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NEW 2020 Great Barrier Reef Expedition Cruises

Posted by Andrew Castles on July 16, 2020

Coral Discoverer 2020 Great Barrier Reef cruise map


With international travel still off limits for the foreseeable future for most Australians, we’re finding that more and more travellers are taking a closer look at their own backyard in 2020. And with strong interest, our best expedition and small ship cruise lines have been stepping up to the plate with some exciting new itineraries. 

Recently, we told you how small ship cruise operators on Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast have devised some innovative new itineraries for the second half of 2020, and now Australia’s pioneering expedition company Coral Expeditions has launched an ‘Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef’ cruise from Cairns.

Aboard the yacht-like expedition vessel Coral Discoverer, which accommodates a maximum of just 72 guests in world-class comfort, there’s a series of nine departures on offer between 14 October and 9 December 2020.  These immersive 7-day adventures explore the remote and untouched Northern reef precinct and allow expeditioners to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. 


Great Barrier Reef island Coral Discoverer


This is a Great Barrier Reef itinerary like none other. Not only will there be ample time to explore the beautiful Ribbon Reefs and rarely-visited Osprey Reef through snorkelling, diving and glass bottom boat tours, there’s included excursions to experience the Daintree National Park and Daintree Rainforest. There’s also a visit to historic Cooktown, where there’s the opportunity to explore the fascinating James Cook Museum and time to experience some of the tropical north’s best island beaches at Lizard, Hope and Fitzroy islands.

Onboard Coral Discoverer, guests will be accompanied by an expert team of guides including a fully-qualified Marine Biologist. They will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and Coral Expeditions’ renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.


7 Night Outerknown Adventures of the Great Barrier Reef

2020 Departure Dates:

October 14 – 21 2020

October 21 – 28 2020

October 28 – November 4 2020

November 4 – 11 2020

November 11 – 18 2020

November 18 – 25 2020

November 25 – December 2 2020

December 2 – 9 2020

December 9 – 16 2020


Click here to read the full Itinerary

Click here to see Coral Discoverer's Staterooms and Deck Plan


Cruise Prices

Prices are per person, twin share in Australian Dollars

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom - $6,990 per person

Promenade Deck Stateroom - $6,190 per person

Main Deck A Stateroom - $5,290 per person

Main Deck B - $4,750 per person


There are limited single staterooms (Promenade B) available for $7,113 per person.

If travelling as a family, a limited number of children are accommodated at 25% of the adult fare.



Bonus Offer:

Book your Coral Discoverer Great Barrier Reef Cruise today and receive the following booking bonuses:

  • $500 Travel Credit per person
  • 1 Night of pre-cruise accommodation in Cairns
  • Flexible Deposit – book now with 30 days to pay


For bookings and more information on Coral Discoverer's new 'Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef'  freecall our expert team today on 1800 90 20 80 or email us.



Coral Expedition’s SailSAFE Plan

Coral Expeditions has introduced a new SailSAFE Plan. ensuring they operate responsibly in the new environment that COVID-19 has created.  Created in partnership with Respond Global, a specialist medical advisory agency, these new health protocols are among the most thorough in the world. 

With a focus on prevention, to target a 100% COVID free environment aboard Coral Expeditions’ fleet of expedition ships, there is a three-tiered medical screening system in place before boarding. This prevention protocol is supported by onboard mitigation actions and a thorough and compassionate response plan. 

Click here to read the full details of Coral Expeditions’ SailSAFE plan


Note that the Bonus Offer is valid for new bookings only from 16 July 2020 until sold out or withdrawn. $500 Travel Credit and pre-cruise accommodation not offered on child fares. All imagery courtesy of Coral Expeditions.

Albatros Expeditions announce new ship

Posted by Andrew Castles on June 01, 2020

Albatros Expeditions Ships


Albatros Expeditions, Denmark’s leading adventure cruise operator, has taken the next step in their fleet revitalisation project with the announcement that Ocean Albatros will join their Antarctic program in December 2022.

With a long history in adventure travel (dating back to 1986), Copenhagen-based Albatros (the Danish spelling of Albatross) operates their expedition cruises to the polar regions with an unmistakable Scandinavian flair. The new 189-passenger Ocean Albatros will join already-announced sister ship Ocean Victory in Antarctica, which is due to commence operations in November 2021. Both new vessels feature the latest Ulstein X-Bow, a concept developed to provide high stability in rough weather and high seas, technology which has also been employed on the latest newbuilds from Lindblad Expeditions and Aurora Expeditions.


