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Ocean Spirit Sailing Cruise

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Visit Magical Michaelmas Cay

Why we Love to visit Michaelmas Cay

Ocean Spirit sailing cruise has been sailing to Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef for over 25 years. Granted one of the very few access permits to this unique and important part of the Great Barrier Reef, Ocean Spirit and their friendly crew aim to share their knowledge and passion for this fragile environment and help you enjoy your very special day.

For ‘bird lovers’ and ‘beach go-ers’ – Michaelmas Cay has limited visitor numbers and is set aside for the astounding number of migratory birds that call it home at different times throughout the year. Bird lovers can get intimate photos with the different species and beach go-ers can relax on the small area of beach and soak up the tropical conditions.

Families – Ocean Spirit Sailing Cruises this cruise is perfect for families with easy access to the safe beach at Michaelmas Cay, tours in the semi-submersible and a very spacious catamaran.

Your cruise will include the following highlights;

  • Cruise to a picturesque and exclusive part of the reef
  • Experience the romance and comfort of a large sailing catamaran on the Great Barrier Reef
  • A Great Diving and Snorkelling experience for beginners and veterans
  • Visit the largest protected bird sanctuary on the reef
  • Experience Michaelmas Cay with limited visitors

  • Departs Cairns Marina @ 8:30am
  • Returns approx. 5:00pm
  • Accommodation Pick-ups available at additional cost
What is included:
  • Return Ocean Spirit Sailing Cruise from Cairns.
  • 8.5 hours experience with 4 hours on the Reef.
  • Morning and afternoon teas.
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch including fresh prawns.
  • Fish feeding presentation on arrival
  • Snorkelling equipment and instruction.
  • Buoyancy vests.
  • Marine Biologist presentation.
  • Semi-submersible coral viewing tour with commentary.
  • Glass of complimentary sparkling wine served on the homeward journey, cheese and crackers.
  • Lycra suits

What you need:
  • Swim wear and beach towel
  • Hat and Sunglasses
  • Please consider a Re-useable/Sustainable Water Bottle
  • Please use Reef/Coral Safe Sunscreen
  • Camera/Phone
Cruise itinerary:
(This is an example itinerary of a typical day)

Set sail aboard the beautiful 32 metre sailing catamaran to experience Michaelmas Cay’s unique reef environment – a pristine sand cay surrounded by fringing reef and a protected sanctuary for migratory seabirds. Your cruise will combine motor and sailing, depending on the day’s conditions.

Be active and enjoy all the included activities – snorkel in the cay’s protected shallow waters, cruise in the semi-sub for a diver’s view of the reef, watch the fish feeding presentation and observe the island bird life. Throughout the day, the “beach buggy shuttle” will transfer you between Ocean Spirit and the beach. To protect this renowned bird sanctuary, access on the cay is limited to the roped beach area. If you prefer a more leisurely day on the Great Barrier Reef, relax on the beach or onboard Ocean Spirit’s spacious decks. The choice is yours!

  • 07.30am – Check-in at the Ocean Spirit Sailing Cruise counter inside the Reef Fleet Terminal for boarding passes.
  • 08:00am – Boarding commences. Complimentary tea and coffee served until departure.
  • 08:30am – Your cruise departs Cairns for Michaelmas Cay and the Great Barrier Reef
  • 09:00am – Safety demonstration, reef brief and snorkelling demonstration.
  • 09:30am – Informative Marine Biologist slide show presentation.
  • 10.00am – Dive brief for introductory divers.
  • 10:30am – Arrive at Michaelmas Cay. Reef Activities commence:
    – Fish feeding presentation
    – Snorkelling
    – Semi-submersible coral viewing tour
    – Scuba diving for introductory divers.
    (Dive session times are 11:00am, 12:15pm & 1:30pm)
  • 12:00pm – Buffet lunch served onboard for 1.5 hours (continue to enjoy more Reef Activities!
  • 2:30pm – Afternoon tea is served onboard
    Glass of complimentary sparkling wine served on the homeward journey, cheese and crackers.
  • 5:00pm – Arrive Cairns.
Additional Options
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Range of quality merchandise
  • Professional photos of the day

Important Information
  • $6.50pp Marine Park Fees and Port Authority Levies
  • Most additional Dietary Requirements can be catered for – Please ask upon booking
  • Itineraries may be subject to change dependant on weather and other circumstances
  • Prices are in Australian Dollars (AU$)
  • Certified dives include experienced guide and all equipment.

Scuba Divers Medical Info

You will be required to sign a Waiver Release & Indemnity Deed onboard the vessel.

Some medical conditions may prevent you diving. You will be required to complete a waiver and medical statement prior to diving. If you would answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions below you will need to consult a doctor and acquire a medical certificate stating that you’re ‘fit to dive’ prior to your dive trip.

  • Since completing your last dive medical assessment have you suffered any illness or injury that may affect your ability to dive safely?
  • Are you currently suffering any illness or injury?
  • Are you currently taking any prescription medication other than the contraceptive pill?
  • Is there any other condition, fact or circumstance that may affect your fitness or ability to dive safely?

Flying after diving? We recommend that you do not fly until at least midday the day after your dive trip returns. This will give you 24 hours of surface interval after diving.

Cancellation/Refund Policy
  • If you cancel at least 2 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 24 hours of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
  • Pre-booked scuba divers that fail the onboard medical questionnaire are NOT entitled to a refund.
  • Unless otherwise stated all refunds will incur a 10% administration fee

Eco-Certification Awards

Ecotourism Australia: Setting Ethical Standards for the Travel IndustryThe following Eco-Accreditation from Eco Tourism Australia had been achieved.

  • Eco Certified Advanced Ecotourism

Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity to learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.

  • Climate Action Innovator

Businesses have undertaken a set of adaption and emissions reduction strategies and are auditing and measuring their carbon footprint.

Where Booking Tours means Saving Rainforest

Tree Hugger Travel invest in rebuilding biodiversity hotspots around the world by funding land acquisition through the highly respected World Land Trust and their projects.

Saving Rainforest with David Attenborough, World Land Trust's No.1 Supporter and Patron

How Do We Do That ?

We fund it with Your travel bookings and our eco-rewards programme.

  • Every dollar earns an eco-reward
  • For example: Spend $100 ⇢ Earn 100 eco-rewards
  • Reaching 750 eco-rewards will enable us to fund the permanent protection of 1/4 Acre of Real Rainforest in Real Places.
  • Continue earning and every 750 eco-rewards Tree Hugger Travel will continue protecting.

☆ Recognising Your Contribution ☆

You made this happen and in recognition, You will receive a colourful and informative gift pack by post.

This includes a personalised certificate, information about the project you supported and a letter from World Land Trust thanking you for Your support.

More information? Head to our Eco Rewards Programme page.


Ecotourism Australia-Advanced Ecotourism Certification. This is the highest level of eco certification available.
Ecotourism Australia-Climate Action Innovator Certification.

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Your Bookings Save Rainforest

Earn Eco-Rewards that fund the purchase of biologically important threatened rainforests around the world.

We partner with the World Land Trust to make this happen and you, our customers, will receive a personalised certificate in recognition of the land you have helped to save.

Your Bookings Save Rainforest

Earn Eco-Rewards that fund the purchase of biologically important threatened rainforests around the world.

We partner with the World Land Trust to make this happen and you, our customers, will receive a personalised certificate in recognition of the land you have helped to save.

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