Coral Geographer

Specifications of Coral Geographer

Year built2020 new ship
BuilderVARD Vietnam Shipyard (Vung Tau, Vietnam)
Building costUSD 75 million (EUR 67 million)
OwnerKallang Capital Holdings
OperatorCoral Expeditions Australia
Speed14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph
Length (LOA)94 m / 308 ft
Beam (width)17 m / 56 ft
Gross Tonnage5600 gt
Passengers120
Crew48
Decks7
Cabins60
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsCoral Adventurer
Christened bytba

Coral Geographer Review

Review of Coral Geographer

Launched in 2020 at VARD Vietnam Shipyard and scheduled for inauguration in January 2021, MS Coral Geographer cruise ship is the 5th fleetmate and the newest vessel (currently under construction) of the Australian cruise company Coral Expeditions. In May 2019, the cruise line decided to use its option for building a second (same-designed) vessel as a sistership to Coral Adventurer (2019-built).

History - construction and ownership

The travel company Coral Expeditions (formerly Coral Princess Cruises) was established in 1984 by Captain Tony Briggs. His first ship was an ex-World War II Fairmile-class submarine chaser. The vessel was converted to carry up to 24 passengers on short overnight trips to the Great Barrier Reef from company's base in Cairns Queensland.

MS Coral Geographer cruise ship (Coral Expeditions)

All Coral Expeditions ships are Australia-flagged, Australia-based, and employ all-Australian crew. Coral Expeditions' regions of operation include New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Kimberley and Northern Australia, Tasmania and South Pacific Islands. The fleet also includes Coral Discoverer, and the two motorized catamarans (sister-ships by design) Coral Expeditions 1 (fka "Coral Princess I") and Coral Expeditions 2 (fka "Coral Princess II").

The ship Coral Geographer was designed for ocean cruising to more isolated and shallower tropical destinations. The boat conforms to the highest maritime standards for operational redundancy, build quality, environmental compliance and safety.

One of the unique features on this shallow-drafted ship (4,5 m / 15 ft) is its tendering system, allowing passenger tendering (embarkation or disembarkation) within just 20 min. Through hydraulic lifts, both tenders (aka "Xplorer" / 65-passenger aluminium boats) are lifted out of the water, making boarding/deboarding operations more efficient, without the need of gangways, ramps or stairs.

MS Coral Geographer cruise ship (Coral Expeditions)

The ship also has dedicated to scientific research facilities and equipment. It has active stabilizers reducing roll in different sea conditions.

Cruise itinerary program

MS Coral Geographer itinerary program is based on Asia-Pacific cruises to Kimberley region, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and South Pacific Islands.

Coral Expeditions itineraries feature cruises around deserted islands and pristine reefs in destinations not popular for day trippers and large liners. Company's Great Barrier Reef (Coral Sea) itineraries depart from the Queensland ports Darwin to Cairns.

During the maiden cruises season, Coral Geographer will operate company's new "Small Islands of the Indian Ocean” itinerary program. It starts with the 25-day Inaugural Cruise (January 6, 2021) from Singapore to Victoria (Mahe Island, Seychelles) with planned visits to ports in Sumatra, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Voyage 2 (15-day Seychelles to Mauritius) visits the Indian Ocean islands Madagascar, Reunion and Aldabra. Voyage 3 (25-30-days) is from Mauritius to Fremantle-Perth (Australia) and science-themed.

Cabins

Coral Geographer staterooms (60 total) are all outside and over 50% are with private step-out balconies. Each of the passenger cabins is fitted with en-suite bathroom (WC-toilet, shower, mirrored single-sink vanity, ample storage space). Staterooms as sizes range from 17 m2 (183 ft2 / on Promenade Deck 4, with large windows) to Bridge Deck Balcony Suites of 38 m2 (405 ft2). Balcony staterooms are sized 22 m2 (230 ft2). Promenade Deck cabins (with a window) and Coral Deck cabins (each with 2x Porthole windows) are same-sized (17 m2).

