Southern Australia Coastal Discovery
- 12 Days
- Fremantle, Australia - Adelaide, Australia
- Voyage code:
- Greg Mortimer
from AUD $14,476.00/pp Save 20%*
See 'Cabins & Prices' tab for discounted rates. This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.
Round Cape Leeuwin and enter a world of deep-sea canyons, granite-domed islands and white-sand beaches swept by the Southern Ocean. Follow a coast charted by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin where whales, sea lions, fur seals, great white sharks and Australia’s only pirate reigned supreme. Watch for whales as you sail, with hotspots like Bremer Bay Canyon attracting orcas, minkes, southern rights and humpbacks. Hike to vantage points in the Recherche Archipelago, more than a hundred islands that are home to Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, a sensational pink lake and the pirate Black Jack. Keep an eye out for southern right whales beneath the dramatic sea cliffs at Head of Bight. Photograph Cape Barren geese, rare lizards and rock wallabies in the Investigator Group off Eyre Peninsula, and visit the world-famous oyster farms of Coffin Bay. Snorkel with playful sea lions in the Spencer Gulf before a final foray to Kangaroo Island to admire wind-sculpted granite, tammar wallabies, koalas and a variety of birdlife.
This expedition is subject to regulatory approval and only open to Australian residents.
- Explore and learn about the unique marine ecosystems designated as “Hope Spots” by Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue team, including the ‘Great Southern Reef’, Salisbury Island and Kangaroo Island
- Cruise the nutrient-rich waters of Bremer Bay’s deep-sea canyons that attract orcas, sharks, dolphins, sperm whales and giant squid
- Trek on the wilderness islands of the Recherche Archipelago, discovering pink lakes, sea lion colonies and stories of sealers, whalers and pirates that preceded you
- Enjoy spectacular birdwatching in the Investigator Group, renowned for its endangered fairy tern, Cape Barren geese, rock parrots and more
- Delight in the playfulness and grace of Australian sea lions as you snorkel^ in the waters off Hopkins Island
- Inspect bushfire recovery on Kangaroo Island, with the return of koalas, short-beaked echidnas and tammar wallabies
^Sea lion snorkel activity at Hopkins Island is included in expedition cost.
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to weather conditions.
Day 1 Fremantle
Embark the Greg Mortimer in the afternoon. After boarding, take time to settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings. Enjoy the thrill of departure as we pull. In the evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.
Day 2 At sea, Chatham Island
Departing Fremantle, share the ‘Humpback Highway’ with leviathans returning to Antarctica and possibly a dolphin escort. Round Australia’s south-west corner, home to the lovely Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which marks where the Indian and Southern oceans meet. In the afternoon, conditions permitting, we hope to Zodiac cruise along Chatham Island’s soaring granite cliffs. Not to be confused with New Zealand’s Chatham Islands (first sunrise on Earth – each day), Australia’s Chatham Island is a nature reserve that’s home to NZ fur seals, flesh-footed shearwaters, little penguins and WA’s only threatened plant, the cliff-hanging fern Asplenium obtusatum.
Day 3 Bremer Bay Canyon
Wake to a stretch of Southern Ocean 70 km off the coast that looks just like the surrounding sea – but it’s not. Below the surface is Bremer Bay Canyon, which each summer redirects a cold, salty Antarctic current up from the deep. When the nutrient-rich waters hit the surface, they create a biological hotspot unlike any on Earth. Breaching orcas, dolphins, sperm whales and giant squid are just part of the marine life frenzy. Blue sharks have been seen following orcas. The phenomenon is still relatively new, so keep track of any new sightings. Even pygmy blue whales pass through the area. If conditions allow, we’ll launch Zodiacs for an experience you’ll never forget.
Days 4-5 Recherche Archipelago
Awake amidst the Recherche Archipelago, a chain of 105 islands and some 1200 islets that stretch from near Esperance in the west, to near Israelite Bay in the East. In 1803, explorer Matthew Flinders left two anchors behind, just off Middle Island, the largest in the archipelago. We hope to land here and hike to the beautiful pink, Lake Hillier, and learn the story of pirate Black Jack Anderson, a violent sealer who set off from here to raid shipping between Albany and Adelaide. Ours will take a more-gentle approach, swimming from pristine white beaches in turquoise waters shared with Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals. Exploring rarely visited islands and to photograph Recherche Cape Barren geese, rock parrots, red-eared firetails and a host of reptiles including Rosenberg’s monitor. Marvel at the raw beauty of these wilderness isles, while enjoying Southern Ocean sundowners.
Day 6 At Sea
After nearly a week of intense exploration, relax and enjoy entertaining talks about explorers who first mapped the wild coast to the north of us, and the natural history of the region we’re approaching. Step out on deck to watch for southern right and blue whales, and to photograph seabirds accompanying the ship.
Days 7-8 Great Australian Bight, Investigator Group
Continue our course parallel to the Great Australian Bight, the vertical cliff-lines marking when Antarctica separated from Australia when Gondwana broke apart. We ship cruise the Head of the Bight, where Southern Rights and pygmy blue whales come to calve, and Australian sea lions breed in small colonies along the cliffs. Above the cliffs is the spare scenery of the Nullarbor Plain. After lunch, we reach the dramatic Investigator Group of islands, just off the western shores of Eyre Peninsula. If conditions permit, Zodiac ashore on Pearson Island to look for Cape Barren geese, rare lizards and rock wallabies as well as fairy penguins, short-tailed shearwaters and rock parrots.
