a cove with white sand turquoise water, greenery and small ships anchored next to lizard island australia
australia small ship cruise passengers relax on chairs at the beach during sunset with a calm ocean in front of them
a small boat anchors on shore while adventure travelers board on the Cape York and Arnhem Land australia small ship cruise
a pristine sea shell in the foreground with the ocean of cape york and arnhem land australia at sunset in the background
travelers explore a rocky shoreline at sunset on the Cape York and Arnhem Land small ship cruise
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Asia / Pacific Australia Cruise

Cape York & Arnhem Land

On this 12-day Cape York & Arnhem Land expedition of the remote Northern Australian coastline, cruise between Cairns and Darwin to experience traditions unchanged for centuries, sacred rock art and remote lands only permitted accessible by a fortunate few. Become immersed in the ancient indigenous cultures and prehistoric landscapes of Australia’s northern coastline on a voyage of discovery that takes you far off the beaten track in Arnhem Land to the very tip of Australia at Cape York and into the Torres Strait. This journey follows in the wake of Captain James Cook’s voyage of discovery into the communities and cultures of the people of this remarkable coast almost 250 years ago.

An anthropologic journey, this Australian small ship cruise explores the rich cultures of the Tiwi and the Torres Strait, where guests are warmly welcomed to the country. Journey into traditional lands from Cape York and into Yolngu territory in Arnhem Land. Learn and understand the song-lines and lore that shaped this ancient culture, and allow your expert guide to interpret ancient rock art. See how generations have passed on artistic traditions and how this important cultural legacy is being kept alive today at world renowned art centers in Gove, Maningrida and Elcho Island.

SCUBA dive (additional cost) with highly qualified, experienced and popular Dive Instructors who provide an outstanding service to all guests. Dive Instructors patiently guide those who have never dived before through a resort dive program and expertly guide certified open-water divers to quality dive sites. A comprehensive range of dive equipment, including wet suits, is provided.

Passage is aboard the 72-guest Coral Discoverer, featuring a uniquely Australian onboard atmosphere with stylish furnishings, considerable deck space and modern facilities. While exploring Australia’s northernmost territory, appreciate Coral Discoverer’s glass-bottom boat and Xplorer tender with a water-activity platform for easy entry into the water.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Australia cruises.



Itinerary

Cape York & Arnhem Land Itinerary

The 12-day Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Cairns, travels northbound to Cape York then westward to Darwin, Australia. 

Route map of Cape York Arnhem Land cruise in Australia.
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Day 1
Embark Cairns, Australia

Board for a 5:00pm departure. Meet and mingle with fellow guests and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Drinks Party.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

dinner

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Days 2 - 11
Exploration of Cape York & Arnhem Land

No two Cape York & Arnhem Land cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same, each expedition is crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Lizard Island

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland coast. Venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the sparkling white beach. An energetic guided walk leads to Cook’s Look—from this peak, Captain James Cook was able to sight a navigable passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMS Endeavour.

Cooktown

Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery.

Davie Reef & Flinders Group

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group, and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Forbes Island

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling from the pristine sandy beaches. Take a walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster.

Cape York & Thursday Island

Go ashore at the northenmost point of the Australian continent as the sun rises, and sip champagne to welcome the new day. Later, anchoring at Thursday Island, learn about the historic pearling fleet and the cultural differences between the Torres Strait and Aboriginal peoples. On the indigenous art themed expedition, visit the art centres at Badu or Moa Islands.

The Gulf of Carpentaria (aboard Coral Discoverer)

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea, with time to attend informative presentations by guest lecturers.

Wessel Islands

Travel through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the Hole in the Wall. The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome you to their community. Gain insight into their culture and meet some of the local artists who have exhibited at art galleries around the world.

Liverpool River & Maningrida

Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Center, museum, and the local boutique, where hand-painted textiles are able to be purchased.

Cobourg Peninsula

Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join Park Rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.

Tiwi Islands

Visit remote Bathurst Island. With local Tiwi guides, learn about the unique culture and visit the art center. Be welcomed with a cultural performance and basket-weaving exhibition before enjoying a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Darwin, Australia

Arrive into Darwin (the capital of the Northern Territory and gateway to the Top End) and disembark at 8:30am. Take an included transfer to the city or airport.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals onboard; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits plus a free scuba skills lesson.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, internet charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance; scuba diving.

Payment & Cancellation

Prices are based on exchange rates from the Australian Dollar. Pricing may vary based on the exchange rate, and will be calculated at the time of final payment. AdventureSmith’s USD conversion rates are based on the market conversion rate plus a 1% banking conversion fee of total invoiced amount. Please contact AdventureSmith for current pricing.

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. A $200 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is a $500 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Cape York & Arnhem Land Cruise begins in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS), and ends in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (DRW). Plan flights to arrive to Cairns in time for a 4:00pm boarding and 5:00pm departure on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Darwin following the 8:30am disembarkation on day 12.