Suite cabins are with outside-facing bathrooms and Horizon tubs (infinity bathtubs with floor-ceiling windows and sky views). Balcony Suites are with separate lounge area (modern L-shaped sofa, armchair with footstool), sleeping area (2x King-size beds), coffee machine, minibar (complimentary replenished daily), private step-out balcony (sized 8 m2 / 85 ft2).

All cabin balconies (are sized 4 m2 (40 ft2) and fitted with 2x armchairs and 1x coffee table. Bridge Deck suite balconies additionally have an outdoor daybed plus a 2-seater lounge chair. Standard cabin amenities include King-size bed (convertible to two twin beds), bedside cabinets (1-drawer, with reading lamps), wardrobe, mirrored vanity (writing desk with armchair), electronic safe box (in the closet), handmade artworks on the walls, no HDTVs.

MS Coral Geographer has a total of 6x Bridge Deck Balcony Suites, 26x Explorer Deck Balcony cabins, 16x Promenade Deck staterooms (window) and 12x Coral Deck staterooms (porthole windows). Captain’s cabin and Expedition Team's cabin are adjacent and located forward-starboard on Deck 5. Crew cabins provide accommodation for up to 48 people (staff and crew).

MS Coral Geographer cruise ship (Coral Expeditions)

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

The full-capacity (single-seating) dining room restaurant is furnished with communal "wine table" topped with Australian stone. The restaurant serves buffet breakfast and lunch, along with multi-course table d’hote dinners. Meals are prepared with Australian produce and many locally-sourced (itinerary-based) ingredients. Dietary requirements or restrictions are catered to with 2 weeks notice. The wine list is an abbreviated selection which reflects the variety of Australian wine. Australian and New Zealand spirits are also offered, including barrels of slowly ageing Tasmanian single-malt whiskey.

The Galley (ship's kitchen) is adjacent to the restaurant and features a small viewing window.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

The cruise ship features Australian (Queensland) themed interior and more than 1000 m2 of open deck space with wrap-around promenade deck. A couple of trademarked "Xplorer" tenders are located in the back of the vessel and seat all passengers (tendering capacity 60 seats each) to facilitate comfortable transportation between the ship and land. Six Zodiacs (large-capacity motorized heavy-duty inflatable boats) are used for landings and close to shore excursions.

An onboard reference library and a lecture lounge with multimedia capabilities are used for daily port talks, tour briefings and media presentations led by Coral Expeditions experts. The Geographer cruise ship has the traditional for smaller vessels "open bridge" policy allowing its passengers to visit the Wheelhouse (on Deck 6) and communicate with the officers on duty. The Observation Lounge (Navigator Lounge) is part of the Navigation Bridge. Indoor and outdoor bars serve wines, beers, drinks. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all cabins and public areas.

Midship on top-deck (Vista Deck) is located the spacious Xplorer Bar - an outdoor bar lounge (large canopy-covered deck space) that provides the best panoramic views on the boat.

MS Coral Geographer cruise ship (Coral Expeditions)

The Coral Geographer ship has 5 passenger-accessible decks (out of 7 total / 4 with cabins) and 1000+ m2 (~10,800 ft2) of open-deck space, which includes the wraparound Promenade Deck (deck 4). Tours of the Engine Room are also offered and complimentary. The ship has a small Gym (deck 5 midship) fitted with panoramic windows and modern fitness equipment. One lift (midship-portside located passenger elevator) connects all decks.

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The vessel was officially ordered by Coral Expeditions to VARD Vung Tau Shipyard on June 6, 2019, with planned delivery in 2020-Q4. The contract was signed by Paul Chacko (Coral Expeditions' Executive Director) and Mark Fifield (VARD Group's General Manager).

Compared to the 2019-built Coral Adventurer, Geographer has 6x balcony suites (2x on Adventurer). All are located forward on Bridge Deck (deck 6) and additionally feature Horizon tubs (with sky views) in their scenic bathrooms.

Coral Geographer was launched (floated out from drydock at VARD's Vung Tau Shipyard in Vietnam) on September 22, 2020. It took 2 days to relocate the vessel from the shipbuilding yard onto the floating dock for outfitting (machinery, stonework, wood panelling, public areas, staterooms).

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