Sun, Salt, and Vitamin Sea: Top 5 Snorkel Tours in Cairns

teeming with life beneath its azure surface. With nearly 3,000 reefs, 1,600 fish species, and 600 varieties of coral, this underwater paradise offers an abundance of captivating sights to explore. Encounter playful dolphins, majestic whales, and graceful sea turtles as you immerse yourself in the vibrant ecosystem of the reef.

Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling is the perfect way to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a first time explorer. With a mask and snorkel, you can glide effortlessly among schools of dazzling fish, drift over spectacular coral gardens, and encounter iconic marine creatures like the beloved clownfish Nemo.

No swimming experience? No problem! Many snorkelling tours offer the option to float leisurely on the surface, supported by a comfortable life jacket, allowing you to marvel at the underwater spectacle from a serene vantage point.

Now, let’s dive into our top five snorkelling tour options departing from Cairns, each offering its unique blend of adventure, discovery, and unforgettable experiences.

Top 5 Snorkelling Tours in Cairns

top 5 snorkelling tours Cairns

The Liveaboard: Reef Encounter

Indulge in the ultimate aquatic adventure aboard Reef Encounter, where every day begins with the promise of plunging into the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea. Imagine waking up to the gentle lull of the ocean and diving right into an underwater wonderland filled with thriving marine life.

With an impressive lineup of five snorkelling sessions daily, you’ll have ample opportunity to explore the mesmerising depths and discover the breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Equipped with top-of-the-line snorkelling gear provided onboard, including masks, fins, and snorkels, you’ll be fully prepared to embark on your underwater escapades.

Reef Encounter boasts a purpose-built platform for seamless snorkelling experiences, allowing you to ease into the azure waters. Each day, the skilled captain selects the most pristine snorkelling sites based on weather conditions, ensuring every excursion is a memorable encounter with the reef’s diverse marine ecosystem.

Need assistance in the water.

Reef Encounter offers guided snorkel tours driven by knowledgeable crew members who are enthusiastic about showcasing the wonders of the reef for those who require additional direction or assistance. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a novice explorer, the friendly crew is always available to support you and ensure your safety in the water.

With life jackets and flotation devices, snorkelling becomes more accessible and enjoyable. Between exhilarating snorkel sessions, indulge in three delectable chef-prepared meals a day, savouring the flavours of the ocean while basking in the unparalleled beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

Experience the ultimate bucket-list adventure as you drift off to sleep each night on the world’s most famous reef, making memories to last a lifetime aboard Reef Encounter.

The All-Inclusive Day Trip: Reef Experience

top 5 snorkelling tours Cairns

The All-Inclusive Day Trip: Reef Experience

Embark on an unforgettable snorkelling adventure with Reef Experience, the ultimate day trip that covers all your essentials and more. This comprehensive package takes you to two distinct reef locations, ensuring a diverse, immersive experience beneath the waves. Your day is planned to maximise enjoyment and comfort, from breakfast to lunch and everything in between.

Reef Experience

As you journey towards the reef aboard the Reef Experience, prepare to be enthralled by an engaging presentation from the onboard marine biologist. Learn fascinating facts about the marine creatures inhabiting these waters, setting the stage for an enriching underwater exploration.

For those eager to delve deeper into the marine world, an optional Marine Biology guided snorkel tour is available, led by experts who will unveil the hidden wonders of the reef.

Navigating in and out of the water is effortless thanks to the convenient snorkelling platforms, which sit flush with the ocean surface. Even non-swimmers can partake in the adventure, with buoyancy aids provided by the attentive crew. With an in-water guide for added reassurance, everyone can feel safe and secure while exploring the aquatic realm.

Ready to elevate your experience? Take the thrilling first step into scuba diving with a professional guide who will ensure you have a memorable underwater experience.

Top Deck Club

For those seeking luxury, consider upgrading to the exclusive Top Deck Club. Here, VIP treatment awaits, including a personal snorkel guide to showcase the Reef’s most captivating sights. Between underwater expeditions, unwind in the comfort of the Captain’s Wheelhouse lounge.  Then, soak in the stunning ocean views and relish the serenity of the open sea.

Every moment is a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.  The Reef Experience promises a day at sea that will be cherished for years.

Introducing Evolution: Your Ultimate Reef Day Tour Experience

Evolution Reef Cruise

Embark on an unforgettable journey with Down Under Cruise and Dive aboard the Evolution, their state-of-the-art, high-speed reef day tour boat.  This ultra-modern catamaran has set new standards in reef exploration, offering guests a luxurious and exhilarating experience like never before.

Evolution Reef Cruise

Dive into Comfort and Convenience

Begin your adventure on the lower deck, where air-conditioned interiors accommodate up to 140 guests. Enjoy a complimentary lunch with stunning views through large windows, and quench your thirst at the fully stocked bar. Access bathroom amenities and ensure the safety of your hire equipment with personal storage areas.

Evolution Reef Cruise

Seamless Water Entry

Experience unparalleled ease of access to the ocean with submerged steps and hydraulic dive platforms. Whether snorkelling or diving, getting in and out of the water has never been smoother.

Luxurious Comfort and Entertainment

Indulge in the comfort of the air-conditioned middle deck, featuring comfortable bench seats and beautiful views. Exclusive Gold Class lounges offer a private sanctuary with premium amenities, perfect for groups or corporate gatherings.

Soak up the Sun

Relax and soak up the sun on the Level 2 deck, furnished with soft materials for added comfort. With seating areas at both the front and rear, you can enjoy panoramic views from every angle.

Spectacular Views from Every Angle

Ascend to the third level and immerse yourself in the beauty of the reef surroundings. Spacious seating areas and bean bags provide 360-degree views and beautiful scenery of the Great Barrier Reef.

With Evolution, your reef day tour experience reaches new heights of luxury, comfort, and adventure. Explore the ocean’s wonders easily and in style, and create memories to last a lifetime aboard this remarkable vessel.

Michaelmas Cay: Ocean Spirit

top 5 snorkelling tours Cairns

Discover Michaelmas Cay with Ocean Spirit

Look no further than Ocean Spirit’s itinerary for a beautiful combination of snorkelling adventures and island exploration. Embark on a scenic two hour journey aboard a luxurious sailing catamaran, setting sail towards the picturesque Michaelmas Cay.

Ocean Spirit Cruises

Nestled amidst protected waters, Michaelmas Cay is a sanctuary of natural beauty.  This cay is home to an amazing array of marine life and a busy community of seabirds. Over 20,000 nesting individuals gracing its shores.

Immerse yourself in fantastic snorkelling experiences as you glide through the crystal clear waters of the shallow lagoons. Encounter vibrant coral gardens teeming with colourful fish, and marvel at the amazing under water world that unfolds before you.

For a unique perspective, don’t miss the fish feeding presentation, where you can witness the fascinating interactions between marine creatures.

Looking to unwind?

Spend leisurely moments basking on the sun drenched shores of the pristine beach.  Then, embark on an incredible journey aboard the semi-submersible, offering a scuba diver’s view of the beautiful coral gardens.

Ocean Spirit’s tour to Michaelmas Cay is perfect for families and first time snorkelers. Prepare for a day of exploration, relaxation, and endless memories amidst the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

The Tropical Beach – Green Island Reef Cruise



Great Barrier Reef: helpful tips

Slip on a shirt, slop on a hat, and slap on some sunscreen.

Reef Encounter and Reef Experience provide reef friendly sunscreen that is free to all guests.

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