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Abrolhos Islands and The Coral Coast

Departs Broome & Fremantle12 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $10,240.00* PP

This expedition explores Western Australia’s wild and largely untouched coast, with its contrasting coastal palette of rich red sands and turquoise sea.  With a fascinating maritime and Indigenous history – from the Malgana people of Shark Bay to the exploratory journeys of William Dampier, Dirk Hartog, Baudin and Freycinet – this region is layered with stories. The natural coastal reserves harbour an abundance of birdlife and fascinating marine species. Our guides will help guests explore the renowned Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Shark Bay World Heritage Area, Ningaloo Reef, Cape Range National Park, Montebello Islands, Muiron Islands and Dampier Archipelago.

  • Explore the islands, reefs and remote coastlines of the Western Australia
  • Visit the plinth which marks ground zero at the Montebello islands, a site for atomic bomb testing in the 1950s. Now it is a haven for wildlife including the rufous hare wallaby
  • See the marine wonders of Ningaloo Marine Park, in the waters of the Leeuwin current – at the Muiron Islands and Turquoise Bay
  • Explore World Heritage Shark Bay – where the temperate climate of the south meets the desert climate of the north, resulting in unique and abundant wildlife ashore and under the water. Walk the Wanamalu Trail at Cape Peron and cruise past historic Cape Inscription
  • Discover the fascinating history of the Abrolhos islands, swim with friendly sea lions and snorkel over beautiful reefs
  • Learn about the coast’s fascinating maritime history – the wrecks of the Barque Stefano (Exmouth area), the Tryall (Montebellos), and the Batavia (1629 – Abrolhos)


The following itinerary shows departing Broome and arriving Fremantle. For the opposite direction, the itinerary is in reverse. 

Broome Departures: Make your way to your advised SailSAFE check-in location at 3:00pm before your transfer to the ship for boarding at 4:00pm. There will be time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Check-in location details will be provided in guest pre-departure documentation.

Fremantle Departures: Make your way to your advised SailSAFE check-in location at 7:00am before your transfer to the ship for boarding at 8:00am. There will be time to settle into your stateroom before our departure. Check-in location details will be provided in guest pre-departure documentation.

Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard.  As dusk falls join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

Relax on deck as we spend a day at sea, with onboard presentations from our Guest Lecturers, workshops, and demonstrations.

Dampier Peninsula

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. 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 after 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 the thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area.

There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for swimming and kayaking. 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. **Please note viewing of aboriginal petroglyphs is subject to approval and guidance by traditional owners of the area, and cannot be guaranteed**

Rufous Hare Wallaby at Montebello

The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara.  Much delight for the birdwatchers among us, 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 Oystercatchers.

The Montes have an ‘explosive’ past. Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the sites of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today. We will visit the plinth, which marks Ground Zero at Trimouille Island, where now you will find a haven for wildlife, including the rufous hare wallaby.

A fascinating maritime history surrounds Montebello Islands. Survivors of the British East India ship “Tryall” swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, therefore being the first Europeans to land on the islands.

We will spend a full day exploring this island group, including wildlife spotting opportunities and beautiful beach walks. Keep watch for the rare rufous hare wallaby and lagoon rays while exploring amazing vistas.

Muiron Island

The Muiron Islands are located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape. The Islands are well known for their incredible reef, colourful soft corals, an abundance of turtles, schools of fish and even sightings of manta rays! A variety of dive sites are on offer at this destination, 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. Birdlife is abundant onshore – see if you can spot wedge-tail shearwaters, roseate terns, osprey, and black-shouldered kites (just to name a few).

Serrurier Island is located a further 20 nautical miles northeast of the Muirons. Here you will experience great coral competition and seagrass beds that feed the local dugongs.

The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5,000 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.

After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.


One of the longest and most pristine fringing reefs in the world, Ningaloo Reef has an unusually narrow continental shelf. The deep oceanic waters, reef and coastline communities are close in proximity, resulting in a huge array of significant and healthy marine life coexisting in one area.  The Ningaloo Coast is also one of the most important turtle nesting rookeries in the Indian Ocean, with a significant maritime history from explorers, traders, pearl luggers, whaling and fishing.

Spend the day at Cape Range National Park with options to snorkel at Turquoise Bay, visit Yardie Creek via a 1.2km Nature Walk, head up to the Vlamingh Head lighthouse or visit the Ningaloo Centre. There will also be some free time to explore Exmouth.

Muiron Island 2

The remote and well-hidden Bateman’s Bay, just north of Coral Bay, is a much more remote and untouched landscape in comparison with beautiful sand beaches.

Weather permitting we will make a short landing on the remote Ningaloo coast between Northwest Cape and Shark Bay, for a swim and a beach comb.

Shark Bay, Western Australia

Explore the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, the first location in Western Australia to receive UNESCO World Heritage status in 1991. This is a region of colourful landscapes, rare flora and fauna, and home to a staggering 35% of all of Australia’s bird species. Explore Francois Peron National Park, named after the naturalist on explorer Nicholas Baudin’s expeditions.

