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Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

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Montreal, Canada
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190 posts
33 reviews
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Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

|I am debating between Great Adventures and Reef Magic. My husband is a non swimmer and will not go in the water. I am a very weak swimmer and am not sure the snorkeling would be shallow. Which of these would you suggest and why?

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Although I have done a lot of snorkel tours of the GBR, I have not gone out with either of these companies. These companies are similar in that they both carry a lot of people; they both go to a fixed platform on the Reef and they both offer activities for non-swimmers such as an underwater observatory and semi-submersible . However, based on the information provided on their websites, I would probably recommend Reef Magic for you and your husband because: 1) in addition to the underwater observatory and semi-submersible, Reef Magic has a glass bottom boat ride, 2) Reef Magic makes it clear that they have a sheltered coral lagoon for snorkeling which should be good for you. (The water will be deep, but you will be in a sheltered area under the watchful eyes of a crew member.) and 3) the price of Reef Magic is AUD 18.00 less than that of Great Adventures.

Note that Great Adventures does offer an option of going to Green Island but I would not recommend it. While the snorkeling would be in shallower water, you won't see the variety of sealife that you'll see at the Outer Reef. Also, I understand the coral is in very sad shape at Green Island. While your husband could spend time on the beach, he would not be able to see any sealife like he could at the underwater observatory and/or semi-submersible.

Finally, Reef Magic has a lot of great reviews on TA. Great Adventures has fewer reviews, but those that have gone seem to like it.

Montreal, Canada
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190 posts
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2. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Thank you so much for your detailed review. Much appreciated.

3. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

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Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Green Island is a beautiful place to visit - don't let the victorian mislead you. I think the Great Adventures trip that includes the Green Island visit is one of the best cruises in Town. It suits everyone and keeps everybody happy, swimmers and non swimmers alike. You should definately check it out. As for Reef magic's snorkelling area being more sheltered, thats just rubbish and simply marketing spiel! Here's a link to the Great Adventures trip that includes the outer reef, with Green island too

www.visitcairns.com.au/store/Product.aspx…

Cairns, Australia
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5. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

As a local that dives and snorkels a lot, I would not waste my one experience on Green Island or Great Adventures. Great Adventures is more of a group tour boat and really not a personal experience. It predominately suits the Asian tourist market. Green Island is pretty bland in its coral life and scenery.

Whilst personally Reef Magic isn't my ideal, it does suit your needs with a pontoon and their diverse experiences. An issue with Reef Magic is that they will charge you for their guided snorkeling tour, if you choose this. Try to reserach some other boats, Passions of Paradise go to Michaelmas Kay, which is a shallow area to snorkel.

Englewood, Florida
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6. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

I recently booked Reef Magic for my daughters upcoming trip. While one likes to be in the water, the other really doesn't. With the fixed platform and all the activity options, I feel there will be something for them both to enjoy during the day.

Sydney
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7. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

I'm not a local but a frequent visitor and snorkeller - and I wouldn't waste my time with Great Adventures and/or Green Island - unless you are happy to settle for crowded and mediocre.

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

Thanks everyone for the great advice!

9. Re: Which Great Barrier Reef Tour?

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