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News ISSUE 44 ¼ JANUARY 2019


Mark Fifield inspects the Coral Adventurer prior to her launch


float out

The excitement is building at Coral Expeditions with the realisation that we are now only four months away from the Maiden Voyage of Coral Adventurer. A team of longserving managers recently returned from Coral Adventurer’s official launching event on Friday, 7 December. It was an emotional moment as she took to the water for the first time. We are grateful for the reception we have received for our historic 35th Anniversary Circumnavigation of Australia voyage in 2020. Our first ever Circumnavigation will be an epic voyage over 60 days embodying our pioneering spirit. Barely a week after release, the majority of cabins have been booked. For us, 2020 will be the year of the Circumnavigation. Along with the Anniversary voyage and our already announced Sulawesi Circle, we are introducing two new voyages: a 14-night Tasmania Circle and a 35 night New Guinea Circumnavigation!

The 2019 Kimberley season will mark the end of an era as we will officially retire the much-loved Coral Expeditions I, after a distinguished career of over three decades exploring the Australian coastline. Her final voyage, Cape York and Arnhem Land, will depart Darwin on 13 September 2019 with a lineup of long-standing expedition crew and lecturers joining her farewell trip. We wish all our Xplorers a safe and happy festive season and look forward to sharing an adventurous 2019 with you.

Mark Fifield - Group General Manager

^ Jessica Roelofs at Delissa Walker’s weaving workshop

This is an expedition of the Australian coastline like never before. Master of the Coral Expeditions fleet, Captain Gary Wilson, together with our product team, have spent months researching a unique circumnavigation of Australia. There is a sense of occasion as this is a voyage that celebrates our 35th anniversary as Australia’s pioneering cruise line. Captain Gary has harnessed his passion for interpreting historical events to imagine our most ambitious adventure to date, made possible by the arrival of the new Coral Adventurer. “The year 2020 will be a special juncture in Australia’s exploration history”, says Captain Gary. “The 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s exploration of Australia, the 200th anniversary of Sir Philip Parker King’s landing at

Careening Bay on his northern explorations; and the 75th year commemoration of the end of the Second World War align to coincide with our 35th Anniversary of pioneering expeditions through the remote and less-travelled coastlines of the South Pacific.” He set about leading the development of a detailed plan of passage offering a diverse and exciting array of shore excursions. On the 7th of November 2020, Coral Adventurer will embark on this landmark voyage. The uniquely historical theme will explore 35 sites of maritime, cultural and natural significance that have shaped Australia. The circumnavigation begins and ends in Darwin, which has been the launching point of our Kimberley, Cape York, Spice Islands and Papua New Guinea voyages for over 25 years.

^ View over the Endeavour River, Cooktown; the HMB Endeavour being careened after running onto the reef; Australian Sea Lion at the Archipelago of the Recherche

As a nation surrounded by water, the coastline of Australia measures some 35,876km, with much of it remote, wild, and difficult to reach by land. Very few people will ever be able to lay claim to seeing the entire coast from the sea. Enthusiasts of Australian maritime history will appreciate voyage highlights including retracing the first contact between Europeans and Aborigines at the Pennefather River aboard the Duyfken in 1606, and excursions to key sites of the famous voyages of Captain James Cook in 1770 and Admiral Phillip Parker King in 1820. Other iconic stops revisiting Australian maritime history include Preservation Island and the wreck of the Sydney Cove, Botany Bay where we visit Cook’s landing place and learn how local Aboriginal people encountered the crew of the HMB Endeavour. We visit Broken Bay historic sites where a small group of soldiers trained and prepared for a covert and significant wartime operation on board the MV Krait. We will also visit or explore famous Australian shipwreck sites across our coastline including Tryal Rocks, the first known shipwreck site in Australia, and a ceremony over the wrecks of the HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran off the coast of Shark Bay in Western Australia. The Tangalooma wrecks on Moreton Island are also a stunning destination, where crystal clear waters provide fantastic visibility to view marine life such as wobbegongs, trevally, kingfish yellowtail and an array of tropical fish. We travel from the striking pre-historic Stromatolite structures rising from the turquoise sea of the West Australian coast to the ecologically significant marine conservation site of the Abrolhos Islands, to the rich biodiversity of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef and the pristine nature reserves of Kangaroo Island. All along the voyage, nature enthusiasts will