Days 9-10 Coffin Bay, Spencer Gulf
Delight in a day of adventure with the striking scenery of the Eyre Peninsula and Coffin Bay as the backdrop. Zodiac-cruise or paddle crystal-clear waters, stroll along unspoilt beaches or enjoy a hike amongst the coastal heath and woodlands of the National Park. Search the skies for the white-bellied sea eagles and osprey that breed along this coastline. Overnight we enter the Spencer Gulf to enjoy the treasures of the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area. The rich waters of the adjacent marine park are home to one of the world’s largest colonies of Australian sea lions.
Day 11 Kangaroo Island
Marvel at the regenerative powers of nature while exploring Australia’s third-largest island from the comfort of your floating base camp. Following on from the devastating bushfires of January 2020 this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see new life bursting forth, the return of koalas, wallabies, echidnas and dunnarts, and the pleasure of islanders as they show off the beauty of their home. From swimming with dolphins and sea lions, to participating in post-fire ecological surveys. Explore spectacular granite coastlines and gain new insights into habitat restoration from renowned experts. Local artists will share their perspectives, and guides will introduce their natural world.
Day 12 Adelaide
After breakfast, farewell your expedition team and disembark to be transferred to the airport or your hotel.
Important note: In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.
- Arrival transfer from airport to Greg Mortimer on Day 1
- Departure transfer from Greg Mortimer to airport or hotel on last day
- Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
- Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
- Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
- Complimentary spray jacket
- Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
- Gratuities for ship crew
- International or domestic flights not mentioned in the itinerary
- Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Passport, visa, and vaccination charges
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
- Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
- Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
- Optional activity surcharges
- All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges.
Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
Whale and mammal spotting
In the sparkling clear waters of Seal Cove, South Australia, this excursion offers you the unique opportunity to encounter the …
Swim with Sea Lions
In the sparkling clear waters of Seal Cove, South Australia, this excursion offers you the unique opportunity to encounter the rare and endangered Australian sea lion in its natural habitat. These gentle, inquisitive and acrobatic marine creatures are highly curious about humans and come twirling gracefully towards you, performing somersaults in and out of the water, inviting you to join in their fun. Wetsuit, fin, mask and snorkel are provided, and you must be a competent swimmer who can swim unassisted to participate in this activity.
How to Book
Contact us or your preferred travel agent for more information or mention at time of booking.View more details
From AUD $480.00/pp
To encounter a great white shark in the wild is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Employing innovative, industry-leading techniques to attract …
Great White Shark Experience
To encounter a great white shark in the wild is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Employing innovative, industry-leading techniques to attract sharks to the vessel, our tour operator partner offers three options for you to choose from to safely witness these formidable apex predators up close.
1. Aqua Sub
Experience the world’s first “Aqua Sub” – a revolutionary way to view great white sharks in their natural habitat. You will stay completely dry and comfortable on your shark-viewing experience in a fully submersible glass vessel that offers unbeatable 360-degree underwater views.
2. Surface Cage Dive
Prepare yourself for a heart-racing thrill by entering the water with up to six adventurers in a customised alloy shark cage to view great white sharks up close. Descend approximately two metres underwater in the cage and use surface air supply and regulators to breathe. No diving certificate is required to participate in this activity, making it an unbeatable way to view these formidable creatures up close, near the water surface.
3. Bottom Cage Dive
For the ultimate shark viewing experience, experienced divers have the option to descend 18 metres to the ocean floor of Neptune Islands in a custom-designed bottom cage, for the chance to see great white sharks hunting at the ocean floor, where they spend most of their time. For 45 minutes, up to three experienced divers, escorted by a dive captain, have the rare opportunity to perhaps witness great white sharks ‘ambush prey from great ocean depths’. A PADI Open Water dive certificate is required for participation.
How to Book
Contact us or your preferred travel agent for more information or mention at time of booking.View more details
From AUD $600.00/pp
Experience the raw power of nature when you paddle in the open ocean below towering birdcliffs, among sea stacks and …
Temperate Climate Kayaking
Experience the raw power of nature when you paddle in the open ocean below towering birdcliffs, among sea stacks and along shorelines where seabirds nest. Led by highly-experienced and enthusiastic guides, join a small group of up to 20 like-minded adventurers and create lasting memories immersed in the world’s wild and remote destinations where spontaneous wildlife encounters are ordinary occurrences.
Rather than travelling large distances, our aim is to see as much as possible. We paddle anywhere between 5 to 15 kilometres (2 to 4 hours) per outing, sometimes taking a snack and a flask of hot chocolate to enjoy on our excursion.
Each group of 4 to 10 kayakers will have their own intimate exploration of the small hidden bays and coasts that may be inaccessible to the Zodiacs and will also make time for their own shore excursions and wildlife encounters.
When we visit the poles, the elements play an important role. It is important that you have an adventurous attitude and understand that our kayaking time will be affected by the weather that we experience.
Even if your experience is limited, we’d encourage you to call us to discuss your suitability. There is often ample time to gain the required experience before you depart. Kayakers should be aged 14 years or over.
- Kayak & Paddle
- Neoprene boots
- Safety gear
- A 15-litre dry bag
- Life jackets
- Pogies (insulated mittens that attach to your paddle)
Our guides have years of kayaking experience in our destinations. The sea kayaking guide will lead the group on each excursion, explaining facts about the wildlife and other highlights we paddle across. Read about some of our expert guides below.
How to Book
Please return the kayaking form at time of booking that you would like to include the optional sea kayaking activity for your expedition. Places are limited so we recommend reserving your place early.View more details
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*Terms & Conditions apply. Offer is only valid on new bookings and on select ship voyages only which must be booked and deposited by 24th April 2021. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with the back to back voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The promotion can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. Prices and offers correct at time of printing and subject to change. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of AUD 2,500 per person is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see full terms and conditions.