Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise – A True Cairns Icon!

This Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise Compass Cruises is Cairns best value reef tour and a true Cairns icon.  If you’re looking for and a memorable day on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef then Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise has it all!

We will have you escaping for an unforgettable, un-rushed day enjoying a relaxed leisurely cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel among beautiful corals and a colorful variety of tropical marine life at one of the natural wonders of the world.

Relax on the huge sun deck, see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from the glass bottom boat (optional extra) or take the “Wild Ride” on the famous Compass Boomnet. Scuba Diving is available as an optional extra for all levels of experience.

Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise offers something for everyone and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, even those with limited swimming ability.

Tour Highlights & Inclusions

  • Up to 5 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
  • Unlimited Snorkelling. Snorkelling mask, snorkel and fins included for the adults and kids
  • Free buoyancy aids – snorkelling vests and noodles
  • Delicious BBQ Lunch with fresh salads (Dietary requirements are catered for: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and food allergies – please advise us upon booking)
  • Fruit Platters while boarding. Tea & coffee available all day while boat stationary. Water fountain to fill your water bottle
  • Glass of wine, cheese & crackers on return journey
  • Assistance for non-confident swimmers from friendly crew
  • Stinger suits are included with your trip during jellyfish season in the tropics
  • Boomnetting – “The Wild Ride” (weather permitting)
  • A complete family friendly tour
  • Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are included in this trip cost

Tour Itinerary

  • 07:30 – Board the boat Compass, at Cairns Marina ‘Marlin Wharf Berth 18’, for check-in.
  • View map to Cairns Marlin Marina
  • 08:00 –Approximately depart Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Safety talk, snorkel and dive briefings
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location
  • 15:30 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 17:30 – Approximate Arrival time at Cairns Marina

Optional Extras

  • Scuba diving for introductory divers and certified divers.  Minimum age is 12 and medical conditions do apply.
  • Dive Guide for a guided tour around the reef. Scuba dive with a buddy or pay for a guided scuba dive with one of our wonderful crew. Travelling alone? The Compass Cruises team will happily organise a buddy for you on the day if you wish to dive without a guide.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour (weather permitting)
  • Wetsuit Hire (Great for flotation and warmth)
  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Prescription Mask Hire if you require stronger lenses to see (contact lenses can be worn in most circumstances)
  • Bus transfers from accommodation to and from the Cairns Marina.

What to Bring

  • Proof of qualification as a Certified Diver
  • Cash or credit card for purchases
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream

Getting There

Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18’ View map to Cair Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:30 am for an approximate 8:00 am departure, directly on the boat ‘Compass’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30pm

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world  but also the safest scuba diving record.   We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.   It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Compass Cruises Medical Questionnaire

We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have.   Please Contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected],

Or alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive.  For multiple dives you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible

 

Departs

Tour Features

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based on 636 traveller reviews
TripAdvisor Ranking #16 of 69 Boat Tours & Water Sports in Cairns
Most Recent Traveller Reviews
  • 16 October 2017: Fantastic day on the Reef thanks to Compass
  • 12 October 2017: Great day on the reef
  • 12 October 2017: Go on Compass Cruises
  • 10 October 2017: Best value day out on the reef!
  • 9 October 2017: A great full day on the ocean with plenty of time on the reef. At a reasonable price.
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Add your review for Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise

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78 Reviews for “Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise”

  1. Reef Day Cruise review by Pierre (France)
    5

    Hi guys ! We had a fantastic day with 2 dives, plenty of time for snorkelling, good food and an amazing crew ! Surely the best cruise for such a nice price in Cairns ! Cheers

    Reply
  2. Reef Day Cruise review by Bruce Robinson
    0

    We had a great day out. The crew were fantastic. The smaller group size meant we could all get a great experience without a lot of waiting around. The Lunch was great and the overall day was relaxing and memorable. Big up to Compass.

    Reply
  3. Reef Day Cruise review by Sophie B
    5

    The crew have been fantastic, super friendly, and informative. They put out a good spread of food too. I loved being able to hire a camera to photograph the reef. Thank you so much for an amazing experience I will never forget.

