jurisdictions in which we may operate may direct this be essential for voyages prior to this date. Medical exemptions authorized in line with Australian medical standards will be acceptable.
All cabins are subject to availability; some cabins may have restricted views.
Formerly known as Oceanic Princess, yacht-like Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard of sophistication in expedition cruising when she was constructed in 2005. The introduction of international voyages led to the need to rename the vessel due to international trademark restrictions, and so Oceanic Princess became Coral Discoverer.
As we continued to expand our expedition itineraries, Coral Discoverer sailed on pioneering expeditions through Papua New Guinea, the islands of the South Pacific, Vanuatu, New Zealand, West Papua, and the Spice Islands. She led explorations into remote areas, focusing on destinations that were largely inaccessible or could not be easily visited.
Coral Discoverer is exceptionally nimble and maneuverable, with a shallow draught to get up close to destinations, ocean views from all public spaces, an expansive open-air sun deck, all outside-facing staterooms, and state-of-the-art tools for exploration including the Xplorer, zodiacs, a glass-bottom boat, and kayaks. A floor-to-ceiling refurbishment in 2018 meant she was updated to perfectly accommodate Coral Expeditions’ style of expedition cruising.
Comfortable, reliable, and intimately scaled, Coral Discoverer now navigates the waters of Australia’s coast from Tasmania to the wild Kimberley. Australian flagged and staffed by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be exceptional.
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our six spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 20sqm (215 square feet) in size and open out onto private balconies for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category A) Stateroom
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our 19 spacious Promenade Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category B) Stateroom - Solo Use Only
Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, our two Promenade Deck (Category B) staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding. These rooms are allocated for Sole Use only.
Main Deck (Category A) Stateroom:
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Main Deck (Category B) Stateroom:
Located close to the Dining Room, our three spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Maximum Room Capacity
2 people (subject to availability).
- 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 Junior King (subject to availability).
Please note: Twin bedding is not available in Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom category.
Optional Tours / Activities
Scuba Skills Lesson: Free
- Scuba Diving (Non-Certified Divers) - 1st and 2nd Dives - $100 per dive, then $82 per dive for all subsequent
- Scuba Diving (Certified Divers Requiring All Equipment) - $85 per dive
- Scuba Diving (Certified Divers Requiring weight belt & tank) - $74 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.
Domestic flights / transfers
• Meals/beverages not stated in the itinerary
• Optional gratuities/tipping
• Optional activities/tours
• Personal expenses
• Travel insurance (Mandatory)
Please note: A comprehensive travel Insurance policy must be organised BEFORE all details can be finalised.
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 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 in 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).
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.
· 1st Change - $100.00 per person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.
· 2nd Change - $150.00 per person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.
· Subsequent changes - $250.00 per person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.
· Changes within 30 days of departure $350.00 person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.
· Changes within 14 days of departure $500.00 per person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.
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.
Name Changes Due To Passenger Error
· If the incorrect name has been advised to TripADeal, charges of $150.00 per person + any additional charges applied by the airline/cruise company/accommodation/other travel provider.