Coral Expeditions, founded in 1984, is a pioneering Australian expedition cruise company that operates and manages a fleet of three small expedition ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered, regions of Australia, Asia-Pacific, South-Pacific, and Indian Ocean islands. Coral Expeditions is the first to offer interpretive programs reflective of the destinations they visit and to employ Expedition Leaders, Guest Lecturers, Marine Biologists, and SCUBA Instructors – a tradition that continues today. They travel with over 8000 guests who are attracted to a relaxed small-ship atmosphere and itineraries that larger ships cannot replicate.
ARE CORAL EXPEDITIONS OPERATING CRUISES AT THE MOMENT?
Yes, Coral Expeditions returned to operations in October 2020. Since then, we have operated over 40 incident-free voyages in Australia. We have an all-Australian Crew and domestic guest base. We have all approvals in place from federal, state and territory. Our SailSAFE Plan is tested and successful and is now being used as the benchmark for the cruise industry on a global level.
WHERE ARE YOU OPERATING CRUISES?
We are focussing on Australia’s domestic coastline for the foreseeable future and are operating voyages in the Kimberley, Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land, the Torres Straits, South Australia and the West Australian coastline. A number of these are new destinations so we are discovering more of our home shores than ever before.
IS THERE AVAILABILITY ON THE KIMBERLEY THIS YEAR?
Yes, there is. We have a Kimberley availability tracker on our website where you can see voyage by voyage availability by stateroom categories. We have limited staterooms between May and August, and we have extended the season to offer more sailings in the months of September and October which coincides with the annual humpback whale migration. There is strong demand so please contact us if you are seeking to travel this year. We have opened all of our 2022 sailings with 52 expedition dates currently available to book between March and October.
WHEN WILL YOU RETURN TO OPERATING IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS?
There remains ongoing uncertainty with the environment for international travel of either an outbound or inbound nature. The Australian Government and major airlines have been quite clear that it may not be until mid-2022 that international travel is possible. Travel bubbles with safe regions like New Zealand and the Pacific are possible before that. At present, we are working towards attaining approvals to operate in New Zealand in December and January 21/22 and are hopeful that this will be approved. We have not scheduled any other international travel destinations until December 2022. In early 2023 we intend to return to destinations such as Papua New Guinea, the Spice Islands and our series Small Islands of the Indian Ocean.
IF I BOOK A CRUISE WITH CORAL EXPEDITIONS AND THEN CANNOT TRAVEL FOR COVID-19 REASONS, WHAT HAPPENS TO MY FUNDS?
We understand that there is uncertainty for travellers with regards to border closures and health concerns. If your cruise is unable to depart or you cannot join due to Covid-19-related circumstances or government travel restrictions, you will be guaranteed a 100% future cruise credit with protection against extra fees and rate increases. The use of this credit is subject to availability and does not have an expiry date.
ARE MY FUNDS SAFE WITH YOU?
Yes, Coral Expeditions has operated continuously for over 35 years through various crises and remains on a sound financial footing with support from our Australian bank and shareholders. We have returned to full operations since our successful restart in October 2020.
I HAVE HEARD THAT VARIOUS REMOTE COMMUNITIES THAT YOU OPERATE ARE NOT OPEN TO VISITORS AT THIS TIME. HOW CAN YOU OPERATE SAFELY IN THESE AREAS?
It is true that some remote indigenous areas in the Northern Australian region are currently closed to visitation. We are in regular weekly contact and are updated with the most current status. Coral Expeditions will always comply with federal, state and territory law and will comply with the wishes of local communities and landowners. As an expedition company, we have alternate itinerary options available to us in the event of weather interruptions or local community issues. As it is an evolving environment, we commit to guests that we will update them with the current status of planned itineraries no later than 4 weeks from their departure date.
AM I REQUIRED TO HAVE INSURANCE TO CRUISE AND WHERE CAN I FIND A SUPPLIER WHO WILL BE ABLE TO OFFER INSURANCE?
Travel Insurance is not included in your cruise fare. We ask that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes (without limitation) coverage for the cost of your cruise, medical expenses, loss of luggage, cruise and land content and airfare charges that may occur due to cancellation, the impossibility of performance or unexpected events including other frustration, disruption, loss of deposit or strikes. This is a policy that protects you.
Due to the remote nature of our expeditions at sea, we also strongly encourage you to include remote area evacuation in your policy. If you do not have remote area evacuation insurance or have difficulty obtaining it, you may provide us with a signed authorisation that you accept all costs associated with an evacuation.
Coral Expeditions does not endorse or recommend particular insurance providers. However, our guests have had success with the following companies, which have been able to provide insurance for expedition cruises within Australia at this time.
> Medibank Private
> Fast Cover
> Global Response
You may also find more information through the Smart Traveller resource.
WILL WE BE ABLE TO TRAVEL FROM OVERSEAS TO AUSTRALIA AND NOT HAVE TO QUARANTINE FOR 14 DAYS BEFORE TAKING THE TRIP?
We encourage anyone seeking information on arrivals or departures from Australia to access information from the Department of Home Affairs website at the following link Coming to Australia | COVID-19 and the border (homeaffairs.gov.au) Border information for both domestic and international is subject to change at any time and guests should be monitoring key information related to their voyage destinations. We will publish the latest updates related to voyage on our website at.
WHAT PAYMENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE TO BOOK AN EXPEDITION AND WHAT IS THE LATEST THAT I CAN PAY MY FINAL BALANCE?
To secure a booking on our expeditions, guests are required to make a 20% non-refundable deposit within 7 days of booking. Final payments are due 3 months prior to your voyage departure, as per our Ticket Terms & Conditions.
I HAVE A BOOKING WITH CORAL EXPEDITIONS AND I AM KEEN TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ON THE VOYAGE FOR MY PLANNING. HOW DO I FIND THIS OUT?
Once you make a booking, our team will send you a confirmation that outlines key information about your voyage. Along the way and in the lead up to your departure date, we will also send you or your travel agent important information including.
Pre Cruise planning documentation
SailSAFE medical information
Additional Information Request
What to Pack Information and final itinerary updates
Our website is a rich source of information and the webpage for your itinerary contains pre-and post-cruise recommendations and links to packing lists and travel insurance assistance. Other resources, including SailSAFE FAQs, PCR Test Guide, and updates to Your Upcoming Voyage can be found at their respective links.
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.