Coral Expeditions; small ship cruising beautiful remote regions of Australia, the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and the Indian Ocean

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Coral Expeditions; small ship cruising beautiful remote regions of Australia, the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and the Indian Ocean

Please Note: Cruise-Australia and ssMaritime are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that the author is NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies, or is connected with any travel or cruise agencies, nor any other organisation! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry for over sixty years, but has been long retired. Over the years, I have written on well over 1,350 classic liners on providing classic ship enthusiasts a great deal of information and pleasure! However, I will attempt to continue to write the occasional cruise review and ship information in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and thus provide the best possible information available for those intending a luxury, an expedition cruise, or an inexpensive happy holiday cruise vacation somewhere in the Pacific, New Zealand or somewhere around world in the near future!


Please Note: Photographs in this feature were provided by Coral Expeditions, unless stated otherwise


Page Three

Coral Discoverer

The magnificent Coral Discoverer was the first ocean-going High-Tech Expedition-Ship in the fleet

At the time when the 1,778-tonne Coral Discoverer was delivered in 2005 to Coral Expeditions, she was regarded as a revolutionary ship considering she was part of a small-ship expedition fleet. However, she was purpose-built for cruising in the tropical regions of the southern oceans, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands, as well as Indonesia and other exotic locations.

Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship luxury cruising experience. She is Australian flagged, and is staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be a most unique experience indeed.

The Coral Discoverer is seen as built, and at Milford Sound New Zealand

This fine ship accommodates just 72 guests in 36 spacious Staterooms and she has a cruising speed of 14 knots. Coral Discoverer’s shallow draught allows her to access even the most isolated and remote locations regions she cruises to, most being beyond the reach of other ships.

She was completely refurbished in November 2016, and she became very much like a new ship, and she will continue cruising for many more years in the future as she is a much loved ship! Thus, she continues to raise the bar to the highest levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.

Note the six new balcony staterooms on Bridge Deck and the updated Sundeck with its new Bar

Coral Discoverer is suited to cruise between Cairns and Darwin on Australia’s Cape York and Arnhem Land itineraries and between Darwin and Broome where she plies the rugged Kimberley coastline each year. During the Australian summer months, she can be found cruising to Tasmania, South Pacific Islands as well as New Zealand.

Public Spaces:

The Coral Discoverer provides an intimate, yacht-like cruising experience as she sails to some of the most exciting and colourful destinations possible. Thus she was given a beautifully appointed Lounge and Dining Room where you will enjoy many excellent meals accompanied by selected wines, beers, juices and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner. Also available are barista-style coffee and tea 24 hours per day.

One of the most popular places on board is topside where you can enjoy sunset drinks up on Sun Deck and the Sundeck Bar to end each spectacular day. This deck also has countless Sun-lounges


Above & below: Two views of the delightful Sundeck Bar



The Sun Deck is also used for Buffet’s from the Bar and on the timber units seen on this photograph

As we head down we arrive on Bridge Deck, and far forward is the Bridge, which is open to the Guests, and it has a lounge on the Starboard side for passengers to relax and take in the happenings of the crew on the Bridge, as well as the views ahead.

The Bridge and the Observation Lounge

Directly aft of the Bridge are six fine Balcony Staterooms, with a spacious and beautifully decorated and furnished Lounge, with a Coffee & Tea Bar located aft, whilst outside on the aft Deck is the Bridge Deck Bar.

The delightful Bridge Deck Lounge


The lounge set up as a lecture venue, the Coffee & Tea Bar can be seen in the far left corner near the windows


Here is another popular gathering spot, the delightful Bridge Deck Bar

One Deck down on Promenade Deck there are 19 Staterooms all with picture widows, and outside there is a full walk around deck!

A typical Stateroom on Promenade Deck


Promenade Deck starboard side looking aft

The next deck down is Main Deck, where forward there are 9 Staterooms with two smaller windows, with 3 staterooms having two portholes.

