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

Uncover the hidden secrets of the Great Barrier Reef
Adventure Life
Snorkle off of Cairns, the gateway to Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Adventure Life
Snorkel the clear, tropical waters
A starfish on the Great Barrier Reef
Snorkeling with clownfish.
Soak up the stunning views from the spa
Top Lounge aboard the Coral Princess II


  • Oct 03, 2014
  • Oct 10, 2014
  • Oct 17, 2014
  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Oct 31, 2014
  • Nov 07, 2014
  • Nov 14, 2014
  • Nov 21, 2014
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Dec 05, 2014
  • Dec 12, 2014
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Dec 26, 2014

Private Independent Travel

For guests with more time and a great sense of adventure, this 7-night Cairns – Pelorus Island – Lizard Island – Cairns cruise offers the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience! Aboard this Australian small ship cruise you will 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 your very own private island paradise, Pelorus.

Day 1

    Embark in Cairns / Thetford Reef

    Board your Coral Princess II small ship for a 11:00am departure from Cairns. As you depart Cairns and cruise Trinity Bay, there is time to settle in and discover your “home” for the next four nights. After a delicious lunch arrive at the exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay. Join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat for your first encounter with the reef 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 to snorkel in the shallow waters for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colorful corals and tropical fish. Your experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkeling tours for less experienced swimmers. In the evening, join your crew and traveling companions in the top deck lounge as the sun spectacularly sets over the reef before sitting down to a memorable dinner.

    Day 2

      Hinchinbrook Channel & Pelorus Island

      Awaken this morning as you cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island’s towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. 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.

      Next, enjoy the afternoon to discover Coral Princess' very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. You are invited to 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 your Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!

      Day 3

        Dunk Island & Nathan Reef

        This morning join your naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island’s unique flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to 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 at your own pace. From your exclusive mooring experience 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 your Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. Later, 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 onboard facilities including the spa pool and sun lounges. Tonight, gather in the dining room for another sumptuous dinner as you settle in for your final night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.

        Day 4

          Fitzroy Island

          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. Enjoy time to relax and explore, relax on the beach or perhaps enjoy a swim in the sheltered waters or a snorkel over the island’s fringing reefs.

          Day 5

            Historic Cooktown & the Reef

            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. You have the option to 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, where you may 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.

            Day 6

              Lizard Island / Ribbon Reef No 9

              This morning awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join your 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 your Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. The choice is yours!

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

              Day 7

                Ribbon Reef No 3 / Rachel Carson Reef

                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. Spend today visiting 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. Your Marine Biologist will explain the natural history and evolution of the reef and help you discover the local wildlife, which includes sea turtles, giant clams, rays and over 200 different species of native birds.

                Day 8


                  Farewell your Captain, crew and new-found friends before disembarking at Trinity Wharf in Cairns.
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                  Please note: Fares are based off of current exchange rates from the Australian Dollar. Please contact us for current rates.
                  South Pacific, Australia, Cairns, Cooktown, Lizard Island, Ribbon Reef No 9, Ribbon Reef No 3, Rachel Carson Reef, Thetford Reef, Hinchinbrook Channel, Pelorus Island, Dunk Island, Nathan Reef, Fitzroy Island
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                  Solo Travelers:
                  A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “twin share” program. Book a cabin at the posted fare and the Coral Princess 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
                  - Tea and coffee 24 hours a day
                  - Use of snorkeling equipment, masks and fins
                  - 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 experience for first time divers

                  - Pre and post cruise transfers
                  - Bar and shop purchases
                  - Shop to shore telephone and facsimile calls
                  - Coasts associated with scuba diving
                  - The Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC)

                  Deposit & Payment

                  Initial deposit is 15%-25%, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at:

                  Final payment is due 70 days prior to departure.

                  Final payment by bank transfer, check or Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AmEx. Credit Card payments subject to 3% convenience fee and maximum $15,000 charge.

                  Booking last minute? No problem! Please contact one of our trip planners, and we can get you on your way if booking less than 70 days prior to departure.

                  Click here to see a copy of our Terms and Conditions.

                  Cancellation Policy

                  Days Prior to departureFee
                  70 days or moreDeposit
                  69-30 days55% cruise fare
                  29-0 days100% cruise fare