Snorkel and dive The Great Barrier Reef with a Port Douglas reef cruise
Port Douglas is the best place to enjoy a day snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. The warm tropical waters of the Coral Sea, sheltered by the reef, provide the perfect conditions for safe snorkelling for the whole family. With many of the reefs in shallow water and water temperatures as high as 28°C (82°F) the many wonders of the Great Barrier Reef are waiting to be enjoyed by you.
We highly recommend a reef trip from Port Douglas and Poseidon, Calypso, Wavelength, Sailaway and Aquarius are our preferred reef tour operators. These local businesses have operated here in Port Douglas for many years and have earned their reputation as some of Queensland’s finest marine tourism operators.
With easy access in and out of the water and in-water assistance for the apprehensive snorkeller a day on the Great Barrier Reef can be enjoyed by everyone.
Poseidon Port Douglas Reef Tours
Poseidon will take you to the very edge of the Great barrier Reef out to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs on the outer edge of the Australian continental shelf. Agincourt Reef is renowned for its amazing snorkelling and diving and Poseidon departs every day at 8:30am and returns around 4:30pm.
Poseidon has a choice of over 40 mooring sites at several locations within the Agincourt reef system and each day the crew selects three of the best sites depending on the tidal currents and the prevailing wind. This ensures you will always have the best possible conditions on the day.
With Poseidon Port Douglas diving is available.
As well as catering for snorkellers from the expert to the novice Poseidon also caters for certified scuba divers. Divers can enjoy up to three quality dives.
Port Douglas snorkeling tours
Guided snorkelling tours are available in small groups and with limited passenger numbers with a high crew/passenger ratio for personalized service and individual attention excellence in service is assured.
A reef interpretation talk by a marine biologist occurs on your way to the reef along with snorkelling tuition and instruction to make sure you have everything covered for your day on the reef.
With easy access to the water from an 8m wide stepped duckboard the opportunity to enter the water is available to everyone. There is a spacious air conditioned bar/saloon area, large sun and covered deck areas and a superb tropical buffet lunch with morning & afternoon tea.
Calypso Port Douglas Reef Cruise
Calypso takes you to three breathtaking sites on Opal Reef known locally as the ‘Gem of the Ocean’ situated right on the edge of the continental shelf.
Catering for snorkellers and introductory and certified divers Calypso has friendly and experienced crew to make the most of your visit to the Great Barrier Reef. The boat has spacious outdoor areas and a comfortable sundeck with an easy access swim up platform to get you safely into and out of the water.
Everything is included for your day on the reef. Free transfers from The Mango Tree, a sumptuous tropical lunch with morning and afternoon tea and all your snorkelling equipment through to a safe return to your accommodation at the end of the day.
Snorkelers enjoy the chance to snorkel at three separate locations throughout the day with professional tuition, in water assistance for the apprehensive, guided snorkelling tours and interpretive marine talks, all to help you fully appreciate the marvel of nature unfolding before you.
When visiting Port Douglas scuba diving is a ‘must do’ for many people and divers can enjoy the chance to dive at three separate locations. With small guided groups, certified divers can experience a wall dive or a drift dive exploring the amazing coral bommies.
For the beginners an introductory scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef is available. No experience is required under the friendly and professional supervision of instructors.
Wavelength Reef Tours Port Douglas
Wavelength offers snorkel only trips to the Great Barrier Reef and has a worldwide reputation for pioneering Eco Tourism. Catering for a maximum of 46 passengers ensures your visit to the reef will be less crowded giving you a more personalised service at each of the three sites you will visit. Waves IV is a new boat launched in 2015 and was custom built for your day snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Wavelength has a variety of moorings to choose from situated at Opal Reef, St Crispins Reef and Tongue Reef on the edge of the Australian continental shelf and each day the skipper will choose the best sites based on the tide and weather conditions. Wavelength Marine Charters strive to ensure your reef snorkelling experience will be the best possible on the day.
Wavelength has an Advanced Eco Tourism Accreditation and is proud to offer guests a high level of reef interpretation. Guided snorkel tours are the best way to get the most out of your reef adventure and Wavelength has an experienced marine biologist in the water with you at every site. During your lunch break you can take part in the lunchtime reef brief to learn more about the amazing reef and of course the lunch is a gourmet selection of salads, and cold meats with all the trimmings.
Low Isles – A Coral Cay Island on the Great Barrier Reef
Low Isles is an unforgettable experience for visitors to Port Douglas
Low Isles is the closest point to explore the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. An idyllic sandy coral cay surrounded by coral gardens with an abundance of fish and Green Turtles. The sheltered lagoon offers calm snorkelling and easy access to the island.
Both our recommended Low Isles tour operators have authorized access to take you onto the island from where the snorkelling is as easy as a dip in the sea on a sandy beach. Low Isles is the perfect choice to mix a day on the reef with time to laze on the beach and explore the history of the island and there’s no better way to get there than cruising in luxury under sail on Sailaway.
Low Isles is a favorite loved by the locals for its peace and tranquility and awesome snorkelling and is just eight nautical miles (15km) from the mainland.
Sailaway Reef and Island Tours
Sailaway now offers a choice of three tours.
Full Day Trip to Low Isles (8:30am – 4:00pm) ~ Afternoon Trip to Low Isles including Sunset Sail (1:00pm – 6:30pm) ~ Sunset Sailing (5:00pm – 6:30pm)
Full Day Trip to Low Isles (8:30am – 4:00pm)
Once at the island a glass bottom boat for coral viewing can take you ashore or you can snorkel directly off the boat. All snorkelling equipment, optical masks and tuition are provided along with Lycra snorkelling suits and flotation devices.
You have access to Low Island including the heritage walk and can take part in a guided snorkelling tour with a marine naturalist.
Hot and cold fresh water showers are available back on the boat along with a gourmet buffet lunch with prawns, cold meats and salads plus morning and afternoon tea with cakes, tropical fruit platters and freshly brewed coffee and biscuits.
Sailaway IV full day to Low Isles caters for families with children under four traveling free.
Afternoon Trip to Low Isles including Sunset Sail (1:00pm – 6:30pm)
Sailaway V afternoon cruise and sunset sail caters for person 12 years and older.
Sunset Sailing (5:00pm – 6:30pm)
Port Douglas is world famous for many things and the thrill of an evening sunset sail is high on the list. Join Sailaway IV for an exhilarating sail along the coast and take in the spectacular sunset over the mountain range.
Your one and a half hour cruise provides a complimentary drink and canapes as you sit back and enjoy the breathtaking journey of a Port Douglas sunset sail.
All tours to the Great Barrier Reef collect an additional levy. The Environmental Management Charge, or EMC is payable by each person that enters the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The levy is collected on the boat and may vary from time to time between operators. The levy may include additional administration or fuel levies on top of the EMC collected on behalf of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.