Australia travelers hike along the rocky, sandy top of an island at sunset with purple clouds above & blue sea below.
Woman traveler leans down to talk with a boy during a Cape York & Arnhem Land small ship cruise in northern Australia.
a small boat anchors on shore while adventure travelers board on the Cape York and Arnhem Land australia small ship cruise
Tropical brightly-colored fish swim amongst healthy reef in turquoise waters, seen on the Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise.
Man in dark cowboy hat, checkered shirt & jeans kneels down & smiles beneath indigenous rock art, seen in Arnhem Land.
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Asia / Pacific Australia Cruise

Cape York & Arnhem Land

On this 11- or 12-day Cape York-based expedition of the remote Northern Australian coastline, cruise between Cairns and either Horn Island or Darwin to experience traditions unchanged for centuries, sacred rock art and remote lands only permitted accessible by a fortunate few. Become immersed in the ancient indigenous cultures and prehistoric landscapes found along the northern reaches of Australia’s coastline. Land at the northernmost tip of Australia at Pajinka on Cape York for a champagne toast. Learn and understand the song-lines and lore that shaped this ancient culture, and allow your expert guide to interpret ancient rock art. This journey follows in the wake of Captain James Cook’s voyage of discovery into the communities and cultures of the people of this remarkable coast almost 250 years ago.

The 12-day Cape York & Arnhem Land itinerary (operating east- and westbound) features both northeastern and northern Australian coastline, visiting sites in both Queensland and the Northern Territories. This voyage of discovery takes you far off the beaten track with unique visits to Arnhem Land. An anthropologic journey, this Australian small ship cruise explores the rich cultures of the Tiwi and the Torres Strait, where guests are warmly welcomed to the country. Journey into traditional lands from Cape York and into Yolngu territory in Arnhem Land. See how generations have passed on artistic traditions and how this important cultural legacy is being kept alive today at world renowned art centers.

The 11-day Torres Strait and Cape York itinerary (operating north- and southbound) focuses on northeastern Australia’s Queensland coastline. Experience the vibrant art, culture and natural beauty of the Torres Strait Islands, including community visits of Badu and Moa Islands. Experience remote Osprey Reef, called an “oasis for living creatures of all kinds” by Sir David Attenborough. Snorkel remote reefs and bird-watch at Davie Cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Explore Lizard Island’s reefs and beaches and hike to historic Cook’s Look. Share time with local artists and purchase from the source in community art centers. And learn about Indigenous culture and maritime history at Cooktown and Restoration Island. Every 11-day departure offers the opportunity to SCUBA dive (additional cost) with highly qualified, experienced and popular Dive Instructors who provide an outstanding service to all guests. Dive Instructors patiently guide those who have never dived before through a resort dive program and expertly guide certified open-water divers to quality dive sites. A comprehensive range of dive equipment, including wetsuits, is provided.

Passage is aboard either the 72-guest Coral Discoverer or 120-guest Coral Adventurer, both expedition ships featuring a uniquely Australian onboard atmosphere with stylish furnishings, considerable deck space and modern facilities. While exploring Australia’s northernmost territory, appreciate your ship’s glass-bottom boat and Xplorer tender with a water-activity platform for easy entry into the water.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Australia cruises and Australia trips.



Itinerary

Cape York & Arnhem Land: Westbound Itinerary

The 12-day westbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Cairns, travels north to Cape York then west to Darwin, Australia. 

Route map of westbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise in Australia, operating between Darwin & Cairns with visits to Tiwi Islands, Cobourg Peninsula, Maningrida, Nhulunbuy (Gove) & the islands of Elcho, Wessel, Thursday, Forbes, Stanley & Lizard.
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Day 1
Embark Cairns, Australia

Board at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure. Meet and mingle with fellow guests and crew at the captain’s welcome drinks party.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

dinner

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Days 2 - 11
Exploration of Cape York & Arnhem Land

No two Cape York & Arnhem Land cruises are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Lizard Island

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland coast. Venture into the crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the sparkling white beach. An energetic guided walk leads to Cook’s Look—from this peak, Captain James Cook was able to sight a navigable passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMS Endeavour near Cooktown over 250 years ago. The views from the lookout over the reef and islands are magnificent. Later, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the lagoon.

