Cairns beautiful beach front onto it’s crystal clear waters offers the perfect place to take a cruise. Whether this is for watersports such as snorkelling, river cruises or even a dinner at sea – there are endless options for the traveller who wants to get out onto the water. Here’s a list of what we think are the best cruises to take in Cairns:

Cairns Sunset Romantic Dinner Cruise

Sailing at sunset is a romantic experience, especially sharing the moment with someone you love. When you add a delicious dinner, a glass of wine and interesting conversation to the itinerary, then the picture is complete.

If you want to impress a certain someone, this Cairns Sunset Dinner Cruise is the only place to be.

Just imagine yourself sailing on the calm waters of Trinity Inlet and watching the setting sun as the sails flap in the gentle breeze, while you sip champagne, looking into your loves eyes. How romantic is a setting like that?

You can bring this romantic setting alive, and add a 4 course dinner cruise to the picture, with this sunset sailing cruise aboard the Ocean Spirit IV sailing catamaran.

Depart from Marlin Jetty, Cairns, for a night of romance and fine food. Have a complimentary glass of champagne and enjoy the ocean views and wonderful ambiance.

You don’t have to be in love to enjoy this cruise. Perhaps you just enjoy sailing, good food and great sunsets. You can go alone and enjoy watching couples gaze into each others eyes.

Perhaps your romance may have died yet your sense of adventure lives on. Whatever the reason, the Cairns dinner cruise will be an enjoyable memory for everyone.

Cairns Sunset Dinner Cruise sells out early so please book ahead to avoid disappointment. Sold out dates are listed on the booking page.

Cruise starts around $45 per person with optional dinner package being $90. Hotel pickup and return available at time of booking.

I’m sure you have a special person that you can share a romantic dinner cruise with while in Cairns.

Cairns Snorkeling Cruise on the Great Barrier Reef

This is an affordable day cruise to Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Ideal for families or budget minded. Osprey V cruise includes all snorkeling gear and around 4 to 5 hours of snorkeling time on the reef.

Add lunch to the package and this is the best Cairns snorkeling cruise of it’s kind for the price you pay.

There are diving options and a cruise, dive and helicopter flight option, but if it is just snorkeling you want, this cruise at around $150 pp is awesome value.

Cairns is just an hours cruise from the fabulous Great Barrier Reef, and it just got closer as this awesome cruise aboard the Osprey V takes you to 2 locations on the Great Barrier Reef for a day filled snorkeling, swimming and coral viewing. What a day you are in for.

The Osprey V usually takes in Norman or Saxon Reef first then moves over to North Hastings Reef  in the afternoon. Everything depends on the conditions of the day, but you are assured the best possible reefs available.

Both reefs visited on this cruise are teeming with aquatic creatures with an abundance of fish, turtles and the best coral outcrops and bommies found anywhere. The waters are ideal for snorkeling and introductory dives are available for those wishing to be a little more adventurous.

All snorkeling equipment is provided and there are guided snorkeling tours where the expert crew will point out places of interest. One of the more amazing sights are the giant clams, so be sure to be in the water for this.

Morning, afternoon tea and a banquet lunch is provided on board the Osprey V cruise vessel and you can sit back and relax with a cool drink from the bar.

This is a budget cruise that caters for all and gives great value for money. Book this Cairns Snorkeling Cruise online. You can alter the dates when you arrive in Cairns if you require.

The Osprey V gives you up to 5 hours of snorkeling time on the Great Barrier Reef.

Just make your way to the Cairns Marina and check in at the Reef Fleet Terminal by 7.30. This is a cruise where you enjoy more than 8 hours of the best fun you will ever have on a cruise from Cairns.

Look for Great Barrier Reef Diving & Snorkeling Cruise from Cairns in the online brochure below. There are a few awesome additions that you can choose, such as a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef or an introductory dive, that will complete the day perfectly.

Cairns Cape Tribulation Tour Daintree River Cruise

North of Cairns lies the most significant rainforest in the world, the Daintree Forest, which is home to over 30% of Australia’s animals and insect life.

