7 Night Coral Sea Exploratory

7 Nights / 26 Dives. This annual expedition combines adventure diving in the Coral Sea with the best of the Great Barrier Reefs Ribbon Reefs. The initial phase of this expedition focuses on providing an opportunity to encounter swimming with dwarf minke whales.

Current 2020 Departure date: 23 July.

  • Minkes (Seasonal June-July) – Dedicated time to find and swim with the whales
  • Continental Shelf – Dive 100 miles north of Cairns on the edge of the shelf, exposed to currents
  • Ribbon Reefs – great fish and coral diversity
  • Cod Hole – Swim with diver size potato cod
  • Dynamite Pass, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Coral Kingdom, Flare Point, Blue Lagoon, Gotham City, Vertical Gardens
  • Steve’s Bommie – a highlight with an incredible array of weird and wonderful creatures.
  • Lizard Island – enjoy an hour or two exploring beautiful Lizard Island – white sand beaches and a short hike to Chinaman’s Ridge
  • Plummeting Coral Sea wall dives in gin clear water
  • Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea

Get Spoilt

Spoilsport is Australia’s most awarded liveaboard.
Enjoy sumptuous cuisine and a superb combination of diver conveniences, space & stability.

Weather
Spoilsport’s favourite dive locations will be selected should weather force an itinerary change.


Minke Whales (Seasonal June-July)

A unique opportunity to get face to face with these amazing creatures, and learn more about their biology and behaviour from the research volunteers on board. You may also choose to participate in this research by assisting with behaviour monitoring and other projects.

The Ribbon Reefs

The most prized dive region of Great Barrier Reef, this stretch of reef from Lizard Island to Cooktown is also where the minke whales migrate each year to breed and calve. Nutrient rich waters from the Continental Shelf attract abundant fish and coral species.

The Cod Hole - GBR

The Cod Hole is famous for its diver-sized potato cod. These fish are incredibly inquisitive and don’t mind getting very chummy with divers. A great opportunity to capture photographs of these magnificent characters or simply hang out and enjoy their company.

Gotham City - GBR

A sloping reef, rich with hard and soft corals and reef fish.  This site makes a very exciting night dive with congregations of hunting fish such as sharks and trevally.

Fairy Grotto - Coral Sea

A ‘mountain range’ of big coral bommies flanked by a steep wall dropping to over a 1000 meters. The many small caverns and swim throughs at this site give it its name, the largest of which is spacious enough to fit several divers.

North Horn - Coral Sea

Welcome to shark central!  See 10-30 grey reef, white-tip reef, silver tip sharks  with three shark attraction dives on offer (observation, feed and private shark shoot).

Nonki Bommie - Holmes Reef - Coral Sea

Soft coral and sea fan enthusiasts will love this dive. Nonki Bommie rises to the surface from 35 metres and it is split with a huge crack down the middle filled with giant yellow and orange sea fans.  Sharks and other fish are attracted to the site, making for an exciting dive

Crystal Plateau - Bougainville Reef - Coral Sea

The reef top descends to a spectacular terrace of hard corals at 20-30m before edging over into an abyss hundreds of metres deep. Sea fans and soft corals adorn the reef wall where sharks also patrol.

False Entrance - Coral Sea

An amazing dive site with exciting fish action alongside the dazzling colours of gorgonian fans, whips and soft corals.  See resident schooling big eye trevally and barracudas, and in the cooler months keep an eye out for cruising hammerheads out in the blue.

Lighthouse Bommie – GBR

This is one of the best places to see dwarf minke whales but it’s also an excellent dive site in its own right with one large pinnacle attracting tonnes of marine life including sharks, rays, turtles and reef fish, olive sea snakes, stonefish and other critters.

Pixie Pinnacle - GBR

An exciting pinnacle dive, draped in soft corals and absolutely heaving with fish life.  Spiral your way up the pinnacle and search for interesting critters such as the flame file clam, or ‘disco clam’, named for the flashing light that appears to pulse along its mantle.

Steve’s Bommie - GBR

Steve’s Bommie is a photographers dream with an incredible quantity of diverse marine life. Hunt out such creatures as stonefish, scorpionfish, octopus, clown anemone fish and turtles, not to mention the many schools of fish that call this place home.

Dive Site Guarantee!

Spoilsport’s outstanding stability minimizes disruption to your itinerary and your scuba diving experience. If weather forces an itinerary change we divert to the best, ‘safe, accessible sites’ to ensure you get the best scuba diving available. The Coral Sea may not be accessible in strong winds.

All itinerary details are subject to change, specific marine life cannot be guaranteed.

Expedition prices, per person in Australian dollars.

Coral Sea, Ribbons and Minkes: 7 Night Coral Sea Exploratory 23 July 2020
CabinPrice
Premium$5889
Standard$5410
Club$4726
Budget$4027

Reef Tax $7.00/day
Fuel Levy $0

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in twin/double cabins
  • Delicious meals & snacks, wine and soft drink are included with the evening meal
  • Tanks, air fills and weight belt
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reef ecology programme
  • Dive computer workshop
  • Transfer to the airport or Cairns hotel after your expedition
  • Scenic flight Cairns to Lizard Island
  • Vivid Pix digital photo editing software workshop

Please note that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority requires us to collect an Environmental Management Charge of $6.50 per day spent on the Great Barrier Reef.  This amount will be added to your bar bill at the end of your expedition.

Click on the links here for extras such as dive courses, photo services and gear hire, plus discounts available.

Premium – queen or double bed, private bathroom, ocean views.
Standard – twin beds, private bathroom, ocean views.
Club – twin bunk beds, private bathroom, no ocean view.
Budget – twin bunk beds, share bathroom, no ocean view.

Itinerary

Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.

Thursday:  

  • Check in at our office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm.
  • From 4.30 pm:  Make your own way to Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf (200m from MBDE office) to meet your fellow passengers.  Please note that dinner is not provided on the first evening so you may wish to eat before boarding.
  • 5.50 pm: Our crew will lead you from Hemingway’s Brewery Cairns Wharf to board Spoilsport.  Enjoy a glass of champagne and light snacks while your Trip Director provides a full briefing.
  • 6.00 pm:  Spoilsport departs Cairns
  • Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.

Friday:  (4 dives + night dive)

This is a sample of a ‘typical day’, however exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

  • 6.30 am: Wakeup call, light breakfast available in dining room
  • 7:00 am: Dive brief & diving commences
  • 9.00 am: Full cooked Breakfast
  • 10.30 am: Dive brief & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm
  • 2.00 pm: Lunch
  • 3.30 pm: Dive brief & diving
  • 4:30 pm: Afternoon Tea
  • 6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
  • 8:00 pm: Dinner

Sat – Tue:  (4 dives + night dive)

  • As per above

Wednesday: (4 dives)

  • As per above. Exit last dive 5pm.
  • As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for a final farewell party!
  • Overnight cruise to Cairns

Thursday:

  • 7.00 am:  Light breakfast
  • 8:00 am:  Disembark and courtesy transfer to Cairns inner city hotels, the airport or our office where we can store your luggage until 5pm if you have a later flight.

Important:

  • We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Wednesday).
Summary
Biodiversity and Adventure Diving
Experience
Advanced, or 15 logged ocean dives inc. 5 in last 12 months.
Embark
Thursday 6pm – Trinity Wharf, Cairns.
(Check-in before 4pm at the Mike Ball office).
Disembark
Thursday 8am - Trinity Wharf, Cairns
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