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Our SailSAFE Plan

As we operate in the changing environment that the presence of COVID-19 has created, it is our priority to keep our guests and crew safe while travelling with us. We want our guests and crew to have the greatest confidence that their safety and wellbeing have been thoroughly considered. We have put in place a range of protocols to manage our expeditions in a world in which COVID-19 exists. We have partnered with Respond Global, an experienced medical advisory agency, to assist us in developing a prevention and response system that is among the most thorough in the world.

All passengers must follow specific declaration and testing requirements pre-cruise. As your voyage departure approaches, please read through our SailSAFE Plan carefully, and review the requirements detailed in the SailSAFE Questionnaire. With three levels, the SailSAFE Plan is intended to guide you through the medical requirements to ensure you are cleared to board our vessel. Please also review our guides on receiving your PCR Test.


As your voyage departure approaches, our SailSAFE plan requires you to take a COVID-19 PCR test between 48 – 90 hours prior to check-in for your cruise. This step-by-step information is intended to assist you in finding the correct time and location for your PCR test. We recommend choosing where you will take your PCR test as early as possible, as it may need to fit in with your travel arrangements. You will also need to advise our reservations team where you intend to receive your PCR Test.

a. Coral Expeditions has partnered with the Australia-wide Sonic Healthcare Group, and we have appointed them as our preferred testing clinic. We recommend using our partner clinics to ensure your test is completed easily and results are received to our dashboard in good time for your cruise departure (your test is an elective asymptomatic test; this can mean you may not be given priority if you choose to go through the public system). We provide a Sonic Pathology Form for you to take with you to our partner pathology to receive your test. Tests through our partner clinics can also be tracked or given high priority if needed. The cost for this test ranges between AUD$100 to $140* (plus GST) per person (*Weekend rates may apply.) Sonic/Sullivan Nicolaides will invoice directly to Coral Expeditions and this charge will then be added to your onboard account. We do not believe
these expenses can be claimed on Medicare. Sonic Healthcare Group has facilities around the country, which can be searched at the below links. Filter by ‘Coronavirus testing’ and by ‘Postcode’ to identify your nearest clinic.

Please Note: Currently the only Sonic Healthcare testing location for Hobart is Hobart Showgrounds – Drive Through Clinic, Howard Road – Glenorchy, TAS

b. You may choose to use another pathology facility or use the public health system for your PCR Test. If this is the case, please note that your testing window of 48 to 90 hours prior to check-in is still required. You will also be required to bring a time-stamped receipt of your negative result with you to Check-in to be viewed by our medical staff, and email a screenshot to prior to check-in. Note that if you do not use our partner pathology, Coral Expeditions will not have visibility on the status or tracking of your test results and will not be able to request priority delivery of results. There have been times where the public health system has refused to provide asymptomatic testing.

Due to the nature of coronavirus and pathology testing time frames, we require that your PCR Test be taken between 48 to 90 hours prior to your cruise. Please follow these timing requirements as they are very important to deliver results on time and with the most accuracy. Note that any test completed outside of the time frame is not medically acceptable.
You will find your check-in time in your boarding pass and pre-departure documents. We recommend booking an appointment with your chosen pathology. Our reservations team is at hand if you have any questions.

Please advise us as soon as you are aware of where and when you will take your PCR test. If you are taking your test in Western Australia, see below an additional step that we will need to take on your behalf to finalise your PCR Test. If you are NOT receiving your test in Western Australia, go straight to Point 4.

a. If you choose to take your PCR Test in Broome, Coral Expeditions will coordinate with the Clinipath facilities in Broome to reserve an appointment time for you at the right date and time. The Broome pathology will then contact you to confirm your appointment time. Note that the Broome pathology has special opening hours for our guests. As the time of your test will be set, we advise not making other plans in Broome until your appointment is confirmed.

b. If you choose to take your PCR Test anywhere else in Western Australia at one of our partner pathologies, we will coordinate approvals for this with the WA Chief Health Officer.

c. If you choose to take your PCR test anywhere else in Western Australia at a pathology of your own choice, simply let them know your require an asymptomatic PCR Test and
advise them of the vessel name and cruise departure date.

Please advise us within 35 days from departure that you will be taking your PCR test in Western Australia.