    Reply
  4. Reef Day Cruise review by Liz Blay
    5

    We had a fantastic day at the reef, and it was made especially great by the crew. I booked this tour on the reviews and we were not disappointed Many thanks

    Reply
  5. May
    5

    All the crew were extremely welcoming and professional/helpful. They made the journey relaxing. Our favourite part of the day was Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. It was amazing! Well done Compass Cruises! You all have made everyone's experience so much fun and comfortable. The crew were friendly and helpful. Thank you! xoxo

    Reply
  6. Reef Day Cruise review by Marielle (USA)
    5

    The crew are super fun & kind. The boomnetting was fun! Great tour, great lunch, and great fun!

    Reply
  7. Reef Day Cruise review by Sara Petian
    5

    Amazing! Just wonderful and the best! The fish were the best part! Best day ever! Thank you! I'll never forget it. Sooo happy!

    Reply
  8. Reef Day Cruise review by David C
    5

    Fantastic day! Couldn’t get better.The crew could not have been better. Thanks a million for the trip + experience of a lifetime.

    Reply
  9. Reef Day Cruise review by Nicole M
    5

    The service was wonderful, the weather amazing, the crew outstanding. We loved scuba diving and the glass bottom boat! A great family outing and great service from from the inital booking.

    Reply
  10. Reef Day Cruise review by Sophia(USA)
    5

    Everyone was very fun, helpful, friendly, and welcoming! Thank you all so much for a fabulous day!

    Reply
  11. Reef Day Cruise review by Andrew
    5

    Fantastic crew. Breaking Patches reef was the best part of the day. Would recommend, loved it, great crew.

    Reply
  12. Reef Day Cruise review by Mia (UK)
    5

    Absolutely fantastic! Best crew we've had on our travels! This was amazing thank you! :)

    Reply
  13. Reef Day Cruise review by Nicolette (Signapore)
    5

    The crew were very attentive of our needs. Friendly, knowledgeable, particular about safety. Overall very great! Very great tour, would definitely recommend to my friends and family!

    Reply
  14. Reef Day Cruise review by Johanna
    5

    I loved my experience with Compass Cruises! The whole crew was knowledgeable, passionate, energetic, and fun. I felt safe when exploring sights and spaces I had never been, and enjoyed myself throughout our time cruising on the sea. I highly recommend the SCUBA diving experience for those that are able. It's truly once in a lifetime, and the prices are unbeatable.

    Reply
  15. Reef Day Cruise review by Cathy (Australian)
    5

    The crew were amazing :) Thanks guys <3<3<3 Food was great, crew couldn't be nicer, so helpful. Great boat, great value!

    Reply
  16. Reef Day Cruise review by Billy (UK)
    5

    Everyone is excellent! All round brilliant day. Excellent value for money, couldn't ask for more.

    Reply
  17. Reef Day Cruise review by Amanda
    5

    I booked Compass Cruises because of the good value for money. The crew were very friendly, very informative and worked well together. The best part of the day was seeing my two boys' faces after snorkeling for the first time. Very friendly and helpful crew. A great day for our family, made to feel very welcomed. Thanks for a wonderful day!

    Reply
  18. Reef Day Cruise review by Catherine
    5

    Fab!! Loved it, so much to see too! Great day, 100% recommend.

    Reply
  19. Reef Day Cruise review by Sasha
    5

    Fantatsic! Very friendly and approachable. Great value for money. BBQ lunch + salad was surprisngly good and tasty!

    Reply
  20. Reef Day Cruise review by Mona
    5

    I booked Compass Cruies online. The crew was excellent. the whole day was perfect. Thanks for a great day! It was very enjoyable. Lunch was great, the whole experience was fantastic.

    Reply
  21. Reef Day Cruise review by Don and Chris Samson
    5

    Many thanks for an awesome day WE WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR

    Reply
  22. Reef Day Cruise review by John
    5

    Had an absolute cracker of a day with the family at great value. What awesome and friendly team. Thank you for making it fun and memorable

    Reply
  23. Reef Day Cruise review by Chris
    5

    Thank you so much for making it affordable to see and experience fabulous memories of the greatest place. Will definitely be back next year! :)

    Reply
  24. Reef Day Cruise review by Marina
    5

    The crew are awesome; approachable and friendly. I had a really good time. lunch was delicious. The reef was more beautiful than I imagined and it's great that there's conservation for it.

