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10 Hobart Coral Expeditions I Cruise Reviews

I thought a short cruise on a small expedition boat was perfect to visit the amazing coastline of Tasmania. Only 26 passengers on board and a great group to travel with. This is advertised as boutique cruising and yes it is small and ... Read More
I thought a short cruise on a small expedition boat was perfect to visit the amazing coastline of Tasmania. Only 26 passengers on board and a great group to travel with. This is advertised as boutique cruising and yes it is small and personal, with amazing staff, great food and excellent service, but the boat itself leaves a lot to be desired. As I booked at the last minute, we chose a lower room as we were informed that the sea can be quite rough, but this company should give more information about the drawbacks of these cabins. Down a very steep set of 14 narrow stairs to get to the room, tiny bathroom and the closeness to the engine room and anchors did not make for a pleasant cabin experience. Being woken up at all times of the night as the anchor was either noisely lowered or raised was disturbing and I also felt that all stairways especially internally were dangerous for the average age of passenger (70's) to navigate to get to different areas. The main dining area had a lounge but that was barely capable of seating all passengers as the upper lounge was another climb up the stairs. The itinerary was excellent but I think a slower day would have been preferable than getting on and off the ship from early morning and then again in the afternoon. I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see places that cannot be viewed by car, but opt most definitely for the middle cabins which seem spacious and easier access to all facilities. I think the lower cabins should be for staff only. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
All technical aspects of this cruise were faultless. These would include embarkation, disembarkation, dining arrangements, cabin fittings, general cleanliness, ship handling and maintenance. Staff were skilled and helpful. Meals were well ... Read More
All technical aspects of this cruise were faultless. These would include embarkation, disembarkation, dining arrangements, cabin fittings, general cleanliness, ship handling and maintenance. Staff were skilled and helpful. Meals were well timed, varied and tasty. Dining was informal, allowing all passengers to meet. Numerous lectures provided background for the shore excursions. The tender, large enough to accommodate all passengers, was a very welcome feature. However, I was disappointed with the itinerary. I was expecting more remote coastal cruising, especially around south west Tasmania and Port Davey. We were told it was too rough. Instead, we were offered alternative cruising to the south and east, with shore excursions to more traditional tourist destinations. I found the guided walks conducted on some of these excursions a bit too slow paced. Coral Expeditions was clear that Port Davey was a weather-dependent destination but, based on previous cruises on other ships, I had assumed that most passengers would accept some physical discomfort in order to participate in a unique experience. I may have been wrong in this case, as many fellow passengers were having difficulty with what I considered to be fairly moderate sea conditions. Coral Expeditions' "Our 7 night journey into the Tasmanian wilderness is a true expedition." got me on board once, but I would not chance this cruise being a wilderness expedition a second time. But the ship, crew and staff were great, so it might be a good choice for those balancing a small ship cruise against concerns about sea sickness. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
It is clear in the Coral Expeditions I itinerary for Tasmania that the destinations achievable are weather dependant. Port Davey is the only part of the voyage that can be left off the agenda due to rough seas. Their assertion of rough ... Read More
It is clear in the Coral Expeditions I itinerary for Tasmania that the destinations achievable are weather dependant. Port Davey is the only part of the voyage that can be left off the agenda due to rough seas. Their assertion of rough seas is debatable, as the BoM South West coast forecasts for Tasmania did not show seas above 2.5 metres. However, I am mindful that this cruise is on a small boat. The crew did talk about past voyages where guests can bed down in the dining room during rough seas, as this room is low and in the stern of the ship where less rolling is felt. I’m sure a large number of guests would have been up for such a rough seas adventure and “lived to tell the tale” of reaching Port Davey. The reality of this cruise did not fit the expectation of an expedition into the Tasmanian wilderness as stated in the itinerary. For that reason alone, I am ranking this voyage as below average. Apart from Port Davey, the remaining itinerary is to tourist attractions easily reached by car from Hobart, ferry, or local half day cruises. By no stretch of the imagination are they wilderness destinations except for the coastal cruising around Tasman Island (also available locally). It may vary with each cruise, but be prepared to see some of these tourist places by locally chartered buses. It’s not what I expected from a wilderness expedition! I strongly recommend looking elsewhere (as I should have) if your only goal is the adventure of reaching Port Davey. However, if you have never visited Tasmania before, and/or want to receive in depth social and natural histories for the places visited, then this voyage would be a good introduction. While I was disappointed in not reaching Port Davey, this ship and crew are outstanding. They are all friendly, helpful and generous in all aspects. In the end, it’s all up to what you want to gain from your experience on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Great small boat/ship cruise. Only 16 guests on board. Excellent excursions. Knowledgeable guides/experts. Got to places others never reach. Great food. Needed some persuasion to get the skipper to go to Port Davey in fairly iffy ... Read More
