Choose from our premier day trip ‘all-inclusive’ catamaran Reef Experience, travel to the outer reef on a shoestring with budget tour Compass Cruises or try an overnight snorkelling adventure on the small sailboat Coral Sea Dreaming and enjoy the wonders of snorkelling a world heritage marine park in style!
Read on to view our favourite snorkelling day trips and VIEW OUR EDITORS CHOICE BELOW…
Snorkeling Day Trips
Reef Experience is an all-inclusive trip, providing the most time at two Outer Barrier Reef snorkel locations. Included in the day is one ‘try scuba’ dive or certified dive (optional), unlimited snorkelling and equipment, wetsuit hire, glass bottom boat tour, breakfast, lunch and afternoon wine, cheese and biscuits. Free snorkel guides are available to non-swimmers and there is an optional Marine Biologist Snorkel Tour for those who wish to learn about the reef while snorkeling (at additional cost of $20AUD). A marine life presentation en-route to the reef gives guests a great start to the day.
Compass Crusises: Reef Snorkeling Day Trip
Compass is one of Cairns most famous snorkel day trips, and has been assisting passengers see the Great Barrier Reef for over 20 years. A popular budget snorkel trip, Compass is a favourite for those who wish to see premium outer reef locations – without the price tag of the more up-market vessels. Guided snorkel tours for non-swimmers are included in the trip cost and free snorkeling assistance is available for all. Compass visits two Outer Reef locations daily and includes snorkel equipment, unlimited snorkeling, buffet lunch and reef taxes.
Reef Experience: VIP ‘Personalised’ Snorkel Day Trip – TopDeck Club
The snorkel day trip with a difference – Reef Experience is the only Great Barrier Reef operator to offer a VIP service to snorkelers. This tour comes with a private in-water expert snorkeling guide, a free private scuba dive (optional), an exclusive spacious seating area, chef prepared breakfast, lunch and afternoon canapés, and wine or champagne on the return journey. Visiting 2 outer reef locations daily, this high speed vessel provides optimal snorkel & relaxation time while at the reef. Glass bottom boat tour included. Minimum of 2 people per booking required.
This day tour visits a floating, stable marine-world pontoon situated on the Great Barrier Reef. Ideal for people who do not want to spend all day in the water, it includes unlimited glass bottom boat and semi-submarine tours, an underwater theatre for dry-viewing, and snorkeling equipment. Snorkeling assistance is available at an addtional cost, with other optional extras such as scenic reef helicopter flights, scuba diving and helmet diving. This tour visits 1 reef location and includes a buffet lunch.
This tour runs either half or full day trips to the idyllic Green Island, just a short boat journey from Cairns mainland. Ideal for non-swimmers, Green Island is situated on the inner Great Barrier Reef and boasts lush tropical rainforest, optional seaplane or helicopter tours, souvenir shops, restaurants and even a nautical marine-land museum. This tour includes EITHER snorkeling OR glass bottom boat, with many optional extras available for purchase. Buffet lunch is available at additional cost.
See also our liveaboard snorkeling reef tours…
Editor’s Choice: Reef Experience
Reef Experience is an all inclusive catamaran providing excellent value day trips to The Great Barrier Reef. Visiting two pristine Outer Reef locations daily, there’s plenty of time to relax, snorkel, glass bottom boat tour and scuba dive! Join us for a snorkel. You’ll be amazed at what you find!
Experienced swimmer or snorkeler? Our crew will show you to the best patches of coral and can tell you where to find the marine marvels that call the reef their home. Want to find Nemo? No problem! Want to see for yourself that Giant Clams really exist and learn how these amazing creatures feed and breathe? Ask us how!
Never snorkelled before? Our friendly and professional team are always ready to jump in and assist everybody have fun and enjoy all the reef has to offer. Our expert crew will ensure that you are comfortable with your equipment and introduce you to some of our friendly fish! Buoyancy aids such as snorkelling vests, wetsuits and noodles are available for non-swimmers which maintain all the freedom of movement while comfortably allowing you to stay at the surface and observe the marine life beneath.
About your Reef Experience Day
With a Reef Experience day tour there are no hidden costs. All snorkelling equipment hire and national park fees are inclusive in your trip. If you need assistance in the water or have never snorkelled before, guided snorkel tours from experienced staff run throughout the day. A glass bottom boat tour and Marine Biologist interactive presentation are included activities all may participate in, and passengers can choose between spacious fully-air conditioned saloon areas or a large luxurious sundeck fully equipped with cushioned sun loungers. Begin the day with complimentary return bus transfers to the marina from any accommodation within the Cairns area, followed by a barbeque breakfast roll and assorted fruit platter. Hot and cold buffet lunch is prepared fresh by an onboard chef and, to prove unbeaten on customer service, Reef Experience provides complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits for the return journey. Feeling adventurous? Reef Experience also includes a resort scuba dive for those who’ve never tried it before, or a certified scuba dive for those with experience.*
Optional Extras Reef Experience has its own fully licensed bar, stocked with drinks, chocolates, chips and reef souvenirs. Second time scuba dives are at an additional cost of $55 AUD. Snorkel with a qualified Marine Biologist – if you listen to the the marine biology interactive presentation and wish to learn more about the reef whilst having fun, go on one of our Marine Biology ‘lectured’ Snorkel Tours at an additional charge. Digital camera hire is available onboard.
Getting There Bus transfers from your accommodation to the Cairns Marlin Marina is included from all Cairns City areas. (Bus transfers from outer suburbs and Port Douglas are available at an additional cost).
* Minimum age for scuba activities 12 years. Some medical conditions or medications may prevent you from scuba diving. Please allow 24 hours after scuba diving before flying or travelling to altitude.