Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise – A True Cairns Icon
Experience the icon that has been taking Cairns holidaymakers and locals to the Great Barrier Reef for over 25 years! Compass Cruises, Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise, is the best value reef tour in Cairns, offering a full, unforgettable day of unlimited snorkelling and a laid-back, cruisey atmosphere, for a very low price!
Hop on board Compass at the Cairns Marina bright and early for check in at 07.30 am! Departing Cairns at 8 am, we take a leisurely cruise out to the first of two magnificent reef sites.
On the way over, we get you ready to experience the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with snorkel and dive briefings. Then by 10:30, we arrive at the first Outer Reef location – the gorgeous Hastings Reef. Enjoy a full 2 hours of swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving beneath the surface of the coral sea. Our passengers usually see a wide variety of marine life, from anemone and schools of tropical fish to giant clams and brilliant coral. Not a confident swimmer? No worries our friendly crew will assist you!
At 12:30, we devour a delicious tropical buffet lunch prepared fresh by a local chef as we cruise to our next reef location.
Breaking Patches is our next stop and known for being a breeding ground for sea turtles! We enjoy another couple of hours here in underwater paradise, snorkelling, scuba diving, and relaxing on the sun deck.
At 15:30 we begin our voyage back to Cairns, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over! On the way home, we get in the water again for boomnetting – “The Wild Ride”. It’s an exhilarating yet safe activity that gives you one last alternative way to experience the reef.
After drying off, we enjoy some wine, cheese and crackers before arriving back in Cairns around 17:30.
- Up to 5 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
- Unlimited snorkelling and snorkelling gear
- Buoyancy aids – snorkelling vests and noodles
- BBQ Lunch with fresh salads (Dietary requirements and food allergies are catered for)
- Fruit platters while boarding, tea & coffee all day while the boat is stationary, water fountain to fill your water bottle
- Glass of wine, cheese & crackers on return journey
- Assistance for non-confident swimmers from friendly crew
- Lycra suits
- Boomnetting – “The Wild Ride” (weather permitting)
- Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Scuba diving for introductory and certified divers (medical conditions apply, minimum age of 12)
- Dive guide
- Glass Bottom Boat Tour (weather permitting)
- Wetsuit hire
- Underwater digital camera hire
- Snack bar purchases
- Prescription mask hire
- Bus transfer to/from accommodation
How to Get There
Compass Cruises departs from
Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina
Boarding commences at 7:30 am for an approximate 8:00 am departure, directly on the boat ‘Compass’
Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30 pm
Where Can I Park?
There are a number of parking stations throughout Cairns that are in walking distance of the Marina. Click here to see where
Important Information for Scuba Diving
We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.
Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record. We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.
To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving. It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.
We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have. Please Contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected],
Or alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1
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 24 hours whenever possible