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25 Coral Expeditions Darwin Cruise Reviews

Fabulous cruise. Always wanted to snorkel raja ampat, perfect in every way. Best holiday ever from every aspect. We left from Darwin and disembarked at Biak in West Papua. Coral Expeditions offer a charter flight back to Darwin at an extra ... Read More
Fabulous cruise. Always wanted to snorkel raja ampat, perfect in every way. Best holiday ever from every aspect. We left from Darwin and disembarked at Biak in West Papua. Coral Expeditions offer a charter flight back to Darwin at an extra expense but this was worthwhile as we were back in Darwin in 2 hrs whereas if we had arranged our own flights back, it would have taken 25 hrs. Coral Adventurer (CA) has 2 smaller vessels for accessing shore excursions. These are hydraulically operated and you board directly from the ship, no leaping onto zodiacs, descend to the water and off you go! All shore excursions were well run and involved local guides. Any times were were at sea for a day, there were presentations by the 2 guides on board which were very informative and related to the areas we were visiting. CA is a new vessel, takes 120 guests in 60 cabins. Many cabins have a private balcony, our cabin was very comfortable, ensuite with complimentary toiletries, air con and plenty of storage space. Also very quiet, could not hear any sounds from nearby cabins. Crew provided exemplary service in all areas. Dining was superb, I could not fault one meal, plenty of choice and special needs catered to. There is an onboard gym but I did not use it. All snorkelling equipment is provided so no need to bring your own. Will definitely be doing another cruise with Coral Expeditions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did the most amazing cruise from Broome W.A. to Darwin N.T. 10 night/ 11 days in the most awesome part of the world. There were only 45 passengers on board and the crew were amazing. The excursions which were twice a day were ... Read More
We did the most amazing cruise from Broome W.A. to Darwin N.T. 10 night/ 11 days in the most awesome part of the world. There were only 45 passengers on board and the crew were amazing. The excursions which were twice a day were interesting and the guides were amazing in their information about the areas we visited. The scenery and areas in the Kimberley was so amazing and quiet. Heaps of birdlife, wildlife, whales and dolphins and crocodiles. The weather was kind also. I wish I could give 30/10. The service and cleanliness was excellent. Couldn't praise the crew enough. Our cabin was close to the dining room and was cleaned every morning and the bed was pulled back ready for bed at night. Clean towels every day. The food was to die for. Great selection on the menu. Everyone sat wherever they wanted to. Everyone got to know everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This small ship expedition cruise was absolutely amazing. From embarkation to disembarkation the whole hard working crew could not have been more cheerful and helpful. The new ship has obviously been purposefully designed and it showed. ... Read More
This small ship expedition cruise was absolutely amazing. From embarkation to disembarkation the whole hard working crew could not have been more cheerful and helpful. The new ship has obviously been purposefully designed and it showed. With plenty of well laid out public spaces for the 120 guests it was hard to believe there were so many on board. Our balcony cabin was a good size and immaculate. The food was fantastic and I'd love to get hold of some of those soup recipes. The two 'Explorer' vessels and the ribs meant we all got to visit so many wonderful places in the Kimberley. There was always something available that catered for all abilities with the whole experience enhanced by the wealth of knowledge provided by the expedition leaders & lecturers. The open bridge made us feel even more at home. Thank you so much to all on board who made these first time cruisers feel so welcome and keen to do more of this type of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as they use proper tenders plus zodiacs. They have shade, proper seats and even a loo. The guides were first class and we learnt so much about the land, aboriginal rock art and how the Aborigines lived. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise as they use proper tenders plus zodiacs. They have shade, proper seats and even a loo. The guides were first class and we learnt so much about the land, aboriginal rock art and how the Aborigines lived. The ship took us to the Horizontal Falls which were amazing, we went through in zodiacs. Then the Montgomery Reef which is huge at about 40 kms long. When the tide changes, water pours off as in waterfalls and hundreds of turtles are waiting to catch fish. We saw crocodiles and nurse sharks. Whirlpools were amazing and also the BOAB tree with HMS Mermaid 1820 carved on it near Careening Bay. The lectures were excellent but the cruise was let down by the disorganised hotel side. No breakfast marmalade and it took days before I obtained low fat milk. The staff looked at me as if I had asked for the moon! We were called to dinner long before they were ready for us and food grew cold without proper heating especially stone cold porridge. Surely they could organise hot plates underneath. The food was fairly good and desserts the best part. We have cruised often and feel they have a lot to learn. The carpet in our cabin wasn’t vacuumed often. The dining room was under-staffed and the kitchen too small to cope with so many diners at once. The staff were inclined to chat rather than be efficient. The lecturers, tours etc were first class. No fridge and no TV. Definitely need a fridge. When we were due to embark, we asked if we would get breakfast on board as it was so early. We were told yes. Of course that did not happen. There is no excuse for that. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have always wanted to visit Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands and the tip of Australia. This trip covered all these places and more. Everyday was an adventure and gave us a greater understanding of Indigenous ... Read More