We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Arrival and departure times vary for alternative itineraries; inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours. Scuba diving is offered at an additional cost.

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate; ask your Adventure Smith Specialist for details. Bookings made via the solo use rate are confirmed, with the option to request a cabin share; share requests made without a solo use rate booking are not guaranteed unless a match is found, accepted by both travelers and confirmed by the reservations team.

If you would like to share accommodation with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to take your details and try to connect you with a suitable match. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate if a match is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Reverse Cape York & Arnhem Land Itinerary

The 12-day Reverse Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Darwin, travels westward around Cape York then southbound to Cairns, Australia. 

Route map of Cape York Arnhem Land cruise in Australia.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Darwin, Australia

Board the ship at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 7:00am ahead of an 8:00am departure.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 11
Exploration of Cape York & Arnhem Land

No two Cape York & Arnhem Land cruises with Coral Expeditions will be the same, each expedition is crafted by our experienced Masters and Expedition Leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Tiwi Islands

Visit remote Bathurst Island. With local Tiwi guides, learn about the unique culture and visit the art center. Be welcomed with a cultural performance and basket-weaving exhibition before enjoying a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea.

Cobourg Peninsula

Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join Park Rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.

Liverpool River & Maningrida

Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Center, museum, and the local boutique, where hand-painted textiles are able to be purchased.

Cobourg Peninsula

Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join Park Rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.

Elcho Island: Galiwin’ku & Gawa

The friendly locals of Elcho Island proudly welcome us to their community this morning. Meet some of the local artists who have their unique art exhibited in the famous art galleries of the world including the Louvre. In the afternoon, visit the community and school of Gawa.

Hole in the Wall & Wessel Islands

The ship travels through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the Hole in the Wall.

Nhulunbuy (Gove) & Horn Island

Join the expedition leader to discover this frontier town of Nhulunbuy and experience local culture, industry and history. After lunch, visit the renowned Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Center at Yirrkala.

Thursday Island

Tour Thursday Island, and learn of the history of European settlement and the large pearling fleets. Following a short cruise to Cape York, travel ashore and enjoy the sunset and champagne at the tip of Australia.

Northernmost Point of Cape York

Go ashore at the northernmost point of the Australian continent and sip champagne to celebrate this special moment while the sun rises.

Forbes Island

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling from the pristine sandy beaches. Take a walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster.

Davie Reef & Flinders Group

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Lizard Island

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland coast. Venture into the crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the sparkling white beach. An energetic guided walk leads to Cook’s Look—from this peak, Captain James Cook was able to sight a navigable passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMS Endeavour.

Cooktown

Visit historic Cooktown where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Disembark Cairns, Australia

Arrive in Cairns and disembark at 8:00am.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals onboard; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits plus a free scuba skills lesson. Charter flight and hotel nights as indicated in itinerary aboard Coral Expeditions I.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone, internet charges, laundry, bar charges, travel insurance; scuba diving.

Payment & Cancellation

Prices are based on exchange rates from the Australian Dollar. Pricing may vary based on the exchange rate, and will be calculated at the time of final payment. AdventureSmith’s USD conversion rates are based on the market conversion rate plus a 1% banking conversion fee of total invoiced amount. Please contact AdventureSmith for current pricing.

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. A $200 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is a $500 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Reverse Cape York & Arnhem Land Cruise begins in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (DRW), and ends in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS). Plan flights to arrive to Darwin in time for a 7:00am boarding and 8:00am departure on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Cairns following the 8:00am disembarkation on day 12.

We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Arrival and departure times vary for alternative itineraries; inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

For Coral Expeditions I departures, a mid-itinerary charter flight between Gove and Horn Island is included in the trip price, as well as two hotel nights ashore. There is a strict luggage limit of 15 lbs (7 kg) for a small overnight bag on the charter flight; main luggage will remain on board while the ship relocates between Gove and Horn Island. There is no option to pay for additional luggage. Hotel nights ashore are at the Walkabout Lodge in Gove and the Gateway Torres Strait Resort on Horn Island.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours. Scuba diving is offered at an additional cost.

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate; ask your Adventure Smith Specialist for details. Bookings made via the solo use rate are confirmed, with the option to request a cabin share; share requests made without a solo use rate booking are not guaranteed unless a match is found, accepted by both travelers and confirmed by the reservations team.

If you would like to share accommodation with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to take your details and try to connect you with a suitable match. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate if a match is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Listed prices for this trip are based on foreign currency exchange rates and may vary. USD pricing will be calculated at the time of final payment based on the market conversion rate plus a 1% banking conversion fee of total invoiced amount. Please contact AdventureSmith for current pricing.

Sep 30 - Oct 11, 2020
Coral Discoverer • 12 days
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From $7815USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Coral Discoverer

The 72-guest Coral Discoverer has set a benchmark standard for luxury small ship cruising in Australia and the South Pacific.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Cape York & Arnhem Land

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