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Sail Date: February 2019
In February we enjoyed a fabulous 7-night Tasmanian cruise out of Hobart. It was our third cruise on the Coral Discoverer and it was great to see that the crew keep her in tip top condition. There were quite a few familiar faces in the ... Read More
In February we enjoyed a fabulous 7-night Tasmanian cruise out of Hobart. It was our third cruise on the Coral Discoverer and it was great to see that the crew keep her in tip top condition. There were quite a few familiar faces in the crew, and all are friendly and welcoming. The cruise documentation states that the itinerary is flexible and will vary according to weather and sea conditions. We saw that flexibility on the first day when we were not able to visit the Huon Valley due to bushfires. The compensation was that we were encouraged to rise early on the first morning and we were treated to a stunning sunrise as we transited Port Davey. Every day was filled with shore excursions meticulously planned by Expedition Leader, Mark. Guest Lecturers, Catherine and Steve, both Tasmanians, gave very interesting short presentations on a wide range of topics. As well as their presentations, Mark, Catherine and Steve were with us on every excursion, sharing their knowledge at every opportunity. Steve lead most of the longer more challenging walks and was great at planning the walks, assessing everyone’s capabilities and limits and supporting and encouraging everyone during the walks. There were some hills to climb, but it was always very satisfying to get to the top and enjoy the stunning views. There were always less strenuous options available such as shorter walks, or a scenic cruise. There is no additional charge for any of the excursions. Some of the highlights of the cruise were the sighting of a pair of endangered orange bellied parrots, frequent dolphin sightings and seeing the amazing fur seal colony on Illes des Phoques at such close quarters. Then there were the cute wombats. Not only did we see lots of them, we discovered that the poo is cube shaped (and why it is cube shaped) and that they can outrun Usain Bolt over 100 metres. We were enthralled with stories of the early explorers and settlers. It was good to listen and pay attention as there was a quiz on the last day. All meals were served in the dining room with breakfast and lunch being hot and cold buffet style. Always plenty of variety. Dinner was 3 course a la carte. There is only a limited selection of dishes on the menu, but the chefs are always willing to be flexible with dishes, you just have to ask. The 2 chefs freshly prepare all meals for the, up to, 72 passengers, using local ingredients wherever possible. Passengers were often popping their heads into the kitchen on the way out of the dinning room to thank the chefs for their meals - how often do you have the opportunity to do that? Evening entertainment was usually DVDs relating to the area that we were travelling through. Most times though, it was early to bed to rest up for the next day's exploration. Much of the area that we visited is wild, remote and inaccessible except by sea. With the Coral Discoverer’s professional crew, we experienced it all in safety and comfort and it will leave lasting memories. We have our next cruised booked already. :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose to cruise the Kimberley coast because it is the only way to see this beautiful and unique part of the world. We wanted a small ship that would allow us access to the best areas and a crew that included people with expertise in all ... Read More
We chose to cruise the Kimberley coast because it is the only way to see this beautiful and unique part of the world. We wanted a small ship that would allow us access to the best areas and a crew that included people with expertise in all aspects of the region. We were looking for lots of onshore activities and pertinent lectures rather than other forms of entertainment. The cruise fitted our expectations in every way. The cruise director and guest lecturers were excellent and the rest of the crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. The chef was a standout - too much excellent food. Although we are seniors, we were able to take part in all activities except one that involved climbing to a swimming area over large rocks with the aid of a rope. However, there was an alternative cruise through the mangroves so nobody missed out. The only possible disadvantage of a small ship is that the crossing of the Bonaparte Gulf can be rocky, although we weren't seasick. We would highly recommend Coral Expeditions I if you are a likeminded traveller. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Outstanding in every way. Food amazing and much variety. Cree and staff so friendly and helpful. Guest lecturers/guides very knowledgeable and great sense of adventure and fun. Cabin was large and had surprisingly good storage. ... Read More
Outstanding in every way. Food amazing and much variety. Cree and staff so friendly and helpful. Guest lecturers/guides very knowledgeable and great sense of adventure and fun. Cabin was large and had surprisingly good storage. The activities planned every day were fascinating and varied, and there was still something to do on board for those who was nted a rest. The scenery and other aspects (Aboriginal art, geology, animals and plants) were explained well. Take the helicopter flight and walk to Mitchell Falls if you can. It’s well worth it! The zodiacs were lots of fun and allowed us to get in close or land to see things. This was my first extended cruise and I enjoyed every minute. If you’re prone to seasickness, get meds from your doctor before going. I did and was affected only once at the end on the run through open waters to Darwin. Broome to Darwin direction was s good choice because it’s calm until the end. We went in late June. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We spent 4 nights sailing around the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the excursions are snorkelling the reef which was absolutely amazing.The ship was very comfortable with good size cabins and nice common areas. The food was very good, well ... Read More
