Passions of Paradise in Cairns, Australia, is one of those ecotourism companies who just get it right. Recommended to us by locals (which is always a good sign) Passions of Paradise will take you on a trip around the Great Barrier Reef which you are unlikely to forget any time soon – if at all.
We like their strong commitment to both quality (Passions won the last four Queensland Tourism awards) and sustainability (Advanced Ecotourism Climate Action Innovator). In short, a great company offering a great day out enjoying the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, Australia.
The 25 meter catamaran sails daily from Cairns to over 24 fabulous locations for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Snorkel and dive
Because the Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage listed marine park, tourism operators can’t just “park” their vessel anywhere. Some spots are only open to specific companies with very limited permits, which meant that our first stop at Paradise Reef was exclusively for those on board, now eager to get into the crisp clear water.
Snorkeling is by far the most popular activity (it is fairly easy and you’ll get equipment and instructions on board). For the more daring, Passions of Paradise offer a unique opportunity to try scuba diving, which will allow you to explore the reef from further down (more wildlife!), rather than just from the surface. You’ll be accompanied by experienced instructors who’ll hold your hand throughout (if you wish).
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef is amazing, but scuba diving is unbelievably stunning! We are grateful we did the Introductory Diving with Passions of Paradise. A great experience which we highly recommend.
Visibility in the water at Paradise Reef was great and we could see plenty of fish species. And with the catamaran moored right at the edge of the reef, we didn’t need to swim much to get to the action.
After a good while in the water we hear our bellies grumbling – time for lunch. Quickly we swim back to the catamaran and climb up the stairs. Wet suits (especially during winter months we recommend you to rent those on board) left on the deck to dry, we walk into the air conditioned saloon inside the catamaran.
What a buffet we find! Freshly made by the chef on board (a rare find among Great Barrier Reef cruises), this tropical buffet is mouth watering and today includes fresh salads, prawns, vegetarian green curry and tropical fruits, together with cold and hot beverages.
We didn’t go on the Glass Bottom Boat (picture above) because we were busy snorkeling and diving, but heard from fellow explorers on board that it was highly informative and a great, relaxed ride.
Tip: bring or rent an underwater camera!
If you are planning to snorkel or scuba dive during your cruise with Passions of Paradise (most people do), make sure to either bring a good underwater camera, or to rent one for the day, which you can do directly on board the catamaran. With the provided high quality equipment, you will be able to take the best shots ever of your ‘underwater’ holidays.
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