Live aboards...for snorkelers?

Old Nov 10th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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Live aboards...for snorkelers?

My friend and I are considering booking a live aboard trip from Cairns. Neither of us has ever scuba dived before and the most we would do on this trip is snorkel and perhaps an introductory dive. Would a live aboard trip be worth it for us? Do they mainly cater to divers? Should we just book one or two day trips with one of the boats that cater more to snorkelers? The live aboard idea appeals to us because we would like to see different reefs and perhaps a couple of islands. All opinions are welcome.
Many Thanks!
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Old Nov 10th, 2004, 09:14 PM
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Dear Mae,

If you would consider a different jumping off point: Airlie Beach, I would recommend the Solway Lass which does 3 night cruises through the Whitsunday Island group, surely a slice of paradise. She is a 100+ year old rebuilt tall ship and we snorkelled and swim everyday. We were even able to take advantage of an introductory scuba dive. We had a blast and I recollect it was about A$375pp.

AndrewDavid
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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That sounds great. I would love to sail on a tall ship and would really love to visit the Whitsundays, but unfortunately we've already booked a flight from Adelaide into Cairns.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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To MaeT: May I suggest Coral Princess cruises. see www.coralprincess.com.au We just completed the 4 night Cairns to Cairns cruise, with stops at Cooktown, Lizard Island, and several stops along the reef for snorkelers and divers. Introductory both cases. There are about 20+ cabins, so there are not a lot of people. The food is excellent and so is the fellowship. There is a marine biologist on board which we found to be most enjoyable and educational. Glass bottom boat was available, which we went on with the biologist, then snorkeled the area she had just told us about.
They have several cruise itineries, including Cairns to Townsville,etc.
We had some of the best snorkeling of our life out on Ribbon Reef #3. I would recommend this most highly.
The crew was very helpful with first time snorkelers and divers.
While there are some older people on this cruise, there were also several honeymooners and other younger folks. We were celebrating 40th anniversary) We really enjoyed the Coral Princess.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 09:58 PM
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MaeT - Billj's suggestion is excellent but won't work if you're looking for only one night on boat, which your poster suggests. If you take different day trips (ie with different operators) over two days you'll visit different reefs/cays - the amount of visitors to a particular reef site is strictly controlled and operators pay highly for permits to go to the sites allocated to them. That doesn't mean one particular reef is only ever visited by one operator - some have permits to go to several, but in the interests of causing least possible damage to the reef, total numbers visiting a site are controlled.
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Old Nov 15th, 2004, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the info Pat and BillJ. My friend booked the Atlantic Clipper because it visits a few different reefs, is a tall ship and SEEMS to be a good ship for non-divers (Pat, do you know if this is true?). I want to thank you Pat for all of the information you provide on this website. I've been hanging around here for a couple of months, reading up in order to plan my trip. You've provided very helpful information! I leave in 2 days and am so excited I don't know how I'm going to get any work done in the office tomorrow!
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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HiMaeT - Atlantic Clipper which is owned by Down Under Dive takes a lot of snorkellers - very often with a couple, one may be a certified diver and the other a snorkeller. In the next few weeks they will be offering "specials" for intro diving as well - this is for non-certified divers and if you decide to give it a try they'll ask you to fill in a medical form. The tall ship, Atlantic Clipper, stays on the reef, mostly, and moves around the reef to various sites. You'll be transferred out of Cairns and back by another vessel. Do try to go to Paddy Colwell's Reef Teach session before the trip - every evening except Sunday at 6pm in Boland Centre, Cairns. He's a diver who knows the reef backwards, you'll learn so much. And he's entertaining, as well. Have a great time.
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 07:47 PM
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Thanks so much Pat! We'll definitely try to check out the reef teach.
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