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Which Reef tours?

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boston, ma
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59 posts
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Which Reef tours?

I'm in need of some advice, we are traveling to Cairns, staying in the Northern Beaches area but have a rental car.

For the reef visit it will just be our teenage daughter and my Husband. This will likely be a one time trip for DD at least in the next decade. She very much wants to do a dive, she does not have the opportunity to get certified before we leave, this is for the June timeframe. I have found the following boats, do you book all, one, two? What are the benefits for each.

Ocean Safari out of Cape Trib

Silversonic out of PD

Passions of Paradise out of Cairns

Townsville...
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1. Re: Which Reef tours?

I did Tusa from Cairns yesterday. I snorkel but there were more divers on board and several 1st timers. Very professional crew. Went to two spots on Milne Reef (55km from Cairns) and the 1st spot was OK but the 2nd exceptional. Boat is only 1 year old and the gear was in good order. A great day out and value for money.

Cairns, Australia
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2. Re: Which Reef tours?

If you only do one boat then Passions of Paradise for sure! I have done many dives on boats up here (including Silversonic) and Passions is always the boat that I would recommend, esp for a first time diver. I actually did my very first dive on Passions over 5 years ago and since then got my cert and advanced scuba.

The staff are exceptional at getting first timers to be comfortable and making sure that their experience is a great one! Michealmas Cay is great place for a first dive as well. The dive briefings are clear and precise and they make sure that they cater to individuals needs. In comparison, while Silversonic is a good boat the dives seem more catered to cert divers and the attention is not as individual or personable.

In June the weather usually means that you will sail home with Passions as well, and laying out on the bownets sailing back is an unforgettable experience!

Townsville...
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3. Re: Which Reef tours?

Correction. Flynn's Reef. And the boat was fast - 21 knots which is a good thing getting home!

Toronto, Canada
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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4. Re: Which Reef tours?

I did 2 snorkelling trips on the reef both companies also offered dives and both were great companies but the weather determined how good the trip was. Rougher seas made some people sick, and made one trip for me useless because for snorkelling (and likely her first dive) the visibility was terrible. My first trip was fabulous. Diving I assume would be less affected once she got over the initial dive.

I would likely book the first day and then see if she likes, are u flying out of cairns?

boston, ma
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59 posts
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5. Re: Which Reef tours?

Thanks for the information on Passions of Paradise.

Assuming things go well on the first snorkel/dive is it worthwhile to do either of the other tours? Do you get different sights that are significantly different?

Is it very busy at the snorkel/dive sites or does each tour operator have it's own docking area so that it doesn't feel crowded?

boston, ma
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59 posts
51 reviews
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6. Re: Which Reef tours?

yes, flying both into and out of Cairns, I know they cannot dive within 12 hours of flying so that is affecting our planning.

I'm hoping for smooth sailing, but my daughter does have some motion sickness, I wouldn't be surprised if she got sick on the way out. I know many moons ago I did but I still went diving as a certified diver. She's generally very athletic and a little fearless.

4 posts
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7. Re: Which Reef tours?

we just did one on Seastar,

I would highly recommend it. small group and the operators are excellent.

Cairns, Australia
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8. Re: Which Reef tours?

The diving from Cairns is significantly different to the diving from Port Douglas, so if you have the opportunity to do both ...go for it!

Most boats do have their own mooring and most some are exclusive moorings. The great thing about the mid sized boats like Passons is that even with everyone in the water the mooring site is large enough to dive/snorkel without being crowded at all. It is different with the larger boats like Big Cat and Sunlover as they go to pontoon moorings and you feel really trapped into a small space (those boats hold 200 plus people!).

The seasickness tablets will help and they have these on the boat or they are easy enough to get before you leave. We always take them as a precaution :)

Yeppoon...
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9. Re: Which Reef tours?

Hi

I am taking my family to Cairns in Dec (we are from Qld though) and we do snorkel. I was wondering which tour you took and whether it was suitable for your teenager?

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Algonquin Provincial Park
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10. Re: Which Reef tours?

http://www.passions.com.au/

The crew were great, mixed but younger crowd. Lots of reviews on TA.