Flinders Group & Davie Reef

Visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group and view the isolated Endaen Aboriginal rock art depicting the first sailing ships to visit Queensland shores. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Forbes Island

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling 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.

Tip of Cape York (Pajinka)

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 sunrise over the Gulf of Carpentaria. Later visit historical sites at Somerset, Possession Island and Albany Island.

Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands

The Torres Strait is home to 200 strikingly beautiful islands, however only 17 are inhabited. Spend three immersive days exploring this remote region, visiting Thursday Island, Badu and Moa Islands where the local communities will welcome you and share their distinctive culture. Purchase art and enjoy a local meal and exciting cultural performances. Thursday Island, or Waiben, is the hub of the Torres Strait and here one can learn of the region’s pearling history.

Cruising the Gulf of Carpentaria

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

Hole in the Wall & Wessel Islands

Travel through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the Hole in the Wall.

Elcho Island: Galiwin-ku & Gawa

Be welcomed by the friendly locals of Elcho Island 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.

Liverpool River & Maningrida

Anchor in the mighty Liverpool River and travel ashore to explore the Maningrida Art Center, museum, and the local boutique. Maningrida is home to a remarkable art center and this is a unique opportunity to purchase sought-after Indigenous artworks and textiles directly from the artists.

Cobourg Peninsula, Victoria Settlement

The Garig Gunak Barlu National Park is a pristine wilderness. Now it is virtually uninhabited, and here one can 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.

Tiwi Islands

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

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Darwin, Australia

Arrive into Darwin (the capital of the Northern Territory and gateway to the Top End) and disembark at 8:30am. Complimentary post-cruise transfer to a central business district hotel, or airport, following disembarkation.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals on board; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits; standard WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone charges, WiFi upgrades, laundry, bar charges and travel insurance.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. An AUD200.00 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is an AUD500.00 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The westbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS), and ends in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (DRW). Plan flights to arrive to Cairns in time for a 4:00pm boarding and 5:00pm departure on Day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Darwin following the 8:30am disembarkation on the final day. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours.

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate in the Promenade Deck B category. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

As a condition of travel, guests must provide evidence of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR complete a credit card authorization form for expenses incurred during a medical evacuation. Proof of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR a completed authorization form must be provided prior to boarding.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Cape York & Arnhem Land: Eastbound Itinerary

The 12-day eastbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Darwin, travels east to Cape York then south to Cairns, Australia. 

Route map of eastbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise in Australia, operating between Cairns & Darwin with visits to Cooktown, Lizard Island, Bremer Island, Hole in the Wall & Cobourg Peninsula.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Darwin, Australia to Tiwi Islands

Board at 7:00am for an 8:00am departure. A light breakfast will be served on board. Spend time getting to know
your fellow travelers over lunch ahead of your first excursion at the Tiwi Islands.

Wurrumiyanga (Tiwi Islands)

Visit remote Bathurst Island and meet with local Tiwi guides to learn of the unique culture and visit the art center. Experience a Welcome to Country and basket-weaving exhibition before enjoying a traditional Australian afternoon tea of damper and billy tea.

Accommodations

Coral Adventurer, Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 11
Exploration of Cape York & Arnhem Land

No two Cape York & Arnhem Land cruises are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Cobourg Peninsula

Discover Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on the Cobourg Peninsula. Join park rangers in Port Essington, famous for the failed Victoria Settlement, and explore the ruins while learning about the fascinating history of this early colonial outpost.

At Sea & Hole in the Wall (Gugari Rip)

Travel through the narrow channel between Raragala and Guluwuru Islands, known as the Hole in the Wall (Gugari Rip).

