Day 1 Embark in Cairns
Board the Coral Expedition II small ship for a mid-morning departure from Cairns. While departing Cairns and cruising Trinity, meet fellow travelers, settle in, and explore "home" for the next three nights. After a delicious lunch arrive at an exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay. Join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat for a first encounter with the reef before gathering on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed. Discover some of the 1,500 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 to snorkel in the shallow waters for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colorful corals and tropical fish. The experienced crew provides assistance, advice and guided snorkeling tours for less experienced swimmers. In the evening, join the crew and traveling companions in the top deck lounge as the sun spectacularly sets over the reef before sitting down to a memorable Captain's Welcome Seafood Buffet.
Day 2 Hinchinbrook Channel | Pelorus Island
- 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.
Enjoy the afternoon to discover Coral Expeditions' very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. Gather on the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. 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, including the opportunity to view a giant clam garden. Admire the colorful corals from a kayak or a 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 3 Dunk Island | Nathan Reef
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 4 Fitzroy Island | Disembark in Cairns
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 at 1:30 pm for disembarkation at Trinity Wharf, Cairns.