Have questions? We're here.
Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific

Great Barrier Reef: Cairns, Lizard Island & Pelorus Island (Weekday Departure)

8 Day Sample Cruise aboard Coral Expeditions II
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Australia trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
For guests with more time and a great sense of adventure, this 7-night Cairns – Lizard Island – Pelorus Island – Cairns cruise offers the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience! On this Australian small ship cruise, discover everything that this memorable region has to offer - the best parts of the Reef, spectacular rainforest trails and beautiful tropical islands including Lizard and Dunk, along with a private island paradise, Pelorus.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Cairns
Day 2 : Cooktown and Great Barrier Reef
Day 3 : Lizard Island and Ribbon Reef No. 9
Day 4 : Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef
Day 5 : Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay
Day 6 : Hinchinbrook Channel and Pelorus Island
Day 7 : Dunk Island and Nathan Reef
Day 8 : Fitzroy Island and Return to Cairns

Highlights

  • Discover Capt. James Cook's historic Cooktown.
  • Take the plunge with a Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive.
  • Visit Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a taste of indigenous culture.
  • Snorkel in some of the most pristine waters in the Great Barrier Reef.

Ship

Coral Princess II

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Cairns
  • Cooktown
  • Dunk Island
  • Fitzroy Island
  • Hinchinbrook Channel
  • Lizard Island
  • Nathan Reef
  • Pelorus Island
  • Rachel Carson Reef
  • Ribbon Reef No 3
  • Ribbon Reef No 9
  • Sudbury Cay
  • Thetford Reef
  • Trinity Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific Travelers learning how to scuba dive. Snorkel the clear, tropical waters Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef Take a glass bottom boat through the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 1 Embark in Cairns

Board the Coral Expeditions II small ship for an afternoon departure from Cairns. While departing Cairns and cruising Trinity Bay, settle in and discover "home" for the next seven nights. In the evening, join the crew and traveling companions on the top deck to enjoy a glass of champagne as the expedition cruise heads northward, passing Double Island and the pretty beach-side village of Palm Cove. Admire a spectacular sunset over the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Macalister Range before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.

Day 2 Cooktown and Great Barrier Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take the morning to discover historical Cooktown, which is steeped in history with buildings dating back to the 1870s. It was here that the famous explorer Captain James Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery after claiming Australia as a British colony in 1770. Visit Cooktown’s fascinating historical museum, featuring original artifacts from Cook’s ship – Endeavour. See the original anchor and cannon, jettisoned overboard after Endeavour struck a reef and began taking on water. Perhaps visit the Botanic Gardens and catch a glimpse of some native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies.

This afternoon visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colorful coral gardens and discover some of the 1500 species of tropical fish that call the reef home. Perhaps go snorkeling for an up-close view of the hundreds of varieties of coral growing on this section of reef. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkeling tours for less experienced swimmers.

Day 3 Lizard Island and Ribbon Reef No. 9

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join the guides on a walk to “Cook’s Look” on the island’s peak (hiking shoes or boots are recommended). It was from here, the highest lookout on this part of the reef, that Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the Endeavour near Cooktown over 200 years ago. A photographer’s delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent.

Lizard Island’s fringing reef, in the shallow waters just meters off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Discover giant clams and a profusion of fish. Simply relax on the beach, join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour, or for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. The choice is yours!

Cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef where activities include more snorkeling opportunities and glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist.

Day 4 Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Great Barrier Reef is not actually one continuous reef, but a series of thousands of individual coral cays stretching over 1800 miles between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. Visit two of the most spectacular sections of the reef, Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Explore the coral gardens and marine life with guided snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. A Marine Biologist explains the natural history and evolution of the reef and the local wildlife, which includes sea turtles, giant clams, rays and over 200 different species of native birds.

Day 5 Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning enjoy time to explore Cairns at your own or join an included visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a taste of indigenous culture before reboarding Coral Expeditions II.

