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Coral Expeditions II

8 Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Cairns (Mondays)

The custom-made Coral Expeditions II is 35 metres in length and carries just 44 passengers on a range of exciting cruises on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The ship offers a selection of spacious and elegant accommodation and her amenities include a dining room, spacious lounge with cocktail bar, large sun deck with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings, reference library and plasma screens. The Coral Expedition II also has a sister ship, the Coral Expedition I, which offers the same high level of service and facilities. The itineraries listed may be offered on either the Coral Expedition I or the Coral Expedition II.

 

Info

 

Embark

Embark the ship at Trinity Wharf Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns at16:00hrs.

Day 1: Cairns

You are welcomed on board the Coral Expedition II by your friendly crew this afternoon. Departing Cairns and cruise Trinity Bay you will have time to meet your fellow passengers and crew and have a glass of champagne. the ship will cruise northward with views of Double Island and the pretty beachside village of Palm Cove. Admire a spectacular sunset over the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Macalister Range before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.

Day 2: Cooktown

Arrive in Cooktown in the morning, once refuge for the famous explorer Captain James Cook. You will the opportunity to visit Cooktown's fascinating historical museum, featuring artifacts from Cook's ship - Endeavour. Cooktown is steeped in history with most stone buildings dating back almost a century, enjoy some time here exploring at your own pace. In the afternoon visit the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef where you may join the marine biologist for a glass bottom tour over the colourful coral gardens. You may also enjoy your first snorkeling experience.

Day 3: Lizard Island

Wake up moored beside the beautiful Lizard Island. You may join a guided walk to 'Cook's Look', the highest point on the island overlooking the reef. Views from the lookout over the World Heritage Site and surrounding tropical islands are nothing short of spectacular. Lizard Island's fringing reef, in the shallow waters just metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Relax on the beach, snorkel or SCUBA dive the around the reef.

Day 4: Ribbon Reef - Rachel Carson Reef

Today you will visit two of the most pristine sections of the Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reef No.3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Here you may explore the coral gardens and marine life with guided snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours. The Marine Biologist will help explain the natural history and help you discover the local wildlife including sea turtles, giant clams, rays and over 200 different species of native birds. This evening, enjoy your final memorable night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 5: Cairns

This morning arrive back in Cairns where you can explore the city at leisure or join a visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a taste of indigenous culture before reboarding the ship. After lunch arrive at the exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay. Here you can join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat for your first encounter with the reef. 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.

Day 6: Hinchinbrook Channel

Awake this morning as the ship cruises the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island's towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. 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. Later spend the afternoon on your very own tropical island paradise where can enjoy a gourmet beach BBQ. Spend the rest of the day exploring the island, snorkeling, glass bottom boat rides, scuba diving or simply relaxing on the beach!

Day 7: Dunk Island

Today you may join the naturalist guides on a wonderful rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island's unique flora and fauna. Look out for the many native birds including the Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Emerald Dove and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. After lunch explore Nathan Reef at your own pace via a snorkeling or glass bottom boat tour. For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. Dinner aboard the ship.

Day 8: Fitzroy Island - Cairns

This morning travel ashore to the beautiful Fitzroy Island which is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island offers wonderful bush walking opportunities and idyllic white sandy beaches as well excellent snorkeling. Following lunch, early this afternoon cruise through Trinity Bay before arriving in tropical Cairns at 1:30pm where you will disembark at Trinity Wharf.

Disembark

Disembark the ship at Trinity Wharf Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns at 13:30hrs.

Includes

  • 7 Nights' accommodation on board the Coral Expedition II
  • All meals, morning and afternoon teas, soda fountain soft drinks
  • Tea and barista-style coffee are available at all times
  • Sightseeing and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Use of snorkelling equipment, masks, fins, and flotation vests
  • Guided glass bottom boat coral viewing and snorkelling excursions
  • An introductory SCUBA diving skills session is available for first time divers
  • Presentations by Marine Biologists
  • Post Cruise transfer to Cairns CBD accommodation or Cairns Airport

Excludes

  • Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC) - an additional cost of approximately AUD 19.50 per person which will be charged on board
  • International transportation
  • Flight from Cairns to Townsville or v.v (this can be purchased in advance - please call to book)
  • Scuba diving
  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • Gratuities
  • Visas
  • Personal insurance
  • Single rooms will be offered to genuine single travelers only, i.e those passengers who are not travelling with any acquaintances. For those guests who elect to have their own single room rather than sharing with an acquaintance a 25% sole use surcharge will apply
 

Sailing dates