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Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

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Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

Hi, I am going on a cruise to Cairns and Port Douglas in January and don't like the shore excursions offered. We are two days in Cairns and 1 day in Port Douglas. We want to go in Glass Bottom boat and also visit Daintree and train.

Should we do Daintree from Cairns or Port Douglas?

Shoudl we do Barrier reef from Cairns or Port Douglas?

Also do tour operators pick up from boat dock?


Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

Daintree is much closer to Port Douglas than Cairns, so you'll save a lot of driving time by doing your tour from PD.

The "train" trip is to Kuranda and that is best done from Cairns as the station is near there.

There are good excursions to the GBR from both Cairns and Port Douglas, so you could choose to go from either. However, your choices are limited if you aren't planning on snorkeling and want to see the Reef without getting in the water, e.g. glass-bottom boat. In Cairns, Reef Magic offers trips to a fixed platform on the Outer Reef where you can see the Reef without getting wet via glass-bottom boat rides, semi-submersible rides and an underwater viewing area. (You can also snorkel.) In Port Douglas, Quicksilver offers the same kind of trip. Also, in Port Douglas, you can take a trip to the Low Isles with Sailaway or Wavedancer and they have glass-bottom boat rides. What I do NOT recommend is any trip from Cairns to Green Island. The coral there is in poor condition so you'll have a sub-par GBR experience. You'll need to contact the boat companies directly to see if they can pick you up.

One problem with booking GBR tours on your own is timing. Almost all of the GBR excursions leave port at 8:30- 9:00 am and don't return until 4:30 pm. These times often don't mesh with the arrival and departure times of the cruise ships.

Edited: 23 July 2017, 23:31
Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

We recently went on Wavedsncer to,the Low Isles. I do not recommend going out to the reef just to use a glass bottom boat - you really do not see much at all. You need to snorkel to see the interesting stuff. Quicksiler offers a semi submersible snd also an underwater viewing platform, and it would be a much better choice for you. Also, please do try to get some practice in with a float vest in a swimming pool - you just might be tempted to get in the water!


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3. Re: Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

What times are you actually in Port as that will make a difference to what is feasible and we will recommend. Are you docking or tendering in?

4. Re: Cruise to Cains - 2 days, Port Douglas 1 day - do what when

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