Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Darwin Becomes the Home Port for the Coral Adventurer

In a significant win for the Top End’s tourism industry, the Coral Expeditions’ expedition ship Coral Adventurer arrived in Darwin Harbour today, where it will be home porting year round before visiting destinations such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Singapore.

The 5599 ton Coral Adventurer has a passenger capacity of 120 with 48 crew and is designed to take guests closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety. 

The Coral Adventurer joins the Coral Discoverer and Coral Expeditions 1 to continue the company’s 24-year history of Darwin visitation and their commitment to growing the visitor experience in our traditional low season. 

As part of the 2019-20 season Coral Adventurer will have eighteen departures from Darwin carrying an estimated 2000 passengers during the season plus a further 222 crew.

With its tropical climate, Darwin enjoys year-round cruise activity, with larger ships visiting in the main season from October-March and a number of small, luxury expedition cruise ships using Darwin as a home-base to explore the remote Northern Australian coastline from April-September.

This season the Top End welcomes 82 cruise and expeditionary ships to Darwin, providing a huge tourism and economic boost.

According to Cruise Lines International Association Australasia’s Economic Impact Assessment 2017-18*, the cruise sector brings an estimated $171.9 million a year to the local economy, demonstrating the importance of the sector.

Quotes from Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:

“The Territory Government recognises the importance of the tourism sector to the local economy which is why we are continuing our turbocharging tourism investment with an additional $62.8 million TURBO2 stimulus package over the next two years. 

“TURBO2 will build on the momentum of TURBO1, delivering more investment into domestic and international marketing and continuing support for events and festivals which are bringing more people to the Territory every year.

“Attracting the Coral Adventurer to home porting in Darwin will provide a significant economic injection to the Top End economy and demonstrates the return on the Government’s investment into cruise ship tourism.

“An estimated 2000 passengers are expected to stay on the Coral Adventurer during the 2019 season plus a further 222 crew, providing a fantastic boost to the tourism industry and local businesses.

“The value of the NT cruise industry in 2017-18 to the local economy was estimated at $171.9 million. Home porting allows passengers to arrive a day or two before their cruise and extend their stay after their cruise, further growing the value of the sector and helping to create jobs. 

“Having the Coral Adventurer home porting in Darwin provides an important injection into our economy with local businesses providing food and beverage supplies, technical services, fuel and other essential services.”

Quotes from Darwin Port CEO, Terry O’Connor:

“Coral Expeditions have been calling Darwin home for many years and Darwin Port welcomes the latest addition to the fleet, the Coral Adventurer to our port.”

Quotes from Coral Expeditions Group General Manager, Mark Fifield:

“Today marks a significant day for Coral Expeditions and the city of Darwin as we welcome Coral Adventurer, the newest ship in our fleet, to Australian shores. 

“Over the past 24 years, our ships have based our northern operations in the Port of Darwin as a gateway to explore and uncover Australia’s Top End and further afield into the archipelago of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. We are a proud Australian company and the pioneers of expedition cruising. 

“Our growth and fleet expansion now make us a global market leader in this style of experiential tourism. We are honoured to contribute towards the communities and tourism industry here in Darwin and hope to continue to grow for many years to come.”

Attached: Photographs of the Coral Adventurer 


Media Contact: Trish Grimshaw 0401 119 242



* Note:

In 2016-17, the total expenditure (including passenger, crew and cruise line expenditure) by the cruise sector in the Territory was estimated at $87.6 million. Cruise Lines International Association Australasia undertook an updated cruise survey in 2017-18 which provided new estimates of expenditure, leading to a more robust modelling process.

Using the model, the value of the cruise industry in the NT in 2017-18 was estimated at $171.9 million. The reason for the increase compared to 2016-17 was increased ship visit days and an almost doubling of passengers, i.e. on average, bigger ships staying longer. 


Coral Adventurer Photo 1

Coral Adventurer Photo 2