News ISSUE 43 ¼ AUGUST 2018
> A GATHERING OF STORIES: CORAL ADVENTURER’S ART COLLECTION > ANNOUNCING OUR AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERSHIP > BEHIND THE SCENES: CASIMAH KHALIK > DISCOVER THE VIBRANT CULTURES OF NEW GUINEA
Welcome Welcome to the August edition of Discover News! Momentum continues on the build for Coral Adventurer and our excitement and anticipation grows as we are 8 months out from the Maiden Voyage. Having just returned from our periodic visit to the shipyard, we are pleased to confirm that the Coral Adventurer build is going extremely well and on track. All the steelwork is completed, with engines and major machinery installed and commissioned. Accommodation work is starting well ahead of schedule. Sea trials are scheduled for February, with a full 2 months of additional testing and trials before she enters service on April 24th, 2019. Her 18 night maiden voyage from Singapore to Darwin has been sold out for many months now. Coral Adventurerâ€™s Kimberley 2019 season is proving to be popular, and we have been working on her new Papua New Guinea itineraries just released to our Xplorers Club community (page 6). These Papua New Guinea voyages make full use of her advanced expedition capabilities. Though she feels enormous sitting on land on her building dock, she will carry only 120 passengers, making her one of the smallest new oceangoing ships built. This affords plenty of public space, including 2 outdoor bars and a wrap around promenade deck for viewing. She will feel like a Coral Expeditions ship! Our staff in the office are excited about welcoming her to our fold.
Mark Fifield - Group General Manager
^ Coral Adventurer taking shape at the Vard shipyard
Gary Wilson - Senior Master.
OUR TEAM SAYS THANK YOU! We are pleased and proud to have recently received awards from Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic. As these awards are based on first-hand feedback from guests themselves, we want to thank you for the amazing reviews. We are delighted to achieve our goal of providing excellent experiences!
Coral Expeditions Best in Australia & New Zealand
A gathering of
^ Jessica Roelofs at Delissa Walker’s weaving workshop
> JESSICA ROELOFS DESCRIBES THE CURATION OF THE CORAL ADVENTURER’S ART COLLECTION
I have been set quite a task. The collection and curation of Indigenous art and crafts that will bring to life the interiors of our new vessel, the Coral Adventurer. We have a simple ethos behind the selection of art for Coral Adventurer; support for the communities that welcome us to their homes, appreciation for the cultures that they share with us, and patronage for artists whose works reflect the landscapes that we explore. The process started with me sailing on the Coral Discoverer for our inaugural art themed expedition ‘across the top’ of Arnhem Land and Cape York. It was an opportunity for me to not only understand the vision for Coral Adventurer’s art collection, but also learn about the peoples who make a home in what looks like wild country and hear their stories. This journey was the perfect beginning to this project. It is difficult to purchase or curate art without emotion, and I discovered a heart and a sympathetic understanding for the artists and materials that has become a driving force for the project. There are also a few challenges I have had to consider. Firstly, the walls are in various stages of realization in a shipyard across the seas. Secondly, the volume and variety of spectacular art pieces produced by indigenous communities is overwhelming. I ask myself, can I buy it all? Visiting the Arnhem Land art centres, such as Maningrida, Yirrkala, and Elcho Island, surrounds you with cultural expression of a community that lives with the landscape. The patterns seen in the seas, the swamplands, the billabongs and the bush are reflected in the patterns transferred to bark or canvas.
For the Yolngu people of north-eastern Arnhem Land, these patterns are interpreted through a unique cross-hatching technique known as ‘rarrk’, and each artist inherits the right to use a design from their patrilineal ancestors. These artworks therefore communicate not just stories of creation and landscape, or food traditions and totems, but also family lines and personal identity. The Torres Strait islands, for millennia a passage for travellers either by land or sea, is also a place where creativity and stories flourish. The islander’s remarkably beautiful works tell stories of fishing and hunting and war parties, with totems of turtle and dugong etched or sculpted into life. Each artwork I have purchased from these islands has been made so much more precious by the generosity of the hospitality that accompanied it. Earlier this year, we ventured into the middle Sepik. The villages along this ever-changing river, such as Tambanum, Aibom, and Kanganaman, are particularly famous for their wood-carvings. We purchased carvings and were gifted many woven bags – these sales support the villagers directly, enabling them to pay for school fees and medical supplies. This July, our interest and support for indigenous art makers found the perfect outlet in a new connection with the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Through our sponsorship of the Curator’s and Collector’s Program, we were able to meet with and purchase work from artists who travelled from Moa Island, Erub Island, Hopevale and the communities on the western side of Cape York Peninsula. With weaver Delissa Walker, I took part in weaving workshops – and plan to purchase some of Delissa’s exquisite baskets to display on board. We hope to nurture these new friendships and be able
to welcome new artists and communities to be a part of our future expeditions. Our primary purchase made at the Art Fair was the largescale lino cut print Kubilaw Ulakal – State II. This one-off print created by David Bosun of Moa Art Centre depicts the bounty of the Coral Sea, with a dugong herd led by the dominant male leader. As an ocean-going company, these saltwater themed pieces are irresistible, and we are also proud to carry the stories and, in some ways, the heart of the communities on board with us.
