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GBR Day Trips: Quicksilver, Passions of Paradise, Tusa dive, etc?

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:04 PM
  #1
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GBR Day Trips: Quicksilver, Passions of Paradise, Tusa dive, etc?

Hi,
We'll be in Cairns for 4 nights on our honeymoon and would like to go diving or snorkeling at the GBR. We're not dive certified and are mainly looking for a day trip on a not too crowded boat that will get us to the reef relatively quickly, but won't put a huge dent in our wallets. Can anyone recommend a group/cruise that they enjoyed or have heard good things about? Also, can you dive AND snorkel on the same cruise/day trip? I'm thinking of maybe just 1 intro dive and then snorkel instead of 2nd dive, since my future husband doesn't want to dive at all. Thanks very much!
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:38 PM
  #2
ALF
 
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Most boats are set up to snorkel and dive. If you go on one of the medium-sized boats, you can do an intro dive and spend the rest of your time snorkeling. There are so many choices - Quicksilver is a bigger boat that might not fit into your desires for a less crowded boat. I took a day diving trip on a Tusa Dive boat, and felt that they were very professional. Tusa's boats are smaller and more intimate than most of the others. We have had good experience with a mid-sized boat that had a reasonable price - Down Under Dive's Super Cat (www.downunderdive.com.au).
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
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As alf says, nearly all reef boats cater to snorkellers and divers, both certified and introductory.

The three examples you've given are completely different reef experiences:

Quicksilver is huge, can take up to 450 passengers and goes to a fixed metal pontoon. It leaves from Port Douglas at 10.00am, cutting into a fair bit of reef time. Quicksilver picks up in Cairns, either coach or Wavepiercer to PD.

Tusa Dive and Passions of Paradise leave from Cairns at about 8am, much earlier than Quicksilver. Although Tusa caters to snorkellers and divers (certified and introductory) its main emphasis is diving and has permit to visit over 20 reef sites. The skipper picks the best sites of the day according to tides and weather. Tusa is the longest established dive company in the area and each boat takes only 28 passengers - diving and snorkelling is off the side of the boat.

Passions of Paradise goest t
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:22 PM
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whoops, sorry, Passions of P goes to Upolo Cay, a sand cay on Upolo Reef, then further out to Paradise Reef. At $99 pp its very good value and caters mainly to younger age-group. Another is Ecstasea, to Upolo Reef, same price as PofP and takes only a maximum of 20 passengers, often far fewer.
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Aug 24th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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I have been on one trip where my husband did two dives and I just snorkelled. I never saw him all day and got a tad lonely. They split the snorkellers and divers into upstairs/downstairs type of deal. Not sure it is a honeymoon scenario. I think it was the Calypso trip.

I am not sure what divers see that snorkellers don't as the reef comes up like a mountain and all the life seems to be just a metre or so below water but my husband just loves diving so I try to fill in his Padi book to keep myself occupied.

Just so you get the pucture, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Very exciting time for you I bet!
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Aug 24th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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Thanks again to everyone for their info!
Tassietwister: I was afraid that something like that might happen (snorkellers & divers really separated). Not too fun for the honeymoon to be lonely!
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Aug 24th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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ALF
 
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I've not experienced any diver/snorkeler separation on the day trips I've been on. Divers need to take a specified 'surface interval' time between dives in order to exhaust excess Nitrogen from their blood stream; so the divers on a GBR boat are going to be lounging around for an hour or two between dives - I've gone snorkeling with my family during those times.

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