Coral Expeditions continues fleet growth
Australia’s pioneering expedition cruise line, Coral Expeditions, continues to expand their Australian-flagged fleet announcing the order of a fifth ship, Coral Geographer, to be delivered in December 2020.
The new build, which is currently under construction at VARD Shipyard, will be a sister ship to the company’s recently launched Coral Adventurer, which arrived in home waters in Darwin, Australia, earlier this month.
The 120-passenger Coral Geographer will feature the same state-of-the-art specifications as the Coral Adventurer. However, in response to market demand, the new ship will have an increased proportion of bridge deck suites – up from two to six large suites – all featuring horizon bathtubs.
The new ship order further extends the growth plans of the company and the modernisation of the fleet towards 2021. The fleet is designed for exploration with small passenger numbers, world leading proprietary expedition capabilities, and ability to access the farthest regions of the world with comfort and ease.
“We’ve witnessed significant demand for our unique style of expedition cruising, and the business has confidence to order a fifth ship only weeks after launching Coral Adventurer,” says Mark Fifield, Group General Manager of Coral Expeditions.
“We are confident in the ongoing strength of the expedition sector along with the vessel’s size, her design and her capabilities. She represents the perfect balance between being large enough for ocean voyaging yet having a small and intimate ship feel to maximise our guest experience. We classify ourselves as a “true expedition” operator and are one of a small fraternity of global operators with the experience and focus to understand and deliver this style of adventure,” said Mr Fifield.
In a first for Coral Expeditions and drawing on the company’s pioneering tradition, in her maiden season the Coral Geographer will embark on an expedition series exploring the “Small Islands of the Indian Ocean”.
In January 2021, Coral Geographer will set sail on her inaugural voyage over 25-nights from Singapore to the Seychelles including the islands of Sumatra, Sri Lanka and numerous remote atolls of the Maldives before ending in the Seychelles.
Her second sailing will be over 15-nights from the Seychelles to Mauritius, featuring an extensive exploration of the remote coastline of northern Madagascar, Reunion Island, and Aldabra atoll, named by David Attenborough as “one of the wonders of the world” and as a “crown jewel” of the Indian Ocean.
The third voyage will see her complete an epic traverse of the Indian Ocean from Mauritius back home to Fremantle, Australia. This voyage is being planned as a 25-30 night research exploration and in conjunction with partners focused on scientific and natural environment content. Guest numbers will be strictly limited on this voyage.
Voyages 1 and 2 of the Coral Geographer maiden series are open for bookings from this week, whilst Voyage 3 across the Indian Ocean is open to expressions of interest at this time from individuals and associations.
Celebrating 35 years of history in expedition cruising excellence in 2020, Coral Geographer will join the existing fleet, which at present includes the 120-guest Coral Adventurer and the 72-guestCoral Discoverer. The company also operates the 46-guest Coral Expeditions I, and 42-guest Coral Expeditions II.
According to Mr Fifield, construction is currently well progressed and running on schedule, with all milestones on track for a December 2020 delivery. The inaugural series of three voyages will set sail from Singapore on January 6th, 2021 and the Coral Geographer will arrive home to Australian waters in Fremantle in late March 2021.