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Compass Cruises

Budget Reef Trip
  • Best Value, Best Fun!
  • Boom Netting is a must!
Based on 69 ratings
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Compass Cruises Tours

Compass Cruises  
FROM $115 per adult

Compass Cruises Info

COMPASS CRUISES outer barrier reef trip is a great day for young travellers on a budget, and is very popular with backpackers that visit Cairns.

This trip is a local icon and has been taking people to the Great Barrier Reef for many years.  The day is very relaxed, easy going and great fun with friendly personal service and helpful crew.  Boomnetting is a highlight, with Compass being the only boat that offers this activity. 

At a value price this is an affordable Outer Reef tour for everyone.  Chill out, smile and enjoy the day like many have before. 

Compass cruised to 2 fantastic locations - Hastings reef and Breaking Patches near Michaelmas Reef. 

Departures: Compass departs daily form the Cairns Marlin Marina, ‘A Finger’ with boarding commencing at 7:30am for a 8am boat departure and returns at approximately 5.30pm.


  • Two spectacular outer reef locations - Hastings Reef & Breaking Patches Reef
  • Up to 4 hours on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Unlimited snorkelling inc. flotation devices, mask, snorkel, fins
  • Friendly crew assistance for non-confident swimmers
  • Boomnetting - The Wild Ride!!! (weather permitting)
  • Delicious BBQ lunch, fresh salads
  • Fresh fruit platters
  • Complimentary tea & coffee
  • Wine, cheese & biscuits on journey home
  • Environmental Management Levy (reef tax)


 7:30am - Boarding at Marlin Wharf Cairns (near Reef Fleet Terminal)

8am - Boat departure for The Great Barrier Reef

10:30am - Arrive at the first spectacular reef site where you will have the opportunity to snorkel with thousands of vivid tropical fish, giant clam gardens, inquisitive moray eels and huge cod.

12:30pm - Delicious chef prepared lunch

1pm - Cruise to second spectacular location. Snorkel through forests of corals, large sea fans and black coral trees yielding some 400 species of coral in its shallow lagoons.

3pm - Boomnetting! Just before departure you will have the chance to try your hand at hanging off the back of the boat on the specially designed boomnet! Fun for all ages (and just as much fun to watch!)

3:30-4pm - Depart Great Barrier Reef with a glass of wine, tropical fruits, cheese & biscuits.

5:30pm - Return Marlin Wharf, Cairns

Extra Costs:

  • Glass Bottom Boat tour $15 (weather dependent)
  • Hotel Transfers
  • Scuba Diving: Certified or Introductory Guided dives
  • Wetsuit hire - $5
  • Prescription masks - $10
  • Beer, wine soft drinks and snacks
  • Underwater cameras are available from the on-board bar.

Scuba Diving Activity information: 

Catering to first time & certified divers is a specialty aboard Compass.  Patient and experienced instructors and dive crew are ready to assist. 

Dive at clear, calm, protected outer reef sites in your day. 

You need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying.  Minimum age for trying scuba diving is 12 years. All divers will be required to complete a medical questionnaire on-board the vessel before diving.  Some medical conditions and/or medication may stop you from participating in Scuba Diving. These include asthma or wheezing, brain/spinal cord or nervous disorder, chronic bronchitis or persistent chest complaint, chronic sinus, collapsed lung, diabetes mellitis, chest surgery, epilepsy, fainting, seizure or blackouts, heart disease of any kind, recurrent ear problems when flying, tuberculosis or other long-term lung disease and high blood pressure. Please check with our friendly office before booking your trip if you have a medical condition or are taking medications, to avoid disappointment on the day. Certified divers are required to provide proof of their qualification on the day – dive license card or divers logbook acceptable.