Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Dive Cruises

Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 01:30 AM
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Cairns - Great Barrier Reef Dive Cruises

What are the best most eco-friendly cruise operators. Preferable catering for small groups.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:52 AM
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I would guess that on many gauges, a large operator is more eco-friendly. Define what you need to know. I am not sure that I can help you but I'll try.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:29 PM
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At this stage I am just putting out feelers as I am yet to book the holiday. Ones that treat the reef and the people with respect I suppose. I'm not keen on large group tourism, but will do it if there is no other choice.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Small (max 30 passengers), locally owned reef trip from Cairns is Sea Star - www.seastarcruises.com.au It stops at Michaelmas Cay (well-known seabird sanctuary) and then onto Hastings Reef on the edge of the Barrier Reef.

All reef trips charge an environmental management levy, per passenger per day of about $4.50, sometimes factored into cost, sometimes shown separately. This is a government charge which is paid by the reef operator to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for care and maintenance of the reef.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 08:01 PM
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Thanks - looks good.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:38 AM
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Hi, this site http://www.coralprincess.com.au/ offers cruises in Oz for those coming by three. so if you are 6 in a group you can take two of their triple-package. It might be worth a try
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Thanks. Hadn't thought of doing an overnight cruise. Sounds interesting.
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Old Aug 7th, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Do you know about Spirit of Freedom? It's a dive operation, but we were allowed to go as snorkelers on the 3 day Ribbon Reefs and Cod Hole trip. They do 4 dives a day on the full days including a night dive (none on the return day and 2 on the first day), all in pristine, gorgeous water. Don't know about their eco-friendliness, you would have to check that part out. It was a wonderful experience for us, we snorkeled our brains out. Food was great and plentiful and nice staff. I think their max is 25 or so and they have divemasters and tanks, etc.
Sally in Seattle
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Old Aug 8th, 2010, 06:01 PM
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Thanks SnR. They sound good.

Thanks for narrowing the choices people.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 01:28 AM
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We visited the GBR in June 2008 and did 3 dive trips including a 4 day liveaboard out of Cairns. If you are really concerned about eco -friendliness then please do choose carefully. Having in many locations around the world dived I was truly appalled by the ecological demonstrated by operators we encountered.
Buddy only diving (i.e. unaccompanied by a dive master)was allowed (not in itself a bad thing)but the operators we used operated no checkout dives and no checks on ability at all (they didn't even check our dive logs). We saw qualified divers who really should no better holding onto reefs, kicking up sand close to the reefs etc. Training dives were done in close proximity to the reefs. The resulting damage caused by the fins 20 odd new divers flapping around was appalling. The authorities do charge an environmental levy for each diver but I saw no evidence of any environmental care whatsoever. We stayed in a B&B where the husband's job was with the reef authority, monitoring standards of the dive companies and spoke with him about it. His attitude was that, try as they might there was little they could do to exercise any sort of control ove rthe dive companies. I dare say there are good and bad operators out there - I guess we could just have been unlucky, but standards elsewhere in the world seem a LOT higher.
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Old Aug 10th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Thanks crellston. I thought that might be the case.
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Old Aug 13th, 2010, 06:39 PM
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The coral reefs in Australia are the most protected and the healthiest as a result. Access is heavily restricted so many corals live quite happily without human visitors at all. This could mean the site you see is second rate, because eco friendly is banning human visitors all together from some reefs. So above rant is totaly ignroant and obviously had poor research skills and now blames an entire industry. Intro dives are codnucted at very boring and safe dive istes that would not apepal to a certified diver at all, not designed for their benefit.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Kriol -At least learn to spell before you accuse me of being "igroant"
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 04:00 AM
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Crellston

My apology, correct spelling PIG IGNORANT.
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