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“Fabulous Cruise, Small Group”

Seastar Cruises Reef Day Trips
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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 21 October 2009

Just a few days before this cruise, my girlfriend and I took a cruise to the Franklands. On that cruise, I began to think.., "so this is the Great Barrier Reef? I don't know what all the fuss is about!" But we stuck with the snorkeling plan, and went on SeaStar the next time. Now I get it! Through Seastar, the reef was an entirely different place!

First, the boat was not overly crowded and the staff was very friendly. They did not nickle and dime us with hidden charges, and the food/tea was excellent. Second, they took us to reefs that were vibrant, alive and colorful. Third, they got us out there before the other boats arrived.

I loved swimming over the shallow sections of the reef, watching the teeming fish schools just inches below me. And just when I was thinking it could not get better, I swam over a nice break in the reef, which felt like flying off a cliff and over a fabulous gorge!

We fully recommend this trip! Great people, good food, amazing reefs!

1  Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"their facebook page"
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"both locations"
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"smaller boat"
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"small group"
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"snorkel tour"
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"second stop"
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"stinger suits"
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2,250 - 2,254 of 2,455 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2009

My wife and I went on a reef tour with SeaStar on Sept 27th, 2009. Since we had read all their great reviews on TripAdvisor, we had originally been planning to take a tour with Wavelength out of Port Douglas, but they were fully booked during our stay. For the same reasons we had been interested in Wavelength, we specifically chose SeaStar as our alternative due to that it chooses to take a small number of passengers (generally 30 max). Honestly, I think this worked out for the better because we didn't have to pay for transfers from Cairns to Port Douglas (or sit on a bus for an hour), and I'm sure the our experience with SeaStar was equal to or better than what we would have gotten with Wavelength.

This being said, the fact that SeaStar specializes in smaller groups definitely helped us have a far better experience than what we would have with an operator that takes several hundred folks out a time. The passenger/crew ratio was probably around 3 to 1, and this definitely allowed us to feel well-looked after not at all "lost in the crowd." The company is owned by a local family, and it shows in the helpfulness and professionalism of the crew. Being able to support a "home team" family with our tourist dollars rather than a big, anonymous company was great as well.

I opted to take an initial SCUBA dive (extra cost of $85) at the first stop (Michaelmas Cay). My instructor was absolutely outstanding, and needed to spend a good deal of his time personally assisting me below. In fairness, I feel that SCUBA may be something of an acquired taste - while I felt completely safe during the experience, I I felt a bit claustrophobic at the same. I can honestly say I probably enjoyed the snorkel more than scuba, and saw more due to the fact that I could relax and enjoy the experience. For others, SCUBA is and would be an amazing experience not to be missed. In sum, if you've not done it before, this would be a good time to try as the SeaStar crew will make as good an experience as you could possibly have.

The reef itself is of course absolutely amazing. I've been fortunate to see many of the 'wornders of the world' and this one was probably the most amazing I've seen. Anything you can possibly imagine in your wildest dreams about what the Reef is like is true, and the amount of fish and sights under the sea will take your breath away. If you could do nothing else during your entire trip to Australia, this is what you need to see.

Likewise, the other services on the boat were outstanding. Meals were delightful (and included the prawns which seem to be the key selling point of every reef cruise). The boat offered amenities like drinks and snacks for a very reasonable price; surprisingly since they have a captive audience and could charge confiscatory rates. However, the prices aboard were no worse than what you would find ashore (e.g. AUS $3 for a coke). Underwater camera rental aboard was a bit more expensive by about $10 than what you'd find ashore, but in its favor without the concerns about needing to return it to a store before a certain time, etc.

In all, a great experience with SeaStar, and couldn't ask for better folks to have an amazing time seeing the Great Barrier Reef. Top marks.

Thank glenn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 November 2018 via mobile
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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