Enjoy an utterly immersive 8 day cruise to the outer Barrier Reef with flights, Cairns accommodation and a Cairns city tour. Take in the highlights of Cairns before exploring the stunning chain of Ribbon Reefs – remote coral reefs in the out Great Barrier Reef supporting a huge range of biodiversity with reef formations including huge plate corals, channels, caves canyons and shallow coral gardens. Make use of the ships glass bottom boat, or discover by scuba, kayak or snorkel. Enjoy a range of activities and experiences on your shore excursions to Cooktown, Dunk Island, Fitzroy Island, Lizard Island and more. Themes include: Queensland, Departs from Cairns, Small Expedition Ship, Returns from Cairns. + Show more
8 Day Coral Expeditions Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Return Flights to Cairns (pricing options below)
7 Nights Twin Cabin Accommodation aboard the Coral Expeditions II
3 Nights Accommodation in Cairns
All meals aboard the Coral Expeditions II, 24 hour coffee and tea, FREE Guided Glass Bottom Boat Tours, FREE Snorkeling and Introductory SCUBA Session, All Entrance Fees
Cairns & Surrounds Tour
Meet and Greet Personalised Return Transfers (Airport, Port and Hotel)
FREE DISCOVER AUSTRALIA Bonus Voucher Book ($500 Value discounts and bonuses in Queensland)
Feel the warmth of Tropical North Queensland, as you arrive smell the sweet scent of the wet tropics and see expansive mangroves on your way into Cairns. You will be personally met at the airport by a DISCOVER AUSTRALIA representative and transferred from the airport to your hotel. You can relax and use the rest of the day to explore your hotel and its facilities, perhaps take a stroll around the neighbourhood and central Cairns.
Meet and Greet Personalised Arrival Transfer, Overnight Cairns Accommodation.
Day 2 Cairns Town Tour
Discover tropical Cairns after being picked up by your friendly driver for your half day tour of Cairns. Visit St. Monica's Cathedral, which features the world’s largest, themed stained glass windows. Enjoy afternoon tea of scones and jam at the Flecker Botanical Gardens, renowned for having one of the best exhibitions in Australia of tropical plants. Take in spectacular views of Cairns from various vantage points and lookouts before touring to Barron Falls in the Barron Gorge National Park for a walk to the stunning Surprise Creek Falls in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Wet Tropics.
Later, visit idyllic Palm Cove in Cairns’ Northern Beaches and enjoy a stroll along the beach or a walk to the end of the jetty to watch the sun set behind the mountains before being returned to your Cairns hotel.
Half Day Cairns Town Tour with Hotel Pick Up, Afternoon Tea, Overnight Cairns Accommodation.
Day 3 Explore Cairns
Spend the day exploring Cairns at your own pace. Perhaps take the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway through the Wet Tropics or the Skyrail Cableway for remarkable views of Cairns, the tablelands, mountain ranges and the Coral Sea before descending through the rainforest canopy. You may also visit the beautiful Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the ocean. Alternatively, you may choose to relax and stroll around the many cafes and shops or the beautiful waterfront in Cairns. The choice is yours.
Overnight Cairns Accommodation.
Day 4 Board Coral Expeditions II & Cruise to Sudbury Sand Cay
This morning be you will be personally met at your hotel by a DISCOVER AUSTRALIA representative and transferred to the cruise liner terminal to begin your 8 day adventure in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Cruise through Trinity Bay as you enjoy views of scenic Port Douglas. Soon you arrive at your first exclusive mooring site. Cruises alternate between Thetford Reef, Coates Reef and Nathan Reef. You may get off the vessel to snorkel or SCUBA Dive or alternatively if you don’t want to get your feet wet you may enjoy a glass bottom boat tour, view a fish feeding display or an onboard presentation by a Marine Biologist.
This evening, enjoy welcome sunset drinks on the deserted Sudbury Sand Cay before enjoying a special seafood buffet dinner back on board the Coral Expeditions II.
Meet and Greet Personalised Port Transfer, Lunch, Snorkelling, Diving, Glass Bottom Boat Tour, Sunset Drinks, Special Seafood Buffet Dinner, Overnight Accommodation onboard the Coral Expeditions II.
Day 5 Cruise Hinchinbrook Channel
This morning, cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel that separates Hinchinbrook Island from the mainland. Look out for crocodiles, dolphins, whales, turtles and dugongs as you cruise through the Channel. Enjoy a tour of the surrounding mangroves as you take in the interpretive commentary and breathtaking views.
Enjoy time on a tropical island where you will enjoy a guided bushwalk, a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ and the chance to snorkel or dive over the island’s fringing reef which showcases a magnificent garden of giant clams.
You also have the chance to kayak, take a glass bottom boat tour or relax on the beach before returning to the Coral Expeditions II for the night.
Today, after breakfast, enjoy a rainforest walk on Dunk Island with your naturalist guide. Look for the electric blue Ulysses butterfly before spending the afternoon exploring the colourful Nathan Reef. You have the opportunity once again to snorkel, SCUBA dive or enjoy a glass bottom boat tour.
