Great Barrier Reef Cruises

   
 

Great Barrier Reef Cruises

BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS

UPDATED

5 months ago

DURATION

4 Days

SEASON

Departs Weekly

RATES

AUD 1,596.00 per person

EXPIRES

Feb 28, 2017
Great Barrier Reef Cruises
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DESCRIPTION

This classic Australia small ship cruise uncovers the secrets of the Great Barrier Reef - an incredible underwater world hidden just beneath the water’s surface. Whether you experience the reef by glass-bottom boat, snorkeling or diving, it is a mystical world filled with coral, marine life and vibrant tropical fish. The informative Coral Princess crew will always be on hand to provide assistance and information about the fascinating reef life and habitat. An experienced dive instructor will also be there to offer you the exhilarating experience of scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Make use of the resort facilities at Dunk Island or simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of these wonderful tropical islands and coastline.

Discover a paradise of remote and uninhabited islands, become a lazy beachcomber or an inquisitive adventurer. The starkness of the remote and unique coral cays will fascinate you. Go snorkeling and coral viewing among teeming fish life on the fringing reefs of Lizard Island and Pelorus Island (exclusive to small ship cruises aboard the Coral Princess II), or linger over the top of the spectacular platform reefs, all abundant with marine life and dancing corals.

Board the 50-guest Coral Princess or 46-guest Coral Princess II from Cairns for a 4-, 5- or 8-day Great Barrier Reef small ship cruise and enjoy one of the most comprehensive reef tours in Australia. The 8-day north-to-south itinerary is detailed below and the shorter versions' brief itineraries are listed in the Alternative Itinerary trip notes, along with the reverse south-to-north 8-day itinerary. Embarkation and disembarkation times vary significantly by itinerary, so please visit our website for further details.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

Rates vary by season and cabin starting at $1596 AUD per person. Please see website for full details on rates.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Embark Cairns
Cairns, Queensland, Australia

4:00pm: Board your Coral Princess Cruises small ship for a 5:00pm departure from Cairns. Cruise north along Trinity Bay while settling in and discovering your home for the next seven nights. Join the crew and traveling companions on the top deck for a glass of champagne and enjoy the sights while cruising northward, passing Double Island and the pretty beach side village of Palm Cove. Admire a spectacular sunset over the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Macalister Range before sitting down to a sumptuous dinner.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: dinner

Day 2: Historic Cooktown & The Reef
Cooktown, Queensland, Australia

Spend the morning discovering historic Cooktown. It was here that the famous explorer Captain James Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery after claiming Australia as a British colony in 1770. You have the option to visit Cooktown’s fascinating historical museum, featuring artifacts from Cook’s ship – Endeavour, to see the original anchor and cannon, jettisoned overboard after Endeavour struck a reef and began taking on water. Enjoy time to discover Cooktown at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Botanic Gardens, where you may catch a glimpse of native Australian wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies. This afternoon, visit one of the remote uninhabited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Join the marine biologist for a glass bottom boat tour over the colorful coral gardens before your first snorkeling opportunity for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of coral growing on this section of reef.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Lizard Island
Lizard Island National Park, Queensland, Australia

This morning awaken moored beside beautiful Lizard Island. The energetic may join our guides on a walk to ‘Cook’s Look’ on the island’s peak. A photographer’s delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent. Lizard Island’s fringing reef, in the shallow waters just meters off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Discover giant clams and a profusion of fish. Enjoy the remainder of the morning at your leisure. You may wish to simply relax on the golden beach soaking up the sun, join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour, or for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, take the plunge with a Dive Instructor on a guided SCUBA dive. The choice is yours! This afternoon, cruise to Ribbon Reef No. 9, a spectacular and seldom visited part of the reef for more snorkeling opportunities and glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Ribbon Reefs
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is not actually one continuous reef, but a series of thousands of individual coral cays stretching over 3,000 kilometers between the town of Bundaberg and the tip of Australia at Cape York. Spend today visiting two of the most pristine sections of the reef, Ribbon Reef No. 3 and Rachel Carson Reef. Explore the coral gardens and marine life with guided snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. The Marine Biologist will explain the natural history and evolution of the reef and help you discover the local wildlife, which includes sea turtles, giant clams, rays and over 200 different species of native birds.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Thetford Reef & Sudbury Cay
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Enjoy the afternoon experiencing the reef at the exclusive Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay moorings. Take a glass bottom boat tour over the colorful coral gardens before gathering on the snorkel deck to participate in a fish feed. Discover some of the 1500 species of fish that live on the reef, including Spangled Emperor, Giant Trevally and the Hump-Headed Maori Wrasse as they are hand fed by the Marine Biologist. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon to snorkel in the shallow waters for up-close views of the hundreds of varieties of colorful corals and tropical fish.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Hinchinbrook Channel & Pelorus Island Beach Bbq
Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia

Awaken this morning cruising the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel, discovering Hinchinbrook Island’s towering cliffs and mangrove eco-systems. Subject to tides, cruise the length of the channel, separating the Australian mainland and the island, one of the most diverse marine environments on the Australian coast. Keep an eye out for myriad marine life including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles and dugongs, all of which feed on the region’s plentiful sea grasses and can often be seen frolicking in these waters.

