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Hi everyone

 

We are doing a singapore to syd in dec  on the  Celebrity Eclipse and are visiting yorkey's knob and airlie Beach 

Does anyone know if the trips to the barrier reef go to the same place and if they do does anybody know the name?

Thanks for any help

 

Ray

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I’m thinking you are tendered and this is one port I’d book the ship tour. Many people don’t snorkel or swim but can use the underwater submarine or glass bottom boat. Check the fine details as to what is being offered. It can also get a bit rocky and so seasickness might come into it. 

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On the Solstice in 2016 we called at both Yorky's Knob and Airlie Beach.  Both times the ship excursions to the GBR left from the ship itself (ie, they were not tendered into shore and then left for the GBR).  Both times the companies used large catamarans.

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The ship tour from the reef at Cairns (Yorkeys knob) goes to the same spot each time. The company that runs the tours has a large pontoon anchored on the reef. Don't know the exact location.  We did the tour 2 years ago.  They picked us up and dropped us back directly to the ship.  It's a BIG group though, the cat holds about 350 people. So it's crowded.  I would not do it again. Too many people in the water and you are stuck in one small area (roped off). They did have a glass bottom boat and semi-sub (really just another glass bottom boat). They were pretty useless and you could not see much.  I would not waste the money if you are not going in the water.

 

I went back to Cairns last year on a land trip with some friends and booked a tour thru Seastar cruises and that was MUCH better.  I would do that one again in a heartbeat. It's a much smaller cat (holds about 50 I think) and you go to a couple of spots and both were better than the ship excursion.  

 

Cant comment on Airlie, we missed it due to a Cyclone!

Edited by TFLG
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We have done the Great Barrier Reef a couple times from Cairns.   It is best to understand that the travel time out to the reef will run 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour each way depending on where.   

 

I personally would avoid Celebrity Excursions and would go for arranging a small group tour.    Last time we did it we chartered our own boat for a group of 20 and had a wonderful time and customized our timing.    Many of the tours leave at 7-8:00 and return around 5:00.   Could be difficult with our schedule. 

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The issue with doing it yourself which is always my preference is that you have to get to shore on a tender in order to get onto the private launch or even an organised launch and given tides and swells it can either work or  fail. And that assumes the times work for the ship and the boat. 
 

Having said that, for us GBR is a land trip. 

Edited by Pushka
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I’m not sure if I completely understand your question.  If you are asking whether the GBR boats from Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns) go to the same places on the Reef as those from Airlie Beach, then the answer is “No”.  
 

If you are asking whether all the GBR boats from Cairns go to the same reef, then the answer again is “No”.  There are several different reefs and while many boats may go to Agincourt Reef, not all of them do so. 

Edited by GradUT
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On 1/7/2020 at 11:38 PM, rayandbelle said:

Hi everyone

 

We are doing a singapore to syd in dec  on the  Celebrity Eclipse and are visiting yorkey's knob and airlie Beach 

Does anyone know if the trips to the barrier reef go to the same place and if they do does anybody know the name?

Thanks for any help

 

Ray

 

Ray, my family and I sailed on Solstice to the GBR (trip review).  We stopped at Airlie Beach, Cairns (2 days), and Port Douglas.  Celebrity did not offer any snorkel/diving shore excursions at Port Douglas even though it is located near some fantastic reefs.

 

We took a Celebrity shore excursion to the GBR both at Airlie Beach and Cairns (Day 1 only) and they visited two vastly different locations in the GBR.  Actually at Cairns alone, the 3 different snorkel/dive shore excursions went to 3 different areas as well.

 

At Airlie Beach our shore excursion (Celebrity shorex code number IE05) was run by Cruise Whitsundays and their boat picked us up at the ship and took us on a looong trip to their massive floating pontoon (named Heart Pontoon) located at Hardy Reef.

 

At Cairns our shore excursion (Celebrity shorex code number CN30) was run by Reef Magic and their boat picked us up at the ship and took us to two different snorkel/dive locations at Saxon Reef (see map).  During our second day at Cairns, we book and independent tour that took us to Norman Reef64916b7e79240cd1c9971adb0cc4f0c2.jpg.

Edited by mahdnc
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