Our reservation staff are available Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 5.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Important requirements & information.
Here you will find essential information to help you prepare for your voyage, as well as some frequently asked questions. Your comprehensive Pre-Departure Documents will be emailed 30 days prior to your sailing date.
Coral Expeditions is following a two-step testing process to minimise covid infections on our ships.
First, guests are required to complete a self-administered COVID Rapid Antigen Test in the privacy of their own home or hotel, and upload a photo of the results through our app https://coral.respondglobal.com. This test needs to be taken within a 24-hour window of cruise departure. This pre-arrival test reduces last-minute uncertainty and infection risk at the check-in venue.
Second, upon arrival at the check-in venue, guests have to undertake a further Rapid Antigen Test overseen by our team. Coral Expeditions will provide the test kits. This step provides an added layer of safety for all guests.
As part of our Terms & Conditions, Coral Expeditions require mandatory COVID vaccination for all guests and crew, including a booster shot if eligible. Your vaccination details should be provided to us along with other passenger details, using the designated form (link here). Exemptions to vaccinations are accepted in line with prevailing Australian federal government standards. Vaccination requirements for children will follow prevailing Federal Health and AHPRA guidelines.
All guests must comply with our SailSAFE Plan. The key elements of this plan are:
All guests and crew must conduct a RAT test within 24 hours of departure, with a negative result required for boarding.
Self-Reporting RAT test app: Guests now have the ability to conduct their COVID test prior to meeting at the check-in venue, and upload a photo of the results through our dashboard here: https://coral.respondglobal.com. This provides the comfort of conducting the test privately and relieves the stress of doing the test last minute at the check-in venue. The test must be conducted and submitted within 24 hours of departure.
Check-In Venue: Guests must arrive at the designated venue for check-in and clearance prior to embarkation. Upon arrival at the check-in venue, guests have to undertake a further Rapid Antigen Test overseen by our team. Coral Expeditions will provide the test kits.
Our Covid-positive protocols are determined by the directives of the relevant state health authorities. Please note that these requirements are continually changing as the pattern of Covid infections evolve. Government policies in place at the time of your travel will apply.
Any guest who shows symptoms of COVID onboard is required to inform our crew who will administer a RAT promptly. If you test positive, you have to undertake a period of isolation in your stateroom to protect your fellow travellers, or ashore in a hotel or your residence on disembarkation.
Guests in isolation onboard will be served our normal meals and beverages in-room and will be attended to by our resident medical professional as required. Coral Expeditions does not cover any liability for loss of experience or other impacts associated with any isolation or quarantine arising from the voyage. We will not be able to offer any refunds on the portion of the cruise that is affected by Covid infection.
We have made a successful return to cruising since October 2020 and our SailSAFE medical protocols are approved by all authorities.
Nevertheless, if any new health directions from any government authority:
> affects your ability to travel to join the ship and you inform us of this development; or
> renders us unable to operate our voyage and we inform you of this development
Then we will provide you a 100% ‘cruise credit’ to the full amount of the net fare received by Coral Expeditions which you can apply to a subsequent departure of your choice and date.
In order to avoid forfeiting your non-refundable deposit due to an unforeseen personal circumstance, Coral Expeditions offers Deposit Protection. This is entirely optional and can be invoked for any reason by the guest prior to 90 days before the departure date at a $110 per person fee at the time of booking. Deposit Protection allows guests to transfer their deposit payment towards any future Coral Expeditions trip in the event they do not wish to travel on the cruise they originally booked. Terms apply with respect to forward notice of deferral requests, read more.
On many of our itineraries you will enjoy opportunities to snorkel and scuba dive to explore vibrant coral reefs and spot marine wildlife. Our snorkelling and scuba diving departments are fully stocked to fit all sizes.
Snorkelling equipment will be assigned to all guests at the commencement of their cruise. There is no charge for this. A qualified Dive Instructor will be on board for all our scuba itineraries. During your cruise, an introductory scuba skills session is complimentary, while all Resort and Certified Dives will be charged to your onboard account. Our Dive Instructors guide those who have never dived before through the resort dive program and also provide experienced leadership to certified open-water divers at each dive site.
For guests who wish to participate in either Certified diving or Resort diving (introductory diving), we require you to complete the Divers Medical Questionnaire prior to your journey. This is for a doctor to review and assess your diving health. Based on this information, our onboard Dive Instructor will make the ultimate determination of a person’s condition and suitability to dive.
