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Day Description Arrive Depart
November 29, 2020 — Cairns, Queensland, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef, is, to quote David Attenborough, “one of the greatest, and most splendid natural treasures that the world possesses.” We’ll have access to the reef in Port Douglas as well, but to really have time to explore the reef—whether close up, with a snorkel mask and fins or scuba rig, or by air during a scenic flight—plan to arrive in Cairns a couple of days before we sail. Other highlights of Cairns include learning stories of the indigenous aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, seeing the beautiful gorges, beaches, and mountainous rainforest of Daintree National Park, and tasting your way through the Cairns Esplanade’s bars and restaurants.

1 PM6 PM
November 30, 2020 — Port Douglas, Queensland

Port Douglas is adjacent to two UNESCO sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the biodiverse Daintree Rainforest. It has delightful beach resorts and popular Macrossan Street, lined with boutique shops and restaurants. Swim in crystal-clear Mossman Gorge, crocodile watch at Daintree River, relax on the palm-fringed golden sands of Four Mile Beach, or snorkel the Low Isles and the outer portion of the Great Barrier Reef. Besides upwards of 1,500 species of fish, you’ll likely spot sea turtles, which are plentiful in the waters off Queensland—six of the world’s seven sea turtle species call the Great Barrier Reef home!

6 AM4:30 PM
December 1, 2020 — Willis Island*

While we make this mandatory 1-hour port stop for customs purposes only, keep an eye out for some of the sea birds and shore birds common to Australia, including wedge-tailed shearwaters, sooty terns, noddies, and masked, brown, and red-footed boobies. You may also spot sea turtles coming up for air.

* Port stop at Willis Island for International Customs purposes for 1 hour; guests will not disembark the ship during this time.

11:30 AM12:30 PM
December 2, 2020 — Airlie Beach, Queensland

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is home to the well-known Whitsunday islands. Besides offering another access point to the reef, this relaxed resort town also hosts one of the most famous beaches in the world—Whitehaven Beach, which is accessible only by sea or air and CNN calls the best beach for powder-soft sand. Enjoy one of the many excursions to explore Whitehaven Beach and all it has to offer. Sightsee by car, van, or coach, or take to the waters by snorkel, sea kayak, jet ski, or high-speed ocean raft. Want to just kick back and relax? Enjoy a swim in the Airlie Beach Lagoon or grab a bit at the award-winning Fish D’Vine & the Rum Bar.

Noon7:30 PM
December 3, 2020 — Middle Percy Island, Queensland

Tiny Middle Percy Island is well-known in yachting circles for its long-standing tradition of hospitality and is one of the few islands off Australia where seafarers can freely go ashore and explore. The first structure in sight is an A-frame covered in signs and souvenirs from passing boats. Note: This call includes a wet landing. No other cruise line comes to this beach, and we’re able to work with local operators to make this special event come to life. Sign up ahead of time for the island excursion with our onboard experts by kayak or Zodiac.

7 AMNoon
December 4, 2020 — Fraser Island, Queensland

There are many activities to do on this former logging station island full of towering trees. Stroll along the Wanggoolba Creek boardwalk to enjoy the freshwater flowing across the sand and the king ferns. Look for birds of prey above and dingoes along 75-Mile Beach, float down Eli Creek, or take a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Makenzie. Interested in native plants for food and healing? Attend a guided tour and cooking demonstration to learn all about the bush plants that served as both tucker (that’s nosh for non-Aussies) and treatment, as well as the fauna you might find in your frying pan.

9 AM3 PM
December 5, 2020 — Mooloolaba, Queensland

In Mooloolaba you’ll have an opportunity to visit a 100-acre (40-hetacre) wildlife conservation center that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, helped develop from its modest beginnings as his parents’ reptile park. There you can hold a koala, feed a kangaroo or wallaby, and, naturally, learn a ton about crocs. Or enjoy a walk to a waterfall in a nearby lush rainforest. Prefer to be on the water? Consider a dolphin- or whale-watching trip. Alternatively, walk the Mooloolaba Beachfront Esplanade, past outdoor cafes and restaurants, juice bars, and fashion boutiques.

10 AM6 PM
December 6, 2020 — At Sea
December 7, 2020 — Sydney, New South Wales

Best known for its distinctive harbor-front Opera House—a UNESCO World Heritage site, Sydney may be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it is also one of the most livable. The metropolis surrounds the world’s largest natural harbor and covers about 44 miles. Sydney’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers a 360-degree view of the city and surrounding area. Other sites to see include the Royal National Park, the Royal Botanic Garden, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Want to do some serious people watching? Head to Bondi Beach! Didn’t opt for a dolphin- and whale-watching trip in Mooloolaba? Cruise the open ocean off Sydney looking for humpback and southern right whales as they head south to Antarctica.

9 AM
December 8, 2020 — Sydney, New South Wales
December 9, 2020 — At Sea
December 10, 2020 — Melbourne, Australia

The capital and most populated city of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is located on the large natural bay of Port Philip. The abundance of parks and gardens here has resulted in Melbourne being referred to as Australia’s “Garden City.” The Story of the Kelly Gang, the world's first feature film, was shot in Melbourne in 1906 and On the Beach was filmed here in 1959. The city’s delightful mix of architecture includes the UNESCO-listed Royal Exhibition building, the Venetian-gothic style Old Stock Exchange, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Flinders Street Station.

8 AM
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