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The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

Charleston, South...
2 posts
1 review
The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

We're heading to Cairns mid-September to snorkel the GBR. We really want to do one of the liveaboards and prefer the 3day, 2night trips. I'm concerned though that as snorkelers we won't have the best access to shallow reefs on the dive trips. I know that most of them say they cater to divers and snorkelers but, does anyone have a recommendation for the best tour specifically for snorkeling? Thanks for any input you can provide!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
132 posts
1. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

Cairns is a dive destination, so you won't avoid divers on overnight trips. In reality you'll probably find 50% of the people on board are snorkellers (well thats what it was like on the 2 o/nite boats I worked on for 3 years)

I'd be maybe leaning towards something like this http://www.visitcairns.com.au/store/Product.aspx?ProductID=b2e9539f-f0f7-4b0c-9b23-b2980db21dd5 as it's got options for everyone. However if you avoid the Prodives, Mike Ball Dive and Spirit of Freedom you should have quite a few fellow snorkellers onboard as well.

Charleston, South...
2 posts
1 review
2. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

Thanks for the information! The link you sent is exactly what I had been investigating - the Taka. It sounds like there will be great opportunities for divers and snorkelers. I'll be sure and report out on our experience.

1 post
3. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

When I flew seaplanes out of Cairns, one of the most loved diving trips we did was to the Cod Hole about 30 Km East of Cooktown. Home of the Potato Cod. We flew back to Cairns at about 50 feet above the reefs. Magic !




Level Contributor
216 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
4. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

Hi Harry,

My wife and I are avid snorkelers but don't dive. We are very interested in going on a 3-4 day trip with Mike Ball Eye to Eye Encounters, or Taka. Our concern is the depth of the reefs at the dive sites like Cod Hole, Steve's Bommie, etc. have you been on the minke liveaboards or those to the ribbon reefs. Mike Ball said snorkel is excellent for 3 day minke, but I wanted a second opinion from someone who has been. Any info or additional suggestions would be great. Thanks!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
10 posts
5 reviews
5 helpful votes
5. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

I've been woking as a dive instructor, private guide and live aboard crew member/instructor for 4 years here in Cairns. Couple of points;

There are no live aboard boats specifically for snorkel trips, however, Live aboard boats off of Cairns offer tons of opportunity to snorkel, Ocean Quest, Reef Encounter, Kangaroo Explorer, and even the Pro Dive boats all moor up at some of the best dive and snorkel sites, that range from shallow to deep. These live aboard's share the same reefs that the day boats bring snorkelers too everyday. Taka will be running Ribbon Reef only dive and snorkel adventure, this is a very new and unique product for Cairns. All of the reefs that Taka stops at are perfect for diving OR snorkelling so no hesitations there.

6. Re: The best Cairns liveaboard dive trip for snorkeling?

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