In the afternoon, experience the reef at the exclusive Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay moorings. Join the knowledgeable Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colorful coral gardens before gathering on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed. Discover some of the 1500 species of fish that live on the reef, including Spangled Emperor, Giant Trevally and the Hump-Headed Maori Wrasse as they are hand fed by the Marine Biologist.

Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon snorkeling in the shallow waters for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colorful corals and tropical fish. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkeling tours for less experienced swimmers.

Day 6 Hinchinbrook Channel and Pelorus Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awaken this morning to the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island’s towering cliffs and mangrove ecosystems. Subject to tides, cruise the length of the channel, separating the Australian mainland and the island, one of the most diverse marine environments on the Australian coast. Keep an eye out for myriad marine life including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs, all of which feed on the region’s plentiful sea grasses and can often be seen frolicking in these waters.

Discover Coral Expeditions' very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. Gather on the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. Then, explore the surrounding rainforest on a guided nature walk. Pelorus’ fringing reef, in the shallow waters just meters off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Admire the colorful corals from the glass bottom boat with the Marine Biologist, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach.

Day 7 Dunk Island and Nathan Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning join naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island’s unique flora and fauna. Perhaps see the brightly colored blue-winged Ulysses Butterfly, impossible to miss against the ancient rainforest background. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for many of the up to 100 species of native birds recorded on the island, including the Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Emerald Dove and Orange-footed Scrubfowl.

Following lunch, discover Nathan Reef, which has some of the most colorful coral gardens that can be found anywhere along the entire length of the reef. View many of the 400 different species of coral living in this World Heritage-listed wonderland. Venture in to the warm tropical waters to explore the corals and marine life on a guided snorkeling tour and join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour.

For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. Discover some of the amazing creatures living on the reef at the on-board display tank. Enjoy the rare opportunity for a close up look at sea cucumbers, brightly colored starfish and other marine life. Laze away the late afternoon on the sun deck, enjoying the comfortable on-board facilities including the spa pool and sun lounges. Tonight, gather in the dining room for another sumptuous dinner while settling in for a final night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 8 Fitzroy Island and Return to Cairns

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Travel ashore to explore beautiful Fitzroy Island. Surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Fitzroy Island offers wonderful bush walking opportunities and idyllic white sandy beaches. Savor a final snorkeling opportunity over the island’s fringing reefs, just meters from the beach in the sheltered waters.

Following lunch, cruise through Trinity Bay before arriving in Tropical Cairns for disembarkation at Trinity Wharf.

Coral Princess II

Per person starting at
Coral Princess II's Cabins.
Cabin
$0
Five cabins, located on Deck C. 10.5-14 sqm, bunk beds or twin beds.
Coral Princess II's Staterooms.
Stateroom
$0
Four staterooms, located on Deck C. 14 sqm, twin or double beds.
Coral Princess II's Upper Deck Staterooms.
Upper Deck Stateroom
$0
Nine Upper Deck staterooms located on Deck B. 14 sqm, with twin or double beds.
Coral Princess II's Deluxe Stateroom.
Deluxe Stateroom
$0
Four Deluxe staterooms located on Deck B. 15 sqm, with twin or double beds.

Notes

Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Expeditions II 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 Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

CRUISE INCLUSIONS
- All meals, morning and afternoon teas, soda fountain soft drinks
- Tea and coffee 24 hours a day
- Use of snorkeling equipment, masks, fins, and flotation vests
- Guided glass bottom boat coral viewing and snorkeling excursions
- Presentations by Marine Biologists
- Access to islands, marine and national parks
- Use of comprehensive range of library and video resources
- An introductory SCUBA diving skills session for first time divers

EXCLUSIONS
- Pre and post cruise transfers
- Bar and shop purchases
- Shop to shore telephone and facsimile calls
- Costs associated with scuba diving
- The Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC) of AUD18.00 per person (payable on board)

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Erin Correia
Erin C

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News