November 6 – 13, 2017
- Ocean View Deluxe stateroom – $4950 per person
- Ocean View Standard stateroom – $4575 per person
- Standard stateroom – $4250
It was back in 2007 when we tried to explore the Great Detached Reef off the northeast coast of Australia but we had an untimely visit from Cyclone Guba and opted to terminate the cruise early. But, what we saw only a few days into the trip was so good I vowed we would return!
It has been a few years to carve out the time, further complicated by the fact that the best boat in the region, the Spirit of Freedom, only goes there twice a year. So, we chose a date in 2017, in the best time of year for cruising the Far North of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and are very excited to be going back.
Why the buzz? First, look at a map and see how near the northeast quadrant of Australia is to Papua New Guinea. There is a wilderness of coral reef there that is very rarely visited. Tired of seeing a dozen live-aboards competing for the mooring pin? That won’t be the case in the Far North! We start the trip in Cairns, a wonderful destination in itself. This allows us to sample the best of the Ribbon Reefs, including the iconic Cod Hole and Pixie Bommie, as we dive and motor to the north. For more detail on the tropical coral reefs of Queensland, please see our Alert Diver coverage.
Eventually we cross into the Great Detached Reef region. Aside from the pristine coral reefs and abundant marine life, this is also the location of Raine Island, a rookery for most of the green sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef region. We will be there at prime nesting time, and as you might expect, we won’t be allowed to go onto the island and disturb the nesting, but we will be able to dive offshore to see the predators that tend to congregate that might feed on an adult green sea turtle, or the hatchlings. This includes tiger sharks, which would indeed be a fortunate photo opportunity.
Our time at sea will be 7 days, but rather than motor back to Cairns, which would minimize our time in the Far North, we will fly back to Cairns aboard a private charter aircraft from Lockhart River.
With only two departures per year, this is indeed a special adventure! We hope you will join us. Get more information at Spirit of Freedom.