Australia & New Zealand
(Great Barrier Reef Cruise)
Experience Cairns with your private guide before you embark on a unique small ship cruise of the Great Barrier Reef - an incredible underwater world hides just beneath the water’s surface. On this intimate small-ship cruise, you'll discover a paradise of remote and uninhabited islands, become a lazy beachcomber or an inquisitive adventurer. Whether you experience the reef by glass bottom boat, snorkelling or diving, it is a mystical world filled with coral, marine life and vibrant tropical fish. The starkness of the remote and unique coral cays will fascinate you. Go snorkelling and coral viewing amongst the brilliant corals and teeming fish life on the fringing reefs of Lizard Island and Pelorus Island, or linger over the top of the spectacular platform reefs, all abundant with marine life and dancing corals. Begin and end your cruise adventure at Cairns, where the grandeur of the scenic coastline and the beautiful Tablelands are a magnet for visitors throughout the year.
Cruise departs every Monday and Friday until Mar 31, 2015.
Note: Order of reefs/islands visited may change.
A private transfer between Cairns airport and your accommodation, or vice versa, is provided for today.
The Hotel Cairns (4*) with its impeccably private and tropical ambiance is superbly situated in the heart of Cairns, one block from the famous Esplanade. Architecturally designed, the facade is one of the most beautiful examples of Queenslander heritage, and is a popular talking point among many of the hotel’s visitors and guests. Set back from the street and well shaded by tropical trees and plants the hotel boasts a tourist information service, an outdoor pool and spa, function rooms, on site car park and restaurant. The Hotel Cairns is also very reasonably priced and as such is always buzzing with activity.
Join this fun and informative tour as you discover the sights of Cairns and its northern beaches area. Visit the historic Royal Flying Doctors base, Cairns best scenic lookouts, paradise palms golf course, and some of the most pristine northern beaches with your professional naturalist guide.
Your private vehicle and driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the port for boarding the Coral Princess II.
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your stateroom, and explore the length of your ship.
As you 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 the crew and your fellow cruise 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 before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.
The Coral Princess, at 35 meters and accommodating only 50 guests, has been cruising the waters surrounding Australia since 1988. A recent refurbishment has brough the ship a new teak deck and stylish new outdoor furnishings. The interior of the dining room has been completely remodeled, and redesigned to maximize space, while two new whisper-quiet engines, and new plush carpeting throughout will offer peace and comfort to guests. Offering resort-style living at its best, select from four types of accommodation - all spacious and elegantly appointed. The discerning traveller has a choice of Standard, Deluxe, Upper Deck Staterooms, while the more budget conscious may select a Cabin. A number of Staterooms have extra divans or Pullman berths, and others have connecting doors.
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 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 native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies. This afternoon you visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Join the 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. Your experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers.
This morning you awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may 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. 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 the Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon you 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.
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. 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. 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.
You enjoy the afternoon experiencing the reef at our exclusive Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay moorings. Join the 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 up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colourful corals and tropical fish. The experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers.
Awaken this morning as you cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island’s towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, you 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 a tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. Gather on the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. Then, explore the surrounding rainforest on a guided nature walk. Pelorus’ 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 your Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!
This morning join the naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island’s unique flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to see the brightly coloured blue-winged 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 the 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 the 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 including the spa pool and sun lounges. Tonight, gather in the dining room for another sumptuous dinner as you settle in for your final night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.
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 your final snorkelling opportunity over the island’s fringing reefs, just metres from the beach in the sheltered waters.
Following lunch, early this afternoon you'll cruise through Trinity Bay before arriving in Tropical Cairns at 1:30pm for disembarkation at Trinity Wharf. Bid farewell to your fellow cruisemates as you make landfall.
Meet your private vehicle and driver for a transfer between Cairns and Cairns Port.
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