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7 Coral Expeditions 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
I booked this cruise through Aurora Expeditions, whom I had sailed with three times before. I mistakenly thought Aurora had contracted the ship as they had done with an Inside Passage Alaskan trip I undertook in 2014. This was not so! I ... Read More
I booked this cruise through Aurora Expeditions, whom I had sailed with three times before. I mistakenly thought Aurora had contracted the ship as they had done with an Inside Passage Alaskan trip I undertook in 2014. This was not so! I was expecting a rather active voyage around the Northern Australian coast, instead I found myself on a very sedentary voyage with more than half the passengers being older and less active than the 15 of us that anticipated an active voyage. We left Broome and 23 days later arrived in Cairns, Whilst I saw a large amount of things, I was disappointed at the sedentary nature of the journey and at times the arrangements for excursions ashore seemed ad hoc. The ship really wasn't suited for this journey, in quite in small seas it rocked and rolled making a number of passengers sick. Even myself, and I consider myself a good sailor, was thrown around the cabin and other areas. It was a wonder that some of the more fragile passengers did not damage themselves or break a bone. This ship was built around 30 years ago for Great Barrier Reef trips; it is scheduled to do southern and eastern Tasmania soon - I wonder how it will cope. I had a deluxe upper stateroom which was roomy and fine with a good size en-suite. Even so it wasn't classy - I had paid quite a large amount of $s for this trip. The food was superb for the Broome to Darwin section but the cooks changed over in Darwin and it was just adequate from Cairns to Darwin. As stated before I felt the activities scheduled were for more sedentary persons than myself; we missed a couple of visits outlined on the program I received before the voyage; and some activities felt like they were ad hoc - i.e the places we visited weren't really expecting us. The staff on the ship varied from an outstanding purser who kept his staff working at a high level to one expedition staff leader who I wouldn't employ. The highlights of the trip were: - viewing the Kimberley Landscape from the sea, especially Montgomery Reef - the Aboriginal Art Galleries of the Kimberley & North Queensland - visiting places in Arnhem Land that would be difficult to do so from the land - the Torres St islands & Cape York - best of all snorkeling on the outer Great Barrier Reef. I definitely wouldn't go again, I felt a bit disgruntled and betrayed by the company I booked through. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Don't be deceived by the pristine white image of the Coral Discoverer as seen on their web site, likewise the Coral Xplorer. This ship is showing it's age - due for a much needed refit in the near future I believe. The ... Read More
Don't be deceived by the pristine white image of the Coral Discoverer as seen on their web site, likewise the Coral Xplorer. This ship is showing it's age - due for a much needed refit in the near future I believe. The present grey/white external livery does nothing to make you feel a buzz of pride when you first board her. Rust patches appear all over and the metal work is far from shiny. The sun deck is unusable in the tropics as there is no shade to go with the 9 or so old sun beds and 15 plastic chairs & tables. The wonderful standard of the seafood buffet presented on the first night was not maintained and after 3 weeks cruising many items had disappeared from the rations. The laundry next to useless and the bed linen only changed once a week. On the plus side - if the Coral Discoverer happens to be going where and when you want to go then she is not unusable. The young crew (understaffed) worked tirelessly to please, the cabins are acceptable, the food school dinners and the hot water plentiful. Be warned that should you cross the equator our Captain thought it a good laugh to pay homage to King Neptune by ladling sloppy fish soup over the heads of the passengers. An amazing exhibit of power over the embarrassed made all the more astonishing by the fact that most of the guests accepted it! We visited Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian part of the island, up to the equator for a total eclipse of the sun which they got spot on, then back down through the Spice Islands to Darwin. Ten out of ten for the itinerary but sadly not matched by the boat though this was an expensive expedition. If you risk it - B deck is less expensive and better than A deck. 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 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
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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