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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose Coral Expeditions because it is an Australian company and therefore had a depth of local knowledge and experience. The added bonus was they were launching a new boat, the Coral Adventurer in time for us to join the Broome to ... Read More
We choose Coral Expeditions because it is an Australian company and therefore had a depth of local knowledge and experience. The added bonus was they were launching a new boat, the Coral Adventurer in time for us to join the Broome to Darwin journey. Our total experience was beyond expectation. The boat was luxurious and spacious. There were plenty of places to relax, eat and drink on the outside decks as well as a comfortable lounge large enough to hold us all for group briefings or presentations. The cabin was spacious and had a king size bed. Cabins were serviced at least twice a day and linen and toiletries were top end. Meals were excellent and maintained their standard of high quality, freshness and variety throughout the entire trip despite being in a remote area. The crew, from the Captain down. were incredibly friendly, fun and helpful yet always maintained a professional approach . They all multitasked. including the Captain, which was great to see as there was a real team feeling about the adventure. Expedition staff were well organised with nothing left to chance. Communication about activities and events was clear and consistent. We knew exactly what to expect about every excursion. Expedition staff went out of their way to help everyone on board achieve as much as they wanted in terms of participation in activities and it was all done with a smile and encouragement. Having the 'walk on' tender also was a great help in assisting everyone to take part but the crew was also very helpful in assisting passengers who wanted to take part in the zodiac excursions. Both guest lecturers were excellent and provided interesting insight and further information about the various excursions. The added bonus from the trip as if it wasn't excellent enough was the ability to download trip notes, photos and a video, making it really easy to relieve our brilliant experience. We enjoyed the relaxed feel of the ship; not having to dress for dinner was appreciated. Thank you Coral Expeditions for making this trip so memorable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Coral Adventurer was specially build for cruising the rugged Kimberley coast, could go to all the places the smaller boats can go at half the cost and much more comfort. The two explorers were very comfortable,a breeze to get ... Read More
Coral Adventurer was specially build for cruising the rugged Kimberley coast, could go to all the places the smaller boats can go at half the cost and much more comfort. The two explorers were very comfortable,a breeze to get onto,protection from the sun and toilet on board- that was a bonus! Lots of activities and you could do as many or as little as you pleased. The crew were so friendly and helpful, smiles on all their faces, the food was fantastic, great lecturers and loved having an open bridge where you could sit and chat to the Captain. Some of the crew also joined guests for dinner, so interesting to chat to them about there travels. Our cabin was very comfortable, boarding and exiting the ship was a breeze. Nice to have crew line the port to say goodbye. I would like to do another cruise on Coral Adventurer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 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
6 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
On the strength of a seven day cruise on this small ship (70 passengers max) around the southern coast of New Zealand, we booked for the seven day voyage around the east, south and west coast of Tasmania. It was flawless. the captain, Gary ... Read More
On the strength of a seven day cruise on this small ship (70 passengers max) around the southern coast of New Zealand, we booked for the seven day voyage around the east, south and west coast of Tasmania. It was flawless. the captain, Gary Wilson, and his amazing crew provided us with an extremely comfortable and luxurious haven from which to experience the extraordinary Tasmanian coastline. We had wonderful weather that allowed us a near-perfect sail around to the exquisite Port Davey in Tassie's South West National Park for two nights in this World Heritage wilderness; a pristine and sheltered environment that hopefully will still be here for generations to come. Congratulations to all of those environmentalists over the years who have resisted government and industry attempts to debase such magical places with unnecessary development. Access is strictly controlled and it became clear when we climbed several local hills for panoramic views of the labyrinthine waterways, extending out to the Arthur Range on the blue horizon. For me, this was a highlight of the trip because of the difficulty in even reaching Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour in bad weather. A serene sail across a mirror-smooth Southern Ocean took us up the east coast to Freycinet where regardless of some light rain, we again were able to walk up to another lookout over Wineglass Bay. Then it was onto Maria Island for a dramatic (weatherwise) stroll to the fossil cliffs before an unforgettable sail down the east coast past the highest dolerite cliffs in the world on Cape Pillar -- 300 metres! It was right there that the finale arrived in the form of a 40 knot gale, making scenes of those foreboding cliffs even more dramatic. Another highlight for all of and extremely well handled by our ship, the Coral Discoverer, which again proved her stability in rough seas. We had previously been in nine metre seas on the south coast of New Zealand in this ship and knew of her capabilities. An alternative tour of Port Arthur with an amazing guide who, we suspect, is a Shakespearean actor (or should be) before our departure in Hobart on a fine, clear morning. Overall, a wonderful trip to an unforgettable and unique destination. Highly recommended! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Great small ship experience sailing the Tasmanian coast. Extremely well organised. Food and guest cabins were above average. Quality of lectures, included excursions and hikes, professionalism of crew were exceptional. Crew were ... Read More
