Cruising the Coral Sea

The Coral Sea is a remote and beautiful region of the world. Filled with reefs and islets, it is home to rare wildlife and world famous attractions like the Great Barrier Reef. Although most of the islands in the Coral Sea are small and uninhabited, the larger islands surrounding the sea are some of the most beautiful tropical destinations in the world and the perfect destinations for a cruise.

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Coral Sea Overview

The Coral Sea is the area directly off Australia’s east coast stretching right up to New Caledonia and the south coast of Papua New Guinea. In total it covers an area of about a million square kilometres, nearly all of which is completely uninhabited by humans. The most you will find on many of the islands is the odd weather station.

When to Book Your Cruise?

The great thing about the South Pacific is that it has a tropical climate all year round. The best weather is usually from May to October, which is the dry season, but the trade winds also tend to be stronger at this time of year. The wet season is from November to April, but this can still be a good time to visit.

Top Destinations in the Coral Sea

Although there are no islands to visit in most of the Coral Sea, there are many fantastic destinations to visit on the borders. Here are some of the places you could visit during a cruise in the region.

The Great Barrier Reef

Book a cruise to the Coral Sea using a discount website and you could head to the Great Barrier Reef. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous throughout the world and is the ideal place to go diving and snorkelling or to simply chill out on a beach.

New Caledonia

The New Caledonia Barrier Reef is the second largest reef in the world behind the Great Barrier Reef. It goes around Grande Terre, an island in New Caledonia, for 930 miles, and there is a vast lagoon in the centre, making it one of the highlights here.

There are many other things to see and do here, including excellent diving and snorkelling, walking in the interior and looking around Nouméa with its museums and markets.


Vanuatu is another top destination in the area and there is plenty to see when you stop off on your cruise. You could go to Mele Cascades, a spectacular waterfall that is very easy to see on a day trip, or you could go diving and see the famous wreck of the SS President Coolidge. There are vibrant markets in Port Vila as well as cultural attractions like the Ekasup Cultural Village.

The Solomon Islands

Visit the Solomon Islands at the northern limit of the Coral Sea and you can go on a day hike from Honiara to Mataniko Falls, which was used by Japanese soldiers as a hiding place during World War II. Alternatively, you could go diving and see the famous wreck of the Toa Maru, a Japanese ship that is known as one of the best wreck dives in the world. Other highlights include Tetepare Island and Kolombangara Volcano, which has a two-day hike to the summit.

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea you could walk part of the Kokoda Trail, which goes through the Owen Stanley Range, or you could see Mount Wilhelm, the highest mountain in the country, in the Bismarck Range. Other things to see include the National Botanical Gardens and the National Museum, and you could also pay your respects at the Australian War Memorial that commemorates the Battle of Milne Bay.

Explore Paradise on a Cruise

A cruise to the islands of the Coral Sea is an experience like no other. Whichever islands you go to and however long you spend exploring the region, you will enjoy wonderful scenery, fascinating attractions and a relaxed vibe. So start planning your cruise to this region and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Ryan Posa founded Cruise Republic in 2008 after being the District Sales Manager for Carnival Australia. Passionate about the travel opportunities and experiences offered aboard, he often blogs about his favourite cruise destinations and love for modern cruising. You can keep up with Ryan on Twitter.


  1. It would be amazing to see the Great Barrier Reef! I love that there are islands in the Coral Sea to visit that are still uninhabited. After reading some of the places you mentioned to visit, I”m particularly interested in visiting Vanuatu

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