Ocean Victory Albatros Ship Plans


The sister-ships will feature just 93 comfortable cabins and staterooms, all with a view of the ocean, (and 90% with their own balcony), several restaurants, a wellness area, the signature Albatros Nordic Bar, an al fresco dining area and a high-tech lecture lounge. There’s also a swimming pool, jacuzzies and pool bar, and what would a Scandinavian ship be without a sauna! 

Albatros’ new breed of expedition ship is built to Polar code 6 and Ice class 1A, with environmentally-friendly features including low-energy technology, four diesel engines and two electro engines, all controlled electronically to optimise speed and minimise fuel consumption. Albatros is also implementing the Green Initiative Program, ensuring absolute comfort and sustainability.

Throughout the expedition, travellers will partake in a range of excursions, from stepping ashore on the ice to wildlife viewing from a fleet of 18 zodiacs. All activities will be led by an experienced expedition team.


Ocean Victory Cabin C


The inaugural season for the first of the two new vessels, Ocean Victory, will commence with their signature ten-day voyages from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in November 2021. Prices start at US$6,450 per person in a triple share cabin, or US$8,450 twin share. For the ultimate experience, you can reserve a spacious Premium Captain’s Suite from US$17,850 per person, twin share for the ten nights. For those with more time there’s also 19- and 22-day expeditions combining the Antarctic Peninsula with South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, and a series of expeditions discovering further afield in Patagonia and South America. 

For more information on how you can discover Antarctica aboard the new Ocean Victory or Ocean Albatros contact our expert team today on 1800 90 20 80. 


Ocean Victory Midnight Sun Pool Bar



Ocean Victory Deckplan


Ocean Victory Deck Plan

Click here for Ocean Victory Cabin Descriptions

An update on Eco Abrolhos ahead of the 2020 Kimberley Season

Posted by Guest Post - Sonia Cox, Eco Abrolhos Cruises on February 26, 2020

An update on Eco Abrolhos’s refurbishment and preparations for the upcoming Kimberley cruising season from Sonia Cox, who with her husband Jay founded and operate Eco Abrolhos Cruises.


The last five weeks we have been very busy refurbishing Eco Abrolhos’s six King Bed Deluxe and four Double/Queen Bed Staterooms which are all fully en suited. Our goal for these bedrooms was to create a light and bright space, while keeping a nautical theme, and we think we have well and truly achieved this aim – the feedback we have received so far has been really great.



Eco Abrolhos King Deluxe Stateroom



We have also used the ship’s downtime over Christmas and the new year to renovate our magnificent Top Deck area with a new roof. This deck offers 360-degree views of the stunning scenery in the Kimberley and Abrolhos Islands, and is a great social area for our guests or alternatively a comfy retreat to lounge and read a book. 

We have just commenced our season with our five-day cruises to the Abrolhos Islands out of Geraldton in Western Australia, and these cruises operate until the 9th May. Recently the Fisheries Department have given us permission to catch more crayfish quota on our charter license so if you like Western Australian Rock Lobsters on the menu then one of these expeditions out to the Abrolhos Islands should be on your bucket list.  



Eco Abrolhos cruising the Abrolhos Islands



Our first Kimberley cruise for the season will commence from Broome on the 25th May, and it’s already fully booked. This Kimberley season’s waterfalls look like being spectacular after a couple of recent cyclones that have produced a lot of rain in the north-west. It’s shaping up as another awesome year to cruise the Kimberley and we look forward to welcoming you all onboard soon.


Eco Abrolhos 2020 Kimberley Cruise Schedule


13 Nights Broome to Darwin

Departing 25 May – SOLD OUT

Departing 24 June

Departing 24 July

Departing 23 August


13 Nights Darwin to Broome

Departing 09 June – SOLD OUT

Departing 09 July

Departing 08 August

Departing 07 September


Discover why the Eco Abrolhos Kimberley experience is ideal for active travellers

See more about the Eco Abrolhos


Eco Abrolhos Kimberley cruises


Here's some more photos of the newly refurbished cabins:


Eco Abrolhos cabin



Eco Abrolhos Deluxe Cabin



Eco Abrolhos Double Cabin

2021 Solar Eclipse Cruises in Antarctica

Posted by Andrew Castles on December 20, 2019



If you’ve got your eye on an expedition cruise to Antarctica in the next few years, you might just want to clear your calendar for November / December 2021. A total solar eclipse will occur over Antarctica on 4 December 2021, so don’t miss your chance to see one of Earth’s most wondrous cosmic events in one of Earth’s most magnificent locations. 

Though total solar eclipses occur somewhere in the world once every 18 months or so, they can only be seen along a very narrow path, so you need to ensure you're positioned right on the centre-line of the eclipse to experience full totality (total darkness during the day). And that’s exactly what you will get when you join a luxury small ship cruise down to Antarctica for this eclipse. You’ll enjoy a prime viewing position to see the moon transition in front of the sun, with 1 minute and 54 seconds of total darkness expected.