^ Mark Fifield and Perry Wilkes with Kubilaw Ulakal – State II by David Bosun
We are thrilled to announce a new “All Australian” alliance with the team at Australian Geographic. Together, we have developed a series of annual expeditions that bring together over 65 years of passion and experience for Australia. Further, our year-round collaboration will come to life on the new Coral Adventurer where we are curating a program of scientific, cultural, and nature based projects to be led by renowned experts. Guests will have the chance to participate in these projects during their voyage. The Australian Geographic Society will be a permanent patron of the Coral Adventurer, presenting unique and engaging activity housed in the Expedition Room beside the bridge. Our partnership also extends to include ongoing support and involvement with both the AG Nature Photographer of the Year and the AG Adventure Awards, providing both inspiration and pathways for Australian photographers and adventurers to be nurtured. A true partnership worth celebrating!
NEW EXPEDITION NINGALOO AND THE BLUEWATER WONDERS OF AUSTRALIA’S WEST
12-NIGHT EXPEDITION DEPARTS 10 SEPTEMBER 2019 > FROM $10,990 pp Join a pioneering voyage that explores the remote coastal wonders of Western Australia’s Coral coast on board the Coral Discoverer. This “scouting” voyage will be the first time we take an expedition to explore this extraordinary marine environment. Departing Broome, the voyage will visit the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park, the Dampier Archipelago and the historic Montebello Islands. Our voyage will culminate with a visit to Ningaloo Reef, home to the gentle and giant whale sharks and manta rays. Our marine experts and guides will lead this discovery of untouched atolls, mega marine fauna and rare bird species to be found in this pristine coastal habitat.
Behind The scenes > CASIMAH KHALIK TELLS US ABOUT HER NEW ROLE IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
^ Casimah Khalik in her office in Cairns
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Q. What do you aspire to achieve in your role?
Born to a Malay father and a Chinese mother, I grew up in Malaysia and at 17, went to an American University to further my studies. It was in these early years that the travel bug got a hold of me and travel became an obsession of mine. Over the years I have lived in France, Spain, China, Egypt and Cyprus but I keep returning to Cairns, poorer in coins but far richer in life experiences!
When I do my own travels, I do a lot of research. I also love to be totally immersed in the culture, learning Tango in Buenos Aires, taking cooking lessons in Hoi An, parading in the street Carnivale of Tenerife, or hiking up the mountain of Torres del Paine in Chile … I aspire to give the same experience to our guests on our cruises - to bring meaning into their travels. We do that through relevant lectures on board, organising authentic experiences on shore excursions and providing what is required to make the trip a truly memorable one.
Q. What does the Product department do? Our roles involve working closely with the Captains and Expedition leaders in conceptualising possible new itineraries and then putting together the practical execution. It is a collaborative role that also works with the marketing team to look at trends and demand. Finally, it flows into administration in the sense that we must ensure the logistics of the product is delivered with all necessary approvals, permits and legal requirements. In short it is about making it up and then making it happen! The ultimate “end product” is of course your experience on the expedition with us. We can see how successful we are by how well you enjoy the experience! We make it our mission to consider and plan every detail so that you have a memorable voyage and it is really gratifying to get such great feedback from guests. Q. So what does a day in your life at work look like? No two days are the same and it is very varied. We get email reports every day from all the vessels and we need to work closely with those on board. I also may liaise with marketing as well as the reservations department to assist them in product information. I work closely with operations and hospitality to ensure the upcoming trips will run smoothly. I will also go to the wharf each time Coral Expeditions II comes in to meet with the Trip Director.
