Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia’s West

Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia’s West

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Description

Join our pioneering voyage down Western Australia’s Coral coast on board Coral Discoverer. This “scouting” voyage will be the first time we explore this extraordinary marine environment. Departing Broome, we 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 our discovery of the untouched atolls, mega marine fauna and rare bird species that are found in this pristine coastal habitat.

This voyage is in partnership with Australian Geographic.

Trip Name
Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 63 metres Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms) Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016 Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities. 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 cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique. After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment. Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer. The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from french windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sqm (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding. FACILITIES ON BOARD > Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating > Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck > Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished > Forward lounge > Reference library > Gift shop > Open bridge > Workout Area > Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer > Limited laundry facilities available > SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)

Itinerary



Day 1 - Please Note:
Our adventure down the West Coast is a true expedition. Our Master and Expedition Team will adjust the itinerary to best suit the tidal and weather conditions and maximise the guest experience.Some of the expedition destinations are listed below.
Day 2 - ROWLEY SHOALS
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs. Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish. Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for suburb underwater photography opportunities.Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke and perhaps Mermaid or Imperieuse reefs, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities. With each atoll covering approximately 90 sq km, there will be plenty to see! Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons. Try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roosts there.
Day 3 - MONTEBELLO ISLANDS
The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. They are home to a complex system of reefs, lagoons and channels which offer a range of habitats for marine life. The mangrove systems here are unique and scientifically significant, and its seaweed beds are fodder for dugongs. Green, Hawksbill and flatback turtles are regularly seen here, as are whales and dolphins. A twitcher’s delight, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oystercatchersThe islands also have a fascinating maritime history. The survivors of the Dutch vessel Trial swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, being the first Europeans to land on the islands. The Montes also have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today.Spend a full day exploring this island group, with opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and birdwatching. Visit Champagne Bay and Turtle Lagoon. Discover Ground Zero of the atomic blast at Trimouille Island, and view the inscribed plinth there marking the site.
Day 4 - MUIRON ISLANDS
Located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.
Day 5 - DAMPIER ARCHIPELAGO
Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. Most people do not realise that this is the richest area of marine bio-diversity in all of Western Australia – snorkellers will delight in the coral reefs and over 650 species of fish. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in the area and the archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby.The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area.With our onboard naturalist and historian, explore the archipelago’s pastoral, pearling and cultural past that is still visible today in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. Learn about the tragic Flying Foam Massacre(s) of 1865, in which an entire tribe, language and people were all but exterminated. There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
Day 6 - NINGALOO COAST AND REEF
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. This is also where mega marine life come to feed during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements.We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay and its underwater playground. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay, and learn about WA’s interesting heritage at the ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station. As we cruise the ‘Humpback Highway’ down the coast, have the opportunity to watch these majestic whales breach close by. Spend a day with an experienced local operator, with the chance to swim with some of the mega fauna this region is known for (these encounters are subject to nature and cannot be guaranteed).
Day 7 - DEPUCH ISLAND
Depuch Island, or Womala as it is known to the traditional custodians of this area, has been called the ‘Uluru of the Sea’. This volcanic island is of significant cultural value to the Ngaluma Aboriginal Tribe, being home to literally thousands of Aboriginal engravings. It was also a site visited by European explorers, including Baudin’s expedition on Le Geographe – there is even an enscribing left by the crew of the HMAS Beagle. Go ashore with the expedition team and explore this other-worldly and desolate landscape, observing its unique geology and petroglyphs dating back thousands of years.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-09-201922-09-2019AUD $10,990Main Deck B
10-09-201922-09-2019AUD $11,290Main Deck A
10-09-201922-09-2019AUD $12,390Promenade A
10-09-201922-09-2019AUD $14,490Bridge Deck Balcony
10-09-201922-09-2019AUD $17,985Promenade Deck B Sole

Inclusions

    • Snorkel and dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals, accompanied by our on board Marine Biologist
    • Swim with the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef (subject to nature)
    • Discover sites of cultural significance to Indigenous Australians, with interpretation by a knowledgeable on-board expert
    • See notable historic sites of European exploration
    • View birdlife on remote island groups

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