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Great Barrier Reef Small Ship Cruise Expeditions

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Coral Expeditions knows the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef better than most, having pioneered overnight cruises on the outer reef more than 30 years ago. Sailing from our homeport of tropical Cairns, Queensland, our purpose-built reef expedition vessel, Coral Expeditions II takes a maximum of just 44 guests in relaxed comfort on year-round 3, 4 or 7 night expeditions.

The tailor-made itineraries venture to the pristine outer reef, and exclusive mooring destinations, allowing us to offer an unmatched experience of the Reef. Our expedition voyages are truly immersive, venturing beyond the destinations of the day-trips to the underwater world that you’ve long imagined. Out here, your only companions might be a Loggerhead Turtle or a Maori Wrasse.

Resident Marine Biologists bring the species to life, with ‘Touch and Learn’ displays onboard and in the water. As a guest of Coral Expeditions, you will have the rare opportunity to visit the Ribbon Reefs, as well as Escape Reef & Nathan Reef. Divers and snorkellers will delight in some of the world’s finest untouched coral gardens. As you slip into the clear waters of the Reef, you can’t help but me mesmerised by this UNESCO World Heritage Marine Park.

We live and breathe the reef, with our headquarters just minutes from the start of this natural wonder. That’s why its important to us that our guests and operations ensure the long term preservation and conservation of the Reef. Coral Expeditions is a leader in Reef conservation, a member of Ecotourism Australia, and an accredited ecotourism operator.

By choosing Coral Expeditions for your Great Barrier Reef experience, you are choosing to travel with a company that prioritises the long term conservation of the Reef and its ecosystem.

Onboard, you will enjoy quality inclusions, such as small batch dining coupled with boutique Australian wines, and spacious staterooms complete with a turn-down service every night.

Truly an unforgettable experience, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the wonders of the natural world, and can only be experienced to be understood. Let this wonderland move you. And let Coral Expeditions, the experts in this unique ecosystem, show you why it’s worth conserving. 

Availability (Months)


Just 35 metres in length, Coral Expeditions II is the ideal ship for discovering the World Heritage-Listed Great Barrier Reef with a shallow draught to allow snorkelling directly from the ship. The 21 onboard rooms are equipped with a private ensuite, air conditioning and ample storage space, as well as large picture windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery.

The ship features a spacious lounge with cocktail bar, comprehensive reference library and digital map displays. The large Sun Deck offers comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. Meals are served in the dining room, with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating. Coral Expeditions II operates an Open Bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise.


  • Large Sun Deck with sun lounges
  • Glass-Bottom Boat and Kayaks for marine exploration
  • Two fully stocked cocktail bars
  • Dining Room & spacious lounge
  • Reference library
  • Small gift shop with souvenirs and personal items available for purchase
  • Scuba diving facilities, snorkelling equipment



  • 3, 4 or 7 night Expedition Voyage aboard Coral Expeditions ll
  • Expert Expedition Team, including Marine Biologists to provide expert interpretation, presentations and commentary
  • Daily guided excursions on the Glass-Bottom Boat
  • Use of snorkelling equipment; masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits
  • Small-batch local cuisine, prepared fresh in our Galley: buffet breakfasts, buffet lunches and table d’hote dinners including a spectacular local seafood buffet
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events › 24 hour specialty coffee and selection of teas
  • Use of all onboard facilities, including reference library
  • Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
  • Introductory scuba skills session › Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Post cruise transfer from ship to Cairns airport or central Cairns hotels


  • Alcoholic spirits, wine and beer
  • Stinger Suits (available at a cost)
  • Scuba diving (available at a cost)
  • Environmental Management Charge (EMC) levied by government of
  • AUD $19.50 per person (subject to change)
  • Please note: There is no internet access on board Coral Expeditions II.


From $1650.00 * AUD

Price shown is for a standard cabin on the 3-night Southern Reef expedition. Four and 7 night options are also available. 

Our licensed travel agent can arrange all travel to and from tour locations. We can also arrange fully-guided options as well as tailoring packages for families and groups travelling together.

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