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Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef | Cairns - Cairns | 7 Nights | Photography

Explore Underwater Photography With Darren Jew & Jasmine Carey

7 Nights | Departing Cairns 18th November 2020 & returning Cairns 25 November 2020  | Coral Discoverer

Are you interested in discovering the Great Barrier Reef through the lens of a camera?  Internationally awarded underwater photographers Darren Jew and Jasmine Carey will be joining our 18 November 2020 departure.  Join their onboard workshops and guided underwater photography tours to see the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef from a whole new perspective. Check out the Top 5 Underwater Photography Tips from Darren and Jasmine here.

Aboard our expedition vessel Coral Discoverer, we embark on an immersive 7-day adventure to the remote and untouched Northern reefs.  Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.

Onboard you will also be accompanied by expert guides including a Marine Biologist, and our purpose designed small ships are custom built for expedition cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders we will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.

If you can’t join us on the 18th November 2020, check out our other Great Barrier Reef 2020 dates HERE.


Expedition Highlights

  • Photography workshops & guided tours with Darren Jew and Jasmine Carey
  • Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts
  • Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown
  • Swim, snorkel, dive or simply view the iconic marine species of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Observe the vibrant underwater world of the untouched outer Great Barrier Reef
  • Enjoy solitude and seven magical Queensland sunsets
  • Sip sundowners and feel the sand beneath your feet on isolated sand cays and uninhabited islands
  • Participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef, and possibly visit the turtle rehabilitation centre



Special Offers: 

  • Flexible Deposit: Book now with 30 days before deposit required
  • Book now, pay later without Flexible Deposit
  • Complimentary $500 travel credit per person
  • No solo supplement for solo travellers
  • Kids 4-14 travel half price
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $6,990 n/a
Promenade Deck (Category A) $6,190 $6,190
Promenade Deck (Category B) n/a $7,113
Main Deck (Category A) $5,290 $5,290
Main Deck (Category B) $4,750 n/a

Special Offers T&Cs Apply. Contact our friendly reservations team to learn more. Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.


Travel Update - Covid Page


Embark: Board Coral Discoverer in Cairns at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure
Disembark: Arrive in Cairns at 7:30am and disembark at 8:00am


Complimentary Pre-Cruise Accommodation in 2020

1-night accommodation at the Pullman Hotel or equivalent with continental breakfast is also included in your cruise fare.

Day 1: Depart Cairns

Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before joining your fellow explorers on the Sun Deck for Captains Welcome Drinks at Double Island, overlooking the lights of Palm Cove.

Day 2: Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and learn the history of the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artefacts are on display.

Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.

Day 3: Lizard Island

Lizard Island

We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson.

There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.

Learn more about Lizard Island >

Day 4: Osprey Reef

Iconic Species Of The Great Barrier Reef TH

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough.

Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Day 5: Ribbon Reef #9 & #3

The Ribbon Reefs are a narrow line of outer coral reefs on the edge of the continental shelf and are renowned for their prolific marine life and extensive coral species. Enjoy the rare opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Ribbon Reefs which sit on the edge of the continental shelf.

Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles.

Steve’s Bommie at Ribbon Reef #3 rises from 30 metres deep up to just 5 metres below the water and attracts schools of bigeye trevally, barracuda, yellow-lined snapper, Moses perch, yellow-lined goatfish and many others. The amazing visibility and vibrant colours make it great for underwater photography.

> Learn More about the Ribbon Reefs

Day 6: Daintree River & Mackay Reef


Explore the 127km-long Daintree River which cuts through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. With an expert guide, we look for the region’s famed wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, rare and endangered cassowaries and the prolific bird species that inhabit the forest and mangrove-lined river banks.

We learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem that is the Daintree, which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world.

Afterwards, relax on the picturesque beach that is Mackay Cay, and enjoy snorkelling the pristine reef that surrounds it. Mackay Reef is a mid-shelf platform reef, with vibrant hard and soft corals abound. The northern side enjoys additional protection from the cay, making it the perfect playground for turtles.

Day 7: Fitzroy Island & Sudbury Cay

At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges.

Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and there may be an opportunity tolend a hand to the volunteers at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild.

Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.

*Turtle Rehabilitation Centre tour is not available for our voyage departing 21 October. 

Day 8: Arrive Cairns

Our Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am.

Note: *Tours of the Lizard Island Research Station are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed due to operational considerations.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. 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.

November 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
18 November 2020 18 Nov 2020 25 November 2020 25 Nov 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • 1-night pre-cruise accommodation with continental breakfast
  • All excursions and sightseeing with our Expedition Team, including a Great Barrier Reef expert Marine Biologist
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Snorkelling & Scuba equipment
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • Your expedition photos captured throughout the voyage
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, selected beers, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
  • 24 hour Coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

What’s not included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Scuba diving rates
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service (Due to COVID procedures, laundry is not available on this voyage)
  • Australian entry visas or travel permits
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, souvenir purchases, phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of included drinks package)

Tipping not required:

Other cruise lines automatically add gratuities to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. On Coral Discoverer, our crew has no other agenda than your delight

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. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.


As always, 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. Please read our SailSAFE plan for the requirements of each passenger prior to joining us.

Photos From Your Expedition

Following your expedition, you will receive a link by email to free download the images taken throughout your voyage by our Expedition Team. Please make sure that you have provided our reservations team with your relevant email address.

Hikes On This Expedition

Most walks are leisurely strolls along beaches, however, there are some more strenuous walks on offer:

  • Fitzroy Island Lighthouse or Summit Walk
  • Cook’s Look on Lizard Island
  • Grassy Hill Light, Cooktown

An alternative excursion will always be offered in place of higher impact walks. The Expedition Team will advise walking conditions and requirements prior to each excursion.

Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team in advance prior to your departure.

Getting to & from the wharf

Pre-Cruise: Your complimentary 1-night accommodation hotel is a short two-minute walk from the Cruise Liner Terminal. Coral Expeditions will provide a complimentary transfer of luggage from Coral Expeditions’ specified hotel.

Post-Cruise: A complimentary transfer is provided to CBD hotels or the airport. Transfers to the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas can be arranged on board with the Purser (at cost), if not already arranged prior to embarkation.

Weather in Tropical North Queensland

North Queensland is home to some of the best weather year-round that Australia has to offer. Its sunny days, warm waters, cool ocean breezes and generally comfortable climate are part of what makes it such a popular holiday destination. During our expedition voyages from October to December, the average daily temperature will be around 27 to 32 C, with water temperatures around a comfortable 28 C. October to December is possibly the best time of year to travel on the Great Barrier Reef. Generally, 10-15 knot south-easterly winds and glass outs are common.

Additional Information

Packing Tips

Due to the warm, tropical climate of this region, guests should pack lightweight clothing which can be layered. Wet-landings are common and pants which can be rolled up, shorts or a cotton skirt/dress are ideal. A lightweight long-sleeved shirt will help provide protection from the sun or any mosquitoes. Comfortable walking shoes and wet landing shoes such as reef walkers, Tevas or old sneakers are recommended. A packing checklist will be provided in your pre-departure documentation from our Reservations team after booking.

Recommended Readings

  • Cairns: Reef to Rainforest – Peter Jarver
  • The Great Barrier Reef – James Bowen & Margarita Bowen
  • The Great Barrier Reef – Len Zell
  • Endeavour: The Ship and the attitude that changed the world – Peter Moore
  • A Life Underwater – Charlie Veron

We also recommend watching Tales By Light season 1 episode 1 if you would like to learn a little more about Darren Jew.