We have always wanted to visit Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands and the tip of Australia. This trip covered all these places and more. Everyday was an adventure and gave us a greater understanding of Indigenous Australians, the environment and WWII history in this area. We were privileged to have guides onboard who have extensive knowledge of these areas and wonderful connections with the people as well. We visited remote communities, deserted islands and swam and snorkelled in pristine areas of the Great Barrier Reef. This was an exploration cruise, no pool, no shows, no bingo so not suitable for people who cruise for these services. There were 40 odd guests and everyone made an effort to sit with different people at mealtime. Cocktails/drinks watching the stunning sunsets were an afternoon ritual, nothing was too much trouble for the staff and the food was fantastic. By the end of the cruise staff and guests were like one big family with shared experiences. I have never experienced that on a cruise before. I could go on and on about our wonderful experiences but there were so many. We loved it so much we have put in an expression of interest for their Kimberley Cruises in 2020. We do need to save as they are not a cheap cruise but worth every cent. We could not have gained access to many of the places we visited otherwise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed Coral Discoverer and the trip from Darwin to Broome. The whole team were very professional and as we said to the Captain on our departure in Broome the culture of the ship was exemplary – nothing was too much ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed Coral Discoverer and the trip from Darwin to Broome. The whole team were very professional and as we said to the Captain on our departure in Broome the culture of the ship was exemplary – nothing was too much trouble and all went out of their way to make our trip memorable. The itinerary was ‘adjusted’ to take account of tides and weather and while we did not see some of the sites quoted in the brochures we saw others that more than made up for this. We cruised up huge rivers, experienced amazing indigenous art sites, saw ancient sandstone cliffs and walls, went by zodiac through the Horizontal Falls, and had informative explanatory commentary from the knowledgeable expedition leader and from the visiting naturalist. Some of the shipboard lectures were very informative and most evenings there was a relevant movie about the Kimberley, but it was not 'entertainment' a la cruise ship!! Not that we wanted or expected that mind you. Just explaining the rating. We are most satisfied with our decision to go with Coral Discoverer having now reviewed some of the other offerings available with this great experience behind us – the use of the large aluminium tender Xplorer for initial runs off the ship, and then transfers as required to zodiacs was a great way to experience the highlights – of which there were many.A great finish on the last day heading for Broome and almost on cue was a spectacular display by a pod of about twelve whales - the most sustained and beautiful we have ever experienced - serendipitous but very welcome! Not a cheap cruise/expedition by any means but very good value for money for this amazing experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Friends had indicated a cruise down the Kimberley coast was one of their best holidays yet. This trip was booked as a round trip from Broome to Darwin by coach and back to Broome by boat through APT/Travelmarvel. Previous experience with ... Read More
Friends had indicated a cruise down the Kimberley coast was one of their best holidays yet. This trip was booked as a round trip from Broome to Darwin by coach and back to Broome by boat through APT/Travelmarvel. Previous experience with this company had proven to provide first class guides, accommodation and travel by boat, coach and train without having to double check each component of my journey. The harsh reality of my experience on Coral Expeditions was a continuous feeling of sleep deprivation and discomfort as a result of the unlivable cabin I had been allocated. (see critique of cabin). At no time had the cruise been described as an Ecological Study Tour . Though the guides were excellent there was no escape from the bombardment of information on fauna, flora, topography, geology and indigenous art and history as day tours were complimented by evening lectures or documentaries on the same. As a result, there was no other form of entertainment or distraction if you chose to stay onboard. I also suffered a fall down a cliff face after a swim in an elevated lagoon. Coral Expedition personnel were responsible for safety however were distracted at the time of my fall even though they were standing on the same ledge I was descending to. As a result I spent 36 hours on my back without any follow-up on my condition. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We are so pleased we chose to explore this amazing region on the Coral Discoverer, from Darwin to Broome over 10 nights. This is a small expedition ship which had recently been refurbished and it was extremely comfortable both in-cabin ... Read More
