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Welcome to Coral Expeditions

Coral Expeditions is a 34-year-old Australian expedition cruise company. We operate and manage a fleet of three small ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered, regions of Asia-Pacific. Over 5,000 travellers from all over the world come to us every year for our relaxed small ship atmosphere and tailor-made itineraries which larger ships cannot replicate. The personal interactions with the expedition team and other guests creates a wonderfully intimate experience, which maximises the adventurous spirit and expedition atmosphere of our cruises.


Coral Expeditions’ cuisine is prepared small batch on board, and while the style is down to earth, it reflects high-quality Australian produce and wine. We operate to Australian standards of safety with Australian senior crew wherever we go. We were the first to offer interpretive programmes on our cruises and to employ Expedition Leaders, Guest Lecturers, Marine Biologists, and Scuba Instructors – a tradition that continues today.


Our History

Started by a fisherman-entrepreneur with a passion for life at sea, the original Coral Princess, a converted ‘Fairmile’ submarine chaser was commissioned in 1983.

The company has always been based in Queensland, in the tropical north of Australia. Moving from Townsville in 2002 to its current base in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the company pioneered small ship expedition style cruising in the Kimberley, the Islands of the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea. Coral Expeditions remains the only major operator of extended small ship cruises on the Great Barrier Reef.

Many of the additions and developments during this period were innovative for the industry, including the use of interpretive guides and the build and launch of Coral Discoverer (formerly Oceanic Discoverer) in 2005 – a landmark vessel with global ocean capabilities built to very high standards in Australia. The Coral Discoverer remains the only Australian-flagged passenger vessel operating unrestricted international voyages.

Today, the Coral Expeditions fleet includes three purpose-built small ships that can be found anywhere from the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged coast of Tasmania and now, the coastal villages and great rivers of South East Asia.

We are pleased to announce the build of a new vessel, Coral Adventurer, to be delivered and take her maiden voyage in April 2019. This new ship is designed for ocean voyages to remote areas inaccessible to large cruise vessels. The design draws on the latest technical advances as well as Coral Expeditions’ 34 years of experience building and operating expedition ships. She will carry a maximum of only 120 guests in 60 cabins, preserving Coral Expeditions’ traditionally relaxed and intimate onboard atmosphere with no queues or waiting. She will be our largest vessel, with space for 120 guests, and will enable us to take more journeys into the remote coastal regions of South East Asia and Papua New Guinea.

Following a long maritime tradition, she will be Australian flagged and crewed and conform to the highest standards of build quality, operational redundancy and environmental compliance.

Click here to read more about Coral Adventurer.

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