The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Best Day Out On The Great Barrier Reef From Cairns | Brand New Boat
Posted on August 24, 2017 by Sophie Tabouel
My son Ez and I were recently lucky enough to Join Passions of Paradise on their new vessel Passions III. Once well known for visiting Michaelmas Cay and Paradise Reef, I was excited to check out the new boat and new itinerary.
Check in was great with a staff member on hand to make sure fully paid passengers were fast tracked through the queue. Upon being presented with our boarding pass and fixing up our reef tax, we made our way down the main finger to the fantastic new sailing cat.
Seeing Passions III just across from its recently retired predecessor was a great way to really appreciate the increase in size, quality and deck space – the new vessel is amazing. We were met by two super friendly crew members and provided with our mask, snorkel and fins for the day. All of the gear is brand new and high quality! There was plenty of space on the rear dive deck area for several guests to sit and try gear on for size – but the crew were pretty spot on with their guesses.
We headed up to the upper level where the wheel house is surrounded by a large saloon area. We chose to take advantage of the huge outdoor space though with heaps of comfy cushions. Ez made sure to head down to the lower deck and grab a fresh mini-muffin and cup of tea which got the thumbs up. At 8:00 am we were underway and heading out of the marina.
Once past the leads, a crew member made sure to pop up to the top deck and take everyone into the wheel house saloon to run through a brief safety explanation and run down of the vessel facilities and general outline of the day.
The first stop of the day was to be Hasting Reef and the travel time was hardly noticeable due to the comfortable ride. The day was a little bit rougher than usual with winds steady at about 20 knots but this was ideal for Passions III. As we passed Michaelmas Cay we were lucky enough to spot a whale from the distance.
On arrival at Hastings Reef, one of the snorkel team took everyone inside and gave us all a brief on safety and technique. There were 4 of the crew on hand giving guided snorkel tours and assistance to those not so confident in the water. I have to say this crew was one of the friendliest on the reef and I made sure to tip – which in fact is donated by the crew to their Environmental fund to plant trees and offset the carbon we use heading to the reef. This boat is one of the most eco-friendly around.
We hit the water with ease – the dive deck has so much room for divers and snorkelers alike. The marine life was incredible with plenty of parrot fish, spotted rays, a huge reef cod and schools of spangled emperor as well as angel fish and clown fish galore.
There is so much time to snorkel the first sight that you can really relax and take your time to explore the reef. Of course though, we were starving but thankfully we were back on board in time for the freshly prepared smorgasbord lunch. There was plenty of food for all to have seconds and even thirds.
We moved to the second reef site of the day and the relocation was done so smoothly that we were back in the water within 30 minutes. This site had a number of anemones, smaller maori wrasse and even a baracuda or 2. The tide was extremely low so we were able to get right up close to the coral wall.
On finishing our snorkelling at the second site, the gear was easily returned on the back deck and we were soon underway. The awesome crew members made their way around the vessel with platters of cheese, biscuits, salami and fresh dips plus fresh fruit was on hand downstairs.
With the music playing over the sound system, the cruise back to Cairns was an enjoyable way to end the day.
I would totally recommend this reef trip to all. Absolutely nothing is a bother for this crew and the guided snorkelling is fantastic for all skill levels. Families, couples and all ages can enjoy a day aboard this awesome vessel with ease.
Book your Passions Of Paradise trip today – Click Here
Author: Tan Barrie – Tour Specialist
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