We are so pleased we chose to explore this amazing region on the Coral Discoverer, from Darwin to Broome over 10 nights. This is a small expedition ship which had recently been refurbished and it was extremely comfortable both in-cabin and all around the ship. One of the reasons we chose this cruise company was the way they conduct excursions into smaller areas using their ‘X-plorer’ craft - a nifty vessel that can take all passengers into remote, otherwise inaccessible areas in comfort, with shade cover and on-board toilet. ( it can get very hot and you do need to drink a lot of water - so this was very helpful!) Passengers can board the X-plorer craft directly from the ship deck (perfect for mobility impaired travellers) and it is gently lowered into the water and then cleverly lifted back up on return to ship. Other operators seemed to only have zodiacs to do off-ship exploring and we didn’t fancy hours in zodiacs with no shade etc. So luckily we had the best of both worlds - the comfortable X-plorer, and several zodiacs available for even more close-up experiences {like the Horizontal Falls, the Montgomery Reef and Lacepede Islands) The Expedition Leaders and crew were exceptionally good with well planned excursions and information sessions. We enjoyed a great variety of meals, and were very pleased with the attention to special dietary requirements if needed. Special mentions to Expedition Leaders Steve, Tim and Sandy; Udo the Purser and overseer of all dining and on-board experiences; Captain Gary and the expedition crew. The Kimberley region is spectacular and this cruise enabled us to visit areas that would be totally unreachable by any other means - so extremely remote we did not see a single person on land anywhere, other than the people we were travelling with …but lots of crocs, whales, turtles, waterfalls, aboriginal cave art and stunning rock formations and colours. Not to mention spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The Lacepedes with thousands of birds and the sheer serenity and other-worldliness of Montgomery Reef (looks like the moon rising out of the sea as the reef is exposed at low tide) were standouts for us, but the whole region is simply awe-inspiring This cruise went way beyond our expectations and is a very special memory for us. We had cruised quite a bit before - Norwegian Fjords, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Baltic, Adriatic and New England Coast - and this has been our favourite... not sure why we left cruising our own country till so late, but so glad we finally did it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
WOW
Arguably one of the best holidays we have been on. Starting at the embarkation in Darwin which was like a well oiled machine, greeted with a smile and a "are you excited", it just all fell into place. The ship itself, ... Read More
Arguably one of the best holidays we have been on. Starting at the embarkation in Darwin which was like a well oiled machine, greeted with a smile and a "are you excited", it just all fell into place. The ship itself, having just been refurbished was in pristine condition but it was the people, nothing was too much trouble for the crew, daily servicing of the cabin with a turn down at night and it all seemed to happen without us even knowing. Food was a buffet for breakfast with all the usual items, mentioned one morning it would be nice to have poached eggs and next minute there they were. Lunch again was buffet and was probably the least enticing meal of the day but was still more than enough. Dinner on most nights was exceptional, barbecue on the deck was excellent with a huge choice of meats and salads. Just on two nights the meat for dinner was on the tough side but there was more than enough of other items so you did not end up hungry. The shore excursions along this wonderful Kimberley coastline was the highlight though, led by Jamie, Brian and Dave. Safety was the first priority in fact all aspects of shipboard and land adventures were prefixed by safety so cannot speak highly enough of their attention to this. Ian Morris, our guest lecturer, what a man, not only a pleasure to listen too with his knowledge of this area but his involvement with indigenous education and issues added so much to the trip. Negatives, to be honest I would have to be very picky, we had a crew member down so service on some nights waiting to get a drink was a bit slow, but when you have the scenery around you to look at and amiable company to converse with this was only a minor issue. This trip was recommended to us by our neighbours and we would have no hesitation in recommending it to others. Worth every penny. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The Kimberley sounded an interesting place to visit and to do it by ship seemed a great idea. As we read the details, the trip sounded more and more interesting. We were lucky enough to get a last minute cancellation, and how lucky for us ... Read More
The Kimberley sounded an interesting place to visit and to do it by ship seemed a great idea. As we read the details, the trip sounded more and more interesting. We were lucky enough to get a last minute cancellation, and how lucky for us we did! Our few days in Darwin before the cruise put us into holiday mode. Our first time in Darwin had us wanting to go back again to see more. The half day city tour is fascinating, and well worth the time. We could have spent far more time here, so it's on our list for a revisit at some time. Arriving at the ship was exciting and bustling. We were greeted by friendly faces, had the much needed coffee and started to meet fellow passengers. The ship looked welcoming for our next 10 days. Everything looked, and was, "ship shape"! Our cabin was spacious and much bigger than I expected. We were quickly able to unpack and get into the swing of things. Food on the ship was excellent and plentiful. The