Sailing to the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise was another tick off the Ultimate FNQ bucket list.
To make things even more interesting we went into the deep to see some the reef’s wildlife with a scuba dive, another tick and an awesome experience with such a great crew.
How to get there
Check in is located at the Reef Fleet Terminal on the Cairns Pier, on the Esplanade. Boarding the Passions of Paradise boat, you follow the instructions upon check in and walk down the marina and straight onto the boat to prepare for a wonderful day at sea.
Make sure you arrive with plenty of time to check in, I would recommend at least 30 mins before your departure time.
- Sailing out to the Outer Great Barrier Reef
- Beautiful underwater wildlife to explore
- Complimentary morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea
- Snorkeling & scuba diving
- Awesome, accommodating crew members
- Luxurious sail boat with loads of room to move about
What you’ll do
Safety Briefing + Preparations
After boarding the luxurious boat, we were welcomed with complimentary tea, coffee & muffins to kick start the fun-filled day exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
With plenty of room on board, we were directed to the top deck of the boat with the rest of the scuba divers for a safety briefing & introduction to our dive. We were asked to complete a quick & easy medical questionnaire, followed by some demonstrations from the enthusiastic crew members, it was then that we were organised into group dives and prepped for the day ahead.
It takes about 2-hours to cruise to the outer reef, so in that time we were able to relax, explore the boat, and watch as we sailed out to sea. The two reef locations our cruise was visiting today were chosen ahead of time as they are dependnt on the weather conditions for the day.
As our reef destination approached, the crew members informed the first group of scuba divers to prep for their introductory dive into the deep blue. It is quite exciting as we had your tanks loaded up, wetsuits, fins & masks on ready to explore a beautiful new world beneath the surface.
Explore the reef
Paired up in groups of approximately four eager divers, we began descending into the water with our friendly instructor by your side. Learning how to use the breathing apparatus underwater was the first step, so I made sure to an eye on my instructor to follow their easy to understand directions.
Once the group had the hang of things we were off! Linking arms we swam slowly down towards the ocean’s floor, exploring the reef and coming face-to-face with marinelife that lives in these aqua blue waters.
A note for future divers, make sure you keep your eye out for some exotic fish, coral, and if you’re lucky you may even see a turtle! Our instructor guided us along the shallow lagoon full of marine life and all the way back to the boat at the end of the dive.
Return to the surface
Once we had made our way back onto the boat following our expedition into the deep, we were offerent the chance to complete a second dive at the next location. An opportunity I quickly jumped at!
As we made our way to the next location we had more than enough time to jump straight back into the water for a snorkel or simply take in the serenity of the Great Barrier Reef by relaxing on deck.
Grab a bite to eat
After all the exploring we had done during the first part of the day, we had worked up quite an appetite. Luckily, the on board crew know how to put on a good spread and we were treated to a delicious buffet lunch served on the main floor.
While floating on the iconic Great Barrier Reef, we enjoyed our lunch sitting in both the air-conditioned cabin and the two decks.
This is the perfect addition to the cruise and ensures you don’t have to worry about bringing your own food or bringing extra money to purchase lunch.
Cruise to the second reef location
After lunch, we set off for the next reef location on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. For us divers we were prepped again for another expedition into the water, while the snorkellers grabbed their goggles and those staying on board set up their own relaxation station.
With ample amount of time to explore and relax, this was the perfect way to finish off a day on the world-famous reef. As the day loomed to an end, the sails went up and we began the scenic journey back to Cairns.
The sail back is quite a relaxing one, as the friendly staff brought around a delicious cheese platter, a welcomed snack after a big day of exploring! We also grabbed a drink from the bar (at our own cost) and relaxed on the deck as the late afternoon set in and the Cairns shoreline appeared in the distance.
- All equipment for snorkeling – mask, fins with the optional wet suit hire
- Lunch, morning Tea & afternoon tea
- Guided scuba dive with top quality equipment
What to bring
- Swimming Gear
- Money for optional extras on board
Scuba diving was the major highlight for me on this Outer Great Barrier Reef adventure and it is an incredible way to experience the this world-famous natural attraction.
I was pleased at how easy the crew made it for us, even for someone as uncoordinated as me, they made it a breeze! Overall, this was an incredible day tour that caters for children as well as adults and the elderly.
If you’re looking for an all encompassing Great Barrier Reef cruise then this is a great choice! Passions Of Paradise, I will be back!
Have been inspired to explore the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise like Alicia did? You can book your spot on one of their outer reef cruises from Cairns online here!
Images: Alicia Smith
Alicia Smith dived and snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef as a guest of Passions of Paradise and Experience Oz.