What is Cairns Best Sailing Cruise? Tips how to Choose!
Have you been dreaming of sailing the majestic turquoise-blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef? Seriously could there be anything better than laying back on the front deck of a beautiful large luxury sailing catamaran peering out over the beautiful turquoise blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef? As you look up to the sky and see large bold white sails high on the mast blowing full and lofty as the warm sultry winds thurst you along to the largest reef system in the world!
Does life get any better than this?
Ocean Spirit Cruises boat Sailing on the Great Barrier Reef
Seaturtle at Michaelmas Cay
Dolphin Riding Bow Wave
Well, stay tuned! In our latest article: What is Cairns best Sailing Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef we will explain the top three things to look out for when trying to choose a day trip and which trips offer the ultimate experience of sailing the turquoise blue tropical lagoons of the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns!
Ok, Let's get into it!
DAY SAILING TRIPS FROM CAIRNS:
The inside edge of the reef is located around 26klm offshore from Cairns. All sail cruise boats from Cairns are actually motor sailers, meaning they all operate engines and sail at the same time.
The journey is just as important as the destination!
The following 4 boats sail and cruise for Cairns:
- Ocean Spirit Cruises; these guys operate a large twin-hull catamaran sailboat. Gliding thru the turquoise waters of the reef this boat is large, and very stable in the water, it offers beautiful large wooden sun decks with plenty of room to relax and soak up the warm sultry ocean breezes. The boat stops at Michaelmas Cay a white tropical sand cay allowing you to snorkel in warm shallow waters from the beach.
- Passions of Paradise; this company operates a modern fast high-speed motor sailboat, with a large variety of roaming reef permits this boat motors out to the reef and then pops up the sails for the return journey back to Cairns. A highlight of this company is a mix of a quick dive & snorkel day boat with the chance to sail on the way home.
- Ocean Free; is one of Cairns's only true sailing boats a single-hull motor sailer that really does use the sails as much as possible to get to and from the reef. Smaller numbers and a good boat for all those yachties that love their sailboats.
- Reef Day Tripper; is a lovely small family-owned and operated twin-hull sailing catamaran. They do use motors and try to sail as much as possible moving to and from the reef.
Swim with Turtles
Now as mentioned above we wanted to give you the top three things to look out for when trying to choose a day sail cruise trip to the reef from Cairns.
The top 3 things to look out for!
Below we have tried to outline the top three things we recommend you pay attention to when planning a Sailing Cruise to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns.
- How seaworthy are you as a passenger? For example are you prone to seasickness? If so then you should choose one of the larger twin-hull sailing catamarans. Why? these boats are very stable in the water, they can handle higher wind and sea conditions and offer the most stable ride to and from the reef! Check out Ocean Spirit Cruises a luxury sailing catamaran that visits the beautiful Michaelmas Cay! The philosophy of this boat is the journey is just as important as the destination! so soak up the blue skies and warm ocean breezes as you sail the Great Barrier Reef lagoons!
- You're an experienced sailer perhaps you even have your own sailboat! Then if you have great sealegs we recommend you choose one of the smaller motor sailers like Ocean Free or Reef Day Tripper. Both of these boats offer small personalized service, they are local Cairns Family owned and operated and offer the chance for a boutique reef experience. Being smaller boats they do bob around in the water a lot more than the larger twin-hull boats and would be more suited to those that have experience on small sailboats.
- I like the idea of a sailboat but want to try scuba diving and be active! If this sounds like you then you should choose a day boat like Passions of Paradise. This boat is a wonderful modern state-of-the-art fast motor sailboat that caters more to the adventurous thrill seeker. A young fun-filled crew with the chance to try scuba diving and snorkeling on the outer reefs. They do pop up the sails in the afternoon for the ride back into Cairns.
Seabirds of the Great Barrier Reef
Sea Turtle Swimming in Shallow Coral Gardens
Staff enjoying the Reef
The Best Sailing Locations!
So you may be asking, where are the best places to visit on a Sailing Cruise to the reef? Well, the answer to this is easy!
Depending on your mood, If you are looking for an extremely relaxing day, we mean you really want to unwind and soak up the warm tropical sunshine, enjoy the warm ocean breeze in your hair, and generally let the World go by the perfect place to do this is Michaelmas Cay.
The journey to Michaelmas Cay is operated by Ocean Spirit Cruises and this boat offers large sun decks that allow you to lay out your towel, sit back, relax, and really soak up the ambient beauty of the Great Barrier Reef's tropical waters.
Michaelmas Cay is a white tropical sand cay dotted right in the very middle of the Great Barrier Reef. It has crystal clear turquoise blue waters, gentle slopping beaches and is a dream come true for most people.
Sitting on the beach you may wish to take a light swim, even try some snorkeling over the cay's natural coral reefs located only a short swim from the beach. Ancient giant sea clams can be found clumped together in the brightly colored shallow coral gardens. We are sure you will marvel at nature's beauty!
Dive with Turtles
Ocean Spirit Boat
Sailing into the Sun
Departure and Return Times:
All Cairns Sailing trips depart from the Cairns Marlin Marina, generally only a 5-minute walk from most downtown Cairns hotels. Check-in at the Reef Fleet Terminal is usually around 7:30 am with most boats departing at 8:00 am and returning around 4:30 pm / 5:00 pm.
What to Bring?
Well as with all sailing you generally have a lot of spare time on your hands so bring your favorite book, bring your camera, and bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, a towel, and swimwear are the basics.
We always recommend eating breakfast to start your day with plenty of energy. Remember also to drink plenty of water as you are in the tropics and it is easy to dehydrate so drink up and keep your body hydrated.
Also, don't forget to bring your sense of adventure, remember you will be traversing the warm ocean currents gliding thru the tropical turquoise blue lagoons of the Great Barrier Reef. You never know what you will find from sea turtles popping up to the surface for a fresh breath of air, to sparkling silver flying fish skimming the surface of the water to keep up with the boat, and dolphins ducking, weaving, spinning, and jumping at the bow.
Sometimes you might have to pinch yourself to make sure you are not in a dream and this is real!
Sail to Green Island
Cairns Reef Boats
Passions of Paradise
Please note: We are not affiliated with any of the boats. We are Cairns locals, trying to help visitors have the best time they can, on the amazing Great Barrier Reef. This website is funded and built by us: we make a commission from your tour bookings. We hope the information is of some assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice on +61 7 40411638 | email@example.com
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FREE UNDERWATER CAMERA HIRE*
Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video.
Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!
You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 5:30pm.
Please Remember there is no other way to collect our cameras! All passengers must come into our shop the day before departure day before 5:30 pm.