service was first class. There was a great programme of activities that had been put together for us and we enjoyed them all! I loved the fact that if you didn't want to go, you didn't have to. Getting onto the tender and off again was a breeze thanks to the brilliant mechanism that made it accessible for everyone. Excursions, lectures and documentaries - there was so much to learn, see and do and we had plenty of fun, too! From getting wet under the waterfall at King George River to watching a blue ringed octopus chase crabs around the rock pool among the corals. I can't think of a bad thing to say about our trip. We tell everyone about it, encouraging them to go. Thanks to everyone on Coral Discoverer - we had a ball and we'll be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have long wanted to do this cruise. Having recently driven the Gibb River road it was time to see the parts of the Kimberley inaccessible by road. We cannot fault the cruise. Everything was excellent: notably the ship itself; the ... Read More
We have long wanted to do this cruise. Having recently driven the Gibb River road it was time to see the parts of the Kimberley inaccessible by road. We cannot fault the cruise. Everything was excellent: notably the ship itself; the staff (without exception excellent, friendly, efficient); meals (variety over the ten days excellent); access at any time to the bridge; excursions which were very well organised by three knowledgeable leaders; activities including talks, films, slide shows, sunset drinks; easy access to the ship's tender and the three zodiacs. We would certainly recommend highly. Embarkation and disembarkation were very well organised. In July we would expect fine weather and were not disappointed. But additionally it was calm with low swell except on two days: winds and swell an cause difficulties with some beach landings. Highlights included: a helicopter flight to and landing at Mitchell Falls; Hidden Island Reef with its abundance of life; a pod of dolphins which were attracted to the ship and stayed the night; numerous humpback whales heading south on the last day, to Broome; and several rock art sites which have long been on my bucket list. But picking out individual things is unfair: the experience as a whole was an unforgettable adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
To do a Kimberley Cruise/Expedition has been on my 'bucket list' for sometime!! We have seen the area from the Gibb river Rd, and from the coast - fantastic. This was made all the better with the Expedition staff, their superb ... Read More
To do a Kimberley Cruise/Expedition has been on my 'bucket list' for sometime!! We have seen the area from the Gibb river Rd, and from the coast - fantastic. This was made all the better with the Expedition staff, their superb knowledge and passion; the ship's crew, all willing to assist, answer questions and good company, and the hotel staff, who were very obliging and courteous. Ian Morris with his mythical Monjon, was amazing, knowledge on the animals, birds, plants and rocks, kept us well occupied! Jamie, worked most of us out from the start, a great quality in an Expedition leader, especially when there are a few not so agile amongst the passengers. Dave, where did he find those quiz questions, thanks for a fun night. Boat drivers, Brian, Max, Dan and Josh, great job with 'Xplorer' and zodiacs, getting us as close to the sites as possible, and Horizontal Falls, total buzz. Greg and his crew, had the 'Coral Discoverer' where it needed to be every time, not sure about the 0400 anchor calls!! - guess that's the delight of a forward cabin!! Conal, and his team treated each one of us with personalised service, table service, occasionally lacking, however not for lack of the staff trying to meet high demand times. Food, generally amazing, cabins, well attended and all public areas clean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted a small boat experience in The Kimberley region which would enable us to learn about and explore the region close up. We wanted a good level of comfort and our research led us to Coral Discoverer. Embarkation is Darwin was smooth ... Read More
We wanted a small boat experience in The Kimberley region which would enable us to learn about and explore the region close up. We wanted a good level of comfort and our research led us to Coral Discoverer. Embarkation is Darwin was smooth and efficient with a focus on getting us familiar with the boat and the crew. The ship has a high level of luxury about it and we chose cabin A01 on the bridge deck. The cabin was a very good size with a king bed and good ensuite. The balcony meant we could have fresh air and a great view and space from which to take photos. All the crew were exceptional providing wonderful service and all had a good level of knowledge about the boat and the region. The most outstanding feature of the cruise was fine expedition team led by Jamie and Dave and accompanied by a guest lecturer Ian. Their knowledge and expertise meant we were able to get up close to the most amazing sites and we learned about culture, geography, history, wild life and plants. Each day was full and varied exceeding all our expectations. The logistics of the expeditions with a tender capable of taking all 72 guests and loaded from the main vessel ensured everyone of all fitness levels could partake. Then in addition there were 3 zodiacs to get us even closer to waterfalls etc and ensured we could land on beaches otherwise inaccessible. The itinerary on the web site will inform you of the many possibilities. Every cruise will be a little different depending on it tides. Back to the ship - The Captain ran a very happy and service oriented team. The dining experiences were also outstanding. The quality and variety of food a real feature. Our fellow passengers added to the enjoyment. Enough people to mingle with and be able to meet everyone, and to ensure you didn't sit with the same people every day. Fresh filtered water on tap always, laundry service available with iron your own. Library available for further information. Deck space ample for all with a great sun deck to enjoy for meals, drinks and the sunrises and sunsets. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