Next, enjoy the afternoon to discover Coral Princess Cruises’ very own tropical paradise, Pelorus Island. Head to the beach for a gourmet beach BBQ, freshly prepared by the Captain. Then, explore the surrounding rainforest on a guided nature walk. Pelorus’ fringing reef, in the shallow waters just meters off the beach, offers some fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Admire the colorful corals from the glass bottom boat with the Marine Biologist, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive or simply relax on the long stretch of golden beach, the choice is yours!

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Dunk Island & Nathan Reef
Dunk Island, Queensland, Australia

This morning join your naturalist guides on a fascinating rainforest walk discovering Dunk Island’s unique flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to see the brightly colored blue-winged Ulysses Butterfly, impossible to miss against the ancient rainforest background. Keen birdwatchers should keep an eye out for many of the up to 100 species of native birds recorded on the island, including the Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Emerald Dove and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Following lunch, discover Nathan Reef at your own pace. The exclusive mooring experience some of the most colorful coral gardens that can be found anywhere along the entire length of the reef. View many of the 400 different species of coral living in this World Heritage-listed wonderland. Venture in to the warm tropical waters to explore the corals and marine life on a guided snorkeling tour and join the Marine Biologist for a glass bottom boat tour.

For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience, accompany the Dive Instructor on an unforgettable SCUBA dive. Later, discover some of the amazing creatures living on the reef at the on-board display tank. Enjoy the rare opportunity for a close up look at sea cucumbers, brightly-colored starfish and other marine life. Laze away the late afternoon on the sun deck, enjoying the comfortable onboard facilities including the spa pool and sun lounges. Tonight, head to the dining room for another sumptuous dinner as we settle in for our final night cruising the Great Barrier Reef.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Coral Princess or Coral Princess II

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Fitzroy Island & Cairns
Fitzroy Island National Park, Queensland, Australia

Travel ashore to explore beautiful Fitzroy Island. Surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Fitzroy Island offers wonderful bush walking opportunities and idyllic white sandy beaches. Savor our final snorkeling opportunity over the island’s fringing reefs, just meters from the beach in the sheltered waters. Following lunch, early this afternoon we cruise through Trinity Bay before arriving in Tropical Cairns at 1:30pm for disembarkation at Trinity Wharf.

ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a

MEALS: breakfast and lunch

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Accommodations aboard Coral Princess II
  • All meals onboard
  • Morning and afternoon teas, soda fountain soft drinks, barista-style coffee
  • Use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits plus a free scuba skills lesson
  • Guided glass-bottom boat, coral viewing and snorkeling excursions
  • Presentations by the marine biologist
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Use of comprehensive range of library and video resources
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

NOTES

Alternative Itinerary: In addition to the 8-day North-to-South Itinerary listed above, there is an 8-day South-to-North Itinerary following the same route in reverse, as well as two shorter cruises that just cruise the waters north or south of Cairns. Please read our Arrival & Departure information, as embarkation and disembarkation varies significantly with each itinerary. Contact AdventureSmith for more detailed information about each voyage.

...8-Day South-to-North Itinerary...

Day 1 - FRI - Cairns & Thetford Reef

Day 2 - SAT - Hinchinbrook Channel a& Pelorus Island Beach BBQ

Day 3 - SUN - Dunk Island & Nathan Reef

Day 4 - MON - Fitzroy Island

Day 5 - TUE - Historic Cooktown & the Reef

Day 6 - WED - Lizard Island

Day 7 - THU - Ribbon Reefs

Day 8 - FRI - Disembark Cairns

...Great Barrier Reef Cruise 4 Day/3 Night...

Day 1 - FRI - Cairns & Thetford Reef

Day 2 - SAT - Hinchinbrook Channel & Pelorus Island Beach BBQ

Day 3 - SUN - Dunk Island & Nathan Reef

Day 4 - MON - Fitzroy Island & Cairns

...Great Barrier Reef Cruise 5 Day/4 Night...

Day 1 - MON - Embark Cairns

Day 2 - TUE - Historic Cooktown & Great Barrier Reef

Day 3 - WED - Lizard Island, Reef & Snorkeling

Day 4 - THU - Spectacular Ribbon Reefs

Day 5 - FRI - Disembark Cairns

Itinerary Notes: Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.


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Adventure Cruises
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Great Barrier Reef Adventure Cruises
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National Park Vacations
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Wildlife Viewing Tours
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Great Barrier Reef Wildlife Viewing Tours
Hinchinbrook Island Wildlife Viewing Tours
Lizard Island National Park Wildlife Viewing Tours

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