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Coral Expeditions I
Darwin to Cairns
Commencing in Darwin, the voyage introduces guests to the rich culture of the rarely visited Tiwi Islands, and cruises deep into the waters of the Coburg Peninsula. Next, a rare privilege, as you visit the communities of Arnhem Land, exploring Liverpool River, Elcho Island and the Wessel Islands. Venture through some of the world’s most confronting graffiti at the “Hole in the Wall”, then admire traditional art in Gove. After flying over the gulf of Carpentaria, you’ll find yourself at the very tip of Australia, at Cape York, before heading south to the Torres Strait and into the Great Barrier Reef at Lizard Island. This journey takes in some of the finest traditional art centre’s of Australia at Elcho Island, Maningrida and Yirkala; home to the creators of artwork that has appeared in the Louvre. Cultures will fuse as you experience traditional Rock Art, go back in time at Cooktown and see remote coastal townships such as Gove. A unique and remarkable expedition into Australia’s distant and near past.
Board Coral Expeditions I at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf. Visit Bathurst and Melville Islands > with traditional Tiwi people as our guides, we learn of their unique cultures and visit the fascinating art centre > peruse wonderful screen-printing, art, woodcarvings and pottery >witness a smoking ceremony, traditional basket weaving and morning tea with the locals, over freshly cooked damper and billy tea.
On Cobourg Peninsula, visit the ruins of the failed Victoria Settlement at Port Essington > explore the ruins under the guidance of the National Park Rangers > visit the Ranger’s Interpretation Centre at Black Point
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River > travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Centre, Museum and local ’boutique’, where hand painted clothing and fabrics are offered for sale > join the Expedition Team on an Xplorer tour of the river before rejoining our small ship
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre. This evening we enjoy a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ on one of the beautiful islands as we toast the sunset over the Arafura Sea
Farewell the Wessel Island cruising through ‘The Hole in the Wall’, Malay Straits > arrive in the port of Nhulunbuy (Gove) and transferred to the Walkabout Lodge, tonight’s accommodation.
Join our Expedition Leader to discover this frontier town of Gove and experience local culture, industry and history > after a refreshing lunch, we visit the Yirrkala Arts and Crafts Centre before transferring to the airport for our charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Horn Island > tonight, we stay at the historic and pioneering Gateway Torres Strait Resort, a longstanding family business which offers an insightful, personal war museum sharing the local history from World War II.
Embark on a short tour of Horn Island prior to our transfer by ferry to Thursday Island where we rejoin Coral Expeditions I > during the tour of Thursday Island, we learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets > observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals > following a short cruise to Cape York, we travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the ‘Tip’ of Australia.
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island > take advantage of the fantastic swimming and snorkelling opportunities > enjoy a short walk to the summit and enjoy the outlook over the surrounding reef and islands.
At Davie Reef and Cay, we enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery > go ashore at Stanley Island where our Expedition Leader and guides will escort you to view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery depicting sailing ships of the last century. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location.
Spend the day at one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast > climb to Cook’s Look or enjoy swimming and snorkelling and a beach walk > subject to availability, we may be invited as special guests to visit the Lizard Island Research Station, where we learn more about the research being undertaken to help understand and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.
Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery > join the Captain and crew for farewell drinks.
Awaken as we cross Trinity Bay before arriving into the Port of Cairns at 8:00am > farewell the Captain and his staff before farewelling new friends at the end of our great adventure.
This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
Coral Expeditions I
Vessel Type: Motor Catamaran Length: 35 metres Passenger Capacity: 44/46 (25 cabins) Built: refurbished 2016 Coral Expeditions I is fully equipped for the ultimate expedition cruising experience in Australian coastal waters. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, the ship was purpose-built for cruising in the region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of Western Australia’s remarkable Kimberley region, the northern coastlines of Cape York and Arnhem Land and the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. The 25 onboard rooms are bathed in natural light, with a fresh and modern decor creating a breezy feel. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a spacious private ensuite, air conditioning and ample storage space. The ship’s forward lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The Sun Deck at the rear with a new bar outdoor area added in 2016 is another popular place to relax and take in the panoramic views. Meals are served in the modern dining room, and with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating, meal times are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers. Coral Expeditions I operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Expeditions I is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment, and wireless internet facilities. FACILITIES ON BOARD Limited wireless internet available. Service quality may vary on location and weather Sun Deck with sun lounges Fully stocked cocktail bars Spacious, modern dining room Forward lounge Reference library Gift shop Open bridge Limited laundry facilities available SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries) STATEROOM ACCOMMODATION Choose from four grades of well-appointed rooms, each tastefully decorated with comfortable furnishings and original artworks. Enjoy the comforts of an en suite bathroom, featuring hairdryer and international power outlets. Rooms also feature picture windows for expansive ocean views (except some Cabin category rooms featuring portholes), ample storage space and air-conditioning. All rooms are serviced daily and feature Australian toiletries.
• Discover the Arnhem Land coast, once the trading ground of the Macassan people from Sulawesi • Enjoy a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ as the sun sets over the Arafura Sea • Visit remote Bathurst and Melville Islands and learn of traditional Tiwi culture • Take in the Cobourg Peninsular during a full day of exploration • Visit Thursday Island; learn about the cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders • View indigenous art at the Nhulunbuy art centres and on Echo Island • Stand on Australia’s northern most tip at Cape York • Explore Lizard Island and the northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef • Visit historic Cooktown