Q. Which itinerary are you most excited about? I am excited about all of them of course, but the one I am truly passionate about is the Sulawesi series in 2020! Our decision to take our guests to Indonesia is visionary and bold as parts of the Indonesian Archipelago are not easy to access. I am proud we are leading the way. The destination is not only rich in cultural content but is breathtaking in landscapes and seascapes! With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is spoilt for choice when comes to a diversity of experiences. Q. Where do you see Coral Expeditions cruises will go in the future? Oh I am not sure if I am allowed to divulge this information. We like the idea of circumnavigations of places like Tasmania or even Australia. Once we start sailings with the Coral Adventurer, the seas to the north of Australia are in reach. So I dream of Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, Borneo, and as far as the Philippines and Micronesia. These places have so much to offer with spectacular scenery and culture. The world is our oyster so I dare to dream!
Dragon Dance, Kopar Village
Discover the vibrant cultures of new guinea > WE GO FURTHER THAN EVER WITH OUR NEW GUINEA EXPEDITIONS IN 2019
New Guinea’s vast remoteness, hidden communities, and extensive coastline make it uniquely suited to small ship exploration. Over the decade that we have been exploring this land we have been fascinated by the people and the places of this richly diverse and rarely seen region. Voyages to New Guinea still carry the sense of a journey into the unknown. Now, the advanced expedition capabilities of the new Coral Adventurer will allow us to venture deeper into Papua New Guinea than ever before. Our expeditions will ensure an immersive experience with highlights including: The People of New Guinea The “Papuans” are some of the warmest and most hospitable that you will ever meet. They are descendants of the Melanesian island nations that surround and due to the separations resulting from the rugged landscape, they have the most diverse language and cultural mix of any country in the world with over 850 dialects spoken today. Our visits are filled with smiles, friendship, laughter and a mutual curiosity at the oddity of our disparate cultures and appearance. Vibrant Arts and Cultures Over centuries, many different styles of cultural expressions have emerged in New Guinea, which are shared in varied forms of art, masks and carvings, dance, costume, weaponry, architecture, music and singing. Your senses will awaken with the vibrant sights and sounds that you will experience as you visit village markets and share ceremonial celebrations in the local “tambaran” spirit houses.
A Nature Lovers Dream Part of the Coral Triangle, the waters around New Guinea are home to 600 different types of coral and 3,000 fish species, giving you the chance to snorkel and kayak amongst some of the world’s healthiest and bio-diverse coral reefs. Birdwatching enthusiasts may be lucky enough to spot the elusive Bird of Paradise as we explore dense tropical rainforests, which are also home to rare and interesting species of marsupials and mammals. Share the traditions of the Sing Sing Throughout our journey we will be welcomed to local villages with the colourful and traditional Sing Sing. Local tribes people from the youngest to eldest, adorn themselves in feathers, shells, animal skins and foliage to represent the ancient spirits of their homeland as they perform vivid and dramatic rituals passed on through generations . Wartime History Australia shares an unbreakable bond with the nation of Papua New Guinea forged through the theatre of World War 2 and over 60 years of political administration. Our guides share their stories and lead us through historic places including the head of the Kokoda trail at Buna and Sanananda. We explore relics and wrecks along the coast at significant sites in the battle for the Pacific.
> NEW GUINEA SAILINGS IN 2019 With the guidance of our expedition team and local guides, we have developed five immersive itineraries for 2019, including a completely new “Customs and Craftsmen” 22-day itinerary focused on the art and traditions of New Guinea and a partnership expedition with the Australian Geographic Society.
WILDLIFE & WARRIORS: WEST PAPUA
^ Arthur Beau Palmer in New Guinea
> CUSTOMS & CRAFTSMEN: INTRODUCING OUR NEW THEMED VOYAGE EXPLORING THE ART OF THE MALUKUS AND NEW GUINEA In 2019 we embark on a special expedition to explore more deeply this regions ‘material culture’, that is, the relationship between the people and their craft. This voyage will be hosted by guest lecturer on board, Arthur Beau Palmer. One of the foremost experts in Papuan and Torres Straits arts, Arthur began collecting material culture in the 1960’s. Following a 25 year career in anthropology in the region, he now runs a well-established gallery specializing in high end oceanic and tribal art. The Palmer family has a direct association with Papua New Guinea that goes back five generations to the 1870’s, since Arthur’s great grandfather, the Hon Sir Arthur H Palmer was Premier and Governor of Queensland. Arthur’s personal photographic library of 35,000 traditional colour and B&W images is the product of systematically using a camera the way anthropologists use a note book. He is widely published and has one of the largest private collections of Aboriginal, New Guinea and Pacific art in Australia. On this trip, Arthur will present a series of lectures and provide interpretive commentary on the sights we will see. This inaugural themed expedition explores the history of craft, the influence of belief and societal needs, and studies the contemporary works that we will encounter along the way. We travel through the Spice Islands of Banda, to the Maluku Islands and on to West Papua. With interpretation from Arthur you will see the styles, technique, and materials change, as we continue through Papua New Guinea.
