New Small Ship Cruise in Tasmania

7 nights departing Hobart from 16 Nov 2015 – 29 Feb 2016
Prices from $3990 per person

Coral Expeditions I is a twin-hulled boutique catamaran designed for maximum stability and guest comfort. Accommodating just 50 guests, Coral Expeditions I offers the facilities of a larger ship, yet retains the atmosphere of a private yacht.

Expedition highlights

  • Spend two days exploring the untouched Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area at Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour
  • Taste local produce at a family run cheesery, and freshly shucked Tasmanian Oysters from a renowned local farm
  • Be guided by the resident archaeologist on an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Port Arthur Historic Site – visiting buildings not generally open to the public
  • Paddle a kayak through Bathurst Harbour
  • Visit Maria Island and tour the UNESCO listed Darlington township

Your cruise price includes:

  • 7 nights accommodation in selected room grade
  • All meals, morning and afternoon teas
  • 24 hour tea/coffee and soft drinks
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Drinks
  • Use of onboard facilities
  • Access to islands, marine and national parks
  • Guided tours on Explorer expedition vessel, Zodiacs and kayaks
  • Touring as described in the itinerary
  • Services of expedition staff and lecturers including briefings
  • Port taxes and government charges imposed by government authorities

Day 1: Hobart and River Derwent

Board Coral Expeditions I at Hobart’s Macquarie Wharf at 3:00pm ahead of our 4:00pm departure. Cruise the River Derwent with views of the city and the mighty Tasman Bridge. Enjoy the Captain’s Welcome Drinks and sample Tasmanian cheeses, Bruny Island oysters and sparkling wines as we make our way through the scenic D’Entrecasteaux Channel towards our overnight anchorage in Barnes Bay.

Day 2: Grandvewe Cheeses and Recherce Bay Discovery

Tasmania is renowned for its gourmet produce and this morning we visit family-run Grandvewe Cheeses. Set on 40 acres overlooking Bruny Island, Grandvewe farm produces fine sheep cheeses using milk from their herd of over 100 Awassi and Grandvewe dairy sheep. Meet the mother and daughter cheesemaking team, tour the milking shed and learn how the cheeses are produced. Sample some of the farm’s award-winning produce, including the unique Vanilla Whey Liqueur.

Reboarding Coral Expeditions I, enjoy spectacular views over lunch as we continue to Recherche Bay, a large protected bay which takes its name from a frigate used in the failed 1791 French expedition to locate the missing explorer La Pérouse. Cruise the bay aboard Explorer, then join our Expedition Leader and Parks and Wildlife Ranger on a scenic hike at the start of the famed South Coast Track. Walk the picturesque beach to see Cockle Creek’s bronze southern right whale statue commemorating the town’s whaling past, and a signpost marking the most southerly point in Australia accessible by motor vehicle.

Days 3 & 4: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

We enter remote Port Davey this morning for two days of exploration in the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Accessible only by boat, aircraft or a seven day hike, this region is surely one of the most magnificent and pristine landscapes on earth. During his circumnavigation of Tasmania in 1798, renowned explorer Matthew Flinders reported “the mountains which presented themselves to our view… were amongst the most stupendous works of nature I ever beheld”.

Four major rivers and numerous creeks cut through gorges and snake across open plains, draining their rust-coloured waters into the marine reserve. Small islands dot the surface of the dark waters. White quartzite sands fringe the shoreline. Mt Rugby – the highest and most prominent peak bordering the reserve – rises grandly from the western shore of Bathurst Harbour. Over the next two days we fully explore Port Davey, the ‘Narrows’ and Bathurst Harbour. Breathe the world’s cleanest air and perhaps take the opportunity to kayak in waters so clear that the towering mountains surrounding the harbour are perfectly reflected in the waterways. With our Parks and Wildlife Ranger join a hike on the Balmoral Hill Track and visit the village of Melaleuca, where conservation efforts are helping to protect the endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot. Our time in Tasmania’s South West Wilderness is sure to be a highlight of the expedition.

Day 5: Coastal Cruise and Adventure Bay

Gather on the outer decks for a scenic cruise along the southern coast of Bruny Island, past Cloudy Bay, the historic Cape Bruny Lighthouse and the Friars, home to a large population of Australian Fur Seals. Anchoring at Adventure Bay, relax on the long stretch of beach, enjoy a swim, paddle a kayak, tour the Bligh Museum of Pacific Exploration or join a guided nature walk through sub-tropical rainforest and meander through a fern glade next to Waterfall Creek. You may also wish to visit the nearby Bruny Island Berry Farm and pick a punnet of fresh berries. Reboarding Coral Expeditions I we set sail for the Tasman Peninsula and beautiful Wineglass Bay, and enjoy a pre-dinner Tasmanian wine tasting and a selection of the state’s finest gourmet produce.

Day 6: Freycinet National Park and Maria Island

Awaken this morning to the pristine surrounds of Freycinet National Park. Early risers and keen photographers may choose to join a guided hike through the national park to the Wineglass Bay lookout, breathtaking views of the beach and beyond to Mt Freycinet providing reward for the early start. Wineglass Bay has been named one of the world’s top ten beaches, and following breakfast you will have ample time to explore the beach at your own pace. Perhaps paddle a kayak in the clear waters, or just stroll along the soft white sands and take in the untouched scenery of this iconic location.

We spend the afternoon exploring Maria Island, a national park with something for everyone; historic ruins, sweeping bays, rugged cliffs and mountains, and remarkable wildlife. Since the late 1960s Maria Island has become a kind of Noah’s Ark, as a number of threatened species have been introduced here in a bid to protect their kind. The very features that made the island a convict settlement now make it an ideal refuge for plant and animal species such as native pademelons Forester Kangaroos, Bennetts Wallabies and Tasmanian Devils. Maria Island’s historic town site of Darlington has been included in the Convict Trail of Australia and was World Heritage-listed in 2010. Enjoy time to explore and walk amongst the restored buildings, including the Commissariat Store built in 1825 and the convict penitentiary. There’s also a choice of nature walks to enjoy where there is a chance to see how the island’s conservation efforts are helping to rejuvenate threatened wildlife.

Day 7: Tasman National Park and Port Arthur Historic Site

Famous for its soaring 300 metre sea cliffs and monumental rock formations, we cruise the coast of Tasman National Park, an area of dramatic beauty and natural diversity. Tasman Arch, The Candlestick and Cathedral Rock are just three of the imposing natural features adorning the coastline. At Tasman Island observe rich wildlife such as seals, dolphins, sea eagles and albatross.

In the afternoon, a unique experience awaits at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. Australia’s most intact and evocative convict site, between 1833 and 1877 the penal colony housed Britain and Australia’s worst criminals, and was considered inescapable. Today, the Historic Site has over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes set in 40 hectares of landscaped grounds. In the company of Port Arthur’s resident Archaeologist, join an exclusive ‘behind the scenes tour’ of the site, which includes access to private collections and historic buildings not accessible to the general public. Then, enjoy a private reception in the beautiful surrounds of Port Arthur’s Asylum building. Join the Captain and his crew and indulge in Tasmanian sparkling wine and local canapés, before returning to Coral Expeditions I for dinner and our final night cruising the Tasmanian coast.

Day 8: Cruise concludes in Hobart

Awaken as we cruise the River Derwent towards Hobart. Our arrival at Macquarie Wharf at 8:00am marks the end of our Tasmanian expedition.

Please note that this is an expedition cruise taking us to remote coastlines and waters rarely visited by larger cruise ships. As such, the itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions. Our experienced Captain and Expedition Leader may make last minute itinerary changes to optimise conditions.

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au