news ISSUE 42 Â¼ APRIL 2018
>SULAWESI DREAMING: NEW ITINERARY PLANS FOR CORAL ADVENTURER >BEHIND THE SCENES: JEFF GILLIES >NEW: DEPOSIT PROTECTION PLAN LAUNCHING SOON >XPLORERS ON THE HARBOUR: OUR SYDNEY EVENT RECAP
welcome Welcome to the April edition of Discover News! Progress continues on the build of the Coral Adventurer and our team is expanding slowly with the arrival of a number of new team members in our sales, marketing, and product development teams. As we finish our Tasmania season, our attention turns north. We make our way across the top of Australia with our annual Cape York and Arnhem Land departures and onwards to the Kimberley season for our 23rd year of cruising these ancient lands. The waterfalls should be spectacular on our early season departures. We are introducing a new facet to our ‘Onboard Offers’, with passengers invited to take advantage of the traditional 10% savings for themselves PLUS the invitation to extend that offer to a family or friend when booking a future voyage. We look forward to welcoming you on board soon!
Mark Fifield Group General Manager
Group General Manager Mark Fifield and New Build Manager Frank Krone inside an in-progress hull section of the Coral Adventurer.
BOOK AN EXPLORER DECK BALCONY STATEROOM
Special Offer CORAL ADVENTURER IN THE KIMBERLEY
on Coral Adventurer’s Maiden Kimberley season, and as a special offer we will include a premium Australian wine and cheese experience for you to enjoy at sunset on your private balcony.
PRICES FROM $12,595 P.P., APPLIES FROM MAY TO SEPTEMBER 2019. Terms and Conditions apply
Tied physically and historically to the sea, and ringed with teeming waters and reefs; Sulawesi’s interior is mountainous and cloaked in dense jungle. The marine parks are home to the most biodiverse and remarkable reefs in the world, and the rainforests of the Sulawesi region are home to rare species such as the group of small primates known as Tarsiers, the Sulawesi hornbill, the Maleo and the Celebes Macaque. The island’s proud cultures, isolated by impenetrable topography, guard their customs against the advances of modernity. Our newest itinerary exploits the expedition capabilities of our new ship the Coral Adventurer. When she enters service in April 2019, she will be the most advanced expedition ship built to cruise in tropical waters. With two Xplorer tenders mounted side-by-side, we will still be able to take guests ashore without any lines or waiting. On our Sulawesi expeditions, prepare to meet the Toraja highlanders, with their elaborate funeral ceremonies in which buffaloes are sacrificed to ferry the souls of the deceased to the afterlife, the Minahasans in the far north famed for their spicy cuisine, and the Bugis, who are mainly found inhabiting Traditional houses in Torajaland, Sulawesi
> CORAL ADVENTURER: NEW ITINERARIES BEING PLANNED FOR 2020 Sulawesi’s coastal regions and are Indonesia’s most famous seafarers. Guests can also look forward to hearing from our longstanding naturalist, Ian Morris. A passionate Wallacean (Alfred Wallace was a famed scientist and evolutionary theorist who did extensive research in the Malay Archipelago, and identified the Wallace Line), Morris will share his insights into the extraordinary geography of the Island. The large peninsulas separated by rugged mountains have allowed fantastical species of plants and animals to develop in isolation. This unique geography means the whole island is akin to a living laboratory for studying biology, much like the evolutionary wonder of the Galapagos. “Our repeat guests have expressed a strong interest in Sulawesi as a new expedition cruising destination due to its remote and less accessible nature, unique cultures, stunning scenery and wildlife, particularly marine life. Travelling by ship
The idyllic islands & indigenous cultures of Sulawesi
> RELEASE DATE
Expect to see the Itinerary released by June 2018
Three departures in 2020 Darwin to Makassar: 14 Nights, 27 February 2020 Makassar to Makassar: 20 Nights, 12 March 2020 Makassar to Darwin: 14 Nights, 1 April 2020
> WHAT TO DO
Contact us to register your interest and receive a brochure when the voyage is released
Toli-Toli Bunaken Lembeh 0° Tanjung Karang Gorontalo Balikpapan Pulau Togean Pulau Banggai Balabalangan Kendari Pare-Pare INDONESIA Makassar Wakatobi 5° Baubau Tana Beru Lamalera Takabonerate Pulau Alor
> DARWIN TO MAKASSAR 105° > MAKASSAR TO MAKASSAR > MAKASSAR TO DARWIN
Komodo Ende Island Koupang
is an ideal way to access this island with its huge stretches of coastline,” says Product Developer, Jennifer Mancinelli.
