DAY 01 – CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA
EMBARK 7:00 AM
Located at the point where two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef – gently curve to the shoreline, Cairns is graced with inspiring natural attractions in all directions. Active discovery is enjoyed with kite surfing, swimming, snorkeling and Zodiac excursions; beyond the coast are mountains, rainforests, eucalyptus, waterfalls, lakes, rugged ravines and farmlands fed by freshwater streams.
DAY 02 – LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
LIZARD ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Regarded as a sacred place by the Dingaal Aboriginal people, pristine Lizard Island is nestled on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland. The granite island, graced with powdery white beaches and fringing reefs, is perfect for hiking, swimming and snorkeling. Within its grasslands, acacia woodlands and mangroves can be found its most famous resident, the yellow-spotted monitor. Its waters are a kaleidoscope of marine life, including coral gardens of colorful tropical fish and giant clams.
RIBBON REEF, AUSTRALIA
Aptly named, this “ribbon” of ten individual coral reefs is strung along the continental shelf, constituting approximately 125 miles of the Great Barrier Reef. Within its warm, gentle currents are flourescent shades of life, blanketed by turquoise waters and forming some of the best diving locales in the world. Caves, coves, canyons and curious creatures from the docile potato cod to the flame-red scorpion fish await underwater explorers and recreational snorkelers in this isolated haven.
DAY 03-04 – CORAL SEA EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
CORAL SEA EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
Remote and pristine, the Coral Sea Islands are situated east of the Great Barrier Reef and roughly 450 miles east of Queensland, Australia. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, the tiny, mostly uninhabited islands, lagoons and coral reefs are a natural paradise for nature lovers, divers and snorkelers. The Willis Islets are popular nesting sites for turtles and seabirds, including masked, brown and red-footed boobies.
FLINDERS ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Natural treasures abound at Australia’s Flinders Reefs. Located in the sparkling clear waters of the Coral Sea, the collection of tiny cays, atolls and lagoons are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Their amazing coral gardens teem with life, from tiny sea slugs and green turtles to tiger sharks and stingrays. During the sea’s low tide, the cays offer a convenient rest stop for a variety of seabirds.
DAY 05 – HINCHINBROOK/BROOK/DUNK ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
HINCHINBROOK/BROOK/DUNK ISLANDS, INDONESIA
Off the eastern shores of Australia’s Queensland in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are Hinchinbrook, Brook and Dunk islands, all homes to magnificent national parks rich in lush, tropical vegetation and incredible wildlife. Hinchinbrook, the largest island on the Great Barrier Reef, is surrounded by mangroves, fringing reefs and seagrass beds that sustain dolphins, dugongs, turtles and more. Dunk Island counts the famous blue Ulysses butterfly among its wealth of species. And the Brook Islands are host to breeding colonies of bridled, black-naped and roseate terns.
DAY 06 – MAGNETIC ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
MAGNETIC ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Part of a submerged coastal mountain, Magnetic Island sits off the coast of northeastern Queensland, Australia, in Halifax Bay, an inlet of the Coral Sea. It was originally named Magnetical by British navigator James Cook, who believed the compass on his ship was affected by the island. Home to beautiful beaches and a spectacular national park, this mountainous island of rocky granite headlands and towering pines features an abundance of wildlife, including koalas, rock wallabies and brushtail possums.
DAY 07 – WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
Situated along the east coast of Queensland and sheltered by Australia’s amazing Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands, with their serene, crystalline waters, powdery white beaches and green mountains, are a natural wonderland. Many bird and animal species are found on the islands and reefs, including six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. Unspoiled Whitehaven Beach, a seven-mile stretch along Whitsunday Island, is the perfect spot to relax, stroll or enjoy a refreshing swim.
