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Captured on expedition by Quentin Chester at Gugari Rip

Cape York & Arnhem Land

Cairns to Darwin11 nightsAll InclusiveFrom $13,480.00* PP

Our expedition across the Tip of Australia offers an immersion into the diverse and ancient Indigenous cultures of remote Cape York, Arnhem Land and the Torres Strait Islands. On this small ship voyage into prehistoric landscapes, learn about the song-lines and lore that shaped these ancient cultures, allowing your expert guides to interpret your surroundings including the world’s oldest rock art that shows depictions of extinct animals and tells the stories of seafarers long before British colonisation. You will learn how generations have passed down artistic traditions, and how this important cultural legacy is flourishing at world-renown art centres in Yirrkala and Nhulunbuy. Watch Elders share their story through art at Maningrida before sailing to secluded Lizard Island where you will snorkel in azure waters over giant clam gardens and stroll over the white sand beaches of Watsons Bay before taking a tour of Australia Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station, globally recognised as a world-leading research facility on the Great Barrier Reef. The Cape York and Arnhem Land expedition is a fascinating tapestry that immerses keen explorers in the very best of Australia’s northern coastline.

  • Be immersed in the world’s oldest surviving culture in Arnhem Land
  • Spend a full day exploring the rugged Cobourg Peninsula for historical ruins and fascinating wildlife
  • With a local guide, visit the remote and culturally rich Tiwi Islands
  • Learn about Indigenous art at Elcho Island and Maningrida Art Centres
  • Stand on the very tip of Australia at Cape York for a champagne sunset
  • Visit Thursday Island and learn about the cultures of the Torres Strait
  • Explore Lizard Island and the northern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Discover the Arnhem Land coast, once the trading ground of the Makassan people



Cairns wharf departure port

Board Coral Discoverer at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.  Enjoy dinner on board and a chance to meet your fellow travellers as we set sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew as we enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast, and venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling or take a walk along the white sand beach.  The more energetic may join our guides on a walk to ‘Cook’s Look’ on the island’s peak and the highest lookout on this part of the reef.  From this high point, Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the HMB Endeavour near Cooktown over 250 years ago. A photographer’s delight, the views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent. Later, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the lagoon.

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores, and hear stories from a traditional owner of the Yiithuwarra people. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkelling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkelling from the pristine sandy beaches. Take a walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster. This tiny island has few human visitors so wildlife is prolific.

Northern Australia Coral Expeditions Cape York

Set foot on the northernmost point of Australia – the tip of Cape York. Celebrate with a glass of sparkling at this iconic location as you watch the sunest over the Gulf of Carpentaria. We will also visit historical sites at Somerset, Possession Island and Albany Island.

The Torres Strait is home to 200 strikingly beautiful islands, however only 17 are inhabited. Have the privilege of spending 1-2 days exploring this remote region. At Thursday Island embark on a coach tour to view the many sites of this historic and culturally diverse island. Disembark at the Japanese Pearl Divers Memorial, and at the monument to Bernard Namok Senior who designed the Torres Strait Islands Flag. Visit and purchase art from renowned art centres and view exciting cultural performances. We may also visit another island in the Torres Strait, such as Badu or Hammond Island, subject to approval by the local communities/councils.


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


We 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 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.

Travel ashore to explore the Djomi museum and the Babbarra Women’s Centre. Maningrida is home to a remarkable art centre and this is a unique opportunity to purchase sought-after Indigenous artworks and textiles directly from the community.

Cobourg Peninsula

The Garig Gunak Barlu National Park is a pristine wilderness. Now it is virtually uninhabited and here we will explore the ruins of historic Fort Victoria and hear the stories of the failed settlement. On a nature walk, learn about bush tukka plants and look for monitor lizards and crocodiles.

Coral Expeditions tiwi islands

Be welcomed to the Tiwi Islands with a smoking ceremony, dancing and an afternoon tea of home-made damper and billy tea. With local Tiwi guides, learn about the unique Tiwi culture and visit the art centre. Enjoy a cultural performance and painting or basket-weaving demonstration before enjoying a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea.

Arrive and disembark at Darwin’s Fort Hill Wharf at 08:30am. Post cruise transfers to CBD hotels or the airport are included. If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day enjoying the tropical city of Darwin with its landscaped waterfront and harbourside Wave Pool.

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 Stateroom

Private Balcony - 20m2

Fully Booked

Promenade Deck (Category A)

Picture Window - 18m2

1 Available

Promenade Deck (Category B)

Picture Window - 15m2

1 Available

Main Deck (Category A)

Rectangle Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked

Main Deck (Category B)

Porthole Windows - 18m2

Fully Booked
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 equipment
  • 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
  • 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
Our Crew

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