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At Coral Expeditions, we’re passionate about the locations we are privileged to visit and believe in leaving these environments better than when we arrived. Naturally, we are committed to sustainable practices and are always looking for ways to preserve and protect landscapes both above and below the water. Our voyages showcase the wonders of nature, meaning the health and wellbeing of the land is at the forefront of our mind and is integral to the quality of our expeditions.
Below you will find information on some of the initiatives we have been a part of, including parting ways with plastic straws in 2018, bringing water and supplies to drought stricken small island communities, our onboard education program and involvement in coral species collection for the world’s largest Coral Biobank.
Coral Expeditions is proudly accredited as an ecotourism cruise operator with world-leading EcoTourism Australia.
Ecotourism is defined as tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an operator that uses resources wisely, contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities.
Travellers choosing products that are certified by Ecotourism Australia can be assured that those products are deemed sustainable according to the highest international standards.
In 2015, Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification program achieving Approval status by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The GSTC are an independent body that establishes and manages global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices.
The GSTC Approved tick logo means that our ECO certified products are certified under a certification program, namely Ecotourism Australia’s ECO certification, is using a Global Sustainable Tourism Council -recognised standard, is following processes and procedures that have been reviewed and approved by the GSTC, and that the certification procedures largely meet international standards for transparency, impartiality, and competence.
The Eye on the Reef is a reef monitoring and assessment program run by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The program enables anyone who visits the Great Barrier Reef to contribute to its long-term protection by collecting valuable information about reef health, marine animals, and incidents.
Coral Expeditions participates in this programme through company representation, where Coral Expeditions participates in the Rapid Monitoring Survey, where observations are shared with the GBRMPA. Our crew encouraged to attend workshops and training and are encouraged to report reef conditions, such as bleaching, directly to Eye on the Reef.
Coral Expeditions carries a permit to remove the Crown of Thorns Starfish. One of the most major threats to the Reef, the starfish population has boomed to plague proportions and is a significant danger to coral. The present outbreak began in 2010. So far, over 300 000 of the deadly creature have been culled, with more than 80 reefs patrolled. Coral Expeditions also participates in a programme where sightings of the COTS are reported to the GBRMP.
The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island was established in 2000. Today, this world class facility has raised the success rate for the rehabilitation of the turtles from 30% to 85%, one of the highest success rates in Australia. Coral Expeditions visits the centre on our 7-day Great Barrier Reef itineraries, and the company donates to Turtle sanctuary every single time we visit, amounting to donations of over $5000 per annum. On these trips, guests are also invited to donate directly to the sanctuary. Coral Expeditions has also provided logistical support for the organisation, such as transport of staff, equipment, and turtles.
The Lizard Island Research Station is a world leading supplier of on-reef facilities for coral reef research and education. Coral Expeditions schedules visits to LIRS at the request of our guests, and donates to the station at every visit. The company also provides logistical support when required, including transport of staff and equipment.
Running since 1996, the Bare Sands Turtle Sanctuary sees researchers and volunteers gather data on the nesting turtles to estimate population size, monitor abundance over time and to determine any threats to survival. Coral Expeditions donates to this valuable research project, and offers logistical support to transport staff, equipment, and turtles.
Across our fleet, we are continually looking for ways to improve our sustainability to reduce waste, partner with more Organic and Fairtrade suppliers, and deliver a food and beverage experience inline with our expedition roots and beliefs. We have successfully implemented measures to remove P.C plastics and reduce packaging waste in our food and beverage supply chain. In February 2020, we introduced a new selection of Eco-Friendly, Fairtrade & Organic beverage products. Learn more on our Cuisine page.
It’s estimated that every year, approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in coral reefs worldwide according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study released 2015. This is why on board all our vessels, we provide Marine Friendly SPF50+ Broad Spectrum sunscreen for all our guests to use, to alleviate concerns that the sunscreen you put on your skin washes off into rivers, lakes and our ocean, potentially harming our unique marine environment. This sunscreen has been tested and proven non-toxic to marine life, offering maximum sun protection with minimum eco-impact. It contains no oxybenzone, comes in a recyclable aluminium can, is 4 hours water-resistant, and keeps our fish and algae safe!