Picked up at hotel, taken to Marina where we sailed out to the Lower Isles on a beautiful boat. Given all the gear for snorkelling plus lots of instruction and were accompanied out onto the reef. Saw coral, loads of fish and turtles then the highlight sharks feeding close to the beach - not when we were snorkelling thankfully! Lovely lunch on boat then sailed home in the sunshine - a perfect day.
Quicksilver is operated very well. After jumping on the catamaran, you are driving an hour and a half to the outer reef. During that time a marine biologist will give you a lesson in the animal life on the reef; if not, you can site inside near the coffee and biscuits or outside and soak up some sun. The platform on Agincourt reef easily accommodates the 100+ people on your catamaran.
The staff on at the dock, on the platform and on the boat are friendly and helpful. GET IN THE WATER IMMEDIATELY! After an hour or 2, the overabundance of suntan lotion and stirring up the waters, makes the water cloudy and reduces the visibility of the coral and fish. Rent a stingersuit (wetsuit) too- depending on the time of year you go, you can be surrounded by stingers. Don't worry about buying a rashie beforehand, the stinger suit is very affordable.
Spend the extra money on a helicopter ride too- you can do the 10 minute ride while you're there but I suggest taking the helicopter back to the mainland. There's nothing like the feeling of being swept away on a helicopter in front of everyone else--- you feel famous! LOL The pilot sweeps around several reefs and will help you spot turtles, rays, sharks, etc. Plus, it whisks you home in 35 minutes after a long day in the sun and water.
A great way to spend the day. Picked up at hotel and driven to the boat. Once on board the staff very friendly attentative and helpful. A marine biologist gave a talk on the area and the local wildlife. Safety run through was give for those snorkelling. The access to the water was fabulous for all ages and fitness levels and and the water was perfect. Take or hire a underwater camera. It is well worth it.
Well organized. NOte this departs ex Port Douglas so if you leave from Cairns you'll spend about 2-3 hours on the bus. Spend 3 hours cruising and 3 hours at the reef. Excellent service, semisubmersibles, underwater observation deck and snorkeling are all included and much fun. Options include helicopter ride, guided snorkeling, helmet diving and Scuba diving. One of the pricier tours available but worth every buck even the locals recommend this!.
Stunning day. Small numbers circa 35 max, great lunch and great service. We have done a 3 location snorkel only trip which was great, but this was a bit more all round, with a bit of beach time and chilling out! Boat is beautiful!
The crew could not have been more helpful or supportive.
One concern. I had been on the same trip 20 years ago, and the coral within 30m of the platform was degraded and broken. The number of colourful fish were far less than last time and I was disappointed in what I saw. The first time I had brightly coloured fish swimming between my feet before I ventured in and it only got better.
The number of beginners was a concern. When I returned to the water I had trouble finding a space and got walloped with a spagetti support. Someone pushed passed as I was waiting for someone to move and personal space and manners seem to have declined. This may well be due to 300 passengers instead of 200. It may be a cultural thing, but not acceptable in Australia.
But I felt well looked after and save and the experience was good. The number of activities to do was good. I missed seeing the large cod fish (1 m) under the boat/platform that I saw the first time, but the environment wasjust not as good as then.
Maybe it needs to be announced where morning tea was ,,,I had no idea it was on and missed it.
Very nice and helpful crew! Went during low season and felt that it was just enough people. Couldn't imagine the crowds (up to 500) during high season. Areas roped off for snorkeling: wide enough area to explore but still felt safe with lifeguards monitoring. Optional add-on experiences, ranging from diving to a helicopter ride, are very expensive. Total time on the pontoon is just over 3 hours, so snorkeling and lunch was just fine. Lunch is alright and had more variety than expected. Underwater cameras available for rent ($25-75) if you don't have your own. Overall a very wonderful experience! Tons of fun for first-timers and more experienced alike.
The pontoon that you dock at is great. It has everything from showers, an underwater viewing room, semi-submarines, and a gift shop. The snorkeling was amazing. It was really easy to enter and exit the water. What a nice operation.
The sea was like a mill pond on the day of the trip so the journey out to the reef was so smooth and we didn't know we were moving. The crew were quite friendly and the food was very good with plenty for everyone. The water wasn't as clear as it could have been but it didn't spoil our snorkeling experience. A good day.
I prefer a small number of people as the water directly around the boat was quite crowded, but if you swim to the edges of the area there were less people and more fish. A lot of bigger fish around and saw a barracuda on the semi-submersible trip. The buffet lunch is brilliant, plenty of food with a lot of variety.
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