Yirrkala Art Center, Nhulunbuy (Gove) & Bremer Island (Dhambaliya) 

Visit the spectacular Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Center at Yirrkala, outside of Nhulunbhuy. Here, the Yirrkala Art Center represents Yolgnu artists from around the region. Established in 1976 as an act of self-determination, the art center has forged a vibrant path for Yolgnu contemporary art. The museum built in 1988 houses a collection of works detailing historical artifacts and important moments, including the Message Sticks from 1935 and the Yirrkala Church Panels from 1963.

In the afternoon, go ashore to Bremer Island, or Dhambaliya as it is known to the traditional owners of the area. This island is home to an eco-sensitive beach retreat built in partnership with the Yolgnu people of the region. Spend the morning beachcombing, bird watching and taking in the scenic surrounds.

Day at Sea

Enjoy a day at sea with presentations and art workshops by the onboard guest lecturer and artist. You will also hear about the fascinating history of the Makassan traders and early explorers of the Arnhem Land coast.

Badu Island Art Center

At rarely visited Badu Island, visit the Art Center and view fine examples of printmaking, etching and carvings produced by local artists, some of whose works are collected by the National Gallery of Australia and displayed all over the world. Enjoy the hospitality of the locals with a delicious kai-kai of locally caught seafood.

Thursday Island (Waiben) & Tip of Cape York (Pajinka)

Join an informative tour of Waiben (Thursday Island) to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. Also enjoy free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Center and local shopping. Later, surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as you relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon at
the Tip of Cape Yorkthe northernmost point of the Australian mainland continent.

Forbes Island

Enjoy a day exploring Forbes Island, an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling from the pristine sandy beaches. Hear the story of Bêche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster who inhabited this island and visit his gravesite. Depending on tides, visit the remote Piper Islands for bird watching and beachcombing, or the island home of million dollar castaway David Glasheen at Restoration Island (Ma’alpiku). It is here Captain Bligh of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty made his first landfall after a long ocean crossing from Tonga, in May 1789.

Stanley Island (Yindayin) & Davie Reef

This morning, visit Stanley Island in the Flinders Group. View the Endaen Aboriginal rock art gallery with interpretation by a Traditional Custodian of this region. This is a unique art site seldom visited due to its isolated location that depicts sailing ships of the previous centuries. This afternoon snorkel the remote and pristine Davie Reef, and tide permitting land on the cay to observe bird life.

Lizard Island (Dyiigurra)

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland coast. Venture into the crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the sparkling white beach. An energetic guided walk leads to Cook’s Look—from this peak, Captain James Cook was able to sight a navigable passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMS 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.

Cooktown (Gungardie)

Visit historic Cooktown, where Captain Cook took refuge during his voyage of discovery. Embark on a guided walk led by your expedition team along the esplanade and learn about history of the town, a Cooktown coach tour will also be available. The Milbi Wall at the Wharf tells the story of the Guugu Yimithirr people in hand-painted tiles, and the views from Grassy Hill over the Endeavour River are spectacular. Visit the Cooktown Museum and
examine the relics of Australia’s exploration era.

Accommodations

Coral Adventurer, Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disembark Cairns, Australia

Arrive in Cairns and disembark at 8:00am. Complimentary post-cruise transfer to a central business district hotel, or airport, following disembarkation. Transfers to the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas can be arranged on board with the Purser (added cost), if not already arranged prior to embarkation.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals on board; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits; standard WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone charges, WiFi upgrades, laundry, bar charges and travel insurance.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. An AUD200.00 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is an AUD500.00 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The eastbound Cape York & Arnhem Land cruise begins in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (DRW), and ends in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS). Plan flights to arrive to Darwin in time for a 7:00am boarding and 8:00am departure on Day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Cairns following the 8:00am disembarkation on the final day. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours.

