Insider's Guide to Cairns & the Tropical North

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  • Location:Cairns and Port Douglas, Australia
  • Duration:3 days (approx.)

Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

Explore the Great Barrier Reef exactly the way you want and save with this great-value, customizable 3-day pass. Choose three different full-day cruises to suit your style and preferences, from certified and introductory scuba dive trips to snorkeling and glass bottom-boat adventures. Get a new perspective on the world-famous reef on every cruise, with diverse destinations including Green Island, Agincourt Reef and Low Isles. Tours depart from Cairns or Port Douglas can be taken over a 7-day period to suit your sightseeing schedule. It’s a fantastic way to discover Australia’s spectacular underwater world!

Highlights

  • Swim and snorkel from the beach with instructors on hand to help
  • Enjoy 3 different cruises on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea included on all cruises

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass

Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise

Immerse yourself in the world-famous wonders of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with this ultimate 3-day pass. Select three out of five different cruises to customize your adventure, whether you prefer to snorkel, scuba or both. Cruises depart from either Cairns or Port Douglas and can be spaced out over seven consecutive days to suit your touring schedule. Travel aboard a luxury catamaran on every cruise and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch midday.

Snorkel straight from the sandy beach with a marine biologist at the coral cay of Low Isles, wander through the rain forest and enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour on Green Island or go deeper with certified scuba dives at renowned reef sites like Thetford, Milln and Flynn. For family-friendly fun, head to Agincourt Reef to enjoy a wide variety of activities including independent or guided snorkeling, scuba diving, helmet Ocean Walking and semi-submersible boat tours. (Some activities may require an additional fee.)

No matter what you choose, you’ll be treated to an up-close perspective on spectacular reef formations teeming with marine life including schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks and giant clams. The Ultimate 3-Day Great Barrier Reef Cruise Pass is an exceptional value and, with plenty of customizable options to keep everyone happy, it’s perfect for families and groups! 

See Itinerary below for a description of each cruise option.

Itinerary

Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise from Port Douglas:
Departs from Marina Mirage Port Douglas at 10:00am, returning at 4:30pm. Please note check-in time is 9:15am.
Situated nine miles (15 kilometers) north-east of Port Douglas, Low Isles is a coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef. The sandy beach and clear, calm lagoon waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Low Isles is well-known for its population of green turtles, keep an eye on the surface as they regularly pop up for air. Occasionally dugongs can be seen grazing on sea grass and large rays may glide by.

During the cruise to Low Isles, a Marine Biologist will conduct an informative talk on the fish and corals you will see, as well as providing details on the activities available throughout the day. The 30-meter luxury sailing catamaran offers the excitement of big ship sailing combined with the ultimate in comfort. Relax in the luxurious air-conditioned lounge with fully licensed bar, or soak up the sun under the sails on the expansive deck.

On arrival a shuttle will take you from the boat to the island.

You'll have the opportunity to join an organized snorkel tour led by a marine biologist, or take to the water independently and explore at your leisure. Snorkeling equipment is provided and the friendly crew are on hand to help you get started.

You don't have to get wet to enjoy a day at Low Isles. You can join a glass bottom boat tour over the soft coral gardens that surround Low Isles. Your guide will point out giant clams, a variety of fish and corals, and of course be on the lookout for turtles. On land you may like to join a guided beach walk around the small island. Learn about the flora and fauna of the island along with the history of Low Isles as an important place of marine research.

Green Island Cruise from Cairns:

Departs Cairns at 8:30am, 10:30am or 1:00pm.
Returns from Green Island at 12:00pm, 2:30pm or 4:30pm
Arrives Cairns at 12:50pm, 3:20pm, 5:20pm

In just 45 minutes, your high speed catamaran will transport you from Carins to Green Island. Located only 27 kilometers off the coast of Carins, Green Island is a beautiful 6000 year old coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is the only coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest growing on it. It is home to 126 native plant species, colorful birdlife surrounded by magnificent garden.

