This 8-day cruise aboard Coral Expeditions II explores two different sections of the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, considered to be the most colourful and pristine reefs found anywhere along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the wonderful fringing reefs off Lizard Island and Two Isles. There is also the opportunity to explore historic Cooktown, ancient rainforest and sandy islands with the benefit of private moorings away from the crowds. Snorkel over colourful corals, look for giant clam gardens, wander along rainforest trails, take a tour through the mangroves and enjoy secluded beach barbecues.
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Board the Coral Expeditions II in Cairns and begin your 7-night expedition with a cruise into Trinity Bay. In the evening, join the crew and your fellow travellers on the top deck for a glass of champagne as you cruise northward, passing Double Island and the pretty beachside village of Palm Cove. Admire a spectacular sunset over the Macalister Range before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.
Disembark this morning in historic Cooktown, where explorer Captain James Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery after claiming Australia as a British colony in 1770. Visit a museum that exhibits artefacts from Cook's ship, the Endeavour. Afterwards there is time at leisure to visit the Botanic Gardens. In the afternoon cruise to one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Join the ship’s marine biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colourful coral gardens, with the chance to do some snorkelling. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers. (B, L, D)
Wake this morning moored beside beautiful Lizard Island, Australia’s northern-most island with powdery-white beaches and over 1,000 hectares of national park. Optional guided walk on the island up to 'Cook's Look' on the island's peak, from where Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the Endeavour near Cooktown over 200 years ago. Later this morning there is time to relax on the beach, snorkel or take a glass bottom boat tour. In the afternoon, cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef, where once again you can explore via snorkelling or glass bottom boat tour. (B, L, D)
Visit two of the most pristine sections of the reef, Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef, both teeming with coral and marine life such as sea turtles, giant clams and rays. Look out for 200 different species of native bird flying in the skies overhead. (B, L, D)
Arrive back into Cairns this morning, where you have the day to explore the town at your leisure, or join a guided visit to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. In the afternoon cruise out to the exclusive Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay moorings, where you can gather on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed as some of the 1,500 species of fish that live on the reef here come to feed such as the spangled emperor, giant trevally and the Maori wrasse. (B, L, D)
Early this morning the ship will cruise into the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, past Hinchinbrook Island's towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, you will cruise the length of the channel, looking out for saltwater crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs. In the afternoon, visit Coral Expeditions' very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island, where you will transfer to the beach for a gourmet beach barbecue and guided nature walk. Pelorus' fringing reef, in the shallow waters just metres off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities. (B, L, D)
Join the ship’s naturalist guides on a rainforest walk on Dunk Island, home to more than 100 species of native bird including the yellow-bellied sunbird, emerald dove and orange-footed scrubfowl. After lunch back on board, visit Nathan Reef for a guided snorkelling tour or a glass bottom boat tour. Laze away the late afternoon on the sun deck, before a farewell dinner for your last night on board. (B, L, D)
Explore beautiful Fitzroy Island this morning, which is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and offers wonderful bush walking opportunities and idyllic white sandy beaches. Lunch is served as the ship cruises through Trinity Bay before arriving back in Cairns in the early afternoon. (B, L)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is based in 4-star cruise accommodation.
The transfers and excursions relevant to the cruise are operated as a group with other passengers who may or may not be Cox & Kings clients. Cox & Kings is acting as an agent on behalf of Coral Expeditions and its cancellation conditions will apply.
This is a sample itinerary to showcase some of the highlights of the cruise. The captain and the expedition team will determine the daily itinerary to take advantage of the weather conditions.
International flights are not included.
In addition to this Great Barrier Reef cruise, Coral Expeditions also operates a number of cruise itineraries in other parts of Australasia including Tasmania, the Kimberley and Papua New Guinea.
An ideal small ship to explore the area is the Coral Expeditions II, which, at just 35 metres in length, is small enough to allow snorkelling directly from the ship but is also equipped with the facilities of a much larger vessel. After a day on the reef the ship’s spacious lounge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink in air-conditioned comfort, or take in the scenery from the large sun deck with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. There will also be the opportunity to dine alfresco under the stars. The ship’s 22 cabins have a traditional maritime style with wood panelled walls, air conditioning and large picture windows.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7808 6781 or email email@example.com
An ideal small ship to explore the area is the Coral Expeditions II, which, at just 35 metres in length, is small enough to allow snorkelling directly from the ship but is also equipped with the facilities of a much larger vessel. After a day on the reef the ship's spacious lounge is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink in air-conditioned comfort, or take in the scenery from the large sun deck with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. There will also be the opportunity to dine alfresco under the stars. The ship's 22 cabins have a traditional maritime style with wood panelled walls, air conditioning and large picture...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
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