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Best Cruises (Other)

 

The Cruises (Other) category encompasses a range of the best cruises that take place offshore or otherwise outside river or canal systems. These cruises provide both transport to - and entertainment on - islands or in and under the water, allowing travellers to experience amazing environments they otherwise could not without their own vessel.

Whether it's dropping you off for a day of sand and sun on a tropical island, exploring shipwrecks and rugged coasts, or encountering the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, each of these cruise itineraries provide an unforgettable day on the water.

Award Winner Profiles

 

Meet the award-winning operators and their signature experiences in the Best Cruises (Other) category.

Big Cat Cruises Green Island - Cairns, QLD

The Wallace Family have owned Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises since 1991, and offer half and full day cruises to Green Island departing daily from Cairns at 9am, 11am & 1pm. Activities include snorkelling, diving, glass bottom boat and semi-submersible coral viewing tours and relaxing on the beach. Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises recently had fifteen staff celebrate 10+ years of dedicated service to the company. The combined total of employment equates to 210 years. Big Cat’s longest serving team members Paula Wallace (Managing Director), Sandz Fryz, Sue Lergessner and Neil Shelley each celebrated over 25 years. Their vessel provides fast and convenient transport to the nearby Green Island, and are exceptionally popular itineraries with four separate departure options per day.

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Cruise Whitsundays Outer Reef Trips - Whitsundays, QLD

Award winning Cruise Whitsundays is the region’s largest and most experienced marine operator offering a range of day cruises and Island Resort connections. Cruises visit the Great Barrier Reef where you can snorkel amongst the abundant marine life and colourful corals or visit world famous Whitehaven Beach, one of the most photographed beaches and truly spectacular. Travel aboard our modern air-conditioned fleet of vessels. Our staff are smiley, bubbly and helpful and are a huge asset to Cruise Whitsundays. They really do have our travellers enjoyment at heart and have a lot of fun on the job. They're all trained in their areas of work and adhere to strict safety standards onboard our vessels. Their cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef departs from Airlie Beach and provides a full-day trip to their dedicated reef platform that offers convenience and a host of facilities amongst a dazzling reef environment.

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Dolphins in Paradise - Brisbane, QLD

Originally one of the first whale watching companies on the Gold Coast, Dolphins in Paradise and its parent company Whales in Paradise began operation in June 2005, starting with a smaller 45-passenger catamaran before business boomed and allowed for the growth into the 3-vessel operation that it is today. Alternating between whale watching during migratory season and dolphin spotting and wreck snorkelling cruises during the off-season, the company offers spacious vessels with full walk-around decks offering maximum levels of viewability. Their popular Moreton Island dolphin cruises take guests from their choice of either Brisbane or the Gold Coast to visit the wildlife-rich waters of the Moreton Bay Marine Park for the chance to view dolphins, sea turtles and more as well as don snorkelling equipment and snorkel amongst the famed Tangalooma shipwrecks.

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DownUnder Cruise & Dive Snorkel & Dive - Cairns, QLD

The team at Down Under Cruise & Dive are based in Cairns and operate one of Australia’s most popular tours which travels to the wondrous Great Barrier Reef on a daily basis. Their award-winning vessel EVOLUTION is widely acclaimed as the most luxurious reef vessel in Australia, their our amazing crew are very professional and attentive and ensure everyone has the ‘time of their life’ whilst on-board. Catering for all ages and nationalities and offering a wide range of options including snorkelling, scuba diving, semi-submarine tours, helicopter flight and marine biology experiences this is a ‘must do’ tour not to be missed. The price is very affordable and they thoroughly enjoy meeting people from all over the world who travel with them to witness the Great Barrier Reef for the first time.

