Date: 25 February 2021

Western Australia set to sail again

Coral Expeditions extends its successful small ship expedition restart to WA

Australia’s pioneering small ship cruise line, Coral Expeditions, confirms operations will restart in Western Australia this month, its 25th year of continuous operations in the state. The company has attained all required state and federal approvals including the endorsement of their travel industry-leading SailSAFE plan.  The announcement marks another significant milestone for the Australian expedition cruise industry.  Coral Expeditions has been continuously operating incident-free in the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania since October 2020 and have just completed a very successful inaugural voyage in South Australian waters last week.

The company’s 2021 voyages include new itineraries exploring the coastline and rarely visited islands off WA, as well as its celebrated Kimberley voyage between Broome and Darwin – a slice of classic Australian heritage.

Coral Adventurer, the company’s state of the art expedition ship delivered in 2019, is currently en route from Adelaide to Fremantle.  On 10 March 2021, she will sail from Fremantle to Broome calling on the Houtman Abrolhos group, Ningaloo and Shark Bay, the Muiron and Montebello Islands and the Dampier Archipelagos. In another milestone for the company, the brand-new vessel Coral Geographer (to be delivered March 2021) will depart on her sold-out Maiden Voyage on 31st March. The expedition “Across the Top of Australia’, a 19-night expedition exploring remote regions of WA including Ashmore Reef, Scott Reef, Adele Island and the Lacepedes.

Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer have been designed and built specifically for extended expeditions along the rugged Australian coast.

In the current environment, the company has a clear vision to provide Australians with more unique opportunities to explore and discover the coastal wilderness regions of Australia. Commercial Director, Jeff Gilles comments: “Our sailing schedule celebrates the vast magnificence of Australia’s coastal shores and we are privileged to be able to take guests on adventures to places that simply cannot be accessed by road, rail or even air”

The resumption of the companies’ cruise schedule in Western Australia will involve more than forty-five departures in 2021 with expected passenger numbers to exceed 4000 guests. It is anticipated that it will create a positive contribution to regional tourism at a time of great challenge, without compromising health outcomes.

The news is also welcomed by Cruise Broome Chairman Mr Shayne Murray who comments “The region extends the warmest welcome and greatly anticipates the return of one of the pioneers of the Kimberley for the 2021 season. Coral Expeditions will be one of the first to resume operations since last April and the expedition cruise industry provides significant tourism dollars to local and indigenous tour and business throughout the Kimberley. Despite the seasons’ closure last year, local cruising contributed some $13 million dollars and with their 3-vessel fleet approved and operating this year, Coral Expeditions will be a very significant contributor once again”

As with other domestic itineraries, guests will be drawn from the Australian market and capped at under 100 per departure.  Operating an Australian flagged fleet, with an all-Australian crew and guest base, Coral Expeditions’ proven SailSAFE health protocols have been fully approved by all state authorities. To assist guests and the broader travel industry in this time of uncertainty, Coral Expeditions will continue offering flexible booking and deposit protection terms and will have special local offers available for early season voyages in March and April 2021.

Coral Expeditions complete expedition series in Western Australia involves over 45 varied departures in 2021 and includes:


Abrolhos Islands & the Coral Coast 

12-nights | Fremantle to Broome departing 20 March 2021, 1 March 2022

Departing Fremantle, this expedition explores Western Australia’s wild and largely untouched coast, with its contrasting coastal palette of rich red sands and turquoise sea.  With a fascinating maritime and Indigenous history – from the Malgana people of Shark Bay to the exploratory journeys of William Dampier, Dirk Hartog, Baudin and Freycinet – this region is layered with stories. The natural coastal reserves harbour an abundance of birdlife and fascinating marine species. Our guides will help guests explore the renowned Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park, Montebello Islands, Muiron Islands and Dampier Archipelago.

Staterooms from $9,290 per person twin share, all-inclusive

Ningaloo & the Bluewater Wonders of Australia’s West

10-nights | Broome to Broome departing 7 May 2021 > 28 May 2021 > 16 May 2022 > 27 May 2022

Join this pioneering voyage down Western Australia’s Coral coast onboard Coral Discoverer. Departing Broome, we will visit the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park, the Dampier Archipelago, and the historic Montebello Islands. An exploration of the renowned Ningaloo Reef completes our voyage. Our marine experts and guides lead our discovery of this pristine coastal habitat.

Staterooms from $11,990 per person twin share, all-inclusive

The Definitive Kimberley

10-nights | Broome – Darwin or v.v. departing April to September annually

In 2021, Coral Expeditions announces increased capacity on our Definitive Kimberley itineraries with the fleet of three purpose-built expedition vessels operating in the region. Representing our classic 10-day voyage, this voyage is an immersion into an ancient land covering more than 400,000 square kilometres, yet home to just 30,000 people the Kimberley Region is acknowledged as one of the world’s most beautiful wilderness areas. Witness magnificent coastal vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, plunging waterfalls, abundant wildlife, and massive tidal movements.

Staterooms from $10,990 per person twin share, all-inclusive

The Kimberley Icons,  Ashmore Reef and Rowley Shoals

12-nights | Darwin – Broome departing 15 October 2021

This new itinerary onboard brand-new Coral Geographer combines our classic 10-day Kimberley itinerary with a visit to the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park and Ashmore Reef. Witness magnificent coastal vistas created by towering rock ridges, silent secluded gorges, abundant wildlife, and massive tidal movements. Finish off the voyage at a chain of coral atolls offering 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.

Staterooms from $9,290 per person twin share, all-inclusive



Find accompanying imagery HERE

For more information about the SailSAFE Plan, click HERE


For enquiries contact:


Phone: 1800 079 545 or +61 7 4044 9999

For interview requests contact Jeff Gillies

[email protected] or call 0418 415 581


About Coral Expeditions

Recognised as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator, Coral Expeditions are Australia’s pioneering cruise line offering a unique style of immersive expedition adventures in small ships purpose-built to take guests closer to nature and cultures. Starting with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, 35 years later the fleet has grown to an all-new ocean going fleet featuring the intimate blue-water vessel Coral Discoverer and the brand-new flagship vessels Coral Adventurer and sister ship Coral Geographer. The Coral Expeditions fleet is purpose-built for expedition cruising with features of all vessels including shallow draft allowing access to remote locations that larger vessels cannot reach. Our signature Xplorer tender vessel, glass bottom boat and Zodiac tenders enable guests to explore the coastlines up close. Expansive indoor and outdoor spaces, including the much-loved Xplorer bar with 300-degree views, immerse guests in the spectacular natural surroundings and allow ample personal space and open air.  An expert expedition team including specialist guests’ lecturers provide insightful commentary and interpretation along the way. Headquartered in Cairns, Australia, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the outerknown regions of the Great Barrier Reef, the ancient Kimberley coastline, Tasmania’s wilderness coast, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to the small Islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Find Freedom in the farthest reaches with Coral Expeditions.