Explore the best of Far North Queensland with this amazing cruise + stay package!
Visit sun-drenched islands, explore the remote and untouched Northern reefs, learn about local indigenous culture and swim, dive or snorkel amongst vibrant wildlife. On this cruise, along with your expert guides, you will uncover the beauty and wonder hidden amongst the more remote areas of the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Along the way, cruising through the Coral Sea, you will stop at the stunning Fitzroy Island, sip sundowners on the deck, volunteer at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, step into the past in historic Cooktown, sunbake on Lizard Island and much more. Plus, while you're at sea, guests can enjoy all the fantastic facilities on board, including sun loungers, plenty of entertainment, several bars and lounges and Wi-Fi.
With seven nights of premium expedition cruising on the Coral Discoverer, combined with pre and post-accommodation in Cairns, this package is the perfect pairing of luxury with adventure.
Rydges Cairns (or similar)
Arrive in Cairns at your leisure and check in to your hotel.
Wander the bustling town, check out the beautiful waterfront or grab a drink and watch the sunset.
Cairns wharf departure port
Board the Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure.
Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before joining your fellow explorers on the Sun Deck for Captains Welcome Drinks at Double Island, overlooking the lights of Palm Cove.
Fitzroy Island & Sudbury Cay
At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges. Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and there may be an opportunity tolend a hand to the volunteers at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild.
Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.
Mackay Reef & Cay
Relax on picturesque Mackay Cay and enjoy snorkelling the pristine reef that surrounds it. Mackay Reef is a mid-shelf platform reef, with vibrant hard and soft corals abound. The northern side enjoys additional protection from the cay, making it the perfect playground for turtles. A giant clam garden also resides in the area, with some clams growing as big as 1.2m, all with their own unique colours and patterns.
On a clear day, from the cay you can look back at the mainland to see tall mountains covered in UNESCO world heritage Daintree rainforest. You can see Cape Tribulation and Mount Sorrow as named by Captain Cook during his eventful sail through the Great Barrier Reef. The Kuku Yalangi tribe are the traditional owners of this region and have lived in harmony with the environment for over 50,000 years. Dream time stories explain the unique shape of Mount Peter Bot.
Come ashore in historic Cooktown and learn the history of the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artefacts are on display.
Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.
We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson.
There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the world’s best dive sites, Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea. The top of a mountain which rises from the seafloor, surrounded by a vast ocean, it draws many beautiful and rare marine creatures to its plummeting walls.Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough. The vibrant corals and crystal-clear waters make it an unforgettable place to discover. Here we will spend time in the water exploring the 30m deep lagoon and drift diving the walls, where you may see large pelagic fish, rays, and sharks drawn in from the surrounding deep blue to enjoy the richness of this ocean oasis.
Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.
The Ribbon Reefs are a narrow line of outer coral reefs on the edge of the continental shelf and are renowned for their prolific marine life and extensive coral species. Enjoy the rare opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Ribbon Reefs which sit on the edge of the continental shelf.
Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles.
Disembark from ship
Accommodation: Rydges Cairns (or similar)
Cairns wharf departure port
Our Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am.
Enjoy your final night in Cairns (or call us if you want to stay a little longer!) - choose to do some exploring, book a day trip or simply enjoy the warm weather.
Check out of your hotel before making your way home, or onwards to your next destination!
Inclusions & Exclusions
- 7 Nights cruising on the Coral Discoverer
- 2 nights premium accommodation in Cairns
- All meals & drinks onboard
- A range of incredible excursions and day trips while cruising
- All meals, chef prepared onboard featuring regionally inspired “small batch” cuisine
- Morning and afternoon tea daily
- Tea and coffee are always available
- Showcase wines, selected beers, juices, house spirits, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner.
- Daily room servicing and evening turndown service
- Use of Xplorer, Zodiac tender vessels or glass bottom boats for excursions and sightseeing tours (may vary between ships)
- Daily lectures and briefings from expert guides
- All entrance fees to national and marine parks and ports
- Use of comprehensive range of library and video resources
- Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities*
Ship: Coral Discoverer
Room type: Main Deck Cat B.
*Get in touch with us if you want to upgrade your room type!
- Meals not mentioned
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses
- Optional activities
- Departure/return flights
Child policy (4 to 18 years): Children are not permitted on this tour package.
Single Supplement: Call us for a quote!
Insurance: All guests must have travel insurance to participate on this tour and will be required to show this prior to departure.
Fitness: Level of fitness: All participants should be in good general health, able to walk reasonable distances over sometimes uneven terrain, and stand during excursions. All guests must be able to make their own way up and down stairs in case of emergency.
Covid19 policy: Guests must have a medical check 7 days prior to boarding and a PCR Test no earlier than 72hours – results of the PCR test to be shownto Coral Expeditions medical expert prior to boarding.
The Traveldream 14 day refund guarantee does NOT apply to this booking once reservations have been put in place and confirmed. Call us for more information about your options if you need to change or cancel your trip.