Coral Expeditions - MV Coral Discoverer

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The Coral Discoverer is seen at anchor at one of the “Raja Ampat” Islands in Indonesia

Introduction to Coral Expeditions:

Coral Expeditions was established in 1983 and today is one of Australia’s most awarded “Expedition Cruise Operators.” The company was founded in Queensland, Australia and they were the first to operate environmentally sensitive cruises around the Great Barrier Reef. In 2016, a good thirty-three years later the fleet has grown from one to three fine vessels, that includes two 35-metre catamarans, the Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II, and in 2005 the state-of-the-art flagship was completed in Australia, the magnificent MV Coral Discoverer.

Headquartered in Cairns, Australia, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the famed Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land, as well as exotic Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, the Islands of the South Pacific Tasmania, New Zealand and now as from 2016, South East Asia. Thus the choice of cruises to amazing places is vast and all in superbly appointed vessels!


Above and below: The amazing Coral Discoverer in Milford Sound New Zealand, and is seen heading for a waterfall


MV Coral Discoverer is an intimate, state-of-the-art 1,838-tonne Australian cruise ship and she has become a much sought after small cruise ship operating at a cruising speed of 14 knots. As from 2016 there is an exciting range of exiting new range of out of the way ports, and as usual many just can only be reached by small ships and as we have already learned, she will also be heading to South East Asia witch is very exciting. Details of the new 2016 - 2017 Asian itineraries are located further down the page!

MV Coral Discoverer Photo Gallery



Above & below: Her Lounge & Bar on Bridge Deck



Al Fresco dinning out on Deck, just aft of the Lounge on Bridge Deck


The Dining Room Lounge area on Main Deck



Above & below: The spacious and elegant Dining Room seen during dinner and with tables set ready for dinner


This exciting vessel was launched in 2005 and was purpose-built for cruising in the tropical regions of the southern oceans; whilst guests will enjoy a uniquely Australian atmosphere onboard with an all-Australian crew. As you step on board, you will discover a ship that offers stylish furnishings, generous decks and the latest of modern facilities. Coral Discoverer accommodates just 72 guests in 36 spacious staterooms and she has a cruising speed of 14 knots. Coral Discoverer’s shallow draught of just 3 meters allows her to access even the most isolated and remote locations of the many of the most exotic locations that are completely beyond the reach of other ships. The Coral Discoverer is fully SOLAS compliant is she is equipped with very latest-Technology Navigation and Communications Equipment and she is fully Stabilised to ensure comfortable cruising in open seas.

The Origins of Coral Expeditions:

The MV Coral Discoverer stands alone as being the very first Australian flagged, all Australian owned and Australian staffed passenger ship to attain full SOLAS compliance in over 50 years, which is an amazing feat.

However, it is interesting to look further back, for Coral Expeditions was originally created from scratch by Mr. Tony Briggs, who was an Australian fisherman, and as some will tell you, quite an entrepreneur, who had a passion for the sea! Therefore he decided to commence a new cruise company in order to operate cruises of the Great Barrier Reef, which he named; “Coral Princess Cruises” based in Townsville, Queensland.

For the purpose, he purchased and converted a World War II submarine chaser (PT Boats) in 1983 and she became a comfortable passenger vessel and the Coral Princess. She had a capacity of 24 passengers and she was a comfortable vessel with a pleasant long narrow lounge that had a bar & dinning area. Her cabins were relatively small by today standards, but they were comfortable accommodations.

The Coral Princess was the beginning of a great Australia Expedition Cruise Company!

MV Coral Princess initially operated five-day cruises through the Great Barrier Reef to Dunk Island, returning via the Hinchinbrook Channel to Townsville, which proved to be popular.

In due course the service and the company became so popular with the demand was growing for a superior product, that the company grew into a more up market expedition cruise operation, thus the original “Coral Princess Cruises” in due course renamed; “Coral Expeditions.” Two new 35-metre vessels were soon built the Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II.

Coral Expeditions I accommodates fifty guests in 25 rooms and offers a unique cruising experience in the Australian coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as Cape York & Arnhem Land and the Kimberley regions. Guests cruising will enjoy the modern comforts of small ship cruising in the relaxed atmosphere that is so unique to Coral Expeditions.

MV Coral Expeditions I sailing heading towards her next stop

Coral Expeditions II accommodates forty-four guests in 22 rooms in sheer luxury. She was fully refurbished early in 2015 and features facilities and comforts found on much larger ships. Onboard you will discover the very best of Tropical North Queensland in unrivalled style as she operates year-round on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Expeditions II is the perfect ship for manoeuvring amongst the islands and reefs in this World Heritage-listed wonderland. Being just 35-metres long, she is the perfect size to get you up close and personal with the reef.

MV Coral Expeditions II At one of the Great Barrier Reek Islands



MV Coral Discoverer Accommodations:

There are five grades of beautifully appointed Staterooms available on the Coral Discoverer, and each is tastefully decorated with modern furnishings and with original artworks. Of course there are all the comforts of a private Italian-style Bathroom, individually controlled air-conditioning and ample cupboard space. All staterooms are serviced daily and feature luxurious toiletries.


Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, there are five spacious Bridge Deck Staterooms that are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

The above image applies to both the “Bridge Deck Stateroom” and “Promenade Deck Category A Stateroom” below.

Promenade Deck Stateroom - A:

Encircled by a full-ship promenade, the twenty spacious Promenade Deck (Cat. A) Staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

Promenade Deck Stateroom - B:

Two Staterooms located forward of the ship, but encircled by the full-ship promenade, these Promenade Deck (Cat. B) Staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.

