Join this exciting expedition that reveals the underwater wonders of the legendary Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside marine biologist and expedition leader, Brad Climpson.


Highlights


• Discover the underwater wonders of the legendary Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Come face-to-face with massive potato groupers at Cod Hole, and with luck, you'll have the opportunity to swim with the curious minke whales that migrate through these waters.

• Enjoy daily excursions to explore pristine reefs and islands far from the tourist track, including remote Osprey Reef.

• Take nature walkes on Lizard Island, keeping an eye out for Australian montior lizards and a variety of seabirds.

• View fascinating Aboriginal art on remote Stanley Island.

Arrive in Cairns and transfer to the Shangri-La Cairns for dinner and overnight.
The Daintree Rainforest is one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth, and you will spend a full day seeking out the region’s unique flora and fauna. At Cooya Beach, join members of the Kubirri Warra tribe for a fascinating tour of their private estate. Learn about ancient Aboriginal traditions as you explore beach, mangrove, coastal reef, mudflats, and tidal lagoons. Or, choose to take a ride along the Kuranda Scenic Railway, passing spectacular tropical forest, majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, and dramatic gorges. Then visit the Kuranda Koala Gardens for up-close views of these adorable Australian marsupials, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and a variety of reptiles, including freshwater crocodiles. Embark the Coral Expeditions II in the afternoon and set sail.
Named after the famous American conservationist, Rachel Carson, this well-protected platform reef is the perfect site for your first check-out dive, or to practice your snorkel skills. Keep an eye out for steephead parrotfish, longnose butterflyfish, and scissortail sergeants swimming around the colorful corals.
The Ribbon Reefs are long, thin strips of reef that form the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef and lie on the edge of the continental shelf, an average of 30 to 60 miles away from the coast. Covered in colorful corals, these reefs attract a plethora of marine life, both large and small. Drop in for a sunrise dive at Steve’s Bommie, an isolated pinnacle which offers a wealth of macro life like anemonefish, nudibranchs, and pipefish; schooling trevally, batfish, snappers, and fusiliers; and large pelagics, most notably barracudas and white-tip reef sharks. After lunch, explore Ribbon Reef #5 on an afternoon dive, snorkel, or glass-bottom boat excursion. Discover a wealth of healthy corals including brain, staghorn, boulder, and mushroom, as well as colorful soft corals. The corals provide shelter for shimmering clouds of chromis and anthias, while shoals of fusiliers, trevally, barracuda, mackerel, sharks, batfish, and parrotfish can be seen cruising near the dropoff areas. Emperor angelfish, blueline demoiselle, hexagon grouper, bird wrasse, yellowmargin triggerfish, and slingjaw wrasse are other species frequently spotted in this area.
Picturesque Lizard Island was discovered by Captain Cook in 1770, and your morning begins with an optional hike to the highest point of the island, known as Cook’s Look, where the mariner attempted to find a path through the maze of beautiful, but deadly reefs. After breakfast, dive or snorkel among legions of colorful tropical fish and check out the giant clam gardens near the beach. Other activities include walking along the island’s powdery white-sand beaches, or hiking up to Chinaman’s Ridge, searching for goannas (Australian monitor lizards) and a multitude of birds, such as sunbirds, honeyeaters, pheasant coucals, and a variety of terns along the way.
Take a short walk to view several spectacular rock art sites on Stanley Island. The huge Yintayin, or “Ship,” rock shelter features images of ships painted in red and white ochre on the red sandstone—sailing ships rigged in the distinctive styles of the European lugger, the Macassan (Indonesian) proa, and a dugout canoe with a figure standing upright in it, hands outstretched. Spend the afternoon snorkeling or diving at a nearby reef.
Spend two full days exploring Ribbon Reef #10, which is famous for the large number of dwarf minke whales that migrate past the reef from June to July. With luck, you may have an opportunity to swim with these curious creatures—a simply amazing experience. However, please note, these whales are wild animals and sightings are not guaranteed. At world-famous Cod Hole, enjoy an unforgettable dive, where you’ll come face-to-face with massive potato cod, which often swim right up to inspect you with child-like curiosity. Other fish that can be found here include coral trout, sweetlips, triggerfish, and trevally.
Conditions permitting, venture to remote Osprey Reef, a large submerged atoll with a shallow central lagoon. The most northerly and isolated of all the reefs in the Coral Sea, the almost vertical reef walls rise from a depth of over 6,000 feet and offer some of the best diving in the region. This pristine reef is home to colorful soft corals and is frequented by sharks and other large pelagics. As the ship returns to Crains, make a stop on a sand cay for sunset drinks with the local seabirds. Currents channeled by the reefs have created various sand cays that shift and change with the elements over time; they are typically surrounded by amazing reefs and provide calm, sheltered waters perfect for exploration. If weather and sea conditions do not allow for a visit to Osprey Reef, continue exploring along the protected Ribbon Reefs, where you will find a diverse array of marine life, including anemones, giant clams, hard and soft corals, turtles, and many types of Great Barrier Reef fish.
Disembark this morning and journey overland to the Atherton Tablelands, a fertile plateau with several stands of protected rainforest. On nature walks, search for a variety of wildlife among the giant trees, such as musky rat kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, and 12 endemic bird species. Along the pristine shores of Lake Barrine, you may spy eastern water dragons, bearded dragons, and saw-shell turtles. Check in to the Shangri-La Cairns for dinner and overnight. Or, choose to search for nocturnal species on an optional spotlighting excursion, returning to Cairns in the late evening.
Board your independent flight back home.
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