You can also experience an interactive marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.
Take the opportunity to explore Fitzroy Island this morning. Take beautiful bushwalks and hikes, snorkel over the fringing reef and enjoy beachcombing on the white sand of Nudey Beach as well as the chance to enjoy the resorts facilities.
Cruise through Trinity Bay and enjoy welcome drinks as you take in views of Double Island and Palm Cove. This evening, enjoy a special Captain’s seafood buffet dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Sunset Drinks, Special Seafood Buffet Dinner, Overnight Accommodation onboard the Coral Expeditions II.
Day 8 Explore Cooktown & Cruise to Lizard Island
After breakfast, discover historic Cooktown. Walk through the wide main street and take in the buildings dating back to the 1870s. Explore the Botanic Gardens and look out for kangaroos and wallabies before visiting the James Cook Museum to see original artefacts from his ship “Endeavour”.
Later, you have the opportunity to snorkel over the reef at a deserted island and enjoy glass bottom boat tours or SCUBA dive over the reef.
Enjoy sunset drinks at Turtle Beach on Lizard Island and later see Giant Trevally and Tawny Nurse Sharks up close during an after dinner fish feed off the back deck.
Breakfast, Cooktown Tour, James Cook Museum, Lunch, Snorkelling, Diving, Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Sunset Drinks, Dinner, Overnight Accommodation onboard the Coral Expeditions II.
Day 9 Explore Lizard Island & Cruise to Ribbon Reefs
Today, spend the day at one of Australia’s most pristine tropical islands, Lizard Island. Discover the legend of Mary Watson who died on the reef after being attacked on Lizard Island and has become an emblem of pioneer heroism for many Queenslanders. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens. You also have the option of an early morning hike to Cook’s Look for breathtaking views over the reef.
Spend this afternoon at Ribbon Reef #9 on the rarely visited outer Great Barrier Reef and enjoy snorkelling, diving and glass bottom boat tours before returning to your cabin for the night.
Breakfast, Optional Cook’s Look Hike, Lunch, Snorkelling, Diving, Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Dinner, Overnight Accommodation onboard the Coral Expeditions II.
Day 10 Explore Ribbon Reef
Spend the entire day exploring the spectacular Ribbon Reefs, a stunning 200km long turquoise chain of 10 individual reefs. Situated on the edge of the Continental Shelf and relatively isolated, these reefs support a huge range of biodiversity from clams to elusive leafy scorpion fish and reef formations including huge plate corals, walls, channels, caves and shallow coral gardens.
Explore Ribbon Reef #3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Enjoy time to snorkel, SCUBA dive and take glass bottom boat tours with your onboard Marine Biologist. You can also enjoy a marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.
Breakfast, Snorkelling, Diving, Glass Bottom Boat Tour, Lunch, Dinner, Overnight Accommodation aboard the Coral Expeditions II.
Day 11 Cruise to Cairns & Fly Home
You will be personally met at the cruise terminal by a DISCOVER AUSTRALIA representative and transferred to Cairns Airport for your flight home.
Breakfast, Meet and Greet Personalised Departure Transfer.
This package includes all flights as detailed below in the price section (including all fees, levies and taxes). However, we can tailor this package to include our special discounted 'package only' airfares from anywhere. Simply let us know.
Cairns Accommodation Included
You have 3 choices of accommodation in Cairns. Our "Good Standard" central Cairns hotel has great facilities, a comfortable room and friendly service (typically 3.5 stars). Alternatively, why not treat yourself? The "Deluxe" hotel has superior facilities, stylish room and first class service (typically 4 stars). The “Luxury” hotel is upscale with a more luxurious feel for the discerning traveller and great for celebrating an anniversary (typically 5 stars).
The package is priced on the "Good Standard" option. See Optional Upgrades below for more details, or simply ask.
Airport and Port Transfers Included
You will be personally met by a DISCOVER AUSTRALIA representative and transferred from the airport to your hotel, from your hotel to the cruise liner terminal and from the cruise liner terminal to the airport for your flight home.
DISCOVER AUSTRALIA Bonus Voucher Book
You’ll receive the FREE DISCOVER AUSTRALIA Bonus Voucher Book that includes $500 value of discounts and bonuses throughout Cairns and Queensland at shops, restaurants attractions etc. It’s a great way to save even more on your Queensland holiday.
Coral Expeditions in Detail
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For 33 years, Coral Expeditions has focused on small ship expedition cruises to faraway lands. The fleet of three (soon to be four) Australian-flagged and crewed ships were purpose-built for exploring. The fleet of three expedition style cruise ships has been specially designed and purpose-built to our exacting standards. With no more than 120 guests, there are no queues. The cuisine is small-batch, our wines are Australian artisanal, and the service is personalised. Come explore your world with Australia’s pioneering cruise line.
Large enough to provide all the modern amenities and comforts of larger cruise ships, yet small enough to enable us to access reef and island sites inaccessible to other vessels. Australian registered and staffed, whichever Coral Expeditions small ship you choose to cruise aboard, you are assured of a personalised and unique adventure.
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