Coral Expeditions has launched the first phase of its new “Australian Coastal Wilderness” sailing schedule with the release of nine Great Barrier Reef expeditions commencing in October 2020. The all-new 7-night sailings onboard the modern yacht-like Coral Discoverer will explore the pristine outer reefs and lesser-known islands, showcasing the extraordinary marine life and the rich natural and cultural history of the region. Coral Expeditions will be following its SailSAFE plan developed by Australian medical specialists for the current environment, allowing guests to relax and immerse in this World Heritage icon.
On these expeditions, guests can:
- Experience remote diving and snorkelling at Osprey Reef, Escape Reef, and the Ribbon Reefs
- Spot the Great Eight and other birdlife and marine creatures on the Great Barrier Reef
- Learn about Indigenous culture and Australian heritage through historic Cooktown artefacts
- Enjoy sunset drinks with the sand between your toes on isolated Sudbury Cay and Hope Island
- Learn about the conservation of endangered marine reptiles at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef Research Station and snorkel over giant clam gardens at Lizard Island
New destinations include the Daintree River and Rainforest, Hope Island, Escape Reef, and remote Osprey Reef, described by Sir David Attenborough as “an oasis for living creatures of all kinds.” Osprey Reef lies beyond the continental shelf and is an isolated seamount rising 2,000m above the seabed within the Coral Sea Marine Park. The reef’s isolation offers exceptional snorkel and diving opportunities due to a combination of light, ocean temperature and geological conditions supporting flourishing and distinctive marine life.
Coral Discoverer, a yacht-like expedition ship with just 36 staterooms, commences 7-night Great Barrier Reef expeditions from 14th October 2020 departing from Cairns. The season will run through until late December before the vessel relocates to Tasmania for the summer season.
Coral Discoverer is purpose-built for expedition cruising with a shallow draft allowing access to remote locations that larger vessels cannot reach. A signature Xplorer tender vessel, glass-bottom boat and Zodiac tenders enable guests to explore the Great Barrier Reef up close. Expansive indoor and outdoor spaces, including the much-loved Xplorer bar with 300-degree views, immerse guests in the spectacular natural surroundings. An expert expedition team and resident specialists provide insightful commentary and interpretation while Coral Expeditions’ renowned warm Australian hospitality remains a core motivator for repeat guest loyalty.
Jeff Gillies, Commercial Director at Coral Expeditions, comments, “At a time of global health challenges and uncertainties, there is no better sanctuary than our own Great Barrier Reef. Coral Expeditions has had a ship operating on the Reef for 35 years. Our pioneering spirit of exploration began here, and this extraordinary place remains at the heart of our DNA. We encourage Australians to explore their home shores at this time. With the new medical protocols we have adopted, there is no better escape than a week on the Reef by small ship”.
Coral Expeditions has launched a completely re-imagined program of Great Barrier Reef Cruise from June 2021.