Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia’s West
Join our 10-night expedition voyage of Western Australia’s Coral coast onboard Coral Discoverer and explore the extraordinary marine environment, historic islands, and striking coastline that this lesser known corner of earth has to offer. Departing Broome, we will visit the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park, the Dampier Archipelago and the Montebello Islands. Our voyage will culminate with a visit to Ningaloo Reef, home to vibrant marine life both large and small. Our marine experts and guides will lead our discovery of the untouched atolls, mega marine fauna and rare bird species that are found in this pristine coastal habitat.
The Coral Discoverer takes just 72 guests, all in ocean-view staterooms, so you can be assured of personal attention. You won’t get lost in the crowds here! It’s easy to get to know fellow guests in a relaxed and casual atmosphere with personal touches that just aren’t possible on larger ships.
You will be accompanied by expert guides aboard purpose designed small ships that are custom built for exploration cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders Coral Expeditions will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You 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 renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.
No two voyages with Coral Expeditions are the same. Each expedition is carefully crafted by experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders, allowing them to make changes to the itinerary as necessary in order to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
Your cruise price includes:
- 10 night Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Discoverer ex Broome
- Snorkelling & scuba equipment
- Expert Expedition Team, including a Great Barrier Reef expert Marine Biologist
- Daily guided excursions
- All meals throughout your cruise
- Showcase wines, selected beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service
- 24 hour coffee and selection of teas
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events
PLUS! Ultimate Cruising guests also receive:
- Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers to/from your nearest airport (within 35km)
Flexible Booking Option:
Complimentary Deposit Protection* will be offered to all new bookings made from 12 March 2020 until 30 September 2020. In the event that you are unable to travel on the cruise originally booked due to Covid-19 related restrictions, you will be able to transfer your deposit to another future cruise.
Ask us about Coral Expeditions' SailSAFE On-board Health and Safety Plan
A 35-year-old Australian pioneering expedition cruise company, Coral Expeditions operate and manage a fleet of four small expedition ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful, yet undiscovered, regions of Australia, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Islands. Over 8,000 travellers from all over the world travel with Coral Expeditions every year who are attracted by the relaxed small ship atmosphere and itineraries which larger ships cannot replicate. The bespoke operations may sometimes not be commercially justifiable but result in a more personal product that guests appreciate.
At a time when the cruise industry is moving to larger and less personal ships, Coral Expeditions has limited the size of their ships to maximise the expedition experience. Their small-batch cuisine is freshly prepared onboard with a simplistic and generous approach to quality and freshness, accompanied by quality Australian wine. Coral Expeditions operate to high Australian standards of safety with Australian crew wherever they go. They were the first to offer interpretive programs reflective of the destinations they visit and to employ Expedition Leaders, Guest Lecturers, Marine Biologists, and SCUBA Instructors – a tradition that continues today.
- Snorkel or dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals Marine Park, accompanied by our onboard Marine Biologist
- Scuba dive the remarkable reefs of Muiron Islands, or ‘dusk dive’ the Navy Pier* at Exmouth to encounter a huge variety of marine life (*Navy Pier dive is an additional cost)
- Encounter the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef – with the chance to swim with whale sharks and manta rays (this experience is subject to nature)
- Discover sites of cultural significance to Indigenous Australians, including the Dampier Archipelago petroglyphs, with expert interpretation
- Encounter a proliferation of wildlife, including rare birds and marine life on the remote islands and atolls
- Relax on pristine white-sand beaches in the Muiron Islands, Dampier Archipelago, and Turqouise Bay
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs. Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish. Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for superb underwater photography opportunities.
Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke and perhaps Mermaid or Imperieuse reefs, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities. With each atoll covering approximately 90 sq km, there will be plenty to see! Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons. Try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roosts there.
The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. A twitcher’s delight, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oystercatchers.
The islands also have a fascinating maritime history. The survivors of the Dutch vessel Trial swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, being the first Europeans to land on the islands. The Montes have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today.
Spend a full day exploring this island group, with wildlife spotting opportunities and many beautiful beaches to swim at. We saw many rufous hare-wallabies and lagoon stingrays on our recent trip here.
Located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.
Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in the area and the archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby.
The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area.
With our onboard naturalist and historian, explore the archipelago’s pastoral, pearling and cultural past that is still visible today in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. Learn about the tragic Flying Foam Massacre(s) of 1865, in which an entire tribe, language and people were all but exterminated. There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
NINGALOO COAST AND REEF
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. This is also where mega marine life come to feed during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements.
We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay and its underwater playground. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay, and learn about WA’s interesting heritage at the ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station. As we cruise the ‘Humpback Highway’ down the coast, have the opportunity to watch these majestic whales breach close by. Spend a day with an experienced local operator, with the chance to swim with some of the mega fauna this region is known for (these encounters are subject to nature and cannot be guaranteed).
Departure Dates and Pricing
17 May 2021
28 May 2021
16 May 2022
27 May 2022
|CORAL DISCOVERER||TWIN SHARE PER PERSON||SOLE USE*|
|Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom||$16,690||n/a|
|Promenade Deck (Category A)||$14,290||n/a|
|Promenade Deck (Category B)||n/a||$19,725|
|Main Deck (Category A)||$12,550||n/a|
|Main Deck (Category B)||$11,990||n/a|
- Soft Adventure
- All meals
- Meals + Wine
- On-Board Lecturer
- Shore Excursions
- Tonnage 1779
- Crew 24
- Capacity 72
- Length 63M
- Luxury Expeditions
- Soft Adventures
Fully equipped with latest technology active stabilizers, modern safety and navigation equipment, tender vessel that can seat all 72 passengers, an Australian and New Zealand crew, Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Images courtesy of Coral Expeditions
Solo Traveller Friendly