Set Sail to Michaelmas Cay

When you join us for this Sail and Snorkel Michaelmas Cay tour, you will experience the picturesque serenity of Michaelmas Cay first-hand as one of the strictly limited numbers of daily visitors to this gorgeous sand cay in the middle of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Michaelmas Cay is more than just another Great Barrier Reef location. It’s a national park, a protected bird sanctuary, and a small sand island rich in historical and environmental significance. The Sail and Snorkel, Michaelmas Cay tour, is your chance to spend 4 hours at the unique Michaelmas Cay, snorkelling in shallow waters, seeing beautiful coral gardens in a semi-sub, and observing protected seabirds in their natural habitat.

Experience Our Itinerary

After a 7:30 check-in and 8:00 boarding, the beautiful 32-metre sailing catamaran Ocean Spirit departs Cairns, taking us on our way to Michaelmas Cay.

We enjoy a morning tea with muffins and focaccia while cruising out to the Great Barrier Reef by a combination of motoring and sailing. Also included on the way to Michaelmas Cay are a marine biologist presentation, a dive brief for those who want to try an introductory scuba dive, and a snorkel safety demonstration. This way, everyone feels particularly comfortable in the cay’s protected waters.

We arrive at Michaelmas Cay around 10:30 to give everyone the most time possible to enjoy the reef. Amongst the activities available to enjoy are a fish feeding presentation, snorkelling, a semi-submersible coral viewing tour, and even introductory scuba diving. Alternatively, lounge on the spacious sun decks on Ocean Spirit or take up residence on Michaelmas Cay’s beach for the day – it’s up to you.

Enjoy a 5-star catered buffet lunch served on board Ocean Spirit and afterwards, reef activities resume. Get in the water again, or maybe try your hand at bird watching and see how many species of seabirds you can spot.

After four hours at Michaelmas Cay, tuck into afternoon tea onboard – a tropical fruit platter and cake of the day!

We begin our departure back to Cairns at 15:30, delighting in complimentary sparkling wine, cheese and crackers before arriving back to the Cairns marina at 17:00.


  • Return Ocean Spirit cruise from Cairns
  • 4 hours at Michaelmas Cay on the Reef
  • Both morning and afternoon tea
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch including fresh prawns
  • A glass of wine, cheese and crackers on the return journey
  • Snorkelling equipment and instruction
  • Buoyancy vests
  • Lycra suits
  • A Marine Biologist presentation of the Reef
  • A semi-submersible coral viewing tour with commentary
  • Fish feeding presentation
  • Environmental Management Charge

Optional Extras

  • Guided snorkel tour
  • Introductory and certified scuba diving (subject to medical restrictions)

What to Bring

  • Your swimming costume and a towel
  • A hat and marine-safe sunscreen
  • Cash or credit card for onboard purchases, souvenirs, or optional activities
  • Your camera

Where we Depart

Please make your way to the Reef Fleet Terminal, 1 Spence Street, Cairns for check-in at 07.30am.

Where Can I Park?

Many parking stations throughout Cairns are in walking distance of the Marina.  Click here to see where!

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion for showing 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.   The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us and comply with all regulations, 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 before 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.

Medical Questionnaire

We are available to help you with any questions you may have.   Please Contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected]

Or you may like to consult your 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 of 24 hours whenever possible.



Read policies