Cruise past historic Cape Inscription, the site of Dirk Hartog’s landing in 1616, and time permitting enjoy a refreshing swim off the sandy remote beach.

Caspian Terns - Wallabi Group

The Abrolhos Islands consist of 122 islands, clustered into three main groups, the Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert Groups. Lying in the steam of the southward flowing Leeuwin current, the marine environment here is a meeting place for tropical and temperate sea life. Common marine mammals include Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins, and over 90 species of seabird have been identified. The treacherous reefs around these islands have claimed many wrecks over the centuries, the most famous being the Batavia in 1629 – whose Dutch crew swam ashore only to experience a brutal mutiny.

The Abrolhos islands offer a near-pristine natural environment with a diverse range of marine and terrestrial fauna and flora. This area also offers a rich history including shipwrecks and remnants of early colonial industries such as guano mining and commercial fishing.

We will spend three days exploring this area, visiting all three main groups: Pelsaert (Southern), Easter Group & the Wallabi Group.

A broad range of activities will be available across these three days including visiting historical sites, wildlife viewing and world-class diving and snorkelling sites. The Australian sea lions love to swim and play with snorkelers and divers here.

Today we will enjoy the chance to snorkel off picturesque Turtle Bay, and take a short walk along the beach where you may see Tamar Wallabies, skinks, and the endemic Abrolhos Dwarf Bearded Dragons.

Cruise past the Pidgeon islands, the wealthiest of the crayfishing islands. Birdwatch for Ospreys, White-Bellied sea eagles and Caspian Terns amongst other birdlife.

Conditions permitting, visit Beacon Island, also known as the Island of Angry Ghosts, where 126 men, women and children were massacred by the blood thirsty mutineers of this area over 400 years ago. Home to fantastic bird life, as well as the Batavia Memorial cairn and the coral pits are still evident from where Jeronimus Cornelisz (the mutiny ring leader) was held prior to his trial and execution.

Easter Group - Sea Lion

At the Easter Group we will have the opportunity to visit the Sea Lion colony at Little Sandy Island, home to the largest colony of Sea Lions in the Abrolhos.

Later, snorkel the vibrant coral reefs at locations such as Squid Hole, the Anemone Lump or Morley Island. Also enjoy the opportunity to bird watch at Wooded Island.

Activities will be subject to weather and tides as this area is known to be very tidal and windy.

Post Office Island - Pelsaert Group

At the Pelsaert (Southern) group we will have the opportunity to visit Liddon Pearl Farm and Crayfishing operations on Post Office Island. Here we learn what is involved with growing the pearls, learning the different shells and pearl categories, and how the different types of pearls are set. We will also have insights into the renowned cray fishing industry of the island, from the family who has been in the Abrolhos for 4 generations. Later is the opportunity to snorkel the blue holes from the jetty.

If weather conditions allow, this morning we will enjoy snorkelling at one of the Pelsaert groups outer reefs before a relaxing day at Sea cruising to Fremantle. This evening, celebrate the end of your voyage with your fellow passengers and crew at the Captain’s Farewell drinks.

Arrive in Fremantle at 7:30am for an 8:00am disembarkation.

For reverse direction: Arrive in Broome for an 8:00am disembarkation.

This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions, and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel. Coral Expeditions suggests that you do not arrive on the day of embarkation or depart on the day of disembarkation due to any changes that may occur in scheduling.

Fares & Availability


Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

Fully Booked

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

Fully Booked
Join the Waitlist

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

Private Balcony - 55.8m2

Fully Booked

Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

Fully Booked

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

Private Balcony - 21.4m2

11 Available

Promenade Deck Stateroom

Picture Window - 17m2

3 Available

Coral Deck Stateroom

Porthole Window - 17m2

1 Available
Book this Departure

Prices are per person twin share, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST.  Booking Terms & Conditions >
For solo traveller rates see our Solo Traveller Program >

Additional Information


  • All excursions with our Expedition Team
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA equipment (SCUBA diving at an additional cost)
  • Daily lectures and briefings with Guest Lecturers
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Captain’s welcome and farewell events, and open bridge access
  • Selected wines, selected beers and house spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • 24-hour barista-style coffee and tea station
  • All entrance fees to National Parks, ports, traditional owner fees and charges imposed by governing authorities
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Use of all onboard facilities, incl. a reference library
  • Your expedition photos captured during the voyage
  • Post-cruise transfers
  • Wifi Access – Standard speed connectivity enabling email, social image sharing, web browsing and messaging

Not Included:

  • Pre-cruise transfers
  • Pre and post cruise flights/charter flights
  • Pre and post cruise accommodation
  • Travel Insurance
  • SCUBA Diving (view Scuba diving rates)
  • Entry visas & travel permits for the country you are traveling to/from
  • Alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) outside of lunch and dinner service
  • Laundry service (available at a cost)
  • Items of a personal nature such souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras (in some destinations)
More Information -Abrolhos

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