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During our November cruise, we will have two opportunities for excursions to the GBR. The first is from Airlie Beach, and the next opportunity is from Port Douglas. We are thinking of booking both to optimize our chances of a good snorkel in part because I have read that the weather from Airlie Beach can be iffy. Are we nuts? It is the activity that we are most excited about while in Oz. Any advice would be most appreciated!
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Why not? If you do both pick Arlie Beach's high speed semi inflatable ride out to the reef...it would be an adventure in itself ..unfortunately a cyclone had gone through when we were there and they had to cancel due to the poor visibility.
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If you love snorkelling - go for it, I say! Take every opportunity.
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I also agree to book it twice! This is the best place to snorkel in the whole world! You will have a second opportunity to see twice as many places in the GBR. It's not like you are booking the same boat trip twice. Although, even at that, you would probably see different species of fish anyways. We are looking at doing the 11 night cruise to Queensland, and I was looking at booking 2 different snorkel stops to have a better chance of seeing as much as I can in the 2 times. For us, we will probably never make it back to that area of the world. So we want to see as much as possible in the short time we will be there. We are looking at a one month stay all together in Australia, and cruising part of that time.
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Do both If they both plan out you will have two fantastic days but there is a more than 50% chance that you will not get into Airlee Beach the weather and tides are often against it
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I am going to swim against the tide here I LOVE snorkelling too - but I don't think I would ever go to the expense of snorkelling "on the reef" again.
Why?? Well, the GBR is one of the World's most amazing natural wonders. But the problem to me is that (like going into the Louvre to see just the Mona Lisa) you don't really get to "see" or truly appreciate the wonder of the GBR by snorkelling on it (especially at the tourist platforms that they take you to). There is only one way to "see" the reef - and that is by air from a low altitude.
Great snorkelling can be had at a million sites around the World - some even better than that found on the reef segments that the tourist platforms are located. But there is only one GBR - and the only way to appreciate it's grandeur is from above. (it is after all about 2000 klms long)
This also applies to other places - eg the Bungle Bungles and Wilpena Pound. The only photos you ever see of those are from the air - Wilpena Pound is quite disappointing from ground level, but magnificent from the air.
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this is the tour for Port Douglas 7 hours for $259 p/p run by princess
Board your vessel and settle into the air-conditioned salon as you embark on your adventure to the outer Barrier Reef. Your catamaran is fully equipped with restrooms, covered areas and a sunning deck. Your tour includes both morning tea and a buffet lunch.
During the passage, a marine naturalist hosts an informative presentation on the reef complex.
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef is the most unique ecosystems on earth. It stretches over 1,600 miles along the Queensland Coast, is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, and forms the largest reef system in the world. This underwater botanical garden supports the lives of thousands of marine plants and animal species. The basis of the reef is the corals, which can be found in every color, shape and form imaginable. Rainbow-colored fish, giant clams, starfish, sea cucumbers, anemones, sponges, eels, rays and turtles along with countless other creatures call the Great Barrier Reef home.
The pleasant voyage takes you to a pontoon dock on the outer reef. When you arrive you will be treated to morning refreshments and then will have approximately 3 hours of free time to indulge in a wide variety of aquatic activities. There are many exciting options to choose from, each dedicated to giving you an interactive experience.
Snorkeling in the area is some of the best in the world, and suitable for all levels. You may also choose a guided coral viewing from a semi-submersible boat, a fantastic way to see the underwater world without getting wet!
An exciting fish feeding exhibition, an underwater theater and an onboard marine touch tank deepens your understanding of the creatures in the sea. Additional activities such as certified and introductory scuba dives, Seawalker Platform Helmet Diving (not available at all pontoons), guided snorkel tours and scenic helicopter flights are available for an additional charge.
After working up an appetite, a lovely lunch is served featuring a hot and cold buffet with fresh tropical fruit for dessert.
At the end of your fantastic day of fun and sun, enjoy a relaxing cruise back to port