Laundry services are available onboard. Please note that these services are limited to basic laundry only. Laundry bags and forms are stored in your wardrobe for collection by your cruise attendants. Charges for this service will be posted to your onboard account. As the service is for laundering only, please ask the hospitality staff if you require an iron and ironing board.
Wi-Fi is available in all guest areas onboard each of our vessels at a cost.
*Prices listed in AUD.
Owing to the impact on the ship’s electronic and navigation equipment, permit restrictions and remote area safety considerations, we do not permit Remotely Piloted Aircraft (Drones) from, or near, a Coral Expeditions vessel (includes tender vessels) unless permission is granted by the General Manager. Please speak with our Reservations Team to discuss.
To make the most of your expedition, all guests should be in good general health, be able to walk reasonable distances over sometimes uneven terrain and stand during excursions. Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of your departure.
We also advise that guests carry a current record of allergies or any chronic medical issues and the telephone number for their physician’s 24-hour answering service. As our itineraries cover remote regions, they may not be suitable for those with serious medical conditions. Any ongoing medical issues should be disclosed to reservations staff at the time of booking.
Upon embarkation, we will automatically open your personal shipboard account. We operate a chit system, and for your security, ask that you sign each chit as you order from our bar, shop or make any other onboard purchases. At the end of the voyage your account may be settled in Australian dollars cash or by American Express, Visa, MasterCard or Diners Club. On international cruises, it is often not possible to obtain cash at the villages and towns we visit. We suggest you bring enough local currency with you for the duration of your cruise.
Your cruise fare includes:
What’s Not Included:
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.
With widespread community transmission of COVID, no setting is immune from COVID-19. Our pre-cruise testing regime served us well to operate over 100 voyages before our first cases onboard. The current environment is now different, and exposure is prevalent in all corners of society. Our vaccination and screening process coupled with our onboard mitigation and response measures ensure that the spread of COVID is well controlled and poses a far lesser risk of serious health issues than on land operations.
Vaccination of guests and crew remains mandatory and Rapid Antigen testing has a role in minimising onboard exposure. All the widely accepted safety activities including self-isolation, physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitisation are critically important to follow – even if not part of local health settings. By following these simple guidelines, the threat of exposure is vastly reduced.
We evolve our SailSAFE plan at regular intervals in line with advice from medical specialists and government health authorities. In recent months federal, state and territory health authorities have released directions for the cruise sector which do not recommend PCR testing being required. This is also consistent with our medical specialist advice and settings in the broad travel industry. There are only marginal benefits in accuracy of testing that are not commensurate with the effort or resourcing required to conduct PCR testing at the current time. As a result, as of 11th May 2022 we have ceased the requirement for guests to PCR test pre-cruise.
Guests and crew are still required to undertake Rapid Antigen Testing with a negative result to board. This test occurs at voyage check-in and is self-administered in the presence of the ship’s medical specialist.
Our SailSAFE plan recommends a period of self-isolation which lessens the risks associated with virus contact pre-cruise. This will be self-monitored by guests, and we encourage guests to exercise care and common sense by following the local/regional recommendations at the time. Guests should avoid known virus hotspots and avoid mass gatherings or high-risk activities while also using hygiene equipment such as masks and practising handwashing, sanitisation and social distancing. The objective of this requirement is to limit the chance of contracting COVID from community exposure in days leading up to the voyage and avoiding the consequence of 7 days isolation on board should you test positive onboard.
We have adopted a vaccine policy involving a mandatory requirement for all guests and crew to be fully vaccinated status in order to travel. This is a requirement of our cruise permits as directed by state and territory governments. Medical exemptions authorized in line with Australian medical standards will be acceptable. Vaccination for children will follow Federal Health and AHPRA guidelines.
Our COVID-positive protocols are determined by the directives of the relevant state health authorities. These requirements are changing nation-wide as the pattern of COVID infections evolve and the response to COVID liberalises. Government policies in place at the time of your travel will apply.
Any guest who experiences symptoms of COVID onboard is required to inform our crew who will administer a RAT promptly. If you test positive, you must undertake a period of isolation in your stateroom to protect your fellow travellers, or ashore in a hotel or your residence on disembarkation.
Guests in isolation onboard will be served our normal meals and beverages in-room and will be attended to by our resident medical professional as required. Coral Expeditions does not cover any liability for loss of experience or other impacts associated with any isolation or quarantine arising from the voyage. We will not be able to offer any refunds on the portion of the cruise that is affected by COVID infection.
