The only large Australia-flagged and Australian-crewed company Coral Expeditions announced new 2021 itineraries and a new investor.
NRMA Insurance aquired a stake in the 5-ship company that operates roundtrips from homeport Cairns Queensland Australia. NRMA's investment will provide Coral Expeditions with access to its 2,8 million membership base and the NRMA-owned tourism holdings - from caravan parks to services like the Manly Fast Ferry and whale-watching tour boats.
The deal also means that Coral Expeditions can expand at a time when its small-sized cruise ships are in high demand. A statement from both parties said the investment would support Coral Expeditions "in growing its operational footprint into the future."
The 35-year-old cruise company has a sea-going fleet featuring Coral Discoverer (2005-built) and the newbuilds Coral Adventurer (2019) and Coral Geographer (2021 March). Most voyages are in the Kimberley region (Western Australia).
Coral Expeditions also offers cruises in the Great Barrier Reef and in 2021 expands its itinerary program into South Australia (late-February) and Tasmania (October).