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If snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is on your bucket list, don’t miss this day trip from Cairns. You’ll spend five hours at two different locations on the barrier reef for the chance to see tropical marine life in the clear waters. Lunch is included on board the boat, and you have the option to upgrade to include additional adventures such as introductory or certified scuba diving or a helicopter flight over this UNESCO World Heritage site. Both water sports enthusiasts and novices are welcome!


  • Full-day diving and snorkeling tour of the Great Barrier Reef with optional helicopter sightseeing flight, from Cairns
  • Enjoy five hours at two spectacular outer reef locations away from the crowds
  • Includes instruction and equipment provided by friendly and professional guides
  • Have the option to try scuba diving in a world-class location
  • Fuel up for more fun with a tasty Australian barbecue spread for lunch
  • Be amazed to observe the reef from the air on an optional 10-minute helicopter ride
  • Tap your toes to live musical entertainment on the homeward journey

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What You Can Expect

Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns

After boarding your deluxe boat, which seats a max of 100 people, including your experienced guides, your Great Barrier Reef day trip starts with the boat ride from Cairns out to the reef—one of the fastest rides from Cairns, with just more than an hour of cruising time.

Depending on the weather and water conditions on the day of your tour, your guides will head to one of 12 exclusive moorings at six reef locations, providing you with the best possible on-the-water experience that day. Most likely, you’ll visit one of the Outer Great Barrier Reef spots like Saxon Reef or Norman Reef in the morning, and then continue to North Hastings Reef in the afternoon.

Upon arrival at your first location, hop in the water with your provided snorkeling equipment for a look at multicolored fish, coral and other marine life. Instruction is provided for beginners, and your knowledgeable crew members are on hand to encourage and help you, if needed. (See the Itinerary for more details about the scuba diving options, as well as the optional helicopter ride.) Then snorkel again at your second location. If you’d rather not get wet, you can still check out this World Heritage–listed underwater world on a tour by semi-submersible vessel (own expense; payable on the day of your tour).

You’ll have five hours total on the barrier reef and can refuel from your activities with the onboard buffet lunch of Australian barbecue items such as fresh fish, sausages and steak, plus a selection of pastas, salads and prawns. On the return trip to Cairns, snack on a platter of cheese and fruit while members of your talented crew provide live music and entertainment to celebrate the end of your day on the sea.

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Customer Reviews

Reef Lover United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Wonderful tour operator, Downunder Cruise and Dive. All th staff are friendly and nice. I did my first ever scuba dive. Wonderful experience. The weather is not ideal but alll in all a great experience.

Sarah H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This was BY FAR the BEST travel experience ever. Great value, great food, great service, great staff, great experience! This was amazing, incredible, immaculate. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. You will NOT regret it.

marguerite s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Wonderful trip and very helpful staff!

Carol J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This was great. We snorkeled and the coral was amazing. It was fun looking down on the reef from the boat. On the boat we took the opportunity to sign up for a 1/2 hour guide while snoreling and enjoyed that. The guide would point out things we might have missed otherwise. I would do this tour again.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Very windy day, snorkeling was challenging and lots of people were sick.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Both reefs, the boat and crews were fantastic. I wish people would have listened when they recommended Travelcalm. Some idiot defied all instructions and went to the back of the boat to vomit-- which flew back and hit a bunch of us. Down Under Cruise and Dive couldn't be blamed for this.

Well worth the money and an amazing day out on the reef.

John U

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Truly amazing!! 1st time to dive and snorkel.. Great food and music... Well Recommended!!
Take sea sick pills:


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

The ship and crew are top notch. They entertain and watch over the guests to make sure everyone is having fun and when they are not motion/sea sickness they are ready with the vomit bags, I'm just saying it's not a pleasant thing to have seasickness, and the crew is very helpful when it does happen.
The instructions on how to snorkel was presented in such as way that it was easy to learn. The reef is bleaching so beware that you won't see the beautiful colors it once was.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Crew was great. Great lunch. Great view of outer reef


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

I can't brag enough about the Captain and staff of this cruise. They were knowledgeable and very experienced in the water. Our Captain made an extra effort for our family since we were there to honor a past family member. Thank you for such a heart felt Captain and staff, I would highly recommend this to anyone. The snorkeling was beautiful I enjoyed being in the water and saw my first live shark.

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