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

The Outer Great Barrier Reef

7 Nights | Departing & returning Cairns | Coral Discoverer

Departs: October – December 2020

Covering an area of over 2600 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area. We pioneered extended expedition cruises on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef over 35 years ago and have forged a reputation for excellence and expertise in that time.

Aboard our expedition vessel Coral Discoverer, join us as we embark on immersive 7-day adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reefs. We take a maximum of 72 guests to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey, Escape and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and 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 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.

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving Information

 

Expedition Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts
  • Make a connection with 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
  • Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre and participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef

 

Fares

CORAL DISCOVERER TWIN SHARE PER PERSON SOLE USE*
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom $6,990 n/a
Promenade Deck (Category A) $6,190 n/a
Promenade Deck (Category B) n/a $7,113
Main Deck (Category A) $5,290 n/a
Main Deck (Category B) $4,750 n/a

 

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. Children under the age of 12 travel at 25% off the adult fares listed above. *Limited sole use occupancy available.

Out of this world cruise adventure! Coral Expeditions is simply the best adventure experience you can have on the water. Over 7 days we saw and swam with an amazing diversity of marine life. Too many corals and fish to mention and we had the special experience of seeing sharks, turtles and following a graceful manta ray. We had a great time with fellow guests from around the world and we shared good times with a fun and attentive crew who run a tight ship. They are clearly very experienced and work hard to make sure guests get the best and most out of their trip. We had so much amazing food and sitting ashore at sunset with a glass of champagne at Sudbury Cay made us feel like millionaires. If you are thinking of a cruise of this kind we strongly recommend Coral Expeditions.

– Finn 2019

Your Expedition Highlights

Make a connection with indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with 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 collections of flora of the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective with artifacts are on display.

Meet the iconic marine species of the Great Barrier Reef

Over 7 days, swim, snorkel, dive or view the iconic and charismatic marine species. Wildlife surrounds us on the Great Barrier Reef and along the way will see turtles gliding through the shallows, find nemo nestled amongst the coral reef and marvel at the magnificent humpback whales on their winter migration.  With a true expedition spirit, we will have the flexibility to change course to enjoy these rare moments in nature without the constraints of time.

Observe the vibrant underwater world of the untouched outer Great Barrier Reef

Far from the Australian mainland and away from the reach of the day touring operators, we will enjoy the rare opportunity to swim, snorkel and dive on offshore and remote coral reefs such as Escape and Ribbon Reefs, exploring an extraordinary marine wonderland that few are privileged to experience in their lifetime. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility at Osprey Reef, which Sir David Attenborough called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds,’ where a 2,000m underwater mountain rises near-vertical from the seabed beyond the continental shelf.

Enjoy the solitude and seven magical Queensland sunsets

Settle in and enjoy the soul enriching rhythm of the Coral Sea. Surrounded by open space and disconnected from the modern world, our trails are guided by the sun, the stars, the winds and the tides. Onboard Coral Discoverer an endless mosaic of blues and greens brushes by, interrupted only by soaring seabirds and flying fish that skitter across the surface. Let the feeling of freedom wash over you and relax in this rare natural habitat.

Sip Sundowners feel the sand beneath your feet on uninhabited islands and sand cays

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 sinks below the horizon.

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts

With 35 years of experience as pioneers of expedition voyages on the Great Barrier Reef, our team of expert guides will share their knowledge and deepen yours throughout the voyage. Guest lecturers specializing in marine biology, culture and reef science travel with us and are on hand to provide insight and answer any questions. The creation stories and modern issues facing the reef are both fascinating and complex and we will demystify the ever changing and evolving environment of the world’s largest living wonder.

Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre and participate in efforts to preserve the reef

Gain valuable knowledge and contribute to long-term conservation of the Great Barrier Reef as we take part in citizen science along the journey. Complete underwater surveys as you snorkel and participate in the Eye on the Reef program by recording interesting sightings. Be joined by Master Reef Guides who are recognized as the world’s leading reef interpreters and storytellers. Lend a hand to the volunteers at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and meet the marine park managers in action.

Meet Expedition Leader Marysia Pawlikowska

Marine Biologist Marysia has a contagious love for the Great Barrier Reef. She was involved in various research projects with CSIRO and AIMS (Australian Institute of Marine Biology), and recently graduated from the Master Reef Guides program. She is now recognised as one of the world’s leading reef guides, interpreters and storytellers sharing the wonders of the GBR through engaging and educational experiences.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARYSIA

 

Meet Master Charlie Bettini

“Seeing the ecstatic faces and hearing the pure joy in their voices as our passenger’s comment on what they have witnessed and learnt, is for me the most important, satisfying and unforgettable experience that the Great Barrier Reef can provide. I refer to this natural wonder as my “office” and as far as I am concerned I work in the very best office in the world!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHARLIE

 

Meet Master Josh Coxall

Equipped with a Degree in Marine Biology and a love for the sea, Josh has been exploring the Great Barrier Reef with Coral Expeditions for over 10 years. Starting as a Trip Director, you now find Josh in the Bridge as Master. Pop into our Open Bridge for a chat with him as he navigates you through the Coral Sea.

LEARN MORE ABOUT JOSH

Itinerary

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

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 as we cruise northwards from Cairns toward Cooktown.

At days end join fellow explorers and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2: Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with 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 artifacts are on display.

Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset drinks at Turtle Beach. After dinner, look for giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks during a fish feeding exhibition off the aft deck.

Day 3: 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.

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 & Hope Island

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.

In the late afternoon we stretch our legs on remote Hope Island before joining fellow explorers and crew for sunset drinks on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Day 6: Daintree River & Ribbon Reef #3

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 onboard 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 step ashore at a Daintree wilderness centre on the banks of the river and walk on forest trails overhung with lush vegetation. Immersed in the rainforest, we learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world.

Cruising southwards along the Ribbon Reefs, there are more spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities at Ribbon Reef #3 where we look for iconic species as well as the vibrantly coloured coral gardens the Ribbon Reefs are renowned for.

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 lend a hand to the volunteers as we learn about the turtles 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.

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.

October 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
14 October 2020 14 Oct 2020 21 October 2020 21 Oct 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
21 October 2020 21 Oct 2020 28 October 2020 28 Oct 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
28 October 2020 28 Oct 2020 04 November 2020 04 Nov 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book

November 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
28 October 2020 28 Oct 2020 04 November 2020 04 Nov 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
04 November 2020 04 Nov 2020 11 November 2020 11 Nov 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
11 November 2020 11 Nov 2020 18 November 2020 18 Nov 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
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
25 November 2020 25 Nov 2020 02 December 2020 02 Dec 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book

December 2020

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
25 November 2020 25 Nov 2020 02 December 2020 02 Dec 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
02 December 2020 02 Dec 2020 09 December 2020 09 Dec 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book
09 December 2020 09 Dec 2020 16 December 2020 16 Dec 2020 $4,750 to $6,990 $4,750 to $6,990 Coral Discoverer Available Book

Your cruise price includes: 

  • Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Discoverer
  • Snorkelling & scuba equipment
  • Expert Expedition Team, including a Great Barrier Reef expert Marine Biologist
  • Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels, and kayaks where conditions allow
  • Small batch local dining, prepared fresh onboard: buffet breakfasts, buffet lunches and table d’hote dinners
  • Showcase wines, selected beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
  • Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports

 

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 (available at a cost)
  • Australian entry visas or travel permits
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted) laundry charges and souvenir purchases

 

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 explore@coralexpeditions.com