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Palm Cove Great Barrier Reef Tours

Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon

Quicksilver is probably one of the best known Reef operators in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland and the largest operator of Marine vessels in Tropical North Queensland. Their company motto is “Quicksilver is the Great Barrier Reef.” They provide an award winning 5 star level of service 365 days of the year and cater for families with prams, people with disabilities and provide hydraulic lifts to get the guests in and out of the water. They have all the best toys, great food, great facilities and a great team of people working for them.

The Quicksilver vessel also operates out of Port Douglas and travels to Agincourt Ribbon Reef. Quicksilver is the largest Wave Piercer in Cairns and is just the most favourite boat to go out on if you suffer from seasickness or if it is a windy day. Quicksilver’s hull is designed to cut through the waves that ensures a smooth and very fast ride to the Outer Barrier Reef. Quicksilver is a very professional company and they ensure a day with 5 star service standards for all to enjoy.

Quicksilver has two permanent pontoons out at Agincourt Ribbon Reef. These pontoons have all the toys such as glass bottom boats, semi-submersible submarines, and helmet diving where you don’t even get your hair wet, scuba diving, an underwater observatory where again you experience the reef without getting wet, snorkel trips with a Marine Interpreter, and of course yummy morning and afternoon teas, a big buffet lunch as you work up a big appetite with all the toys and activities throughout the day.

Quicksilver has helicopters that take you out to the Agincourt pontoon from Port Douglas. Or you can just have a scenic flight over the reef. All in all, it’s a wonderful day and no time to get bored at all. So much to see and do that the whole family will enjoy themselves.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Silversonic Reef Tour

Silversonic has a rare whale license permitting swimmers in the water with the Dwarf Minke Whales and is part of the award winning Quicksilver Group of Companies. Silversonic travels from Port Douglas to the spectacular region of Agincourt Ribbon Reef. Silversonic has the luxury of owning a multitude of licenses for visiting varying reefs on the Australian Continental Shelf. Two of Silversonic’s biggest selling features are the stabilizing ride control system which is great for travelers who experience motion sickness, and the fact it also has hot water shower facilities.

As soon as you board Silversonic, you can dine on tasty fruit muffins, Danish pastries, foccacias, biscuits, tea and coffee. You are then separated into the three groups that are snorkellers, introductory divers and qualified divers. You will then be fitted with your equipment for the day, briefed on safety procedures and how to use the equipment properly. On the way out to the reef, they also give a great talk on the reef which is fascinating and gets you excited about jumping in the water to meet all your new friends. And yes the fish are very friendly. Lots of them have been named by the boat crew as they live on certain reefs for most of their fishy lives.

During your day on Silversonic you can have underwater photographs and DVDs taken of you so you can relive the amazing experience you had. All in all a great boat and a great boat crew as well it’s a lot of fun. Silversonic is part of the Quicksilver Group of Companies.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Poseidon Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef Tours

During the annual whale migration season Poseidon has a Whale License allowing ten snorkellers at a time to be in the water and have close encounters with little Minke whales. What can we say... No wonder the Silversonic and Poseidon reef boats are so popular considering they are the only ones in Tropical North Queensland with the “whale swimming permits”. Poseidon is the same sized vessel as Silversonic. Poseidon travels to the Outer Barrier Reef area and Agincourt Ribbon Reef traversing three different spots each day of the year.

Poseidon does not travel to the same reef every day as they like to spread the human traffic all over the reef to give it an opportunity to re-generate and show off the region with its variety of reef structures. During the annual whale migration season, which is normally May to September (this can extend either side, subject to water temperatures) Poseidon extends a long line of rope off the side of the boat that allows ten snorkellers at a time to be in the water and have close encounters with these little Minke whales. The absolute thrill of a lifetime! You could be innocently snorkeling away and up pops a Minke to have a look at you! Wow!