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate in the Promenade Deck B category (Coral Discoverer) or the Coral, Promenade and Explorer Deck categories (Coral Adventurer). Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

As a condition of travel, guests must provide evidence of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR complete a credit card authorization form for expenses incurred during a medical evacuation. Proof of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR a completed authorization form must be provided prior to boarding.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Torres Strait & Cape York: Northbound Itinerary

The 11-day northbound Torres Strait & Cape York cruise begins in Cairns and travels north to Cape York and Horn Island, Australia. 

Route map of Torres Strait & Cape York cruise in Australia, operating between Cairns & Horn Island with visits to Cooktown, Lizard Island, Stanley Island, Osprey Reef & the islands of Restoration, Forbes, Badu, Horn & Thursday.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Cairns, Australia

Board at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure. Enjoy afternoon tea on board and a chance to meet fellow travelers as the ship sets sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew at the captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 10
Exploration of Torres Strait & Cape York

No two Torres Strait & Cape York cruises are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and learn the history of the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, to learn the story of Cook’s landing as told from an Aboriginal perspective and to see artifacts on display. Later, cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.

Lizard Island

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast, and venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the white-sand beach. The more energetic may join the guides on a walk to Cook’s Look on the island’s peak. From this high point, Lieut. Jams Cook found a safe passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMB Endeavour near Cooktown over 250 years ago. The views from the lookout over the reef and islands are magnificent. Later, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the lagoon.

Remote Osprey Reef

One of the world’s best dive sites, Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea. The top of a mountain which rises from the seafloor, surrounded by a vast ocean, it draws many beautiful and rare marine creatures to its plummeting walls. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an “oasis for living creatures of all kinds” by Sir David Attenborough. The vibrant corals and crystal-clear waters make it an unforgettable place to discover. Here, spend time in the water exploring the 100-foot-deep lagoon and drift diving the walls, where you may see large pelagic fish, rays and sharks drawn in from the surrounding deep blue to this ocean oasis. Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and this visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Stanley Island & Davie Reef

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 an traditional owner of the Yiithuwarra people. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Forbes & Restoration Islands

At Forbes Island, walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster, beachcomb on sweeping beaches and snorkel in the tropical waters. Later visit Restoration Island, with its tall palm trees and white beaches, which was named by Captain Bligh who landed here after the mutiny on the Bounty. It is the home of millionaire castaway David Glasheen. Visit David and stroll on the beach.

Tip of Cape York (Pajinka)

This morning, set foot on the northernmost point of Australiathe tip of Cape York! Celebrate with a glass of sparkling at this iconic location while watching the sunrise over the Gulf of Carpentaria. Later visit historical sites at Somerset, Possession Island and Albany Island.

Torres Strait: Badu Island

In the morning, visit the indigenous art center to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye. Enjoy traditional kai kai (traditional lunch) prepared by the local communitya feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.

Torres Strait: Moa Island

Visit the art center and join in print, weaving and jewelry-making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.

Torres Strait: Thursday Island (Waiben)

Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island you also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Center and local shopping.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Disembark Horn Island, Australia

At 8:00am, arrive at Horn Island with the option for a post-cruise tour.

There are daily flights to Cairns from Horn Island Airport. These are not included in the cruise fare.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals on board; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits plus a free scuba skills lesson; standard WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone charges, WiFi upgrades, laundry, bar charges and travel insurance; scuba diving (AUD80-110 per dive in 2022 & 2023, contact your Adventure Specialist for details).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. An AUD200.00 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is an AUD500.00 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The northbound Torres Strait & Cape York cruise begins in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS), and ends on Horn Island, Queensland Australia (HID). Plan flights to arrive to Cairns in time for a 4:00pm boarding and 5:00pm departure on Day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Horn Island following the 8:30am disembarkation on the final day. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours. Scuba diving is offered at an additional cost (see Exclusions).

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate in the Promenade Deck B category. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

As a condition of travel, guests must provide evidence of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR complete a credit card authorization form for expenses incurred during a medical evacuation. Proof of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR a completed authorization form must be provided prior to boarding.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Torres Strait & Cape York: Southbound Itinerary

The 11-day southbound Torres Strait & Cape York cruise begins on Horn Island, visits Cape York and then travels south to Cairns, Australia. 

