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Great Barrier Reef Cruises, The Ultimate 3,4,7 Day Cruise Ship tours from Cairns

From the moment your plane finally begins its descent down towards the world famous Great Barrier Reef your heart begins to beat faster with the excitement of seeing the beauty of the coral reef and brilliant blue waters below you, along with the wild and brilliant tall undulating green mountains that surround the city of Cairns and all of Tropical North Queensland Australia.

Some folks say this is the wild frontier of Australia but we locals just call it paradise!

As you alight from your plane, you take in a deep breath of fresh tropical air and know immediately you are in a very special place.

On your first night or first few nights in Cairns we can accommodate you in a hotel that is city central to all the tours and attractions so that you may see all the things to do in the region, and relax a little before boarding your Great Barrier Reef cruise ship tour at the Cairns Cruise Liner terminal.

Choose Your Great Barrier Reef Cruise Ship Expedition

We offer our guests a choice of 3, 4 or 7 night Great Barrier Reef Cruises along the coastline of Australia, its remote islands and the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef.

On board each one of these bespoke cruises there is only a maximum off 44 guests making it very boutique and personalised. At night around the boats lounge bars, it is like a mini club with all of the guests getting to know each other, enjoying the socialisation in the relaxed atmosphere.

They spend time with the crew who casually tell them about the exciting things they will experience on our tailor made cruise ship itineraries in the days ahead.

Single Travellers

If you are a genuine sole single traveller on your own then you are welcome aboard our Great Barrier Reef Cruise ships where you can be accommodated on a twin share rate in a room with sole use with no single supplement.

Cairns Cruise Ship Itinerary 3 Nights - Cairns > Hinchinbrook > Cairns


Board at the Cairns Cruise Ship Terminal at 10:00am, and cruise Trinity Bay. Visit Sudbury Reef and partake in snorkelling, glass bottom boat tours, and optional Scuba diving. Finish the day with sunset drinks ashore on the sandy cay.


Cruise the majestic Hinchinbrook Channel whilst enjoying a top deck breakfast in the sunshine. Look for saltwater crocodiles and dugongs during a mangrove tour. Stretch your legs on Dunk Island, with a hike up Mt Kootaloo or a beach walk: with the aid of our guides you may spot the electric blue Ulysses butterfly.


Discover Nathan Reef on a guided snorkel tour. This reef is teeming with abundant fish life, including clownfish and Maori Wrasse. Later visit colourful Coates Reef - see plate corals and parrotfish during an optional SCUBA dive, or stay dry and view marine life from the comfort of the Glass Bottom Boat, with expert interpretation by our on board marine biologist.


Enjoy a rainforest walk or a hike to the lighthouse. Snorkel over fringing reef and swim with Green Sea Turtles, before learning all about them during a visit to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Return to Cairns to disembark at 1:30pm.

Cairns Cruise Ship Itinerary 4 Nights - Cairns > Lizard island > Cairns


Board at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal at 4:00pm. Cruise Trinity Bay and take in the views of Double Island and Palm Cove while enjoying welcome drinks and the seafood buffet.


Discover historic Cooktown, with buildings dating back to the 1870s. Visit the botanic gardens and the James Cook Museum to see original artefacts from the HMB Endeavour. Enjoy an afternoon snorkel and sunset drinks at Turtle Beach on Lizard Island, and see giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks up close during an after dinner fish feed off the back deck.


Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Lizard Island. Snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens. Learn about the tragic fate of Mary Watson and join an optional hike to Cook’s Look to survey the reef. This afternoon visit the pristine Ribbon Reef #9 for snorkelling and diving.


Spend a day discovering the outer Barrier Reef, with snorkelling, diving, and marine biologist led tours of Ribbon Reef #3 and Escape Reef.


Disembark in Cairns at 8:00am

Great Barrier Reef Cruise Ship Itinerary 7 Nights - Combined 3 & 4 nights


The above itineraries are indicative only - your Great Barrier Reef Cruise ship expedition team may alter your itinerary to make the most of weather conditions at the time of sailing.

Cairns Cruise Ship Expedition Highlights:

Sunset canapes and sparkling wine on the remote beaches of Lizard Island or Sudbury Cay.

Hike up Cook’s Look on Lizard Island and take in the bird’s-eye view over the northern reef.

Snorkelling and diving over the coral gardens of the remote outer Ribbon Reefs

Visit stunning Fitzroy Island and the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.

Enjoy a glass-bottom boat tour through the mangroves of the Hinchinbrook Channel.

Experience the rainforest ecosystem with a guided walk on Dunk Island.

Learn about the history, culture, and wildlife of the region.

Get up a close up view of marine wildlife with our resident Marine Biologist.

Cruise Ship Tender Vessels & Excursions:

Guided tours in the Glass Bottom Boat, as well as kayaks ensure an up-close experience of the Great Barrier Reef.

Our marine biologists explain and interpret what you see in the waters below and around the islands and rainforests.

With a strong focus on visiting places not often touched by tourists, our excursions are designed to promote understanding and appreciation of the local environment.

Our small cruise ship group size ensures that our excursions are comfortable and enjoyable, but also have minimal impact on the areas that we visit.

Most activities are suitable for all fitness levels; when a higher than normal level of fitness is required for an excursion, your Expedition Leader will advise you accordingly.

Snorkelling & Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef

The opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive over spectacular coral gardens and come face to face with brightly coloured tropical fish is a highlight of our Great Barrier Reef cruises.

You will snorkel over magical fringing reefs and discover the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs. Beginners can join guided snorkelling tours or introductory and resort-style dives, while more experienced divers are able to participate in more challenging dives.

Our qualified Dive Instructor accompanies you every step of the way. Snorkelling equipment will be assigned to each guest at the commencement of the cruise, and the introductory scuba skills session is complimentary.

***Scuba diving is subject to medical clearance***

Cairns Cruise Ship Inclusions:

Use of Glass bottom boat and zodiac tender vessels

Daily Marine Biology lectures and briefings

Snorkelling & introductory scuba session

All meals prepared by on-board chef

24 hour coffee and tea service

Post cruise transfers to Cairns hotels or Cairns airport

All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports

***Please note there is no internet on board the boat***

See more cruises on the Great Barrier Reef  

Great Barrier Reef Cruise ship moored near tropical island

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Cairns Cruise Ships | Ultimate 3,4 & 7 Day Great Barrier Reef Cruises
  • Location: Cairns Trinity Wharf
  • Duration:

    3 Nights / 4 Days

    4 Nights / 5 Days

    7 Nights / 8 Days

This is Cairns highly awarded bespoke Cruise ship tours that explore the Great Barrier Reef expedition style on 3, 4 or 7 day cruises. Departing the Cairns Cruise Liner terminal weekly guests are taken to remote places on the Great Barrier Reef with Marine Biologists. Dive, snorkel, explore. Book your cabin berth early as these Great Barrier Reef cruises are very popular

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