Tours and Tickets
Great Barrier Reef Sailing & Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas
5

Great Barrier Reef Sailing & Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas

By Sailaway
Recommended by 97% of travellers
97% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Explore the Great Barrier Reef’s Low Isles for a full day on a catamaran cruise from Port Douglas. With a marine biologist as your guide, you’ll have informative commentary to accompany your beach lounging, snorkeling, or glass-bottom boat tour. Enjoy the ability to travel light, as cruises include lunch and snorkeling equipment.
from
AU$300.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 33 per group
Duration: 7h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: German, English, French
More

Highlights
  • Sail out to the Great Barrier Reef in the early morning before the crowds
  • Leisure time to snorkel, lounge, or stroll lets you spend your time wisely
  • Marine biologist leads informative snorkel and glass-bottom boat tours
  • Travel light—cruises include a seafood buffet lunch and snorkel equipment
  • Port Douglas hotel pickup and drop-off make this tour convenient

  • Great Barrier Reef sailing cruise
  • Morning and afternoon tea
  • Buffet lunch
  • Use of Snorkelling equipment
  • Guided snorkel tour with marine biologist
  • Glass-bottom boat tour
  • Guided walking tour
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (Port Douglas only, please select from Drop Down list only)
What's not included
  • Drinks (available for purchase on board)
  • Environmental Management Charge of AU$7 per person (AU$8 from 1st April 2024) due at check-in.

Start your day’s adventure in the Great Barrier Reef's Low Isles with convenient hotel pickup in Port Douglas, and then transfer to the marina where you’ll board a luxury catamaran. With an early morning departure, you’ll arrive in the Low Isles before many of the crowds show up. Spend the next four and a half hours at your leisure—go snorkeling using the provided gear, simply lounge on the beach or boat, stroll down to the 19th-century lighthouse, or opt for a snorkeling or glass-bottom boat tour. The fact that a marine biologist guide leads these two tours means you'll get in-depth information about the reef and its colorful inhabitants, and there is plenty of time to ask questions. Midday, refuel with a seafood-focused lunch on board the boat. Return to Port Douglas and enjoy convenient drop-off back at your hotel.

Start:Multiple pickup locations offered.
  • Sailaway Reef & Island Tours, Sailaway Boathouse Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina 8, Shop 18/44 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
    Please check in at 8.00am inside the Sailaway office located inside the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina
Pickup details
  • Please contact Sailaway for your pick up time (available from Port Douglas hotels only). Palm Cove transfers are available at an additional cost.
Hotel pickup offered
During checkout you will be able to select from the list of included hotels.
    End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

      • Not wheelchair accessible
      • Near public transportation
      If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5654SA

      • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
      • Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available, please advise at time of booking if required
      • Please bring towel, swimsuit, sunscreen and hat
      • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
      • Most travellers can participate
      • Underwater Camera's available for hire $75 for the day. Security deposit of $600 required.
      • To participate in the activity of snorkelling, you must be confident in the water with the capacity to swim unassisted. If you are a poor swimmer, you may not be suitable to snorkel in the open water. Not all passengers will be suitable to snorkel, and our experienced crew have the discretion to advise against snorkelling if deemed “not suitable for the activity”. This is for the safety of the passenger. Please be advised snorkelling can be a strenuous physical activity, even in calm water and that older people are at an increased risk of death and/or injury due to a higher incidence of medical conditions made worse by physical exertion, such as heart disease and stroke. All passengers intending to snorkel will be asked to complete our Medical Declaration for Snorkelling form. Our experienced crew will discuss any issues relating to medical conditions and swimming ability. Sailaway reserves the right to decline any passenger from participating in snorkelling if we are concerned about your health condition and/or swimming ability. This is for your own safety, please listen to the advice of our experienced snorkel guides to ensure the safety of our guests.
      • Our Sailaway vessels are luxury sailing catamarans and we offer a pure sailing experience. This means the vessels travel in open seas and will move around whilst under sail. The decks of the vessels are multi levels and can be slippery when wet. Passengers must have good mobility to safely move around the vessels, step onto the glass bottom boats (if applicable) and get in and out of the water via the ladders on the back of the vessels. Unfortunately, we do not offer wheelchair access due to the layout of the decks and saloon areas. Our tours are adventure experiences for active travellers. Please choose your tour carefully to ensure it is suitable for your experience, age and physical health.
      • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
      • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
      • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 33 travellers

      • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

      How much is Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas?
      Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas price starts from AU$306.31. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas on Tripadvisor
      What is the Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas cancellation policy?
      Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas on Tripadvisor
      Which company provides Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas?
      Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas is hosted by Sailaway. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Sailaway on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Great Barrier Reef Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas on Tripadvisor

      If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5654SA

      Reserve your spot
      Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.

      Similar experiences

      Itinerary
      • You'll start at
        Sailaway Reef & Island Tours
        Or, you can also get picked up
        See departure details
      • 1
        Low Isles
        Stop: 4 hours
        Sail from Port Douglas aboard a luxury catamaran to visit Low Isles in the quieter morning hours, before the majority of visitors arrive. After cruising from the mainland, arrive at Low Isles, where you can spend four and a half hours at Low Isles, a coral cay island where you can relax under palm trees on the white sands and snorkel off-beach in the sheltered lagoon’s undersea coral gardens. Take a walk to Low Isles’ historic lighthouse, dating from 1878, or learn about the Great Barrier Reef’s magical underwater world of iridescent fish and fluorescent coral on a guided snorkel tour led by a marine biologist. There’s more fun eco-education aboard a glass-bottom boat tour, with stunning coral views and expert commentary. After a seafood buffet lunch on board the catamaran, soak up the sun on the deck or return to the water for a final snorkel before returning to Port Douglas by 4pm. Only a select group of operators are permitted to visit the coral cay Low Isles, the only Great Barrier Reef island a short sail from Port Douglas. This cruise combines luxury and eco credentials, for a premium reef experience.
        Read more
      • You'll return to the starting point
      About the operator
      Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
      • Sailaway
        2,714
        Australia
        Joined in December 2007
      • NaomiKnight16
        0 contributions
        An evening on a yacht
        The trip was very well organised, fun and relaxing. The boat was amazing and the staff were good fun and very accomodating. It was nice to get a welcome drink and food on board as well .. we really enjoyed it!
        Written 21 February 2024
      • R7990GWjameso
        0 contributions
        Perfect trip out to the Low Isles
        Amazing trip -great commentary and guidance from the team . So lucky to be able to snorkel and see the beautiful fish and coral on the reef . Interesting short walk round the Island with great information on the wildlife and habitat
        Written 18 February 2024
      • 150jok
        0 contributions
        Perfect day trip
        Amazing day, staff were all excellent, helpful and friendly, refreshments during the day and a lovely lunch included, the snorkelling on the reef was amazing, a perfect day out, highly recommended.
        Written 15 February 2024
      • Valerie C
        0 contributions
        The best way to spend an afternoon, sunset sailing
        Brilliant way to spend an afternoon, on a fancy boat in the tropics. Staff are all so relaxed and friendly, this is the best sunset sail I’ve experienced and one not to be missed while in beautiful FNQ. Thanks so much to the Sailaway team for a perfect afternoon. Shout out to our all girl team of Sara and Mel (captain and crew) for doing a wonderful job.
        Written 14 February 2024
      • S9347TRvickim
        0 contributions
        The Perfect Sunset Cruise
        We had the most AMAZING time - Tom the Captain & Cooper the Deckie were awesome!! We definitely recommend this Cruise and give it 10/10.. Job Well Done Guys
        Written 11 February 2024
      • 579hendrikk
        0 contributions
        Fantastic snorkeling experience
        We had a fantastic day, snorkeling and traveling on the sailing boat, staff super friendly, and accommodating, highly recommended
        Written 6 February 2024
