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To The Heart of the Reef & Outback | Brisbane to Cairns | 14 Nights

Ultimate Queensland Christmas Expedition

14 Nights | Departing Brisbane 20 December 2021 | Arriving Cairns | Onboard Coral Geographer

As the year draws to a close, be one of a special few to experience a unique, all-inclusive cruise adventure that combines the essence of the Great Barrier Reef with the spirit of the Queensland Outback.

Sail through the islands of the Queensland coast on Coral Geographer, with a private jet and sailing yacht in attendance. En route, be whisked away by private plane to Longreach for a classic Queensland outback day. After a pub lunch, gather at sunset at a 1900s homestead for storytelling and bush poetry, before returning to the ship that night. On another day, embark on a sailing yacht through the Whitsunday Islands for a barefoot luxe seafood luncheon. After an afternoon of indulgence on a white sand beach, enjoy the colours of the approaching sunset while sailing back to your comfortable stateroom on Coral GeographerThe voyage will begin and end with two gala dinners on the ship with 10 extraordinary wines selected from the prized ‘Exceptional’ category of Langton’s Classification.

As we sail through the outer islands of the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy encounters with dolphins, rays and turtles, and guided nature walks on iconic Lizard and Magnetic Islands. Dive and snorkel amongst vibrant coral reefs, and connect with indigenous culture at World Heritage listed K’gari (Fraser Island). You will be accompanied by our expert guides who will share their deep knowledge and love of this land.

We invite you to find freedom on the Queensland coast on this extraordinary voyage.

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Landmark Events:

  • A Day in the Outback: After breakfast on Coral Geographer, be transported by private jet to Longreach in the heart of the Queensland outback. Connect with the country life with a classic pub lunch and then bask in an outback sunset over sundowners and stories at historic Rosebank station homestead. Fly back to the comfort of your ship stateroom that night.
  • Sailing Yacht to a Whitsundays Lunch: Embark on a chartered yacht and enjoy a traditional sail to Whitehaven Beach. Linger over champagne and a decadent seafood lunch with your feet on white sand. As the sun sets, embark on your yacht again and enjoy the sound of sails over the Whitsundays as you return to your home on Coral Geographer.
  • Two Evenings with Australia’s Finest Wines: Indulge in a comparative tasting across 10 wines curated for our two gala dinners.  Picked from the highly prized “Exceptional” category of the Langton’s Classification, these legendary wines are paired with cuisine featuring Queensland’s finest produce.  Two Christmas feasts to remember!

 

Expedition Highlights:

  • Explore Queensland Island icons of Lizard and Magnetic Island with guided nature walks and relaxing snorkelling and kayaking adventures
  • Dive and snorkel in the vibrant and pristine outer reef sights including Osprey Reef and Ribbons Reef #5
  • Visit with traditional owners on the UNESCO World Heritage listed K’gari (Fraser Island) and enjoy bush tucker talks and tastes
  • Encounter the unique marine species of the Great Barrier Reef and Great Sandy Marine Park including dolphins, sharks, rays, dugongs, and the ever-present turtles during the annual hatching season
  • Enjoy expert guidance and storytelling along the way from special guests on board including our Master Reef Guide Katie Tuesley and outback legend Alan Smith “Smithy”.

 

Fares

CORAL Geographer TWIN SHARE PER PERSON SOLE USE*
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite $25,790 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom $19,190 n/a
Promenade Deck Stateroom $16,190 $24,285
Coral Deck Stateroom $11,990 $17,985

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available. 

 

10 Exceptional Langton’s Wines

Picked from the highly prized “Exceptional” category of the Langton’s Classification, these legendary wines are paired with cuisine featuring Queensland’s finest produce.

  • Grosset Polish Hill Riesling, Clare Valley 2017
  • Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay, Margaret River 2018
  • Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir, South Gippsland 2015
  • Wynns Connawarra Estate, John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra 2018
  • Jim Barry Wines The Armagh Shiraz, Clare Valley 2017
  • Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, Beechworth Victoria 2018
  • Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, Canberra 2015
  • Brokenwood Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, Hunter Valley 2014
  • Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River 2014
  • Torbreck Runrig Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2017

Itinerary

Embark: After a Pre-Cruise SailSAFE Check-in at 2:00 pm, board Coral Geographer at Brisbane at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
Disembark: Arrive at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 8:00am.