be delighted by wildlife encounters including opportunities to spot the world smallest penguins, migrating humpbacks and the killer whales of Twofold Bay, and Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins of the Archipelago of the Recherche. A number of special events feature in the Circumnavigation itinerary. We have planned a private winemaker’s dinner at Leeuwin Estate vineyards in the Margaret River region. On glistening Sydney harbor, enjoy a relaxing afternoon followed by a special private charter of the historic barque, the James Craig, part of the Sydney Heritage Fleet. Finally, experience an outback Christmas - a private jet takes us to Uluru, where guests enjoy an afternoon cultural tour, sunset drinks on the sand dunes, followed by Christmas dinner under the stars at the famed “Sounds of Silence” experience, before jetting back to the ship in Cairns the same evening. Joining the trip will be a diverse array of special guests and lecturers who share a love of history, exploration and conservation. We invite you to celebrate 35 years of exploration with us!


The greatest coastline in the world

>  ITINERARY 35th Anniversary Circumnavigation of Australia

Darwin to Darwin, 59 Nights, Coral Adventurer


Departs Darwin, 7 November 2020 Arrives Darwin, 5 January 2021


archipelago The world’s largest island nation is comprised of more than thirteen thousand islands, populated by over 300 ethnic groups speaking 700 languages. This is the archipelagic state of Indonesia. The motto of the Republic of Indonesia is Bhinneka TunggalIka, which is Old Javanese for ‘many, yet one’. Of these many islands, thousands are difficult to travel to. A journey by ship is the only way to properly explore the Indonesian Archipelago, and aboard a small ship it is possible to travel to small, far-flung isles and communities that rarely see visitors.

^ The island of Satonda

> OUR KOMODO DRAGONS & KRAKATOA VOYAGES EXPLORE INDONESIA’S SPLENDID SECRETS Across the Archipelago, the cultural diversity provides a fascinating counterpoint to the natural beauty. We visit the boat-builders of Sumbawa, where traditional wooden sailing boats are crafted by hand. The floating market of Banjarmasin reveals the connection to the water that the Banjarese people possess. Whether bustling historic cities, or traditional weaving villages, each destination has been selected for the value it brings to our journey and to increase our understanding of this diverse and colourful nation.

So, what does Indonesia have to offer an adventurous traveler? The strangely familiar and exotic names raise more questions than they answer, as most are yet to be opened to mass tourism. Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Kalimantan. Some of the names sound like music. Ternate, Tidore, Halmahera, and Saparua. Many of the pulau-pulau, islands, are volcanic – like the famous Krakatoa, the extinct exploded crater of Satonda, and the iconic blue lakes of Kelimutu. Some islands rise steeply from the sea, in many places fringed by robust coral reefs or the stilt houses of the Bugis. Our two voyages through the islands of Indonesia take in a vast sweep of islands, but still only a tiny percentage of the whole Archipelago. We venture into the rainforested reserves at Ujung Kulon and Tanjung Puting to spot orangutans, native deer, and a vast diversity of other species. Komodo National Park delivers unforgettable encounters with the largest monitor lizard in the world, the Komodo Dragon. Underwater, the wonder continues. Although Indonesia’s reefs face challenges from climate and human intervention, there are many extraordinary locations that offer vibrant snorkeling and diving experiences. Karimunjawa Archipelago, Pulau Alor, and the Komodo Islands are known for spectacular marine life.

