Explore the reef, ancient rainforests and secluded tropical islands most visitors never see. On this relaxing cruise you'll enjoy the very best of the Great Barrier Reef in total comfort and unmatched style.
Beginning and ending in Cairns, cruise north to Lizard Island via the spectacular Ribbon Reefs and historic Cooktown on this 4 night adventure. Explore remote coral cays, deserted but for a myriad of colorful tropical fish, peaceful tropical islands and primordial rainforests well beyond the reach of most visitors. Exclusive reef moorings mean you won't be surrounded by hundreds of other reef visitors - and our small ships accommodate a maximum of just 50 guests, ensuring an intimate and personalised experience. The informative crew is always on hand to provide assistance and information about the fascinating Reef life and habitats. You will be accompanied by a Marine Biologist, who will explain the many wonders of the reef as you make use of the shipís glass-bottomed boat.
Should you prefer a closer view you can snorkel your way amongst giant clams, colourful corals and multi-hued fish in clear tropical waters. An experienced Dive Instructor can take you for an exhilarating introductory SCUBA dive, revealing even more of this breathtaking World Heritage-listed wonderland. Or you can choose to simply relax on the sun deck or in the open-bridge or spa as we cruise serenely through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery Australia has to offer.
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Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: depart Cairns
- Board your Coral Expeditions' small ship for a 5pm departure from Cairns. As you depart and cruise Trinity Bay, there is time to settle in and explore your home for the next four nights. In the evening, join the crew and your travelling companions on the top deck to enjoy 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 World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Macalister Range.
- Day 2: Cooktown
- You have the morning to discover historical 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 original artefacts 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 some native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies. This afternoon 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 and discover some of the 1500 species of tropical fish that call the reef home. You may wish to enjoy our first snorkelling opportunity for an up-close view of the hundreds of varieties of coral growing on this section of reef. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers.
- Day 3: Lizard Island
- This morning you awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may wish join the 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. Simply relax on the beach, join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour, or for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon cruise to Ribbon Reef No 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef where activities will include more snorkelling opportunities and glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist.
- Day 4: Ribbon Reef & Rachel Carson Reef
- The Great Barrier Reef is not actually one continuous reef, but a series of thousands of individual coral cays stretching over 1800 miles between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. Spend the day visiting two of the most spectacular 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. The 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. Today will also be your last opportunity to experience the reef through SCUBA diving, so allow the Dive Instructor to guide you on an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. This evening, enjoy your final memorable night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.
- Day 5: arrive Cairns
- Bid farewell to the Captain, crew and new-found friends before disembarking at Trinity Wharf in Cairns early this morning.
Note: Due to weather, tides or mechanical reasons the itinerary may be subject to change without notice.
Prices & Dates
Prices from £ per person
|Cabin Type||Twin Share||Single Rate|
|Upper Deck Stateroom||£1,738||£1,738|
All meals, morning and afternoon teas ● Tea and coffee 24 hours a day ● Use of snorkelling equipment, masks and fins ● Guided glass bottom boat coral viewing and snorkelling excursions ● Presentations by Marine Biologists ● Access to islands, marine and national parks ● Use of comprehensive range of library and video resources ● An introductory scuba experience for first time divers
Pre and post cruise transfers ● Bar and shop purchases ● Ship to shore telephone and facsimile calls ● Costs associated with scuba diving ● The Government Environmental Management Charge (EMC)
Coral Expeditions 2 Departures
Departs every Monday year round
How to book
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
We will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.
Speak to a specialist: 01737 214 250Book this trip
Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.