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Uncover the hidden secrets of the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef: Cairns - Hinchinbrook Island - Cairns

Example 4 Day Cruise aboard Coral Expeditions II
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Join the Coral Discoverer II for a 4-day cruise and enjoy the perfect combination of experiences to make your holiday on the Great Barrier Reef truly memorable. This itinerary has been designed to provide ample time to explore the Reef through snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass bottom boat tours, while also allowing plenty of time to discover exclusive private islands, tropical resort paradises, and ancient rainforest trails. From the mangrove channel at Hinchinbrook Island to the ancient rainforest of Dunk Island, and the untouched remoteness of Sudbury Cay, guests onboard experience a myriad habitats, both on land and at sea. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Cairns
Day 2 : Hinchinbrook Channel | Pelorus Island
Day 3 : Dunk Island | Nathan Reef
Day 4 : Fitzroy Island | Disembark in Cairns


  • Discover the colorful and diverse World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef
  • Be guided by a Marine Biologist on glass bottom boat & snorkeling tours
  • Snorkel over colorful coral gardens and stroll on golden sandy beaches


Coral Expeditions II

Places Visited

  • Australia
  • South Pacific
  • Cairns
  • Dunk Island
  • Fitzroy Island
  • Hinchinbrook Channel
  • Nathan Reef
  • Pelorus Island
  • Sudbury Cay
  • Thetford Reef


Trip Type

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Uncover the hidden secrets of the Great Barrier Reef Dive instruction aboard the Coral Princess II Moor at exclusive reefs beyond the reach of larger ships Snorkel at exclusive Great Barrier Reef sites Relax and enjoy the views from the SunDeck

Day 1 Embark in Cairns

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Board the Coral Expedition II small ship for a mid-morning departure from Cairns. While departing Cairns and cruising Trinity Bay, meet fellow travelers, settle in, and explore "home" for the next three nights. Enjoy a scenic view of Port Douglas Village. After a delicious lunch arrive at an exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef, Coates Reef, and Nathan Reef. 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 or dive 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, enjoy sunset drinks aboard the deserted Sudbury Sand Cay, a virtual deserted island, before sitting down to a memorable Captain's Welcome Seafood Buffet.

Day 2 Hinchinbrook Channel | Pelorus Island

  • Ship
  • 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

  • Ship
  • 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

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
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, arrive in tropical Cairns at 1:30 pm for disembarkation at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal.

Coral Expeditions II

Per person starting at
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Five cabins, located on Deck C. 10.5-14 sqm, bunk beds or twin beds.
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Four staterooms, located on Deck C. 14 sqm, twin or double beds.
Select a Date
Upper Deck Stateroom
Nine Upper Deck staterooms located on Deck B. 14 sqm, with twin or double beds.
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Deluxe Stateroom
Four Deluxe staterooms located on Deck B. 15 sqm, with twin or double beds.


Solo Travelers:
A 50% single supplement is charged or select the “Single Guest Match” program. Single Guest Match is available for guests who have flexible travel dates and are willing to share a cabin with another guest of the same gender. Passengers are placed on a standby list and notified if a match becomes available. Once confirmed, they are charged at the twin-share rate (no single supplement). Cabin category requests are accepted.

Important Fare Information:
Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian Dollars. Please contact us for current exchange rates.

  • Accommodation in selected room grade for the number of nights as listed in each itinerary
  • All meals
  • 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 Explorer 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 (Australian GST at 10%)
  • 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
  • The Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC) of AUD19.50 per person (payable on board)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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.
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