^ Orangutans at Tanjung Puting National Park, Market in Pangkalan Bun ^


The diverse and extraordinary islands of Indonesia


Komodo Dragons & Krakatoa

> DEPARTS: Departs Darwin 15 January 2020, Coral Adventurer

Departs Singapore, 2 February 2020, Coral Adventurer

Australian geographic society GALA AWARDS

In December 2014, Steve Plain broke his neck bodysurfing at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach. A year later, he began training for an attempt to climb the Seven Summits – Vinson, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Carstensz, Elbrus, Denali and of course, Everest. He is Australian Geographic’s 2018 Adventurer of the Year. Coral Expeditions partnered with Australian Geographic to sponsor the 2018 Adventurer of the Year Award. It was a wonderful celebration of adventure, exploration, and courage! It was also a bonus for our Commercial Director Jeff Gillies to share the same stage as His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex.

SAVE THE DATE: The Kimberley Cruise premieres

Sunday January 13th, SBS One, 7:30pm (check your local guides)

Stream the full 14 hour program at

SBS On Demand

coral discoverer stars


^ Xplorer approaching King George Falls

Captain Gary Wilson and the crew aboard Coral Discoverer will take centre stage in a new Slow TV special program, which was filmed on board during the final voyage of our 2018 Kimberley season. Following on from the huge success of a similar style special on The Ghan last year, SBS approached Coral Expeditions to see if we would be willing assist with the production of a new premier special, The Kimberley Cruise – Australia’s Last Great Wilderness. The special has been produced in a 3-hour version for prime time SBS One viewing and then the following week, a more detailed 14 hour version will be aired in full on the SBS Viceland channel or online at SBS On Demand. The voyage, departing from Broome, travels the expanse of the Kimberley Coast over 10 days and features truly spectacular scenery and images from the Horizontal Waterfalls of Talbot Bay, the rushing tides at Whirlpool passage, breathtaking aerial sequences of Montgomery Reef emerging from the depths and the contrasting colours of the Kimberley coastline and escarpment. The film crew also managed to capture some rare and amazing wildlife footage including breaching humpback whales and a hungry crocodile feasting on a sea turtle. A year in the making, the program was an exciting collaboration for our team. A camera crew of 6 travelled on board and the production features footage from over 15 different camera positions which unveil a wonderful insight into life on board and the behind the scenes workings of Coral Discoverer. Some of the fascinating sequences include the crew in action on the ropes as they depart Broome Wharf,

superb aerial sequences of the vessel, and views from the bow wave and even the anchor. Captain Gary Wilson described the trip as having “the perfect Kimberley conditions with light winds, sunny days and very large tidal movements, ensuring that the best of the Kimberley was on show.” “The crew and guests loved being involved and are eagerly anticipating the show and sharing the magic moments of their adventure. In order to ensure there was no impact or interruption of any description during the trip, Coral Discoverer was manned with 2 additional crew to wrangle the production team, their use of zodiacs and the Xplorer, and to ensure they were able to get ahead, behind and above the ship to capture her in action.” The genre of Slow TV had its origins in Norway in the 2000’s. It is a marathon coverage of an event, capturing a more complete version of its duration in real time and without the interruptions of narrative and advertising. Early versions concentrated on rail journeys in Europe and the style of production has been called immersive, hypnotizing and an alternative to the noise and the busy pace of modern life. For SBS, it is also an innovative way to explore lesser-known parts of Australia. As the Australian pioneer of the region and with over 25 years cruising these waters, we are very pleased with the opportunity to share this wonderful region with a wider audience. We invite you all to tune in and enjoy the show, whether it be an opportunity to reminisce on your past voyages, or to find inspiration for your future travels.

EXPEDITION DIARY > PAPUA NEW GUINEA 12 NIGHT CRUISE > 6 NOVEMBER 2018 “At 5:30, as we gathered for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks on the Sundeck, we passed the spectacular backdrop of Kadovar Island. Its active volcano was spewing out pyroclastic clouds of smoke and ash at regular intervals.” - Guest Lecturer Steve Winderlich


Our team is motivated solely to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime. Our knowledge of our ships and itineraries ensure you get the best advice. You will not get a better price elsewhere.

WE 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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Profile for Coral Expeditions

Discover News January 2019  

Discover News January 2019