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A new expedition era begins on the Great Barrier Reef

Covering an area of over 2600 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area. Coral Expeditions pioneered extended expedition cruises on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef 34 years ago and have forged a reputation for excellence and expertise in that time. Explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape. Onboard, you will be accompanied by expert guides and our purpose designed small ships are custom built for expedition cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble Xplorer tenders we will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.

Coral Expeditions is a leader in reef conservation, a member of Ecotourism Australia, and an accredited and multi-award-winning ecotourism operator. The Great Barrier Reef is in our DNA and we ensure the most immersive and educational experience possible.

  

Outerknown Adventures On The Great Barrier Reef

All new 7 night expeditions onboard Coral Discoverer

Meet charismatic marine species including the sea turtles surfing the ocean currents, find Nemo nestled amongst the coral gardens and marvel at the magnificent humpback whale migration in the deep blue of the Coral Sea. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung reefs like Osprey, Escape and the Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.

Outerknown Adventures of the Great Barrier Reef

In 2021, a new era of reef exploration will begin with the introduction of the yacht-like expedition vessel Coral Discoverer to the reef commencing immersive 7-day adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reef precinct. Operating from June to December annually, we will take a maximum of 72 guests to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape.

> June to October 2021

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The Untouched Great Barrier Reef 2020

Sailing from our home port of Cairns, our bespoke expedition vessel Coral Expeditions II takes a maximum of 42 guests in relaxed comfort on year-round 3, 4 or 7-night expeditions.

IMMERSIVE REEF (CAIRNS - HINCHINBROOK ISLAND - LIZARD ISLAND - CAIRNS), 7 NIGHTS

The 7-night Immersive Reef itinerary is the ideal way to experience the finest of the Northern and Southern Great Barrier Reef. Created by combining the 3-night and 4-night itineraries, highlights of this expedition include the Ribbon Reefs, Lizard Island, Hinchinbrook Island and Sudbury Cay. Visiting nine private mooring sites, this is the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience where you can see it all – reef, rainforests and islands.

> Departs Cairns every Friday.

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IMMERSIVE REEF (CAIRNS - LIZARD ISLAND - HINCHINBROOK ISLAND - CAIRNS), 7 NIGHTS

On the Immersive Reef Expedition, you’ll experience the opportunity to snorkel or dive at nine private mooring sites, including the Ribbon Reef’s #3 and #9 and Escape Reef. Swim with turtles at Fitzroy Island and enjoy sunset drinks on private Sudbury Cay.  The 7-night Immersive Reef itinerary is the ideal way to experience the finest of the Northern and Southern Great Barrier Reef. (Note, same as 7 night itinerary above, just heads southbound first)

> Departs Cairns every Monday.

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SOUTHERN REEF (CAIRNS - HINCHINBROOK ISLAND - CAIRNS), 3 NIGHTS

The 3 night Southern Reef Expedition itinerary takes guests from the mangrove channel at Hinchinbrook Island to the rainforest of Dunk Island, and the pristine remoteness of Sudbury Cay. Spend time exploring the underwater world of Nathan Reef, and visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island – you may even be able to swim with a Sea Turtle just off the beach!  Enjoy presentations by our Marine Biologist on the eco system and marine biodiversity.
For a Great Barrier Reef experience that offers a relaxed sampling of rainforest and reef, the 3 night itinerary is an excellent choice.

> Departs Cairns every Friday.

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NORTHERN REEF (CAIRNS - LIZARD ISLAND - CAIRNS), 4 NIGHTS

Our 4-night Northern Reef cruise is the perfect option for those guests wanting to spend the maximum amount of time exploring the coral gardens of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a full day to discover two different sections of the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, considered to be some of the most pristine reefs along the Great Barrier Reef.  Explore historic Cooktown and discover spectacular Lizard Island.
For guests wanting to spend as much time as possible discovering the reefs of the Tropical North, while still enjoying time ashore, this itinerary offers you opportunity to explore the best parts of the northern reef and iconic locations.

> Departs Cairns every Monday.

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Cultures and Coastlines of the Torres Strait and Cape York

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 and guests will be rewarded with the chances to meet these island communities and share their culture in a low impact and sustainable environment. With decades of experience and 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.

TORRES STRAIT & CAPE YORK (CAIRNS TO HORN ISLAND), 10 NIGHTS

This new itinerary onboard Coral Discoverer focuses on an immersive exploration of the remote Torres Strait Islands, where unique nature, Indigenous culture and history abound. The voyage traverses the Tropical North Queensland coastline and unique islands and reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, reaching the tip of Australia at Cape York, and extending to the cultural crossroads of the Torres Strait Islands.

> 21 October 2021

> 11 November 2021

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TORRES STRAIT & CAPE YORK (HORN ISLAND TO CAIRNS), 10 NIGHTS

This new itinerary onboard Coral Discoverer focuses on an immersive exploration of the remote Torres Strait Islands, where unique nature, Indigenous culture and history abound. The voyage traverses the Tropical North Queensland coastline and unique islands and reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, reaching the tip of Australia at Cape York, and extending to the cultural crossroads of the Torres Strait Islands.

> 31 October 2021

> 21 November 2021

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What Are The Ribbon Reefs

Around 50 to 100 km’s off the northern Queensland shore, and forming the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 100 miles to the north of Cairns, the “Ribbons” are a string of 10 magical coral reefs. They are no wider than 450m, and generally quite shallow, coming up to as high as 5 metres below the surface from a sandy bottom. A veritable marine wonderland, these long thin strips of reef hold beautiful coral gardens and isolated bommies topped with corals and anemones, surrounded by a rainbow of reef fish. Snorkellers and divers on the Ribbon Reefs might encounter huge giant clams, moray eels, reef sharks and giant Napoleon Wrasse. You might also meet Pelagic fish and see gorgonian fans. If you prefer not to get your feet wet, our glass bottom boat still allows you to get up close and personal to these beautiful species.