The Great Barrier Reef
Aboard Coral Princess II
- 7 nights 8 days
Uncover the secrets of the Barrier Reef – an incredible underwater world hides just beneath the water’s surface. 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.
Discover a paradise of remote and uninhabited islands, become a lazy beachcomber or an inquisitive adventurer. The starkness of the remote and unique coral cays will fascinate you. Go snorkelling and coral viewing amongst the brilliant corals and teaming fish life on the fringing reefs of Lizard Island and Pelorus Island (exclusive to Coral Princess Cruises), or linger over the top of the spectacular platform reefs, all abundant with marine life and dancing corals.
The grandeur of the scenic coastline and the beautiful Tablelands in Cairns are a magnet for visitors throughout the year. With a population in excess of 120,000, it is the gateway to the two remote wilderness areas of Far North Queensland – Cape York Peninsula and the Savannah Hinterland. The rainforests of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are heritage areas, recognised for their beauty and are easily accessible from Cairns.
Townsville is Australia’s largest tropical city, with a population in excess of 150,000. It is recognised as the world’s leading centre for coral reef research. As the home of Reef HQ aquarium, the Imax Theatre and the Museum of Tropical Queensland, the city provides one of the most innovative tourist facilities. Townsville is an ideal city to spend some time before or after your cruise. Visit beautiful Magnetic Island, the magnificent Burdekin Dam, the historical gold-mining towns of Ravenswood and Charters Towers, and the many beautiful national parks, including the Paluma rainforests.
Cairns – Pelorus Island – Lizard Island – Cairns
Cairns – Thetford Reef
10:00am: Board your Coral Princess Cruises small ship for an 11:00am departure from Cairns. As we depart Cairns and cruise Trinity Bay there is time meet your fellow travellers, settle in and explore your home for the next seven nights. After a delicious lunch we arrive at our exclusive Great Barrier Reef mooring at Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay. Join the Marine Biologist aboard the glass bottom boat for your first encounter with the reef before gathering on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed. Discover some of the 1,500 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. Our experienced crew will be on hand to provide assistance, advice and guided snorkelling tours for less experienced swimmers. In the evening, join our crew and travelling companions in the top deck lounge as the sun spectacularly sets over the reef before sitting down to a memorable dinner.
Hinchinbrook Channel and Pelorus Island Beach BBQ
Awaken this morning as we cruise the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island’s towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, we 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 Coral Princess Cruises’ very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. We invite you to join us 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 our Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!
Dunk Island Rainforst and Nathan Reef
This morning join our naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island’s unique flora and fauna. We 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 our exclusive mooring experience some of the most colourful coral gardens 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, take the plunge in the company of our 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.
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. Enjoy time to explore, relax on the beach or perhaps enjoy a swim in the sheltered waters or a snorkel over the island’s fringing reefs. This afternoon we enjoy time to explore Cairns before rebounding and cruising northwards, past the pretty coastal village of Palm Cove as the sun sets over the MacAlister Range.
Historic Cooktown and the Reef
We 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 to the 1870s. 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 we visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef.
Lizard Island – Ribbon Reef
This morning we awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join our 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 almost 250 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, accompany our Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon we cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef where our 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 2,000 kilometres between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. We 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. Our 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 our Dive Instructor to guide you on the experience of a lifetime. This evening, we enjoy our final memorable night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.
8:00am: Farewell our Captain, crew and new-found friends before disembarking at Trinity Wharf in Cairns.
Dates and cost 2015
- 8 days – departs April
- 8 days – departs May
- 8 days – departs June
- 8 days – departs July
- 8 days – departs August
- 8 days – departs Sept
- 8 days – departs October
- 8 days – departs Nov
- 8 days – departs Dec
|CORAL PRINCESS II|
|Cabin Type||TWIN SHARE|
|Upper Deck S.||$3,792|
Sole Use: Single Travellers now pay only the twin share price. Conditions apply contact us for details.
Please contact us for specific departure dates.
- Accommodation, all meals/snacks on board commencing with your first meal after embarkation
- Services of the vessel’s expedition and hospitality staff, including lectures, briefings, on board activities, landing fees
What’s not included
- Air Tickets and Airport taxes
- International and domestic airfares to/from port of embarkation/disembarkation, airport/hotel/wharf transfers; pre or post cruise accommodation (unless otherwise mentioned within a specific itinerary)
- Optional helicopter flight
- Personal items such as: Bar/mini-bar drinks unless otherwise mentioned as included, laundry, telephone, fax charges, gratuity to crew, all visa costs, fuel surcharges that may apply
- Any items not specifically mentioned as being included.
How to Book
The completion and return of the booking form is mandatory to the acceptance of reservation. We advise that you book as far ahead as possible. To initiate your reservation, please complete the Booking Form which must be signed and returned to Adventure Associates along with the applicable Deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the Booking Form and deposit payment. Ticketing and joining instructions are normally issued two weeks prior to departure.
|Deposit required:||AUD 500|
|Balance due:||75 days prior to departure|
|If booking within
95 days of departure:
|full payment must be made|
Cancellations and refunds
Written instructions only will be accepted by Adventure Associates to cancel a reservation. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, cruise companies, coach and tour operators, hotels (where applicable) and any other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable provisions will apply.
|More than 75 days prior to departure||$200 per person|
|Between 74-30 days prior to departure||50% of tour cost per person|
|Within 29 days prior to departure||No Refund|
Once a cruise has departed there will be no refund for any unused portion of the trip. Rates and itineraries are subject to change without notice. Children, charter and group prices available on request.
Coral Princess II
At just 35 metres in length, Coral Princess II is the ideal small ship for discovering the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Small enough to allow snorkelling directly from the ship, yet equipped with the facilities of a much larger vessel, your cruise aboard Coral Princess II will be truly memorable.
Refurbished during early 2013, Coral Princess II is fully equipped for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef cruising experience. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, Coral Princess II was purpose-built for cruising in our region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
Coral Princess II operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with the Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Princess II is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and navigation equipment.
The 22 onboard rooms are a delightful ‘home away from home’ and feature traditional maritime stylings with wood panelled walls. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a spacious private ensuite, air conditioning and ample storage space. All rooms feature large picture windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery.
The ship’s spacious lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink from the cocktail bar in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The large Sun Deck is another popular place to relax and take in the sights, with comfortable deck chairs, stylish teak furnishings and a large spa pool. You will also enjoy the opportunity to dine al fresco under the magnificent stars over the Great Barrier Reef.
All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are usually served the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day’s activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.
Excursion Boats And Zodiacs
Coral Princess II travels with two inflatable zodiacs (used for SCUBA diving excursions) along with a glass bottom boat. The glass bottom boat is used for coral viewing excursions and is also used for transfers to the shore. The ship’s unique hydraulic platform makes boarding of the zodiacs and glass bottom boat a breeze. Simply step aboard from the ship’s main deck before gently lowering into the water, so no need to clamber aboard or get your feet wet.
- Large Sun Deck with deck chairs and spa pool
- Two fully-stocked cocktail bars
- Dining Room
- Spacious lounge with plasma screens
- Comprehensive reference library
- Open Bridge
- Gift shop
- Limited laundry facilities
- Phone and fax facilities
- SCUBA diving department