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Abrolhos Islands & the Coral Coast

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Coral Geographer
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This 13-day expedition explores Western Australia’s wild and largely untouched coast, with its contrasting coastal palette of rich red sands and turquoise sea.  With a fascinating maritime and Indigenous history – from the Malgana people of Shark Bay to the exploratory journeys of William Dampier, Dirk Hartog, Baudin and Freycinet – this region is layered with stories. The natural coastal reserves harbour an abundance of bird life and fascinating marine species. Our guides will help guests explore the renowned Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park, Montebello Islands, Muiron Islands and Dampier Archipelago.
Coral AdventurerExplore the wonder of coral reefsExplore the wonder of coral reefsRock formations along the coast of Kimberly
  • Discover the fascinating history and natural wonders of the Abrolhos Islands.
  • Explore World Heritage Shark Bay
  • Enjoy the sites of cultural significance to Indigenous Australians
  • Visit the World-Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Fremantle | Embark

Board Coral Adventurer at 8.00am at Victoria Quay at Fremantle Inner Harbor. There is time to settle into your stateroom before our 9:00am departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as we cruise northwards towards the Abrolhos.
As dusk falls meet your fellow travelers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2-12: Exploring Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay, Ningaloo, Muiron, Montebello Islands, and Dampier Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Your Expedition Team may make changes to the itinerary in order to maximize your expedition experience. Below are the key destinations we visit.

Spend three days in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, visiting historical sites, birdwatching, diving or snorkeling with the inquisitive Australian sea lions. This archipelago consists of 122 islands, clustered into three main groups. Enriched by the Leeuwin current, the marine environment is home to numerous species including Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins, and over 90 species of seabird have been identified. The treacherous reefs around these islands have claimed many wrecks over the centuries, the most famous being the Batavia in 1629 – whose Dutch crew swam ashore only to experience a brutal mutiny.

Spend two days exploring the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, the first location in Western Australia to receive UNESCO World Heritage status in 1991. This is a region of colorful landscapes, rare flora and fauna, and home to a staggering 35% of all of Australia’s bird species. On Dirk Hartog Island, visit Dampier’s Landing, where William Dampier came ashore in 1699, making the first scientific collection of Australian plants. Later, snorkel over the coral reef from the beach at Louisa Bay. Cabbage corals dominate this area, but there are also staghorn and massive pocillopora. Spot coral trout, blue-lined emperor, scribbled angelfish and potato cod. The next day, explore Francois Peron National Park, named after the naturalist on explorer Nicholas Baudin’s expeditions. Go ashore by Xplorer to be met by local Indigenous guides and park rangers.

The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5,000 square kilometers, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish including mega marine life such as humpback whales, manta rays, and whale sharks. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements.

Snorkel from the beach and relax at stunning Turquoise Bay, visit Yardie Creek via a 1.2km Nature Walk, or visit Vlamingh Head lighthouse. There will also be free time in Exmouth.

The secluded Muiron Islands are located 10 nautical miles off North West Cape. Well known for an incredible reef, many turtles, and even sightings of manta rays, the islands offer a variety of dive sites. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkelers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. Birdlife is abundant – spot wedge-tail shearwaters, roseate terns, osprey, and black-shouldered kites.

The Montebello Islands are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. The islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as Sooty Oystercatchers. The islands have an ‘explosive’ past as the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Visit the plinth which marks Ground Zero at Trimouille Island, where you will now find a haven for wildlife. Spend a full day exploring this island group, including wildlife spotting opportunities and beautiful beaches to enjoy a swim. You might spot the rare rufous hare-wallaby and lagoon rays in the tidal pools.

The 42 iron-red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them, offering exceptional natural beauty and significant historic sites, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. The earliest inhabitants, the Yaburara people, left thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements across the islands. Here, search for ancient petroglyphs, swim in the vibrant blue water or paddle out for a leisurely kayak from the remote island beaches. Take some time to enjoy bird and wildlife spotting – bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in this area, and the archipelago supports the largest hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With some luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby.

Day 13: Broome | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Broome for an 8:00am disembarkation.


Coral Geographer

Coral Geographer
Coral Geographer Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Coral Deck Stateroom
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Coral Deck Stateroom
Located on the Coral Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Twin porthole windows give you views of the world outside.
Promenade Deck Stateroom
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Promenade Deck Stateroom
Located on the Promenade Deck, these 17 Sq m staterooms are furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside.
Coral Geographer
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Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
These 21.4 Sq m staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite bathroom has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck.
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
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Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 sq m private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two.


- All excursions and sightseeing
- Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and kayaks
- Daily lectures and briefings
- All meals, chef-prepared on board
- Selected wines, selected beers, selected spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
- Coffee and selection of teas
- All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
- Choice of local operator excursions at some locations
- Tips and gratuities

These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team will make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximize your experience. These itineraries are indicative - some variation may occur due to weather conditions, safety or local community requirements. We recommend that you do not arrive to the embarkation port on the day of boarding or depart on the day of disembarkation due to unexpected changes that may occur in scheduling.



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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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