Outer Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef By Small Ship Cruise

7 Nights Departing Cairns 24 November 2021

From AU$4,750*
per person, twin share

Covering an area of over 2,300 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area.

Aboard our expedition vessel Coral Discoverer, join us as we embark on immersive 7-day adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reefs. We take a maximum of 72 guests to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.

Onboard, you will be accompanied by expert guides including a Marine Biologist, and our purpose designed small ships are custom built for expedition cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders we will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.

Price Per Person, Twin Share
Cruise departs Cairns on 24 November 2021.
Cabin From Price
Main Deck (Category B) AU$4,750*
Main Deck (Category A) SOLD OUT
Promenade Deck (Category A) AU$6,190*
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom AU$6,990*
Bookings subject to availability. Valid for sale until 31 March 2021, unless sold out prior.

Expedition Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts
  • Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown
  • Swim, snorkel, dive or simply view the iconic marine species of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Observe the vibrant underwater world of the untouched outer Great Barrier Reef
  • Enjoy solitude and seven magical Queensland sunsets
  • Sip sundowners and feel the sand beneath your feet on isolated sand cays and uninhabited islands
  • Participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef, and possibly visit the turtle rehabilitation centre

Itinerary

DAY 1: DEPART CAIRNS
Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before joining your fellow explorers on the Sun Deck for Captains Welcome Drinks at Double Island, overlooking the lights of Palm Cove.

DAY 2: COOKTOWN
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, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.

DAY 3: LIZARD ISLAND
We 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.

DAY 4: OSPREY REEF
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.

Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

DAY 5: RIBBON REEF #9 & #3
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 led by our expert Expedition Team 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.

Steve’s Bommie at Ribbon Reef #3 rises from 30 metres deep up to just 5 metres below the water and attracts schools of bigeye trevally, barracuda, yellow-lined snapper, Moses perch, yellow-lined goatfish and many others. The amazing visibility and vibrant colours make it great for underwater photography.

DAY 6: MOSSMAN GORGE & MACKAY REEF
Relax on picturesque Mackay Cay and enjoy snorkelling the pristine reef that surrounds it. Mackay Reef is a mid-shelf platform reef, with vibrant hard and soft corals abound. The northern side enjoys additional protection from the cay, making it the perfect playground for turtles.

This afternoon, go ashore in Port Douglas and journey by coach into the rainforest surrounding Mossman Gorge. Be welcomed to country by members of the Kuku Yalangi tribe, the traditional owners of this region who have lived in harmony with the environment for over 50,000 years. Hear stories of the area from local custodians, before joining a walk along the river with an Indigenous guide who will share some of the secrets of the rainforest. There may be time for a dip in the refreshing natural waterhole at the end of your walk.

Be aware there are no facilities along the river walk, so prepare before arriving if you plan to swim.

DAY 7: FITZROY ISLAND & SUDBURY CAY
At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges.

Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and there may be an opportunity tolend a hand to the volunteers at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild.

Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.

DAY 8: ARRIVE CAIRNS
Our 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.

*Terms & Conditions:

  • Bookings subject to availability.
  • Prices are per person twin share, in Australian Dollars.
  • Pricing correct as at 30 December 2020 and may fluctuate due to changes in availability, surcharges, fees or taxes.
  • Standard Travel Club Terms and Conditions apply.
  • This tour is offered and managed by Coral Expeditions and their terms and conditions apply.
  • No airfares are included in the featured package, but assistance with booking can be provided.
  • Cancellation and change fees apply. Bookings are non-transferable.
  • Travel insurance is not included in the package. Please ensure you have valid Travel Insurance, or request a quotation.