Great small ship experience sailing the Tasmanian coast. Extremely well organised. Food and guest cabins were above average. Quality of lectures, included excursions and hikes, professionalism of crew were exceptional. Crew were Australian. The captain was a historian. Ship was kept spic and span. Icing on the cake were fellow guests - well traveled, sophisticated but not show-offs, great conversations over meals -- and yes wine and beer included :) We had a cabin on C deck (second least expensive category). Cabin was not luxurious but reasonably spacious. Serviced twice a day. Daily linen change and very good quality linen (I am a stickler). Toiletries were an Australian brand. Good moisturiser (need it for the dry climate). A very different cruise experience - more like a large yacht. Tasmania is beautiful. Straight out a fairy tale. We saw seals, dolphins, wallabies, kangaroos, many different types of birds. Soaring cliffs and white sand beaches. Temperature ranged from cool to chilly. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Very hard to find with Google. I only found big ships; Coral Expedition (CE) with small boat was the only choice with key words such as "cruise the Great Reef Barrier”. Tougher to find Coral Expedition II (CE) in the Great Reef ... Read More
Very hard to find with Google. I only found big ships; Coral Expedition (CE) with small boat was the only choice with key words such as "cruise the Great Reef Barrier”. Tougher to find Coral Expedition II (CE) in the Great Reef Barrier on Trip Ad search engine. This may be one reason why so few reviews are published and awardly mixed with Kimberley & Asia cruises comments. Besides, passengers are in majority from old to very old and probably not tech oriented. I must do justice to the exeptional team on my 7 days trip in August 2017. The reservation team: In spite of being a last minute reservation 2 weeks before departure, every inquiry on email were handled immediately by the reservation team as compared to other cruise lines competitors who did not answer to my inquiries. Dawn and Benjamin dealt with my contraints and changing schedules, found 4 + 3 days trip in an upper deck cabin without single supplement, 1st big pleasant surprise. CE kept my luggage at their office and brought it to the terminal at boarding time, which freed an extra day visiting Cairns. 2nd pleasant surprise. Even more exceptional is their after trip care: they wrote to me about forgotten items on my cabin asking for directives on what to do with them ! 3rd surprise. The weather challenge: - Many got sea sick, but it's a trade off for an intimate, small boat with limited number of passengers. It was not an obstacle for my fun. CE is so generous as to depart even when very few people registered. - Dry suits and all gears provided at no charge; I kept them on everytime I got to the ocean so I could last longer. The passengers : - Cons: average age of passengers in my trip was above their 70ies, oldest was 91 yo. In spite of clear warnings from the crew that some activities required a very good physical fitness, some elderlies overestimated their capacity, could not follow and might be limiting factors. I would have preferred a younger, more dynamic and sport crowd to team up with. - Pros: luckily, they were lively, happy, fun, well travelled with experienced to share. The very few young adults were more tensed, avoided eye contacts, nearly hostile or simply shy, but gradually relaxed towards the end of their trip. Packages were either 4 days length (North leg, my favourite) or 3 (South leg), new passengers joined in between; making up your group and bonding was facilitated compared to other formula with passengers joining any day for different trip lengths. The crew: Wonder how CE select their staff with such interpersonal social skills, personality, attitude. Those qualities could not be trained. Maybe all Aussies are as nice, kind and generous ?!? Coral Exp, please keep them happy so they could contaminate us with their strong spirit. 13 staff members multi-talented, with multiple professional expertise and skills, switching tasks and responsibility seamlessly, from captainship to skippers to general maintenance to restaurant assistance and back. Everyone does everything, yet tasks seemed well defined, nothing got overlooked. They knew our names, even though we don't wear our name tag all the time and passengers rotation is every 3 to 4 days. Maintenance team were so efficient and discreet that we don’t get to see them; the rooms were always made up regardless of how many times we used the room and the bathroom, unlike in major hotel chains, 4th surprise. Thanks to Jay, Samy, and Aaron (?). Charlie with a heart of gold provided first aid for an elderly who travelled alone and broke his wrist; they took him to the hospital and back to the boat. Everyone helped him up and down the stairs, in rough sea or for glass bottom boat trips. Carole the purser from France, looked after us. Dany the marine biologist presented the ocean inhabitants like romanced stories or a cartoon characters, each personalized with their funny peculiarity, temperament, specific job in the food chain & in keeping the reefs. Ford, the engineer, is one of the lesser known crew member. He worked round the clock and fixed plumbing, engine, everything maintenance, you name it. Ford has worked for so many years on cruise boats and will tell you about diving in the area and in New Zealand. In the kitchen, Karina and the other chef (forgot his name and lost a point on the trivial pursuit !) did magic with the unreal sea food buffet. I am impressed with the prawn avocado salad; steamed red snaper; Morton Oysters; impossible roquette salad with parmesan, pine nut and pear; prawns marinated in coconut, lemon grass; or seared, Asian style salad, coconut & lemon grass fried scampi, chow mein; lamb racks. I ate so much and wished that one of the meals would be less appealing so my stomach could rest ! I would have loved more Australian fruits on my next trip with you, promised ? Here come the activities: I was not aware of all the land activities, I won't list them all here to leave room for surprises. That makes my 5th surprises. Land activities do not seem to be included in other live board cruises. Bring your sport walking shoes. Picnic, wonderful snorking and kayaking on Lizard Island beach till sun set; the next day mooring there, we went for a 3 hours walk up to the top of Lizard island only for the fittest ones; getting down the same steeped path seemed scary but actually much easier. Stunning views that compensate for the wake up call at 5:00 am. Check the wild orchids; the yellow flower shrubs (similar to the yellow flowers that bloom at the Vietnamese New Year and turn black and red after they ripen) contrasting with the deep blue back ground; the piles of rocks and stone that each visitor is supposed to bring up to the peak of the island. Fish feeding sessions night and day: we were in the water and saw a huge humphead Maori wrasse all blue and green, bigger than me, staring at me. I was scared for nothing as Maori humphead are only kind and curious. Very interesting visit to the very expensive Cooktown sea front; museum entrance fee on your own. Not as many dives as in other liveboard bc of land expeditions. 2 bottom glass trips at each site, for those who don't want to get wet or unfit to swim. Very skilled, precised skippers holding the boat still above interesting spots, positioned aside so to let the sun light gets through; parked the boat of 15 passengers with only one trial on top of the boat lift. Even though I dove and snorkelled, I went on all bottom glass trips to listen to Dany’s explanations, to have a sample of what to expect, then decide if I wanted to snorkle there. We love you Dany ! We were unlucky with the mangrove expedition at high tide. No fauna, birds, crocs visible. Turtle farm very instructive but nothing to see there. My baptism to diving with Ricardo: Con: no dive site layout. I suggest that we have a printed itinerary on the daily new bulletin. Pros: the 1st test dive of my manipulation of the equipment took 30 mn; 2nd dive 11,50 m (= 37”) at Ribbon Reef #3 spectacular, 33 mn; 3rd dive 11.90m, the max allowed 12 m for beginners, 36 mn fabulous. Wordless. In 1st dive, I was alone w Ricci. 2nd, Sami and David got along but followed us autonomously. Saw a cleaning station w neon blue damsels, Nemo the clown fish in ocre and blue collar in and out of anemone. Big yellow fish with brown polka dots under the corals. Huge califlowers bolders, jack fruit, bamboo, clayfish antennae, butterfly fish, no angel fish, yellow trumpet fish with green lines, square black flat fish with yellows stripes, dark blue box with yellow spots. Big bénitiers no colour, probably victims of bleaching. I dreamt, years ago, of swimming with a school of fish friends, no one else, in the deep blue. Dream came true ! We were given feed-backs after every dive. Everybody looked after you so that you set your equipment adequately for your comfort and fun. Colours are dissapointing in the South leg, even under the sun. Without the sun, even the North leg could be blah. Out of my 4 dives, only 2 really did wonders, the 1st being a test dive. You could see as many with snorkling alone, although you will miss out on the tall walls, the deep blue above you, shoals of fishes. Snorkling in Polynesia was much better years ago. While passengers were loading on and off in between the 2 legs of my trip, a visit were organized to Thapukai place, at the foot of Kuranda rain forest. We had to wait for unecessary period of time and missed out on visiting the wonderful facility. We snorkled and dove at Dunk and Lizard Island, Nathan reef, Watson's Bay on Cooks Island ?, Ribbon Reefs 3 and 9 and Escape Island No tip policy in Australia, so I managed to offer small gifts to express my gratitude, which the crew really appreciated. Dropped me off to my after cruise hotel. I did not keep track of all the beautiful details daily and must have missed quite a bunch, so please amplify the pleasure. Thanks to all the team of Coral Expeditions. Go with them ! (same comments posted in Trip Advisor) Read Less
WOW
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
One of the most remote and beautiful places in the world The KImberley in Australia's northwestern corner is spectacular The Coral Discoverer is an Australian built ship, flying an Australian flag and carrying an all Australian crew. ... Read More
One of the most remote and beautiful places in the world The KImberley in Australia's northwestern corner is spectacular The Coral Discoverer is an Australian built ship, flying an Australian flag and carrying an all Australian crew. Friendly, clean and professional they made the cruise a true "bucket list" adventure. It is a long way to get there but worth it The ship goes where there are no roads. 30 toot tides, reefs, sea life from crocodiles to whales. Amazing gorges, waterfalls and landscapes.. Places like King George falls and Montgomery reef, Price Regent and King George rivers will take your breath away. An open bridge policy lets you sit with captain as you navigate amazing waters. Cabins are bigger then average, and comfortable. No TV on this cruise, but you don't need it. Great daily lectures from a knowledgeable staff. Make the effort to do this cruise. You will be happy you did. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
4 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
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