A Letter From Cairns
Dear friends of Coral Expeditions,
Covid-19 has caused enormous disruption to life around the world. This is also without a doubt the most challenging period in the 35 year history of our company.
But rather than wallow in misery, we would like to write to you today about the things we are grateful for.
We are grateful that our guests and crew are home safe. We were able to respond quickly to the emerging developments and call our ships (all Australian-flagged) back home. Coral Adventurer returned back to Darwin early from Sulawesi and all guests were seamlessly screened by the Australian Border force and made their onward journeys. Coral Discoverer steamed to Sydney from Tasmania and disembarked guests there at the end of her 7 day Tasmanian expedition. Coral Expeditions I was in Cairns and simply terminated her last Great Barrier Reef trip in port. Our ships are small and our guest numbers limited. We had no Covid-19 incidents on any of our ships. We regret that many guests had to re-arrange their travel plans and were inconvenienced, but we are happy that all are safe and healthy.
We are grateful that our ships are back home. All four of our ships are now safely berthed here in Cairns under our watchful eyes. They will continue to be maintained in top shape and ready for commencement of our expeditions when health and regulatory conditions permit.
We are grateful that our guests trust us. Owing to these developments, we have cancelled all departures up to May 31st. Though we have significant company cost commitments towards these trips we cannot avoid, we have applied 100% of guest payments as a 24 month credit towards a future Coral Expeditions voyage. Our guests have accepted this arrangement with grace and understanding. Once we have clarity on our sailing commencement date following government advice, we will re-publish our sailing calendar and you can choose a departure that suits you. Our reservations office will remain open as normal. We look forward to serving you onboard.
We are grateful to keep the Coral Expeditions family together. To see our fleet tied up idle in Cairns is a matter of some sadness and disbelief for us. We exist for a simple reason – to sail our vessels and take guests to far flung places. When our ships do not operate, many of our staff have no work. But thanks to our strong financial base, support from our Australian bank as well as the authorities, we will help as many of our staff as possible through these difficult times. Most of our salaried staff remain on the payroll. We will undertake a number of long-term projects while our ships remain idle. Remote working arrangements are in place. When we resume operations, we will bounce back stronger than ever.
Our company is a special one. Over the past 35 years, we have seen through SARS, the Global Financial Crisis, Swine Flu and assorted cyclones. As dark as the clouds are, there is a brighter day ahead. The allure of faraway places, remaining to be explored, will never dim. When the clouds lift, we will be here waiting to take you.
Pictured (Left to right): Perry, Jeff, Mark & Marcus