Spend your day on Green Island swimming, diving or snorkeling amongst tropical fish and coral gardens, strolling through the magical rainforest, lazing on the white coral sand beach or enjoying Green Island's visitor facilities including food outlets, pool bar and a swimming pool. In addition to the included activities (snorkling, glass bottom boat, self guided island walk) there is an abundance of optional activities to enjoy such as scuba diving, helmut diving, parasailing, snorkel excursion and helicopter scenic tours at an additional cost.

With three departures from Cairns daily, you can design your visit over a half or full day.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Cairns:
Depart from Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal at 10:30am. Return to Cairns at 5:30pm.

Depart Cairns onboard your fast catamaran. You will have 3 hours at a spacious activity platform on the Outer Reef to experience the breathtaking beauty of this world hertiage listed natural wonder. There is an abundance of activities available for swimmers and non-swimmers to enjoy. Swim, snorkel, visit the underwater. observatory and cruise in the semi-submarine, or just relax on the sundeck. A delicious lunch is included as well as morning and afternoon tea. Exciting optional activities include scuba diving, the unique Scuba Doo underwater scooter, guided snorkel tours and even scenic helicopter flights.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas:
Departs from Marina Mirage Port Douglas at 10:00am, returning at 4:30pm. Please note check-in time is 9:15am. 

Departing from Port Douglas, your 90-minute high speed catamaran cruise takes you directly to Agincourt Reef. The permanent pontoon moored here provides a sheltered base for your day on the reef. During the trip a snorkeling demonstration will get you ready for your adventure, and the staff will take you through your options for the day.

You'll have around 3.5 hours to enjoy the reef at your leisure. Grab a snorkel and fins and hit the water on your own, or join an optional guided snorkeling tour with a qualified marine biologist. Snorkeling is a great way to explore the Great Barrier Reef, and there are friendly staff on hand to show you how.

Prefer to stay dry? You can explore the stunning reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible submarine. You'll take a leisurely cruise through colorful coral gardens, giving you a snorkeler's view of the marine life without getting wet. For a little more adventure, why not try an introductory scuba dive. or a unique Ocean Walker Helmet Dive - no diving experience necessary.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns:

Depart from Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal Terminal at 8:30am. Return to Cairns at 4:30pm. Please note, you must check-in at Marlin Wharf at least 15 mintues prior to departure.

Board the boat at Marlin Wharf. The ultra modern 29 meter catamaran will be your base for the day. Throughout the day you'll visit three different locations which may include Thetford, Milln and Flynn Reef. Each stop showcases a different aspect of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. At each site you have the choice to snorkel, dive or a combination of both.

If you have never tried scuba diving you can choose to do one or two introductory dives, or you may prefer to stick to snorkeling and explore all three sites from the surface. A crew member will take those interested on a guided snorkel tour at one of the reef locations. Certified divers can choose to partake in up to three certified dives. Whatever you choose, your Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise includes up to five hours in the water.

The friendly crew will be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the day. The boat features full bar facilities, fresh water showers and expansive sundecks overlooking the Coral Sea. A tropical buffet lunch will be served between sites, along with morning and afternoon tea.

Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas:

Departs from Marina Mirage Port Douglas at 8:30am, returning at 4:30pm. Please note check-in time is 8:15am. 

The fastest ride out to the reef from Port Douglas, the ultra modern 29 meter catamaran will be your base for the day. Throughout the day you'll visit three locations on Agincourt Reef, each showcasing a different aspect of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. The cruise has exclusive access to 22 premier internationally recognised reef sites and you have the choice to snorkel, dive or a combination of both.

If you have never tried scuba diving you can choose to do one or two introductory dives, or you may prefer to stick to snorkeling and explore all three sites from the surface. A crew member will take those interested on a guided snorkel tour at one of the reef locations. Certified divers can choose to partake in up to three certified dives. Whatever you choose, your Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise includes up to five hours in the water.

The friendly crew will be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the day. The boat features full bar facilities, fresh water showers and expansive sundecks overlooking the Coral Sea. A tropical buffet lunch will be served between sites, along with morning and afternoon tea.