Great small boat/ship cruise. Only 16 guests on board. Excellent excursions. Knowledgeable guides/experts. Got to places others never reach. Great food. Needed some persuasion to get the skipper to go to Port Davey in fairly iffy weather. Never been so cold as we were in Bathurst Harbour - couldn't believe it. But an amazing place - and a real privilege to be there Really good cabin - 205? On dining/lounge deck - not a premium cabin, but just been fitted with enormous new bed. Two minus points. Wine offer is really mean considering cost of trip. Wine with meal is free, but pre-dinner drinks are charged. Coach trip when weather was rough was pretty poor. Perhaps the boat could have travelled down the coast to reduce the two hour journey each way. (And both the vehicle and the driver were elderly. When one of the younger guests asked for music, the driver ferreted around to find his prize tape - Max Bygraves Greatest hits.) Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise was an opportunity to see a different view of some of Tasmania's iconic and remote locations - up close and personal, but still in comfort. If you enjoy travelling in a small group rather than a crowd, this is the way to ... Read More
This cruise was an opportunity to see a different view of some of Tasmania's iconic and remote locations - up close and personal, but still in comfort. If you enjoy travelling in a small group rather than a crowd, this is the way to go. If you want opulence, constant entertainment, nightclubs and casinos, look elsewhere... The boat itself is very comfortable with all the facilities to make you feel at ease, the crew very friendly, professional and very attentive, and the food first rate. The shore excursions were well planned with the ability to be tailored to suit the capabilities of the guests. The expedition leader Dave was very organised, and well experienced in ensuring that everyone was enjoying the moment. The few changes to the hoped-for itinerary that became necessary due to weather conditions were handled seamlessly, and the crew worked together to ensure that the alternatives were just as enjoyable as the original plans. The two guest lecturers Kathy and Katharine were passionate ambassadors for Tasmania's rich natural wonders, flora and fauna, and cultural heritage. Their enthralling presentations on board the boat first set the scene for the things that we would see and the places that we would visit, along with a wealth of background information. Then their presence on the shore excursions provided on-the-spot details to 'flesh out' the experience. Regarding the shore excursions, Coral Expeditions has a handy 'secret weapon' in the Xplorer, the excursion tender which is large enough to take the full complement of passengers ashore at once. The Xplorer is housed on a hydraulic platform allowing boarding directly from the main deck of the boat, and is then lowered into the water. It can be driven right up to the shore, allowing passengers to simply step off via its front ramp. While it might not have the adventurous appeal of balancing on the side of a zodiac, hanging on to a rope while bouncing across the waves, and then wading ashore, the Xplorer has actual seats, a roof, clear blinds that can be rolled down for protection if necessary, and even a toilet! Such luxuries are very handy in the rough conditions, but also allow for longer trips in the water away from the boat. One final point - this is a small boat which feels rough weather more than a big ocean liner does. Be prepared and follow the advice of the crew. They have seen it all before and know how best to stay comfortable. It's all part of the adventure! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The company should advertise that it is not a cruise for everyone. In fact it is not a 'cruise'. There are no casinos or piano players on board. There is no pool either. The Aussie crew are friendly but there is no room service. ... Read More
The company should advertise that it is not a cruise for everyone. In fact it is not a 'cruise'. There are no casinos or piano players on board. There is no pool either. The Aussie crew are friendly but there is no room service. Food is ok but this is not the Queen Mary. There is no luxury. I suggest the company advertise better. It is not a tour bus either. There were some locals who saw the cruise as a way to see some specific spot and were disappointed we didn't go there. I am glad the company did not stick to a rigid schedule as all know weather in Tasmania is not predictable. What it is - a well managed operation on a small ship with only 40 passengers taking you to places that left me and my husband awestruck. I will always remember standing on the bow with a nip in the air as we passed within a stone's throw of the incredible Cape Pillars. We saw seals at an island I can't remember. We went on all the walks. We are in our 60s and probably one of the youngest on board! The onboard Tasmania Parks ranger was a delight. There is some pitching and rolling but no worse than a Med cruise we took on a mega ship. The crew are friendly and work very hard. We refurned feeling healthy and invigorated. We are coming back next year! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Disappointing itinerary as the Coral Expedition 1 was unable to attempt to reach Port Davey due to rough seas. This was to be the highlight of the cruise and the main reason for taking the trip. The offered changes were not promulgated ... Read More
