The whole day was amazing, from the staff on the boat to the barrier reef and snorkeling.
And of course the helicopter return.
The railway and skyrail were good but the helicopter ride out to the North Hastings area of the great barrier reef and snorkeling on the reef were outstanding!
A very long day but well worth the effort. Transfers to / from hotels and various places in between were timely, no hanging about. Started the day with train from Cairns to Kuranda village lovely shops there for souvenirs amongst other things, local crafts etc.. We only had a half an hour there which is not long enough. Back to Cairns via the Skyrail over the rainforest, stopping off twice to see the Byron Falls and Red Peak on the way before being whisked off to the airport for the helicopter ride out to Hastings reef. Recommend getting a seat on the left hand side of the helicopter as you see more from that side as you approach the pontoon adjacent to the reef. But this depends on weight per individual as they try and balance everyone's weights evenly so if you're big they won't let you sit up front! Loved the snorkelling and swimming. Change into to swim gear before getting on to the helicopter, this saves a lot of time when you get to the reef. Lunch was so so but didn't spoil the day. Fantastic day out, loved it.
Awesome! All staff were nice and friendly, always smile and helpful. They were funny so enjoy from the first. I got seasick but better for the first place for diving. The dive guide, Yasu,was really great and cute. His instruction was helpful and easy to understand. He also were patient and very professional for my first time diving. Loved the entire day, heli flight was worth the money. Highly recommended! :
Very helpful crew! Provided great crew led snorkel tours at both locations! He even brought up different things and found us a sea turtle! Absolutely fantastic!
This was the best purchase of our trip. We did all three tours leaving from Cairns. Each day was different, going to different parts of the reef. I loved the Silver Swift as we were able to do the most snorkeling there. Green Island was nice and we saw several sea turtles there. But snorkeling was not the best. The pontoon was a longer boat ride away that what I like. However I felt the snorkeling there was the best. The coral and fish were so close and so many different kinds.
Doing what: Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass
The staff is very fun, friendly and work on making it the best experience possible. I would recommend doing the intro scuba dive, the view on the reef is even better. Though it is still beautiful if you only want to snorkel.
Wow wow wow!! Excellently organised trip with the friendliest crew ever, but then they have the best job in the world.. We left on time and after the usual safety briefing we were on our way to the first reef. Most of us lay on the top deck and sunbathed and from here we watched dolphins swim alongside us.. On arriving at Saxon reef we were told that box jelly fish had been seen so we were not allowed to enter the water unless we had our stinger suits on.. Most unflattering but hey better than death!! We had lots of time around this reef, those that wanted to dive did so but I snorkelled and wow the amazing views of the beautifully coloured fish were stunning. There is the option of hiring underwater camera's from the boat too, we did this and the photo's are amazing. When we came back aboard the crew had prepared the most delicious lunch of prawn, fish, steak, pasta and rice dishes, salad, something for everybody. We then made our way to Hastigns reef, were we were picked up by helicopter from a pontoon and given a tour of the reef from above, this was amazing we saw stingrays!! After our 10 minute flight we landed back on the pontoon and were taken back to the boat. This may seem a little excessive but worth every single penny!! Back to the water, where we met the infamous giant Wrasse named 'Wally' and I saw a white tip shark!!! I have to say I was petrified and after calming down realised he wasn't interested in me he was just passing through, thankfully. On our return to shore we were entertained by a crew member with his guitar. Brilliant day! What an experience! Do it..
Awesome experience! J. Wall, our instructor, was very patient with my wife who was struggling with one of the skills that we needed to learn in order to be certified. The company focuses very heavily upon safety and making sure everyone can take care of him/herself when diving. The open water dives were beautiful and amazing things were scene. IF you get seasick, make sure you prepare for that, as it takes at least an hour via boat to get to the different reef sights. My wife and I loved it. Thanks, J!
Excellent diving was amazing and if you get the chance ask for extra dives!
Fantastic tour! We were half hour late getting picked up from our hotel and there was a mix up when getting the train but it was sorted out quickly. Skyrail was amazing as was the snorkelling at the Reef. Would definitely recommend
Superb and definitely a five star tour. I've never snorkeled before and the preparation and instruction were most helpful. For first timers, I recommended beginning with the "tour". Then you'll have the confidence to ease out on your own. An unforgettable experience
Awesome! Very professional crew who made the day very exciting and enjoyable. Food was great with a good selection and plenty of it! Paid for the diving but had never done it before. Sadly couldn't get to grips with fully submerging so didn't dive in the end but continued to snorkel. Saw heaps of fish and the coral was beautiful! Others on the trip hadn't paid to dive but had a 'taster'. If they wanted to continue to dive, they could pay extra, which I would recommend rather than paying upfront if never done it before. All in all, great crew who made you feel safe and genuinely enjoy what they do. Highly recommend. Thanks for an amazing trip to the Great Barrier Reef!
Very personable crew with a very diverse clientele from all over the world. Fairly young group and the staff was extremely knowledgeable about the GBR. Snorkeling was beautiful! The Freedom staff was terrific!
Helicopter ride was excellent great picture taking opportunity. Boat ride was very nice. Service very good staff very attentive. If u aren't a snorkel not sure you want to do. But overall very pleasant day.
I just rated this 5 stars, but I wanna throw in a bonus star because it was that good. Kinda expensive, but definitely worth every single cent.
