All permissions and protocols are in place for Cairns-based Coral Expeditions to begin operating again from October 14, Jeff Gillies, commercial director, told Seatrade Cruise News.

Great Barrier Reef voyages

Gillies said initially there will be nine seven-night round voyages from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef aboard the yacht-like Coral Discoverer, running until late December when the vessel will relocate to Tasmania.

Coral Discoverer was purpose-built for expedition cruising with a shallow draft that allows access to remote locations larger vessels cannot reach. 

A signature Xplorer tender vessel, a glass-bottom boat and Zodiac tenders enable passengers to explore the Great Barrier Reef up close.

A highlight of each voyage will be diving and snorkelling at Osprey Reef, described by Sir Richard Attenborough as ‘an oasis for living creatures of all kinds.’

Sunset drinks with sand between the toes

Other highlights include sunset drinks with ‘sand between the toes’ on isolated Sudbury Cay, the opportunity to learn about indigenous culture at historic Cooktown and the conservation of endangered marine reptiles at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island, as well as a visit to the Great Barrier Reef Research Station.

SailSAFE security

Coral Discoverer will carry only 72 passengers and will follow the company’s SailSAFE plan.

‘At a time of global health challenges and uncertainties, there is no better sanctuary than our own Great Barrier Reef,’ Gillies said.