When I look at any review of the Expedition 1, the word "amazing" is used countless times to describe the crew. Thus I am going to mention the most amazing crew that looked after my old school friend Jenny and I on this recent ... Read More
When I look at any review of the Expedition 1, the word "amazing" is used countless times to describe the crew. Thus I am going to mention the most amazing crew that looked after my old school friend Jenny and I on this recent expedition. I do not use the word "cruise" as there is no swimming pool, spa, gym, massages, beauty salons etc. on board this catamaran - just good conversation, interesting lectures and presentations. The 43 passengers experienced non-stop first rate service . So thanks to Master Joshua Coxall, First Mate - Phil Andrew, Engineer - Heath Douglas-Geary, General Purpose Hand - Aidan Singh, Purser - Amy Rankin, Chef - Tom Giblin, Senior Cruise Attendant - Joel Smith and Cruise Attendants - Marion Grandi, Alison Roche, Kirralee Evans and Josephine Grimshaw, Expedition Leader - David Keech, Guest Lecturers - Tim Harvey and Michael Hermes. David was such an enthusiastic leader, keeping us fully informed of the procedures of the day. On his back he carried a heavy first-aid back pack wherever we went once off the boat. Tim and Michael shared so much of their extensive knowledge of the Kimberley as we viewed awesome waterfalls, Montgomery reefs, pristine shorelines and lagoons, sunsets, turtles, a DC3 plane wreck, ancient Aboriginal rock art, boab trees, sunsets, bird life, sunsets, crocs, micro bats, helicopter ride, tawny nurse sharks, complex geology, quolls and rock wallabies, and sunsets. Yes - I love sunsets and they must be seen to be believed. In addition we enjoyed skimming along the water in The Explorer which held us all. David, Michael and Tim worked so well as a team with great humour. They encouraged us to ask questions. I think they could answer most of them. They kept a close eye on the safety of the passengers. We didn't mind how long it took them to check that the little lagoons we were anticipating swimming in were croc free! During our trip David and Tim took incredible photographs which they shared on a website for us all to view. Obviously they have "seen it all before" but one would think that it was their first encounter of the Kimberley as they were so enthusiastic. I might add that some of Tim's paparazzi photos were not too flattering. No-one has sued him as yet. Mention must be made of Tom the Chef. We marvelled at how he managed to serve up endless gourmet meals from a small galley. We also enjoyed appetising BBQs on the beach watching the sunset. I hesitate to tell you this, but one woman offered her daughter to Tom! Ever smiling Amy and her staff were multi-tasking - taking orders, serving meals, clearing away, running the bar, cleaning and making up all the cabins and tending to all the endless requests from the passengers. What a team. When we disembarked in Broome, the staff lined up on the wharf to farewell us. Seemed like we were saying goodbye to old friends and we felt sad. Without a doubt this whole experience and every crew member involved was truly AMAZING. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise was our 'trip of a lifetime' and it lived up to every expectation. The crew were polite, friendly and exceptionally helpful from the time we boarded the ship in Darwin until be disembarked in Broome. Udo, the ... Read More
This cruise was our 'trip of a lifetime' and it lived up to every expectation. The crew were polite, friendly and exceptionally helpful from the time we boarded the ship in Darwin until be disembarked in Broome. Udo, the purser, oversaw a seamless hotel operation and Captain Greg, Officers, Engineers and Expedition staff Steve, Tom and Mark worked to ensure that we experienced most of what 'The Kimberley' had to offer including King Cascades, Mitchell Falls Horizontal Waterfalls, Talbot Bay, Cyclone Creek, Montgomery Reef and Careening Bay to name a few. We were lucky and privileged to have seen a very remote part of Australia with an enthusiastic team of people whose mission it is to ensure that their guests receive a safe, highly informative, first class journey into a part of Australia that unfortunately, because of its remoteness, few of us will get to experience. We also learned of an unknown (to me) Australian explorer, Phillip Parker King, and his journeys of discovery in the Kimberley and Northern Territory. Jim and Sheryl Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My Wife chose this cruise as I have limited mobility though not in need of aids . I was most impressed by the attention of the staff not only the waitresses and other cabin staff but the whole crew were extremely friendly and helpful . ... Read More