Of course, while the eclipse is without doubt a major highlight of this expedition, you will also enjoy all that Antarctica otherwise has to offer.  Three of the ships making this voyage will be the ice-strengthened Plancius (116 passengers), Ortelius (116 passengers - SOLD OUT) and the world's first Polar Class 6 expedition ship, the soon-to-be-launched 174 passenger Hondius. The full voyage takes 20 days and will visit the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctica Peninsula. 

On the morning of the eclipse, each of these ships will be positioned on the centre-line of the moon’s shadow, at the edge of the sea ice in the Weddell Sea, between the South Orkneys and South Georgia.

Here's an overview of what's on offer:


Aboard the NEW Janssonius - BOOK NOW!


new Janssonius solar eclipse cruise


Antarctic Peninsula - SOLAR ECLIPSE - South Georgia - Falkland Islands

Launching in 2021, the 174 passenger Janssonius is a sister-ship to the Hondius. Technologically-advanced with excellent eco-tourism credentials, the Janssonius offers a premium expedition cruising experience. 

More about Janssonius

Date: 25 November - 14 December 2021, 19 nights / 20 days 
Embarkation & disembarkation: Ushuaia

Prices per person, twin share in US Dollars:

· Quadruple Porthole: $16,400

· Triple Porthole: $17,900

· Twin Porthole: $19,800

· Twin Window: $20,600

· Twin Deluxe: $22,100

· Superior: $23,700

· Junior Suite: $25,400

· Grand Suite with private balcony: $29,150


Aboard Hondius  - Limited Cabins Remaining!


Hondius Solar Eclipse Curise


Antarctic Peninsula - SOLAR ECLIPSE - South Georgia - Falkland Islands

Launching in 2019, the 174 passenger Hondius is the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 cruise ship. Technologically-advanced with excellent eco-tourism credentials, the Hondius sets a new standard in polar cruising.

More about Hondius

See the Itinerary

Date: 26 November - 15 December 2021, 19 nights / 20 days 
Embarkation & disembarkation: Ushuaia


Prices per person, twin share in US Dollars:

· Quadruple Porthole: WAITLIST

· Triple Porthole: WAITLIST

· Twin Porthole: WAITLIST

· Twin Window: WAITLIST

· Twin Deluxe: WAITLIST

· Superior: WAITLIST

· Junior Suite: $25,400

· Grand Suite with private balcony: $29,150




Aboard Ortelius - SOLD OUT!


Ortelius Antarctica eclipse cruise


Falkland Islands - South Georgia - SOLAR ECLIPSE - Antarctic Peninsula

Launched in 1989 as Marina Svetaeva for the Russian Academy of Science, Ortelius caters to just 116 guests and is ice-rated to the highest levels (equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate the ice packs of the Polar regions.

More about Ortelius

See the Itinerary

Date: 24 November - 13 December 2021, 19 nights / 20 days
Embarkation & disembarkation: Ushuaia

Prices per person, twin share in US Dollars:

· Quadruple Porthole: $16,400 - SOLD OUT

· Triple Porthole: $17,900 - SOLD OUT

· Twin Porthole: $19,800 - SOLD OUT

· Twin Window: $20,600 - SOLD OUT

· Twin Deluxe: $22,100 - SOLD OUT

· Superior: $23,700 - SOLD OUT



Aboard Plancius - SOLD OUT!


Plancius eclipse 2021


Falkland Islands - South Georgia - SOLAR ECLIPSE - Antarctic Peninsula

The ice-strengthened 116 passenger vessel Plancius is an excellent vessel for polar expedition cruises in both the Arctic and Antarctica.

More about Plancius

See the Itinerary

Date: 23 November - 12 December 2021, 19 nights / 20 days
Embarkation & disembarkation: Ushuaia

Prices per person, twin share in US Dollars:

· Quadruple Porthole: SOLD OUT

· Triple Porthole: SOLD OUT

· Twin Porthole: SOLD OUT

· Twin Window: SOLD OUT

· Twin Deluxe: SOLD OUT

· Superior: SOLD OUT


Single travellers are accommodated on each ship upon payment of a single supplement of between 70% and 100%.


Antarctica eclipse cruise hondius


The goal on this itinerary is of course to experience the total eclipse, but please keep in mind the polar regions are known for their unpredictability. There’s always the chance overcast skies may hinder visibility and that adverse conditions may alter certain details of the pre-planned route. Plancius and Ortelius are scheduled to make the trip clockwise, while Hondius will make it counter-clockwise.

