Dive the Outer Great Barrier Reef on a Budget!
If it’s value for money and a day scuba diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef that you’re after, then our budget scuba cruise has it all!
Our ‘Budget Scuba Dive’ tour is for qualified divers who already hold a scuba licence of ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher. Not a qualified diver? …Click here to see our budget reef cruise for beginner Resort Divers
Tour Highlights & Inclusions
- Up to 4 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
- One Certified Scuba Dive for qualified divers with ‘Open Water Licence’ or higher. Option to add additional dive. Scuba equipment included. Certified diving is subject to medical conditions in Australia – see ‘Important Information for Scuba Divers’ below
- Unlimited Snorkeling. 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
- Optional extra activities include adding an additional Second Scuba Dive and Glass-Bottom Boat Tours
- Second Scuba Dive. Subject to medical conditions – see ‘Important Information for Scuba Divers’ below
- Dive Guide for a guided tour around the reef. Scuba dive with a buddy or pay for a guided scuba dive with one of our wonderful crew. Travelling alone? The Compass Cruises team will happily organise a buddy for you on the day if you wish to dive without a guide.
- Glass Bottom Boat Tour (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.
- 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
- Proof of qualification as a Certified Diver
- Cash or credit card for purchases – Credit Card available for purchases over $10.00AUD
- Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream
Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18‘ View 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
- Evidence of your certification level as a qualified diver must be provided to the Dive Supervisor on the day of your tour. Your scuba qualification must be ‘Open Water Level’ or higher, for you to go diving as a Certified Diver. This will be checked by the Dive Supervisor at the start of your trip. Proof of qualification can be in the form of a certification card or dive license, a signed and stamped divers logbook with details of your training, or verification from your training agency. You can contact your training agency for your certification details prior to your trip, if you have lost your licence and do not have a record of your training in your divers log-book. If you cannot find proof of your dive qualification, please contact our helpful team prior to your tour. For most major dive agencies, we can often assist you to find proof of your qualification via the training agency if we are given enough time in advance of your trip. If unable to verify your certification level, we reserve the right to refuse a person scuba diving as a certified diver. If you hold a lower scuba qualification than ‘Open Water Diver’ level, then you may go scuba diving as a ‘Resort Diver’ – please click here to book a budget Resort Scuba Diver Tour
- 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 under 18 years old who are qualified ‘certified’ scuba divers must dive with a qualified ‘certified’ parent or guardian or pay an additional fee for a crew member as Dive Guide
- 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
- 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
- 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, snorkel and dive briefings
- 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
Our ‘Budget Scuba Dive Tour’ is for Certified Divers (qualified) who already hold a scuba diving licence of ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher. Not a certified diver? …Please see our budget reef cruise for beginner Resort Divers
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. Please follow the link above if you are not a qualified Certified Diver to book a budget Resort Dive tour
Can anyone go Scuba Diving? If you are able to swim and are in good physical health you can probably dive. Certified Scuba Diving in Australia is subject to medical conditions – this applies to qualified divers AND beginner divers alike. Both past and present, medication and/or health concerns may prevent participation in scuba activities (See Medical Conditions). The minimum age for scuba 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.
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)
- 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:
- 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 divingFor 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
Evidence of your certification level as a qualified diver must be provided to the Dive Supervisor on the day of your tour. Your scuba qualification must be ‘Open Water Level’ or higher, for you to go diving on this ‘Budget Scuba Dive Package Tour’. Please contact us if you require assistance verifying your qualification
Please read the Policies, Terms & Conditions before booking any tour
**Some medical conditions (past or present), medications and/or health conditions may prevent participation in scuba diving activities
Budget Scuba Dive
Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise
We accept Visa Card or Mastercard, E-Way and PayPal.
Please call to confirm your trip 48 hours in advance on +61 7 40372700
For All bookings during COVID-19.
If your booking is affected for any reasons during COVID, we will allow you to change your travel date.
If you are unsure when you will travel, your booking will be open dated with NO expiration date.
Cancellation fees are as follows
20% cancellation fee 30 days or more before departure
50% cancellation fee if within 30 days before departure
100% cancellation fee within 14 days before departures
Schedules subject to change without notice
Scuba Diving Insurance
All passengers are strongly advised to purchase a comprehensive Travel Insurance policy that includes trip cancellation insurance and Evacuation & Medical cover for scuba diving.
