Media Release: Thursday 3 March 2022


Coral Expeditions releases ‘Small Islands of the World’

Coral Expeditions announces five voyage Indian Ocean series kicking off its 2022/2023 international sailings


Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering small ship cruise line, today released their 2022 and 2023 expedition schedule including a return to their Small Islands of the World series. The season is headlined by five epic new voyages that see Coral Geographer sail from Australia all the way across the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean to the fabled isles at the edge of Africa – Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and Zanzibar.

Coral Expeditions led the return to operations for the cruise industry in Australia through 2020 and 2021 with the implementation of their SailSAFE health protocols at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company have operated over 100 successful domestic voyages since October 2020. Now, with greater confidence, improved global health protocols and the re-opening of borders, Coral Expeditions is once again returning to international voyages. The release of these voyages features some favoured destinations such as New Zealand and the Spice Islands along with new adventures.

With their unique ecosystems and evocative histories, the remote small islands that are scattered through the world’s great oceans have always fascinated the team at Coral Expeditions. Coral Geographer will sail around the world, calling on the most fascinating of these islands.  For the inaugural Indian Ocean leg of this series, she will sail from Fremantle to Sulawesi and Borneo, westwards for an overland safari excursion in Sri Lanka, three glorious days snorkelling and diving in the Maldives, an extended exploration of the ancient trade gateways of Mauritius and Zanzibar, and the unique natural environs of Madagascar and the Seychelles.

‘This is a much-anticipated milestone for our guests and crew,’ says Coral Expeditions Commercial Director, Jeff Gillies, ‘we are eager to resume our adventures beyond the shores of Australia and to realise the exploration potential of our new blue water fleet.  The legendary islands of East Africa stand witness to the ravages of trade, war and climate change over millennia.  They are best explored by small ship.  We have many loyal guests and trade partners who have been patiently awaiting this news and a substantial portion of the berths on these voyages are already spoken for including many joining for the entirety of the series.’

The following content details Coral Expeditions’ new international voyage series.


Small Islands of the Indian Ocean | 5 voyage series | Jan to Mar 2023

Be a part of Coral Expeditions history as we sail from home shores of Australia all the way to the edge of Africa, through Sulawesi and Borneo, across the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean through Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and the Seychelles and arriving at the legendary isles off Africa’s eastern seaboard: Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius, and Zanzibar.  Enjoy a dusk safari at Yala National Park in Sri Lanka with a chance to spot elephants and leopards, beachcomb at ‘the world’s most beautiful beach’ at the island of La Digue, stroll through the fabled bazaars of Zanzibar, sample traditional Creole cuisine at Reunion, and gaze up at giant trees at the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar.

To South Sulawesi & Borneo for Christmas | Broome –Singapore | 17 Nights > Departing 13 Dec ‘22
Island Traditions to the Edge of Africa | Singapore – Seychelles | 25 Nights > Departing 8 Jan ‘23
The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion | Seychelles –Mauritius | 15 Nights > Departing 3 Feb ‘23
Africa’s Frontier Islands | Mauritius – Zanzibar | 17 Nights > Departs 19 Feb ‘23
A Navigation Voyage: Across the Indian Ocean | Zanzibar – Fremantle | 19 Nights > Departs 8 Mar ‘23

Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands | 2 voyage series | Mar to Apr 2023

Retrace the ancient trade routes of spice merchants and explore some of the 1,500 rarely visited pristine islands of Raja Ampat harbouring over 75% of the world’s coral and fish species. Snorkel and dive in the tranquil waters amongst the majestic Whale Sharks of Cenderawasih Bay. Experience cultural traditions through visits to vibrant villages and encounter diverse flora and fauna both above and below the water. Steeped in colourful history, discover the destinations where nature takes centre stage and cultural adventures abound.

Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands | Darwin – Biak | 13 Nights > Departing 19 Mar ‘23
Raja Ampat & the Spice Islands | Biak – Darwin | 13 Nights > Departing 1 Apr ‘23

New Zealand’s Fiordlands, East Coast and Subantarctic Islands | Dec to Jan 2022/2023

New Zealand’s 15,000 km of meandering coastline make it uniquely suited to small ship expedition cruising. Coral Adventurer takes you deep into the intriguing history, vibrant culture and rare wildlife of South Island. Journey to remote locations including Marlborough Sounds and Fiordland and the charming towns of Napier, Kaikoura and Dunedin. Gaze at dramatic mountain scenery cruising along inlets, hike through Waimangu Valley, admire lazing seals, pods of friendly dolphins and perhaps even the rare yellow-eyed penguin.

