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Sudbury Cay 151220 PhilipVids

Expedition Cruises on the outer Great Barrier Reef

Onboard these voyages, you will explore rainforest shores, uninhabited sand cays, remote islands and pristine reef systems.  Along the way find freedom and sanctuary amidst this iconic seascape. Our expert guides will share their knowledge with you above and below the water, bringing you close to the natural wonders and wildlife, and giving you a deep understanding of this precious destination.

We pioneered extended expedition cruises on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef 36 years ago and have forged a reputation for excellence in that time as a member of Ecotourism Australia and an accredited and award-winning ecotourism operator.  The Great Barrier Reef is in our DNA and we ensure the most immersive and educational experience possible. Our purpose-designed small ships are built for expedition cruising, with refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble Xplorer tenders. Onboard, enjoy fresh seasonal cuisine and boutique Australian wines and brews. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home.


Our Great Barrier Reef Cruises:

To The Heart of the Reef & Outback | Brisbane to Cairns | 14 Nights

Scawfell Island

New Itinerary: This Christmas season, indulge in a special 14-night expedition on new Coral Geographer that showcases the remarkable diversity of Queensland. Built into your cruise are a private jet excursion deep into the Queensland Outback, and a sailing escape to a postcard-perfect Whitsundays beach. Four days, two landmark events, ten exceptional wines, and two gala dinners.

> Departs 20 December 2021
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Outerknown Adventures on the Great Barrier Reef | Cairns - Cairns | 7 Nights

Sudbury Cay Northern Australia Coral Expeditions

Aboard our expedition vessel, embark on an immersive 7-day adventure to the remote and untouched Northern reefs. Explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about indigenous culture and Australian heritage at Cooktown, hike to the summit of “Cooks Look” Lizard Island, and enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes.

> Departs 1 Dec 2021, 4 & 11 Jan 2022, Nov 2022 & Nov 2023
Refund Guarantee & Solo offer*
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Stretching over 2,300 kilometres and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living structure. Home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species, it holds pride of place as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area.

Travel Update - Covid Page

What Are The Ribbon Reefs

Around 50 to 100 km’s off the northern Queensland shore, and forming the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching over 100 miles to the north of Cairns, the “Ribbons” are a string of 10 magical coral reefs. They are no wider than 450m, and generally quite shallow, coming up to as high as 5 metres below the surface from a sandy bottom. A veritable marine wonderland, these long thin strips of reef hold beautiful coral gardens and isolated bommies topped with corals and anemones, surrounded by a rainbow of reef fish. Snorkelers and divers on the Ribbon Reefs might encounter huge giant clams, moray eels, reef sharks and giant Napoleon Wrasse. You might also meet Pelagic fish and see gorgonian fans. If you prefer not to get your feet wet, our glass bottom boat still allows you to get up close and personal to these beautiful species.

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