Have you ever wanted to explore the Great Barrier Reef while on a cruise? If so, Coral Expeditions has you in mind. The small Australian cruise line, which has been around for 34 years now, has a reputation for a no-frills type of experience while still offering an intimate experience. Much of their focus is on getting you to see and interact with the environments they take you to, and their Great Barrier Reef programs are no different. For 2021, they’ve redesigned these special itineraries to offer longer trips that let you immerse yourself in the environment even more than before.
These new sailings, which will take place on the 72-passenger Coral Discoverer, will visit Australia’s UNESCO Heritage Sites, the Daintree Rainforest and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef. The new itineraries take into account changing expectations from guests, as well as how the environment of the Great Barrier Reef itself has changed. The cruise line promises encounters with coral gardens, sea turtles, rare seabirds, and humpback whales, among other extraordinary wildlife. Passengers can go snorkeling to get a closer look.
The 2021 expeditions, dubbed “Outer Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef,” will last seven nights. Jeff Gillies, the Commercial Director at Coral Expeditions, said that they will “focus on the lesser seen outer reefs and islands of the northern region and will offer guests from across the globe an authentic and immersive experience like no other available on the reef.” One of the spots that will be visited is Osprey Reef, which has been described as the “ultimate reef diving adventure” and is noted for the presence of large corals and sharks. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that!
Beyond the reefs, there are also plans to stop at the Daintree Rainforest, which is part of one of the largest rainforests in all of Australia. The system that Daintree is a part of is the oldest rainforest in the world, making it a particularly exciting tourism stop. The forest has incredibly large plant diversity. It’s not entirely clear yet what Coral has in store for those who are visiting the forest, but it’s a safe bet that it will be hands on and thoughtfully interactive. Beyond this, the itineraries include a focus on Australian indigenous culture, visits to uninhabited islands and turtle rehabilitation centers.
If visiting any of these sites aboard a relaxed, paired-down ship appeals to you, you can head on over to Coral Expedition’s site now, as the itineraries are already available. Just make sure you’re ready to spy a shark while out snorkeling!