Customer Reviews

Andrina O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

this 3 day pass is a big bang for your buck! on first day, i did the great adventure's outer great barrier reef at moore reef. the amount of marine life there is staggering. you will get to meet wally, the maori wrasse at the outer reefs. he's like a giant puppy- he likes getting petted and he follows swimmers around in the water.

on the second day, i hopped on the silverswift scuba diving boat to check out 3 different sites around flynn reef. it is a more intimate boat- unlike my cruise with great adventures' 150 passengers- this boat has no more than 85 folks. this is also the ultimate boat for divers- both certified and introductory dives are offered here. i learned how to scuba dive for the first time ever and loved every minute of it!

on the last day, i joined the oceanspirit caramaran at michaelmas cay. if you don't know how to snorkel, this is a great beginner session. your boat will stop several meters away from the cay and a boat buggy will ferry you to and from the beach. warning: this cay is inhabited by migratory birds so the first thing that greets you to the beach is the smell of bird poo.

zorro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

These tours were just amazing. Viator picked the best tour companies in Port Douglas and Cairns. We did the Outer Great Barrier Reef Dive and Snorkel Cruise from both Cairns and Port Douglas. We liked the trip from Port Douglas better, but both were amazing and included a great lunch.
We also did the Outer Great Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise from Port Douglas which visits the Agincourt Reef platform and includes an amazing semi-submersible submarine with spectacular views of the reef.
All three tours were great and are highly recommended

Jack L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Most bang for the buck! All of these tours were super and about half the price......loved them all, especially the last that included 3 separate reefs to dive/snorkel. Best deal ever!

Randi W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

It had all we wanted to see!

Rachel P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

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.

Janice M USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

This was by far the highlight of our trip to Australia. We came to Port Douglas to dive and snorkel and this package gave us that ability. We left in the morning and returned about 5pm each day. We were able to customize our package to the areas we wanted to go, this worked great for us. A very professional company. Their gear from masks to snorkels was in great condition and great quality. My 12 year old son was the first in the water and last one out each site, he enjoyed it so much. I also had questions before the trip and they answered my E-mails promptly.

Monica T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2011

These three days were absolutely amazing. We went to three different spots. We felt that we were snorkeling in an aquarium, it was so beautiful. They have a smooth, organized process for all the divers and snorkelers. Quicksilver is a great organization.

Jared S

4 star rating: Recommended September 2014

I spent 3 days snorkeling, at 3 different locations. It was incredible. Here are my thoughts on each.

1) GREEN ISLAND: Day 1 (from Cairns)
The island was really pretty, and it was nice to relax on the beach between snorkeling. The highlight of my day was when I encountered a group of sea turtles. They were very friendly an allowed me to follow them around and touch them. Overall I found the reefs and marine life to be underwhelming at this location. The coral was not as expansive or colorful as it was at the Outer Barrier Reef.

2) OUTER GREAT BARRIER REEF: Day 2 (from Cairns)
The outer reef offers deeper water and larger coral structures. There is more marine life to explore here, as compared to Green Island.

3) OUTER GREAT BARRIER REEF: Day 3 (from Cairns)
Despite getting sea sick, this was my favorite day of snorkeling. What made the experience was the company I was with: Silver Swift. The crew was incredibly friendly, and very informative about the best spots to explore. They also took their time to brief the group with printed pictures of things that we might see underwater. The photographer told us that we might encounter a fish named Nigel, who has been seen at the same location for several years. We did in fact encounter Nigel, who was a labrador sized, purple wrasse. Nigel was trained like a dog and would allow the photographer to position him for some photos that were unclose and personal. Awesome day!

Joshua A

4 star rating: Recommended April 2013

Great trips out of Port Douglas. The crew were great, with Lowe Island and SilverSonic highlights of our trip. The trip out of Cairns was not as good, largely because of too many noisy people on the boat. A much better mix of people on the boats out of Port Douglas.

Kitty

4 star rating: Recommended February 2012

3 fab days

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