We spent 4 nights sailing around the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the excursions are snorkelling the reef which was absolutely amazing.The ship was very comfortable with good size cabins and nice common areas. The food was very good, well presented and more then enough to eat. The staff were wonderful, very friendly and went out of their way to help. My mother is a weak swimmer and the trip director pull her around with life ring every time we went snorkelling. The staff was very careful to keep an eye on everyone in the water and ready to help you with your equipment. There was glass bottom boat rides as well as snorkelling at each reef. Getting on and off the boat was very easy. This has been my favourite thing we have done on our trip to Australia. I would come back just to do this cruise again. Everything went very smoothly. Highly recommend. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise to explore the Cape and Arnhem Land. Unfortunately Cyclone Nora decided to have the owners and captain make the decision to cancel the cruise at Horn Island. They are to be congratulated in the way this was done and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to explore the Cape and Arnhem Land. Unfortunately Cyclone Nora decided to have the owners and captain make the decision to cancel the cruise at Horn Island. They are to be congratulated in the way this was done and the way in which they got everyone safely back to Cairns. If we had continued we would have been right in the path of Cyclone Nora and who knows what would have happened. We were offered half the cost of our cruise back or could choose a free cruise from 5 options. We love Expeditions 1 and will be boarding her again in Darwin in October to do our cruise in reverse hence seeing Arnhem Land plus have the opportunity to again explore the coastline and islands from the tip of Australia back to Cairns. Captain and Crew were all excellent and we look forward to cruising with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This company has cruising to a fine art. If you want to see the Great Barrier Reef, go snorkelling or diving then the staff will do everything to help you fulfill your dream. They have your safety as a priority. You visit a no. of Coral ... Read More
This company has cruising to a fine art. If you want to see the Great Barrier Reef, go snorkelling or diving then the staff will do everything to help you fulfill your dream. They have your safety as a priority. You visit a no. of Coral Sea Islands, learn about the fish and coral on the reef. The food is great with buffet lunch and breakfast with a choice for dinner, including a BBQ and seafood night. Morning and afternoon tea are also available. The ship enables you to get to know other passengers. Open dining allow this. The expedition boat accessible from the back deck means no tenders are needed just walk straight on to the expedition boat. It has covering to protect from the sun. As the days are quite active, including hiking on one of the islands, snorkelling, walking and visiting a turtle rehab. centre entertainment apart from movies are not needed, but the lovely lounge is a great place to get together. The top deck provides an excellent area to view the beautiful scenery. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Having sailed on the Coral Discoverer (previously Oceanic Discoverer) from Darwin to Broome in 2015 our party of six decided to "do it again" ie. enjoy a nice cabin along with great service, friendly staff, great food and drink ... Read More
Having sailed on the Coral Discoverer (previously Oceanic Discoverer) from Darwin to Broome in 2015 our party of six decided to "do it again" ie. enjoy a nice cabin along with great service, friendly staff, great food and drink offerings whilst we sail and view magnificent scenery, visit historic places, walk in wilderness areas, enjoy enlightening talks and films and have a lot of fun in the process. We were not disappointed, Coral Discoveries provided just what we expected plus some, another great holiday. The weather was kind to us as it has been known to worse down south, but that can be the case anywhere on any holiday. This ship has room for 72 people and carries landing craft where you can board and go ashore without getting your feet wet most of the time, The Explorer carries all 72 people on excursions, as well there are a few kayaks available and the larger inflatables for excursions when required. We are looking forward to our next adventure with Coral Discoveries, where? who knows as they go lots of different places.. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We had long desired to travel to PNG but had a few trepidations. This cruise out of Madang offered an opportunity to engage with traditional village cultures on one of the great rivers of the world. It exceeded all ... Read More
We had long desired to travel to PNG but had a few trepidations. This cruise out of Madang offered an opportunity to engage with traditional village cultures on one of the great rivers of the world. It exceeded all expectations. We stayed at the highly recommended Madang Resort Hotel/Kalibobo Village complex and departed from its private wharf for an overnight voyage west along the coast to the mouth of the Sepik. Twelve varied and fascinating villages were visited on our 300kms voyage upriver and each entranced us with welcoming sing-sings with the villagers performing wonderful and, at times, mesmerising dances. Many billum bags and carvings were for sale at very low prices. There were opportunities to engage with the villagers and many spoke English as it is taught in the schools. School visits, sago production, local cooking, facepainting, garamut drums and sacred flutes enhanced the trip. On board ship to further explain local customs were an anthropologist, a much-revered ex-politician and a Sepik man who also eased our visits to the villages. Our guides and crew were all experienced and highly professional. Our cabin was spacious & very comfortable with its own en-suite. An excellent chef carefully prepared food which was varied, plentiful and tasty. Boarding the tender for our numerous shore visits was simple and safe. The villagers are very welcoming & rich in traditions and culture but cash poor. Take gifts of cotton clothing, balls (tennis, soccer volleyballs), school resources (pencils, exercise books, picture books). Engage with the locals and enjoy a safe, comfortable and fascinating experience which will amaze and delight long after you return home. Read Less
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