This Great Barrier Reef cruise from Port Douglas is the perfect way to explore the famous reef. Guests can watch fish feeding, go snorkelling, try scuba diving (an additional cost applies), and view the fabulous marine life on a semi-submersible sub. A tropical buffet lunch is included. Duration: 7 hours (approx.)
There are hundreds of ways to explore the magnificent Great Barrier Reef off the North Queensland coast.
If you’re like us and have small children in tow, it’s hard to beat a day trip to Agincourt Reef with Quicksilver Cruises — one of the largest providers of Great Barrier Reef cruises from Port Douglas. Quicksilver has constructed a floating platform at Agincourt, which offers unparalleled access to the reef for all age groups — while respecting the fragile environment below.
It’s an early start as we board the sleek catamaran at the Port Douglas pier for the 72-kilometre cruise to Agincourt. Don’t worry — you can take a catch-up nap on the way out to the reef!
Along the way there’s a cup of tea or coffee on offer and the chance to learn more about the fish you can expect to see on the reef. The panoramic views from the top deck of the vessel are absolutely stunning.
Upon arrival at the platform, you’re free to do as much or as little as you like. The first and most popular option is snorkelling and there’s gear available in all sizes, including flippers, masks, wetsuits and flotation devices. The easy access in and out of the water from the platform ensures everyone can take things at their own pace.
As we enter the water we’re literally transported to another world. Underwater digital cameras are available for hire from the platform, which is a really nice touch. We come face to face with fish of all shapes, sizes and colours, so these aren’t your typical selfies! The experience is truly amazing and worth capturing on film.
If you’re not a swimmer, Quicksilver also runs regular semi-submersible cruises from the platform. Sitting just one metre under the water, this is a great way to see the reef from a diver’s point of view without actually getting wet. There’s also an underwater viewing platform from which you can watch the fish feeding.
Finally, for an extra charge, there are ten-minute scenic helicopter flights that leave from the platform. If you’ve got a decent camera and you want that perfect postcard moment, this is the way to get it!
Our appetites are well and truly whetted by the morning’s activities, and the crew serves up a sensational tropical buffet for lunch, including fresh seafood, cold meats, salads and fruit. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted prawns so fresh — and honestly — the only thing that stops me returning to the buffet a lot more times than I need to is that the kids want to go snorkelling again.
Every time you go back in the water there’s something new to see. We spend the afternoon covering every inch of the surrounding reef, while other members in our group simply soak up some sun with a cold beer from the bar.
Whether you’re travelling with kids, a group of friends or as a couple, there’s something for everyone on this Great Barrier Reef cruise from Port Douglas. It’s a superb introduction to one of Australia’s most spectacular natural wonders.
Chris travelled as a guest of Quicksilver Cruises.
Additional images: Bigstock
Chris Bright is a freelance writer based in Melbourne with a passion for travel, food, music and film. He’s travelled to South-East Asia, India, Japan, parts of Europe and much of North America. Chris is willing to try anything once, whether it’s leaping from great heights or eating things that don’t look the least bit appetising. When it comes to travel, he loves nothing more than meeting new people and sharing a laugh over their local drink of choice.