Poseidon has a very good reputation with the locals and visitors alike and the family company of owners also have two other reef vessels that operate out of Port Douglas. These are called Sailaway and Shaolin. Sailaway offers a five star cruise to Low Isles. While, Shaolin is a restored Chinese Junk which also goes to Low Isles a little later in the day, for those guests wanting to enjoy a lazy breakfast and lazy tropical day. Sailaway and Shaolin are highly popular boats as they only carry up to 30 passengers each for a personalized Great Barrier Reef experience.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Reef Magic Cruises

What a popular boat Reef Magic is! This company’s pontoon on Moore Reef is called Marine World and that is exactly what it is.

Reef Magic has all the toys: glass bottom boat, semi-submersible submarine, underwater observatory with fish feeding conducted daily, spacious sun decks with sun lounges, Marine Biology presentations, and a helicopter pad for scenic flights as well.

There is even a safe swimming enclosure for the little ones, so it’s great for families. The children are so well catered for. They provide little swimming masks, snorkels and fins for them to join their parents in the fun water activities.

Moore Reef is a professional diver’s dream. This reef is so pristine and vibrant with the diversity of coral and marine life, it really is Reef Magic. Join a Biologist on a snorkel tour and get to know the reef and its biodiversity intimately.

We highly recommend this tour from Palm Cove.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Ocean Spirit Cruises

Ocean Spirit Cruises Michaelmas Cay day tour to the Great Barrier Reef is a premium reef tour that departs from Cairns Marlin Marina daily and heads out to a beautiful sandy coral cay island for a relaxing day of snorkelling and scuba diving. Enjoy one of the most memorable days of your life while sailing effortlessly along the coral waters of the Great Barrier Reef on this beautiful catamaran to one of the most treasured locations on the Great Barrier Reef; Michaelmas Cay.

Michaelmas Cay is a National Marine Park because it is an important seabird breeding and resting site as they travel from all parts of the world on their migration paths. Although passengers are not permitted to enter the birds nesting grounds, you will still be able to enjoy the soft white sandy shores and coral rimmed beach of Michaelmas without interrupting the protected bird site. For ornithologists or bird watchers this island is a dream come true as you can get up close to so many varied types of sea going birds and get those photographs that you will treasure forever. Because of Michaelmas Cay’s protected Green Zone status it is also off limits to fisherman and many other day tour boats. Ocean Spirit holds a rare permit to this area and the vibrancy and illumination of fish, turtles and corals around Michaelmas are thriving because of the protection from these external forces.

Your day with Ocean Spirit Cruises departs Cairns at 8:30 and arrives back to Cairns at 5:00. You will spend four full hours on the reef, giving you plenty of time to swim in the azure blue coral waters, sunbake on the cays sandy beach, relax on the sailing vessel, try an introductory scuba dive from the safety of the slopping beach or venture deep below the water during a certified scuba dive to see the myriad of marine life and corals.

As soon as you board the boat you can enjoy light refreshments tea and coffee while on your day tour journey out to the Great Barrier Reef. Learn more about the marine environment that surrounds you during an informative ecological presentation from the ships marine biologist. Once you arrive at Michaelmas Cay how you wish to spend your time is totally up to you. 

Watch a snorkelling demonstration and get insider tips on where to find the best snorkelling spots and there are assistance and flotation devices are available if necessary. Jump on the air-conditioned semi- submersible submarine to view the corals and fish from beneath the deep blue sea without even getting wet. Join a guided nature tour and see Nemo’s, turtles, puffer fish and many others. 

Morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch is included in the day tours price and consists of a hot and cold buffet which also lets you indulge in some of the regions famous fresh seafood; drinks can be purchased from the bar.

Those interested in trying an introductory scuba dive may listen to an informative session and if certain medical requirements are fulfilled, you can try a supervised introductory dive.

After you have enjoyed four hours on the reef it is time to settle in for the sail back to Cairns on the front deck of the catamaran and enjoy the scenery and partake in a complimentary glass of wine and listen to the live on board entertainment as you reflect on the fantastic day you have just had.

