Cairns & the Tropical North

Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise from Cairns Including Snorkeling and Marine Biologist Presentation

Badge of ExcellenceCairns City, Australia

From USD 202.02

Select Date and Travellers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 8 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Discover the underwater beauty of the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day tour from Cairns. Glide across the Coral Sea on a catamaran ride to a premium outer reef location with diverse marine life. Spend hours at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef with exclusive access to an activity platform staffed by marine biologist guides. Snorkel, scuba dive, or opt to take a glass-bottom boat tour.
  • Full-day tour to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns
  • Enjoy a fast trip to the Marine World platform on the outer reef
  • Choose from activities such as snorkeling, a glass-bottom boat tour, and semi-submersible tour
  • Includes buffet lunch, and morning and afternoon tea

What's Included

  • Marine biologist presentation
  • Snorkeling equipment including mask & snorkel, fins and wetsuit/lycra suit rental.
  • Glass bottom boat tour & underwater reef viewing observatory
  • Morning and afternoon tea with tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout the day
  • Hot/cold buffet lunch
  • All taxes and fees
  • Transfers from Cairns and Northern Beaches are at an additional cost.
  • Optional activities: introductory scuba diving, helmet diving, certified scuba diving, guided snorkel tour with a marine biologist, SEABOB jet-powered snorkeling experience, and scenic reef helicopter flight
  • Prescription snorkel and dive masks are available for rental on board

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 1 Spence St
    1 Spence St, Cairns City QLD 4870, Australia

    Please go directly to the vessel to check in.

Start time

08:00 am

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Leave Cairns in the morning and travel to the Great Barrier Reef on a scenic ride aboard a fast catamaran with spacious interior and exterior seating areas.

Upon arrival at the all-weather Marine World platform, enjoy your choice of activities. The complex and diverse barrier reef ecosystem is home to more than 1,500 species of tropical fish and 400 different types of coral. See some of them while snorkeling in the sheltered coral lagoon, scuba diving (no experience necessary), or taking a guided snorkel safari with a marine biologist (own expense).

If you prefer to stay dry, you can view the reef from a semi-submersible boat, an underwater observatory, or take a glass-bottom boat tour or Helmet Dive (own expense). Take a scenic helicopter flight (own expense) to get another perspective on the coral reef from above. The spacious sundeck provides plenty of room for soaking up the tropical warmth, and you can even purchase a session with the massage therapist.

The range of activities make this tour suitable for people of all ages and level of swimming ability. Spend less time traveling with the speedy catamaran transfer from the mainland, which allows more time at the reef itself.

Your tour includes a hot and cold buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea, the use of snorkeling equipment, a glass-bottom boat tour, semi-submersible tour, and access to the underwater reef viewing observatory.

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Please bring a swimsuit, hat, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, and cash or credit card for any on-board purchases
  • All diving is subject to the completion of an on-board medical questionnaire. Certain medical conditions (such as asthma, epilepsy, and high blood pressure) and medications may exclude individuals from diving. Minimum age to dive is 12 years with parent/guardian permission required for those under 18 years. Certified divers must produce their certification cards. After diving, intervals of 12-24 hours are recommended prior to flying in any type of aircraft dependent on depth of dives and total accrued dive time
  • Helicopter flights: Route flown and type of aircraft used are subject to weather, air traffic control, aircraft availability and, ultimately, the pilot's discretion. Maximum of 1 infant allowed per flight. Maximum combined passenger weight limits apply
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 200 travellers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveller Photos

