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.
This is a great combination to learn about diving and to see the great barrier reef. I had a very nice time and you really make new friends. Our dive instructor Nick was the best: always friendly for everyone, funny and they dive 'by the rules', which gives you trust for your next step. Every next half a day is a new step/challenge. You feel confident because you learn what to do. In this way you will appreciate the great barrier reef much more than lets say an introductory dive, where you might feel insecure. They also care (and make you care) about nature and wildlife at the reef, which is important when you go diving. (april 2014)
Had a fantastic day snorkeling the reef with ocean freedom! The staff was most excellent, would highly recommend booking with this company!
Amazing experience which I nearly wimped out on (scuba diving) lovely make crew member talked me round and can't thank him enough
What do you do, if you want to snorkel in The Great Barrier Reef, but you can't swim?? You seek the help from crew member Max from the company Down Under Cruise and Dive, who is my new hero. He helped me not only to get into the water, but took me on an amazing journey, where we swam with a tiny little shark, saw lots of turtles and colourful fish - big and small. I'm happy to report we even found Nemo!!! I flew back to Cairns by helicopter...as you do ;-) The weather wasn't brilliant, as we had the left over rain from the cyclone. Still a day I'll cherish for the rest of my days !!
The boat was great and the crew were very enthusiastic. The snorkel spots were really great but there was a cyclone around Cairns so the water and the boat ride back were really rough. Food was good.
There are a lot of backpackers on this boat so if you are not wanting to hang out with a bunch of 20 year olds this boat is not for you.
This was an excellent tour, much better than the Outer Reef tour that I had done a few days before.
It helped that it was a beautiful day and that there weren't many of us on it.
John, the marine biologist, was very helpful with his instruction .
Snorkeling over the reef was absolutely amazing, I couldn't believe the beautiful live
coral I saw as well as many angel and clown fish and others.
The glass bottom boat and the island tour were great.
This tour was the highlight of my visit in Australia.
What a day! Snorkeling, Food and a helicopter ride to top it all off! What a special day this was! The staff are absolutely amazing (especially Elvis)
Great day on the reef on the osprey which has a superb team of people in charge of you phil was amazing cooked a wonderful lunch and entertained us on return journey too many to mention but also Hayden was super taking many people snorkelling who were not confident or could not swim he took everyone we thought how tired he should of been sometimes he was pulling 3 people on ropes and rings also mel was very nice and last but not least Sam was a typical Aussie lad all in all a super 5 star day out if you go on reef you must go with this team.mick and Jill Brammer march 02 /2014
The crew treated me like family! They gave us free wine and cheese and fruit in addition to free lunch. They had a free concert on the way back, it was heaven!! Underwater camera rentals for $45 and rental of SCUBA or snorkeling gear was included in the price. What more could I ask for? You just have to buy drinks and tour guide if you are SCUBA certified and want a guide. Overall, so worthwhile! 2 of my friends have already signed up after seeing my photos!
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