Disappointing itinerary as the Coral Expedition 1 was unable to attempt to reach Port Davey due to rough seas. This was to be the highlight of the cruise and the main reason for taking the trip. The offered changes were not promulgated prior to the trip and appeared to be organised Ad Hoc by the Captain and Expedition leader. If this was all we were going to see on our cruise, we would not have booked but chosen an alternative method to get to the Wilderness area of SW Tasmania. It appears that the Coral Expedition 1 is not the type of vessel to sail the Southern Ocean particularly when the seas are rough and a poor choice by the company for this routes. Our cabin was adequate but the bathroom was far from comfortable with a rather slippery tiny shower (when the ship was rocking and rolling) in a moulded compartment and a tiny washbasin that you had no room to wash your face in. Rooms were serviced each day and toiletries provided for passengers' use. Meals were of very good quality and staff provided a friendly efficient service. Open dining where you could meet other passengers throughout the trip was a plus and the chance to gather as a group for pre dinner drinks and nibbles was a good chance to socialise. Unfortunately the weather meant that the upper deck outdoor area was rarely used and the one occasion when we all gathered there for pre dinner drinks provided a challenge for some to negotiate the stairs given the ship's motion. Shore excursions were adequate but limited and walks could have been more strenuous than they were reputed to be. Having the tender take us ashore meant we could access beach landing areas to reach the shore. The system of getting on and off the Coral Expedition 1 was very well designed and meant everyone was able to leave the ship if they desired; even one passenger who needed a walking frame was able to go ashore. While the service and staff were very good, I think the vessel chosen let us down and led to my disappointment with the trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This is the best trip I have taken this year. We are avid cruisers and have sailed once before with Coral in the Kimberley. We really enjoyed that but lowered our expectations of the Tasmania cruise as it was on their smaller ship. ... Read More
This is the best trip I have taken this year. We are avid cruisers and have sailed once before with Coral in the Kimberley. We really enjoyed that but lowered our expectations of the Tasmania cruise as it was on their smaller ship. However, it was truly refreshing. Tasmania is so beautiful. It feels remote and untouched. A small ship operated by an Australian company is a good way to do it. They have been around for 30 years. Some of the walks were strenuous and we sat one or two out. Scenery spectacular, we saw seals, dolphins, up close. Captain Nathan told us that we were the first passenger ship to enter Port Davey. We had a private tour of Port Arthur, though my second time there. Eerie place, sad history. Our past is tragic! Food was comforting, nothing fancy. Wine is not included. No organised entertainment, just talks and lectures. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The boat is adequate - no luxury but it was clean and we had all we needed for the week. We were often tired after the long walks so there was no call for evening entertainment. The crew were superb - friendly and helpful - they worked ... Read More
The boat is adequate - no luxury but it was clean and we had all we needed for the week. We were often tired after the long walks so there was no call for evening entertainment. The crew were superb - friendly and helpful - they worked extremely hard for the passengers throughout the cruise. The guest lecturer and guide could not have been more generous with their time and knowledge. How the chef managed to produce such delicious fare in the rough conditions in such a small kitchen was truly a wonder? The boat was simply was not designed for the Southern Ocean and it was uncomfortable during the rough seas. Many passengers spent much of the week feeling sea sick. We were advised that there was no lift but there was no mention that the stairs were almost vertical - together with the large ocean swells, these factors made moving around the ship almost impossible for some of the less mobile passengers - even the crew struggled on occasions. There had to be changes to the published itinerary owing to the unpredictable weather in the Roaring 40s - conditions did not favour some of the proposed ports of call. The onshore walks were quite strenuous and many of the passengers could not participate. We were lucky that we are good sailors, reasonably fit and coped with most of the challenging walks. The places we did get to visit were outstanding and most enjoyable - Tasmania is an untouched beauty and worth seeing. All in all, we enjoyed the week but it is not a cruise I would want to repeat nor would I recommend to anyone else unless a larger boat with stabilisers was offered. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was an expedition cruise and overall was most enjoyable. Tasmania is unspoilt and a delight to visit. The places visited were great - loved them all. The walks were pretty strenuous and long at times. The crew were superb - ... Read More
This was an expedition cruise and overall was most enjoyable. Tasmania is unspoilt and a delight to visit. The places visited were great - loved them all. The walks were pretty strenuous and long at times. The crew were superb - friendly and helpful - good food and service. The guest guides and lecturers were both knowledgeable and generous with their time. The boat was small and clean - no luxury but it was fairly comfortable. There was a warning that there was no lift but the stairs were almost vertical! Some passengers found it very difficult getting to and from their cabins. The sea was very rough during this cruise and the boat pitched and rolled quite alarmingly for long periods! This type of boat is not suitable for the unpredictability of the southern ocean! Many passengers spent a lot of time being ill and clinging to the bed to stay in! The itinerary was very attractive but the weather was the major factor and because the winds were strong, the boat was not able to sail to many of the planned places. The crew had a hard time rejigging the excursions owing to the limited scope of the catamaran. However, we did enjoy our week but it really is a cruise for good sailors only and those who have a good standard of fitness and mobility. We were fortunate that we were in that category - just. It was certainly a challenge! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Coral Expeditions I Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 5.0 4.5
Entertainment 1.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.1
Family 1.0 3.1
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.4
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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