TAKA BONERATE MARINE PARK
SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS
Taka Bonerate, together with the Raja Ampat atoll are at the heart of the Coral Triangle, made famous in David Attenborough’s Deep Blue 2 wildlife documentary. The third largest atoll in the world appears to be in the middle of nowhere in the Flores Sea and is known for table coral reefs and atolls. It’s the habitat of many bird species that frolic on the sand dunes.
Gorontalo is a hidden paradise in the Sulawesi archipelago that offers the chance to meet these gentle giants of the ocean, enjoy islands of pristine white sandy beaches and a peek into the everyday life of the locals. Swimming with giant whale sharks is a once in a lifetime experience, when feelings of joy and excitement combine as the gentle whale sharks glide around you. The friendly creatures are known for their curious character and may come very close to you!
In the southern highlands of Sulawesi is a place known as Torajaland. Visiting these misty mountain valleys is a little like walking into an anthropology lesson in unusual customs and ritual. The Torajans are well-known in the modern day for their funeral ceremonies, burial rituals - which in some cases involve carving tombs on the sides of cliffs, and their traditional longhouses or “tongkonan”. You will receive a unique insight into the cultures and customs of this stunning region.
PHINISI (WOODEN BOAT) BUILDING Tana Beru is famous for its shipbuilding. Traditional methods passed down for generations create sturdy and stately boats right on the beach. The craftsmen have no need to use written plans. These boats have been used by Makassars for centuries to sail the South Pacific.
SUN BEAR AND ORANGUTAN SANCTUARY The highlight on this stop is to learn about the ongoing efforts to protect Borneo’s endangered wildlife during a visit to the neighbouring sun bear and orangutan conservation centres north of Balikpapan. The world’s smallest bear species, the Sun Bear (Helarctos malayans), is native to the dense rainforests of Southeast Asia, but its habitat is rapidly being reduced. The centre is dedicated to saving rescued bears and educating the public about the importance of preserving Borneo’s flora and fauna. The bears living here cannot be returned to the wild and instead they live in a spacious, welldesigned enclosure. Guests explore the garden-like property with a local guide before heading to the neighbouring Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) devoted to rehabilitating the iconic, orange-hued primates, and teaching orphaned orangutans to survive in the wild.
WAKATOBI The famous Jacques Cousteau named Wakatobi as the finest diving site in the world, an ‘underwater nirvana’. As well as the superb diving on offer, there are also incredible cultural heritage in these islands. An example of this is the Bajo tribe, known as ‘sea gypsies’, who once lived at sea but now build traditional floating stilt houses.
Sail aboard the brand-new Coral Adventurer
Jeff Gillies greeting guests at an Xplorer’s Club event
behind the scenes A CONVERSATION WITH OUR NEW COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR JEFF GILLIES
Q: You’ve just joined Coral Expeditions as Commercial Director. What excites you about joining the team? I am really excited about the growth story that is unfolding for Coral Expeditions and the chance to be involved with a new era for a company with such a strong reputation and history. It is exciting to think that in just over 12 months from now, we will be setting sail on the maiden voyage of the new Coral Adventurer.
One of the most exciting aspects is the collection of destinations we cruise to. I am a lover of nature-based tourism experiences and have travelled the world both holidaying and working in some of the world’s most aspirational spots. We already have a superb collection of Australia’s best destinations and the future destinations like PNG, the South Pacific, Indonesia and Sulawesi are next level exciting! I am also thrilled to be returning home to Cairns with the family. After living in the region for 5 years leading tourism and events development with Tourism Queensland, we took a move to Noosa for my last role in major events management. I knew we would be back to the Tropics at some stage and it is great to return and be close to the reef and rainforest once more. It really is a spectacular place and the kids love the adventures on offer every weekend.
Q: What are your first impressions of Coral Expeditions? I had a great interview and onboarding process and the team put me through my paces to make sure I was made of the right stuff for Coral Expeditions. Through the months I have been impressed by the team’s spirit and work culture and have also been amazed by the consistently excellent level of guest satisfaction feedback. It is rare to find this to be honest, and as an “almost veteran” of the hospitality game, it is great to see and be a part of. There is a real community feel about the company and I have now managed to see firsthand how the crew and guests come together to share the expedition experience. I joined a 3-night expedition on the Great Barrier Reef and the spirit of adventure onboard is something else. Other first impressions that stand out are the drive and focus of the whole team on continuous improvements based on real guest feedback and a rigorous structure around the logistics and safety involved with maintaining the highest marine standards. The passion and the pride with which the team operates is infectious.
