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“Best Great Barrier Reef tour”

Seastar Cruises Reef Day Trips
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Seastar Cruises premium reef cruise combines the outer Great Barrier Reef with a coral cay island. In only 1 1/4 hours the fast air-conditioned Seastar 1 can take you from Cairns to magnificent Michaelmas Cay, the largest of the local uninhabited coral cays. Cruising past Green Island, Upolu cay and Oyster reef Seastar is the first boat to arrive. After an enjoyable time here it is a short 20 minute cruise to the splendid Hastings Reef sitting on the very outer edge. This is where the corals thrive, well out from the coast away from the influence the rivers and streams, adjacent to the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. You will have 2 1/2 hours at each location. Plenty of time to go snorkeling, do a introductory dive, relax on the beach of the Island or join a tour in the Glass Bottom Boat at Hastings Reef. The day cruise on Seastar inlcudes Morning/Afternoon tea, high quality snorkel equipment, Wetsuit or Lycra suit (depending on the time of year), Glass Bottom Boat Tour, Hot & Cold Buffet Lunch, Reef Interpretation & Guided Snorkel Tours on each spot.
Useful Information: Stairs / lift
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Choosing a tour from the many offered posed a challenge. Seastar was recommended by our hotel and did not disappoint. Great boat, friendly knowledgeable crew and excellent food offerings. Chance to snorkel at two locations (outer and middle reef) enhanced the experience immensely. We would highly recommend this tour. It was a great way to start our Australia vacation! Thanks again to the crew for making it so enjoyable :)

Thank SunnyNavan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"michaelmas cay"
in 227 reviews
"sea star"
in 74 reviews
in 291 reviews
"glass bottom boat"
in 160 reviews
"their facebook page"
in 31 reviews
"both locations"
in 42 reviews
"small group"
in 93 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 65 reviews
in 53 reviews
"snorkel tour"
in 51 reviews
"second stop"
in 44 reviews
"stinger suits"
in 56 reviews
"personal attention"
in 26 reviews
"giant clams"
in 51 reviews
"life ring"
in 21 reviews
"tea coffee"
in 24 reviews
"underwater camera"
in 45 reviews

1,604 - 1,608 of 2,345 reviews

Reviewed 2 March 2014

There are heaps of tours to the reef in Cairns you can pick and choose until the cows come home and still be confused...so I'll break it down, what I wanted out of a reef tour.
!/. Minimum numbers on the cruise..100 tops
2/. An operator who knows the area you are going too well
3/. Good explanation of the natural habitat
4/. Good safety
5/. Nice food
6/. Well inclusive tour
7/.Happy atmostphere

Seastar has this, they are not one of cheapest cruise out there, but they are one of the best.

On the cruise we had a marine biologist, who came out with the snorkelers and explained the types of reefs we were going to. She explained the types of fish that would be at the reef and how to approach them without touching them.

On the way home, the crew undertook a mock "Man Overboard Rescue", which was needed for their accredition, but involved all the guests. The things you learn at sea, it isn't easy trying to find people in the water, especially with high waves.
Their safety briefings to the guests were first class, easy explained to understand.
They go to the reef areas on the out limits, but arrive there before the crowds and move onto the next area before the crowds catch on.
A great dog out...we'll be back again.

Thank pandkgraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

Our time in Cairns was limited to a two day window. When I contacted Seastar to set up a trip with them months in advance I was informed the boat would be having annual maintenance done during the time we were there. They did however recommend one of their 'competitors' as an alternative so we booked with them instead.

Although we were not able to visit the GBF aboard Seastar, we did have a wonderful day anyway, and would like to thank Seastar for the referral.

Thank CalBerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

I booked this tour as it was a "small" group and it was exactly that. The first boat to the reef. The crew were excellent. Absolutely friendly and helpful. They had so much enthusiasm. One could feel the vibe. I had booked and prepaid for a scuba dive . On the day I did not feel like it and preferred to snorkel. They gave me a refund less costs. I did not expect that. The dive was brilliant. The reef great. The 2nd dive at Hastings was just as good if not better. I really had a fantastic day. ( lunch was also great).I really recommend this company.

Thank Rodney M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 February 2014

My husband and I had a great time out on Seastar. The staff on the boat were amazingly helpful and easy going. We felt safe and accommodated for the whole day. It was a rainy day, but the crew were still energetic and very kind and patient to everyone. Froya made an extra effort to make sure everyone was having a good time.

The day we originally booked the trip, we arrived at the wharf at 7:30am to find out that there was an error in the booking and that we couldn’t go on the tour that day. A booking agent was at the boat to meet us and tell us the bad news, but she hadn’t prepared any alternative options for us. We had to go back to the booking office to even see if there was any availability on other boats (there wasn’t). I would expect an agent to have some other options readily available at the wharf when cancelling a $180 x 2 tour at 7:30am. We were offered a discount but only after we insisted that this was really unacceptable. The conflict was blamed on the booking agent, but in our opinion, if you have other people doing your booking, it’s your job to make sure that process is working effectively.

When we mentioned to other booking agents that our tour was cancelled, they said, “Oh, did Seastar have a charter booked? Yeah, they do that sometimes.” So, perhaps if you want to go with them, triple check that they will be taking you out that day. If it had have been our last day in Cairns, we would have been at a loss because all of the other tours were booked or already on their way to the reef.

That being said, we did have a wonderful experience once we actually got on the boat!

8  Thank Christina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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