A local Great Barrier Reef icon!

If it’s value for money and a memorable day on the Great Barrier Reef you’re looking for then this budget cruise has it all! Enjoy an un-rushed day of snorkeling with a leisurely cruise to two beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reef locations.

Compass Cruises offer something for everyone and can be enjoyed by people of all ages – even those with limited swimming ability.

Tour Highlights & Inclusions

  • Up to 4 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
  • Unlimited Snorkeling and snorkeling tuition. Snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins included
  • Free buoyancy aids – snorkeling vests and noodles
  • Delicious BBQ Lunch with fresh salads (Dietary requirements catered for: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and food allergies – please advise upon booking)
  • Fruit Platters while boarding. Tea & coffee available all day while boat stationary. Water fountain to fill your water bottle
  • Glass of wine, cheese & crackers on return journey
  • Assistance for non-confident swimmers from friendly crew
  • Boom netting – “The Wild Ride” (weather permitting)
  • Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are included in this trip cost
  • Family Friendly Tour
  • Optional extra activities including Scuba Diving for all levels of experience and Glass-Bottom Boat Tours

Optional Extras

  • Scuba Diving for qualified divers (Certified) OR No-experience necessary ‘Resort Scuba Diving’ for beginners –  one or two scuba dives available. Subject to medical conditions – see ‘Important Information for Scuba Divers’ below
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours (weather permitting)
  • Wetsuit Hire (During jellyfish season in the tropics, stinger suits are included with your trip. These are not the same as wetsuits, which provide flotation and warmth)
  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see (contact lenses can be worn in most circumstances)
  • Bus transfers from accommodation to and from the Cairns Marina: From Cairns City accommodation $12.00AUD return per person / Outside Cairns City area $22.00AUD return per person

What to Bring

  • Cash or credit card for purchases – Credit Card available for purchases over $10.00AUD
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

Getting There

Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:25 am for check-in, directly on the boat ‘Compass’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30pm

Terms of Tour

  • Please read full Policies, Terms & Conditions prior to booking any tour. Below is a brief overview only
  • Compass Cruises can cater for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free and any food allergies. Please inform of dietary or other special requirements prior to date of travel
  • Please re-confirm your reservation 48 hours prior to travel
  • We require 48 hours to re-schedule a trip subject to availability (see Cancellation Policy)
  • Locations, prices, vessel and itinerary are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances without notice but with full consideration for your enjoyment and safety
  • Children prices are for ages 4-14 years. Family prices are for 2 adults + 2 children age 4-14 years
  • Travel and dive insurance are highly recommended. We strongly recommend that all clients have travel insurance covering illness, injury, medical evacuation, loss or damage to personal belongings and not being able to travel on the confirmed date of departure
  • Optional Scuba Diving Activities (applies to both certified and beginner divers):
    • No refunds on uncompleted dives
    • Ages 12+ years for all scuba activities
    • You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any scuba activities – SEE Important Information for SCUBA DIVING below
  • No alcohol may be consumed prior to in water activities
  • Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying
  • As with all boats to the Great Barrier Reef, Compass is a non-smoking vessel

Tour Itinerary

  • 07:30 – Board the boat Compass, at Cairns Marina ‘Marlin Wharf Berth 18’, for check-in. View map to Cairns Marlin Marina
  • 08:00 –Depart Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Safety talk and snorkel briefing
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location
  • 15:30 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 17:30 – Approximate Arrival time at Cairns Marina

Important Information FOR SCUBA DIVING

Certified Scuba Diving and Resort Scuba Diving on Compass Cruises is an Optional Extra Activity

What is a Certified Dive? A Certified Scuba dive is when you have completed an “Open Water” Dive Course or higher and have a divers licence as proof of qualification (generally takes 3 – 4 days to complete)

What is a Resort/Introductory Dive? Resort diving requires no previous scuba experience. Conducted in small groups of 4 guests, under the supervision of an experienced Dive Instructor. Resort dives give beginners an unforgettable Great Barrier Reef experience without having to complete a full scuba diving course.

Can anyone go Scuba Diving? If you are able to swim and are in good physical health you can probably dive. Scuba Diving in Australia is subject to medical conditions – this applies to qualified Certified Divers AND beginner Resort Divers alike. Both past and present, medication and/or health concerns may prevent participation in scuba activities (See Medical Conditions). The minimum age for resort diving is 12 years.

Queensland Dive Laws are the strictest in the World – with the safest dive record in the world

IMPORTANT Please be aware that some Medical Conditions (past or present) or Medications that are being taken could prevent you from participating in scuba activities. If you wish to partake in our Certified Scuba Dive OR Beginner Scuba Dive, it is the passengers responsibility to ensure they are medically fit to dive. To prevent disappointment on-the day, if you have had any medical condition OR are taking any medication OR have ANY health condition, please contact our friendly team who can advise whether you are required to get an Australian Standards Medical Certificate prior to the day of your trip.

If you are taking any Medications for anything we can check if these are safe for diving with the local accredited Scuba Dive Doctor before your tour and let you know in advance by email if they may prevent you diving. This is necessary as some medications can become dangerous under pressure. These checks may be done within 90 days of your reef trip and are valid as long as there is no change in your medical situation. (Medication checks can also be done on the day of travel, however in some instances it can be difficult for the dive doctor to approve without consultation with you, so it is recommended to check in advance if this will be necessary). On your day of travel, we can only give them the information submitted to us on your medical form so please understand that the Dive Doctor may require a medical consultation to clear you for diving in advance of your trip.

