Cruise the Great Barrier Reef to Cape York and the exotic Torres Strait Islands, 10 nights on our luxury small ship expedition style cruises departing from Cairns in Far North Queensland in Australia in 21/22
These are our inaugural 10 night Great Barrier Reef cruises that will depart from Cairns in 2021/22 to explore the furthest reaches of Far North Queensland and immerse our guests into the rich and vibrant local indigenous cultures and history of northern Australia and her outlying islands.
Cruise ship guests both Australian and international will be in awe of what we have in store for these two premium luxury cruise ship tours to Cape York and the Torres Strait.
On board we will be catering to 72 adventurous guests and providing expert expedition teams and guests lecturers who will conduct island tours, reef tours, dive tours and evening lectures on our small cruise ship journey.
Board the cruise ship at Cairns Trinity Wharf on 21 October or 11 November 2021 at 4pm for a 5pm departure. Enjoy afternoon tea on board 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 1870s. 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.
Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Island Group and take a walk to view the isolated Endean 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.
Enjoy snorkel, scuba and glass-bottom boat opportunities of the remote Tijou Reef.
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.
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.
Step ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent as the sun rises, and sip champagne to welcome the new day in Cape York.
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.
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 crayfish, fresh & curried fish. 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, listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.
In true expedition style, we will follow the conditions on the day to choose another Torres Strait Island to spend the day visiting, with a chance for cultural experiences and to relax in the pristine and scenic natural surrounds. Potential islands we may visit include Hammond, Prince of Wales, Mer or Erub depending on the conditions on the day.
As we set off on our final Xplorer ride, our incredible adventure of Australia’s exotic Far 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, so ask us to make these flight arrangements for you when booking your cruise ship tour.
Designed for the open seas
Originally launched in 2005, she set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Beautifully refurbished and re-fitted in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 1800-tonne ship took cruising the Great Barrier Reef to a new level. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allows her to go where larger vessels cannot.
Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. She is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.
She was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience.
Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience with us will be unique.
See more of our cruise ship voyages on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
As per confirmed booking details
October - November
This cruise departs 03/11/21 & 12/10/2022
Scuba Diving – minimum age 12
Scuba Diving Restrictions
personal items, casual clothes, walking shoes, reef shoes for a 10 day cruise
No child rates available
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.
Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.
Tour Code: 864