Our reservation staff are available between Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 5.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Bookings now open for our September 2020 departure.
Join our pioneering voyage down Western Australia’s Coral coast on board Coral Discoverer. This “scouting” voyage will be the first time we explore this extraordinary marine environment. Departing Broome, we will visit the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park, the Dampier Archipelago and the historic Montebello Islands. Our voyage will culminate with a visit to Ningaloo Reef, home to the gentle and giant whale sharks and manta rays. Our marine experts and guides will lead our discovery of the untouched atolls, mega marine fauna and rare bird species that are found in this pristine coastal habitat.
This voyage is in partnership with Australian Geographic.
> Snorkel and dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals, accompanied by our on board Marine Biologist
> Swim with the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef (subject to nature)
> Discover sites of cultural significance to Indigenous Australians, with interpretation by a knowledgeable on-board expert
> See notable historic sites of European exploration
> View birdlife on remote island groups
Embark: Board at Broome Wharf at 4:00pm for 5:00pm departure.
Disembark: Arrive and disembark at Broome Wharf at 08:00am.
Our adventure down the West Coast is a true expedition. Our Master and Expedition Team will adjust the itinerary to best suit the tidal and weather conditions and maximise the guest experience.
Here are the expedition destinations:
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs. Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish. Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for suburb underwater photography opportunities.
Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke and perhaps Mermaid or Imperieuse reefs, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities. With each atoll covering approximately 90 sq km, there will be plenty to see! Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons. Try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roosts there.
The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. They are home to a complex system of reefs, lagoons and channels which offer a range of habitats for marine life. The mangrove systems here are unique and scientifically significant, and its seaweed beds are fodder for dugongs. Green, Hawksbill and flatback turtles are regularly seen here, as are whales and dolphins. A twitcher’s delight, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oystercatchers
The islands also have a fascinating maritime history. The survivors of the Dutch vessel Trial swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, being the first Europeans to land on the islands. The Montes also have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today.
Spend a full day exploring this island group, with opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and birdwatching. Visit Champagne Bay and Turtle Lagoon. Discover Ground Zero of the atomic blast at Trimouille Island, and view the inscribed plinth there marking the site.
Located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.
Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. Most people do not realise that this is the richest area of marine bio-diversity in all of Western Australia – snorkellers will delight in the coral reefs and over 650 species of fish. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in the area and the archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby.
The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area.
With our onboard naturalist and historian, explore the archipelago’s pastoral, pearling and cultural past that is still visible today in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. Learn about the tragic Flying Foam Massacre(s) of 1865, in which an entire tribe, language and people were all but exterminated. There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. This is also where mega marine life come to feed during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements.
We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay and its underwater playground. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay, and learn about WA’s interesting heritage at the ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station. As we cruise the ‘Humpback Highway’ down the coast, have the opportunity to watch these majestic whales breach close by. Spend a day with an experienced local operator, with the chance to swim with some of the mega fauna this region is known for (these encounters are subject to nature and cannot be guaranteed).
Depuch Island, or Womala as it is known to the traditional custodians of this area, has been called the ‘Uluru of the Sea’. This volcanic island is of significant cultural value to the Ngaluma Aboriginal Tribe, being home to literally thousands of Aboriginal engravings. It was also a site visited by European explorers, including Baudin’s expedition on Le Geographe – there is even an enscribing left by the crew of the HMAS Beagle. Go ashore with the expedition team and explore this other-worldly and desolate landscape, observing its unique geology and petroglyphs dating back thousands of years.
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Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On our vessels, our crew has no other agenda than your delight.
Now that you’ve chosen your cruise, our reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible.
To speak to our reservations team, call 1800 079 545 (within Australia) or email email@example.com.
Don’t forget, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance with any cruise purchase. See below for further details.
Recommended Broome Hotels
Located on beautiful Roebuck Bay, the newly refurbished, 3-star Mercure Broome is positioned amongst a tropical garden and located an easy 10 minute walk to central Broome and its many attractions. The comfortable rooms are fully air-conditioned and offer all the comforts for a memorable stay in Broome.
The only resort located directly on Cable Beach, award-winning Cable Beach Club offers a unique blend of cultural influences and architecture. The spacious and airy studios are located among magnificent gardens and resort pools. Choose to dine at one of the resort’s four restaurants, each overlooking spectacular Cable Beach. Truly a luxurious start or finish to your expedition.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. It should also include emergency evacuation and repatriation cover.
We recommend Travel Insurance by SureSave.
SureSave, is an Australian company who specialise in travel insurance designed for travellers. SureSave provides world assistance through a customer support team, a claims team and an in-house 24/7 Emergency Assistance division. Underwritten by Lloyds of London, you get peace of mind knowing your security is guaranteed.
Please note: SureSave Travel Insurance policies may only be purchased by Australian residents. For international travellers, please discuss your policy requirements with your local insurance provider.