My Wife chose this cruise as I have limited mobility though not in need of aids . I was most impressed by the attention of the staff not only the waitresses and other cabin staff but the whole crew were extremely friendly and helpful . The food was good and charges for drinks was not excessive; table and bar service was excellent. Especially enjoyable were the off ship excursions on a daily basis, also the timing of the excursions and their coincidence with ideal tidal conditions for the trips was excellent . We particularly enjoyed the helicopter trip to Mitchell falls and the trip to Lacepede islands. The ship was very stable and we were blessed with perfect weather. I did not go on a couple of excursions which required climbing up hills but was able to relax and read my books. We have never been fans of cruises but this small intimate cruise was excellent and very sociable and I can thoroughly recommend this trip. One small criticism was the lack of a lift between (decks) which I found a bit wearing. The company and especially your on board staff should be complimented ; although expensive was probably well worth it and a unique experience. I have previously traveled in this area by land but this was an entirely new way of looking at the area Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I have travelled in parts of the world, such as the Canadian Rockies known for their beauty. There is nothing in the world to compare with the sheer breathtaking scenery of one of the planet's last unspoilt wilderness, the Kimberley. ... Read More
I have travelled in parts of the world, such as the Canadian Rockies known for their beauty. There is nothing in the world to compare with the sheer breathtaking scenery of one of the planet's last unspoilt wilderness, the Kimberley. The rugged cliffs, slabs of rock like pink marble, thousands of islands, aqua water and coral beaches as they were thousands of years ago still leaves me in awe to remember it. Coral Expeditions Discovery could not have presented this holiday better. Like many, I am now planning my next cruise wth them in 2017. All of the 55 passengers onboard expressed a similar opinions. Everything was done to make the holiday as good as it could be and expertly managed by Captain Greg and our Expedition Leader Steve. Our lecturer and guide was Ian Morris OA and how lucky were we! www.abc.net.au/stateline/nt/content/2005/s1522665.htm We begged him for talks most nights on the fauna, flora, geology, history and the aboriginal culture of the region and were never disappointed although often interrupted by a whale. This is an expedition cruise so the features are the local area and the planned walks or boat trips every day. I had been ill for much of the 6 months prior to my cruise and took the advice of the Expedition Leaders, Steve and Dale and did not try a few of the more strenuous walks but there was always an alternative cruise in the Explorer with things for me to photograph and I got to enjoy the photos in the lounge with everyone in the evening, I loved seeing this region from the water always with a breeze and of course the luxury AC if it was too hot on the deck. I was never hot for long (reminded about hat and sunscreen often) and almost never saw an insect. I must say the attention to detail in every aspect of this cruise was outstanding. For example Captain Greg sitting in a zodiac as we were all taken in zodiacs through the Horizontal Waterfalls with him taking photos of us all, which is nice to get, but he was there of course as au unspoken safety measure. Our safety was always their number one priority. Coral Expeditions are accredited Eco Tourism and took this very seriously also with nothing left in the Kimberley apart from footprints and nothing taken. The seas are teaming with fish, turtles (who come up to your zodiac), small sharks, whales and birds with breeding colonies around and there are crocs (all called Eric) which we saw but leant not to be frightened as Ian was so knowledgeable and nothing was ever left to chance. Sasha was a great Purser and Sara also and the dining was lovely and special. Everyone was friendly and although I was travelling solo, I was never alone and felt welcome everywhere. Loved the seafood buffet on the first night and the beach barbecue on Verandah Beach as the sun set. Do this cruise on Coral Expeditions as you need to get up and close to the beaches and the mangroves to see the fauna and flora and their Explorer is perfect. And you need the knowledge and experience of this company. I loved the way the 26 crew were such a seamless team with everyone being relaxed and friendly but very good at their job and you could see it really was a team when the deck hands could give orders to Captain Greg and be met with a smile. Corporations try for years to achieve that respect and teamwork and many could learn from this company. Made all of us passengers so relaxed and secure in our safety so we could focus on simply having the best fun ever. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We have just returned from a 10-day cruise down the Kimberley Coast from Darwin to Broome on the “Coral Discoverer” (Coral Expeditions), it has been a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience. This journey is all about the sights of ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10-day cruise down the Kimberley Coast from Darwin to Broome on the “Coral Discoverer” (Coral Expeditions), it has been a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience. This journey is all about the sights of the Kimberley not accessible by any other means and it was wonderful. For people wishing to learn more about the area, it's history and inhabitants, both human and animal it is a must. Beautiful island vistas at dawn and sunset, fantastic rock paintings, often reached by a scramble up rocks or into caves, secluded beaches, rivers, waterfalls, reefs, sharks, dolphins, sea snakes, crocs etc. As for the ship, we have no complaints. Food was really excellent, the crew were all competent, helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. We took advantage of the "open bridge" policy and had our maps updated daily. Our cabin was roomy, comfortable and cleaned daily. The Expedition Crew were amazing. Jamie, the leader, managed to make each day informative