Australia-based Coral Expeditions has signed a contract with Norwegian shipbuilder Vard for two new “next generation” expedition cruise ships. The first new ship, which will mark the fourth in Coral Expeditions’ fleet, is set to debut in mid-2019, with the other new ship to follow.
The new ship will be designed for ocean voyages to remote areas inaccessible to larger vessels, Coral Expeditions said. The ship will have a maximum capacity of 120 guests in 60 cabins, which the line said will provide a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The Australian-flagged and –crewed ship will also have the following features:
- Two “Xplorer” tenders on hydraulic platforms to allow guests to embark and disembark without steps or queues
- A lecture lounge for daily presentations and briefings
- Onboard facilities for hosting scientific research missions and local exhibitors
- Spacious communal areas, including a dining room that seats all guests
- En-suite bathrooms on all outside-facing cabins; additionally, over half will have private balconies
- Open bridge policy and guest observation lounge overlooking the bridge
- Multiple indoor and outdoor bars
The ship’s Australian-designed interior will incorporate the colors and textures of tropical Queensland, the company’s birthplace. Accommodations will range from outside staterooms (183 sq ft) to suites (463 sq ft) with outside-facing bathrooms. The ship will also have elevators, a gym, and active stabilizers to improve guest comfort in various conditions.
The ship will sail itineraries in the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land (The Top of Australia), Papua New Guinea, the Spice Islands, Indonesia and the South Pacific. Bookings will be available this October, with more information to be released closer to the booking date.