Immerse yourself in culture on this unique expedition to the mystical and remote Cape York and Torres Strait Islands.
With almost 300 islands dotted across the narrow stretch of water between Cape York and Papua New Guinea, the people of the Torres Strait Islands have a distinct and vibrant culture. An expedition by small ship is the ideal way to access these remote regions, visiting uninhabited sand cays, remote islands and pristine reef systems. Our expert guides will share their knowledge both above and below the water. With decades of experience and a deep respect for the communities of the region, Coral Expeditions will facilitate an enriching journey accompanied and hosted by local elders who will share the customs and stories of this ancient country.
Cairns wharf departure port
Board Coral Discoverer at Cairns Trinity Wharf at 4pm for a 5pm departure. Enjoy afternoon tea onboard and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as we set sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.
Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870’s. Here you will have the choice of a guided indigenous cultural tour, or a guided Cooktown historic tour. You will also have the opportunity for time at leisure to explore Cooktown’s attractions which include art galleries, the botanic gardens, James Cook Museum (with original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour), lookouts, and a walk to the top of Grassy Hill.
Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Join an optional hike to Cook’s Look and be rewarded with exceptional views over the Great Barrier Reef. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson on a walk to her cottage. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens and colourful coral and visit the Lizard Island Research Station.
Remote Osprey Reef
Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. 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.
Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.
Stanley Island & Davie Reef
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art guided by a traditional owner who will offer an interpretation. The art here depicts the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef enjoy swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours and see Brown Boobie bird colonies at Davie Cay.
Forbes Island & Restoration Island
Glass Bottom Boat Coral Viewing
Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming, scuba, snorkelling or glass-bottom boat tours from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. We also have an opportunity to go beachcombing at a nearby remote island, possibly Magra, Saunders, or Sir Charles Hardy.
Visit Restoration Island or Resto, as the locals call it. Here Captain Bligh, of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty, made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789. He named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was Oak Apple Day, the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II.
Today Restoration Island is not just a National Park; one-third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former mining tycoon, who, after losing his fortune in the Black Friday market crash, decided to live a solitary existence on the island, and has done so for over 2 decades. It is an idyllic coastal island with a granite and volcanic peak 116 metres in height and a beautiful shark tooth-shaped beach spit where guest will enjoy water activities and time to explore the island.
The Tip of Cape York
This morning explore historical sites at Possession Island, Albany Island and Somerset.
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 at the Tip of Cape York – the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent.
In the morning, we visit the indigenous art centre to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye.
Enjoy traditional kai kai (Traditional Lunch) prepared by the local community – a feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.
Visit the art centre and join in print, weaving and jewellery making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.
Thursday Island (Waiben)
Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island we also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Centre and local shopping.
As we set off on our final Xplorer ride, our incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end. At 8:00 am we arrive at Horn Island, with the option for a post-cruise tour.
There are daily flights to Cairns from Horn Island Airport. These are not included in the cruise fare.
Inclusions & Exclusions
- 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*
*Itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Variations may be made due to weather, seasonal variations or tides.
- Optional gratuities/tipping
- Optional activities/tours, including helicopter tours, are an additional cost and not included in this offer
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance (required)
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 shown to Coral Expeditions medical expert prior to boarding. No results, no boarding.
Child policy: Children are not permitted on this tour package.
The Traveldream 14 day refund guarantee does NOT apply to this booking once reservations have been put in place and confirmed.