    Reply
  25. Reef Day Cruise review by Brittany
    5

    The crew are amazing, friendly, funny, kind, and supportive. The best part of the day would have to be a toss up between the free wine & beautiful cruise on the way home. Very grateful to have experienced this with such good people. Thank you very much!

    Reply
  26. Reef Day Cruise review by Ian
    5

    Fantastic from start to finish with all the staff very knowledgeable. I cannot recommend this company enough thanks ever so much.

    Reply
  27. Reef Day Cruise review by Ian
    5

    A fantastic day. Friendly, professional, informative crew giving clear instructions. The best part was seeing a turtle. Beautiful day.

    Reply
  28. Reef Day Cruise review by William
    5

    Couldn't be better! Simon helped me out a great deal, appreciated it so much. Great presentations.

    Reply
  29. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Mandy P
    5

    The crew were fantastic. The food delicious. The best part of the day was the snorkeling; the snorkeling gear was great - good fit. Thank you from all our family for such a memorable day! :)

    Reply
  30. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Kate P
    5

    Everything made the experience great! Especially because it's the first time I didn't get sea sick. The crew were fantastic -- friendly, hospitable, funny, attractive...keep up the great work!

    Reply
  31. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Rachel A
    0

    This tour was excellent -- 10/10. It was just a perfect day, wonderful staff, great food, good weather and the snorkeling was great. The wine went down very well. A big thank you x :)

    Reply
  32. Reef Day Cruise review by Jakob
    5

    I booked Compass Cruises as I wanted to see the reef. The crew was friendly, chilled, competent. The best part of the day was Snorkelling and seeing the reef for the first time ever, awesome moment. Keep it up guys! Very nice experience!

    Reply
  33. Reef Day Cruise review by Maxine Parker
    5

    We enjoyed a great day on the water and snorkelling the Barrier Reef with Compass. Most other companies were more than twice the price. The boat is a little older and a little slower than its competitors. However the staff were excellent and I particularly enjoyed their friendly banter. They were knowledgeable on what they offered and did their best to assist patrons to have a great experience. The lunch provided was gourmet and went down extremely well.

    Reply
  34. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Raquel
    5

    I booked with Compass Cruises because of the price and reviews. Crew is so fun and friendly, obviously passionate about their work. The best part of the day was the whole thing/turtles and sharks. Thank you all so much for one of the best days of my life.

    Reply
  35. Reef Day Cruise review by Kimberly
    5

    Compass Cruises was recommended to me. Crew was amazing! Helpful and informed. The best part was snorkeling. I had a great day, everyone was great and I enjoyed the energy of the crew. Thank you.

    Reply
  36. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Maria
    5

    I decided to experience with Compass Cruises because I liked the program and prices. Crew was amazing: really caring, friendly and warming. The highlight of the day was snorkeling. Thank you so much for this incredible journey! Snorkeling at Great Barrier Reef is now one of the best experience of my life!

    Reply
  37. Reef Day Cruise review by Julia
    5

    My choice was the price and activity list. Excellent crew!!! Big shout out to Alfonso who pushed me to scuba diving. First time absolutely loved it, this was the best part of the tour. Great value for money trip and lifted up to my expectations. Thanks

    Reply
  38. Reef Day Cruise review by Tyler
    5

    I booked with Compass Cruises because it has the cheapest diving. The crew were very good, friendly, always happy. The best part of the day was scuba tour. To top off a fantastic day, we got free wine!!! Already planning my next trip with Compass.

    Reply
  39. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Peter
    5

    It was a great trip and I really enjoyed it. The crew were very polite/nice and funny and always helpful if you need anything. The best part of the day was diving and swimming with a turtle!

    Reply
  40. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Almelia
    5

    The crew were lovely, the best part of the day was the glass bottom boat and the dive. Really good day out - thanks a lot! :)

    Reply
  41. Reef Day Cruise review by Marion
    5

    Beautiful day out on the reef with Compass Cruises, surrounded by an enthusiastic and friendly team who know what they're doing. We got to see some amazing wildlife including turtles. They also offer delicious fruit in the morning and BBQ and salad for lunch. Definitely recommend!

