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Great Barrier Reef

Cruises & Boat Tours

Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Cruises & Boat Tours

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

1. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

2. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hop aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive a free 10-minute scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared onboard. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

3. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Boasting a lush rainforest that is home to over 120 native plant species and colorful bird life, Green Island is surrounded by coral gardens and abundant marine life. The tropical island, just 45 minutes from Cairns offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest tour. And with the choice of 3 daily departures, the Green Island eco adventure is perfect for a half or full-day experience with up to 7 hours on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Whether you’re up for adventurous activities or island relaxation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. You can explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks and refreshments can be purchased.

Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

4. Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

Climb aboard the Silversonic catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Snorkel or dive in the company of an experienced dive instructor (subject to availability) and experience unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life, and exceptional underwater visibility. The ultramodern 95-foot (29-meter) Silversonic catamaran is custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people. You will spend over 5 hours at the reef, visiting 3 different Agincourt ribbon reef sites, each chosen for its visual and ecological diversity. First-time divers can enjoy up to 2 dives and take the plunge in complete confidence with an experienced dive instructor by your side. Certified divers will enjoy up to 3 dives, all guided to maximize your experience. Silversonic features everything you’ll need to experience an underwater world of colorful marine life in safety and comfort, including a state-of-the-art ride control system ensuring a super smooth journey. Enjoy hydraulic dive and snorkel platforms for easy water access, spacious deck areas, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, and even a licensed bar to share tales of your adventure. As an added bonus during the whale season, Silversonic has one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows guests to swim with dwarf Minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience from July through September.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

5. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

From Airlie Beach: 1-Hour Whitsunday Islands Scenic Flight

6. From Airlie Beach: 1-Hour Whitsunday Islands Scenic Flight

Board a modern airplane for a scenic flight to remember above the Whitsunday Islands. Benefit from a modern aircraft, in-flight commentary, and return transportation from Airlie Beach. Take a 60-minute scenic flight with guaranteed window seating and in-flight pilot commentary, and enjoy aerial views of the 74 Whitsunday Islands off the north coast of Queensland. Fly above the islands for stunning views of all the landmarks, such as Shute Harbour, Molle Islands, Long Island, Dent Island, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Hill Inlet, and make 2 passes over Whitehaven Beach. Experience the dramatic natural aquarium of the Great Barrier Reef from a different perspective. Fly over the famous Heart Reef, nestled amongst the bright colors and patterns of Hardy Reef. Return to the mainland and land at Proserpine Airport, where a complimentary shuttle bus transfer can take you back to Airlie Beach.

Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

7. Mission Beach: Great Barrier Reef Snorkel or Dive Cruise

Begin your adventure to the Great Barrier Reef by boarding the Island Spirit between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM. You will need to wear your swimmers to walk from the beach through water up to your knees. Take a quick 10-minute transfer to the beautiful Dunk Island and there you will board the MV Reef Goddess. Upon arrival receive an introduction and safety briefing from your captain, then depart Brammo Bay at Dunk Island and head off to the East at 16 knots.  Reach your first location in under 1.5 hours. In the water at your first Outer Great Barrier Reef location, take 1 hour to explore the untouched reefs with your crew on hand to assist with your gear. A snorkel or dive briefing will cover what to do and what not to do to ensure your safety and enjoyment. Depart the reef and take a 30-minute cruise to the second snorkel location. Here, the ship's captain will cook your BBQ lunch, which will be served alongside fresh prawns, salads, and fresh tropical fruit.  After your well-earned lunch, begin your second snorkel or dive exploration. After this snorkel or dive, your crew will up anchor and head for home back to Dunk Island.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

8. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoon with Activities

Sit back and relax on a catamaran cruise from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef, where you enjoy a raft of water activities from Moore Reef's pontoon. Encounter an outstanding landscape of marine life, enjoy a choice of activities including snorkeling, including a visit to the underwater observatory. Prior to departure from the marina, sip on some complimentary tea and coffee. Depart from Cairns’ Marlin Marina at 9:30 AM and enjoy a cruise out of the harbor. Witness the stunning landscape before the catamaran makes its way out to open seas. Sail in air-conditioned comfort onboard the catamaran to the state-of-the-art activity pontoon at Moore Reef. Moore Reef is a prime location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef, abundant with soft corals and marine life. Learn about the reef and its diverse ecosystems on the outward journey with presentations given by resident marine experts. Upon arrival at the pontoon at 11:30 AM, choose from an array of activities suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers alike. Make use of the inclusive snorkeling equipment, with wetsuits and lycra also available at an additional charge. Alternatively, watch the daily fish feeding presentations, or take a trip on the glass bottom boat or semi-submersible tour with marine experts providing commentary. Soak up the rays on a spacious sun deck, or make a splash on a theme park-style waterslide. See the reef without getting wet in the underwater observatory, and get up close and personal with marine creatures like sea cucumbers and starfish.

From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

9. From Cairns: Green Island Half-Day Morning Cruise

Discover the lush rainforest of Green Island on this half-day tour and encounter some of the many marine animals that call the island home. Climb aboard the modern, air-conditioned 24-meter catamaran "Reef Rocket" to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a full-day reef tour just 45-minutes from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens, or stay dry on a spectacular semi-submersible submarine or glass-bottom boat to discover the underwater life in comfort. Alternatively, simply laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun.

Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

10. Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

An exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. This half-day eco-tour visits two different snorkel destinations, each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. The tour begins at Cape Tribulation beach where guests board the vessel bound for the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Safari vessel takes a maximum of 25 passengers allowing guests to experience tropical paradise and the pleasure of a small group. After a fast 25-minute ride, guests are ready to snorkel two fabulous locations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. On most days, the rainforest can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colourful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams, and starfish. The vessel is based on the original design of a rescue craft and is a rigid inflatable boat driven by 700hp engines. The experienced Skipper and Eco Host ensure the trip is filled with fun and appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal rainforest of the Daintree, two world heritage areas side by side. Magical memories like these sometimes only happen once in a lifetime.

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

UNREAL EXPERIENCE!! This tour exceeded my expectations of the Whitsunday Islands. From the scenic flight to the ocean rafting & snorkelling - everything ran seamlessly to perfection. Highly recommend doing this tour when visiting the Whitsunday Islands. To top off the beautiful scenery & magical underwater world… crew members Taylor & Declan were fantastic. They were both very humorous & kind characters. But also ensured everyone was safe & had a good time along the way!

So amazing!!! Loved every minute. We had a little bad weather but even that didn’t put a damper on the day. Swimming with the fish over coral on the reef and the extra activity of the seawalker was incredible

We absolutely loved this trip! Well organised and thoroughly professional. And as for the views over the Whitsundays and the Reef… no words adequate to describe. Would highly recommend.

Was a great short trip across especially if you don’t want to do a whole days trip. Food on the island was also good. Great short trip overall…

Well organized, few pictures from the tour, but as promised (because the Japanese guest had to be looked after intensively)