Palm Cove Great Barrier Reef Tours

You do not need to be a world record holding swimmer to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. Anyone can do it as all the boat operators carry flotation equipment for those that are young or not so confident in the water. The Great Barrier Reef has no surf due to the vast amount of coral reef; it can just get a little choppy on very windy days. All the boats have staff members on safety watch for the whole period of time you are in the water. Before you snorkel you are given full instructions on how to use the equipment safely. And if you feel you are in a spot of trouble or tired, they will show you how to get their attention.

All boats provide you with both morning and afternoon tea, as well as a lovely buffet lunch, which is included in your ticket price. Any extras such as packets of chips, sweets, or alcoholic beverages are payable by cash on the vessel. Please note you will not be permitted to purchase alcohol until all guests are out of the water and the vessel is preparing for the journey home. The same goes for scuba diving. You will not be permitted to scuba dive if the crew perceives you have had too much alcohol the night before as this would put your life and possibly theirs in danger. The vessels have relaxation areas for those that want to catch the sunshine or those that would like to stay away from the sun’s rays. Bathroom Facilities are on board and some boats have showers and locker facilities.

Boats that go to permanently moored pontoons on the reef offer all the toys for the day: semi-submersible submarines for non-swimmers to view the fish, coral, snorkellers and divers; glass bottom boats an alternative for the non-swimmers; and helmet diving if you want to go to the ocean floor without getting your hair wet.

If you suffer severely from seasickness, choose either a larger vessel called the Wave Piercer or a boat that has built in stabilizers which ensure a better ride across the ocean. Otherwise choose a motor powered catamaran. This will provide more stability than a single hull.

Each vessel offers passengers a ginger tablet to assist with motion sickness. For some stronger alternative medication, you can go to the chemist or drug store at Palm Cove or Clifton Village Shopping Centre, which is just five minutes drive or a 20 minute beach walk away.

As mentioned earlier, all boat operators pick up from Palm Cove for trips to the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Facts

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef structure in the world? It extends for 2300 kilometers along the north-eastern coast of Australia and consists of about 2900 individual reefs—covering an area about the same size as the United Kingdom, half the State of Texas or the length of the entire Japanese Island chain.

Wow it’s going to take some snorkeling to cover this area on your holiday!

Pontoons on the Outer Barrier Reef

Larger vessels are great for groups of families and friends, travelers who suffer motion sickness, and little children. The larger boats go out to permanently moored pontoons on the edge of the Barrier Reef. Some of these pontoons have permanent staff who live here. They maintain the pontoon on a daily basis and keep off unwelcome visitors.

They also do some important Marine Biology research. These pontoons have a lot of technical equipment on board which the Australian Government, Weather Bureau and Universities who undergo Marine Studies utilize constantly. They provide invaluable information on the conditions of Marine Life, under water currents etc.

These outer barrier reef pontoons are used regularly for large Conference and Incentive groups for early morning breakfasts prior. If you were so inclined or wealthy enough, you could charter a helicopter and have the whole pontoon with breakfast all to yourself to make a romantic proposal to a loved one.

These pontoons have all the toys for the swimmers and non swimmers like semi-submersible submarines, glass bottom boats, underwater observatory, and helmet diving. You can book to go on a snorkel tour with a qualified Marine Biologist or Marine interpreter.

Taking a Scenic Flight on the Great Barrier Reef

You can choose to fly in a helicopter out to the Great Barrier Reef and cruise back on the boat or vice versa. Or enjoy a scenic flight when you are out at the reef. When you get to experience the view from above in the helicopter, you will be amazed at the colours and how close the coral is to the surface. The marine life makes it even more exciting for great photos to take back home and share with friends.

It’s a must do activity, just like swimming with the whales. How many times in your life can you do this? Just think about it and just do it. You can’t take it with you. But you definitely need to book in advance and you need to disclose your true weight.

Yes, your true weight, otherwise you may not be granted take off if you have greatly underestimated your weight which is then combined with other passengers if you are doing a shared helicopter charter. Think of the great pictures you will get!