Coral Adventurer’s Dry Dock

Coral Adventurer completes her third-year intermediate docking in Fremantle as we gear up for the Kimberley season.

Under the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) regime for ships, there are various safety and equipment certificates issued for a period of five years, subject to periodical surveys. In the second or third year of a ship’s lifetime, one of these periodic surveys required is called an ‘intermediate survey’. This survey takes a deep dive into a ships’ safety equipment, firefighting gear, hull, machinery, radio equipment and everything that makes a ship a ship. As Coral Adventurer was launched in 2019, the 11th of March 2022 marked the start of her third-year docking and first intermediate survey.

Coral Adventurer was out of the water in dry dock for 10 days out of the 14 day survey period. To get a ship of this size out of the water, there is a specially designed wharf with over 20 purpose-built winches. The wharf gets submerged and the vessel is moved into position. There are pre-laid blocks arranged on the wharf in very specific positions aligning with the ship’s frames to prevent buckling. The Master and Chief Engineer calculate all weights onboard to be evenly distributed ready for lift. Then Coral Adventurer is slowly winched out of the water and placed onto tracks to be brought forward into the shipyard. Once Coral Adventurer was in dry dock, there was scaffolding set up into the pilot boarding station where we had a Rapid Antigen Test station set up in line with our COVID safe management plan for anyone coming onto the vessel. We also took this opportunity to take a larger scale survey of the ship’s hull, below the waterline, tanks, valves open to the sea, engines, navigational equipment and a re-fit of the passenger spaces.

‘The docking had its challenges, with the volume of work to be done and the COVID environment in Western Australia forcing a shortage of labor. However with an excellent team, both onboard and ashore, we worked through it successfully. This docking solidified Coral Expeditions as having the finest Australian registered passenger ships and laid the foundations of relationships with strong new partners SilverStar Marine and CavPower who will work with us into the future. The crew all did an outstanding job, and Coral Adventurer came out of the dock with full certification from AMSA and DNV, ensuring a safe, secure and efficient vessel ready for the season ahead.’

James Toutounji, Fleet Operations Manager



During routine maintenance, we identified that the engines had scope for us to do some high-level optimisations that have reduced emissions, so the vessel is running a lot cleaner and more efficient for the Kimberley season, with a lot less fuel usage. We partnered with a Caterpillar servicing provider CavPower in Adelaide who sent over four technicians to live onboard with the crew during this time and work on the engines. The Saltwater Cooling of #3 Main Engine through a series of ground pumping apparatus proved challenging at times. Ensuring that enough cooling was imperative to the operation. All systems were required to operate during this time. With both #1 and #2 CAT Diesel Engines dismantled and being rebuilt by the CAT Specialists.


We went through all of the cabins from top to bottom making sure they are in top shape. Lots of work went into public guest areas like the dining room, polishing the tables and marble. We added some new fittings and fasteners for a refresh. Everything is sparkling for the Kimberley season!


The full ship’s husbandry was serviced, with chipping and painting throughout all the decks. The hull sides were painted, Xplorer platforms and cradles had maintenance work, and the Xplorers themselves also had a structural refit.


From the crew…


‘Being somewhat new to the maritime industry, the dry dock was a foreign concept to me. Witnessing a ship of this size being taken out of the water and the man-hours taken to get it back in top shape has given me a much greater respect for what makes a Coral Expedition ship deliver its final product to the guest. The upcoming Abrolhos Islands trip is going to be epic.’

– Jean-Louis Lebreux,
Expedition Crew





CA All Crew

‘What an amazing team! The dedication and workload that each and every crew member engaged in to orchestrate a successful dry dock was awesome and happy to be a part of the experience. Who would think that a ship could be lifted up out of the water and balanced on a lower case ‘t’ set of timber blocks 30 meters or so off the waterline for 10 days. Scrubbed tubbed and painted!’

– Dianne Allen,
Galley Assistant






‘The most impressive aspect was to be a part of a highly-skilled team taking ownership and working on such a large project with optimism, dedication, and fortitude. For me personally, I had the very special pleasure of working alongside our Fleet Operations Manager who also happens to be my Son. The CA Docking memories will always be special for me.’

– Frank Toutounji,
Trainee Engineer







Ready for the Kimberley Season

Coral Adventurer went back in the water on 21 March, loaded stores alongside in Fremantle, and departed on 23 March for her first Western Australia cruise of 2022.

Bon Voyage!