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I just like to forward on a few comments re: our trip to Michaelmas Cay… Having lived in Cairns for 3-4 years now and a regular visitor to the reef with various operators I have to advise you that the last trip was unbelievable in all areas, your staff is so professional and friendly with fantastic service, location was awesome and the Reef was the best I have seen ever!!
The cleanliness and presentation of the boat was immaculate! Trudi and I would like to thank you alot and will be back soon. Many Thanks
A big "thank you" to your staff (Richie, Glen and Robbie) aboard the catamaran which took us out to the Great Barrier Reef on 16 February. They were so helpful.
My wife had not snorkelled before and would not have done it had it not been for your staff, who persuaded her that having come all the way from England it was a "must do".
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I just wanted to drop you an email to say how good your Reef Experience was on Saturday. I've been on 6 different boats to the Reef in the last 18 months and Ocean Spirit dominates.
From the boat, reef food to the crew, free Champaign and live music it was a fantastic day.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the itinerary for the day?
Yes we operate every day.
|7.45 am||:||Boarding commences. Complimentary tea and coffee, served until departure.|
|8:30am||:||Depart Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef.|
|9:00am||:||Safety demonstration, reef brief and snorkelling / dive demonstration.|
|9:30am||:||Informative Marine Biologist slide show presentation.|
|10:30am||:||Arrive at destination. Reef activities commence including snorkelling, coral viewing on our air conditioned semi-submersible, beach walks, scuba diving and swimming.|
|12:00 noon||:||Buffet lunch served on board.|
|1:00pm||:||Continuation of reef activities.|
|2:30pm||:||Afternoon tea is served. On completion of safety head count we depart Michaelmas Cay for a return sail to Cairns.|
Do you offer coach transfers from my hotel?
We offer return coach transfers from all Cairns and Northern Beaches hotels for only $14 per person. Our coaches are fully air conditioned to ensure you have a comfortable ride to and from your hotel.
Do you still go out if it is raining?
Yes we do. When you are going out to the reef you are more than likely going to get wet anyhow! Often when it is raining in Cairns, it is fine out on the reef so there is nothing to really worry about.
Can I scuba dive with no experience?
You certainly can! In fact most people that scuba dive with us are doing it for the first time! We have highly qualified dive instructors who will teach you all you need to know about scuba diving in the shallow waters of Michaelmas Cay before you venture out into the deeper waters.
What makes you different from other Great Barrier Reef operators?
There are many reasons why we are different to the rest. Please check out our ‘Why Choose Us?’ page to find out more..
Do I need to check in before travel?
It is not necessary to check in, please just proceed straight to our Ocean Spirit Vessel at Cairns Marlin Jetty. Boarding commences at 7:45am and the vessel departs at 8:30am sharp.
Where do I park?
Cairns Marlin Jetty is located near the Cairns Reef Terminal. Parking is available at the Shangri-La Hotel or at the nearby Reef Casino or Cairns Hilton Hotel. Parking rates may differ so please check directly with the parking operators for individual rates
How long does it take to travel to Michaelmas Cay?
Travelling time from Cairns to Michaelmas Cay is approximately 2 hours
Will I get sea sick? Do you offer sea sickness tablets?
It is unlikely that you will become seasick. Our luxury sailing vessels are quite smooth as we cruise slower than the faster catamarans on the reef. However, we do offer motion sickness tablets on board which are completely free of charge. We offer ginger tablets as a natural alternative to motion sickness medication – remember, it is important to take these tablets immediately on boarding for them to be effective!
Do you have credit card facilities on board the boats?
Yes, we do accept major credit cards on board the vessels for purchase of snacks, beverages and optional activities such as scuba diving.
Does the lunch cater for vegetarians?
Yes, there are a number of vegetarian items on our buffet menu. Please view our menu here.
Do you supply towels?
It is recommended that you bring your own towel either your personal towel or your hotel towel.
Does it cost anything to change our travel date, and what is your cancellation policy?
All tickets are 100% non-refundable. Guests can transfer to a different cruise date by giving a minimum 72 hours' notice – a transfer fee may apply. Any transfers to a different cruise date will be subject to availability.
Is Michaelmas Cay suitable for young children?
Yes! As Michaelmas Cay is a shallow sandy cay area, it is perfect for children and families. Guests are only allowed in the allocated area on the island which makes it easy to keep an eye on children whilst they are playing on the island. The water is quite shallow so it is also suitable for children swimming off the cay.
How is the snorkelling operated on this cruise – from a boat or the beach?
Snorkelling at Michaelmas Cay is conducted from the beach. You are able to catch a short glass bottom boat shuttle between the boat and Michaelmas Cay. Once on the island you can snorkel out to the coral, right from the beach (it is only a short distance!)
What is the temperature of the water?
The water at the Great Barrier Reef is quite warm and tropical. Please see our table below for an indication of water temperatures in each month:
Average Water Temperature on the Reef
* Air temperature is approximately 1 to 2 degrees higher than water temperature.
What do I bring?
All you need to bring for your cruise is the following:
- Your camera
- Towel, swimmers, hat and comfortable shoes
- Sunscreen (SPF 30 +) and sunglasses
- Cash / credit card for on board purchases
- Change of clothes (if swimming)
Can I smoke at the reef or on the boat?
For the health of all passengers, smoking is not allowed on board the vessel. At Michaelmas Cay, you are allowed to smoke, but please make sure you dispose of your cigarette butts in an environmentally friendly way.
Can we sit anywhere on board the boat?
Yes, there are no allocated seats on board – you are free to sit wherever you wish.
Are there toilets on the boat?
Yes we do have toilet facilities on board the vessel.
How long are we at Michaelmas Cay?
We are at Michaelmas Cay for a full four hours which gives you plenty of time to explore the coral and reefs as well as take part in our extra activities such as the semi-submersible coral viewing tour.
Are there any sharks at Michaelmas Cay?
Yes, like every ocean there are sharks in the Great Barrier Reef. Although, don't be afraid – we don't encounter Great White Sharks as they prefer the cooler waters of the Southern Ocean. We mostly see small reef sharks which pose no threat to divers or snorkellers. The common species of sharks that we encounter include black or white tip reef sharks and wobbegong sharks. These sharks are generally very shy and only grow to about 5 foot in length.
What is the minimum age for scuba diving?
The minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years old. The participant also needs to pass a medical questionnaire to make sure you are medically fit to dive.
How do I get from the boat to Michaelmas Cay?
We offer a free beach buggy transfer from the boat to the Cay. It is a glass bottom vessel so you may even catch a glimpse of some marine life in the short trip out to the Cay. This transfer takes approximately 5 minutes.
What is served for lunch?
We have a deluxe hot and cold buffet served on board for lunch. You can view our lunch menu here.
When will I arrive back in Cairns?
We return to Cairns at approximately 5:00pm.