Medical Conditions

If you have EVER suffered from any of the following conditions, you will be required to bring a current dive medical certificate stating that it conforms to Australian Standard ‘AS.4005.1‘ before being allowed to Scuba Dive. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Asthma / Wheezing OR use of an Inhaler even for sports endurance or allergies
  • Brain, spinal cord or nervous disorder (including Epilepsy)
  • Chronic bronchitis, persistent chest complaint or any lung condition
  • Chronic sinus condition
  • Collapsed Lung (pneumothorax)
  • Diabetes
  • Chest Surgery
  • Heart Disease of any kind
  • Any Heart Conditions – past or present
  • Crones Disease
  • Anything that may cause fits, faints or blackouts

If you are CURRENTLY suffering from or have recently had any of the following conditions or procedures, you will be required to bring a current dive medical certificate stating that it conforms to Australian Standard ‘AS. 4005.1‘ before being allowed to Scuba Dive. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Breathlessness
  • High or Low Blood Pressure
  • Chronic ear discharge or infection
  • Ear Surgery
  • Recurrent ear problems when flying
  • Any disease
  • Any illness or operation within the last 3 months
  • Perforated eardrum

**Being pregnant will prohibit you from Scuba Diving**

Please be aware that the above does not cover every medical condition there maybe other medical conditions not listed.

It is not our company’s decision regarding these laws – we are regulated by the Queensland Government

Please contact our office, if you require further information regarding possible medical conditions

If you have existing or pre-existing medical conditions, operations, taking medication, have used an inhaler then you will need permission from the Dive Doctor to Scuba Dive. If you have any doubts or queries regarding the above, please be proactive and contact our office to avoid disappointment on the day.

Flying after Scuba diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive. For multiple dives you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible

Please read the Policies, Terms & Conditions before booking any tour

Children’s prices are for ages 4-14 years old. Family prices are for 2 adults + 2 children age 4-14 years

**Some medical conditions (past or present), medications and/or health conditions may prevent participation in scuba diving activities





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21 Reviews for “Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise”

  1. Freya (UK)

    Have wanted to see the reef for years, so swimming so close to it was incredible. We also saw giant clams and that was really cool. Crew are very friendly and entertaining. They were great at making those less confident feel comfortable and safe in the water. The food was really nice, we appreciated the wine and cheese on the way back! Thank you for a great day, only wish we could stay longer.

  2. Emma (Australia)

    Very lovely and helpful! The best part of the day was snorkelling! Great day! Thank you.

  3. Peter Neale

    The day was great. The young crew were all very accommodating and were focussed on making the day as good as possible for everyone. They were especially nice to my teenage kids, one of whom was quite sea-sick and they went out of their way to look after him. A great way to experience the Reef

  4. Paul P

    The crew were absolutely great. The personal attention and friendliness of the crew were amazing. The diving was great. Lunch was a home run and the food was delicious. Thanks for a great experience.

  5. Rachelle

    Fantastic, all very friendly and helpful. Enjoyed every last second. Thank you so much this has been the highlight of my holiday so far!

  6. James

    Fantastic! They are so helpful and very service minded. Really great value - 100%. Loads of fun and very full from lunch.

  7. Anusa

    The whole day was great, I had a fantastic time especially with the friendly crew.

  8. Wes m

    The crew were friendly, helpful, informative, and experienced. The capacity of the boat was good and the Reef snorkeling was really nice. Thank you for an amazing tour this is our 2nd trip out to the Reef during our time in Cairns and it's great to see some magnificent coral and fish!

  9. Wendy B

    The crew were fun and so helpful throughout the whole trip! I loved snorkeling and thought they trip was well worth doing.

  10. Kristal (NZ)

    Laid back cruisey bunch of people. Very friendly and helpful made it a very fun day. Seeing the different fish and species of coral on the reef. All around great trip - would recommend.

  11. Campbell (NZ)

    Awesome, fun, cruisey, and professional. Was a good day out, would highly recommend.

  12. Bradley (USA)

    The day was perfect. Staff was excellent and always willing to help. Thank you for the great experience!

  13. Karl (Wales)

    Very good and helpful crew. Thank you for a wonderful day, will never forget it! Thank you.

  14. Helen

    We loved compass for the cost, value for money, variety of reefs and what's included in the day. Definitely not a let down! The staff were knowledgeable, friendly, thoughtful and helpful. We loved all of it! I would recommend the trip to family and friends and would definitely return myself.

  15. Mandy P

    The crew were fantastic. The food delicious. The best part of the day was the snorkeling; the snorkeling gear was great - good fit. Thank you from all our family for such a memorable day! :)

  16. Kate P

    Everything made the experience great! Especially because it's the first time I didn't get sea sick. The crew were fantastic -- friendly, hospitable, funny, attractive...keep up the great work!

  17. Rachel A

    This tour was excellent -- 10/10. It was just a perfect day, wonderful staff, great food, good weather and the snorkeling was great. The wine went down very well. A big thank you x :)

  18. Raquel

    I booked with Compass Cruises because of the price and reviews. Crew is so fun and friendly, obviously passionate about their work. The best part of the day was the whole thing/turtles and sharks. Thank you all so much for one of the best days of my life.

  19. Maria

    I decided to experience with Compass Cruises because I liked the program and prices. Crew was amazing: really caring, friendly and warming. The highlight of the day was snorkeling. Thank you so much for this incredible journey! Snorkeling at Great Barrier Reef is now one of the best experience of my life!

  20. Peter

    It was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. The crew were very polite/nice and funny and always helpful if you need anything. The best part of the day was diving and swimming with a turtle!

  21. Almelia

    The crew were lovely, the best part of the day was the glass bottom boat and the dive. Really good day out - thanks a lot! :)


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