If you have taken your test at one of our partner clinics, the results will be received to our dashboard in good time for your cruise departure. Tests through our partner clinics can also be tracked or given high priority if needed. These results are kept confidential and will only be viewed by our SailSAFE Director, and onboard medical staff.

If you have taken your test at a pathology of your choice, you will also be required to bring a timestamped receipt of your negative result with you to Check-in to be viewed by our medical staff, and email a screenshot to prior to check-in. Often this result is received as a text message to your mobile phone. It is imperative that you have evidence of the time the test was taken as if it is outside of 48-90 hours prior, it will not be medically acceptable.


Respond Global provides solutions to health-related emergencies by empowering national and international organisations to deliver an effective, appropriate local response, when needed, supported by field-tested technical expertise. Their focus is on delivering customised programmes.

Respond Global possess a unique blend of public health, disease outbreak, water and sanitation and maritime expertise, recently applied to numerous COVID-19 related response efforts. Respond Global has been actively involved in the COVID-19 response at the national and international levels including managing cruise ship COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing treatment and quarantine plans.

Respond Global are currently working with the world’s leading public health experts in advising company boards internationally about how to re-establish their businesses post-COVID-19.


SailSAFE Frequently Asked Questions

Currently, evidence of a negative PCR test is required before boarding our ships in line with our SailSAFE health protocols. We will continue to monitor government advice regarding PCR testing and will inform of any changes to the SailSAFE health protocols as they arise. Our PCR testing process is detailed within our SailSAFE health protocols. Click here for more information.

Guests and crew will be required to follow any and all localised health directives and may be required to wear masks when in indoor public settings whilst onboard for reasons of health management.

At present we have followed federal guidelines of 16 and over. We expect this will be revised in time and we are already seeing some states direct that this age is now 12 and over eg Tasmania. We will publish updates to our policy, and you must always comply with the directives of the state and territory you are travelling in.

In December 2021 we made the following updates to our SailSAFE process.

  1. All guests and crew over the age of 16 must be fully vaccinated which includes booster shots when able to access.
  2. We have also added an extra measure of all guests and crew taking a self-administered Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at the pre boarding check in which will be overseen by our medical and expedition specialists. These will also be carried on board for use where we are directed by health authorities.

We are able to recommend a number of options to assist and we are working daily with health authorities to address these new requirements. Options include;

  1. Arrive early at the destination in order to be able to complete your PCR testing requirements pre cruise
  2. We are in advanced talks seeking exemption for our expeditions to use Rapid Antigen Tests on board given the extensive pre screening we do and the precedent of operating with these tests over the past 15 months. This has been approved by both QLD and SA as at 20th December 2021
  3. We have arranged ship visits and shore stops where it is possible on the expedition to accommodate this testing to take place in one ship cohort for all those guests who need it

In most regions there is some flexibility with the timing of these tests as long as we have advance notice and are able to engage with guests and authorities to plan this.

We operated for a full year in 2021 with over 30 cruises in Western Australia entering from Darwin and we have daily contact with the Department of Health and State Police in managing our operations. Our SailSAFE plan has been approved and accepted as a safe health protocol. In recent weeks the WA government have announced that the state borders will open on February 5th 2022 to domestic travellers with WA having achieved its 90% vaccination rate. We see no impediment to travel at present and we have plans in place for all required pre arrival testing to be managed onboard in compliance with WA laws.

Our goal has always been to prevent any risk of infection on our ships and we encourage any concerned guest to contact us for assistance. If a guest is unable to travel for a Covid related reason, we have a travel policy that allows guests to receive a future cruise credit for our voyages to the full value of monies paid. Refunds may be considered where guests are able to provide medical evidence they are unable to travel again in the future. Of course, we require prior notice is provided to us in line with our cruise ticket terms.

On a selection of recently released voyages since the pandemic started, we have offered a Refund Guarantee to passengers who are affected and are unable to travel for Covid related reasons. Simply advise us of your circumstance and we will offer you a cruise credit OR a refund which will be processed in 14 days of your cancellation.

Coral Expeditions will always adhere to government directives and regulations. We are in regular contact with senior officials in all state and territories and have a full and thorough understanding of the requirements relating to our voyages. Our voyages are governed by specific maritime directions and many hotline staff may not be fully abreast of these requirements. We will be able to clarify with full accuracy any information related to your travel. We are in ultimate control of access to our vessels and will not risk the health of other guests nor the terms of our operating permissions based on situations of hearsay.

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