The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Cairns & Port Douglas Private Charter Vessels
Posted on January 22, 2018 by Sophie Tabouel
Coming to enjoy a stay in Far North Queensland? Well a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a must do of course. Whilst The Tour Specialists have dozens of shared vessel departures daily which are fantastic options to see the reef, for those who would prefer a more boutique arrangement, we have our wonderful Private Charter vessels.
It may be a sunset sail on your honeymoon, or your family and friends snorkelling away from the crowds, and extended live aboard or dive trip, or a group of mates wanting to hit the best fishing spots – no matter what the occasion, we have the ideal boat to suit.
A private charter offers you the freedom to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef as you choose, with friendly and experienced crew on hand to make sure the day is really all about you. For this reason it pays to plan ahead and book well in advance to make sure you enjoy the day of your dreams on the Reef!
With so many options to choose, we thought it best to give you all of the information on our fleet to help you plan ahead and pick the best charter for you!
Not keen to have a full day on the Great Barrier Reef? Or perhaps you are just looking for that special way to spend a great evening during your time in Cairns or Port Douglas. A private sunset charter is a great way to relax with friends and family – kick back and enjoy a drink as you watch the sun go down behind the ranges to the west.
The Port Douglas Sunset & Afternoon Private Charter Boat is one of our most popular couples and small group sailing departures. This beautiful yacht travels with a maximum of 12 guests on board. She is a 13 metre purpose built catamaran. Departing the Port Douglas Marina, she offers two charter itineraries. The Sunset Sail with allow you exclusive use of the vessel for 2 hours. Your experienced skipper and crew will welcome you aboard before departing the marina to sail the calm waters hugging the coast of Port Douglas. Enjoy canapes and finger foods as well as your preferred beverage with the mountains on one side and views of the luxury houses and beautiful Four Mile Beach on the other.
If 2 hours on the water is not enough, get the best of both worlds with the Afternoon Cruise. Depart Port Douglas at lunch and travel to the Low Isles for an afternoon of snorkelling the lagoon and exploring the uninhabited isle. Your crew will supply all snorkel equipment and lycra suits as well as cold water and a lunch spread. Bring along your favourite drinks to enjoy at the end of the day as you return to Port Douglas watching the sun set over the mountains.
Not staying in Port Douglas? We can assist with return private transfers or, maybe something like the Private Boat Charter Cairns – MV OFD Sunset Private Charter Cruise would suit your plans. Travelling with a maximum of 45 guests, this vessel is a 20 metre steel hulled catamaran. Used during the day for Outer Reef guests, she is available for a 3 hours sunset charter from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm. She offers 3 deck levels, an air-conditioned saloon and club style seating. This is the perfect option for large groups and functions as you can arrange your catering to suit. Cruise the Trinity Inlet with drinks and canapes, watching the sun set behind Cairns and enjoying the city lights.
Perhaps you have more in mind than just taking in the views. If you would like a more active adventure, then it is the Full Day charter for you. These options are ideal if you want to snorkel the reef minus the crowds or perhaps, if the larger shared trips just don’t suit your timing. Most full day charters will depart at 8 am and return at 4:30 pm, however the day is yours and there is some room to be flexible if need be.
Full Day Adventures
From Port Douglas, you can’t beat the Port Douglas Private Charter Boat – MV MON. This fantastic 54 foot boat can cater to nearly every occasion. Beautifully kept with a friendly and professional crew, your day aboard the MV Mon will not disappoint. She can take up to 10 guests on board for an Outer Reef snorkelling charter, 4 guests for an overnight charter and is a great option for a full day of reef fishing or diving. Your standard full day charter aboard will include all snorkel equipment, filtered water, tea & coffee, lunch prepared fresh on board by the chef and a friendly and experienced crew and skipper able to take you anywhere from the Low Isles to the Southern Ribbon Reefs.
From Cairns, a similar vessel available for full day and overnight charters is the MV MOA III. This awesome 47 foot purpose built game fishing vessel travels with a maximum of 12 guests for a full day of snorkelling, or 8 guests for those wishing to scuba dive on the reef. Overnight, she can sleep 6 snorkel guests or 4 divers making the MV MOA III ideal for family or friends. The knowledgeable and friendly skipper and crew will ensure you visit the best locations from Cairns to suit the weather and tides and will include all snorkel gear, cold refreshments including standard beers and wines, fresh lunch, morning and afternoon tea. Should you wish to enjoy some fishing, all quality rods and reels are supplied and there is a choice of heavy or light tackle.
Of course there are always the special occasions in which you may travel with a larger group and we certainly have some beautiful vessels available for your celebration or incentive occasions. The SV-RDT Private Charter Vessel is a lovely little sailing catamaran based at the cairns Marlin Marina. Travelling with up to 20 guests, this neat little cat offers guests 4 hours on Upolu Reef with guided snorkel tours, morning and afternoon tea, tropical buffet lunch, lycra suits and wet suits, all snorkelling gear and easy access to the water. For those keener on trying an Introductory Scuba dive or even Certified Dive, this is available on board and for those keener on working on a tan, the bow nets provide a comfortable spot for the day.
