Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, has signed a contract today with Norwegian shipbuilder Vard to build its fourth expedition cruise ship due to be delivered in mid-2019, with a further vessel intended to follow.
This new ship is designed for ocean voyages to remote areas inaccessible to large cruise vessels. The design draws on the latest technical advances as well as Coral Expeditions’ 34 years of experience building and operating expedition ships. She will carry a maximum of only 120 guests in 60 cabins, preserving Coral Expeditions’ traditionally relaxed and intimate onboard atmosphere with no queues or waiting.
Following a long maritime tradition, she will be Australian flagged and crewed, and conform to the highest standards of build quality, operational redundancy and environmental compliance.
Vard is a Norwegian-headquartered company with nine shipyards globally and a 70 year history of building complex and sophisticated ships to operate in the toughest conditions.
Custom-designed around its clientele and expedition-focused itineraries, the new ship will feature several of Coral Expeditions’ much-loved features:
– Two ‘Xplorer’ tenders mounted on hydraulic platforms that allow all guests to embark and disembark for shore excursions without steps, queues or waiting
– A natural light-filled lecture lounge equipped with modern technology for daily presentations and briefings by expedition experts
– Facilities onboard to host scientific research missions and local exhibitors
– Spacious communal areas, including a dining room which seats all guests
– All outside-facing cabins with en-suite bathrooms; over half have private balconies
– Open bridge policy and guest observation lounge overlooking the bridge
– Multiple indoor and outdoor bars to see the world go by over a glass of Australian wine
The new ship will feature a modern Australian-designed interior with the colors and textures of tropical Queensland, the birthplace of the company. Accommodations will be restful havens for guests returning from shore excursions and range from outside staterooms of 17 sq m (183 sq ft) to suites of 43 sq m (463 sq ft) with outside-facing bathrooms. She will be equipped with elevators and a gym. Active stabilizers will ensure guest comfort in varied conditions.
The ship will join the Coral Expeditions fleet exploring the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land (The Top of Australia), Papua New Guinea, the Spice Islands, Indonesia and the South Pacific. She will be available for bookings in October 2017. More information will be released closer to the booking date.
The new ship order reflects continuing strong demand for the Coral Expeditions product – an intimate and destination-focused cruise experience that stands apart from large ship cruising.
With a 34 year history of innovation, Coral Expeditions is recognized as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator. Starting with environmentally-sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, the fleet has grown to three Australian-flagged ships that include two oceangoing catamarans, Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II, and the flagship 63m Coral Discoverer. All three ships are purpose-built in Australia for expedition cruising, with shallow draught, high maneuverability, and dynamic shore tender capabilities. Headquartered in Cairns, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to largely unseen parts of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Islands of the South Pacific, Tasmania, and now South East Asia.