The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Posted on June 20, 2011 by Christina
For a relaxing day out and to enjoy the thrills of the Great Barrier Reef, then look no further then Ocean Freedom. Whether you are looking to explore the Reef from a top of a glass bottom boat or see first hand everything the Ocean floor has to offer by snorkelling or diving, their friendly staff will provide you with a day to remember. Ocean Freedom’s newly refurbished twenty metre luxury cruiser visits two locations on the Upolu Reef, offering two unique destinations to guarantee a fun packed day on the Great Barrier Reef. With its air conditioned saloon and open deck areas it is the perfect boat to enjoy a relaxing day on the reef all in style and comfort. With a maximum capacity of sixty five, the staff are able to provide a pleasant personalized trip catering for the needs of the individual and creating a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
I am a local to Cairns, born and bread some might say and I have been to the reef a lot as a child, but I can honestly say my best day out on the Reef was on Australia day, when I ventured out with Ocean Freedom. The staff were very friendly greeting all their customers with warm smiles and endless jokes. We checked in at 7:15am and were given
From the moment you check in at 7:15am at the Ocean Freedom Counter at the Reef Fleet Terminal, located at Marlin Marina in the heart of Cairns, you will be greeted with a high level of customer service. At check in, the friendly staff will supply you with a boarding pass and direct you to the A finger terminal where your cruiser awaits departure. Once aboard, breakfast is served on platters filled with danish pastries and fruit, whilst tea and coffee is available throughout the day. A quick and entertaining briefing kick starts the day, as we cruise to one of the Greater Barrier Reef’s nicest cays.
The stunning Upolu Cay is a small island situated in the Great Barrier Reef off of Cairns, and the surrounding ocean provides a perfect destination for snorkelling. Ocean Freedom is the first cruiser to the cay in the morning allowing you to see the Upolu Cay it all it’s uninterrupted glory. From here the qualified team on Ocean Freedom accompany you on an adventure drift snorkel tour, whereby an informative guide explains all the coral and marine life visible on the ocean seabed. Getting the opportunity to hold a starfish or sea cucumber, as well as getting to swim with stingrays and turtles makes a phenomenal encounter with the Great Barrier Reef. There is also a wide variety of both soft and hard corals and an opportunity to explore the area on your own, while being carefully watched for by onboard lookouts.
The Wonder Wall
After almost two solid hours of enjoyment at the cay, Ocean freedom travels to one of the most well known spots on the Outer Barrier Reef. The mesmerizing Wonder Wall is located on the outer edge of the Upolu Reef, a wall of stunning coral spreads over a kilometre, scattered with marine life and is clearly visible in the spectacular turquoise waters. The Wonder Wall is the perfect destination for both certified and intro divers. Setting themselves apart from other companies, Ocean Freedom specialises in first time divers with the highest ratio of instructor to diver offered on the Great Barrier Reef. Having one dive master for every two divers creates for a really personal and supportive first dive.
For those who want to explore everything the Great Barrier Reef has to offer without getting their hair wet, Ocean Freedom also has available at this location a Glass Bottom Boat. With two different Glass Bottom Boat tour times, it makes for a flexible and fun activity. The tour guide talks in depth about The Great Barrier Reef as a whole, the threat to its eco system and all about the animals and coral that thrive within its depths. The afternoon is very relaxed with customers choosing to go for a second dive, another snorkel tour or relaxing upon the decks of the cruiser.
Lunch is served while anchored at the Wonder Wall. The buffet included a variety of cold dishes including pastas, chicken, prawns, potato and a number of delicious salads. The team at Ocean Freedom, given enough notice, can cater for a diverse range of dietary requirements. Both alcoholic and soft drinks are available for purchase at the on board bar during the day.
The journey home from the Wonder wall is approximately an hour and 15 minutes concluding around six full hours of exploring the Great Barrier Reef. Afternoon tea consisting of both fruit and cake platters is served on the return journey to the Marlin Marina in Cairns City. Upon arrival in Cairns, the crew farewell each customer individually and answer any final questions.
What to bring
Cash or credit card (for onboard charges – bar/diving)
A sense of humour
Return trip to the Great Barrier Reef
The benefits of visiting two reef locations
All snorkelling equipment
Danish pastry, fruit, tea and coffee upon boarding
Glass bottom boat tour
Adventure Drift Snorkelling Tour with Marine Naturalist
Reef talk by marine interpreter
Six hours on the reef
Tropical fruit, cheese and cake served in the afternoon
High crew to guest ratio
Certified or Introductory dives
Transfers from your hotel
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