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14 Coral Expeditions I Cruise Reviews

We have always wanted to visit Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands and the tip of Australia. This trip covered all these places and more. Everyday was an adventure and gave us a greater understanding of Indigenous ... Read More
We have always wanted to visit Tiwi Islands, Arnhem Land, Torres Strait Islands and the tip of Australia. This trip covered all these places and more. Everyday was an adventure and gave us a greater understanding of Indigenous Australians, the environment and WWII history in this area. We were privileged to have guides onboard who have extensive knowledge of these areas and wonderful connections with the people as well. We visited remote communities, deserted islands and swam and snorkelled in pristine areas of the Great Barrier Reef. This was an exploration cruise, no pool, no shows, no bingo so not suitable for people who cruise for these services. There were 40 odd guests and everyone made an effort to sit with different people at mealtime. Cocktails/drinks watching the stunning sunsets were an afternoon ritual, nothing was too much trouble for the staff and the food was fantastic. By the end of the cruise staff and guests were like one big family with shared experiences. I have never experienced that on a cruise before. I could go on and on about our wonderful experiences but there were so many. We loved it so much we have put in an expression of interest for their Kimberley Cruises in 2020. We do need to save as they are not a cheap cruise but worth every cent. We could not have gained access to many of the places we visited otherwise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We 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
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date March 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
Sail Date February 2018
When I look at any review of the Expedition 1, the word "amazing" is used countless times to describe the crew. Thus I am going to mention the most amazing crew that looked after my old school friend Jenny and I on this recent ... Read More
When I look at any review of the Expedition 1, the word "amazing" is used countless times to describe the crew. Thus I am going to mention the most amazing crew that looked after my old school friend Jenny and I on this recent expedition. I do not use the word "cruise" as there is no swimming pool, spa, gym, massages, beauty salons etc. on board this catamaran - just good conversation, interesting lectures and presentations. The 43 passengers experienced non-stop first rate service . So thanks to Master Joshua Coxall, First Mate - Phil Andrew, Engineer - Heath Douglas-Geary, General Purpose Hand - Aidan Singh, Purser - Amy Rankin, Chef - Tom Giblin, Senior Cruise Attendant - Joel Smith and Cruise Attendants - Marion Grandi, Alison Roche, Kirralee Evans and Josephine Grimshaw, Expedition Leader - David Keech, Guest Lecturers - Tim Harvey and Michael Hermes. David was such an enthusiastic leader, keeping us fully informed of the procedures of the day. On his back he carried a heavy first-aid back pack wherever we went once off the boat. Tim and Michael shared so much of their extensive knowledge of the Kimberley as we viewed awesome waterfalls, Montgomery reefs, pristine shorelines and lagoons, sunsets, turtles, a DC3 plane wreck, ancient Aboriginal rock art, boab trees, sunsets, bird life, sunsets, crocs, micro bats, helicopter ride, tawny nurse sharks, complex geology, quolls and rock wallabies, and sunsets. Yes - I love sunsets and they must be seen to be believed. In addition we enjoyed skimming along the water in The Explorer which held us all. David, Michael and Tim worked so well as a team with great humour. They encouraged us to ask questions. I think they could answer most of them. They kept a close eye on the safety of the passengers. We didn't mind how long it took them to check that the little lagoons we were anticipating swimming in were croc free! During our trip David and Tim took incredible photographs which they shared on a website for us all to view. Obviously they have "seen it all before" but one would think that it was their first encounter of the Kimberley as they were so enthusiastic. I might add that some of Tim's paparazzi photos were not too flattering. No-one has sued him as yet. Mention must be made of Tom the Chef. We marvelled at how he managed to serve up endless gourmet meals from a small galley. We also enjoyed appetising BBQs on the beach watching the sunset. I hesitate to tell you this, but one woman offered her daughter to Tom! Ever smiling Amy and her staff were multi-tasking - taking orders, serving meals, clearing away, running the bar, cleaning and making up all the cabins and tending to all the endless requests from the passengers. What a team. When we disembarked in Broome, the staff lined up on the wharf to farewell us. Seemed like we were saying goodbye to old friends and we felt sad. Without a doubt this whole experience and every crew member involved was truly AMAZING. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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
We sailed from Broome to Darwin through the Kimberleys. The scenery was breathtaking. The daily excursions were full of interest as well as unique and very enjoyable. The staff were amazing. They could not do enough to assist us. You ... Read More
