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North & South Great Barrier Reef Cruise (Northbound from Cairns)

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,626

Combine two fabulous journeys of the northern and southern Great Barrier Reefs for an incredible eight days. Enjoy the beauty that abounds here and discover the local wildlife.


If you haven’t explored the Great Barrier Reef on the water, you really haven’t explored it at all. This journey pairs two of our best cruises, departing Cairns for picturesque Lizard Island, before returning along the outer edges of the Reef, bound for Pelorus Island.

Cruise by Double Island and Palm Cove to Cooktown, the northernmost town of Australia’s east coast. Explorer James Cook beached his vessel here in 1770. His crew made numerous discoveries while the ship was repaired, including what is believed to be the first sighting by Europeans of a kangaroo. Today however, visitors need only visit Cooktown’s Botanic Garden to see kangaroos, wallabies and other native animals. A marine biologist joins you for a glass bottom boat tour.

Save some energy for Lizard Island, where your guide will take you on a walk to ‘Cook’s Look’ for spectacular views out over the surrounding islands. You’ll have the opportunity to try snorkeling or SCUBA diving before going on to spectacular Ribbon Reefs. The coral gardens here showcase the Great Barrier Reef at its most spectacular. The fish are joined by sea turtles, giant clams, rays, and over 200 distinct species of birds, for the ultimate underwater wildlife experience. Return to Cairns to commence the southbound component of your voyage.

After a delicious lunch at Trinity Bay, a marine biologist will prepare you for the chance to feed some of the Reef’s tropical fish. This unique environment is home to over 1200 species of fish and 500 species of coral. Close to the Queensland shore, cruise through Hinchinbrook Channel, keeping an eye out for its spectacular sea life including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs.

At Pelorus Island, enjoy a gourmet beach BBQ and guided nature walk. Spectacular fringing reefs surround this lesser known paradise. Strap on your snorkel, join our dive instructor or climb aboard a glass bottom boat to explore. Or just enjoy the unspoiled beaches and crystal blue waters for the ultimate in Reef-style relaxation. Join your guide for a walk through the Dunk Island rainforest, then journey through the coral gardens of nearby Nathan Reef. One last stop takes you to beautiful Fitzroy Island before returning to Cairns.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,626

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Depart Cairns

4:00pm: Board your Coral Expeditions small ship for a 5:00pm departure from Cairns. As we depart Cairns and cruise Trinity Bay there is time to settle in and discover your home for the next seven nights. In the evening, join our crew and travelling companions on the top deck to enjoy a glass of champagne as we cruise northward, passing Double Island and the pretty beachside village of Palm Cove. Admire a spectacular sunset over the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Macalister Range before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

Coral Expeditions II

More Info

Location View map
  • Coral Expeditions II



    At just 35 metres in length, Coral Expeditions II is the ideal small ship for discovering the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Small enough to allow snorkelling directly from the ship, yet equipped with the facilities of a much larger vessel, your cruise aboard Coral ...

    At just 35 metres in length, Coral Expeditions II is the ideal small ship for discovering the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Small enough to allow snorkelling directly from the ship, yet equipped with the facilities of a much larger vessel, your cruise aboard Coral Princess II will be truly memorable. Refurbished during early 2015, Coral Expeditions II is fully equipped for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef cruising experience. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, Coral Expeditions II was purpose-built for cruising in this region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Expeditions II operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as you cruise.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Gift Shop
    • Laundry Facilities (Surcharge)
    • Library
    • Lounge
    • Scuba Diving
    • Spa/Jacuzzi
    • Sundeck
    • WiFi

    More Details

Day 2

Cooktown

You have the morning to discover historic Cooktown. 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 artifacts from Cook's ship - Endeavour. See the original anchor and cannon, jettisoned overboard after Endeavour struck a reef and began taking on water. Cooktown is steeped in history with most stone buildings dating back almost a century. Enjoy time to discover Cooktown at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Botanic Gardens, where you may catch a glimpse of native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies. This afternoon we visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Join our marine biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colourful coral gardens before our first snorkelling opportunity for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of coral growing on this section of reef. Our experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Lizard Island

This morning we awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join our guides on a walk to 'Cook's Look' on the island's peak. 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 metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Discover giant clams and a profusion of fish. Enjoy the remainder of the morning at your leisure. You may wish to simply relax on the golden beach soaking up the sun, join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour, or for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, take the plunge with our Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon we cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef where our activities will include more snorkelling opportunities and glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is not actually one continuous reef, but a series of thousands of individual coral cays stretching over 3,000 kilometres between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. We spend today visiting two of the most pristine sections of the reef, Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Explore the coral gardens and marine life with guided snorkelling and glass bottom boat tours. Our 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Cairns and Reef

This morning enjoy time to explore Cairns at your own or join an included visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a taste of indigenous culture before reboarding Coral Expeditions II. Then, enjoy the afternoon experiencing the reef at our exclusive Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay moorings. Join our knowledgeable Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colourful coral gardens 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 upclose views of the hundreds of varieties of colourful corals and tropical fish. Our experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Hinchinbrook Channel

Awaken this morning as we cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island's towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, we will 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 your very own tropical island paradise.

You are invited to join us on the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. Then, explore the surrounding rainforest on a guided nature walk. The islands fringing reef, in the shallow waters just metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Admire the colourful corals from the glass bottom boat with the Marine Biologist, accompany our Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Dunk Island and Reef

This morning join our naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island's unique flora and fauna. We may be lucky enough to see the brightly coloured bluewinged 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 our exclusive mooring experience some of the most colourful 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 snorkelling tour and join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour. For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany our 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 coloured starfish and other marine life. Laze away the late afternoon on the sun deck, enjoying the comfortable onboard facilities. Tonight, join us in the dining room for another sumptuous dinner as we settle in for our final night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Fitzroy Island and return to Cairns

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. Savour our final snorkelling opportunity over the island's fringing reefs, just metres from the beach in the sheltered waters. Following lunch, early this afternoon we cruise through Trinity Bay before arriving in Tropical Cairns at 1:30pm for disembarkation at Trinity Wharf.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Departs Cairns every Monday at 5.00pm and ending in Cairns on Monday at 1.30pm

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation for 7 nights on board the Coral Princess or Coral Princess II
  • Presentations by a marine biologist
  • An introductory scuba experience for first time divers
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Glass bottom boat
  • Access to the marine and national parks
  • All meals including morning and afternoon tea, 24 hour tea, coffee and soda fountain

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Visas
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • International and Domestic airfare and airfare taxes unless specified
  • Travel insurance.
  • Costs associated with scuba diving are not included.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seats/space and all pricing subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request.

 

TB CORALPRCAI0814CR: CC7N C
26 Mar 2018
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