and entertaining with twice (and sometimes 3 times) daily expeditions aboard the Xplorer, always working with the tides to ensure a safe and pleasant experience. Each evening there was a review of the days events held in the lounge over pre-dinner drinks. Also each day either Mark, one of Jamie's team, or Tim the guest lecturer, would give a talk. Both were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects. The’ Xplorer’ is marvelous. It is boarded straight off the deck of Coral Discoverer and lowered to the water. It isn't flash but has relatively comfortable seats, a roof and a small toilet and it got us into places the ship couldn't go. There were also 3 zodiacs, which were usually boarded from the Xplorer, for those who wished to get even closer to the action. The Coral Discover is not a big "bells and whistles" liner, just a comfortable place from which to see the Kimberley. I suppose if I was the mention a negative it would be the sundeck which was not really useable during the day because of lack of shade (although to stargaze up there at night was good). There is plenty of other deck area to enjoy, so it wasn’t really a problem. All this added up to one of the best holidays we have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We cruise a lot internationally on small and medium vessels and will add this one to the best ships. All the good things others say are true and we have no compla9nts at all. Excellent and worth every penny. The cabins are excellent, the ... Read More
We cruise a lot internationally on small and medium vessels and will add this one to the best ships. All the good things others say are true and we have no compla9nts at all. Excellent and worth every penny. The cabins are excellent, the food very good, the crew always helpful and friendly. The guides knew their stuff, a little eccentric too but that makes for even more interest. Remember, it is a smallish ship by international standards but its size gives great access with its flat bottomed fast motor boat and 3 zodiacs, access few other ships enjoy. As an amateur ocean sailor when young, I pleasured in watching the professional way the merchant marine crew so capably and caringly handled their small access vessels. They were a pleasure to watch and admire. The bar was not open as much as I would have liked but we could have asked for drink service at any time if we wished. If you thinking of this vessel do not hesitate. Highly recommended,. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, the amazing colours of the land and sea, the isolation and wilderness were amazing. The two guest lecturers aboard, Tim Harvey and Sandy Shaw made the journey so much more rounded with all the information that they imparted from their wide spread knowledge of the geology and flora and fauna.They accompanied all the shore trips in the tender and also gave talks and showed videos. The tender was on a hydraulic ramp that lifted it up to C deck and the passengers could then simply walk on for easy access. A great idea for those less nimble people. There were shore journeys every day sometimes twice a day when we got to the cruising areas after the first day sailing from Darwin.A few shore journey were strenuous but we were always advised as to the level and if you wanted to remain in the tender and have a cruise around then that was always an alternative. All of the crew were very friendly and extremely professional.The food was excellent and plentiful. My request for fish instead of meat was met without any fuss. Diners moved around so you got to know your fellow passengers. Most days were very full with some early starts to catch the right tide to see certain sights at their best. It's not a cruise to take if you just want to lounge around but other than that we highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had ... Read More
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had daily excursions ashore as well as knowledgeable guides/lecturers. The cruise required a modicum of fitness with a few walks and scramble over rocks. they have a flat bottomed boat which they use for expeditions (fishing also). It fits everyone and is able to land on beaches and rocky shores. The cabins (we had a suite) were fine with plenty of room and ensuite. The crew were very professional and appeared to be having fun along with the passengers. This makes for an enjoyable trip. We chose to go from Darwin to Broome as I figured the prevailing wind would more likely be up our rear, which provides an easier ride. I was mostly right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
"I heard this was good, but not this good!”, someone remarked on our Darwin to Broome April 1, 2016, ten day Kimberley coast cruise. We absolutely concurred. The stunning Kimberley scenery and our experience with Coral ... Read More
"I heard this was good, but not this good!”, someone remarked on our Darwin to Broome April 1, 2016, ten day Kimberley coast cruise. We absolutely concurred. The stunning Kimberley scenery and our experience with Coral Expeditions 1 surpassed everything we expected. Simply wonderful. The guest lecturers and expedition team were a font of information, good advice and guidance. Not to mention brave! Who can forget our leader, hand feeding a shark off the back deck! Our B deck Deluxe Stateroom was spacious and well tended. Friendly staff were about predawn, ensuring the ship was spic and span for the day ahead. Food was plentiful and fresh - the standard of good pub fare. Coral Expeditions 1 is not a luxury cruise ship, but it’s comfortable and cosy. The stairs are steep, but we thought of them as an inbuilt exercise stair master! Dress is casual and barefoot on board is fine. No casinos, no pools, no entertainment shows, no deck to deck elevators. It’s not