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Falla Reef Trips

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Cairns, Australia
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About Falla Reef Trips
The Falla is a wooden ship, built in Broome, W.A. in 1956 to dive for mother of pearl. She worked with the ancient bronze helmet dive gear until 1963 when demand for the material dwindled due to the advent of plastics. For all of the next half century she has managed to make a living for herself, fishing, then cray fishing. In 1988 she made her way to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. She has been treating guests to this wonder, in small groups ever since. She is still diving. You can do your first SCUBA dive aboard this classic Pearl Lugger and become part of her history or go for a snorkel. Either way, you can soak up the atmosphere of those historical days gone by or enjoy the magic that is the Great Barrier Reef.
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Jessica U wrote a review Apr 2021
Perth, Australia15 contributions6 helpful votes
I loved every minute of my trip out to the Great Barrier Reef with Captain Doug and the Falla! I was really hoping to find an experience that didn't involve one of the big motor boats with 50+ passengers and this was perfect. A few highlights: - The laidback vibes and personalised experience. As a confident swimmer I really liked not having to snorkel in a group and being given plenty of freedom to explore the reef! - Doug diving in and showing us a shark chilling in a cave. He seems to know the secret spots. - Turning off the engine just before cruising back into Cairns and enjoying sailing in the wind with wine and cheese. Accompanied by some great stories about the history of the Falla and her roots as a Pearl Lugger up in Broome. You can really tell Doug has a genuine passion for the Falla and taking people out to the GBR. His enthusiasm is infectious and it really made the trip something special. Sure, it's not the most comfortable boat (compared to the bigger boats that head out to the reef) and it doesn't have the fanciest gear, but I loved relaxing on the deck in the shade and just enjoying being on such a unique boat. Thanks Doug for an amazing day!!! I'll be back to crew someday :)
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Date of experience: April 2021
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Allan wrote a review Jan 2021
Melbourne, Australia3 contributions
Very knowledgeable and passionate Captain Doug and crew. Best way to see the reef. Beautiful open air wooden boat with sails and motor. Completely non commercial experience in a small intimate group. Very personalised. They really went out of their way to make sure everyone had a great time. Our captain took us to two alternative islands (weather permitting). We were literally the only ship and just a couple of small fishing boats around. Lunch was freshly made. Served hygenically in a packed lunch. My recommendation is wear usual sun protection as you get to be out in the open air while travelling. Highly recommend especially if u don't want to be just a number on a huge commercial ship that monetises you.
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Date of experience: December 2020
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Kemurphy wrote a review Nov 2019
Chelmsford, Massachusetts67 contributions17 helpful votes
My daughter and I were looking to go on a Great Barrier Reef trip that was different, and not on a large commercial boat. We found the perfect experience we were looking for via getting on board the Falla Reef trip. The captain and crew were incredibly knowledgable, had fabulous hospitality, and made this an absolute dream trip for me and my daughter. I asked the Captain what was the biggest difference between the obvious one - his was a former pearl finding ship, and the other reef boats were large commercial vessels without any personality. He told me no one ever on the Falla takes photos of the big commercial reef boats, but most of the big commercial reef boat passengers take photos of his boat. Don't miss out on this incredible memory making experience.
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Date of experience: December 2018
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Sightseer609352 wrote a review Aug 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
I booked wit this company a snorkeling tour to the Great Barrier Reef and prepaid more than 3 months in advance. I even received an email remainder 2 days prior to our trip. We traveled from Sydney just for this tour and showed up at the location and time indicated only to find out that nobody was there, after calling the contact number the guy who answered (the owner) explained that he had problems with the vessel and was far away and wouldn't be able to do the tour, he could only apologize for 5 minutes without offering anything concrete or explaining why we were not at least notified. Obviously we were not going to waste our trip to Cairns and quickly booked a different tour with one of the big local companies. Minutes later the guy from Falla contacted me to let me know that he had found me a trip to go with (what a favor!), we declined and he refunded our money. Fortunately we were able to book an alternative trip which need up being great. If you want a tour to the Great Barrier Reef don't put your plans at rist and book with one of the big, well stablished companies.
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Date of experience: July 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Douglas M, Owner at Falla Reef Trips
Responded 23 Jan 2021
I am very sorry for your inconvenience. Please, in future, If you are booking a trip on the Falla, as well as any other, It is always a good idea to book direct as you will receive guaranteed, personal attention. In our case you will be able to speak directly with the Owner/ Captain. That way there will be no complications, especially if breakdowns occur. (not often, but they do occur) . We also work with the weather. On the (very) few occasions, over the years, that we have experienced this unfortunate situation, I, personally, have spent long hours, burning the midnight oil, trying to find ways to reach our people who, for example, left out a digit of their phone number, are not able to check their emails often enough, incorrect emails , omitted place of stay, the list goes on and on. The other reason direct booking is a good idea, is that I always make sure I get as many ways to contact our guests as possible , just to be sure. In almost all scenarios, problems with communication occur due to our having exhausted all ways to get in touch with our clientelle. A simple confirmation call to me directly on the early evening prior to travel is also a good idea. This leaves ample time to make alternate arrangements in the unlikely event that may become necessary. Douglas M Owner/ Opreator/ Captain Falla
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E D wrote a review Aug 2019
Paris, France5 contributions4 helpful votes
We booked our trip more than 2 months ago based on the good comments and at that time Doug who is captain on the Falla answered very quickly and asked us to reconfirmed 1 week before our arrival. We followed this process but since then, impossible to have a confirmation on his side, he has never answered. We went physically to the address indicated on the website but we could not even find the boat...Either they are on holidays either they stopped their activity but in both cases it would have been polite to let us know in advance in order to book something else... We do not recommend at all to plan this day trip with Falla.
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Date of experience: August 2019
1 Helpful vote
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