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Traveller Tips

We are non-snorkelers but that was not a problem because the other options were worth it !
I recommend this tour to all that go to Cairns.
671 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travellers.
Showing 1-10 of 671 reviews
Great staff for tours
nicole_k, Mar 2023
We appreciated the staff doing the safari tour and seeing a little more of the reef that wasn’t in the boundaries for swimming.
Great Barrier Reef experience
Alvin_Y, Mar 2023
The magic reef crew offered a great experience. The dive Instructor (Alysia?) Did an amazing job. The marine biologists offered great presentations about the reef and marine life. Would highly recommend to all.
Great way to see the reef
Mike_D, Nov 2022
Fabulous day on the reef. Five hours to snorkel or glass bottom boat tour or submersible tour. Staff does a great job. Great snorkeling area on reef with everything provided including good buffet lunch. Lycra suit available for stinger protection.
We booked a cruise to...
Nali_Y, Apr 2022
We booked a cruise to reef magic, and 2 people couldn't attend. dive. the reef magic agrees to refund but has to apply through Viator, and there is no contact information to Viator, left a message yesterday on the web but no one response
Enjoyed the trip
Hugh_M, Mar 2020
Interesting talks, fabulous sightings of fish and turtles, good buffet. Friendly crew Enjoyed our day and first trip to GBR
Lots of Activities!
Debbie, Feb 2020
This cruise was an excellent choice for us as it offered a variety of activities for people of all abilities. We never ran out of things to do! My husband and I went on both the glass bottom boat tour and the semi-submersible boat tour. Both were fun especially the semi-submersible boat which allowed us to get a closer look at the corals. Our adult daughter and her partner tried scuba diving after receiving instruction and snorkeling in a roped-off area and loved swimming with a very big fish. The staff was friendly and attentive. I would have given this tour a 5 if the lunch was better and served for a longer period of time. Apparently, lunch is only served for an hour or so. After returning to the main platform from our activities, most of the food was gone so I was left with noodles scraped from the bottom of a warmer. The afternoon snacks consisted of a fruit tray and a cold cut and cheese tray for 180 passengers, again, insufficient for the number of people on board. All in all, we enjoyed our day on the great barrier reef and would recommend it to others.
Day at the reef
864marien, Dec 2019
Fabulous trip out to the reef. Quite rough going out and the crew were brilliant helping passenger who enamel I’ll. once at the reef there was plenty to do and crew members were on hand to advise and instruct if you weren’t sure. Lunch was delicious and catered for everyone with salads, cold meats, vegetarian lasagna, curry etc followed by fresh fruit and cakes. After lunch there was plenty of time to snorkel or take the glass bottomed boat or just chill. Would certainly book with this company again.
Excellent Tour - i Recommend it
vanzardo001, Nov 2019
Very informative tour and a great way to learn ad see the reef. I recommend this tour to all that go to Cairns.
Amazing day on the reef !
ombellines, Aug 2019
We loved this tour ! All team members were very kind and helpful, tour participants thanked them a lot. We are non-snorkelers but that was not a problem because the other options were worth it ! We did a glass-bottom boat tour and a semi-submersible ride. It was fascinating to see different sorts of coral and different species of fish from two different types of boats. We also enjoyed the underwater observatory at the platform as well as an area on the platform where you can walk and sit in the water. During fish feeding we saw many fish, Wally came to eat just above snorkelers' feet ! Lunch buffet had many options (especially as we are vegetarians), it was really good and we had time to eat at our own pace. On the way back to Cairns we even got to see whales ! Very happy to have chosen this tour ! Type of visit : family (adults)
Excellent tour
Gaynor_J, May 2019
Unfortunately the sea was rough, so I had to take sea sickness tablets. The Snuba dive was great, and 'Wally' the Mauri sea wrap was magnificent.
Excellent Day on the Reef!
Heidi_W, Oct 2018
We had such a great experience on the reef! We snorkeled, did the semisubmerged boat tour, took a helicopter ride, and did Snuba (Tina was fantastic!). Highly recommend!!The ride to the reef is very bumpy! Lots of sick travelers. I never get sea sick and felt a little queasy myself. Be prepared if you are at risk.
I did a similar trip to this with...
Paul D, Feb 2018