Q: What does a day in your life at work involve? It’s a bit early for me to say I have a routine yet, but I am getting a feel for it after 8 weeks. There is a fair mix in the day to day role and some of the regular tasks include taking time with my team and across departments to communicate on priorities and to seek their input on all we do. I also like to stay in touch with the onboard experiences by reading guest feedback and captain, purser and expedition leader reports. The on-board experience is a primary focus of intel for me. Another key area is future planning of marketing activity for our key seasons and future product departures. This Jeff Gillies with the Coral Discoverer includes things like advertising placements, publicity pitches, developing digital and social media content and developing sales tools and collateral. Following from that, I also analyse and review activity and performance of campaigns to see how they best translate to phones ringing and visitors spending time on our website. Connecting with key travel, trade and media partners to ensure our communications are relevant and effective and our product is being promoted truly and extensively is crucial too. It call comes down to strong coffee and Monte Carlo cookies at regular intervals. The biscuit jar at CE is bottomless it seems!
Q: A lot is happening at Coral Expeditions. What are key things you are working on for the future? I am very keen to work closely with our guests and particularly the Xplorers Club family to keep evolving the experiences and services that we offer, especially as we prepare for the arrival of the Coral Adventurer next year. Development of new experiences, programs and services that enhance the CE experience is something I see as being important. We are exploring what new offerings in the travel planning and packaging realms that we can offer, and I see great opportunity to develop our systems and partnerships in this area to assist us become more able to provide an end to end travel service for guests. Other new initiatives and programs such as the “Deposit Protection Plan” are being developed to offer guests more options and flexibility in their voyage planning and we will also focus on better use technology and digital communications in ways that are easy for guests to use and engage with. We have some of the most amazing stories and experiences that happen on our cruises and finding ways to share that content across the travel community and with the world is an exciting prospect.
> xplorer updates ONBOARD REFERRAL OFFER
We have some exciting news for passengers who are planning on cruising with us in the coming weeks. You can sign up for your next voyage while on board and you will receive 10% off the brochure fare of your next cruise (can be combined with your Xplorer’s club discount). We are also now extending this onboard offer to your friends and family who you refer to cruise with us! Don’t leave your friends and family at home as now you can all enjoy that 10% onboard offer. Please note: Terms and conditions apply
DEPOSIT PROTECTION PLAN
For passengers who would like the comfort of knowing their deposit can be moved to a future date, Coral Expeditions is pleased to announce the launch of our deposit protection plan in May 2018. If for any reason you may need to amend your cruise departure date, deposit protection can let you do this without forfeiting your deposit. Your deposit protection plan must be purchased at time of booking and is completely optional. To purchase the plan a fee of AU$110.00 per person will be added to your invoice at the time of booking and to be paid along with your deposit. Please note: Deposit protection does not to replace travel insurance or Coral Expeditions standard Terms and Conditions.
> XPLORERS ON THE HARBOUR A PHOTOGRAPHIC RECAP OF A WONDERFUL EVENING CRUISING SYDNEY HARBOUR
Thank you to all our Xplorer Club members who could join the commercial team for a cruise on the Coral Discoverer in March. The Coral Discoverer paid a rare visit to Sydney Harbour and nearly 80 guests joined us at sunset for a cruise under the Harbour Bridge and past the iconic Opera House. After a spectacular sunset Captain Gary joined the party to give an update on our new cruise season and the many special destinations available. The weather was perfect and it was a pleasure to see so many happy faces catching up with fellow traveller friends and revisiting special memories. We hope we can do another event with our passionate Xplorer Club members very soon.
EXPEDITION DIARY > TASMANIA 7 NIGHT CRUISE > JANUARY 29, 2018 “We set out to explore the Port Davey area, the weather sunny with clear skies. The walkers climbed Mt. Milner (188m) and admired views of the amazing Quartzite Coastline. We could see right up North, towards the Davey River where in the 1800’s pinners had a settlement and harvested the Huon Pine. We looked up at Mt. Stokes rising over the tannin-stained beach we had begun our walk from. The cruise visited lovely Spain Bay. A gentle walk along the beautiful white sand of the sculptured bay was divine. We even spotted dolphins.” - Expedition Staff Katharine Byrne
OUR RANGE OF EXPEDITIONS INCLUDE > Great Barrier Reef > Tasmania > The Kimberley > Cape York & Arnhem Land > New Zealand > Papua New Guinea > Spice Islands & West Papua > Islands of the South Pacific > Islands of Indonesia
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