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Ocean Rafting Whitehaven Beach - Whitsundays, QLD

Operator Ocean Rafting has been operating since 1997 – starting out with a fleet of 2 boats and a husband and wife team. 20 years on now operates a fleet of 6 vessels and over 25 local employed staff and take 174 people a day around the beautiful Whitsundays Island. Taking out this year Major Tour and Transport Award at this year Tourism Australia awards in Darwin was just the cherry on top. Their crew ensure that guests are given the BEST and the “Wild Side” of the Whitsundays. Ride, Beach, Snorkel, Bushwalk ALL IN ONE DAY! They are the only tour operator to have direct access to the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach on their popular Whitehaven Beach tours, while special snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience for participants.

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Quicksilver Cruises Outer Reef Platform - Cairns, QLD

A pioneering reef tourism operator, the Quicksilver Group is widely regarded as Australia’s leading Great Barrier Reef cruise company and one of North Queensland’s largest private employers. The company has been running since 1979 and gradually expanded its operations from tours to the Low Isles to incorporate a wide range of itineraries to different reefs, islands and other destinations in the present day. Guests can choose from spectacular Outer Barrier Reef and island destinations, adventurous dive and snorkel excursions, premier liveaboard dive boat trips and a luxury island resort - the Quicksilver Group offers the widest range of reef experiences to visitors to Tropical North Queensland. Their Outer Reef itinerary provides the added benefit of an "activity platform" that provides a host of facilities right on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Raging Thunder Fitzroy Island - Cairns, QLD

One of Australia's largest adventure companies, Raging Thunder was founded in 1984 and specialise in making adventure tourism fun while maintaining a minimal impact on the natural environment. While whitewater rafting is a major focus, the company also operates highly-acclaimed tours to the likes of the Great Barrier Reef, hot air ballooning, and a number of other popular experiential activities. Their Fitzroy Island day trip transfers are an immensely popular way to visit the beautiful Fitzroy Island, conducted via high-speed catamaran that makes for just a 45 minute voyage from Cairns Reef Terminal to the reef island for a very reasonable price. Participants have the choice between a number of optional extras such as lunch and equipment hire for ultimate package flexibility, too.

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Rottnest Express Rottnest Island Trips - Perth, WA

Tracing its origins back to the 1950's, Rottnest Express is an award-winning company that has provided ferries to the gorgeous Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth ever since. Part of the Experience Australia Group - an Australian-owned organisation focused on bringing iconic Aussie experiences to life - the company is Eco-tourism certified and is committed to providing high quality, nature-based tourism experiences. Those looking to visit Rottnest Island can join them with a variety of packages that include standalone ferry transfers, or extras such as bike hire for on-island exploration, historic train and tunnel tours, snorkelling cruises, adventure boat tours, or any combination thereof.

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Wavedancer Low Isles Trips - Port Douglas, QLD

FA pioneering reef tourism operator, the Quicksilver Group is widely regarded as Australia’s leading Great Barrier Reef cruise company and one of North Queensland’s largest private employers. The company has been running since 1979 and gradually expanded its operations from tours to the Low Isles to incorporate a wide range of itineraries to different reefs, islands and other destinations in the present day. Their Wavedancer Low Isles cruise is where it all began with the company, and it remains an exceptionally popular trip to this day - allowing participants to visit this gorgeous palm-dotted coral cay for a blend of Great Barrier Reef snorkelling and on-island relaxation. Conducted via serene sailing vessel aboard a 30m long luxury catamaran, it's a comfortable and stylish way to enjoy the reef.

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Wildlife Coast Cruises Phillip Island - Phillip Island, VIC

Victorian operator Wildlife Coast Cruises has long been a great company to take a marine tour with; this family-run operation, with staff who enjoy mixing with the customers and are passionate about the marine life and its environment, are able to deliver on the company's principles of "conservation by appreciation". Now operating for over 20 years, they offer a unique range of cruises from 1 hr through to full day, with vessels especially designed and built for marine tours and wildlife watching, and depending on guests' taste in tours, they will see anything from Seals, Whales, Dolphins, Seabirds through to some of the country's most spectacular coastline. Their Phillip Island tour provides a wonderful perspective on the wildlife-rich island, and can be accessed easily from Victorian capital Melbourne on a day trip.

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