Cruise the Great Barrier Reef on our twin hulled boutique catamaran cruise ship that offers 21 cabins for a maximum of 46 guests. Our bespoke cruises take guests from Cairns to Cape York, Arnhem Land and all the remote islands and locations in between before arriving in Darwin Harbour.
Our Cape York and Arnhem Land cruise ship expedition is a fascinating tapestry that immerses keen explorers in the very best of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and remote northern coastline.
Cruise Departs 17th March 2019 - Disembark in Darwin 28th March 2019.
Guests onboard will explore some of the finest locations of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, enjoy sunrise at the very ‘Tip of Australia’ at Cape York, before venturing into the remote Arnhem Land Coast and the rarely visited Tiwi Islands.
Join us aboard our ship in Cairns for a remarkable 11-night voyage of discovery to Darwin, visiting otherwise inaccessible locations and developing a rich understanding of the culture of the traditional owners of the Torres Strait and Arnhem Land.
Here, the mighty estuarine or saltwater crocodile is indeed King of the Wild and the waters of the Arafura Sea are alive with a profusion of marine and bird life.
We begin our first day aboard the ship with guests choosing to swim and snorkel in the gin clear tropical waters of the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef.
Explore the pristine coral gardens of the northern reef and tour the famous Lizard Island Research Station to learn how scientists are preserving the Reef for future generations.
Savour a glass of champagne as the sun rises over the northern ‘Tip of Australia’ on the Cape York Peninsula and discover the interesting World War II history of the Torres Strait Islands.
As our cruise ship heads West, we will venture to islands to meet cultural artisans in some of the most remote villages and renowned galleries of Australia, and meet the artists who have their paintings exhibited in the famous galleries of the world, including the Louvre in Paris.
Learn of the fascinating Macassan traders of the 17th century as we cruise the Arnhem Land coast before experiencing the friendly welcome and warm hospitality of the rarely-visited Tiwi Islanders as they share with us their ancient culture and traditional lifestyles.
Visiting both Bathurst and Melville Islands, you’ll gain a rich understanding of how life differs in these areas, and how the culture has evolved to work as one with nature.
A full day cruising in the remote Coburg Peninsula also offers a myriad opportunities to spot exotic bird and marine life.
Embarkation commences at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 10.00am for an 11:00am departure. Enjoy lunch on board and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as we set sail northwards > snorkel on the reef > 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.
Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast > venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling or take a walk along the white sand beach > the more energetic may join our guides on a walk to ‘Cook’s Look’ on the island’s peak and the highest lookout on this part of the reef > from this high point, Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the Endeavour near Cooktown over 200 years ago > a photographer’s delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent.
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group > view the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery that depicts sailing ships of the last century; this is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location > at Davie Reef and Cay we enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery.
Enjoy the day exploring historic Forbes Island, its reef provides some fantastic swimming and snorkelling opportunities > visit Magra Island for beachcombing and bird watching > enjoy the tropical sunset.
Venture ashore at Cape York as the sun rises over the ‘Tip’ on Australia’s northernmost point > sip champagne and welcome the new day > anchoring at Thursday Island, learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets > take the opportunity to observe the distinctly different cultures of the Torres Strait Islanders and the Aboriginals whilst we tour the island > visit the Gab Titui Cultural Centre where the children perform traditional dances > at Horn Island we discover the significance of the Torres Strait during World War II > tonight, regain land legs as we stay overnight at the Gateway Torres Strait Resort on Horn Island.
Board our short charter flight across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Nhulunbuy (Gove) > upon arrival, visit the Yirrkala Art Centre > take time this afternoon to discover this frontier town before visiting Nambarra Art Centre to see some fine examples of local artwork > this evening we enjoy a relaxing stay at the Walkabout Lodge in Gove.
Rejoining our ship, we cruise through the narrow ‘Hole in the Wall’ > our expert Expedition Team will share with you the fascinating history of the Macassan traders and early discoverers of the Arnhem Land coast > tonight, enjoy a gourmet Aussie beach BBQ as the sun spectacularly sets over the Arafura Sea.
The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning > gain insight into their culture and meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world, including the Louvre > consider attending the local church service to share in the local culture.
Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River > travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Centre, Museum and local ’boutique’, where hand painted clothing and fabrics are offered for sale > join the Expedition Team on an Xplorer tour of the river before rejoining our small ship.
Discover the Cobourg Peninsula today > join local guides in Port Essington, famous for its failed Victoria Settlement > explore and learn about the ruins > visit the Ranger’s Interpretation Centre at Black Point.
Visit remote Bathurst and Melville Islands > with traditional Tiwi people as our guides, we learn of the unique cultures and visit their fascinating art centre > our Tiwi hosts welcome us with a cultural performance and basket-weaving exhibition before we join them for a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea > tonight farewell new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks.
Arrive into Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and gateway to the ‘Top End’ > disembark at 8.00am.
Note:- Post Flights out of Darwin are an additional expense.
For more wonderful Great Barrier Reef Cruises see here
Cairns Embarkation at 10.00am for an 11.00am departure
When joining a Coral Expeditions Cape York & Arnhem Land expedition, children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Coral Expeditions does not provide services of entertainment, supervision or care of children. Our Cape York & Arnhem Land itineraries are quite adventurous and we therefore recommend children aged above 14 years of age will enjoy the challenge and experience the most.
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.