Category 1 - CABIN

$ 10980 USD pp
Category 1 - CABIN
Perfectly suited to those guests on a budget, Cabin category rooms are located close to the bow of the ship on Deck C, close to the Dining Room and our Glass Bottom Boat boarding platform. Cabin category rooms feature traditional maritime decor with wood panelling and comfortable furnishings and are sized from 10.50sqm to 14sqm (141 to 151 square feet) in size. Cabins feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, air-conditioning, ample storage space and fixed twin beds.

Category 2 - STATEROOM

$ 12380 USD pp
Category 2 - STATEROOM
Our four Stateroom category rooms are located midship on Deck C, close to the Dining Room and our Glass Bottom Boat boarding platform. Ideal for those wishing to avoid stairs, Stateroom category rooms feature a traditional maritime decor with wood panelling and comfortable furnishings. At 14sqm (151 square feet) in size Staterooms offer plenty of space to relax and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views along with a desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds (subject to availability).

Category 3 - UPPER DECK STATEROOM

$ 13780 USD pp
Category 3 - UPPER DECK STATEROOM
Our nine Upper Deck Staterooms are located on Deck B, a dedicated accommodation deck offering a quiet environment, yet still in close proximity to the Bridge, Sun Deck and Dining Room. Decorated in a traditional maritime style with wood panelling and comfortable furnishings, Upper Deck Staterooms are 14sqm (151 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views along with a desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds (subject to availability).

Category 4 - DELUXE STATEROOM

$ 14680 USD pp
Category 4 - DELUXE STATEROOM
Our four Deluxe Staterooms are located at the stern of B Deck, in close proximity to the Bridge and the full length Sun Deck. Decorated in a traditional maritime style with wood panelling, Deluxe Staterooms are a spacious 15sqm (162 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views along with a comfortable settee, desk, ample storage space and your choice of fixed double or twin beds (subject to availability)

Category 1 Solo - CABIN

$ 15080 USD pp

Category 3 Solo - UPPER DECK STATEROOM

$ 17980 USD pp

Coral Expeditions II

Vessel Type: Motor Catamaran

Length: 35 metres

Passenger Capacity: 44

Built: 1996 refurbished in 2015

Refurbished during early 2015, Coral Expeditions II is fully equipped for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef cruising experience. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, Coral Expeditions II was purpose-built for cruising in our region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

The 22 onboard rooms feature traditional maritime stylings with wood panelled walls. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a private ensuite, air conditioning and ample storage space. All rooms feature large picture windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery.

The ship’s spacious lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink from the cocktail bar in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The large Sun Deck is another popular place to relax and take in the sights, with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. You will also enjoy the opportunity to dine al fresco under the magnificent stars over the Great Barrier Reef.

Meals are served in the atmospheric Dining Room, and with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating, meal times are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.

Coral Expeditions II operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with the Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Expeditions II is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment.

Cabin layout for Coral Expeditions II
13 Days from
$ 10980 USD pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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