We have some leviathans visiting our port but who wants to travel in a floating city when a small, intimate, well appointed ship with just a modest passenger complement can do?
Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. The bar gets set a lot with different sorts of ships, such as the huge five masted sailing ship I showed a while ago. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.
And it has a few quite unique attractions.
The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot.
Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.
|The Bridge is open to passengers who can see what goes on.|
The small, compact but luxurious ship was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience.
Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, the experience aboard Coral Discoverer is unique.
It is an expedition cruise ship operating in Australia and Oceania. With a homeport of Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, the 72 passenger Coral Discoverer is fully registered under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) for worldwide operation.
On launch in 2005 Coral Discoverer became the first Australian flagged, owned and staffed passenger ship to attain full SOLAS compliance in over 50 years.
There are three vessels in the Coral Expeditions fleet, Coral Discoverer operating alongside Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II.
Coral Discoverer has four passenger decks, containing 36 staterooms, an open seat dining room and al fresco dining deck, lounge and lecture lounge, two cocktail bars and a sun deck. Coral Discoverer travels with a range of excursion tenders including inflatable zodiacs, glass bottom boat, kayaks and the 'Xplorer' excursion tender.
In June 2015 the ship was renamed Coral Discoverer having has two names previously.
Class and type: Cruise ship
Tonnage: 1,838 GT
Length: 63 m (206 ft 8 in)
Beam: 13 m (42 ft 8 in)
Draught: 3 metres
Draft: 3 m (9 ft 10 in)
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Capacity: 72 passengers
Crew: Up to 25, all Australian and New Zealand staff
Name: Coral Discoverer (2015–)
Oceanic Discoverer (2006–2015)
Oceanic Princess (2005–2006)
Homeport: Cairns, Tropical North Queensland.
I do not have any great aspiration to spend time at sea and were I to have a 'cruise' at all it would be on something like this. Not too many fellow passengers to get up one's nose. No raucus disco and rahrah noises from drunken youngsters. One might even go in to dinner in flip-flops.
I am a landlubber and love the air. Planes are my first 'thing'. But I have always had the sea in my blood. Englishman, you see. I delight in seeing the water.
Perfect to watch with a pint at hand.