    Reply
  42. Reef Day Cruise review by Eva
    5

    Loved this day, the wonderful Great Barrier Reef and the friendly staff. Snorkelling was beautiful, the most beautiful I ever saw. Lunch was really healthy for vegetarians.

    Reply
  43. Reef Day Cruise review by Sam
    5

    The crew are fantastic. Friendly, informative funny. Wonderful trip making memories with my family

    Reply
  44. Reef Day Cruise review by Jordi
    5

    This has been a highlight of our Australian Holidays

    Reply
  45. Angela
    5

    The crew were excellent. Really friendly and helpful and motivating for first time divers like me. The second dive was the best part. I enjoyed every bit of it thanks to Daeung who made it an awesome experience.

    Reply
  46. Patrick
    5

    Love the cruise and would highly recommend! Love the boom net idea & that there was a pro photographer! The crew are very friendly, helpful, and professional.

    Reply
  47. Reef Day Cruise review by Sue
    5

    Totally trusted the crew to look after my 13 year old during scuba. I loved the snorkelling and the excitement on my son's face after his scuba dive.

    Reply
  48. Reef Day Cruise review by Jenni
    5

    Fantastic day with Compass Cruises! Everything about the day was great... crew were so genuinely friendly, funny and clearly knew exactly what they were doing! As a tentative swimmer, I really appreciated the attention given. Food was great. Snorkeling terrific! And an affordable price too! Might not be the newest boat in the fleet, but you don't need 5 star surroundings to have a 5 star experience. Highly recommended and I already have one friend lined up to book soon!

    Reply
  49. Reef Day Cruise review by Amelia
    5

    We chose compass cruises for the affordable price and were very pleased with our option. We had lots of fun snorkelling and saw lots of very colourful fish. The food was very good and it was awesome as they catered for vegetarians. They were also extremely good with families with young children going on the cruise, I would highly recommend this trip !

    Reply
  50. Jen
    5

    Description and price for quality. Crew was 10 out of 10! My best part of the trip was from 8 am till 4 pm :) Great trip!!!

    Reply
  51. Reef Day Cruise review by Lara
    5

    I chose Compass Cruises because it is affordable price!!! I had fantastic time snorkelling. Lunch was yummy. Crew is very happy and helpful. They were funny and showed us how to snorkel well.

    Reply
  52. Reef Day Cruise review by Tess
    5

    Selected Compass Cruises because they were by far the best price with the most inclusions. Crew were all amazing, funny, kind, hospitable and knowledgeable about all things snorkelling and diving. What we saw when snorkelling was unbelievable - the colours of the coral and the fish was something really spectacular. Food was plentiful and delicious. We were so well looked after. Thank you for providing the highlight of my trip to FNQ.

    Reply
  53. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Klara
    5

    "Amazing! Super kind and helpful."

    Reply
  54. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Bethany
    5

    "The crew are very friendly and approachable. There to answer any questions, easy to speak to. The best part was the variety of fish to be seen while snorkeling"

    Reply
  55. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Michael
    5

    "Snorkeling and learning about the reef was the best part of the day! The crew were very friendly, helpful, and on top of things."

    Reply
  56. Reef Day Cruise review by Gabriella
    5

    Very nice, fun and happy crew :) Scuba diving and lunch were outstanding !!!

    Reply
  57. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Rebecca
    5

    The crew were amazing, very attentive and smile. Lunch and scuba diving were awesome. Everything was amazing, thank you :)

    Reply
  58. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Saki
    5

    All the crew were nice and kind. The highlight of my trip was scuba diving. I will recommend this tour to my friends!!!

    Reply
  59. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Margret
    5

    The crew were really Great! helping me with seasickness. The best part of the day was snorkelling with the crew.

    Reply
  60. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Belle
    0

    The crew were relaxed and interesting to talk to! The best part of the day was talking to the crew about the reef.

