Our Cape York and Arnhem Land expedition is a fascinating voyage combining the very best of Australia’s northern coastline, exploring the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the ‘Tip of Australia’ at Cape York, the Arnhem Land Coast and the rarely visited Tiwi Islands. Join us in Darwin for a remarkable 12-night voyage of discovery to Cairns, visiting otherwise inaccessible locations and meeting the friendly indigenous people of the Torres Strait and the Top End.
Here, nature is an all powerful force; monsoon rains rejuvenate the rivers and floodplains, bringing wealth to the cattle ranchers of the savannah lands and providing the lifeblood to the inhabitants of the sleepy coastal frontier towns. The mighty Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile is indeed King of the Wild and the waters of the Arafura Sea are alive with a profusion of marine and bird life.
Venture ashore to meet fabulous artisans in some of the most remote villages in Australia, and meet the artists who have their paintings exhibited in the famous galleries of the world, including the Louvre in Paris. Learn of the fascinating Macassan traders of the 17th century as we cruise the Arnhem Land coast before experiencing the friendly welcome and warm hospitality of the rarely-visited Tiwi Islanders as they share with us their ancient culture and traditional lifestyles.
Savour a glass of champagne as the sun rises over the northern ‘Tip of Australia’ on the Cape York Peninsula and discover the interesting World War II history of the Torres Strait Islands.
Enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the pristine coral gardens of the northern reef and tour the fascinating Lizard Island Research Station to learn how scientists are preserving the reef for future generations. Discover Cooktown and more before arriving in Cairns.
Join us on this incredible adventure and experience the very best that Australia’s spectacular north has to offer.
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
Board Coral Expeditions I at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 5:00pm ahead of our 6:00pm departure > spend time getting to know your fellow travellers and enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks before the first of many delicious dinners
Visit Bathurst and Melville Islands > with traditional Tiwi people as our guides, we learn of their unique cultures and visit the fascinating art centre > peruse wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings and pottery >witness a smoking ceremony, traditional basket weaving and morning tea with the locals, over freshly cooked damper and billy tea.
On Cobourg Peninsula, visit the ruins of the failed Victoria Settlement at Port Essington > explore the ruins under the guidance of the National Park Rangers > visit the Ranger’s Interpretation Centre at Black Point
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River > travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Centre, Museum and local ’boutique’, where hand painted clothing and fabrics are offered for sale > join the Expedition Team on an Xplorer tour of the river before rejoining our small ship
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre. This evening we enjoy a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ on one of the beautiful islands as we toast the sunset over the Arafura Sea
Farewell the Wessel Island cruising through ‘The Hole in the Wall’, Malay Straits > arrive in the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove) and transferred to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight’s accommodation.
Join our Expedition Leader to discover this frontier town of Gove and experience local culture, industry and history > after a refreshing lunch, we visit the Yirrkala Arts and Crafts Centre before transferring to the airport for our charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn Island > tonight, we stay at the historic and pioneering Gateway Torres Strait Resort, a longstanding family business which offers an insightful, personal war museum sharing the local history from World War II.
Embark on a short tour of Horn Island prior to our transfer by ferry to Thursday Island where we rejoin Coral Expeditions I > during the tour of Thursday Island, we learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets > observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals > following a short cruise to Cape York, we travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the ‘Tip’ of Australia.
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island > take advantage of the fantastic swimming and snorkelling opportunities > enjoy a short walk to the summit and enjoy the outlook over the surrounding reef and islands.
At Davey Reef and Cay, we enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery > go ashore at Stanley Island where our Expedition Leader and guides will escort you to view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery depicting sailing ships of the last century. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location.
Spend the day at one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast > climb to Cook’s Look or enjoy swimming and snorkelling and a beach walk > subject to availability, we may be invited as special guests to visit the Lizard Island Research Station, where we learn more about the research being undertaken to help understand and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery > join the Captain and crew for farewell drinks.
Awaken as we cross Trinity Bay before arriving into the Port of Cairns at 8:00am > farewell the Captain and his staff before farewelling new friends at the end of our great adventure.
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.
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
Perfectly suited to those guests on a budget, Cabin category rooms are located on the lower deck, downstairs from the Dining Room and our Explorer excursion boat boarding platform. Cabin category rooms feature modern decor and comfortable furnishings and are a compact 10sqm (108 square feet) in size. Cabins feature twin circle portholes, air-conditioning, a private en suite bathroom, ample storage space and twin beds.
Our eight light and airy Upper Deck Staterooms are located on Deck B, a dedicated accommodation deck offering a quiet environment, yet still in close proximity to the Bridge, Sun Deck and Dining Room. With modern decor and comfortable furnishings, Upper Deck Staterooms are a spacious 14sqm (151 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views along with a desk, ample storage space and your choice of double or twin beds.
Our six Deluxe Staterooms are located across the top decks of the ship, in close proximity to the Bridge and the Sun Deck. WIth brilliant natural light and fresh modern decor, Deluxe Staterooms are a spacious 17sqm (185 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views along with a comfortable settee, desk, ample storage space and your choice of double or twin beds.
Coral Expeditions I
Vessel Type: Motor Catamaran
Length: 35 metres
Passenger Capacity: 44/46 (25 cabins)
Built: refurbished 2012
Coral Expeditions I is fully equipped for the ultimate expedition cruising experience in Australian coastal waters. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, the ship was purpose-built for cruising in the region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of Western Australia’s remarkable Kimberley region, the northern coastlines of Cape York and Arnhem Land and the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
The 25 onboard rooms are bathed in natural light, with a fresh and modern decor creating a breezy feel. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a spacious private ensuite, air conditioning and ample storage space.
The ship’s forward lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The Sun Deck at the rear with a new bar outdoor area added in 2016 is another popular place to relax and take in the panoramic views.
Meals are served in the modern dining room, and with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating, meal times are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.
Coral Expeditions I operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Expeditions I is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment, and wireless internet facilities.
FACILITIES ON BOARD
Limited wireless internet available. Service quality may vary on location and weather
Sun Deck with sun lounges
Fully stocked cocktail bars
Spacious, modern dining room
Limited laundry facilities available
SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)
Choose from four grades of well-appointed rooms, each tastefully decorated with comfortable furnishings and original artworks. Enjoy the comforts of an en suite bathroom, featuring hairdryer and international power outlets. Rooms also feature picture windows for expansive ocean views (except some Cabin category rooms featuring portholes), ample storage space and air-conditioning. All rooms are serviced daily and feature Australian toiletries.