I called a day ahead to get the time and location of my pickup. The entire day was extremely organized, something I greatly appreciate, but also when you have a full day of activities, it's vital. The railway journey was 2 hrs and very beautiful, but the skyrail was more beautiful. Listening to the exotic bird sounds as I floated over the lush green jungle below and the clear waters off to the side was just so peaceful and relaxing!
The helicopter ride was phenomenal! I was a bit nervous, but they allayed any fears I had and before long, I was soaring over the Great Barrier Reef. It was great fun.
You then are transported to the cruise and either get a lesson snorkeling or are given reminders of safety, you get fitted for fins and can wear a body suit if you want (Large is the largest size that I saw, X small was the smallest). It's required only when there are jellyfish, which there weren't when I was there.
If you do this trip, you can have lunch waiting on you, but if you don't join right away, you get in line for the buffet. It was steak (not so good), fish, potato salad, green salad, fresh fruit and cole slaw. I had my lunch after snorkeling.
I can't say enough about the snorkeling. Of course, you can't snorkel anywhere better than the GBR!! You also can do a submarine or glass bottom boat with a guide explaining some of the things you'll see, or you can keep snorkeling. On the return (1 hr, I think), there's wine and cheese and cheesy entertainment. (Sorry, Elvis!) G
This is definitely the best part of my entire trip.
What a day! Well organised throughout. The train ride to Kuranda was lovely, but arrived late so very little time in Kuranda itself. The cable car back down was awesome! Efficient transfer to the helipad and an amazing flight over the barrier reef landing on a pontoon, from which we were collected by a small boat and transferred to the main boat. I'd never snorkelled before and was a bit nervous but the "snorkel guide" really helped me stay calm and took me out way further than I'd have dared go by myself, which was fantastic. The glass-bottomed boat was even better for viewing the marine life. Unforgettable, well worth the cost.
The tour was great! Everyone on the ship was friendly, they were very patience with the non English speakers and tried hard to interact with them. I want to give special thanks to the diving coach Aaron, he was the best. I felt very secure diving with him, that's why I did two dives with him.
Excellent we'll organised day which had plenty of time for both diving and snorkelling
IMPORTANT: If you suffer from motion sickness, take Dramamine or something before boarding. At least 10 people were sick and throwing up, and the ocean was only mildly choppy. The ginger pills they offer don't do much.
That said, the trip was the highlight of our time in Australia.
The boat company was easy to find in the main fleet terminal, next to several other tour options.
There was a crew of 8-10, and most were polite and helpful.
I've been snorkeling, but have no experience scuba diving. The crew gave a 20 minute briefing on the scuba basics, then suited us up in groups of four. We were linked to the guide the whole time, and went about 40 feet underwater to the reef, where we spent around 25 minutes. Saw a shark, fish, etc.
The boat later moved to another spot on the reef for more snorkeling. Beautiful, clear blue water.
Lunch was great- lots of salads, shrimp, steak, fish.
Bring sweatshirts, etc- gets chilly on the ride back!
I had a really great time. In the beginning I was not so sure, because the Padi Open Water Licence is so cheap compared with other Diving Schools in Cairns. This is so, because they dont have an own boat, so you are with a lot of other people on the boat. It was quite a fast boat and it took us between 1 and 1,5 hours to the outer reef.
The Instructor was qualified, funny and he was with us for the 4 days. You got free coffee, tea and cookies all the time + Lunch at the two Reef trips. In the class were 7 people. 6 of this 7 people were backpackers and we all had a really great time even after scuba diving ;)
Even if I got sea sick on the first day, I would recommend this trip. Diving in the reef was incredible!!
Would highly suggest this tour. The crew was amazing and really helpful. Intro dive was short, but fun. Snorkeling was a lot of fun.
We booked the snorkeling/lunch tour… OMG if you suffer from motion sickness PLEASE make yourself a big favor DO NOT do this. This was the longest more painful day in my life (several people got motion sick) the weather was not favorable so made it more difficult. The staff was very attentive checking with my husband every 15 min and asking if I was feeling better, Thank God for an Angel Nurse from Canada that was there on Diving Tour, she gave me Dramamine and made me feel better last hour of the tour.
If you decide to go don't forget to take Dramamine with you and take it before departure. Good Luck!
This was the highlight of the entire trip. The train to Kuranda was really nice, with a stop at a waterfall. There is very little time to actually spend in Kuranda in order to take the skyrail back down for the helicopter tour. Flying out over the reef with the views from the helicopter, I thought that I had reached the highlight of the trip. However, once I got into the water to snorkel, I realized this was the highlight. I had about an hour and a half to snorkle the reef. The coral and fish were very colorful and so close you could practically touch them. A nice lunch was waiting for me when I got back on the boat for the ride back to Cairns. Don't forget to bring an underwater camera - the reef is amazing.
What can I say about this except it was the highlight of our vacation. The reef was as beautiful as the fish were plentiful. Snorkeling was excellent, and we added some scuba in too (extra cost).
The trip to the reef was a little long, and there were a few people who did get seasick. They provided ginger for free (and barf bags too) if needed. Food was pretty good and the entertainment on the way back (by the chef, Elvis) was top notch. If you are looking to scuba, they can look up your certification if needed, but good to have medical clearance if you have any medical issues. The only compliant I have was the add on charges came to about $250. This included waterproof camera rental (Do this, we got some GREAT pics and video - you get to keep the SD card after) and 4 scuba dives. We did not run into any jelly fish (late April) but they did have stinger suits available if needed. During SCUBA, we saw a white tip reef shark, and large number of other fish species.
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