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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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You have a choice of optional activities on this tour, as described below.

Introductory dive:
For people who want to learn to dive, an introductory diving course is offered. It’s the perfect chance to scuba dive at one of the world’s premier diving sites!

Certified dive:
If you already have your diving certification, you can take up to three dives at two different locations during this excursion, with plenty of time in between for snorkeling and relaxation. Simply pre-book the initial dive, and then have the choice to purchase additional ones during your trip. All dive gear and dive computers are provided.

Helicopter flight:
Get even more out of your day on the Great Barrier Reef with an upgrade to include a 10-minute scenic helicopter flight. Not only will you get an underwater vantage point of the reef, but you can get the overview from the air. The helicopter flight can be combined with snorkeling, diving or both for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully appreciate the grandeur of this natural wonder.

Customer Reviews

Kenneth Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Wonderful and memorable experience, the crew are excellent and take good care of the passengers. The total amount of time for diving is about 2-3 hours, we will definitely want to return for a longer diving experience. The ride in and out is a bit rough due to the sea conditions, the boat itself is quite large, but if you are prone to sea sickness, I would advise bringing medication, the waves are unavoidable, it is the ocean.

Teresa S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great knowledgeable staff. Would highly recommend this group.

Angela M Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Although a certified diver I went with my son on an introductory dive. It was a lot of fun and the boat was roomy so even if a lot of tourists you could find a place to relax. In the afternoon I chose to stay with son and we did a helicopter ride to see the barrier reef from above or you could take a submarine offered as well at the location the boat stopped.

Erica P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Fantastic day out, very well organised. We had buffet lunch included which catered for all tastes and was delicious.

Sheri R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

What an absolutely incredible day! Adding on the helicopter ride over the reef was worth every penny.

Ebony G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

This was probably the best tour I have ever taken. The boat was new and the staff was wonderful with my children.

Thomas D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

We really enjoyed our day at the reef. The boat was very nice. The staff couldnt be nicer. The cook/entertainer made the trip even more enjoyable

Manisha B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Had the best time and the staff were very friendly and helpful! Would definitely recommend this trip!!

Sara M N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

The tour was fantastic - very charismatic and friendly crew, delicious lunch, and amazing dive sites. We got to see a reef shark and a sea turtle, and got some really cool pictures of us snorkelling. This was my second time with this company and I and #39;d definitely go a third.

Sinead D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Amazing, service and whole experience was unreal

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