Please be aware that not all Travel Insurance companies cover scuba diving and in-water activities. Please read the wording of your policy carefully.
Any evacuation, vessel relocation, or medical expenses are the diver's financial responsibility in a Medical Emergency. We strongly recommend the purchase of dive insurance.
Cancellation / Rescheduling Policy
We reserve the right to change vessel, dive locations, and prices without notice.
Please note we must receive at least 48 hours' notice from you when choosing to cancel or reschedule a reservation. Cancellation refunds are not given within 48 hours' notice. This includes factors beyond your control, including medical problems, airline delays, bad weather, etc.
Please refer to the Trade Practices Act 1974. Travel Insurance is highly recommended.
Please contact our office if you require any further information.
Terms And Conditions
• No alcohol may be consumed prior to in water activities
• Children’s prices are from 4 – 14 years of age
• We require 48 hours’ notice if you wish to re-schedule your booking
• Locations, vessels and itineraries are subject to change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances , but with full consideration of your enjoyment
• All Reef Levies and EMC charges are included in your booking price
• Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying.
• If you are considering Scuba Diving you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any scuba activities.
• Some medical conditions OR medications may prevent you from scuba diving unless a current Australian Standards 'AS4005.1' Medical Certificate can be shown to the Dive
Instructor. This medical certificate must be performed pursuant to the Australian standard AS.4005.1. (Queensland Dive Laws). If you are unsure of a particular medical condition
or medication, please check with our office before booking any scuba dive activities.
• Passengers intending to dive but restricted due to the aforementioned will not be offered a refund.
• Please call to confirm your trip 48 hours in advance on +61 7 4037 2700
• We are not liable for changes to tours, pricing or itineraries; all of which are subject to change without notice.
• Neither this site, nor any associated company or agent advertised through this site is responsible for your costs or losses resulting from alterations, cancellations, loss of
baggage, delay or personal injury.
• We strongly recommend everyone has their own travel insurance, and scuba diving insurance where applicable.
Please refer to Trade Practices Act 1974.
SCUBA DIVING - Important Information
It is not our company’s decision regarding these laws - we are regulated by the Queensland Government
• You will be required to complete a Medical Questionnaire before participating in any Scuba activities.
• Some medical conditions OR medications may prevent you from scuba diving unless a current Queensland Diving Medical Certificate can be shown to the Dive Instructor on
For example: Asthma or wheezing or use of an inhaler, brain spinal cord or nervous/anxiety disorder, chronic bronchitis or persistent chest complaint, chronic sinus, collapsed lung (pneumothorax), diabetes mellitus, chest surgery, epilepsy, fainting, seizures or blackouts, heart disease of any kind, high blood pressure, recurrent ear problems when flying, tuberculosis and any other long-term lung disease. However medical conditions are not limited to the aforementioned there are many other conditions.
• If you are unsure of a particular medical condition or medication, please check with our Office before booking your dive.
• It is the Passenger's Responsibility to be proactive in relation to their medical conditions and taking of medications to ensure they are ok to scuba dive if they wish to do so
on the day.
• If you have not been proactive in checking with our office regarding any medical issues prior to your Reef Trip, you must be aware that details of your medication will be sent
to the Queensland Dive Doctors on the Day of Travel. This can be difficult for the Dive Doctors as they do not know your medical history. We can only give them information
submitted to us on your medical form so please understand that the dive Doctor may require a full dive medical to clear you to dive.
• Prior and existing Medical conditions where medication is not being taken cannot be sent to the Dive Doctors therefor important to contact our office.
• Please be advised that if you are not allowed to Scuba Dive due to your medical condition/medication that this is the decision from the Queensland Dive Doctors and their
decision is final.
• DO NOT presume that by taking medication is controlling your medical conditions and you should be fine to scuba dive as it is the medication that can be the problem when
• No refunds on uncompleted dives.
• Passengers intending to dive but restricted due to the aforementioned will not be offered a refund.
• Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying.
• If you do have any pre-existing/existing medical conditions or are taking any medication whatsoever and are not sure whether you will be deemed medically fit to Scuba
Dive, Please Contact Our Office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected], we will be only too happy to help you and can contact the Dive Doctors before your
trip to see whether you will need a dive medical or not. Alternatively, consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms 'AS.4005.1