We sailed from Broome to Darwin through the Kimberleys. The scenery was breathtaking. The daily excursions were full of interest as well as unique and very enjoyable. The staff were amazing. They could not do enough to assist us. You would only have to ask for something once and they acted right away. The tour leaders were so knowledgeable. They bent over backwards to make the tours full of interest. The food was absolutely delicious. The breakfast and lunch were buffet style and the evening meal a la carte. There were many healthy options to choose from. The ship was spotlessly clean. At 6pm every day there would be a recap of the day's activities and then an explanation of what would occur the next day. They told you what to wear, what to take. The safety level was fantastic. I would strongly recommend Coral Expeditions and I would have no hesitation to book another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the areas of the Kimberley that can only be accessed by sea. We chose the Coral Expeditions 1 mainly for the small number of passengers, (48 maximum). The areas we saw did not disappoint. The rugged beauty, the amazing colours of the land and sea, the isolation and wilderness were amazing. The two guest lecturers aboard, Tim Harvey and Sandy Shaw made the journey so much more rounded with all the information that they imparted from their wide spread knowledge of the geology and flora and fauna.They accompanied all the shore trips in the tender and also gave talks and showed videos. The tender was on a hydraulic ramp that lifted it up to C deck and the passengers could then simply walk on for easy access. A great idea for those less nimble people. There were shore journeys every day sometimes twice a day when we got to the cruising areas after the first day sailing from Darwin.A few shore journey were strenuous but we were always advised as to the level and if you wanted to remain in the tender and have a cruise around then that was always an alternative. All of the crew were very friendly and extremely professional.The food was excellent and plentiful. My request for fish instead of meat was met without any fuss. Diners moved around so you got to know your fellow passengers. Most days were very full with some early starts to catch the right tide to see certain sights at their best. It's not a cruise to take if you just want to lounge around but other than that we highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had ... Read More
We wanted a smaller ship to be able to experience the wonders of the Kimberly by sea. We sure did. It was a fantastic trip. Crew and skipper were great. Ship was comfortable and provided excellent meals. Well done the chef and crew! We had daily excursions ashore as well as knowledgeable guides/lecturers. The cruise required a modicum of fitness with a few walks and scramble over rocks. they have a flat bottomed boat which they use for expeditions (fishing also). It fits everyone and is able to land on beaches and rocky shores. The cabins (we had a suite) were fine with plenty of room and ensuite. The crew were very professional and appeared to be having fun along with the passengers. This makes for an enjoyable trip. We chose to go from Darwin to Broome as I figured the prevailing wind would more likely be up our rear, which provides an easier ride. I was mostly right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
What a trip, unless you actually see it yourself you wouldn't believe it. Every day started off beautifully weather wise, company, staff and guides. Our cabins were very comfortable with plenty of room for both of us. Dinning room and ... Read More
What a trip, unless you actually see it yourself you wouldn't believe it. Every day started off beautifully weather wise, company, staff and guides. Our cabins were very comfortable with plenty of room for both of us. Dinning room and lounges around our ship were comfortable and documentaries, screenings, videos, charades, hat making and talks were a treat and must say a little nap time for some after another wonderful day. Christoph, what a wonderful and pleasant chef, always with a smile on his face and what meals he provided us, and must say my steak was perfect. Now what a beautiful country we have, we had no idea just how beautiful an area we were sailing into, every single day was an eye opener and we were blessed with perfect weather. Going out in the explorer every day was an absolute treat, and having beautiful waterfall showers, and fresh water swim wow. Exploring everthing on a whole was more than we imagined possible and seeing is believing. One very exciting treat was going fishing in the explorer with Josh out of the 12 persons who fished almost all caught fish and quite a bit of excitement was had especially by me. Finishing our trip was sad as our trip was over but how bitter sweet it was to have all the crew there for our final farewell, and hugs as well. Home again and we have let our agent and everyone who has asked that telling them about our trip is never enough, and they should do the trip and see for themselves. Thankyou so very very much. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
Recently returned from a four-day Great Barrier Reef cruise on the Coral Princess - a casual, but very comfortable and well-appointed catamaran carrying a maximum 50 passengers. Cabins are not luxurious, but very comfortable, with most ... Read More
Recently returned from a four-day Great Barrier Reef cruise on the Coral Princess - a casual, but very comfortable and well-appointed catamaran carrying a maximum 50 passengers. Cabins are not luxurious, but very comfortable, with most having picture windows affording great views of the coastline. But what has prompted this review (my first) is the quality of the crew and the service provided. Absolutely first rate - from the Captain (open bridge) to the cabin and wait staff. Kudos especially to (1) the Cruise Director (Kristy) who provided a wealth of information regarding the wonders of the Reef and conducted comprehensive snorkeling tours and (2) the Pursar (Yasmine) who had the uncanny ability to remember each guest's idiosyncrasies. I would also add that the cuisine (offered by Roberto) was superb - comparable to food service on more 'elite' cruise lines. Contrary to other reviews of this Lines, I would note that the passengers were multi-national - not primarily Australian. We were American, German, Asian and European on this trip. All very convivial and anxious to understand and photograph the marvelous sights of the wondrous living Reef. I might also emphasize that the small size of the ship and the limited number of passengers enable you to better see and appreciate the Reef. An unreserved thumbs up to Coral Princess and its crew. Read Less
Sail Date February 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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