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Cape York and Arnhem Land Art Themed Darwin to Cairns Coral Expeditions

Torres Strait & Cape York

Departs Cairns & Horn Island10 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $11,230.00* PP

Join Coral Expeditions on a small ship adventure to explore the mystical Torres Strait Islands and the remote coastlines to the tip of Cape York. Share an intimate expedition onboard Coral Discoverer with a maximum of 72 guests that takes in small islands and reefs of the northern Great Barrier Reef, Cape York coastal walks and the magic and mystery of our rarely seen Torres Strait Islands. With almost 300 islands dotted across the narrow stretch of water between Cape York and Papua New Guinea, the people of the Torres Strait Islands have a distinct and vibrant culture. An expedition by small ship is the ideal way to access these remote regions, visiting uninhabited sand cays, remote islands and pristine reef systems. Our expert guides will share their knowledge both above and below the water. With decades of experience and a deep respect for the communities of the region, Coral Expeditions will facilitate an enriching journey accompanied and hosted by local elders who will share the customs and stories of this ancient country.

  • Experience the vibrant art, culture and natural beauty of the Torres Strait Islands, including community visits of Badu and Moa Islands
  • Land at the northernmost tip of Australia at Pajinka on Cape York for a sunset champagne toast
  • Experience remote Osprey Reef, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough.
  • Snorkel remote reefs and bird-watch at Davie Cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef
  • Explore Lizard Island’s reefs and beaches and hike to historic Cook’s Look
  • Share time with local artists and purchase from the source in community art centres
  • View rock art at Stanley Island, with interpretation by a traditional owner guide
  • Learn about Indigenous culture and maritime history at Cooktown and Restoration Island

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Itinerary

Coral-Expeditions_Torres-Strait-and-Cape-York_Cairns_Horn-Island_10-Nights_Map

The following itinerary shows departing Cairns and arriving Horn Island. For the opposite direction, the itinerary is in reverse. 

Cairns wharf departure port

Cairns Departures: Make your way to Pullman Cairns International for SailSAFE check-in at 3:00pm before your transfer to the ship at Cairns Trinity Wharf for boarding at 4:00pm. There will be time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure.

Horn Island Departures:  SailSAFE check-in location to be advised in pre-departure documentation. Board Coral Discoverer at Horn Island at 4:00pm for 5:00pm departure.

Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard.  As dusk falls join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Historic-cooktown

Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870’s. Here you will have the choice of a guided indigenous cultural tour, or a guided Cooktown historic tour. You will also have the opportunity for time at leisure to explore Cooktown’s attractions which include art galleries, the botanic gardens, James Cook Museum (with original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour), lookouts, and a walk to the top of Grassy Hill.

Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Join an optional hike to Cook’s Look and be rewarded with exceptional views over the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson on a walk to her cottage. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens and colourful coral and visit the Lizard Island Research Station.

Osprey Reef Diving Coral Expeditions Northern Australia

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. 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.

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

Day9 Stanley Island am(22)

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art guided by a traditional owner who will offer an interpretation. The art here depicts the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef enjoy swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours and see Brown Boobie bird colonies at Davie Cay.

Glass Bottom Boat Coral Viewing

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. We also have an opportunity to go beachcombing at a nearby remote island, possibly Magra, Saunders, or Sir Charles Hardy.

Visit Restoration Island or Resto, as the locals call it.  Here Captain Bligh, of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789. He named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was Oak Apple Day, the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.

Today Restoration Island is not just a National Park; one-third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former mining tycoon, who, after losing his fortune in the Black Friday market crash, decided to live a solitary existence on the island, and has done so for over 2 decades. It is an idyllic coastal island with a granite and volcanic peak 116 metres in height and a beautiful shark tooth-shaped beach spit where guest will enjoy water activities and time to explore the island.

This morning explore historical sites at Albany Island or Somerset.

Later, surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon at the Tip of Cape York – the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent.

In the morning, we visit the indigenous art centre to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye.

Enjoy traditional kai kai (Traditional Lunch) prepared by the local community – a feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.

Visit the art centre and join in print, weaving and jewellery making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.

Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island we also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Centre and local shopping.

As we set off on our final Xplorer ride, our incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end.  At 8:00 am we arrive at Horn Island, with the option for a post-cruise tour. There are daily flights to Cairns from Horn Island Airport. These are not included in the cruise fare.

For reverse direction: Arrive at Cairns at 8am.

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.

Torres Straits Community Access: The remote island communities of the Torres Straits are special areas. Over the past decades, these communities have welcomed Coral Expeditions and guests on many occasions. We respect that from time to time, planned visits my not be possible at short notice for varied reasons and will offer alternative excursions should visitation not be possible.



Fares & Availability

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Join the Waitlist

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

5 Available

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

19 Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

1 Available

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

6 Available

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

8 Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
Book this Departure

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

5 Available

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

19 Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

2 Available

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

6 Available

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

1 Available
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST.  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program.


Additional Information

Inclusions:

  • All excursions and sightseeing with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Snorkelling & Scuba equipment
  • Daily lectures and briefings
  • Your expedition photos captured throughout the voyage
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access with the Captain
  • 24 hour Coffee and selection of teas
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Scuba diving rates
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet services (available at a cost)
  • Laundry service
  • Australian entry visas or travel permits
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry charges, souvenir purchases, phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of included drinks package)
Your-Ship-Coral-Discoverer
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