Cruise the Great Barrier Reef
Want to experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world? Take an Australia/New Zealand cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. Being the largest coral reef system in the world you will have the chance to be immersed in one of the most unique and beautiful creations on Earth. Composed of nearly 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands, and thousands of different species of sea life, the Great Barrier Reef has plenty to offer and will be a trip of a lifetime!
For cruisers interested in exploring the Great Barrier Reef, choosing the best excursions may be the hardest part. The good news is there is plenty to offer for everyone’s unique desires and taste.
Glass Bottom Boats: If getting wet is not your thing, you can still enjoy the beauty the reef has to offer on a glass bottom boat. In the Port of Douglas, which is a little over an hour ride from the increasingly popular Cairns cruise port, you will find a few glass bottom boat companies to choose from. The good thing about glass bottom boats is that you get to view the reef like you would if you were snorkeling. Many of these glass bottom boats also have a semi-submersible level. This is a great activity if you have young children, can’t swim, or if snorkeling is not your activity of choice. This is also a great alternative to snorkeling if you are traveling during stinger season, from around November to May, and don’t necessarily want to wear a stinger suit.
Sky Tours: The Great Barrier Reef is over 1,400 miles long and 133,000 square miles. That is around half the size of Texas! It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing visible from outer space. What better way to see the Great Barrier Reef than viewing it from above? There are several different types of Sky tours available for those interested. You can choose from helicopter, plane, or even hot air balloon. What is great about these tours is you will also have a chance to view the lush tropical rain-forest of Australia on most of these sky tours!
Snorkeling & Diving: Of course we can’t forget snorkeling when visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Not only will you have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most beautiful coral but you may have a chance to see some of the most amazing creatures that live within the reef. The Great Barrier Reef actually has over 1500 species of tropical fish, sea turtles, and even giant clams that are over 120 years old! Diving in the reef is abundant as well; they even have Helmet Diving available. A Helmet Dive allows you to breathe fresh air through your helmet while under water. This is perfect for those who do not want to get wet or need to wear glasses.
Dolphins & Whales: The Great Barrier Reef is a breeding area for humpback whales which makes it a great spot for a chance to enjoy some whale watching. There are also several endangered species in the Great Barrier Reef that you usually can’t find anywhere else; such as, Dugong, or a sea cow, and the Large Green Sea Turtle. There are several excursions available in the Great Barrier Reef ports that allow for viewing these magnificent creatures. Another excursion available in the Great Barrier Reef is swimming with dolphins! This is a wonderful excursion and will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.
If you are planning to travel to the Great Barrier Reef here are a few tips to help make your experience the best that it can be!
TIP 1: Australia’s weather season are opposite of the United States. This makes Australia a perfect cruise destination during our rainy and cold months!
TIP 2: Book your excursions early. The Great Barrier Reef has several environmental laws that limit the number of people allowed in certain areas, or on certain excursions. Booking early will ensure that you get the exact excursion you are looking for.
TIP 3: Bring a lot of sunscreen! Australia sun is extremely harsh because there is a hole in the Ozone layer, and during their summer the Earth is closer to the sun. Sunscreen is essential!
TIP 4: Don’t forget to purchase an underwater camera! The pictures you will return home with will be so amazing you will be the envy of all of your friends.
TIP 5: Make sure that your cruise ship has a port stop in Cairns or nearby Cairns. This area is jam packed with shore excursions perfect for cruise passengers.
Don’t turtle around, book your Great Barrier Reef cruise today! Contact one of our experienced, knowledgeable travel advisors at CruiseExperts.com. by calling 1-888-804-CRUISE (2784). We’re here to answer any questions you have and to save you as much money on your next vacation as possible! Don’t forget to join our Inner Circle and like us on Facebook for more exclusive offers!
Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.