© Coral Expeditions

Coral Expeditions Enters Ecotourism Hall of Fame

12 December 2023

Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, was recently inducted into the Ecotourism Hall of Fame in recognition of two decades of unwavering commitment to advanced and sustainable Ecotourism practices. This achievement coincides with Coral Expeditions' remarkable milestones in 2023 including a celebration of 40 years of operations and completion of 30 years of continuous expedition operations in the Kimberley coast. 

Established in 1983, Coral Expeditions chose early on to follow a pathway of responsible and sustainable tourism, with a dedication to preserving the world's most fragile and remote environments and to showing respect to the communities and special places they explore. Since their foundation, Coral Expeditions has been at the forefront of eco-friendly travel, setting benchmarks in sustainable practices and promoting awareness of environmental conservation. They have achieved this by offering guests unforgettable journeys that immerse them in the natural world while promoting and educating about the culture and heritage values of people and place.  

This recognition in the Ecotourism Hall of Fame underscores Coral Expeditions' outstanding contribution to responsible travel, and their continuous efforts to protect and sustain the world's most delicate ecosystems. 

"It's a great honour for our team. We have been on an incredible journey and are excited to continue our pathway and evolution for many more decades to come" said Managing Director, Mark Fifield. "We take our Ecotourism responsibilities very seriously and strive to continuously improve and to create a high value experience for both our guests and the communities we explore. This is another area where we are leading the cruise industry, with practices and credentials proven over a sustained period."

Ecotourism Australia CEO Ms Elissa Keenan congratulated Coral Expeditions, along with another 12 operators for their outstanding efforts over a significant period. “Our new Hall of Fame entrants have been ECO Certified for more than twenty years and are among Australia’s first sustainable tourism innovators. They join 50 operators who have been awarded Hall of Fame status since 1997. These are the pioneers,” Ms Keenan said. “With travellers increasingly seeking transformative and sustainable experiences that make a difference, these operators are at the forefront of world-class sustainability leadership."

© Coral Expeditions

Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program standard is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The certification not only provides operators with key business development tools and equips them to champion their dedication to sustainability in tourism, but it ensures continuous accountability towards long-term sustainability goals. All operators are audited at regular intervals in what is a robust and highly credible program. 

Coral Expeditions and their guests actively engage in a diverse range of best practice business processes and various conservation and community minded initiatives including; 

  • Emission minimisation and reduction practices across their 3-vessel fleet 

  • Undertaking environmental impact assessment in partnership with environmental authorities managing sensitive heritage areas 

  • Developing industry leading health protocols in partnership with authorities and leading the cruise industry back to operation during the Covid pandemic 

  • An Australian regional procurement policy and ongoing sourcing of fair-trade suppliers 

  • Reduction in the use of plastics across fleet operations 

  • Partnership with Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority programs such as Eye on the Reef, Reef Guardians, Master Reef Guides and COTS management

  • Founding partnership with the “Forever Reef” coral biobank project supported through a pioneering Citizen Science program

  • Long standing support of the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and the Bare Sands turtle sanctuary in the Kimberley Marine Park 

  • Guests and crew contributing to species monitoring and reporting with authorities overseeing remote nature reserves 

  • Major sponsorship of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and regular cultural expeditions to art co-operatives through the Cape York, Torres Straits and Tiwi Island communities

  • Provision of educational, health, recreational and lifestyle equipment to support small remote communities during expedition itineraries with active exchange between guests and community 

  • Donation of operating marine equipment and desalinated water supplies to communities in need  

Coral Expeditions is passionate about the locations they visit and believe in leaving these environments better than when they arrived. With a commitment to Ecotourism principles and sustainable practices and an ingrained culture to preserve and protect communities, culture, and landscapes both above and below the water, they offer guests and trade partners authentic and enriching travel experiences at the highest standards in the world. 

About Coral Expeditions

Recognised as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator, Coral Expeditions is Australia’s pioneering cruise line offering a unique style of immersive expeditions. Starting with environmentally sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, 40 years later the fleet has grown to a purpose-built ocean-going fleet featuring the intimate Coral Discoverer and the advanced flagship vessels Coral Adventurer and sister ship Coral Geographer. All ships feature the company’s trademark complement of multiple zodiacs and ‘Xplorer’ safari tender boats that take guests to shore quickly and comfortably. Headquartered in Cairns, Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley, Tasmania’s wilderness coast, Cape York and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and further afield to the small Islands of Japan, New Guinea and the East Indies.

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