Australia’s pioneering small ship cruise line, Coral Expeditions, has announced the dates of their forthcoming 21/22 New Zealand and the South Pacific expedition season aboard new vessel, Coral Geographer. Four new itineraries have been developed to showcase remote attractions best accessed by small ship, including an exploration of the rarely seen Subantarctic islands of Snares, Auckland, and Campbell.
True to the Coral Expeditions brand, these itineraries explore remote natural landscapes and showcase rich cultural experiences, from hiking through the lush Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the world’s youngest geothermic valley, to encounters with powerful Maori traditions and people in historical Gisborne.
The centerpiece of these voyages is a newly forged exploration of New Zealand’s Subantarctic region, including planned visits to five UNESCO World-Heritage listed island groups. Guests can expect an array of experiences, including guided shore excursions to the protected natural reserves of Campbell and Auckland Islands. These islands, cloaked in pastures of endemic megaherbs and red-flowering rata, are a sanctuary for rare birdlife including ten species of Albatross and penguin, including the rare, yellow-eyed penguin. The islands are also a haven for fur seals, sea lions, and elephant seals.
“Our new itineraries celebrate the distinct facets that makes New Zealand one of the most aspirational global destinations for natural and cultural adventure” says Jeff Gillies, Commercial Director of Coral Expeditions. “From its vast landscapes and geological formations, an abundance of birds and endemic wildlife, a powerful Maori and Polynesian cultural influence and a fascinating maritime history, this is a rewarding and educational expedition series”
Coral Expeditions new expedition series includes:
14-night “Expedition to the Albatross Latitudes” departs Milford 8 January 2022. For the first time, Coral Expeditions voyages to the Subantarctic region, exploring UNESCO World-Heritage sites guided by a knowledgeable expedition team. Beginning in the deep and quiet fiords of Southland, this expedition focusses on the extraordinary wildlife and plants that flourish in these wild southern islands. Guests will spot rare birds, including numerous species of albatross, and hike through fields of megaherbs. Two days are spent discovering the remote Chatham Islands. Prices start at $11,690 per person and are all inclusive of shore excursions, meals, and beverages.
12-night “New Zealand’s East Coast” expedition departs Auckland 27th December 2021. Aboard Coral Geographer, experience New Zealand from a different perspective, enjoy access to wilderness areas within the Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland, including largely inaccessible Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, and visit sheltered coves and islands to find fur seals, birdlife, and pods of friendly dolphins. Prices start at $9,920 per person and are all inclusive of shore excursions, meals, and beverages.
8-night “South Coast to Fiordland” departs Wellington 23 January 2022. Journey down the South Coast to explore three of Fiordland’s most beautiful sounds – astonishing Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, and iconic Milford Sound. Observe the wildlife, discover the history, and be immersed in the stillness of unforgettable Southland. Prices start at $6,790 per person and are all inclusive of shore excursions, meals, and beverages.
13-night “Battlefields and Beaches of the Solomon Islands departs Honiara 30 November 2021. This voyage through the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu aboard Coral Geographer visits the palm-fringed beaches of Melanesia, explores shipwrecks, and discovers the remnants of WWII in the Pacific. Highlights include visits to spectacular Marovo Lagoon and Marau Sound, the opportunity to meet and interact with locals at many locations, getting up close to conservation efforts at the Arnavon Islands, and the chance to gaze into the heart of a volcano on Tanna Island. Special guest lecturer Rear Admiral Allan du Toit will share his knowledge on the historical and wartime significance of the region. Prices start at $8,990 per person and are all inclusive of shore excursions, meals, and beverages.
Coral Expeditions has led the Australian cruise industry with the introduction of its SailSAFE Plan and health protocols, developed by Australian medical specialists for the current environment. The SailSAFE plan is based on the most rigorous safety principles giving guests and crew confidence and peace of mind to travel. The pre-screening protocols effectively create a ‘safe travel bubble’ for guests and crew, supported by onboard mitigation and authorised response procedures. This plan has been vetted by regional and national authorities and proven on the company’s Great Barrier Reef departures since October 2020.