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Snorkeling Great Barrier Reef

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We will be on the Solstice in March and we have two days in Cairns and one in Arlie Beach. Does anyone have recommendations to which would be better for snorkeling and any recommendations for excursions?

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Your ability to do a non-ship’s excursion for a GBR snorkel trip in Cairns will depend on your arrival and departure times and where the ship actually docks—Cairns City or a northern suburb like Yorkey’s Knob.  Most GBR tours depart from Cairns Marina around 8:30 am and return at 4-4:30 pm.  


If these times work for you, I would recommend Seastar if you are a decent swimmer.  They take a small number of people to 2 locations on the Outer Reef.    If you are a poor swimmer or a non-swimmer, go out with Reef Magic as they offer ways to see the Reef without getting in the water. Skedaddle does a half-day tour leaving at 11am, but I don’t know enough about it to recommend.


Whatever you do, do not take a snorkel trip to Green Island.  It’s chock-full of day trippers and the coral is in poor condition so there’s not much sealife. 

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Thanks for the information, we booked Skedaddle and have one for Arlie Beach scheduled until we know which one we want.

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