Great Barrier Reef Scenic Helicopter Tour and Cruise from Cairns - Reviews

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Paul M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2018

Loved the experience

Maggie

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2018

This was one of the highlights of our trip in Cairns while going to the Barrier Reef. The catamaran boat and staff servicing you were all extremely professional and entertaining at the same time. They really helped to make it a special event. Their first objective was to make you feel at home and then they wanted to make sure everyone was safe during this excursion. We visited two excellent snorkeling locations. The snacks and lunch provided were very tasty and good quality. Once again, they stressed how important safety was during this trip. They ensured that you had the right equipment and knew how to use it properly. I took my 85 year old parents on this excursion and they enjoyed snorkeling on the Barrier Reef. One more check mark next to the bucket list. Then the highlight was the exciting helicopter ride back to the Cairns airport. Great way to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air and see various aqua life. Transportation to and from the boat was excellent and prompt. Once again, highly highly recommend this trip to anyone in Cairns, especially looking for a new adventure.

Jessica

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2018

Amazing! I highly recommend this tour. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.. a great way to see the reef, especially if you get see sick!

Ketema H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2017

Everything went smoothly with this tour the pickup and drop off without a hitch, the helicopter ride was amazingly beautiful and fun, and the snorkeling as well was great. A must do if you go to Cairns!!

Nndma56

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2017

Regardless of the weather, when all was well I still had a revised schedule that still delivered the best trip ever...thank you viator

kimarnzen

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2017

The diving was wonderful. The crew was very friendly and knowledgeable. The helicopter had mechanical issues the day we were out, so we did not get to go on the helicopter tour. A refund was easily issued once we returned and I could contact Viator. We were supposed to take the helicopter back to the dock area, but I ended up glad that we didn't. There was singing and entertainment on the boat ride back and we had a wonderful time.
There were a lot of people on the boat, so it was a little hectic trying to get everyone suited up and into the water. However, they did have a plan of action and routine for getting off, if only people would calm down and follow their directions.
I would definitely book this tour again.

Natalie T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2017

The team onboard were amazing. Having a marine biologist on board is another big plus. Highly recommended.

hurtony

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2017

Best way to see the Reef! Yes, it is a little pricey, but it is totally worth it! If you are at all worried about getting sea-sick this is the way to go. Years ago I tried to view the reef from Cairns, but really had no idea of how long the boat ride was, and how choppy the waters could be. I tried taking precautions, but they didn't work, especially while trying to get some air but having to stand downwind from a cigar smoker! By the time we got to the reef for snorkeling, I couldn't even get in the water. Luckily we had another opportunity to see the Reef while at Hamilton Island, it was only by helicopter. At that time, we thought it was pricey, but less than the heli/cruise today! This time, I wasn't going to take a chance, and it worked out well. Seeing the GBR from the air is amazing in itself, something the cruises can't show you. The 25 minute ride was smooth, and closer to reaching the landing platform, the pilot explains what you are seeing. By the time you have been briefed on the equipment and procedures, you have about and hour and an a half of water/snorkeling time. It does go by quickly, but I noticed that some of the the passengers that had done the full day cruise and had already snorkeled in a different area, didn't stay in the water the whole time. Be prepared for beauty overload! The cruise back turned out to be fine, though we did have rough waters for just enough time to start to experience that feeling, but luckily, we weren't in it long. My advice to anyone who wants to have an amazing Reef Adventure, is to book this package. Nautilus Aviation was great, and the Down Under Cruise staff was too! If you think you won't have enough snorkel time, my advice is to do this one first and then if you need more, book another cruise.

Guillermo M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2017

Brought the whole family 5 of us on the helicopter / snorkeling / cruise combination tour on to the Great Barrier Reef. Informative commentary about the reefs by helicopter pilot was a real bonus as we flew out to Hastings reef. Snorkeling on the reef was wonderful seeing coral up close, we came with camera's for those once in a lifetime helicopter and underwater pics over and in the Barrier Reef. We welcomed the drinks and food provided especially after the snorkeling session on the very large boat called Evolution plus the professional and friendly service by crew was a credit to the operation. And a really nice and smooth cruise back to Cairns to wind down the tour. Recommend you put this on your MUST DO list, well worth the experience and service by this tour operator.

Christopher B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2017

Firstly this tour gets 5 stars because it is the Great Barrier Reef! However the tour operator's involved Down Under Cruise and Dive and Nautilus Aviation were fantastic from pre-tour communication to dropping you back at your hotel after the tour. All the staff were polite, informative and wanted you to have the best day.

