Media Release: Friady 21 April 2023
Solar Eclipse shines on Coral Expeditions
Three vessels in place to experience Hybrid Eclipse in totality at sea
Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneer cruise line, yesterday hosted 320 guests from around the globe to experience the hybrid solar eclipse from onboard its fleet of three small expedition ships. The fleet were positioned at sea in three unique settings along the line of totality in Australia’s Northwest and has been blessed with ideal weather conditions to enjoy this rare natural and celestial phenomenon.
“This adventure been the culmination of almost 4 years of planning and preparations across the team and with our travel partners” said Commercial Director Jeff Gillies about the event. “The experience has been worth the wait for those enthusiastic eclipse chasers who were rewarded with clear skies and ideal conditions in some of the world’s most pristine natural places”.
The signature 12-night solar eclipse voyage was hosted onboard the Coral Adventurer with 120 guests who are loyal past passengers of Coral Expeditions “Xplorer’s Club”. This voyage was delivered in partnership with Australian Geographic and hosted several special guest lecturers onboard including renowned Astronomer at Large, Professor Fred Watson and award-winning nature photographer, Scott Portelli. The guests enjoyed the eclipse viewing from the remote Scott Reef marine reserve with guests able to come ashore at Sandy Islet.
Fred Watson said, “We experienced 75 seconds in the shadow of the moon thanks to the brilliant captain and crew who couldn’t do enough to ensure that all guests had a truly awesome eclipse – viewed under the best possible conditions.”
The expedition leaders reflected on the event as follows; “It was and exhilarating and emotional day for all. Our position was ideal in the protected Scott Reef area and with the idyllic Sandy Islet offering guests a private cay as a natural viewing platform. The lagoon was brimming with seabirds and flying fish on our approach the anticipation was palpable from guests armed with tripods, telescopic lens, and champagne at the ready. As the eclipse washed over us there was a feeling of awe and excitement with screams of delight. The skies darkened and we could see stars and then at the point of totality, the flare around the eclipse lit up like a ring of distant fire. The nature reacted around us in a state of confusion. When all was over, champagne flutes were filled and we fell back into the clear water of the shallows to soak it all in with huge smiles on our faces”.
The Coral Discoverer was in position at Ah Chong Island in the Montebello group off the coast of Karratha in Western Australia. Onboard were 70 guests on a charter organised in conjunction with the US based NASA Astronomical Society.
The Coral Geographer enjoyed the eclipse at sea near remote Seringapatam Reef with 120 US charter guests who are on a 14-night Wilderness Travel expedition exploring the wonders of Australia’s Kimberley Coast and the Islands of Indonesia.
“All guests on board were thrilled with the experience and relaxed last night enjoying post eclipse celebration events onboard as part of this unique experience” said Master Matt Fryer. “They are all excited to start planning for the next eclipse event in Australia in 2028”.
To see a gallery of eclipse day images from across the fleet click here.
To register interest in 2028 Eclipse expeditions please contact our team at [email protected].
For media or group sales enquiries please contact:
Jeff Gillies | Commercial Director
0418 415 581.
About Coral Expeditions
Recognised as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator, Coral Expeditions is Australia’s pioneering cruise line offering a unique style of immersive expeditions. Starting with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, 40 years later the fleet has grown to a purpose-built ocean-going fleet featuring the intimate Coral Discoverer and the advanced flagship vessels Coral Adventurer and sister ship Coral Geographer. All ships feature the company’s trademark complement of multiple zodiacs and ‘Xplorer’ safari tender boats that take guests to shore quickly and comfortably. Headquartered in Cairns, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley, Tasmania’s wilderness coast, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to the small islands of Japan, New Guinea, Indonesia and the Indian Ocean.