These once-in-a-lifetime voyages combining the best of Antarctica with a total solar eclipse are sure to sell fast. Secure your place today by calling the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists on 1800 90 20 80 or email [email protected]


All availability accurate as at 17 May 2019 and is subject to change.

Kimberley Cruising by Private Charter - an Exclusive Experience

Posted by Andrew Castles on December 17, 2019

If you’ve ever sat around the dinner table with a group of friends dreaming about cruising Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast together, a private charter of the 12-passenger Kimberley Pearl can make those dreams become a reality at an affordable price.

Imagine the thrill of having a beautifully-appointed small ship exclusively yours for an intimate group of your nearest and dearest; a ship that feels more akin to a private yacht that normally only the rich and famous can enjoy. Then imagine being able to tailor the itinerary to your own likes and even help devise the menu. Imagine sitting on deck with a glass of champagne with just a few of your closest friends for company as the sun sets over the Kimberley coast.


Priuvate Charter Kimberley Pearl Cruise


The 12 passenger Kimberley Pearl allows all this and more. Originally built as a pearling lugger for famed Broome Paspaley Pearls in 1979, this stylish vessel has recently undergone a thorough refurbishment and has six air-conditioned cabins, all with private en suite, accommodating up to just 12 guests in style on Kimberley cruises.

When you step aboard the Kimberley Pearl you will soon feel right at home. Like most homes, the kitchen is very much at the heart, and you can gather around as the ship’s professional chef prepares the day’s fresh catch of barramundi, mangrove jack, queenie or GT right in front of you. In addition to the airy saloon / kitchen, there’s plenty of deck space to enjoy, complete with a BBQ at the stern and a cosy spot infront of the bridge at the bow.


Kimberley Pearl cabin


Excursions are a breeze aboard the Kimberley Pearl, she comes equipped with a fleet of three aluminium tenders, allowing several different activities to be offered at the same time depending on your mood. Perhaps you want to go out fishing while others go in search of Aboriginal art along the cliffs? Or maybe some friends want to head ashore to a hidden swimming hole? It’s all possible when you cruise aboard the Kimberley Pearl.

Throughout your charter you will also enjoy outstanding service from an affable and expert Australian crew of five. The Captain will be on hand to help plan your daily adventure program, while the chef will be busy keeping your mouth watering with the culinary delights he creates day after day. Three further crew operate as general hands, driving the tenders, explaining what you’re seeing and also keeping the ship in great shape! 


Dining aboard Kimberley Pearl


One of many advantages of a private charter is the ability to tailor the itinerary to suit your own group. In fact, our client Gwen from Sydney, along with her husband and a group of their best friends, returned from a 13-night charter earlier this year and couldn’t believe the flexibility they had each day. Gwen mentioned that if the group was particularly enjoying a swimming hole the Captain was happy to let them linger for as long as possible – no fixed schedule to keep as you might find on a trip where there’s many passengers with differing interests.


Shore excursion Kimberley Pearl

Best of all though, private charters aboard the Kimberley Pearl are incredibly cost effective. Up to 12 guests can share a charter of the ship for $69,300 for seven nights – that’s just $5,775 per person – exceptional value for such an intimate experience.

You can also choose between two different itineraries. The 13-day Ultimate Pearl cruises from Broome to Wyndham (Kununurra) or vice versa, and is the ideal option for those who want the complete Kimberley experience. Alternatively, for those who are short on time the 7-night Southern Pearls program cruises north from Broome to discover highlights including Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef.

Keep in mind that it is always best to plan your charter as far in advance as possible to ensure the pick of the best cruise dates. Why not get your friends together and start planning a private Kimberley Pearl adventure cruise in 2021?


2021 Kimberley Pearl dates available for charter:

13 Night Ultimate Pearl - See the Itinerary

03 April 2021 – Broome to Kununurra

18 April 2021 – Kununurra to Broome

03 May 2021 – Broome to Kununurra

18 May 2021 – Kununurra to Broome

02 June 2021 – Broome to Kununurra

17 June 2021 – Kununurra to Broome

18 July 2021 – Kununurra to Broome


7 Night Southern Kimberley Pearls - See the Itinerary

14 September 2021 – Broome to Broome

22 September 2021 – Broome to Broome

30 September 2021 – Broome to Broome

08 October 2021 – Broome to Broome


For more information or to book your private charter of the Kimberley Pearl call the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 or visit


Kimberley Pearl tender charter


Swimming hole Kimberley Pearl Cruise


Kimberley Pearl drinks


Kimberley Pearl food platter


Kimberley Pearl sunset drinks