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Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

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Darwin, Australia
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Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

We are headed to the Cairns area next month and interested in one of the day reef cruises for the Great Barrier Reef. We have 6 adults and 2 young children (ages 3 and 13 months). A few of the adults are interested in a certified scuba dive and others would prefer snorkeling. I am just wondering what would be the best cruise with activities for our kids?

Australia
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55 posts
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1. Re: Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

For children that age you probably need to look at a glass bottom boat, it will depend on how confident the children are in the water, but generally you have to be in pretty deep water & I would not attempt it with them at that age. My own sons have snorkelled in deep water from about 6 years old so I'm not precious about children out there, but it is open water.

For snorkelling Wavelength (out of Pt Douglas) are great as they do not take divers & therefore you see much better coral. The youngest child with us when we did that trip was about 8. Reality is, divers do damage the coral & I was amazed at how much better the snorkelling only sites were.

We have dived with Pro dive out of Cairns & found them very good.

One also needs to be aware it is about 2 hours out to the reef & that is a long way with young children.

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

You do NOT want to take children as young as yours on Wavelength (or any other small boat like this). There's nothing for them to see or do onboard since they won't be snorkeling.

I think your best bet would be either Reef Magic out of Cairns or Quicksilver out of Port Douglas. Each of them go to a fixed pontoon and offer semi-submersibles, glass-bottom boat rides, and/or underwater viewing platforms for those not getting in the water (e.g. the kids) and scuba diving and snorkeling for the adults.

Australia
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3. Re: Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

I thought I might add...for accomodation with children we found Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort really good. It has a variety of pools & a water slide plus an excellent playground.

4. Re: Best reef cruise for a family with kids?

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Removed on: 21 June 2013, 23:41