A new player in Tasmania waters, Coral Expeditions is set to show cruise passengers far more of the island state’s stunning scenery than larger cruise ships.
The Australian-flagged Coral Expeditions 1 will go where few other cruise ships can go as she is smaller – a 35-metre catamaran – with a shallower draft that allows her to hug the coastline and sail into jaw-droppingly beautiful bays.
Of late, australiancruisingnews.com has seen Tasmania included in the itineraries of an increasing number of local and international cruise ships who sail into the port city of Burnie on the north-west coast, and on to the Tasmanian capital, Hobart.
A highlight of many of these cruises is a visit to historic Port Arthur, near Hobart, to tour the colonial convict settlement that is now an open-air museum.
Coral Expeditions does that, too, on her seven-night Coral Expeditions 1 itinerary that embarks Hobart from November to February, when another highlight is two days exploring the Wilderness World Heritage areas of Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour, along the south-west coast.
The cruise line’s General Manager, Mark Fifield, says this wilderness area is normally only accessible by a seven-day hike or light aircraft, and is “undoubtedly one of the most pristine and beautiful landscapes on earth.”
The 46 guests on board Coral Expeditions 1 can go kayaking, land on deserted beaches in stunning bays, and take guided bushwalks, including an early morning walk to the scenic lookout over the perfectly named Wineglass Bay in Freycinet National Park.
Time is also spent on rarely visited Maria Island, taking in the UNESCO listed historic town of Darlington, off the east coast, and on Bruny Island, off the south-east coast.
Tasmania’s much-lauded food and wine is not forgotten in the on board dining, and on land, with freshly shucked Tasmanian oysters and sheep cheeses among tantalizing tastes.
Until recently, Coral Expeditions was known as Coral Princess Cruises. The name change is expected to better represent the company’s focus on expedition cruising off the Kimberley Coast, along the Great Barrier Reef, and throughout the Pacific Islands, coralexpeditions.com