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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. From ourbase 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. The Coral Expeditions’ product has always been about immersive excursions to remote areas untouched by ‘normal’ cruise ships and tourism operators. Given its origins in the Great Barrier Reef, it should come as no surprise that environmentally sensitive operations within minimal impact is baked into the company’s DNA from inception. Coral Expeditions remains the only major operator of extended small ship cruises on the Great Barrier Reef.

As the company grew, it pioneered many developments that have become standard in the cruise industry such as the use of interpretive guides onboard and the practice of inclusive shore excursions. The build of Coral Discoverer in 2005 was also a landmark – a state-of-the art small ship with global ocean capabilities built to very high standards in Australia.

Today, with the launch of Coral Adventurer and the build of sister ship Coral Geographer, Coral Expeditions is continuing to expand on a rich Australian heritage and take cruises further and further afield.  Coral Expeditions is one of the largest employers of Australian seafarers today.

Ship Concept