that sort of experience. “It’s an expedition, not a cruise,” we were told. And that’s what you get. We found the pace of onshore expeditions full-on and challenging, especially in the April heat and humidity, but always rewarding. There were pleasant ‘cruisier' options if you didn’t want to clamber up rocks to discover ancient aboriginal paintings or hike across a salt plain to see a crashed WW2 plane! Showers under remote towering waterfalls, crocodiles giving us the eye, sea snakes swimming by, amazing birdlife, bat colonies tending their babies and the incredibly cute ‘sea cow’ dugongs to fall in love with. A fantastic trip stacked full of exciting experiences and staggeringly beautiful vistas along the coast of one of the last great wilderness areas of the world. We loved this trip. We adored the Kimberley coast. We'd strike it off our bucket list, but we’d do it again in an instant! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I have just returned from a Darwin to Broome Kimberley Cruise onboard the Oceanic Discoverer with my Husband. This Cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The whole experience was educational and exceptional. We were amazed at the ... Read More
I have just returned from a Darwin to Broome Kimberley Cruise onboard the Oceanic Discoverer with my Husband. This Cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The whole experience was educational and exceptional. We were amazed at the scenery, the tides, the colours and the isolation of this destination. Onboard the lecturers Tom and Maureen were great and helped us to understand the culture of the Indigenous people and the wildlife we were lucky enough to see. The ship itself is very well equipped, the rooms very comfortable. The food is fantastic and there is a great wine selection. We especially loved the Zodiacs that allowed for a much more personal experience whilst sightseeing. The walks on the islands to the cave sights were well worth it. The reefs were beautiful and we also did the Mitchell Falls helicopter flight which was amazing. Managed to have a swim up there as well! The Captain Garry was very approachable and a great lecturer with his knowledge and interesting life stories. We felt very safe in his capable hands. Lastly, Steve our expedition leader was probably one of the best tour leaders we have had. Steve’s knowledge and passion for this destination is evident and he showed us this area with great organization and great care. He obviously loves his job and it shows. !!!! I would recommend this Cruise to everyone who loves nature and wants to see the real Top End. It should be on everyone’s bucket list . Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
A friend and I took the 11 day Kimberly cruise from Darwin. There were several aspects of the cruise we found particularly enjoyable. Above all, our fellow guests were wonderful people who had come to the Oceanic Discoverer (as it was ... Read More
A friend and I took the 11 day Kimberly cruise from Darwin. There were several aspects of the cruise we found particularly enjoyable. Above all, our fellow guests were wonderful people who had come to the Oceanic Discoverer (as it was known back then) for its lack of glitz and exposure to geology and culture. It was an exceptional group of discerning people and we made some good friends. Many had traveled with Coral Princess before. We enjoyed mingling with them and the ship dynamics (open seating dining, lounge areas) facilitated that. Second, the crew were very sociable and hardworking and the purser was a true professional. Crew were mostly Australian. The food was not Michelin star but tasty and well plated. We liked that we were not nickel and dime on excursions and soft drinks. Finally, we enjoyed the ability to embark and disembark without any queues because of the small number of guests. We noticed we could go closer to shore than the big ships. The overall experience felt less "canned" and formulaic than the mega cruise lines. It is not cheap but we felt it was money well spent on a unique small ship experience. We would not repeat this trip but are thinking of Papua New Guinea with Coral Princess in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first cruise in Australia and it did not live up to expectations. We travelled Darwin to Broome over 10 days via many stops in the Kimberley. At double the price of our other cruises (including with APT and Silversea) we ... Read More
This was our first cruise in Australia and it did not live up to expectations. We travelled Darwin to Broome over 10 days via many stops in the Kimberley. At double the price of our other cruises (including with APT and Silversea) we were expecting a high standard. Instead it was simply satisfactory to good. Breakfast, lunch and some dinners were self-service from a cramped buffet. At dinner we were called up by table and waits of up to 45 minutes were experienced. The food was good but not exceptional. The kitchen ran out of cream and ice cream early in the cruise and one could not get a cheese platter after dinner. Except for the two official captain's functions, all alcoholic drinks were pay as you go. The Kimberley scenery was great, especially the waterfalls and inlets. Wildlife was scarce, except at the Lacepede Islands bird rookery. Many of us remarked that it seemed strange to get excited at a wallaby sighting when we'd probably seen hundreds before. The cruise did include two fishing experiences and they are to be congratulated for that, including their strict "catch and release" policy. The cruise staff provided exceptional service - the most outstanding aspect of the cruise. Overall it was a good experience, but not good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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