New Zealand’s East Coast | Auckland – Milford Sound | 12 Nights > Departing 7 Jan ’23 & 23 Dec ‘23
Fiordland & The South Coast | Milford Sound – Wellington | 8 Nights > Departing 19 Jan ‘23
Expedition to the Albatross Latitudes | Milford Sound – Wellington | 16 Nights > Departing 4 Jan ‘24
Fiordland, Hautere & The South Coast | Wellington – Bluff | 10 Nights > Departing 21 Jan ‘24

Papua New Guinea and the Melanesian Islands | 4 voyage series | Nov 2023 – Feb 2024

Experience a place of diverse cultures and striking natural beauty, where the limestone karsts of Raja Ampat are fringed by vibrant coral gardens and volcanic spires rise from the ocean in the Bismarck Archipelago. Voyage into the rarely seen Louisiade Archipelago where palm-swathed islands lassoed by stunning silica beaches are strung across the Solomon Sea. Along the way, discover ancient tales of navigating sea peoples, discover the diversity of tribal cultures with an intriguing vault of ancestral traditions and be warmly welcomed by locals. Be led by expert guides with deep connections to the people and culture of the region.

Forgotten Islands of Papua New Guinea | Kavieng – Cairns | 12 Nights > Departing 4 Dec ‘23
Frontier Lands of Papua New Guinea | Cairns – Madang | 12 Nights > Departing 17 Dec ‘23
Frontier Lands of Papua New Guinea | Madang – Cairns | 12 Nights > Departing 29 Dec ‘23
New Guinea Circumnavigation | Darwin – Darwin | 35 Nights > Departing 11 Jan ‘24

Small Islands of Japan and the Philippines | 5 voyage series | Aug to Nov 2023

Sail north from Darwin through the exotic Spice Islands, the historic Micronesian islands of Palau, Guam and the historic outposts of Saipan and Iwo Jima. Follow the fascinating small islands through the Ryukyu arc before disembarking at Tokyo. Along the way, enjoy guided nature treks in remote UNESCO World Heritage sites including mountainous Ogasawa, the “Galapagos of Asia”, traverse the vine bridges in remote Iya valley, walk amongst cedar forests at Yakusagai and explore ancient lava tubes at Jeju Island. Sail past remote active volcanic islands and discover rare seabird nesting habitats accompanied at sea by migrating whales, playful dolphins and giant green sea turtles.


West Papua, Raja Ampat & Micronesia | Darwin – Guam | 16 Nights > Departing 22 Aug ‘23
Journey to Japan | Guam – Tokyo | 14 Nights > Departing 8 Sept ‘23
Through the Heart of Japan | Tokyo – Nagasaki | 14 Nights > Departing 23 Sept ‘23
Through Japan’s Ryukyu Islands | Nagasaki – Keelung | 16 Nights > Departing 7 Oct ‘23
Island Trails of the Philippines | Keelung – Manila | 16 Nights > Departing 24 Oct ‘23
Through the Islands and Atolls of Micronesia | Manila – Kavieng | 25 Nights > Departing 9 Nov ‘23


Find accompanying imagery HERE
For more information about the SailSAFE Plan, click HERE

For media enquiries please contact

Jeff Gillies | Commercial Director
[email protected]
0418 415 581.

About Coral Expeditions

Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, has built its reputation with a unique style of immersive expedition cruising focused on nature and cultures. Starting with a single catamaran offering environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef nearly four decades ago, the fleet now consists of 3 purpose-built blue water expedition ships – the intimate 72 guest Coral Discoverer and the 120 guest flagships Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer. Each ship is designed specially to take guests to remote locations that large cruise ships simply cannot access. With shallow drafts, multiple Zodiacs, and signature ‘Xplorer’ safari boats launched from a hydraulic platform, guests can expect daily village visits, river expeditions or beach landings. An expert expedition team providing interpretive commentary, and the warm Australian hospitality onboard make for a very different cruise experience. Headquartered in Cairns, Australia, Coral Expeditions sails the outer Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley coast, Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to the small Islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Coral Expeditions’ industry leading SailSAFE program forged a pathway back to operation since October 2020 and has seen our three ships complete over 100 expeditions around Australia’s wilderness coastlines.

Find freedom in the farthest reaches with Coral Expeditions.