We went out on a Friday in late March on The Osprey and the boat is more than comfortable and is well equipped for the days events. We visited two reef locations and there was the options of snorkelling and/or diving with fully trained instructors. The food served for luch was brilliant and the guys and girls working in the kitchen are brilliant. It takes about 1.5 hrs to get to the first location and then you get a good few hours at the reef before moving onto the second location.

Sadly, due to the weather, it was the days leading up to Cyclone Debbie the semi-submersible could not operate, neither did the helicopter scenic flights. Getting on to the helicopter to get back to Cairns in the driving rain and wind is one memory that will stay with me for a long time! The staff at the reef and the helicopter pilot were fantastic.

If you want to see the Reef and have a really unique experience then book this tour!

adamandy

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2017

This should be on everyone's bucket list. We were lucky enough to have the most beautiful weather which made the view of the Reef from the air just spectacular. Our photos are exactly the same as the brochure. The pilot was knowledgeable, friendly and put everyone at ease with his confidence and obvious ability. An amazing, unforgettable day. I took 10 family members as part of a 60th birthday celebration and would spend my hard earned money on this tour again in a heartbeat!

CDN_Seaman Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2017

Terra Australis. This tour was a perfect way to see the reef from above and realize its expanse and the option to snorkel or dive. What a great experience. Travel respectfully when seeing the reef.

David M United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2017

A must do on a visit to Cairns!!

aussie

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2017

tour was excellent!! the staff was so friendly and knowledgeable. We did the boat ride out and the helicopter ride back in which was amazing. the pilot gave us a tour of the other reefs, Food was fresh and delicious. Well worth the money. Be ready to pay for extra things like zap suits and glass bottom boats but thats expected. the only thing i didn't like is we couldn't run a tab with the bar. seemed odd when the girl told me if she let me do it then she would have to let everyone do it. i felt like i was being scolded. other than that great trip, i recommend it.

bilybala

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

Good experience ! Nice pilot and cruise members. Thank you !!

Shantal F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Amazing experience. Great value!

Alan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Great tour. Good time on the reefs, the helicopter ride was excellent and we had some different people with food allergies and all were catered for. All in all a great day and worth every penny

Stephen M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

It was a great experience to see this sight. We took the boat to the reef which gave us the most time to snorkel. It was great fun taking the helicopter back to shore. Highly recommend this,

Joan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Heli ride over reef amazing!

Carolern14

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Spend the money - best experience ever!

Joshlynn S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Beautiful! Great staff! Everyone was helpful informative engaging and pleasant. Just enough time to see and enjoy the reef. Helicopter view was spectacular. A day trip wasn't available when we booked so a longer day may have been nice but we were happy.

gregory m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Helicopter there, snorkel, boat back. Great time amazing sites, boat was new and clean, little crowded on/off loading so many snorkel and scubas but fun

Kevin A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Great tour! Very enjoyable, well organized and fun to go on. Defiantly go for the helicopter option as it added an extra special moment to end the day.

Melissa N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2016

Amazing! Nothing will compare to arriving at the Great Barrier Reef by Helicopter, it was breathtaking! We had a fantastic time snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. The Cruise is super relaxing and all of the staff were extremely friendly.

Jordan P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2016

The beginning of the day started out rocky, as our bus forgot to pick us up be sure to watch the clock and have reception call if they are more than 5 minutes late!, and boarding the ship was jumbled, unorganized, and rushed.
Before boarding we were told there were cookies and coffee aboard for us, but as soon as we stepped foot on the ship we were hurried up to the top into a lonely VIP room for those who chose the helicopter option. It was cold, stinky, and it was a small room of 6 of us with no idea what was going on. They told us nothing as the other decks were getting briefed. About 10 minutes later I finally decided to leave the room and look around, apparently they were all out of cookies by that time which was frustrating since I had not had breakfast and figured there would be enough especially for us who paid extra to opt for the heli experience. I also felt that there were SO MANY crew members everywhere, as if half the ship was just crew and it was pretty crowded.
BUT the lovely sea life, snorkeling, and helicopter ride over the reef made up for it ALL. I was able to see a reef shark, a ton of beautiful coral, and a whale on the ride back up from the heli. It was an amazing experience I'll treasure a lifetime.
Side note: Wish they didn't pack the helicopter so full. I was able to enjoy the window and view, but my husband was sandwiched in the middle of a few of us in the back seat with no true window view.

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