      • Ultimo11
        0 contributions
        Take the Cat, Enjoy the Reef
        We were most fortunate to have a perfect day and only eight of us onboard as it gave our crew, Sean and Liz, the opportunity to interact with each of us and give us individual attention as needed. The snorkeling was as enjoyable as promised, thanks to Liz’s commentary and support. My wife had decided against snorkeling but was encouraged by our Captain, Sean, to suit up, after which he joined her in the water and pointed out things in the GBR to view through her mask. We would not recommend the glass bottom boat (just a narrow viewing area) as an alteration snorkeling.
        Written 6 February 2024
      • R1932KVtomr
        0 contributions
        Great day on the water
        Great day on the water. We had an all female crew on a Low Isles cruise with Captain Seaerra at the helm. They all worked extremely hard and every detail was spot on point. Food was tasty, crew engaging, snorkels were awesome. Highly recommend.
        Written 27 January 2024
      • audreydN2550TL
        0 contributions
        Great wsy to spend last evening!
        This was a fantastic way to spend our final evening in Port Douglas. Beautiful cruise in fantastic conditions. We all enjoyed it. Very professionally run.
        Written 6 January 2024
      • ATLAdventurer2010
        0 contributions
        Sailaway does an excelent job!
        My husband and I really enjoyed our day trip to Mackay reef with Sailaway. The catamaran is a fine way to enjoy the scenery along the way to the reef with views of the Dainstree Rainforest, mountains and Low Isles. There are sunny and shady spots to sit out on the deck and take in the fresh air, while the interior has plenty of room for people to hang out, play games and/or learn about the GBR with plenty of books and literature. This tour is for about 50 people including families with children, small groups, and couples. The staff has an excellent knowledge and passion for the GBR and the ocean. We especially loved Erin who took extra special care of us and answered all of our questions. Our snorkel spots were 2 hours out from Port Douglas Marina where we saw beautiful reef fish, gorgeous coral, turtles and giant clams. Lunch on the boat was very good and they even provide a vegetarian selection if you ask. It is a long day from 7:30 am to 5 pm, but so worth it.
        Written 5 January 2024
      • jennyp157
        0 contributions
        I'll always remember this
        Absolutely worth doing, this was an exceptional sunset cruise in perfect weather with fun people and crew. Plenty of food to go around and the peaceful feeling of being on the water under sail was something I'll always remember.
        Written 3 January 2024
      • M6209YUheatherh
        0 contributions
        Amazing family sunset sail
        We went out on a sunset sail with Sailaway on our first night in Port Douglas. The crew - Jake, Kelly and Louise were amazing - welcoming everyone on board and giving us an amazing first introduction to the Great Barrier Reef . We were treated to chilled drinks and delicious canapés as we sailed out of Port Douglas . This short trip is a must for anyone visiting Port Douglas !
        Written 4 December 2023
      • Helga905notts
        0 contributions
        Sailing off brought such a magical experience
        We arrived to a choice of drinks and canapés which was pleasant. The all girl crew were really warm and friendly.after safety talk we set sail. The early evening was humid and very hot. The breeze was really welcome as we set off. Sadly it was cloudy and not a chance of a beautiful glow of sunset. We met some super people on the boat and this helped make the experience wonderful. Putting the sails up was an experience to watch and the calm quiet when actually sailing was magical.great cross section of ages made it.
        Written 2 December 2023
      • 435ninas
        0 contributions
        Great trip!
        We had a wonderful trip. Even though we were a little afraid, we went snorkeling and did not regret it - a fantastic experience. The Low Isles was worth seeng. The staff was very friendly and helpful.
        Written 1 December 2023
      • Merete S
        0 contributions
        Great experience!
        Everyting was great, the boat, the crew, the food, the experience. Wonderful snorkeling. Excellent and friendly crew. I really recommend this Trip wird Sailaway.
        Written 27 November 2023
      See all 2 reviews
      These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

      Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

      Popular mentions

      We perform checks on reviews.
      Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
      Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
      When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
      Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
      Learn more about our review moderation.
      5.0
      316 reviews
      Excellent
      286
      Very good
      22
      Average
      5
      Poor
      2
      Terrible
      1

      caasiBrisbane
      Brisbane65 contributions
      Sept 2020
      Awesome day.
      Cannot rate this experience highly enough. So we thought we were doing this on day X but we were booked for day Y. The company phoned us with enough time that we were able to make the cruise for the day that was booked. Thank you.
      This is a great day out. So nice not to be cramped onto a boat with 50 or more other people. We used the motor to go out to the island but sailed back. So peaceful. Whether you sail or not would depend on the wind.
      Our time on the island was devided between snorkeling and a tour. But you did not have to do the tour and the snorkeling was around an hour. We also snorkeled off the boat after a very pleasant lunch on the boat. I preferred the after lunch snorkel as the water was clearer and the coral/fish better. We had visibility to 8m.
      The sail back topped off a truely wonderful day with a small group of people and very highly skilled and entertaining crew.
      I would recommend this for all age groups as it was not rushed, the boat is spacious and the crew is able to differentiate ability levels.
      Written 23 September 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
      Wonderful, thank you for taking the time to share your "Awesome day" experience and your highest recommendations. We only have small number of guests and our team are caring, knowledgable and entertaining, in the most professional way, because we all are out there to have fun and be close up to our "Great" environment for a shared experience. Please come and join us soon for our Outer Reef Full Day Tour or Sunset Sailing, I'm sure you will absolutely love both ; )
      Written 3 October 2020
      This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

      AGL-Hale
      Nr Liverpool19 contributions
      Jan 2020 • Couples
      Apologies but I can't remember the crews names. This was a great day out. Only 12 of us plus 3 crew. It was only a short trip 1 hour, (can be done in 15 mins on a speed boat.) The snorkelling was brilliant the group was divided up into 2 groups with the 3rd crew member in the glass bottom boat acting as life guard, saw plenty of fish, coral and 2 turtles which we wouldn't have noticed without the guide pointing them out. The lunch was excellent and although you had to pay for the drinks ( except tea, coffee and water) they were reasonably priced. In the afternoon my wife did the glass bottom boat trip which she really enjoyed while I went back snorkeling. Due to jellyfish we had to wear stingers suits which were also uv protection so our backs didn't get burned. The refreshments of cake and fruit ended a great day. We did get back early but this was because of the heavy rain that was due. The skipper timed it just right. Just got back to the car and the heavens opened. Many thanks for a great day.
      Written 28 January 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Rebekah
      2 contributions
      Dec 2019 • Friends
      I'll start by saying, I have never written a review on Trip Advisor before however, I think it's important to share my amazing experience with the world.

      The guides and crew of Sailaway were friendly and knowledgeable which made our time on the water so enjoyable! After seeing all of the other boats and packages other companies offered, it's very easy to see that Sailaway is the top quality option.

      Due to a technical issue with our booking, my friends and I were fortunate enough to spend two days out on the reef thanks to the incredible customer service of Sailaway. We felt very lucky to swim with turtles and reef sharks at the Inner Reef and then hundreds of colorful fish, rays, turtles, etc at the Outer Reef.

