The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most unique locations, a series of gigantic coral formations teeming with life and colour. This once-in-a-lifetime excursion takes you out to the Outer Reefs to experience the very best of it aboard a modern, luxury vessel. You’ll visit two exclusive locations, chosen by your captain on the day according to weather and tidal conditions. Even beginner swimmers can enjoy a closer look at the reefs on expert-guided snorkelling tours, while beginner divers can try out diving with experienced instructors in this spectacular natural beauty spot. Certified divers can even explore the reef independently.
The tour begins on the Port Douglas waterfront at 8 am. Transfers from Port Douglas hotels to the marina are available, or you can take care of your own transport. Get acquainted with the luxury vessel’s amenities as you sail out to the first dive location. With three sundecks, two air-conditioned saloons, and a dedicated dive deck with a submerged platform, you’ll be able to ride in comfort. There are also hot freshwater showers for rinsing off after each dive. Numbers are capped at just 80 people so you’ll have room to stretch out.
During the day, you’ll visit two carefully picked locations on the reef. Snorkelling tours are provided by the crew and they’re the ideal way for less comfortable swimmers to get a closer look at the reefs. The coral gardens grow so close to the surface that you can see them just by floating. See if you can spot clownfish, parrot fish, and turtles exploring among the coral, or look out for huge Potato Cod and Maori Wrasse. Reef sharks and even whales visit these waters too, so you can see some true giants of the deep. All snorkel equipment is provided as part of your tour, including prescription masks and wetsuits.
If you want to go deeper, SCUBA diving is available for an extra fee. Newer divers can join a dive tour group with an experienced instructor, while certified divers can stay with the tour or go at their own pace. Diving into the reef lets you get closer to its most fascinating residents for an experience that you’ll never forget. Whether you choose to snorkel or dive, the tour will give you four hours spread across the two dive spots. No amount of time spent out at the reefs is ever really enough, but it gives you long enough to explore.
Between the two dive spots, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch aboard the boat. Choose from a selection of luxury hot and cold food, including fresh seafood. You’ll also be served morning tea on your way out to the first dive location.
Times, Locations, and Prices
The tour leaves from the Port Douglas waterfront after an 8am check-in, so you’ll need to be up in good time. The tour operators can help with that by arranging a pickup from your Port Douglas hotel. Visitors from further away will need to arrange their own transport to Port Douglas. Between the four hours of dive time and the transit time out to the Agincourt, St Crispin’s, and Opal reefs, you’ll arrive back into port at around 4:30pm.
The tour costs $240 for adults of ages 15 and up, or $180 for children ages 4 to 14. A family package is also available, covering two adults and two accompanying children for a total of $756. Note that children under 12 cannot participate in the introductory diving tour, only snorkelling. All guests on the tour will also need to pay $6.50 once aboard ship to cover the Environmental Management Charge, legally required for all visitors to the reefs.