Route map of Torres Strait & Cape York cruise in Australia, operating between Cairns & Horn Island with visits to Cooktown, Lizard Island, Stanley Island, Osprey Reef & the islands of Restoration, Forbes, Badu, Horn & Thursday.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Horn Island, Australia

There are daily flights to Horn Island Airport from Cairns. These are not included in the cruise fare.

Consider an optional pre-cruise tour of Horn Island. Board at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure. Enjoy afternoon tea on board and a chance to meet fellow travelers as the ship sets sail northwards. This evening join guests and the friendly crew at the captain’s welcome drinks and sit down to the first of many delicious dinners.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 10
Exploration of Torres Strait & Cape York

No two Torres Strait & Cape York cruises are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Torres Strait: Thursday Island (Waiben)

Join an informative tour of Thursday Island to learn about its interesting pearling history and multicultural influences. At Thursday Island you also have free time to explore all the island has to offer, including Gab Titui Cultural Center and local shopping.

Torres Strait: Moa Island

Visit the art center and join in print, weaving and jewelry-making workshops with local artists. Watch a traditional dance performance and listen to the gorgeous harmonies of the local singers.

Torres Strait: Badu Island

In the morning, visit the indigenous art center to watch printmakers at work, with the opportunity to purchase prints that catch your eye. Enjoy traditional kai kai (traditional lunch) prepared by the local communitya feast of locally caught fresh fish, curried fish and crayfish. Spend the afternoon swimming at a local beach, hosted by traditional owners.

Tip of Cape York (Pajinka)

This morning, set foot on the northernmost point of Australiathe tip of Cape York! Celebrate with a glass of sparkling at this iconic location while watching the sunrise over the Gulf of Carpentaria. Later visit historical sites at Somerset, Possession Island and Albany Island.

Forbes & Restoration Islands

At Forbes Island, walk to the grave of beche-de-mer fisherman Frederick Lancaster, beachcomb on sweeping beaches and snorkel in the tropical waters. Later visit Restoration Island, with its tall palm trees and white beaches, which was named by Captain Bligh who landed here after the mutiny on the Bounty. It is the home of millionaire castaway David Glasheen. Visit David and stroll on the beach.

Stanley Island & Davie Reef

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 an traditional owner of the Yiithuwarra people. At Davie Reef, enjoy swimming and snorkeling and observe the large seabird rookery.

Remote Osprey Reef

One of the world’s best dive sites, Osprey Reef is a submerged atoll in the Coral Sea. The top of a mountain which rises from the seafloor, surrounded by a vast ocean, it draws many beautiful and rare marine creatures to its plummeting walls. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an “oasis for living creatures of all kinds” by Sir David Attenborough. The vibrant corals and crystal-clear waters make it an unforgettable place to discover. Here, spend time in the water exploring the 100-foot-deep lagoon and drift diving the walls, where you may see large pelagic fish, rays and sharks drawn in from the surrounding deep blue to this ocean oasis. Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and this visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Lizard Island

Explore secluded Lizard Island, one of the most beautiful islands on the Queensland Coast, and venture into the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling or take a walk along the white-sand beach. The more energetic may join the guides on a walk to Cook’s Look on the island’s peak. From this high point, Lieut. Jams Cook found a safe passage through the treacherous reef after repairing the HMB Endeavour near Cooktown over 250 years ago. The views from the lookout over the reef and islands are magnificent. Later, snorkel over giant clam gardens in the lagoon.

Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and learn the history of the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, to learn the story of Cook’s landing as told from an Aboriginal perspective and to see artifacts on display. Later, cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset.

Accommodations

Coral Discoverer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Disembark Cairns, Australia

The incredible adventure of Australia’s North comes to an end. Disembark Cairns at 8:00am.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as booked; cruise transportation; all meals on board; 24-hour coffee and tea; showcase wines and selected beers with lunch and dinner service; excursions and sightseeing, daily lectures and briefings, use of Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels; use of all onboard facilities, including comprehensive range of library and video resources; use of snorkeling equipment such as masks, fins, flotation vests and wetsuits plus a free scuba skills lesson; standard WiFi on board.