      The two amazing days we spent with Sailaway were the highlight of our time in Australia and I look forward to having the opportunity to visit again and book an excursion with Sailaway.
      Written 7 January 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Kerrianne A
      Canberra, Australia77 contributions
      5 Stars to Wavelength Reef Cruises and their team. Incredible day trip today. The safety aspect was faultless, the information about the reef was riveting, and the cruise was seamless. We saw turtles too!!! Can not more highly recommend this trip for those that want a personalized experience and to visit more than one part of the reef! We covered 3 locations and each was better that the one before! But hands down, it was the crew that made this trip exceptional. The crew also looked after my elderly parents and made sure they had a fantastic and inclusive experience as well. One we will all remember for my lifetime.
      Written 28 June 2021
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      CaptCoop4
      4 contributions
      Dec 2019
      Our positive experience with Sailaway started three years before our outer reef trip. We’d booked a cruise with them but had to cancel, they quickly gave us a full refund. We came back to them and were very glad we did. The full-day outer reef snorkeling trip was one of the highlights of our time in Port Douglas. Sailaway was professional and fun from minute one. The all-female crew of marine biologist and locals really knows their marine life, and are pros and making even inexperienced snorkelers comfortable and successful. We swam with turtles, sting rays, a painted crayfish (huge!) a grouper (huger!), all manner of tropical fish, and of course, beautiful coral. One of our family members even saw an octopus. The boat was in great shape and lunch was delish. The cruise exceeded our expectations, we definitely recommend.
      Written 7 January 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Lori Taylor
      1 contribution
      Jan 2020 • Friends
      The marine biologist leading the snorkeling was excellent. She pointed out sea life I would have never noticed before and provided a lot of great information. I also really enjoyed the sail to the reef. However, one of the crew members, I think her name was Jazz, was not very friendly. She seemed to forget that we were paying guests and that many of us were not used to sailing or snorkeling. Everyone else was great. I would definitely still recommend this trip. It wasn’t too crowded, the snorkeling with the marine biologist was great, and the sail was wonderful.
      Written 23 June 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      dno1968
      Bracknell, UK19 contributions
      You are always at the mercy of the weather conditions on days out like this and we were so lucky with near perfect seas and visibility. YMMV as the Americans say so this review is focussed on the other aspects

      The low island tour has a relatively small (~20) number of guests which is great when compared to some of the big boats we saw leaving the harbour at the same time

      The boat was clean and modern. The crew were all very helpful and looked after us brilliantly.

      Welcome coffee fruit and pastries

      All the snorkel gear provided but you can bring your own. Includes sting suits, mask cleaning and Vaseline for good seal around facial hair. Flotation aids and specially marked snorkel gear available for less confident guests to help the crew keep an eye out for you.

      Snorkelling from Low Island has everything you would want from a snorkelling trip. We saw a huge variety of reef life including sharks rays and turtles (YMMV obvs)

      Fantastic buffet lunch on-board.

      Second snorkelling opportunity off the back of the boat or options to stay on board or go out on a glass bottom boat that the operator has moored next to the main boat

      Perfectly organised from start to finish. We had an amazing day and would do it again if we are ever back in this part of the world
      Written 14 March 2023
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      princess0011
      Sydney, Australia51 contributions
      Jan 2020 • Couples
      Such a stunning day for this experience, the boat is lovely, the group size was perfect (12) we weren’t on top of each other. I would recommend not partaking in the Island walk as you miss out on snorkeling g time which is why most people book it. Food was delicious, staff were knowledgeable and friendly and the snorkeling equipment was really good!
      If you are choosing between this and one of the bigger boats. This is a way better experience. Lots and lots of turtles, string rays, fish, clams and coral. Can’t fault it! 🙏🏻
      Written 16 January 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      EM C
      2 contributions
      Dec 2020 • Couples
      Thank you Blake, Ben and James for an amazing day. The whole experience was so special and personal and we loved that it wasn't a large group. There was four of us and we had the best day!

      The boat is stunning, the food was awesome and the boys really made the experience unforgettable - they were easy going, down to earth made, professional and made everyone feel safe!

      We left at 8.30am and got back by 4pm which was just the right amount if time!

      I highly recommend this Sailaway experience, if I could give it 10 stars I would!!
      Written 27 December 2020
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Kerry G
      20 contributions
      Apr 2021 • Couples
      A heavenly day spent with Sail away cruising to the low isles. Ces and his crew were so fun and professional everything run so smoothly and although we had 20+ people on board we felt like we were very well looked after . Food was sensational! All the snorkelling equipment was of such a high quality which made a huge difference to our snorkelling experience. Having a Marine Biologist give such an insightful walk around the island was an extra bonus.! Cannot rate this experience any higher. Fantastic trip - thank you all xx
      Written 30 April 2021
      This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

      Showing results 1-10 of 303

      Great Barrier Reef Sailing & Snorkeling Cruise from Port Douglas provided by Sailaway