Cairns Sightseeing Tours

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Cruise Upolu Cay & the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns Australia

Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Upolu Cay is a naturally formed coral cay situated 30 kilometers from Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef. It is a perfect location with protected, shallow waters from which to explore the reef snorkeling & scuba diving!

You will cruise on a luxurious 20 meter cruiser to Upolu Cay in less than an hour. The first Great Barrier Reef tour to arrive at Upolu Cay, the ship offers you over one hour to explore the Cay and surrounding reef uninterrupted.

You may even want to try your first ever scuba dive! For certified divers, enjoy being guided by qualified experienced instructors on some of the best dive sites on the reef.

Cruise Upolu Cay & the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns Australia
Length: 8.5 hours (6 hours at the Reef & Island)
Prices - including tax
All amounts in US Dollar $

Adult Telephone Rate : $194.92
Adult Rate : $187.42
Your Internet Order Savings: $7.50
Child Rate
(14 and Under):
Family Rate
(Total for 2 Adults and 2 Children):

(Scuba dive 1 Dive):

(Scuba Dive 2 Dives):
(Scuba Dive 1 Dive):
(Scuba Dive 2 Dives Certified Diver):

7:30 am daily


4 Days Minimum Advance Booking Required. 10.00 AUD Per Person In Required Fees Are Payable Onsite Day OF Tour. Tour does NOT include complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off. Rates are per person and in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.

There is a $6.95 USD processing fee per order. This is a flat fee regardless of the number of tickets or tours purchased on an order.
There is a service charge per ticket. This charge will be reflected on your summary before you checkout. The total shown includes any and all taxes, fuel surcharges, and service fees. There are no additional charges, unless otherwise specified.

Cancellation Policy:

There are no refunds. All sales are final.

Change Fee Policy: If changes are allowed on a tour or activity, a $20.00 per reservation change fee will be applied for any change to a reservation. Please note that some tours and activities do not allow any changes. Date changes can be made only if we can confirm availability on the new date. While we cannot guarantee any changes can be made, all change requests must be submitted a minimum of 24 hours prior to the tour departure and must be handled on an individual basis through our Reservations Center.

Itinerary: - You will board the boat at 7:30 am, greeted on the wharf by one of the crew members. Enjoy morning coffee, tea, fruit, and Danish pastries on boarding. Following an introductory safety brief - kick back, relax and enjoy cruising to Upolu Cay and the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef on the Great Barrier Reef. The area is a Marine Park Reserve and protected from fishing, providing an abundance of amazing sea-life.

Low guest numbers (max 75 — surveyed for 109 people) ensures a personal snorkel and dive experience. All guests are assessed for their snorkeling and diving abilities and are appropriately assisted to ensure that all are able to experience and enjoy the Great Barrier Reef. Guests need to be mobile enough to get into and out of a dinghy onto the beach and into and out of a dinghy from the main vessel.

You will cruise in comfort and style on board this luxury cruising cat through turquoise waters to Upolu Cay and the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef. Upon arrival at the pristine and picturesque Upolu coral cay (you will be on the first boat to arrive!), you'll be able to experience a glass bottom boat trip with a marine naturalist. Then relax and unwind, lazing in the crystal azure waters or sparkling white sand.

Swim, snorkel and dive this truly amazing location under the watchful eye of our safety conscious staff. Enjoy your first snorkel just off the cay in the shallow waters. Dinghy transfers to and from the boat for guests who just want to sunbathe on the Cay are available. You may also sunbathe on the spacious comfortable deck areas of the ship or relax in the air-conditioned comfort of the saloon.

If you've never dived and wish to try it, introductory dives are available — guaranteed 2 divers to one instructor (usual ratio is 4:1)! If you are a certified diver, you can enjoy the wonders of the reef with experienced guides.

During lunch cruise to the Outer Edge of Upolu Reef, snorkel or dive the amazing "Wonder Wall", on the outer edge of Upolo Reef. Experience the abundant corals and sea life with an adventure drift snorkel experience with the staff's assistance.

Enjoy a sumptuous lunch consisting of Queensland prawns, Tasmanian smoked salmon, roast chicken, mixed meat platter, 3 fresh salad selections, assorted breads, condiments and pickles. A tropical fruit platter, cheese and crackers and cake will be served on cruise home.

You will arrive back in Cairns around 4:15 pm.

Why Visit Upolu Cay? - Upolu Cay is a small island of sand formed on top of coral reefs. The “sand” of the cay is actually reef animal skeletons and other debris! The Cay takes shape as waves curve around the reefs and deposit sediment at the calm point on the leeward end of the reef.

Upolu Cay started “life” as no more than an exposed sand bank which grew larger and became more stable as more sediment was accumulated. Upolu Cay has no vegetation on it at present. However this may change in the future. It is a dynamic sand pile constantly changing its shape with weather conditions. So the Upolu Cay of yesteryear is quite different from its present form!

Upolu Cay and Reef are named after the schooner Upolu owned by William Pitts of Sydney, which struck reef on Easter Sunday 25th April 1886. The crew salvaged stores picked up the day before in Townsville and ferried them to a sand cay 3 miles away, where they spent the night. The crew set sail for Port Douglas in a lifeboat on 27th March and was eventually picked up by the Bulimba off Cape Grafton on May 4th.

Upolu Cay and reef are part of the traditional sea country of the Yirranydji, Mandingalbay Yidinji and Gungandji people. Upolu Reef is one of the reefs surveyed every 3 years as part of the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences Long Term Monitoring Programme.

Tour Includes:

  • Danish pastries and fresh fruit on boarding
  • Coffee and tea all day
  • Snorkeling tuition
  • Top quality snorkeling equipment (masks, flippers, snorkel)
  • Buoyancy snorkel vests
  • Lycra suits/wetsuits
  • High crew to guest ratio
  • Large smorgasbord lunch including seafood
  • Tropical afternoon tea
  • Fish Feed
  • Fresh water showers
  • Prescription masks
  • Transfers to and from the Island

Optional Extras:

  • Certified Diving (1–2 dives)
  • Introductory Diving (1–2 dives)
  • Underwater cameras
  • Well stocked range of alcoholic refreshments
  • A range of quality merchandise
  • Hotel pickups are available and cost approximately 12 Australian Dollars for inner city hotels and approximately 17 Australian Dollars for outer city/northern beach hotels. Pickup must be pre-arranged and a phone number to call to make that arrangement will be provided on your E-Ticket. The cost is payable to the driver on the day of the tour. Hotel pickup fees are subject to change.

4 Days Minimum Advance Booking Required. 10.00 AUD Per Person In Required Fees Are Payable Onsite Day OF Tour. Tour does NOT include complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off. Rates are per person and in US dollars. Please order online or call to order or for more information.


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