Cairns-based Coral Expeditions aims to be Tasmania bound late next month following the lifting of the states border to New South Wales residents from November 6.

The first voyage planned to the island state by Coral Expeditions will be A Yachtman’s Cruise which will depart from Sydney on December 26, 2020 and arrive at Hobart on New Year’s day.

The line said they are in regular talks with the Tasmanian Government to seek assurance that they will be able to operate as the Coral fleet does not fall under any cruise ban criteria as far as tonnage, foreign flagged vessel status or sleeping capacity for over 100 people.

Jeff Gillies, Commercial Director at Coral Expeditions said: “We are confident there would be no reason we could not operate as this would seem inconsistent with the border openings and the travel restarts in the region”.

Following A Yachtmans Cruise, Coral Expeditions has 10 and 16 night itineraries planned to sail the coast of, and circumnavigate Tasmania departing from January until March 8, 2021.

These sailings have been on sale for the last 24 months and have remained available throughout.

The Australian-flagged fleet has been sailing with Australian crew and passengers and a SailSAFE program since October 14, 2020.

“Our SAILSAFE PLAN has been approved by the Tasmanian Government and is more robust that any other travel or transport operator in Tasmania including planes, ferries, rail, coach, museums and attractions etc,” Mr Gillies said.

He went on to say: “As it stands today, we have a detailed submission in with the Premier’s Department in an effort to ensure our understanding is correct and permissions to operate are approved. We expect to have further discussions in the weeks ahead”.