Main Deck Stateroom - A:

Located close to the Dining Room, the six spacious Main Deck (Cat. A) Staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

Image applies to both the Main Deck Category’s A and B Staterooms below.

Main Deck Stateroom - B:

Located close to the Dining Room, the six spacious Main Deck (Cat. B) Staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.

Photo Gallery Continued


The Lounge


The Lounge Bar aft on the port side


Passengers relaxing out on deck just aft of the Lounge and Bar on Bridge deck


The Company Flagship the Coral Discoverer seen here in Papua New Guiney



Coral Expeditions New 2016 - 2017 South East Asia Itineraries:

Australia’s pioneering expedition cruise line Coral Expeditions has launched a series of new itineraries exploring South East Asia.

Now in its 34th.year of operations, the inaugural Asia season will involve a series of seven adventurous expeditions from November 2016 to February 2017.

The new itineraries appeal to active and adventurous travellers who may have previously travelled through Asia but are now ready to explore in depth areas of the region that are only accessible by small ship.

“Our Asia season will be one of the most exciting series of itineraries for Coral Expeditions. These are truly expedition style cruises that bring our signature sense of adventure, dining experiences and Australian hospitality that our guests have come to know and love,” said Group General Manager, Mark Fifield.

Enjoy Countless South East Asian Adventures - See the main Map below

The first trip of the season will begin with an eight-night itinerary from Kalimantan to Singapore which includes visits to the Camp Leakey orang-utan sanctuary and rarely visited Way Kambas National Park in Indonesia.

On arrival in Singapore, the Coral Discoverer will undergo a major refurbishment to add a new class of Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms, a first for any Coral Expeditions vessel, and a new Sun Deck bar-lounge.

Each itinerary is truly reflective of the company’s expedition style and immersive cultural and culinary experiences, charting the diverse coastlines of Myanmar, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Highlights in the itineraries include sailing up the Irrawaddy River to berth in the hustle and bustle of the old working river port at Yangon (12 nights Singapore to Yangon or v.v.) visiting the still-active Anak Krakatua volcano in Indonesia where guests can hike up the hillside ringed by the caldera (17 nights Singapore to Darwin, or 8 nights Kalimantan to Singapore).

Guests will also get an insight into a piece of war history during a local guided tour of the Burma WWII Railway Memorial outside the town of Mawlamyine, and uncover remnants of the Vietnam War at Vinh Moc Tunnels and the Demilitarization Zone.

As with any Coral Expeditions cruise, the Xplorer tender is the key ingredient to accessing some of these remote and rare sights. Simply stepping aboard Xplorer from the Main Deck, the ship’s hydraulic platform gently lowers the excursion vessel into the water to set off on a new adventure.  All shore activities and excursions are included in the cruise fare.

Itineraries and Voyage Highlights:

Orang-utans and lost tribes of the Java Sea:

8 nights - Kalimantan to Singapore - 5 November 2016.


Visit Tanjung Puting National Park and orang-utan rehabilitation.

Explore Java’s Thousand Islands, a paradise for water activities.

Hike to the look of the active Caldera of Anaka Krakatua.

Spot endangered wildlife (elephants, rhinos and Sumatran tigers) at Way Kambas National Park.


Glimpses of lost Myanmar:

12 nights - Singapore to Yangon - 25 November & 19 December 2016.

12 nights - Yangon to Singapore - 7 & 31 December 2016.


Spend two days exploring the wonders of Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago.

Guided tour with local expert, learn about Burmese history with a visit to the Burma WWII Railway Memorial.

Journey through the Irrawaddy River Delta and the Yangon River.

Embrace the rich cultural and culinary diversity of historic Melaka.

Wade, swim and snorkel the warm tropical waters of the Andaman Sea.

Experience Thai village life and learn the secrets of local flavours with a cooking demonstration.


Beaches, villages and temple-towns:

18 nights - Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City - 12 January 2017.

17 nights - Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore - 26 February 2017.


Explore bustling Singapore, Malaysian islands and beaches, Cambodian villages and famed temples and Vietnam’s commercial hub in Ho Chi Minh City.

Experience the waterfalls and beaches of Tioman and the Perhentian Islands.

Explore markets and cottage industries of Peninsula Malaysia’s east coast.

Magnificent Khmer Temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple.

Kampot village life and local delicacies.


A classic voyage through old Vietnam:

12 nights - Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi - 22 January 2017.


Manoeuvre in and around the stunning limestone karst islands of UNESCO-listed Halong Bay.

Embrace Vietnamese culture and culinary delights in Hoi An.

Discover imperial history and old-world charm in Hue.

Uncover history and remnants of the Vietnam War at Vinh Moc tunnels and Demilitarization Zone.


An epic expedition through the Indonesian archipelago:

17 nights - Singapore to Darwin | 26 February 2017.


Swim, snorkel dive or view coral and sea life at numerous sites including the Thousand Island, Karimunjawa and Palau Moyo National Parks.

Hike the still active Anak Krakatua.

Embrace the bustling hub of Java’s second largest city Surabaya.

Visit heritage-listed Komodo Island for dragon viewing.

Climb to the top of Kelimutu volcano to experience the tri-coloured crater lakes.


Map of South East Asian Ports and Islands to be Visited


For full itineraries and pricing, download the Asian Brochure HERE (pdf file): 


View her Deck Plan


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