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Cape York and Arnhem Land Art Themed Darwin to Cairns Coral Expeditions

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Torres Strait & Cape York | Horn Island - Cairns | 10 Nights

Explore Australia’s Remote North

10 Nights | Departing Cairns, 21 October or 11 November 2021 | Arriving Horn Island

Join Coral Expeditions on a small ship adventure to explore the mystical Torres Strait Islands and the remote coastlines to the tip of Cape York. Share an intimate expedition onboard Coral Discoverer with a maximum of 70 guests that takes in small islands and reefs of the northern Great Barrier Reef, coastal walks along Cape York and the magic and mystery of our rarely seen Torres Strait Islands.

With almost 300 islands dotted across the narrow stretch of water between Cape York and Papua New Guinea, the people of the Torres Strait Islands have a distinct and vibrant culture. An expedition by small ship is the ideal way to access these remote regions and guests will be rewarded with the chances to meet these island communities and share their culture in a low impact and sustainable environment. With decades of experience and a deep respect for the communities of the region, Coral Expeditions will facilitate an enriching journey accompanied and hosted by local elders who will share the customs and stories of this ancient country.

Join us aboard Coral Discoverer for a strictly limited season of expeditions each year to these unforgettable and ancient lands.

This itinerary is also available in the reverse direction (Northbound) for 10 nights departing Cairns 21 October and 11 November and arriving in Horn Island.

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Expedition highlights:

  • Experience the vibrant art, culture and natural beauty of the Torres Strait Islands, including community visits to Badu and Moa Islands
  • Land at the northernmost tip of Australia at Pajinka on Cape York for a sunset or sunrise champagne toast
  • Snorkel remote reefs and bird-watch at Davie Cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore Lizard Island’s reefs and beaches and hike to historic Cook’s Look
  • Share time with local artists and purchase from the source in community art centres
  • View rock art at Stanley Island, with interpretation by a traditional owner guide
  • Learn about Indigenous culture and maritime history at Cooktown and Restoration Island



Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $15,750 n/a
Promenade Deck (Category A) $13,650 n/a
Promenade Deck (Category B)  n/a $18,900
Main Deck (Category A) $11,550 n/a
Main Deck (Category B) $10,900 n/a

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.



Embark: Board at Horn Island on 31 October and 21 November at 4pm for 5pm departure.
Disembark: Arrive at Cairns at 8am.

The below itinerary is indicative. No two cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same, with each expedition crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Day 1: Depart Horn Island

Option for a pre-cruise tour of Horn Island.

Board Coral Discoverer at Horn Island 31 October and 21 November at 4pm for 5pm departure.  Enjoy afternoon tea onboard and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as we set sail southwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

There are daily flights to Horn Island Airport from Cairns. These are not included in the cruise fare.

Day 2: Torres Strait Island – Expedition Stop

In true expedition style, we will follow the conditions on the day to choose another Torres Strait island to spend the day visiting, with a chance for cultural experiences and to relax in the pristine and scenic natural surrounds. Potential islands we may visit include Hammond, Prince of Wales, Mer or Erub depending on the conditions on the day.

Day 3: Moa Island

Visit the art centre and join in print, weaving and jewellery making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.

Day 4: Badu Island

In the morning, we visit the indigenous art centre to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye.

Enjoy traditional kai kai (Traditional Lunch) prepared by the local community – a feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.

Day 5: Cape York & Thursday Island (Waiben)

Step ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent as the sun rises, and sip champagne to welcome the new day.

Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island we also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Centre and local shopping.

Day 6: Forbes Island & Remote Islets

Glass Bottom Boat Coral Viewing

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. We also have an opportunity to go beachcombing at a nearby remote island, possibly Magra, Saunders, or Sir Charles Hardy.

Day 7: Tijou Reef & Restoration Island

Snorkelling Reef with Coral Expeditions

Enjoy snorkel, scuba and glass-bottom boat opportunities on the remote Tijou Reef.

Visit Restoration Island or Resto, as the locals call it.  Here Captain Bligh, of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789. He named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was Oak Apple Day, the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.

Today Restoration Island is not just a National Park; one-third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former mining tycoon, who, after losing his fortune in the Black Friday market crash, decided to live a solitary existence on the island, and has done so for over 2 decades. It is an idyllic coastal island with a granite and volcanic peak 116 metres in height and a beautiful shark tooth-shaped beach spit where guest will enjoy water activities and time to explore the island.

Day 8: Stanley Island, Davie Reef & Davie Cay

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art guided by a traditional owner who will offer an interpretation. The art here depicts the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef enjoy swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours and see Brown Boobie bird colonies at Davie Cay.

Day 9: Lizard Island

Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Join an optional hike to Cook’s Look and be rewarded with exceptional views over the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson on a walk to her cottage. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens and colourful coral and visit the Lizard Island Research Station.

Day 10: Cooktown


Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870s. Here you will have the choice of a guided indigenous cultural tour, or a guided Cooktown historic tour. You will also have the opportunity for time at leisure to explore Cooktown’s attractions which include art galleries, the botanic gardens, James Cook Museum (with original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour), lookouts, and a walk to the top of Grassy Hill.

Day 11: Arrive Cairns

Our incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end. Arrive at Cairns at 8am.

November 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
13 November 2021 13 Nov 2021 23 November 2021 23 Nov 2021 $10,900 to $15,750 $10,900 to $15,750 Coral Discoverer Available Book

Our friendly reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Contact our team on 1800 079 545 during business hours in Australia or email


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.