This tour takes you through the Daintree to Cape Tribulation with exciting and fun stops along the way.

Highlight of this Cape Tribulation tour is the crocodile spotting cruise on Daintree River.

Head North along the Captain Cook Highway for a brief tour of Port Douglas and then for the first real stop of the tour, the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary is a fabulous display of four different habitats, namely rainforest, wetlands, woodlands and grasslands, where you can walk along special boardwalks and see Australian animals up close in their natural environments.

The koala walk is most popular as you are close with the koalas and of course patting kangaroos is special fun for all the kids. Don’t be scared of the emu either. This one is quite friendly.

If you like birds in particular, the Wildlife Habitat is something special. On one of our own trips to Port Douglas last year, we actually spent 2 days at the habitat just to photograph birds. Got there early in the morning each day, stayed for lunch and went right through to the closing time. Will do it again next time we are north.

Make sure your camera is ready as the lorikeet in the photo above will pose for you. It’s his special job.

Next stop for you on the tour is the Daintree River, where you make the crossing by cable ferry, then you travel further north through the forest and mountains to Alexandra lookout for great photo opportunities of the Coral Sea and mouth of the Daintree River.

There will be opportunities for walks in the rainforest and when you arrive at Cape Tribulation, beach walks and fabulous scenery before a delicious lunch.

After lunch return to the Daintree River for a one hour cruise, spotting fearsome saltwater crocodiles and learning of the mangrove’s importance to the eco system.

On the drive back to Cairns, enjoy the scenery as you reflect on a day spent with nature, in the most beautiful part of the world, the Daintree Forest.

Cost of tour is around AUD $160 per person, includes entry fees, Daintree Cruise and lunch. Now that’s good value.

Cairns Low Isles Quicksilver Sailing Cruise

Cruise from Port Douglas to Low Isles aboard the Quicksilver sailing catamaran Wavedancer.

Just 15 kms off Port Douglas, Low Isles is a coral quay of 2 small islands where aquatic life abounds.

Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is always an awesome experience. Quicksilver’s Cairns Low Isles Reef Cruise is one of the best value day cruises to be found anywhere.

It’s all inclusive so enjoy the day under sail, it is an experience you will never forget.

Transfer by coach from your Cairns hotel accommodation to the Marina Mirage in Port Douglas, for the fabulous fun cruise to Low Isles, aboard Quicksilver Wavedancer.

Your coach pickup at Cairns hotels will be around 7.30 am, depending on location. The Quicksilver Sailing cruise departs Port Douglas at 10.00am. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery between Cairns and Port Douglas.

You will have morning tea onboard Wavedancer before sailing and a marine biologist will conduct a briefing giving information on the sensitive eco system of the Great Barrier Reef.

Arriving at Low Isles, you can transfer to the Island where you may snorkel or use the coral viewing vessel. Snorkeling is best from the beach and there are guided snorkeling tours.

Buffet lunch is served at noon and you are then able to enjoy the water or have a drink at the bar and soak up the sun on deck. Introductory dives are available. Departure from Low Isle back to Port Douglas at 3:10pm.

Prices for Quicksilver Wavedancer cruise from Cairns starts around AUD $200 per person and is one of the best day cruises from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef available.

Considering it is an all inclusive cruise, it is really value packed. Introductory dives are extra.

Cairns Low Isles Quicksilver Sailing Cruise Inclusions:

  • Hotel pickup and drop off from Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels
  • Coach transfers to Port Douglas Marina Mirage
  • Cruise from Port Douglas to Low Isles
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Guided snorkel tour with marine biologist
  • Glass bottom boat coral viewing
  • Guided beach walk
  • Tropical buffet lunch
  • Morning and afternoon tea

Green Island Cruise Cairns

Cruise to beautiful Green Island off Cairns with Big Cat Cruises and enjoy a fun day filled of snorkeling, coral viewing or just relaxing, taking in the pleasures of this most pristine island on the Great Barrier Reef.

