MV Coral Expeditions II

Former name: Coral Princess II

Specifications of MV Coral Expeditions II

Year of build1985  /  Age: 38
Flag state Australia
BuilderNQEA Pty Ltd (Cairns, Australia)
ClassMotor Catamaran
Speed12 kn / 22 km/h / 14 mph
Length (LOA)35 m / 115 ft
Beam (width)12 m / 39 ft
Gross Tonnage730 gt
Passengers46 - 50
Passengers-to-space ratio15
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2015
Former namesCoral Princess II
OwnerKallang Capital Holdings (Singapore) via Coral Princess Cruises (Australia)
OperatorCoral Expeditions Australia

MV Coral Expeditions II Review

Review of MV Coral Expeditions II

The 1985-built MV Coral Expeditions 2 cruise ship is a catamaran cruising in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef (Coral Sea, Australia). The vessel was built in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) and is ideally suited to exploring UNESCO World Heritage-listed Marine Park. Cairns is also the turnaround (departure port) of the cruise ship. The catamaran design handles perfectly the choppy waters. The ship's small size (draft of only 2,5 m / 8 ft) enables it to visit reef regions that larger vessels can't.

The vessel (IMO number 8409240) is currently Australia-flagged (MMSI 503796000).

Coral Expeditions itineraries feature sailing around deserted islands and pristine reefs beyond the reach of day-trippers and larger ships. The company's Great Barrier Reef (Coral Sea) cruise itineraries depart from the Queensland ports Darwin to Cairns, each offering a snapshot of the diverse ecosystem of the marine park.

MV Coral Expeditions II cruise ship

The travel company Coral Expeditions (fka Coral Princess Cruises/fleet) 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 the company's base in Cairns. All Coral Expeditions' ships are Australia-flagged, Australia-based, and employ all-Australian crew, which makes them one of the several truly Australian cruise companies. Coral Expeditions' field of operation includes New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Kimberley and Northern Australia, Tasmania and South Pacific. The 3-ship fleet includes Coral Discoverer, Coral Expeditions 2 and Coral Expeditions 1 (sister-ship by design, formerly "Coral Princess I").

On December 15, 2014, Tony Briggs (Coral Princess Cruises Pty Ltd's Founder and Managing Director) announced that the Singapore-based Kallang Capital Holdings (part of PrimePartners Group Pte Ltd) has acquired a majority stake in the company.

Shipboard facilities

Coral Expeditions 2 has 4 decks and 25 staterooms. The catamaran had a major drydock refit and refurbishment (total makeover) in 1996 after the acquisition by Coral Princess Cruises Australia (now Coral Expeditions). Another major refit was done in 2015.

Coral Expeditions II doesn't offer luxury (by contemporary cruising standards). The extensive use of teak gives the staterooms and dining room an old-time maritime feel. The upper deck features wrap-around windows. Ship's Sun Deck is adjacent to the lounge and provides plenty of tables and chairs. It could benefit from a few more loungers, which may happen when the tiny spa pool is removed during the next refurbishment. Coral Expeditions 2 is an expedition ship, so there are no full-length cabin windows or balcony rooms, but this hardly matters, as passengers tend to spend little time there.

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