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Great Barrier Reef Sailing trips & boat tours

Our most recommended Great Barrier Reef Sailing trips & boat tours

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

1. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Tour

Explore the stunning biodiversity of the outer Great Barrier Reef on this diving and snorkeling tour from Cairns. Sail on s boat 3 sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy water access. Have drinks and a packed lunch. Depart Cairns in the morning for the outer reef on this 8-hour tour. Whether you are a snorkeler, first-time SCUBA diver, or already certified diver, join a once in a lifetime adventure aboard a luxury day trip to the great barrier reef. Enjoy a light morning tea and a delicious pre-packed picnic lunch. Complimentary tea, coffee, and chilled water are served throughout the day (snacks, soft and alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase). Discover the Great Barrier Reef in the easiest way possible: with a snorkel - it is as simple as breathing. If you have never snorkeled before, don't worry, a briefing is held on board, explaining how to put and use the snorkeling gear. The private reef locations are approximately 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse. Visit 2 different reef locations daily, these are chosen en-route considering weather and sea conditions to ensure the best in-water experience. Visit either Normank, Saxon or Hastings Reef.

From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

2. From Cairns: Full-Day Green Island Cruise

Climb aboard a modern catamaran to sail into Green Island National Park on a beach and snorkeling cruise from Cairns. Discover a hidden gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and explore its coral reefs with snorkeling gear. Choose to enjoy a buffet lunch and go on a semi-submarine tour. Make your way to the harbor to meet your friendly crew for the day and climb onto your catamaran. Relax in the sun as you set sail towards the Great Barrier Reef. Experience picturesque views of the ocean as you arrive at Green Island National Park. Stroll around the island and explore its tranquil beaches. Find a stop to relax and go for a dip in the ocean. Get access to snorkeling gear and take a peek into the region's thriving marine life. You can also opt to go on a semi-submarine or a glass-bottom boat tour to discover the colorful coral reef and fish in comfort.

From Bundaberg: Barrier Reef & Lady Musgrave Island Day Tour

3. From Bundaberg: Barrier Reef & Lady Musgrave Island Day Tour

Visit Lady Musgrave Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef on this boat trip from Burnett Heads. Enjoy drinks, lunch, access to warm showers, a glass-bottom boat tour, and more. Snorkel in the unique coral lagoon surrounding the island and enjoy a guided island walk. Taking off from Bundaberg Port Marina, enjoy morning tea as you head to Lady Musgrave HQ, a new advanced eco-certified pontoon with snorkel and dive platforms, an underwater observatory, and a licensed bar. As you explore the coral reef lagoon, get plenty of opportunities to encounter manta rays, reef sharks, stingrays, turtles, and hundreds of tropical fish swimming in these coral gardens. Hop in the water to swim or take advantage of the included snorkeling equipment. As an added perk, non-certified introductory dives and certified dives are available if you wish to dive deeper into the coral reef (costs not included). Non-swimmers will love the three-level pontoon, glass-bottom boat tour, and guided island walk to experience the coral reef and marine life all without getting wet. After working up an appetite, a buffet lunch is available on board at your leisure, and you can freshen up with a warm shower after your snorkel and dive. On the boat ride back to the marina, enjoy another cup of afternoon tea.

From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

4. From Cairns: Great Barrier Reef Cruise by Premium Catamaran

Hop aboard a catamaran for a day trip to remember to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel, dive, or swim in the water, enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, and take in the marine wildlife. Meet your crew at the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, pay the reef levy, and hop aboard the luxury catamaran. The crew will select reef locations depending on the day's conditions from Flynn and Milne reef or further north at Norman and Hastings reefs. All offer diverse reef structures teeming with exotic marine life. Feel the wind in your hair as you set sail for the outer Great Barrier Reef. Relax with morning tea on the way, get to know the crew and learn all about the marine eco-system from a marine expert. Review snorkeling techniques with the crew during the journey. Arrive at the first outer reef location, where you can snorkel, dive or swim in the water. You may also choose to sunbathe, or chill on the boat on the upper sun deck or the netted deck trampoline at the bow of the boat. You can avail complimentary guided tours from the staff. A dedicated dive tender is available for experienced certified divers who want to explore deeper waters. All certified divers receive a complimentary dive guide. First-time divers will receive clear and concise scuba instruction in the water from qualified PADI professionals. Savor a fresh tropical buffet lunch prepared onboard. Treat yourself to a selection of hot and cold dishes including buffet meats, salads, and tropical fruit. Travel to the second outer reef location for the day for your choice of activity. Look out for corals, exotic marine life such as parrotfish, reef turtles and 'nemo' fish. End the day as the captain hoists the sails, and cruise back to Cairns. Enjoy a cold drink from the bar (own expense) and relax on the boom netting. Alternatively, watch presentations about the marine life from the passionate eco-certified staff.

From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

5. From Airlie Beach: 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing & Camping Trip

Discover the best of the Whitsunday Islands on this 2-day sail from Airlie Beach. Enjoy captivating snorkel excursions each day, visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed islands, and explore the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. Visit locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Hook Island, Hayman Island, Border Island, and Whitsunday Island. Stop to snorkel at Luncheon Bay, Caves Cove, and Blue Pearl Bay. Sleep on a spacious maxi yacht on the first night and camp on one of the islands surrounding the Whitsundays on the second night. Help assist the crew by hoisting the mainsail and dropping anchor at each exciting destination. Alternatively, sit back and relax on the spacious deck and enjoy the view of the pristine Whitsunday Islands. Every evening, roll up your sleeves and help the crew prepare mouth-watering specialties like beef stew, spaghetti bolognese, fresh bread, green salad, pasta salads, and much more. Or, position yourself at the ship’s prow where you can watch the sky change from yellow to magenta as the sun sets.

Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

6. Wavedancer Low Isles Great Barrier Reef Sailing Tour

Climb aboard Quicksilver’s luxury 30-meter (99-foot) Wavedancer sailing catamaran and sail to the idyllic Great Barrier Reef island of Low Isles. Enjoy a relaxing day out for families and couples in a tropical island paradise ambiance. Set like a jewel in the Great Barrier Reef, Low Isles is an unspoiled coral cay island. Moor in the calm waters of a picturesque lagoon, and enjoy a host of reef activities that await. Before your arrival at Low Isles, a marine biologist will conduct an informative talk to provide passengers with an appreciation of the reef, enabling you to view the corals with informed eyes.  Once at Low Isles, take a snorkel tour to see the colorful creatures of the reef. Alternatively, see turtles and many brightly colored tropical fish from a glass bottomed boat. Back on the beach, join a marine biologist guided beach walk to discover the unique marine life living at the water’s edge. Then relax and tuck in to a delicious tropical buffet lunch.

Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

7. Cairns: Outer Great Barrier Reef Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Tour the Outer Great Barrier Reef by boat with time to snorkel and explore this world-famous National Park. Complement your experience with a gourmet buffet lunch, glass of wine, and a light snack. Board your high-speed vessel, and visit some of the most beautiful spots in the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a seamless experience with knowledgeable staff to ensure a safe and fun-filled tour. Stop at 2 spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef destinations and snorkel with equipment and lessons provided. Feel free to jump in the water and explore this natural wonder up close. Later, sit down for a delicious barbecue lunch with salad before taking off for the second half of the tour.

Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

8. Cairns: Full-Day Glass Bottom Boat or Snorkel Tour

Climb aboard a catamaran cruise on a day trip from Cairns. Get a fish-eye view of Green Islands' reef from a glass-bottom boat. Explore the marine life with the snorkeling gear provided. Take a guided boardwalk stroll in the rainforest. Upgrade your experience with a lunch and submarine tour. Climb aboard a modern, air-conditioned catamaran to cruise over to this idyllic part of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy a full-day reef tour, just a few minutes away from Cairns. Snorkel and dive among the reef fish and coral gardens or laze on the white sandy beach and soak up the sun. Walk across the secluded island rainforest on a guided boardwalk stroll. Additionally, choose between a spectacular semi-submersible submarine tour or a glass-bottom boat tour to make the most of your adventure on the water. Book an option with lunch included and forget about packing your own food.

From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

9. From Cairns: Afternoon Cruise to Green Island

Board a catamaran in Cairns and set sail towards the idyllic Green Island. Discover the natural beauty of this 600-year-old coral cay in an afternoon and explore the very best of what the island has to offer. You decide how you'll spend your time once you arrive at Green Island. Indulge in a few hours of relaxation and lounge on white sandy beaches or take a self-guided walk through the island's lush forest. If you prefer to stay dry, join a tour of the island's reef on a glass-bottom boat. Feeling more adventurous? Make use of the snorkeling gear provided and view the thriving marine life and reef up close. 

From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

10. From Cairns: Green Island Eco Adventure

Go on a Green Island eco-adventure from Cairns to explore the beautiful Great Barrier Reef island. Connect with nature on a tropical island with over 120 native plant species, birds, coral gardens, and abundant marine life. Choose from a glass bottom boat coral reef viewing tour or snorkeling gear. Your cruise includes the choice of an informative glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, or the use of snorkeling equipment to snorkel directly off the sandy white beaches. Explore the island’s lush rainforest with a leisurely self-guided walk, see the reef from the glass bottom boat coral viewing tour, snorkel from the beach, or take a refreshing dip in the island swimming pool. With an abundance of optional activities, you can scuba dive, take an offshore snorkel excursion, walk underwater with Seawalker helmet diving, kayak, or even take to the sky in a scenic helicopter flight. There's even the Marineland Melanesia crocodile habitat on the island! The island’s well-appointed day visitor facilities include a pool bar, and dive shop, plus restaurant and food outlets, where a delicious range of lunch, snacks, and refreshments can be purchased.

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Frequently asked questions about Great Barrier Reef

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Other Sightseeing Options in Great Barrier Reef

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What people are saying about Great Barrier Reef

What a Great experience! Lovely boat, a very experienced and friendly crew, that set safety first. Since one of us two hasn’t snorkled before, we decided to go accompanied. Phoebe was supernice, very experienced and knowledgable, and we couldn’t have felt safer in the water. What a fine girl! Hope her salary is worth all her good work! :) Every crew member was very nice indeed, the food was good and we have already recommended the cruise for a friend. Thanks a lot Passions of Paradise!

Excellent experience. It was my first time snorkelling and the staff made it very easy to go through the whole activity. My 9 year old son had the most fun. Recommended for all..

Crew were excellent! Great trip out, good structure to the day, nice facilities. Smooth sailing, didn’t feel sea sick and decent lunch and snacks. Great value.

Worth the trip very friendly crew on board and very beautiful island!

Lots of snorkeling and snorkel safari was so informative