It’s been a while – but an Australian adventure line has launched its largest expedition ship, signalling renewed local investment in this growing area of cruise.

Coral Adventurer was launched in Singapore – and is now en route to Darwin on its sold-out maiden voyage: “In the Trail of Tasman”, an 18- day expedition cruise through the Indonesian Archipelago.

And the line told Cruise Passenger after the event it had ordered a second similar vessel as reaction to the Adventurer had been good.

Coral Expeditions has a proud history of offering a very different experiential style of cruising.

And the Adventurer’s first cruise is no exception. The ship will retrace the historic explorations of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who was first to map the coastlines of New Zealand, New Guinea and Northern Australia in the 17thcentury.

She will arrive in Australian waters for the first time with an official ceremonial welcome in Darwin on May 12th, and almost immediately start a 10-night venture through West Papua on its second itinerary, “Wildlife and Warriors”.

Coral Expeditions Senior Master Gary Wilson said: “Our itineraries are like no other as the combination of expedition cruising in remote coastal waters, matched with our warm Australian hospitality and decades of expedition experience ensure guests enjoy pushing the boundaries and taking travellers even closer to places that haven’t been explored before.”

Mark Fifield, Group General Manager at Coral Expeditions, added: “We have stuck to our conviction of a true expedition product, with capacity limited to only 120 guests so we do not dilute the guest experience”

The ship was build at the VARD shipyard with interiors designed by Brisbane-based design firm Arkhefield. See her sea trials here.

A guest observation lounge located in the bridge – a Coral Expeditions trademark – will allow guests to immerse themselves in the navigation activity and interact with crew along the way.

A multi-purpose space, the Barralong Room, will operate as part of an ongoing partnership with the Australian Geographic Society and institutional partners to host interpretive activities and projects that connect guests in an engaging format throughout their voyage experience.

The ship’s lightweight dual Xplorer expedition tenders, another trademark feature of all Coral Expeditions vessels, will extend the capabilities of the ship by allowing fast transit for all passengers with open views and deeper exploration on shore excursions. A small fleet of inflatable zodiacs allow for more intrepid exploration and personal experiences.

Coral Expeditions started with environmentally-sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, and 34 years later the fleet has grown to four ships that include two ocean-going classic catamarans, Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II, the intimate blue-water Coral Discoverer and the brand-new flagship Coral Adventurer.

Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the World Heritage- listed Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley region, Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, Spice Islands & Raja Ampat and the Islands of the South Pacific.