To provide larger groups of non-swimmers with a variety of choice, the Cairns Charter Boat – Green Island – Pinnacle Reef provides a fantastic option for up to 30 passengers. The SV OF is a 16 meter sailing schooner and is the only sea going vessel to moor at Pinnacle Reef. Enjoy a day of real sailing with fresh morning and afternoon tea and a smorgasbord lunch with seafood and drinks available for the licensed bar on board. Transfers to and from Green Island are provided in the tender and all snorkelling equipment is included in your day. Guests can upgrade to include Glass Bottom boat tours, diving and island activities such as Marineland Melanesia. Kickback and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine on the sail home.
Our guests in Port Douglas can choose to spend a full day on the Low Isles aboard the Great Barrier Reef Private Charter Boat. Departing the Crystalbrook Reef Marina, this 62 foot sailing catamaran caters for up to 23 guests and is ideal for wedding parties or larger groups. Including return coach transfers from Port Douglas resorts and hotels, the crew take care of you from start to finish. All snorkelling equipment is provided for your day along with a guided snorkel tour and glass bottom boat tours, lycra suits, lunch and snacks. The Low Isles offers a great variety for swimmers and non-swimmers alike and the waters of the lagoon are renowned for the abundance of sea turtles, reef sharks and clown fish amongst the soft corals and anemones.
Perhaps you are more about eating the reef fish rather than just swimming with them…or maybe you’d like to take the chance to catch a Marlin?
The MV – BF – Cairns Private Fishing Charter offers great value and a fantastic day of fishing on the reef. Take your pick of Light Tackle and ‘bottom bashing’ with up to 6 guests, or perhaps go big and fish Heavy Tackle – chasing those billfish and Marlin with up to 5 anglers on board. Either way, this 43 foot HMG Game Boat is the ideal vessel for a top fishing adventure. Cruising at 20 knots, the MV-BF and her experienced crew will have you at the best fishing spots on the day. All tackle is provided along with soft drinks, snacks and lunch. Alcohol is BYO with plenty of esky and fridge space to ensure those beers are ice cold after a day of catching Trevally, Mackerel, Wahoo and more.
If you have a bigger bunch of mates, the Cairns Reef Fishing Private Charter is ideal. With 2 boats on hand, the 24 & 48 foot Randell vessels can take a combined group of 17 for a full day of fishing the reef. This is a great idea for Christmas parties and workplace incentives. Your group will hit the hot reef fishing locations with all quality fishing equipment, bait & tackle, morning & afternoon tea and buffet style lunch. The huge undercover areas provide ample shade and seating and large ice boxes are on hand for you to bring along some beers and fill up with your catch later in the day.
Port Douglas is another popular departure point and a great choice if you have visited before and already fished from Cairns. The MV-DGNLDY II is a 48 foot New Westcoaster with a spacious wheelhouse and covered rear fishing platform. She can cater for up to 17 anglers and depending on the time of year you can target anything from Tuna to Coral Trout. You don’t need to pack more than your sunglasses, hat, camera and beers as all bait & tackle is provided as well as your snacks and meals throughout the day.
5 Star Luxury & Extended Live Aboard
We are lucky to have some incredible 5 star vessels available for private charter on the Great Barrier Reef. Available for full day arrangements, but more ideally suited to the extended overnight itineraries, these vessels offer true luxury.
The MV-FF : Private Versace Styled Motor Yacht offers 4 lavish cabins, each with private ensuite. Catering for up to 8 overnight guests, this 32 m luxury motor yacht is based in Port Douglas but readily available for relocation for departures from Yorkeys Knob and Cairns. Itineraries of 3 nights or more allow you the freedom to visit a range of Outer Reef locations, tropical islands and sand cays. With all snorkelling gear, dive equipment, kayaks, sport fishing tender and tackle, you will be spoilt with choice for ways to spend the days on board. Guests more interested in enjoying the cruise in style will be pleased to know there are 3 deck levels for relaxing with sun loungers on the upper deck and forward deck, WiFi, satellite TV and a large music selection and all food & beverages as well as a selection of Australian wines and beers. This is the only vessel in the region to have the option of arriving on board via helicopter for up to 7 people!
Based in Cairns but available for charter anywhere from Lizard Island to the Whitsundays region, the Luxury Charter Yacht MV- S has to be experienced to be believed. Stretching 115 feet and catering for up to 12 guests, this luxurious motor yacht is ideal extended charter. She offers one of the largest areas of deck space, 5 staterooms with ensuites, and all interiors have been recently refurbished. The rear deck doubles as a hydraulic platform for ease of access for diving or jetskiing or for the ultimate dining experience on the reef. The upper front deck is fitted with a Jacuzzi – perfect to enjoy a few drinks at the end of your day! All meals are provided and are freshly prepared on board in the state of the art galley. All snorkel equipment, SUP boards and fishing gear is provided and Scuba Diving, Kite Surfing, Wakeboarding, Jetskiing and Surfing is available on request.
Of course this is all just a sample of the amazing array of vessels available to cater to our guests’ private charter arrangements. The best way to arrange the ideal private reef experience is to get in touch, provide us with your details and let us help you to have the once in a lifetime Great Barrier Reef experience.
View our full list of Private Charter Boats – click here
Author: Tan – Tropical North Queensland & Great Barrier Reef Destination Specialists
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