We caught up with Lauren Garner, one of the knowledgeable Product Manager’s at Discover The World about her own experiences on one of their tours. Here's what she had to say:
I travelled with Coral Expeditions on-board the Coral Adventurer and we cruised from Broome to Darwin on their Kimberley Expedition Cruise.
It was amazing to see the little visited Lacepede Islands along with all the sea turtles, brown boobies and terns - a complete contrast to Whirlpool Pass and the reef walk we experienced the following day where we encountered giant clams and a blue ringed octopus! Other highlights included Horizontal Falls where we enjoyed a windswept and wild zodiac ride, Montgomery Reef where we witnessed the tide falling to reveal the reef and its wildlife, and the watering hole at Red Cone Creek where we enjoyed a refreshing dip after the climb up Ruby Falls. Along the way we encountered Tawny nurse sharks, humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, a variety of birds and one baby crocodile! The delicate rock art was also a privilege to encounter and we were lucky to visit a few sites with different variations of art. I also really enjoyed the dessert walk and crash site of the C-53 Sky Trooper, it’s quite amazing how intact the plane is, even after all these years! But for me, the top highlight would have to be the early morning hike to the top of King George Falls. We stood where the water would usually be falling (earlier in the season) and that was quite amazing. The sun was rising and beating down on the red sandstone cliffs below and the views out were simply amazing, a very special moment for me.
Some people are a little sceptical when it comes to expedition cruise holidays but this trip delivered above and beyond. The ship was superb, superior in design with an amazing crew of people from the cruise attendants, chefs, pursers, expedition team, engineers and captain and crew – they were all so friendly and welcoming and always willing to go above and beyond to make sure everybody on-board was happy. The expedition team delivered a smooth operation for each excursion, time and time again, and the guest lecturers added some depth to the many excursions and landing sights we encountered. Of particular advantage is the two Xplorer tenders which allowed for easy disembarkation on the daily excursions, especially for older clients or those with mobility issues.
It’s often easy to get caught up in the enjoyment of planning a big holiday but with so many elements to consider it can become quite a challenge to ensure everything is taken into account. From flight arrangements and stopovers, to pre and post tour stays we look after everything. At Discover The World we have first-hand knowledge of each destination we feature and we don’t just recommend the same itineraries over and over again. We take into account our clients’ interests, time scale and budget and we help plan a dream holiday for each individual booking. We carefully select our preferred local operators based on quality, exceptional service and expertise. This doesn’t always mean 5 star luxury hotels, but more 5 star experiences and encounters. And of course we have our no surcharge guarantee and full financial protection giving clients complete peace of mind, more details can be found on our website: https://www.discover-the-world.com/financial-protection/
This is a difficult question as everywhere is on my list (!), but I was so impressed with Coral Expeditions that I’d have to say their new Islands of the Indian Ocean itinerary would have to be next! I’ve wanted to visit Sri Lanka for some years and this itinerary sails from Singapore via the fascinating islands of Sumatra, Sri Lanka and the Maldives and finishes in the Seychelles. It would be great to encounter elephants and giant tortoises and dive at pristine coral reefs, but the rich cultural history also appeals. There are a few UNESCO world heritage sites included along the way and it would just be glorious to soak up sunshine and beautiful unspoiled beaches along the way too.