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Access the shore aboard the specially designed expedition vessel Xplorer

Cape York & Arnhem Land

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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Enjoy the opportunity to explore Australia's northern coastline in this 13-day exploration visiting the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the ‘Tip of Australia’ at Cape York, the Arnhem Land Coast, and the rarely visited Tiwi Islands. Learn of traditional Tiwi culture in the remote Bathurts and Melville Islands, and enjoy the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the clear tropical waters of Lizard Island. 

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 : Gulf of Carpentaria
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


  • Enjoy a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ as the sun sets over the Arafura Sea
  • Visit Thursday Island to learn about the cultures of Torres Strait
  • View indigenous art at the Nhulunbuy art centers and on Echo Island
  • Explore Lizard Island and the northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef


Coral Discoverer

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Cairns
  • Cobourg Peninsula
  • Cooktown
  • Darwin
  • Forbes Island
  • Lizard Island
  • Thursday Island
  • Tiwi Islands
  • Wessel Islands


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Access the shore aboard the specially designed expedition vessel Xplorer Clownfish spotted on snorkeling trip Snorkel the vibrant waters of the South Pacific Snorkel off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef North Australian bush

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 Gulf of Carpentaria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Guest lecturers recap on the voyage and share their knowledge of the region as the ship crosses the Gulf of Carpentaria to Thursday Island.

Day 8 Thursday Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 lunch visit the Gab Titui Cultural Center where the children perform traditional dances. Following a short cruise to Cape York go ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the "Tip".

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

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 Discoverer

Walkabout Lodge

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.


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 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, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Mary Curry
Mary C

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge

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