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. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Day 1: Depart Brisbane

Brisbane

After a Pre-Cruise SailSAFE Check-in at 2:00 pm, board Coral Geographer 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 before joining your fellow explorers on the Sun Deck for Captains Welcome Drinks as we steam towards Tangalooma.

Tangalooma

Tangalooma

Moreton Island is 98 percent National Park, and its sandy white beaches and crystal-clear waters present a beautiful aspect this morning. We will anchor nearby the Tangalooma Wrecks and enjoy snorkel, kayak, and beach activity. These wrecks are fifteen vessels that were deliberately sunk to form a break wall for small boats also creating an amazing wreck dive and snorkel site. Snorkelling at this site is an incredible adventure. The crystal-clear waters provide fantastic visibility to view marine life and coral formations such as wobbegongs, trevally, kingfish yellowtail and an array of tropical fish. Whilst on the island, we will enjoy other activities including kayak, beach hikes, island exploration and a chance to feed the famous bottlenose dolphins.

Traditional Custodians: The region and indigenous people of Moreton Bay and its island are referred to as Quandamooka. These include the Ngugi tribe on Moreton Island and the Gorenpul and Nunukil clans on North Stradbroke Island. The Aboriginal name for Moreton Island is Moorgumpin (also known as Moolgumpin or Mulgumpin) meaning “place of sandhills”.

K’gari (Fraser Island)

Our next stop is Fraser Island, which is over 123km in length and is the largest sand island in the world. Fraser Island’s World Heritage listing ranks it with Uluru, Kakadu, and the Great Barrier Reef as a precious part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. Our visit will involve us anchoring up at the southern end of the island at Inskip Point, where we will be joined by local indigenous guides and will deploy the Xplorer tenders for a natural culture expedition along the western side of the Island and through the marine reserve of the Great Sandy Strait.

Voyage through the great Sandy Straits from Hervey Bay towards an anchorage at Kingfisher Bay. Visit the historic Central Station in the heart of the island where you will walk along the banks of Wanggoolba Creek and immerse yourself in the peacefulness as it flows through the rainforest. Stroll along the foreshore or swim in the clear blue waters of Lake McKenzie, famous for its pure white silica sand.

Traditional Custodians: The Butchulla people are the Traditional Owners of K’gari (Fraser Island).

Great Keppel Island

Great Keppel Island

Lying 15 kilometres off the coast of Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island – Woppaburra – is known for sweeping beaches, glistening and inviting waters, and abundant wildlife.  There are 17 beaches here to explore, and we will visit some of the most remarkable and secluded, such as Long Beach, ranked in Australia’s top 20 beaches.  We may have time to discover the ancient shell middens left by the Woppaburra people, the traditional owners of the Keppel Island Group.

Snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions will reward you with potential encounters with turtles and dolphins. Vibrant fringing reefs are sprinkled around the island, and some can be reached from the beach.  Our Expedition Team will also lead guided walks along the walking trails to spot wildlife such as goannas and native birds.

Middle Percy

Middle Percy

Middle Percy Island has a colourful history – it has seen famous visitors, including Errol Flynn, and for many years was a leasehold duty-bound to providing fresh water and supplies to passing sailors. The island still has its famous ‘A-frame’, where visitors could take shelter and find supplies.  Go ashore at West Bay beach and visit the A-Frame where Robin and Annie, the island’s caretakers, will share some of the history and stories of the island. Enjoy guided walks, snorkelling, and if the tide permits a zodiac cruise through the lagoon.

Whitsunday Islands & Airlie Beach

Whitsundays

Arrive in the tropical paradise at the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands this morning, and board the catamaran SY Camira. Sail to the magnificent Whitehaven Beach to step ashore for Champagne and a decadent seafood lunch with your feet on white sand.  With the afternoon sea breeze settling in SY Camira crew will take you on a true sailing experience of the Whitsunday Islands, look on at the tropical rainforest islands rising above the glittering aquamarine sea.

Scawfell Island

Scawfell Island

Spend the day enjoying in water activities at the South Cumberland Islands Group. From our protected anchorage at Refuge Bay on Scawfell Island, snorkel the fringing reef from Xplorer.

