This new itinerary onboard Coral Discoverer focuses on an immersive exploration of the remote Torres Strait Islands, where unique nature, Indigenous culture and history abound. The voyage traverses the Tropical North Queensland coastline and unique islands and reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, reaching the tip of Australia at Cape York, and extending to the cultural crossroads of the Torres Strait Islands.
The Torres Islands are unlike anywhere else on earth. Each of the almost 300 islands are unique and very few are inhabited. Few visitors come to these islands due to limited transport options and permits, but those joining us onboard will enjoy this rare opportunity hassle-free. We have been visiting these islands as part of our Cape York and Arnhem Land expeditions for over 2 decades and have developed strong friendships with locals who welcome us to this little slice of paradise.
• Experience the vibrant art, culture and natural beauty of the Torres Strait Islands, including seldom visited Badu and Moa Island
• Come ashore and the very tip of Australia at Pajinka on Cape York for sunset or sunrise champagne
• Snorkel remote northern reefs and bird-watch at Davie Cay
• Explore Lizard Island’s reefs and walks with panoramic views
• View rock art at Stanley Island, with interpretation by a traditional owner guide
• Focus on indigenous cultural immersion, maritime history (Cooktown and Restoration Island), snorkelling or Glass Bottom Boat opportunities at remote reefs and beaches
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
Board Coral Discoverer at Cairns Trinity Wharf on 21 October or 11 November 2021 at 4pm for a 5pm departure. Enjoy afternoon tea onboard and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as we set sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.
Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870s. Here you will have the choice of a guided indigenous cultural tour, or a guided Cooktown historic tour. You will also have the opportunity for time at leisure to explore Cooktown’s attractions which include art galleries, the botanic gardens, James Cook Museum (with original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour), lookouts, and a walk to the top of Grassy Hill.
Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Join an optional hike to Cook’s Look and be rewarded with exceptional views over the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson on a walk to her cottage. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens and colourful coral and visit the Lizard Island Research Station.
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art guided by a traditional owner who will offer an interpretation. The art here depicts the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef enjoy swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours and see Brown Boobie Bird colonies at Davie Cay.
Enjoy snorkel, scuba and glass-bottom boat opportunities of the remote Tijou Reef.
Visit Restoration Island or Resto, as the locals call it. Here Captain Bligh of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789. He named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was Oak Apple Day, the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.
Today Restoration Island is not just a National Park; one-third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former mining tycoon, who, after losing his fortune in the Black Friday market crash, decided to live a solitary existence on the island, and has done so for over 2 decades. It is an idyllic coastal island with a granite and volcanic peak 116 metres in height and a beautiful shark tooth-shaped beach spit where guest will enjoy water activities and time to explore the island.
Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. We also have an opportunity to go beachcombing at a nearby remote island, possibly Magra, Saunders, or Sir Charles Hardy.
Step ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent as the sun rises, and sip champagne to welcome the new day.
Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island we also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Centre, and local shopping.
In the morning, we visit the indigenous art centre to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye.
Enjoy traditional kai kai (Traditional Lunch) prepared by the local community – a feast of locally caught crayfish, fresh & curried fish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.
Visit the art centre and join in print, weaving and jewellery making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance, listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.
In true expedition style, we will follow the conditions on the day to choose another Torres Strait Island to spend the day visiting, with a chance for cultural experiences and to relax in the pristine and scenic natural surrounds. Potential islands we may visit include Hammond, Prince of Wales, Mer or Erub depending on the conditions on the day.
As we set off on our final Xplorer ride, our incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end. At 8:00 am we arrive at Horn Island, with the option for a post-cruise tour.
There are daily flights to Cairns from Horn Island Airport. These are not included in the cruise fare.
This itinerary is indicative. No two cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same, with each expedition crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
03 November, 2021 to 13 November, 2021
Located close to the Dining Room, our six 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.
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.
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our twenty 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.
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our five spacious Bridge Deck Balcony staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature private balconies opening out from french windows providing comfortable indoor outdoor living, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 63 metres
Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)
Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016
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.
The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. 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 Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique.
After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment.
Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer.
The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from french windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sqm (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding.
FACILITIES ON BOARD
> Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating
> Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck
> Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished
> Forward lounge
> Reference library
> Gift shop
> Open bridge
> Workout Area
> Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer
> Limited laundry facilities available
> SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• Expert expedition leader and team
• All meals while on board
• Coffee and Tea while on board
• All daily guided excursions
• Selected wine and beer with lunch and dinner
• Port charges/taxes
• Guest Lecturer and a Tasmanian Specialist
• Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels, and kayaks where conditions allow
• Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
• Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
• All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Travel Insurance
• Passport and visa costs where applicable
• Alcoholic drinks outside of those stated in inclusions
• Transfers unless otherwise stated
• Internet on board (Available at cost)
• Any items of a personal nature
• Tipping not required