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Seastar Cruises Island & Outer Reef

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Seastar Cruises Michaelmas Cay Adventure

  • Ecotourism Certified
  • Book Here to Earn Eco-Rewards
  • Reviews ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Bird Watcher Friendly
  • Departs: Cairns Daily
  • Full Day: 10 hours
  • Snorkel – Glass Bottom Boat
  • Lunch | Morning/Afternoon Tea
Why we Love Seastar Cruises Michaelmas Cay & Outer Reef Adventure

With limited numbers, only 75 minutes to the first stop, 5 hours on the reef and two unique and very different destinations, Seastar Cruises Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef day tour ticks all of the boxes.

Michaelmas Cay National Park offers beautiful fringing reef with an abundance of huge giant clams and one of the most important islands on the whole Great Barrier Reef for migrating birds. Michaelmas Cay is a protected haven for nesting birds and part of the tour is being able to get up close and personal to these long haul flyers.

Your time at Michaelmas Cay ends as lunch is served and we take a short 20 minute cruise to Hastings Reef, an outer reef location. Snorkel and dive with the local inhabitants keeping an eye out for turtles and even white tip reef sharks and take in the beauty of the aquamarine seascapes.

Seastar Cruises offer a day trip with two very unique settings.

Your cruise will include the following highlights;

  • Over 5 hours on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit Michaelmas Cay National Park
  • Visit Hasting Reef
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour at Hastings Reef
  • Snorkel Tours at both locations
  • Opportunity to Scuba Dive (cert or introductory)
  • Bird Watching
  • Reef and Island interpretation by our knowledgable crew

  • Departs Cairns Marina @ 8:00am
  • Returns approx. 4:00-4:15pm
  • Accommodation Pick-ups available at additional cost
What is included:
  • Morning tea on boarding
  • Hot /cold buffet lunch – suitable for vegetarians includes 2 hot dishes and a selection of meats for others
  • Afternoon tea
  • All snorkel equipment
  • Wetsuit or stinger suit
  • Optical masks when required
  • Additional floatation from a noodle to a level 2 buoyancy vest or even life ring.
  • Snorkel and dive instruction
  • Fully guided snorkel tours at each locations
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour at Hastings Reef
  • Reef Interpretation “Reef Brief” — Based on Reef Teach of Cairns
  • Island circumnavigation — For birding observation tours
  • Modern vessel design — Fast, comfortable and air-conditioned
  • Photos taken daily by staff and uploaded onto facebook

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)

Your Morning:

SeaStar is the first vessel to arrive at Michaelmas Cay at approximately 9.15-30am and is only one of two vessels which travel daily that are permitted the right to use the Cay on their trips.

Departing the Cairns Marlin Marina for a fast transfer to your first destination, the world famous bird nesting sanctuary, exotic Michaelmas Cay and you are the first to arrive which means the perfect morning for our guests with limited visitor numbers. SeaStar Cruises Michaelmas Cay & Hastings Reef trip spend the morning snorkelling or if you choose to, dive in the calm, sheltered waters off the beach within the unspoilt fringing coral beds.

Head over to the coral cay where you can relax on the beach, snorkel or check out the amazing life of the migratory birds that call Michaelmas Cay their temporary home while they rear their chicks. Close encounters is the perfect phrase.

Your Afternoon:

After a superb lunch which includes two hot dishes, salads and meats we head over to Hastings Reef and our own exclusive mooring that we call Seastar lagoon.

It is here you can experience the true wonders of this Outer Edge Reef, there are the coral caves, coral overhangs, deep water drop offs, coral canyons, swim throughs and shallow coral bays that are only metres from the side of the Seastar. Along the steep edges there are swirling schools of small fish, colourful parrot fish, turtles, giant clams, “friendly” little reef sharks, bright yellow butterfly fish, pairs of rabbit fish, countless varieties of brightly coloured damsel fish and of course, Nemo.

As well as snorkelling and diving you can join our glass bottom boat tour. As you cruise by, your skipper will be able to explain more about what is below and how the reef works all from the dryness of your comfy seat!

We depart Hastings Reef and your Seastar Cruises Michaelmas Cay and Hastings Reef trip gets back into Cairns just after 4pm.

Additional Options/Extras:
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Range of quality merchandise
  • Additional certified and introductory scuba diving onboard.

Important Information:
  • $15pp Marine Park Fees and Port Authority Levies
  • Most additional Dietary Requirements can be catered for – Please ask upon booking
  • Itineraries may be subject to change dependant on weather and other circumstances
  • Prices are in Australian Dollars (AU$)

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

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

  • Eco Certified Ecotourism

Tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an operator that uses resources wisely, contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities.

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-Eco Certification.

Check Availability

Snorkelling & Diving Prices

  • Adult Snorkel: $200 +$15 Levy
  • Child Snorkel: $135 +$15 Levy
  • Snorkel & Intro Dive: $275 +$15 Levy
  • x2 Certified Dive: $300 +$15 Levy

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**multiple tour bookings – send us an enquiry below

  • Operator: Seastar Cruises
  • Dives include full gear & guide
  • $15 Levy (Marine Park Fee & Tax)
  • Prices AU$ - Valid to 30/3/20
  • Secure Payments with Stripe
  • *Hot Deals* – subject to availability
  • Need Help? Reserve with a real person

Get in touch

Our Friendly Team will help plan your trip of a lifetime
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  • Free Travel Advice

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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