Isolation is required as a response to COVID positive cases and close contacts in all settings and it is the responsibility of the passenger to cover any incurred costs. We encourage all guests to take appropriate insurances and to understand and accept the inherent risks that exist in travel. Coral Expeditions will continue to provide stateroom lodgings, food and beverage and service in line with our product offering and saves no costs whilst guests onboard are isolated. We understand the disappointment that guests may experience if impacted.
Our crew follow the same requirements as guests prior to joining ship, plus additional testing. Crew members are always required to follow all elements of the SailSAFE plan, and crew who work across multiple voyages undertake RAT tests prior to the commencement of each voyage.
Yes, all guests and crew are required to have a negative RAT test prior to boarding.
You should not test positive on a RAT based on past infection and ongoing viral shedding.
During the COVID period, all voyages will carry a medical specialist on board. This will be either a medical doctor or a registered nurse. They will be on hand to attend to COVID related testing and monitoring and to assist with any illness or injury experienced on the voyage. They will not be available for general or non-voyage specific health consultations. All our crew are trained on senior remote area 1st Aid and are very capable to manage health and wellness incidents.
In these instances, Coral Expeditions assess the circumstances and provide a future cruise credit to the value of 100% of the cruise fare paid. The use of this credit is subject to availability. Read our Ticket Terms & Conditions.
All guests are responsible for their own travel and incidentals incurred in getting to and from departure ports.
As the science, infection patterns and government responses to COVID are constantly evolving, our SailSAFE plan is adjusted to represent the advice of our medical partner and government requirements. We encourage all guests to monitor our website and be attentive to updates emailed by Coral Expeditions to ensure that they are complying with the most recent versions.
Coral Expeditions will work directly with regional authorities to manage the situation in line with our SailSAFE plan in the event of a case on board. Our ships have the ability to isolate infected guests and handle some medical emergencies. In the unlikely event government directives require us to return to port prior to scheduled disembarkation, then guests and crew will be subject to prevailing local rules regarding quarantine and/or testing. Coral Expeditions will do its utmost to assist all guests inconvenienced by such directives. Any associated costs will be at the guest’s expense. We encourage guests to have travel insurance in place to cover such unforeseen situations.
Yes, Coral Expeditions has operated continuously for almost four decades and remains on a sound footing with significant financing leeway from our Australian bank and shareholders. We have returned to full operations since our successful restart in October 2020 and traded through all major financial and other disruptions to impact the globe during our time.
It is true that some remote Indigenous areas in the Northern Australian region are currently closed to visitation. We are in regular contact and are updated with the most current status. Coral Expeditions will always comply with federal, state and territory law and will comply with the wishes of local communities and landowners. As an expedition company, we have alternate itinerary options available to us in the event of weather interruptions or local community issues. As it is an evolving environment, we commit to guests that we will update them with the status of planned itineraries no later than 4 weeks from their departure date.
To secure a booking on our expeditions, guests are required to make a 20% non-refundable deposit within 7 days of booking. As we operate small vessels with limited capacity, we cannot allow extended room ‘holds’ without a deposit. Final payments are due 3 months prior to your voyage departure, as per our Ticket Terms & Conditions.
All guests must review the official government websites of the states and territories they visit during their voyage and complete the required border declarations and passes. Guests must be able to meet the entry requirements at the time of boarding to be approved for travel. Please follow the links below to the official government websites.
There are some examples of where the health requirements on the ship are more stringent than those on land. Predominately this is in the directions for mask-wearing and the definition of close contacts. This is because marine vessels operate under industry-specific settings which do differ from land. Ships fall into a higher risk category in the judgment of health authorities and there is sometimes a lag in the easing of restrictions before they flow through to the marine sector. Our Masters will always apply the appropriate directions and they are available on the ship and as public documents of record.
We have no public health directive nor are there any comparative shoreside practices in any setting that justifies mandatory asymptomatic RATs at this stage of the pandemic. We do not have a legal basis for compulsory health testing on our ships. We are a private hospitality operator carrying paying guests. We have to rely on guests taking appropriate precautions pre-embarkation and on boarding, as per our SailSafe programme, and volunteering to test upon symptoms manifesting, similar to shoreside settings. We have free Antigen test kits and medical assistance available on board. We believe that at this stage of the pandemic, individual responsibility is more appropriate than mandatory testing.