I did a similar trip to this with another company 20 years ago almost to the day and was hoping that this trip would provide an even better experience than on that occasion. I was not to be disappointed. We had a 5 min walk to the ferry terminal where we soon found the Reef Magic ticket desk. The process that followed was quick and efficient and we were soon aboard our boat and heading out to the GBR. The Marine Biologist Presentation was given by way of PowerPoint slides, but with a live commentary by the onboard marine biologist and was very interesting. Clear instructions were provided about what would happen on arrival at the pontoon and what additional activities would be available the basic package only included snorkelling in a relatively restricted area around the pontoon - fine in itself, but we wanted a bit more. For an additional cost of 45pp, we opted for a snorkelling safari which meant we were taken by boat to a different reef, with the Marine Biologist Michelle and given a guided snorkel for about an hour. This was our highlight. It was a fantastic excursion, packed full of information and interest and one that enabled us to see things we couldnt from the main pontoon including a reef shark. It was aimed at competent snorkellers, but was by no means difficult or arduous. I thought the 45 price represented excellent vfm and I would thoroughly recommend it. Other optional activities included helicopter rides, submersibles and SCUBA dives, all at additional cost. A trip to the GBR is another of those things you just have to do and Viator ensured that ours was a truly memorable and happy one. Excellent trip.
Great day. Sea was rough and staff...
Bruce_F, Feb 2018
Great day. Sea was rough and staff very helpful. Snorkeling was a little crowded, because sea was rough. Semi-sub and Glass Bottom boat was great. Food was good
We really enjoyed the trip it...
Keith B, Jan 2018
We really enjoyed the trip it involved a rather bumpy ride out to the reef, with some passengers succumbing to sea-sickness this was dealt with well by the abundant staff. Once we got to the reef, despite pretty awful weather, things improved tremendously: the snorkelling was great and there were lots of other things to do too, some included in the basic cost, some as extras. Rides on the glass-sided boat were enjoyable, as was the observation deck on the pontoon both included. The food was good too. The staff were very competent and friendly.
Very comfortable boat and dock...
Christopher S, Jan 2018
Very comfortable boat and dock. Make sure to take both the glass bottom boat and semi submersable ref tour. They offer very different views. The bar did seem a bit under stocked as they started running out of certain products mid afternoon. Easy check-in.
The trip was good but slightly...
Ian G, Jan 2018
The trip was good but slightly marred by the fact that the underwater submersible was out of action and we weren't advised prior to our arrival at the ticket office. We could not rearrange the trip since this was the only day we would be in Cairns where we weren't already going on other excursions. The staff didn't seem bothered and were'nt prepared to offer any form of compensation or partial refund either. We had picked this trip and booked it before leaving the UK as it offered this as an alternative to getting wet. My husband and I are not good swimmers so didn't want to do the snorkelling or scuba diving. We therefore only had the option of going in the glass bottomed boat which we did 4 times whilst we were on the pontoon. We took the opportunity to go on two morning boat rides, neither of which were very good as visibility was not great due to the changing tide. Also the girl driving the boat didn't seem to know very much either and spent most of the time giggling which was rather annoying. She also wasn't very good at steering the boat and it seemed at one point that she hit something as well. The 2 afternoon trips however were very good and we had a different driver who was very knowledgeable indeed which was good and he shared his knowledge in a very informative manner. It was also a nice touch that all the crew lined up to say goodbye to the passengers when we arrived back on shore in Cairns.
No problem with day at all - great...
Helen C, Nov 2017
No problem with day at all - great fun and very well organised. The only thing that stopped me giving it 5 stars was the hard sell once on board for the optional activities which I found quite intrusive. I understand that they wanted to drum up trade but I heard the same spiel given to myself, the people sitting next to me, the people sitting behind me, the people sitting in front of me.....!
Great tour, beautiful scenery! I highly...
JOHN_U, Nov 2017
Great tour, beautiful scenery! I highly recommend this one.
I chose two days of visits with two...
marsha p, May 2017
I chose two days of visits with two different tour companies. This one was far superior. We spent the day at a pontoon that provided easy access for me , a senior, to enter the ocean. The sea was calm for a couple hours, allowing me to enjoy the gorgeous coral at Moore Reef. The crew was excellent, informative, kind, and had high standards of safety. If I had ESP, I would have added a helicopter over the Reef to this tour and then booked a trip somewhere else the second day instead of returning to the Reef.
First time experience and loved it...
Kenneth_B, Jan 2017
First time experience and loved it! Bring an underwater case for your phone to take pictures or you can purchase one there. Also, be prepared with towels. The boat was quite crowded and I did not see any presentation on board.