DAY 08 – NORTHUMBERLAND ISLANDS EXPEDITION STOPS , AUSTRALIA
NORTHUMBERLAND ISLANDS EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
The pristine islands of the Cumberland archipelago off the east coast of Queensland, Australia, are commonly referred to as the Whitsundays, and virtually all of the islands are beautiful natural parks. Discovered by British navigator James Cook in the 18th century, they were named for the Duke of Cumberland. Whitsunday’s Whitehaven Beach, a seven-mile stretch of powdery sands, is a beachcomber’s dream. Along with the Percy Isles, part of the Northumberland group, these island gems offer the ideal setting for beach walks and water sports.
DAY 09 – OUTER REEF EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
OUTER REEF EXPEDITION STOPS, AUSTRALIA
Palm-fringed, powdery beaches, forested hills and the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea are the hallmarks of the Percy Isles, nestled within Australia’s Northumberland Islands off the tropical coast of Queensland. The largest of the three islands in the group, Middle Island, is a national park boasting nearly 600 species of flora and fauna. A quirky A-frame hut on one of the beaches houses memorabilia from yachts that have visited. The serene island is perfect for beach strolls and water sports.
DAY 10 – HERALD AND SWAIN REEFS NATIONAL PARK, AUSTRALIA
HERALD AND SWAIN REEFS NATIONAL PARK, AUSTRALIA
Protectively encompassing nine of the Great Barrier Reef’s most important cays, Swain Reefs National Park is a trove of treasured habitats for a cocophany of wild creatures. Endangered seabirds and marine turtles find refuge in this natural haven, while humpback whales often choose to calve in the park’s remote areas. “The Swains,” as they are known to the locals, also boast coveted dive and snorkel sites for underwater enthusiasts, who will find preserved coral reefs and their fascinating resident species.
DAY 11 – LADY MUSGRAVE AND LADY ELLIOT ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
LADY MUSGRAVE AND LADY ELLIOT ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA
Set within Australia’s Capricornia Cays National Park, Lady Musgrave is a 35-acre coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef. Sitting at the southern tip of a large protected blue lagoon, this jewel of an island is a hot spot for reef walking, snorkeling, diving, and bird watching. Underwater spectacles include schools of pelagic fish, sea snakes, manta rays, and reef sharks. Its forested landscape attracts a host of seabirds, including white-capped noddy terns. Equally impressive is the nearby Lady Elliot Island, a key habitat for green and loggerhead sea turtles.
DAY 12 – FRASER ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
FRASER ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Fraser Island faces sparkling Hervey Bay, a whale watcher’s paradise of sheltered waters that often serve as a calf nursery for humpback whales. Fraser Island itself is home to stunning tropical rainforests, lakes and beaches where nature lovers can marvel at the incredible array of wildlife, including dingoes, wallabies, sugar gliders, sand monitors, and over 350 species of birds.
DAY 13 – CRUISING THE COAST OF AUSTRALIA
DAY AT SEA
Aboard the world’s largest and most spacious luxury expedition yacht, you’ll find an array of unmatched experiences to immerse in during your days at sea. Indulge your senses at the serene Crystal Life Spa & Salon, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center, and learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging enrichment programs. Or simply lounge poolside in solarium bliss while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. As evening arrives, indulge in the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, lounge in luxurious spaces, or try your luck at the action-packed Resorts World At Sea Casino.
DAY 14 – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Sydney is an energetic and exciting metropolis where nightlife, shopping and fine restaurants compare favorably with the finest the world has to offer. Despite its modern advances, Sydney has lovingly cherished its heritage, for this was the birthplace of the Australian nation, defined by the billowing profile of the Opera House and the dramatic arch of the Harbour Bridge.
DISEMBARK – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
Sydney is an energetic and exciting metropolis whose nightlife, shopping and fine restaurants compare favorably with the finest the world has to offer. Despite its modern advances, Sydney has lovingly cherished its heritage, for this was the birthplace of the Australian nation, defined by the billowing profile of the Opera House and the dramatic arch of the Harbour Bridge.