HIGHLIGHTS Included in this voyage will be several bespoke events. We have used our strong connections in the region to curate a special art exhibition for our guests with opportunity to talk directly with the artists. We will also return to an old favourite, the dramatic Fort Belgica in Banda. Built by the Dutch in the 17th century to fortify the only source of nutmeg in the world, the Fort becomes the venue for a local dinner under the stars for our guests.
CUSTOMS & CRAFTSMEN: ART OF NEW GUINEA > DEPARTS
Captain Gary Wilson has custom-designed this itinerary to retrace the voyages of the renowned 15th century explorer Abel Tasman. The second leg of Coral Adventurer’s Maiden Voyage, this itinerary will explore Triton Bay, and visit the Asmat people of West Papua.
Darwin to Darwin > 10 Nights > Departs 13 May 2019
FRONTIER LANDS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA Journey to remote coastal communities and spend time with some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. Be welcomed with sing-sings, and visit markets displaying art and craft. Learn about the culture and traditions as local guides share stories of their ancestors and the country’s dramatic history. Visit natural wonders such as Dei Dei Springs and Manam Motu, and snorkel or kayak over incredibly bio-diverse reefs.
> DEPARTS Cairns to Madang > 12 Nights > Departs 31 Oct 2019
10% EARLY BIRD UNTIL 31 OCTOBER 2018
PIONEERS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA
An Australian Geographic Society Expedition, this voyage begins in Cairns with a charter flight to Madang. Visit the Sepik River, WWII battle sites and vibrant reefs and rainforest shorelines at the Tufi Fjord. Hosts and local guides with share stories and show us through villages where you will discover the local lifestyle.
> DEPARTS Madang to Cairns > 12 Nights > Departs 12 Nov 2019
10% EARLY BIRD UNTIL 31 OCTOBER 2018
NEW GUINEA CIRCLE
This is the complete New Guinea experience. Departing from Cairns, we visit the villages and experience the primordial landscape from the tip of the east coast all the way to the outstanding beauty of Raja Ampat. This journey is like no other in its comprehensive exploration of New Guinea. You will discover wildlife and natural wonders above and below the water, and enjoy the hospitality of isolated tribes along the way.
Darwin to Cairns > 22 Nights > Departs 8 Oct 2019 Darwin to Vanimo > 12 Nights > Departs 8 Oct 2019 Vanimo to Cairns > 10 Nights > Departs 20 Oct 2019
Cairns to Darwin > 25 Nights > Departs 25 Nov 2019 Cairns to Wewak > 12 Nights > Departs 25 Nov 2019 Wewak to Darwin > 13 Nights > Departs 7 Dec 2019
10% EARLY BIRD UNTIL 31 OCTOBER 2018
10% EARLY BIRD UNTIL 31 OCTOBER 2018
EXPEDITION DIARY > KIMBERLEY 10 NIGHT CRUISE > JULY 27, 2018 “This morning was a very special morning as we saw so many Humpback Whales all about the ship. They were breaching, spy-hopping, and tail-slapping all over the place, and we had whales purposefully swimming under the ship and surfacing right beside us. The guests were in awe of these playful and curious whales who were definitely looking at us looking at them. After almost two hours of amazement, we moved off to the Lacepede Islands where we saw many juvenile turtles swimming about as well as thousands of birds flying overhead.” - Expedition Leader Mark Steadman
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OUR EXPEDITIONS BRING YOU CLOSER TO: > The Kimberley > Tasmania > Cape York & Arnhem Land > Papua New Guinea > Great Barrier Reef > New Zealand > Spice Islands & West Papua > Islands of the South Pacific > Islands of Indonesia
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