Scawfell Island is officially regarded as the beginning of the Whitsunday Group and was originally identified by Captain James Cook in 1770, and later named ‘L Island’ by Matthew Flinders in September 1802.

Townsville & Longreach

Longreach

Cruise into Townsville this morning to board your private charter flight into the outback. Arriving in Longreach, explore Machinery Mile before a traditional pub lunch at historic Wellshot Hotel. Alan Smith “Smithy” welcomes you to Rosebank Station homestead for a tour of the station and homestead. Ending the outback experience on the lush green lawns as the sunsets (one sunset you do not want to miss) while enjoying a selection of canapes inspired by local cuisine and evening drinks.

Historic Rosebank Station was built some some 100 years ago, as a sheep and cattle station. Among the Mitchell and Flinders grassy downs country and bordere by the Wellshot creek, the legacy of the homestead is one of events, hospitality and custodianship that is integral to the local area. The homestead itself is of early 1900s origin, with sweeping verandas and lawns that provide an outback serenity – the perfect setting for an evening in the bush.

This evening, fly back to return to the Coral Geographer, where you will enjoy a late supper on arrival back to the ship.

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island

Guests will have free time to enjoy the many scenic walks, including the Forts Walk, where one is almost certain to see a koala resting in the trees over ahead. Those wishing for a more relaxed pace can spend the afternoon at Horseshoe Bay, with time to soak up the sun on the beach and visit the charming local galleries.

Traditional Custodians: Traditional owners and custodians, the Bindal and Wulgurukaba People are the first people to have lived in the Townsville region.

Ribbon Reef #5

Ribbon Reefs

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 #5 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our Master Reef Guide Katie Tuesley 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.

Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef Diving Coral Expeditions Northern Australia

One of the world’s best dive sites, Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea. The top of a mountain which rises from the seafloor, surrounded by a vast ocean, draws many beautiful and rare marine creatures to its plummeting walls. 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.  The vibrant corals and crystal-clear waters make it an unforgettable place to discover.  Here we will spend time in the water exploring the 30m deep lagoon and drift diving the walls, where you may see large pelagic fish, rays, and sharks drawn in from the surrounding deep blue to enjoy the richness of this ocean oasis.

Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination, and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Lizard Island

Cooks-look-Lizard-Island-Coral Expeditions-Northern Australia

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.

Day 15: Arrive Cairns

Cairns wharf departure port

Arrive in Cairns at 7:00am for an 8:00am disembarkation.

December 2021

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
20 December 2021 20 Dec 2021 03 January 2022 03 Jan 2022 $11,990 to $25,790 $11,990 to $25,790 Coral Geographer Available Book

January 2022

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
20 December 2021 20 Dec 2021 03 January 2022 03 Jan 2022 $11,990 to $25,790 $11,990 to $25,790 Coral Geographer Available Book

YOUR CRUISE PRICE INCLUDES

› 14 night Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Geographer
› Three Signature Events
› Expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturer

› Daily guided excursions on the Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels, and kayaks where conditions allow
› Small batch local dining, prepared fresh onboard: breakfasts, 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
› 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 Geographer, 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

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

SailSAFE

As always, it is our priority to keep our guests and crew safe while travelling with us. We want our guests and crew to have the greatest confidence that their safety and wellbeing have been thoroughly considered. Please read our SailSAFE plan for the requirements of each passenger prior to joining us.

Photos From Your Expedition

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.

An alternative excursion will always be offered in place of higher impact walks. The Expedition Team will advise walking conditions and requirements prior to each excursion.

Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team in advance prior to your departure.

Weather in North Queensland

This expedition is set in November. Its sunny days, warm waters, cool ocean breezes. The average daily temperature will be around 30 – 34 C, with water temperatures around a comfortable 28 C. Generally, 10-15 knot winds and glass outs are common.

Additional Information

Packing Tips

Due to the warm, tropical climate of this region, guests should pack lightweight clothing which can be layered. Wet-landings are common and pants which can be rolled up, shorts or a cotton skirt/dress are ideal. A lightweight long-sleeved shirt will help provide protection from the sun or any mosquitoes. Comfortable walking shoes and wet landing shoes such as reef walkers, Tevas or old sneakers are recommended. A packing checklist will be provided in your pre-departure documentation from our Reservations team after booking.

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