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Take in the unusual beauty of the Australian coast

Torres Strait and Cape York

Cairns - Horn Island - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Coral Discoverer
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With almost 300 islands dotted across the narrow stretch of water between Cape York and Papua New Guinea, the people of the Torres Strait Islands have a distinct and vibrant culture. An expedition by small ship is the ideal way to access these remote regions, visiting uninhabited sand cays, remote islands and pristine reef systems. Our expert guides will share their knowledge both above and below the water. With decades of experience and a deep respect for the communities of the region, Coral Expeditions will facilitate an enriching journey accompanied and hosted by local elders who will share the customs and stories of this ancient country.
Explore the wonder of coral reefsVibrant sunset colors over the Australian coastEnjoy a tropical escapeSnorklingSail the crystal waters of the South Pacific reef systemTake in the unusual beauty of the Australian coast
Highlights
  • Experience the natural beauty of the Torres Strait Islands
  • Snorkel remote reefs and bird-watch at Davie Cay
  • View rock art at Stanley Island
  • Explore Lizard Island’s reefs and beaches
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Cairns, Australia | Embark

Board Coral Discoverer at Cairns Trinity Wharf. Enjoy afternoon tea onboard and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as you set sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew as you enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Day 2: Cooktown

Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870’s. Here you will have the choice of a guided indigenous cultural tour, or a guided Cooktown historic tour. You will also have the opportunity for time at leisure to explore Cooktown’s attractions which include art galleries, the botanic gardens, James Cook Museum (with original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour), lookouts, and a walk to the top of Grassy Hill.

Day 3: Lizard Island

Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Join an optional hike to Cook’s Look and be rewarded with exceptional views over the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson on a walk to her cottage. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens and colourful coral and visit the Lizard Island Research Station.

Day 4: Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough.

Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and your visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Day 5: Stanley Island | Davie Reef

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art guided by a traditional owner who will offer an interpretation. The art here depicts the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef enjoy swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours and see Brown Boobie bird colonies at Davie Cay.

Day 6: Forbes Island | Restoration Island

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. You also have an opportunity to go beachcombing at a nearby remote island, possibly Magra, Saunders, or Sir Charles Hardy.

Visit Restoration Island or Resto, as the locals call it.  Here Captain Bligh, of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789. He named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was Oak Apple Day, the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.

Today Restoration Island is not just a National Park; one-third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former mining tycoon, who, after losing his fortune in the Black Friday market crash, decided to live a solitary existence on the island, and has done so for over 2 decades. It is an idyllic coastal island with a granite and volcanic peak 116 metres in height and a beautiful shark tooth-shaped beach spit where guest will enjoy water activities and time to explore the island.

Day 7: Cape York

This morning explore historical sites at Possession Island, Albany Island and Somerset.

Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as you relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon at the Tip of Cape York – the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent.

Day 8: Badu Island

In the morning, visit the indigenous art centre to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye.

Enjoy traditional kai kai (Traditional Lunch) prepared by the local community – a feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.

Day 9: Moa Island

Visit the art centre and join in print, weaving and jewellery making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.

Day 10: Thursday Island (Waiben)

Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island you also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Centre and local shopping.

Day 11: Horn Island | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As you set off on your final Xplorer ride, your incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end.

Ship/Hotel

Coral Discoverer

Coral Discoverer
Bridge Deck Bar aboard the Coral Discoverer

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,005 2-3 travelers
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Main Deck B
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Three cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin portholes, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
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Main Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Six cabins located on the Main Deck, equipped with twin porthole windows, desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck B
Averaging 160 sq. ft. Four cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Select a Date
Promenade Deck A
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Eighteen cabins located on the Promenade Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Select a Date
Bridge Deck
Averaging 195 sq. ft. Five cabins located on the Bridge Deck, equipped with picture windows, sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

Notes

Solo Travelers:
Solo cabin occupancy is limited and based on availability in Promenade Deck B cabins only. Single supplement is an additional 50%.

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.
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry Service
  • Entry visas/Travel permits
  • Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Internet 
  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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