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Stroll along stunning beaches

Cape York & Arnhem Land: Darwin to Cairns

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Coral Expeditions I
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Join the Coral Expeditions I in this incredible 13-day adventure experiencing the very best that Australia's spectacular northern coastline has to offer. Explore the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the rarely visited Tiwi Islands, and meet fabulous artisans in some of the most remote villages in Australia. Reach the northern 'Tip of Australia' on the Cape York Peninsula and enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel in clear tropical waters and coral gardens.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Darwin
Day 2 : Tiwi Islands
Day 3 : Cobourg Peninsula
Day 4 : Liverpool River and Maningrida
Day 5 : Elcho Island Artists
Day 6 : Wessel Islands | Hole in the Wall | Gove
Day 7 : Gove | Horn Island
Day 8 : Thursday Island
Day 9 : Forbes Island and Reef
Day 10 : Davey Reef | Flinders Group of Islands
Day 11 : Lizard Island
Day 12 : Cooktown
Day 13 : Disembark in Cairns


  • Learn from the unique Tiwi people and visit their fascinating art center
  • Experience Gove's local culture, industry, and history
  • Explore Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the coast
  • Spend a day in Cooktown, where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage


Coral Expeditions I

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Cairns
  • Cobourg Peninsula
  • Cooktown
  • Darwin
  • Elcho Island
  • Forbes Island
  • Lizard Island
  • Nhulunbury (Gove)
  • Thursday Island
  • Tiwi Islands


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Stroll along stunning beaches Snorkel at exclusive Great Barrier Reef sites Zoom through the Horizontal Falls Discover Dunk Island on a guided rainforest walk Access the shore aboard the the Zodiac

Day 1 Embark in Darwin

Boarding commences at Fort Hill Wharf in Darwin ahead of a 6:00 pm departure. This evening enjoy the Captain's Welcome Drinks before sitting down to the first of many delicious dinners as the ship crosses the Arafura Sea.

Day 2 Tiwi Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit Bathurst and Melville Island and learn from traditional Tiwi people of the unique cultures of the Tiwi islanders. Visit their fascinating art centers and perhaps purchase wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings, and pottery. Witness a smoking ceremony, traditional basket weaving, and morning tea with the locals, over freshly-cooked damper and billy tea. 

Day 3 Cobourg Peninsula

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

Day 4 Liverpool River and Maningrida

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Centre, Museum, and local ’boutique’, where hand painted clothing and fabrics are offered for sale. Join the Expedition Team on an Xplorer tour of the river before rejoining the Coral Expeditions I.

Day 5 Elcho Island Artists

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be welcomed by friendly locals to their Elcho Island community. Enjoy 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. Enjoy a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ on one of the beautiful islands while toasting the sunset over the Arafura Sea.

Day 6 Wessel Islands | Hole in the Wall | Gove

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart the Wessel Islands, cruising through 'The Hole in the Wall', Malay Straits, and onward to the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove). On disembarking transfer to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight's accommodation.

Day 7 Gove | Horn Island

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Join the Expedition Leader to discover this frontier town and experience local culture, industry and history. After a refreshing lunch, visit the Yirrkala Arts and Crafts Center before transferring to the airport for a charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn Island. Stay at the historic and pioneering Gateway Torres Strait Resort, a longstanding family business which offers an insightful, personal war museum sharing the local history from World War II.

Day 8 Thursday Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Embark on a short tour of Horn Island prior to transfer by ferry to Thursday Island to rejoin Coral Expeditions I. During the tour of 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. Following a short cruise to Cape York, travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the 'Tip' of Australia.

Day 9 Forbes Island and Reef

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island. While the reef offers some fantastic swimming and snorkeling opportunities, also enjoy a short walk to the summit and enjoy the outlook over the surrounding reef and islands.

Day 10 Davey Reef | Flinders Group of Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Davey Reef and Cay, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery. Later go ashore at Stanley Island where the Expedition Leader and guides escort a tour of an 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.

Day 11 Lizard Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day at one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast. Enjoy a climb of Cook's Look, enjoy swimming and snorkeling, and a beach walk. Subject to availability, visit the Lizard Island Research Station and learn more about the research being undertaken to help understand and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 12 Cooktown

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery. This evening join the Captain and crew for Farewell Drinks.

Day 13 Disembark in Cairns

  • 1 Breakfast
Cross Trinity Bay before arriving into the Port of Cairns at 8:00 am. Say farewell to the Captain, his staff, and new friends at the end of this great adventure.

Coral Expeditions I

Gateway Torres Strait Resort

Walkabout Lodge

Per person starting at
Coral Expeditions I - Cabin Twin Share
Select a Date
Six cabins, decks C & D. 10 sqm with twin beds.
Coral Expeditions I - Stateroom
Select a Date
Five Staterooms on deck C. 13 sqm with twin or double beds.
Coral Expeditions I - Upper Deck Stateroom
Select a Date
Upper Deck Staterooms
Eight upper deck staterooms on deck B. 14 sqm with twin or double beds.
Coral Expeditions I - Deluxe Stateroom Double
Select a Date
Deluxe Staterooms
Six deluxe staterooms on deck c. 17 sqm with twin or double beds.


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 I 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.

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 Expeditions Ireserve the right to vary this itinerary to make allowances for weather, tidal conditions and any other reasons whatsoever.

Cruise Inclusions:
  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals
  • House beer and wine during lunch and dinner service
  • 24 hour soft drinks, tea and barista-style coffee
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours on Xplorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs, glass-bottom boat and kayaks
  • Touring as described in each itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings and knowledge-sharing sessions
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre and post flights, transfers and hotels
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases


  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
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