Ocean Spirit Sailing Cruise to Michaelmas Cay

Ocean Spirit Michaelmas cay sailing tour is a relaxing day on a luxury 32-metre sailing catamaran.

This Ocean Spirit  Michaelmas Cay tour starts with a 7:30 check-in.  After a relaxing day exploring t the Great Barrier Reef, this tour returns to Cairns at 5 pm.  After we depart, we will cruise forty kilometres northeast of Cairns to this island sanctuary.

This exclusive tour visits  Michaelmas Cay within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Here you will find sparkling blue waters and stunning coral gardens surrounding this island cay.

About Michaelmas Cay

Michaelmas Cay is more than just another Great Barrier Reef location. This sand cay is a national park and a protected bird sanctuary.

This sand cay is a vital bird sanctuary. During the day, visitors can see thousands of birds, including sooty and crested terns.

Situated on the western point of the Michaelmas Reef, Michaelmas Cay is a sandy cay. Underwater currents deposited shattered coral and shells on the reef, resulting in Michaelmas Cay.

As the Parrotfish eat their way through the reef, they break down the coral and excrete it as sand.

After a while, seabirds left salt-resistant grasses and creeping vine seeds behind. With periodic washing up of sand, this flora helped stabilise Michaelmas Sand Cay as a visible island.

Since immemorial, migrating seabirds have made a beeline for this sanctuary cay to rest and recuperate before continuing their epic voyage.

Michaelmas Cay’s vegetation resembles the Outer Barrier Reef’s sand cays. Some of the plants found on Michaelmas Cay are beach spinifex, stalky grass, goat’s foot, bull’s head vine, sea purslane, and tar vine.

Seabird carcasses and droppings are a source of nutrients for the vegetation due to a lack of adequate and stable ground formation.


Along the way, enjoy a morning tea with muffins and focaccia as we cruise to the Great Barrier Reef.

While sailing to Michaelmas Cay, there is an informative marine biologist presentation.

Ocean Spirits beach buggy is available for transfers between the sand cay and the boat throughout the day.

Michaelmas Cay sailing tour features snorkelling in shallow waters and stunning coral gardens. During the day, visitors can stay dry on a semi-submersible tour.   While visiting, you can also try an introductory scuba dive and a marine biologist snorkel tour.


  • Fish feeding presentation
  • Snorkelling
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tour
  • Introductory scuba diving.

Alternatively, relax on the spacious sun decks and enjoy  Michaelmas Cay’s beach.

During the day, guests enjoy a 5-star buffet lunch and Reef activities.

After four hours at Michaelmas Cay, afternoon tea onboard enjoys a tropical fruit platter and cake of the day.

Next, depart the return voyage to Cairns.  Guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, cheese and crackers.

Then arrive at the Cairns marina at 17:00.

Next, explore our fantastic Great Barrier Reef tours.


Michaelmas Cay


Your Ocean Spirit Adventure Begins

07:30 – Check-in at Ocean Spirit’s counter in the Reef Fleet Terminal

08:00 – Boarding commences. Morning tea with muffins and focaccia.

After that, it’s time to get underway!

08:30 – Depart Cairns

09:00 – Reef Brief, safety, and snorkel demonstration

09:30 – Marine Biologist slide show presentation

10:00 – Dive brief for introductory divers

10:30 – Arrive at Michaelmas Cay. Reef activities commence:

  • Fish feeding presentation
  • Snorkelling
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tour
  • Introductory scuba diving. (Dive sessions are 11:00 am, 12:15 pm, and 1:30 pm)

Noon – Buffet lunch onboard

13:00 – Continue Reef activities

14:30 – Afternoon Tea onboard

15:30 – Commence sailing back to Cairns. Enjoy complimentary sparkling wine along with cheese and crackers.

17:00 – Arrive back in Cairns


Your cruise includes:
– Return Ocean Spirit cruise from Cairns
– Experience 4 hours at Michaelmas Cay on the Reef.
– Morning tea with muffins and focaccia
– Afternoon tea with tropical fruit platter and cake of the day.
– Hot and cold buffet lunch, including fresh prawns.
– Snorkelling equipment, lycra suits.
– Buoyancy vests.
– Marine Biologist presentation.
– Semi-submersible coral viewing tour with commentary.
– Fish feeding presentation on arrival.
– Glass of complimentary sparkling wine served on the homeward journey, with cheese and crackers.

Optional Extras

What to Bring:
– Hat and shirt for sun protection. We recommend marine-friendly sunscreen.
– Swimwear and towel.
– Camera.
– Professional photo service on board (additional cost).
– Cash or credit card for option activities or onboard purchases.
Transfers (Optional):
Coach transfers provided by Quicksilver Connections and Down Under Tours

What to bring

  • Your camera and also Go Pro
  • Swimming costume, towel in addition to a hat and sunscreen
  • Cash or credit card for onboard purchases, souvenirs or optional activities

How to get there

Ocean Spirit Cruises departs daily from the Cairns Marina.

Visitors are required to first check in inside the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal

Check-in time is 8 am for an 8:30 am departure returning to the Cairns Marina at 5 pm.



Important Information

Safety Comes First onboard Ocean Spirit!

It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world.   It also has the safest scuba diving record.   The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us, and we comply with all regulations.

We recommend that our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire before booking as some medical conditions, age and medications may prevent you from scuba diving.

Medical Questionnaire

We are happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please contact our office at 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.



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