    Reply
  61. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Sanjeev
    5

    Great crew! Very helpful and attentive. The best part of the day was snorkelling

    Reply
  62. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Chris
    5

    Very helpful and polite

    Reply
  63. Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise review by Thalia
    5

    “The crew were Great! Very helpful and attentive. The best part of the day was snorkelling”

    Reply
  64. Reef Day Cruise review by Antis
    5

    Crew were the best of the best. Everything was great. I mean I enjoy having fun from 8:30-5:30 ;) luv it. Will come back again with some family/friends soon.

    Reply
  65. Reef Day Cruise review by Julie
    5

    Very supportive, professional, approachable crew and great attitude. I felt safe and comfortable the entire day. The reef was sensational. The lunch was amazing and wine and cheese on the way home was great.

    Reply
  66. Reef Day Cruise review by Honey
    5

    Extremely helpful and so hard working crew. The day had been amazing, the first and best adventure of life.

    Reply
  67. Reef Day Cruise review by Callie
    5

    Great option if you’re looking to have an awesome day in the reef for a good price! Staff was so much fun, food was delicious and I felt like we had a perfect amount of time at each spot we snorkeled at. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  68. Reef Day Cruise review by Jaimie
    5

    We had a fantastic time on the reef. The crew was friendly and passionate towards their jobs. Captain Morgan did a great job in rough seas. Food was very good. Great day out and excellent value for money

    Reply
  69. Reef Day Cruise review by David Longley & Kerrie Hill
    5

    We went to the outer reef on 25th May Wow, what a great experience we had, staff were excellent in every aspect to make everyone’s day to be awesome, the snorkeling was out off this world, so amazing & even borrowing a glass bottom boat from another company so the group could see the beauty off the reef that couldn’t snorkel. The lunch was well prepared, with yummy salads & even wine, cheese & bickys on the way back & even a group photo at the end of the day. Thank you Compass Cruises for a wonderful experience. Great day

    Reply
  70. Reef Day Cruise review by Haley B
    5

    Incredible experience. The crew was super kind, funny, and helpful, and the food was delicious! It was also so nice to have coffee, tea, and water always on hand. The snorkeling was super cool, BUT I highly recommend paying the extra money to scuba dive! So fascinating and worth the money!!

    Reply
  71. Reef Day Cruise review by Haley
    5

    Incredible experience. The crew was super kind, funny, and helpful, and the food was delicious! It was also so nice to have coffee, tea, and water always on hand. The snorkeling was super cool, BUT I highly recommend paying the extra money to scuba dive! So fascinating and worth the money!!

    Reply
  72. Reef Day Cruise review by Mary
    4

    Highly recommended! The crew is fantastic

    Reply
  73. Reef Day Cruise review by Mark Skeoch
    5

    What an amazing trip with best crew who were friendly and helpful. Delicious food prepared for passengers. Thanks for the experience!!!

    Reply
  74. Reef Day Cruise review by Kelle edwards
    4

    Great day, took double the time to get to reef but its twice as cheap, great staff and yummy lunch!!

    Reply
  75. Reef Day Cruise review by Rosie
    5

    What a fantastic day trip with compass cruises ! Great friendly helpful staff , great buffet , the reef was amazing ! Deffo worth booking

    Reply
  76. Reef Day Cruise review by Hellen Zipser
    5

    I did the Great Barrier Reef Tour with Conpass Cruises two days ago. Weather forecast was not good, weather indeed was rainy and windy. Many people got seasick. But the crew was so awesome!!! They really took such good care of everyone. Even when a girl passed out they were really competent and stayed calm in the situation. Everyone felt so safe! The weather got better, they were so friendly, took their time for everyone. The food on board was perfect, too! They did really tasty salad and BBQ, there were fresh fruit, coffee, and later on even wine! The snorkeling at the two spots was unbelievable!!! One of the greatest experiences of my life! Even the sun came out, we saw so many beautiful fish! I just loved it! Everyone who travels Australia should see the Great Barrier Reef! And I totally recommend compass cruises!!!

    Reply
  77. Reef Day Cruise review by Karen McKenzie
    5

    Brilliant day on the reef. Thanks for making it so much fun for the weak swimmer of our group

    Reply
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