Exclusions

Pre- and post-flights and transfers; personal items such as telephone charges, WiFi upgrades, laundry, bar charges and travel insurance; scuba diving (AUD80-110 per dive in 2022 & 2023, contact your Adventure Specialist for details).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. A name change/transfer of the booking to another person is considered a cancellation and cancellation penalties will apply. An AUD200.00 per person fee may be charged for any amendments not requiring a date change after booking is confirmed. There is an AUD500.00 per person fee if a date change is made more than 90 days before departure. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The southbound Torres Strait & Cape York cruise begins on Horn Island, Queensland Australia (HID), and ends in Cairns, Queensland Australia (CNS). Plan flights to arrive to Horn Island in time for a 4:00pm boarding and 5:00pm departure on Day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Cairns following the 8:30am disembarkation on the final day. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, historical visits, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife observation, beachcombing, cultural visits and Xplorer tours. Scuba diving is offered at an additional cost (see Exclusions).

Room Configuration

Limited double occupancy cabins for solo use may be available at a sole use rate in the Promenade Deck B category. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

As a condition of travel, guests must provide evidence of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR complete a credit card authorization form for expenses incurred during a medical evacuation. Proof of travel insurance with medical evacuation coverage OR a completed authorization form must be provided prior to boarding.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Listed prices for this trip are based on foreign currency exchange rates and may vary. USD pricing will be calculated at the time of final payment based on the market conversion rate plus a 1% banking conversion fee of total invoiced amount. Please contact AdventureSmith for current pricing.

Oct 09 - Oct 20, 2024
Coral Discoverer • 12 days
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From $8980USD
Per Person
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Oct 21 - Oct 31, 2024
Coral Discoverer • 11 days
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From $7775USD
Per Person
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Oct 31 - Nov 10, 2024
Coral Discoverer • 11 days
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From $7775USD
Per Person
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Apr 01 - Apr 12, 2025
Coral Discoverer • 12 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $9000USD
Per Person
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Oct 05 - Oct 16, 2025
Coral Adventurer • 12 days
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From $8935USD
Per Person
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Oct 24 - Nov 03, 2025
Coral Discoverer • 11 days
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From $8040USD
Per Person
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Nov 03 - Nov 14, 2025
Coral Discoverer • 12 days
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From $8040USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Learn About the Small Ships on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Coral Discoverer

The 72-guest Coral Discoverer maneuvers into special bays and inlets that are inaccessible to larger ships. Her bright outdoor spaces, authentic Australian hospitality and expedition-ready tools offer an elevated experience.

Expedition Ship
Coral Adventurer

The 120-guest Coral Adventurer Australian expedition ship offers a wine cellar, open galley, private balconies and efficient ship-to-shore operations.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Leslie Camacho • December 28th, 2019
Expert Aboard: Coral Adventurer Ship Review

An AdventureSmith cruise expert goes aboard in Australia to write this ship review of the 120-guest Coral Adventurer. Read about her favorite features and cabin insights.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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Discover Australia’s northern, unspoiled last frontier on this exciting small ship cruise. This 11- or 13-day itinerary allows you to experience all of the Kimberley's highlights for a completely unique experience.

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The most comprehensive Great Barrier Reef itinerary available, this Australia small ship cruise will reveal the underwater world of numerous exclusive reef sites with opportunities to become a relaxed beachcomber or an inquisitive adventurer on an 8-day island-hopping voyage of discovery aboard 72-guest Coral Discoverer.

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Travel from Australia aboard the 120-guest Coral Adventurer to explore or circumnavigate the rarely visited Papua New Guinea. Enjoy a comprehensive 36-day route that explores the entire coastline of Papua New Guinea, plus Raja Ampat and the history-rich Spice Islands.

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