Please Note: Details and photographs of accommodations are located on the ships Deck Plan & Accommodation page. All Suites and Staterooms have en-suite bathrooms and ocean views, whilst the 6 Staterooms on Bridge Deck have a private balcony.

As we head just aft of amidships we find the Galley on the portside, and the Pursers Office on the starboard side. And next is the delightful, well designed Dining Room with the Main Deck Bar located along the aft-portside wall.

An overall view of the ships elegant Dining Room and a corner of the Bar


Tables are either for four or six and the Dining Room has a delightfully intimate setting

On all Coral Expeditions ships meals are on an open seating basis & you can dine with whom you wish

Cuisine & Wine On board:

On the Coral Discoverer dining is a celebration of great food and good company enjoyed in extraordinary destinations. People and places are the key to enjoyable dining experiences, where food becomes the vehicle for conversation and creating memorable occasions. The Chef’s approach to cuisine is about simplicity and generosity, creating dishes bursting with flavour made from fresh ingredients sourced locally and sustainably wherever possible.

Group Executive Chef Barbara Genedics said that Coral Expeditions’ cuisine has a distinctly Australian accent influenced by the culinary landscape of regions visited. “Wonderful friends and unique locations will always enhance the eating experience, allowing the produce to speak for itself.”

“From Australia’s Kimberley, through to the exotic Spice Islands, New Guinea and islands of the South Pacific, we foster a community of local providores, farmers and growers. Our regional menus champion seasonality, allowing us to adapt our menus and source local produce at its seasonal best.”

“There is a curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds.”

Included are the following:

All meals, chef-prepared onboard. Selected wines, beers, juices and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner. Also available are barista-style coffee and tea 24 hours per day. Other drinks are available for purchase outside of lunch and dinner.

Expedition capabilities:

The ship carries a trademark “Xplorer” tender fitted aft of Explorer Deck, as the ship has a unique lift system that takes it down to the boarding level and passengers are able to walk onto the Xplorer from “Xplorer Boarding Deck” of the ship, once full it is then it is lowered on its platform down into the water. Whilst on most other vessels passengers board tenders that are afloat in the sea, thus there could well be movement, etc, but Coral Expeditions has a completely new advanced system providing the ultimate comfort boarding these fine Xplorer tenders! Photographs below show what I have described above.

The photograph above we see the ship at an Indonesian Island, with her Xplorer still in her stored location, and we also see the boarding deck opening. When the Xplorer is lowered on her platform down to the boarding location passenger’s step from the ship directly from inside the ship into the tender and once all passengers are on board, the platform is lowered into the water and the Xplorer heads off to the days location.

Here we see the Xplorer being lowered still sitting on her platform


And here is a view from the boarding deck with the Xplorer in place

The Xplorer is able to seat all 72 passengers and take them on shore excursions. In addition the ship also has two zodiacs for more intrepid exploration.

Specifications and details:

The 1,779-tonne Coral Discoverer has a length of 63 m, a width of 13 m, and a draught of just 3 m. Her Main Engine is by Caterpillar, and she operates at a cruising speed of 13.5 knots. An Azimuth Pod is a system that is located at the stern instead of the traditional screw, or screws, and this unit rotates in any direction, thus giving the ship incredible manoeuvrability. She has a shallow draft and as already stated advanced navigation and propulsion systems allowing access to locations not accessible to larger cruise ships. But also for your comfort, the Coral Discoverer is fitted active stabilizers reducing roll in various sea conditions, making her the perfect ocean going expedition ship! With just 72 passengers, there are 24 Australian and some New Zealand crew members who will take excellent care of their guests!

The remarkable and greatly loved Coral Discoverer


Enter the Coral Discoverer Deck Plan and Accommodation Page


Page One         Introduction to Coral Expeditions & their Fleet.

Page Two         Coral Adventurer 2019 & Coral Geographer 2020.

Page Three       Coral Discoverer 2005, refurbished in 2016.

Page Four         Coral Expeditions II, refurbished in 2015.




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