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Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West

Join our pioneering voyage down Western Australia’s Coral coast on board Coral Discoverer. This “scouting” voyage will be the first time we explore this extraordinary marine environment. Departing Broome, we will visit the spectacular Rowley Shoals Marine Park, the Dampier Archipelago and the historic Montebello Islands. Our voyage will culminate with a visit to Ningaloo Reef, home to the gentle and giant whale sharks and manta rays. Our marine experts and guides will lead our discovery of the untouched atolls, mega marine fauna and rare bird species that are found in this pristine coastal habitat.

This voyage is in partnership with Australian Geographic.

10 September, 2019 to 22 September, 2019 Make a booking request for Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West, departing on 10 September, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Main Deck B £ 6265 GBP pp
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Main Deck A £ 6435 GBP pp
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Promenade A £ 7065 GBP pp
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our twenty spacious Promenade Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Bridge Deck Balcony £ 8259 GBP pp
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our five spacious Bridge Deck Balcony staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature private balconies opening out from french windows providing comfortable indoor outdoor living, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo
Promenade Deck B Sole £ 10255 GBP pp
Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, our two Promenade Deck (Category B) staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
view cabin photo
07 September, 2020 to 19 September, 2020 Make a booking request for Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West, departing on 07 September, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Main Deck B £ 6609 GBP pp
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
view cabin photo

Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Please Note:
Our adventure down the West Coast is a true expedition. Our Master and Expedition Team will adjust the itinerary to best suit the tidal and weather conditions and maximise the guest experience. Some of the expedition destinations are listed below.
ROWLEY SHOALS
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs. Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish. Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for suburb underwater photography opportunities. Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke and perhaps Mermaid or Imperieuse reefs, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities. With each atoll covering approximately 90 sq km, there will be plenty to see! Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons. Try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roosts there.
MONTEBELLO ISLANDS
The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. They are home to a complex system of reefs, lagoons and channels which offer a range of habitats for marine life. The mangrove systems here are unique and scientifically significant, and its seaweed beds are fodder for dugongs. Green, Hawksbill and flatback turtles are regularly seen here, as are whales and dolphins. A twitcher’s delight, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oystercatchers The islands also have a fascinating maritime history. The survivors of the Dutch vessel Trial swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, being the first Europeans to land on the islands. The Montes also have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today. Spend a full day exploring this island group, with opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and birdwatching. Visit Champagne Bay and Turtle Lagoon. Discover Ground Zero of the atomic blast at Trimouille Island, and view the inscribed plinth there marking the site.
MUIRON ISLANDS
Located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.
DAMPIER ARCHIPELAGO
Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. Most people do not realise that this is the richest area of marine bio-diversity in all of Western Australia – snorkellers will delight in the coral reefs and over 650 species of fish. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in the area and the archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby. The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area. With our onboard naturalist and historian, explore the archipelago’s pastoral, pearling and cultural past that is still visible today in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. Learn about the tragic Flying Foam Massacre(s) of 1865, in which an entire tribe, language and people were all but exterminated. There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
NINGALOO COAST AND REEF
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. This is also where mega marine life come to feed during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements. We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay and its underwater playground. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay, and learn about WA’s interesting heritage at the ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station. As we cruise the ‘Humpback Highway’ down the coast, have the opportunity to watch these majestic whales breach close by. Spend a day with an experienced local operator, with the chance to swim with some of the mega fauna this region is known for (these encounters are subject to nature and cannot be guaranteed).
DEPUCH ISLAND
Depuch Island, or Womala as it is known to the traditional custodians of this area, has been called the ‘Uluru of the Sea’. This volcanic island is of significant cultural value to the Ngaluma Aboriginal Tribe, being home to literally thousands of Aboriginal engravings. It was also a site visited by European explorers, including Baudin’s expedition on Le Geographe – there is even an enscribing left by the crew of the HMAS Beagle. Go ashore with the expedition team and explore this other-worldly and desolate landscape, observing its unique geology and petroglyphs dating back thousands of years.

Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Depuch Island, or Womala as it is known to the traditional custodians of this area, has been called the ‘Uluru of the Sea’. This volcanic island is of significant cultural value to the Ngaluma Aboriginal Tribe, being home to literally thousands of Aboriginal engravings. It was also a site visited by European explorers, including Baudin’s expedition on Le Geographe – there is even an enscribing left by the crew of the HMAS Beagle. Go ashore with the expedition team and explore this other-worldly and desolate landscape, observing its unique geology and petroglyphs dating back thousands of years.
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef is the turquoise jewel in the crown of the Western Australian coastline. Spanning over 5000 square kilometres, this is one of the largest fringing reefs in the world. It’s inner and outer reefs create a diverse range of habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. This is also where mega marine life come to feed during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and the majestic whale shark. It is also a coastline with a fascinating heritage, where lonely whalers battled it out against the elements. We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay and its underwater playground. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay, and learn about WA’s interesting heritage at the ruins of the Norwegian Bay whaling station. As we cruise the ‘Humpback Highway’ down the coast, have the opportunity to watch these majestic whales breach close by. Spend a day with an experienced local operator, with the chance to swim with some of the mega fauna this region is known for (these encounters are subject to nature and cannot be guaranteed).
Consisting of 42 islands and islets, 25 of which are nature reserves, the iron red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. Most people do not realise that this is the richest area of marine bio-diversity in all of Western Australia – snorkellers will delight in the coral reefs and over 650 species of fish. Bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen in the area and the archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific region. Birdwatchers will have the opportunity to see several species of migratory waders as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby. The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant sites for Aboriginal and European Heritage, many of which are in National Heritage Listed Areas. Named for English Explorer William Dampier who first visited the islands aboard the Cygnet in 1699, the islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the area. With our onboard naturalist and historian, explore the archipelago’s pastoral, pearling and cultural past that is still visible today in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. Learn about the tragic Flying Foam Massacre(s) of 1865, in which an entire tribe, language and people were all but exterminated. There will be ample opportunity to explore the area’s historical and cultural sites before taking to the azure waters for snorkelling, kayaking and diving.
Located approximately 10 nautical miles off the North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges where nudibranchs, eels and angelfish hide. With fantastic bommies and protected reef, snorkellers will appreciate the variety of soft corals and gorgonians as well the incredible fish life. After in-water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach on these untouched islands.
The Montebello Islands or ‘Montes’ are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. They are home to a complex system of reefs, lagoons and channels which offer a range of habitats for marine life. The mangrove systems here are unique and scientifically significant, and its seaweed beds are fodder for dugongs. Green, Hawksbill and flatback turtles are regularly seen here, as are whales and dolphins. A twitcher’s delight, the islands are considered an Important Bird Area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oystercatchers The islands also have a fascinating maritime history. The survivors of the Dutch vessel Trial swam here after their ship was wrecked in 1622, being the first Europeans to land on the islands. The Montes also have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of three British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands today. Spend a full day exploring this island group, with opportunities for swimming, snorkelling and birdwatching. Visit Champagne Bay and Turtle Lagoon. Discover Ground Zero of the atomic blast at Trimouille Island, and view the inscribed plinth there marking the site.
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of 3 coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals, named by Captain Phillip Parker King, offer some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish – many of which are not found on other coral reefs. Diving along the outside edge of the shoals one can view colourful soft corals, hammerheads and pelagic fish. Water clarity here is absolutely unparalleled, making for suburb underwater photography opportunities. Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days at Clerke and perhaps Mermaid or Imperieuse reefs, with ample time for snorkelling and diving opportunities. With each atoll covering approximately 90 sq km, there will be plenty to see! Guided by our on-board marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, or dive along the sheer vertical walls and through coral canyons. Try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island, keeping an eye out for the red-tailed tropicbird that roosts there.
Our adventure down the West Coast is a true expedition. Our Master and Expedition Team will adjust the itinerary to best suit the tidal and weather conditions and maximise the guest experience. Some of the expedition destinations are listed below.
* = Indicative
Map for Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West
Coral Discoverer, the ship servicing Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Built: 2005

Onboard Accommodation

Onboard accommodation comprises 36 spacious modern staterooms. You can select from Bridge, Promenade or Main Deck staterooms offering a choice of twin through to junior king-size doubles. All staterooms have an ocean view, en-suite facilities, settee, large wardrobe, desk, luggage storage, individual air-conditioning control, and are serviced daily.

Onboard Facilities

What you would expect of a much larger cruise ship:

  • Large sundeck
  • Spa Pool
  • Guest computer
  • Comprehensive reference library
  • Phone and fax facilities
  • Lecture lounge with large plasma screen
  • Limited laundry facilities
  • Two fully stocked cocktail bars
  • Boutique and dive shop
  • Air-conditioned public areas

 Coral Discoverer is equipped with the latest technology active stabilizers and is fitted with state-of-the-art safety and navigational equipment and is the only Australian passenger ship registered with full SOLAS compliance allowing opportunities to explore a multitude of international voyages.

Dining

All meals during the cruise are included. Breakfast and lunch are served in the Dining Room located on the Main Deck and are buffet-style while dinner is table d’hote. Coffee and tea is available 24 hours. Standard hours are breakfast from 7:00-8:30am, lunch at 12:30pm and dinner at 7:30pm however meal times may vary according to the day's activities. Meal times will be advised in the onboard daily bulletins.

Excursion Boats And Zodiacs

The "Xplorer" is a specially designed aluminium excursion vessel used for the majority of our excursions. This vessel has high horsepower engines and will accommodate all passengers at one time. The "Xplorer" will be used for landings and for extensive exploration of rivers and tributaries. For your added convenience and comfort, the "Xplorer" is equipped with an awning and toilet.

We also carry two inflatable landing craft (Zodiacs). Designed for expedition work, these large and heavy-duty inflatables are extremely safe. Separate air compartments retain a large reserve of buoyancy even if the boats damaged. The flat bottom design permits these crafts to land directly onto the beaches. Expect nonetheless to wade through shallow water to reach the shore. See photo below (right)

 

Oceanic Discoverer loungeXplorer on beach

Cabin layout for Coral Discoverer
• Snorkel and dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals, accompanied by our on board Marine Biologist

• Swim with the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef (subject to nature)

• Discover sites of cultural significance to Indigenous Australians, with interpretation by a knowledgeable on-board expert

• See notable historic sites of European exploration

• View birdlife on remote island groups
Enquire now about Ningaloo & The Bluewater Wonders of Australia's West

Travel on the Coral Discoverer

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