Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 21 Reviews

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  • Location:Cairns, Australia
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Best Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Cairns

Cruise out to a moored pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy a day packed full of activities, both in and out of the water. Go snorkeling with the clownfish, or stay dry and take a ride in a semi-submersible vessel or glass-bottom boat. The day also includes a buffet lunch, fish-feeding presentations and use of snorkeling equipment. Plus, you have the option to splash out with an introductory or certified dive, try your hand at Seawalker Helmet Diving, or take a guided snorkel safari through the coral gardens, spotting and maybe even touching the rare marine life.


  • Full-day Great Barrier Reef cruise
  • See the underwater sights without getting wet from a glass-bottom or semi-submersible vessel!
  • Enjoy a hot and cold buffet lunch including fresh seafood
  • Watch a fish-feeding presentation
  • Experience the unique touch tank
  • Morning and afternoon tea included

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Best Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef

After checking in at the Reef Fleet Terminal, set off for your day on the Great Barrier Reef. Traveling by fast air-conditioned catamaran, cruise to a spacious pontoon moored on the outer reef. While cruising, listen a professional presentation by a marine naturalist about the varied wildlife you’re about to see, and receive a safety briefing and snorkeling instruction.

Once on the pontoon, it’s up to you how you’d like to spend your day on the Great Barrier Reef. You can stay dry and see the clams, giant starfish, clownfish, anemone corals and much more on a guided reef tour in a glass-bottom boat or a semi-submersible vessel, then watch a fish-feeding presentation. Or take a walk on the underwater platform on a Seawalker Helmet Dive for the excitement of scuba diving without getting wet. There’s also a touch tank on board, giving you the opportunity to experience the Great Barrier Reef’s unique marine life up close.

If you want to take the plunge, all the essential equipment is provided for snorkeling. While experiencing this colorful underwater world of reef corals, keep a look out for Dolla, the resident green sea turtle, or Wally, the resident hump-headed Maori wrasse. Watch for manta rays and even whales in the winter months (June to August), and don’t miss the colorful clownfish of Nemo City.

You also have the option to include additional activities (at additional cost). You’ll feel at home in the water on a guided Seawalker Helmet Diving adventure -- no diving experience is necessary, and groups are limited to six participants to ensure a safe, personalized experience. And if you’re interested in scuba diving, here’s your chance! Take an introductory dive with a group of if you’re a learner, or enjoy a certified dive if you’re experienced.

Your pontoon base on the Great Barrier Reef is fully equipped with showers, change rooms and free Wi-Fi. Morning and afternoon tea are served on board, as well as a full buffet lunch, including delicious seafood and tropical fruit. You can also purchase soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, snacks and ice cream from the bar on board. Wet suits and Lycra sun suits are available to rent for protection from jellyfish and other stinging species, as well as sunburn (jellyfish season is November to May).

After spending approximately four hours at the pontoon, relax on the return cruise to Cairns after a fun-filled day in and out of the water on the Great Barrier Reef.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

I loved everything about this trip !! The staff were absolutely fabulous and made sure every passenger was safe and happy, Lunch was yummy. Only thing wrong was that there were no showers on the pontoon but other than that, would definitely recommend this day out !! 9 out of 10 stars !!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

A diversity of the crew in nationality and languages spoken was impressive.
Picture souvenirs were a bit pricey! Reasonable cost for lycra/wet suit rental!
A variety of food selection of different nationality tourists was excellent!

Joyce J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Everyone was very professional and the events were well organized. Had a good experience!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015



5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Superb experience, trip highlight

Jennifer Mary A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015


Lynn G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

I thought the trip was excellent! The crew was very knowledgeable and made the experience fun and informative. I WOULD Definitely recommend this trip to anyone.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Beyond words. The day was overcast but the reef was clear, warm. I took the guided snorkeling tour and the guide took us to the best spots to see the most amazing part of the reef. Incredible!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This tour was amazing!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Absolutely life-time experience! Excellent food !

From USD $ 143.21

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Tour code: 5851MR


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