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Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Cape York & Arnhem Land

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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This Cape York and Arnhem Land small ship expedition is a fascinating voyage combining the very best of Australia’s northern coastline, exploring the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the ‘Tip of Australia’ at Cape York, the Arnhem Land Coast and the rarely visited Tiwi Islands. Come aboard the Coral Discoverer in Cairns for a remarkable 11-night voyage of discovery to Darwin, visiting otherwise inaccessible locations and meeting the friendly indigenous people of the Torres Strait and the Top End.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Depart Cairns
Day 2 : Lizard Island
Day 3 : Stanley Island & Davey Reef
Day 4 : Forbes Island & Magra Island
Day 5 : Cape York & Thursday Island
Day 6 : Cruising the Gulf of Carpentaria
Day 7 : Hole in the Wall & Wessel Islands
Day 8 : Elcho Island Artists
Day 9 : Liverpool River & Maningrida
Day 10 : Cobourg Peninsula
Day 11 : Bathurst & Melville Islands
Day 12 : Disembark in Darwin

Ship

Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Bathurst Island
  • Cairns
  • Cape York
  • Cobourg Peninsula
  • Darwin
  • Elcho Island
  • Forbes Island
  • Gulf of Carpentaria
  • Hole in the Wall
  • Liverpool River
  • Lizard Island
  • Magra Island
  • Maningrida
  • Melville Island
  • Stanley Island
  • Thursday Island
  • Wessel Islands

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef Access the shore aboard the the Zodiac Admire ancient Aboriginal rock art Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific North Australian bush

Day 1 Depart Cairns

  • 1 Dinner
Board the Coral Discoverer at Trinity Wharf, Cairns. This evening meet fellow travelers and friendly crew while enjoying the Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party.

Day 2 Lizard Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling and a walk along the beautiful sandy beach. As special guests of the Lizard Island Research Station learn of the research being undertaken to help understand and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 3 Stanley Island & Davey Reef

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group to view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery depicting sailing ships of the last century. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location. At Davey Reef and Cay enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Day 4 Forbes Island & Magra Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island. Its reef provides some fantastic swimming and snorkeling opportunities. This afternoon visit Magra Island for beachcombing, bird watching and to enjoy the tropical sunset.

Day 5 Cape York & Thursday Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Venture ashore at Cape York as the sun rises over the "Tip" on Australia's northernmost point. Enjoy champagne and welcome the new day. Anchoring at Thursday Island, learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets. Have the opportunity to observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals whilst enjoying a tour of the island. Following lunch visit the Gab Titui Cultural Center, which showcases and promotes the heritage of the Torres Strait, before crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Day 6 Cruising the Gulf of Carpentaria

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with presentations by Guest Lecturers, who share the fascinating history of the Macassan traders and early explorers of the Arnhem Land coast.

Day 7 Hole in the Wall & Wessel Islands

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail through the "Hole in the Wall" to the Wessell Islands, which are perhaps the most remote and isolated islands found anywhere on the Australian coast. Enjoy a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ as the sun spectacularly sets over the Arafura Sea.

Day 8 Elcho Island Artists

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome you to their community this morning. Enjoy an insight into their culture and meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world, including the Louvre. The island is also home to renowned indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Attend the local church service to share in the local culture.

Day 9 Liverpool River & Maningrida

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River before traveling ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Center, Museum and local "boutique", where hand painted clothing and fabrics are offered for sale. Later, join the Expedition Leader and guides on an Xplorer tour of the mighty river.

Day 10 Cobourg Peninsula

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a full day to discover to discover the Cobourg Peninsula. Port Essington is famous for its failed Victoria Settlement. Local National Park rangers guide an exploration of the ruins. Also visit the Ranger's Interpretation Center at Black Point.

Day 11 Bathurst & Melville Islands

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a true highlight, visiting remote Bathurst and Melville Islands. With traditional Tiwi people as guides, learn of the unique cultures and visit their fascinating art center. Tiwi hosts share a cultural performance and basket-weaving exhibition before a traditional afternoon tea of damper and billy tea. Say farewell to new-found friends while enjoying the Captain's Farewell Cocktail Party.

Day 12 Disembark in Darwin

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive into Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and gateway to the "Top End".

Coral Discoverer

Per person starting at
Coral Discoverer Main Category B Stateroom
Select a Date
Main Deck B
Main Deck, 17.5-18.5 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Main Deck Category A.
Select a Date
Main Deck A
Main Deck, 18 sqm, with either junior king or twin bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category B.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck B
Promenade Deck, 14-16 sqm, junior king bedding.
Oceanic Discoverer's Promenade Deck Category A.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck A
Promenade Deck, 16-17.5 sqm, junior king bedding.
Coral Discoverer Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Select a Date
Bridge Deck
Bridge Deck, 17-18 sqm, junior king or twin bedding.

Notes

This Add-on is available only for our travelers extending or customizing their itinerary.

Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Discoverer will attempt to match you with another solo traveler of the same gender. If not possible, enjoy the sole use of the cabin at the twin share price.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian or New Zealand Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

This itinerary is an indication of the reef, islands and coastal areas hoped to visit. While every effort will be made to follow this itinerary the Coral Discoverer reserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other reasons whatsoever.

Cruise Inclusions:
- Accommodation charges on board
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell Cocktails
- Services of expedition staff including lectures
- Briefings, slide/film presentations, and other group activities
- Group transfers during the cruise
- All meals
- 24 hour tea/coffee station
- Landing fees
- Australian Government Goods and Services Tax

Excludes: Pre and Post flights; fuel surcharges if applicable, personal items such as telephone, facsimile charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance.

Included

  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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