3 Cairns Coral Expeditions Coral Discoverer Cruise Reviews

We booked this 12 night cruise from Cairns to Papua New Guinea some 18 months before departure. Previously we had used the same company for a cruise from Broome to Darwin. Both cruises are quite expensive. We felt value for money wise ... Read More
We booked this 12 night cruise from Cairns to Papua New Guinea some 18 months before departure. Previously we had used the same company for a cruise from Broome to Darwin. Both cruises are quite expensive. We felt value for money wise and adventure wise that the trip from Broome to Darwin was far superior. On the PNG islands trip "The place time forgot" we felt that it was too much of the same. There was no adventure. I guess we should have given the trip a lot more consideration before going on it. Of course their brochure is a great selling point. All in all, the staff were excellent, the food was excellent but I would not do the trip again as it was not value for money. For example, at over $1000.00 per day for each guest one had to pay $3.00 for a bottle of water. Although there are desalinators on board there is nothing like a bottle of water. I couldn't believe we had to pay this per bottle of water. Quite miserly. We met some great people who also share the same opinion. If one doesn't make these comments future guests are really in the dark. So my advice is to really do your research before committing to this PNG experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was a most memorable journey taking us to places we could never have visited independently. Visits to remote islands and villages with all the local protocol and activities were the absolute highlight, apart from beautiful snorkelling ... Read More
This was a most memorable journey taking us to places we could never have visited independently. Visits to remote islands and villages with all the local protocol and activities were the absolute highlight, apart from beautiful snorkelling opportunities (scuba-diving and kayaking were also possible). The atmosphere on the ship was very friendly; the small number of passengers helped. The entire crew, including the expedition team, worked hard to make our trip a wonderful experience, and were always delightful despite the long hours. It was a particular bonus to have Dame Carol Kidu as a guest lecturer presenting fascinating insights into PNG. Master Gary’s talk about his career was very popular. Passengers were very impressed by the ship’s approach to benefiting local communities. Due to the drought caused by El Niño, a number of visited villages were very short on food and water, and the ship left provisions and water where needed, apart from a school bag. Some passengers were unhappy that we were not aware that some other items, especially for schools, were urgently needed. A list of such items in advance would have been great to contribute with useful donations. It feels a bit mean to point out a few things that could be improved, e.g. the technology for presentations, missing DVDs, better information on the fact that local currency was able to be sourced along the way. The information booklet for the preparation for this trip should be re-visited and updated. The chefs did a marvellous job in the kitchen and the food was varied, plentiful and delicious. Perhaps a timely (or earlier) start of the dinner would be good as many passengers were quite tired after a long day of adventures (again, it feels mean to even mention this). Overall, it was a fabulous trip and I recommend it very highly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We boarded Coral Princess Lines` `Ocean Discoverer`at Cairns for a 25 day voyage around the remote part of Melanesia - Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands before returning to Darwin. It was a fascinating and action-packed ... Read More
We boarded Coral Princess Lines` `Ocean Discoverer`at Cairns for a 25 day voyage around the remote part of Melanesia - Papua New Guinea, Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands before returning to Darwin. It was a fascinating and action-packed adventure. I believe the ship is unique in having a landing craft at the stern (the Xplorer), which you board from the deck and is then hydraulically lowered into the water. This allowed all the 50 passengers and the two lecturers to travel together as required. In addition there was a glass bottomed boat, two inflatables and six canoes! There was an `open bridge` policy so that at any time one could visit and discuss location or meteorological issues with the Captain or First Mate. The company, Coral Princess, only does this particular trip once a year. It is really the only way to properly see Papua New Guinea and because of it`s shallow draft allows the Ocean Discoverer to visit places that are out of reach of normal cruise ships. On our first night we were advised that it was not a cruise but an expedition! We visited different villages every day where the inhabitants ran to meet us and arranged `sing`sing` dances with all kinds of body paint and head dresses (each one different over the 25 day voyage) before taking us around their village, often by the hand. People would come by dug-out canoes for up to 50 miles for this one chance to sell things they had made and we came back with quite a number of beautiful local `artefacts`. Perhaps best demonstrating the different style of life were a dug out canoe, like so many others we saw, that emerged from the mangroves on the Sepic River where the boatman waved, plunged a spear into the water and held aloft a large fish and seeing the staple diet of sago being made. The programme was tailored suit all tastes, so as well as visiting villages we were taken to desert islands or from the Xplorer for snorkelling and swimming. The water here is some of the most pristine in the world. In addition there was a programme of lectures by an experienced marine biologist and an anthropologist. Between them and especially the tour leader, Jamie Anderson, they seemed to know every plant, bird and some of the most perfect coral reefs in the world with myriads of fish and incredibly shaped and coloured coral that was truly magnificent for snorkelling. The Australians aboard advised that it was even better than anything to be seen on the Great Barrier Reef. It was always however good to return to the civilization of an Australian ship, where the food was absolutely excellent and even included freshly cooked muffins at mid-morning and scones etc for tea! Many of the crew were New Zealanders and all were really helpful, particularly the Purser,Tania Gemmell, who seemed to be everywhere at once and met every request with great helpfulness and a smile. During a bout of sea sickness (my wife is not a good sailor!) she provided an effective remedy and even the Captain came to our cabin to provide information on expected sea conditions! Our fellow passengers, mainly Australian leavened with Americans and eight Europeans (including ourselves), were almost all retired, and almost all an entire delight. This was a voyage of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Coral Discoverer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 1.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.5 4.8
Enrichment 3.5 4.6
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.5

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