This is the best cruise to Green Island from Cairns and Big Cat Cruises includes many water sports activities for free.

I personally take this cruise every time I visit Cairns as I consider the snorkeling on the fringing coral reef, equal to any I have seen.

We always come away from Green Island with great underwater photos, as the variety of marine life is amazing.

Situated 27 kilometers off the coast from Cairns, Green Island is a protected National Park and is one of the most popular Islands visited by thousands each year.

Green Island has a resort with shops, change rooms and toilets that guests and day visitors may use, with cafe and dining facilities.

This fun day begins with an enjoyable cruise aboard the catamaran Big Cat from Cairns jetty to Green Island, that takes about 40 minutes.

A snorkeling demonstration is presented onboard during your cruise to Green Island and snorkeling gear provided for those wishing to take the opportunity to participate in this underwater adventure.

The fringing reef at Green Island is one of the best places to see an abundance of fish, turtles, giant clams and a wide range of coral formations. A really fantastic experience just a short way off the beach.

One of my personal favorite reefs for underwater photography. First time we snorkeled here we swam around with turtles. Awesome!

If you don’t do anything else, do yourself a favor and go snorkeling at Green island. You could swim with turtles just like we did, which is an experience you will never forget.

Look at this parrotfish. How could anyone eat a fish like this once you have snorkeled around with it for awhile. This is a good example of what you can see while snorkeling off the beach at green Island. Something quite special.

For those not so adventurous, there are many other enjoyable activities such as glass bottom boat tours, semi submarine coral viewing tour, nature walks on the specially constructed boardwalks around the island, or just soaking up the sun on this idyllic paradise.

The resort hire shop has canoes, surf skis, sailboards and other beach stuff that you can hire and enjoy.

There are various Big Cat cruise packages with hotel pickup, buffet lunch and fabulous fun filled activity options, with prices starting around $85.00 pp for a full day Cairns Green Island Cruise.

Cairns Sailing Cruise Great Barrier Reef

Upolu Cay Oyster Reef Snorkeling Cruise Cairns

What an enormous cruise this is and it’s cheap. Set sail from Marlin Jetty Cairns to the beautiful Upolu Cay and enjoy a fun cruise of pure delight. Snorkel the crystal waters of Upolu Cay and Oyster Reef.

Experience the magic of sailing the Coral Sea on Ocean Spirit 3 and snorkeling the tropical waters on two of the best reefs at the Great Barrier Reef, full of marine life and stunning coral formations. Awesome!

They say that every day spent sailing the warm waters of the Coral Sea, out from Cairns, is a day extra you will have at the end of your life.

The absolute beauty of the area is crowned by the Great Barrier Reef and you can see what they mean in that saying, because once you are under sail, all the troubles in the world are forgotten and you are one with paradise.

Situated 30 kilometers from Cairns, Upolu Cay is a naturally formed sand island and is a beautiful location to spend time relaxing, swimming and snorkeling.

Upolu Cay was named after the schooner Upolu which ran aground on the reef surrounding the cay on Easter Sunday, 25 April 1886.

The sheltered waters offer a fine haven for a large variety of marine creatures and giant clams. There is the opportunity to take a glass bottom boat ride to view the stunning coral reef and a marine naturalist will take you on a guided snorkeling tour.

Perhaps you will see a turtle leisurely swimming along or run into Nemo’s relatives, the stunning clown fish.

Lunch will be served on board Ocean Spirit 3, consisting of a delicious buffet meal including fresh seafood delights.

After lunch the sails will be set and your will be off sailing to Oyster Reef for an afternoon swim and snorkel.

Oyster Reef is a shallow clear reef with abundant marine life, offering snorkellers protected waters in which to experience the true wonders of the reef.

Cruise departs daily from Marlin Jetty Cairns. Hotel pickup can be arranged at time of booking.

Prices start around $130 per person. Day cruise duration is 8 hours. You can book introductory scuba dives or certified dives at time of booking.

This is one of the best sailing cruises to the Great Barrier Reef and a must do trip for all visitors to Cairns.