Different ways to experience one of the world’s most iconic underwater environments

For a pre- or post-cruise stay near the Great Barrier Reef, consider Hamilton Island or luxurious Hayman Island.
Located along 1,200 miles of Australia’s northeast coast, the Great Barrier Reef is certainly one of the underwater world’s most awe-inspiring wonders. Every cruiser should witness the reef’s colorful coral and abundant sea life, no matter which way they choose to do so.

Options for Exploring
To get up-close viewing experiences of the reef and its diverse inhabitants, the classic choices are snorkeling and scuba diving. If you’re not a fan those options, you can still see this underwater marvel via glass-bottomed boat tours or a ride in a semisubmersible craft.

Tips for a Reef Tour
Daytrips from Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas, and other places along the coast are the easiest way to get to the reef. However, travelers should note that travel time to the reef sometimes leaves only a few hours for snorkeling and diving. If you aren’t an experienced scuba diver but want to give it a try, many tour operators offer a scuba experience for non-certified participants, including a quick lesson and an assisted dive.