Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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Enjoy the natural delights of the Great Barrier Reef on an activity cruise from Cairns that gives you several ways to experience this renowned underwater world. After traveling by catamaran to a pontoon moored on the reef, you can observe marine life on a glass-bottom boat or semi-submersible vessel; go snorkeling to spot sea turtles; get your hands wet in the touch pool; upgrade to include a Seawalker Helmet dive; or upgrade to include an introductory or certified scuba dive. Snacks and a buffet lunch are included, and the pontoon is equipped with showers.


  • 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

Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef

Your day on the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, begins as you depart Cairns by high-speed catamaran, listening to commentary from a marine naturalist about the array of marine life that call the reef home (safety and snorkeling instructions are also provided). You’ll arrive at a spacious pontoon moored on the outer reef, your base for the day, where you can spend your time however you wish to make the most of your experience on the water.

The pontoon is equipped with Wi-Fi, change rooms and showers. Morning and afternoon tea are provided on board, as is a full buffet lunch that features seafood and tropical fruit. For beverages, you may purchase soft drinks and alcoholic drinks from the onboard bar, as well as additional snacks or ice cream. For protection from the elements, wetsuits and Lycra sun suits are available to rent; the Great Barrier Reef is home to jellyfish and other stinging species (jellyfish season is November to May).

After about four hours on the pontoon, your day trip ends with the return cruise to Cairns.

Included activities
If you prefer to stay dry, take a glass-bottom boat ride or tour by semi-submersible vessel to spot clownfish, starfish, clams, anemone coral and more. Watch a fish-feeding demonstration, and check out the onboard touch tank for a hands-on look at marine life. When you want to cool off, jump in the water with your provided snorkeling equipment to look for resident sea creatures like Dolla the turtle or Wally the hump-headed Maori wrasse. Watch for manta rays, clownfish and maybe even whales in the winter months.  

Optional upgrades
Seawalker Helmet diving:
Take a walk on an underwater platform to enjoy the thrill of scuba diving without the scuba requirements. No diving experience is necessary to participate in this guided activity, and numbers are limited to six people per group to provide personalized attention.

Introductory dive:
If you’re a beginner scuba diver, take an introductory dive with a group.

Certified dive:
If you are an experienced diver, enjoy one certified dive.

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 $ 154.26

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Tour code: 5851MR


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