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We begin and end our epic Australian Circumnavigation in the northern port city of Darwin, which has been a launching point of Coral Expeditions for over 25 years on our Kimberley, Cape York, Spice Islands and Papua New Guinea voyages. This tropical city is a gateway to some of Australia's most significant natural and cultural wonders and has centuries-old connections with cultures and people to the north of Australia.

In early September 1839 Lt John Lort Stokes left Captain Wickham and HMS Beagle at anchor off Shoal Bay. With a crew in a whaler, they sailed south-west to explore a bay that Phillip Parker King had seen 20 years earlier but not had time to explore. Near sunset, they reached their destination at today’s East Point and next morning they climbed a nearby cliff and saw a splendid harbor that stretched to the southeast and the south-west. Stokes then suggested the harbor be named Port Darwin. Stokes and Charles Darwin had been companions and friends on the Beagle in 1831 during Darwin’s significant voyage of scientific discovery. Keep your ears pricked for more stories from HMS Beagle and Phillip Parker King during the voyage.

With excitement buzzing in the sea breeze, we will embark on our circumnavigation voyage in the afternoon of 30th October 2021 from Darwin port as the sun sets.

Traditional custodians: Larrakia people

Our Story

Australia’s Pioneering Cruise Line
For over 30 years Coral Expeditions has had one purpose – taking small groups of like-minded explorers to the most remote parts of the world, with expert guidance and warm Australian hospitality. Coral Expeditions was founded by a fisherman with a passion for the sea. Then named Coral Princess Cruises, the small North Queensland based company explored the Great Barrier Reef and pioneered small ship expedition cruising to the Kimberley and Papua New Guinea. Today, Coral Expeditions has grown to include voyages to Tasmania, Islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand, and the Indonesian Archipelago. Our Australian crew provide warm hospitality and personal service on board. Shore-rich itineraries in remote locations allow our guests to be immersed in local cultures, get close to wildlife, and enjoy adventurous land and sea activities in safety. We invite you to celebrate 35 years of exploration with us.

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