Great Barrier Reef Cruise includes two outer Barrier Reef locations.

Compass Cruises is Cairns best value reef tour. If you’re looking for a memorable day on the Great Barrier Reef, then our Great Barrier Reef cruise has it all!

We will have you escaping for an unforgettable, un-rushed day enjoying a relaxed, leisurely cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel among beautiful corals and a colourful variety of tropical marine life at one of the natural wonders of the world.

Relax on the vast sun deck, see the Great Barrier Reef from the glass bottom boat (optional extra) or take the “Wild Ride” on the famous Compass Boomnet. Scuba Diving is available as an optional extra for all levels of experience.

Compass offers something for everyone, even those with limited swimming ability.

Tour Highlights & Inclusions

  • Up to 4 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
  • Unlimited Snorkeling and snorkelling tuition. Snorkelling mask, snorkel and fins included
  • Free buoyancy aids – snorkelling vests and noodles
  • Delicious BBQ Lunch with fresh salads (Dietary requirements catered for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and food allergies – please advise upon booking)
  • Fruit Platters while boarding. Tea & coffee available all day while boating stationary. Water fountain to fill your water bottle
  • The glass of wine, cheese & crackers on the return journey
  • Assistance for non-confident swimmers from the friendly crew
  • Boom netting – “The Wild Ride” (weather permitting)
  • Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park fees included in the tour cost
  • Family Friendly Tour
  • Optional extra activities including Scuba Diving for all levels of experience and Glass-Bottom Boat Tours

Optional Extras

  • Scuba Diving for qualified divers (Certified) OR No-experience necessary ‘Resort Scuba Diving’ for beginners –  one or two scuba dives available. Subject to medical conditions – see ‘Important Information for Scuba Divers’ below
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours (weather permitting)
  • Wetsuit Hire (During jellyfish season in the tropics, stinger suits included in this tour. )
  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Dive Guides for already qualified ‘Certified’ scuba divers (dive guides included for beginner divers)
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see
  • Round trip Bus transfers  Cairns City  $12.00 / Outside Cairns City area $22.00

What to Bring

  • Cash or credit card for purchases – Credit Card available for purchases over $10.00
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream
  • Proof of qualification if you’re a Certified Diver

Getting There

Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:25 am for check-in, directly on the boat ‘Compass.’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30 pm

Terms and Conditions of this Tour

  • Please read full Policies, Terms & Conditions before booking any tour. Below is a brief overview only
  • Compass Cruises can cater for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and any food allergies. Please inform of dietary or other special requirements before the date of travel
  • Please re-confirm your reservation 48 hours before travel
  • We require 48 hours to re-schedule a trip subject to availability (see Cancellation Policy)
  • Locations, prices, vessel and itinerary, are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances without notice but with full consideration for your enjoyment and safety
  • Children prices are for ages 4-14 years. Family prices are for two adults + 2 children age 4-14 years
  • We strongly recommend that all clients have travel insurance covering illness, injury, medical evacuation, loss or damage to personal belongings and not being able to travel on the confirmed date of departure.
  • Optional Scuba Diving Activities (applies to both certified and beginner divers):
  • No refunds on uncompleted dives
  • Ages 12+ years for all scuba activities
  • You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any scuba activities – SEE Important Information for SCUBA DIVING below
  • No alcohol may be consumed before in water activities
  • Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying
  • As with all boats to the Great Barrier Reef, Compass is a non-smoking vessel

Tour Itinerary

07:30 – Board the boat Compass, at Cairns Marina ‘Marlin Wharf Berth 18’, for check-in. View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

  • 08:00 –Depart Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Safety talk and snorkel briefing
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location
  • 15:30 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 17:30 – Approximate Arrival time at Cairns Marina

Important Information FOR SCUBA DIVING

Certified Scuba Diving and Resort Scuba Diving on Compass Cruises is an Optional Extra Activity

What is a Certified Dive? A Certified Scuba dive is when you have completed an “Open Water” Dive Course or higher and have a drivers licence as proof of qualification (generally takes 3 – 4 days to complete)

What is a Resort/Introductory Dive? Resort diving requires no previous scuba experience. Conducted in small groups of 4 guests, under the supervision of an experienced Dive Instructor. Resort dives give beginners an unforgettable Great Barrier Reef experience without having to complete a full scuba diving course.

Can anyone go Scuba Diving? If you can swim and are in good physical health, you can probably dive. Scuba Diving in Australia is subject to medical conditions – this applies to qualified Certified Divers AND beginner Resort Divers alike. Both past and present, medication and health concerns may prevent participation in scuba activities (See Medical Conditions). The minimum age for resort diving is 12 years.

Queensland Dive Laws are the strictest in the World – with the safest dive record in the world

Important information for scuba diving.

Queensland, Australia has the strictest scuba diving regulations in the world.

Your wellbeing is important to us, so please read the following information carefully.

Please Complete the can I go diving Questionaire so that you can enjoy scuba diving.

Some medical conditions and medication may stop you from scuba diving even if you are a certified diver.

Flying after Scuba diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive. For multiple dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible

Can I go diving?

Check our simple Scuba Dive Questionnaire



Read policies

2 Reviews for “Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise”

  1. Julie K

    Amazing crew - very friendly and professional. Will highly recommend it to family and friends.

  2. Sarah

    We had a fantastic experience... crew were lovely, friendly, excellent photographers and really nice food! Honestly a great day! Thank you


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