Dive the Outer Great Barrier Reef on a Budget!

If it’s value for money and a day scuba diving and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef that you’re after, then our budget scuba cruise has it all!

Our ‘Budget Scuba Dive’ tour is for qualified divers who already hold a scuba licence of ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher. Not a qualified diver? …Click here to see our budget reef cruise for beginner Resort Divers

Tour Highlights & Inclusions

  • Up to 4 hours at two Outer Great Barrier Reef locations
  • 1 Certified scuba dive
  • Unlimited Snorkeling. Snorkelling mask, snorkel and fins included
  • Free buoyancy aids – snorkelling vests and noodles
  • Delicious BBQ Lunch with fresh salads (Dietary requirements catered for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and food allergies – please advise upon booking)
  • Fruit Platters while boarding. Tea & coffee available all day while boating stationery. Water fountain to fill your water bottle
  • A glass of wine, cheese & crackers on the return journey
  • Assistance for non-confident swimmers from the friendly crew
  • Boom netting – “The Wild Ride” (weather permitting)
  • Reef tax, fuel levy & national park fees for visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Optional Extras

  • Second Scuba Dive. Subject to medical conditions – see ‘Important Information for Scuba Divers’ below
  • Dive Guide for a guided tour around the reef. Scuba dive with a buddy or pay for a guided scuba dive with one of our wonderful crew. Travelling alone? The Compass Cruises team will happily organise a buddy for you on the day if you wish to dive without a guide.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour (weather permitting)
  • Wetsuit Hire (During jellyfish season in the tropics, stinger suits included with your trip. These are not the same as wetsuits, which provide flotation and warmth)
  • Underwater Digital Camera Hire
  • Snack Bar Purchases: Soft drinks, chocolate, chips, alcohol etc.
  • Prescription Mask Hir
  • Bus transfers from accommodation to and from the Cairns Marina: From Cairns City accommodation $12.00AUD return per person / Outside Cairns City area $22.00AUD return per person

What to Bring

  • Proof of qualification as a Certified Diver
  • Cash or credit card for purchases – Credit Card available for purchases over $10.00AUD
  • Swimming Clothes, Towel, Hat, Sunglasses, Sun Cream

Getting There

Compass Cruises departs from Cairns Marina: ‘Marlin Wharf berth 18View map to Cairns Marlin Marina

Boarding commences at 7:25 am for check-in, directly on the boat ‘Compass.’

Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 5:30 pm

Terms of Tour

  • Please read full Policies, Terms & Conditions before booking any tour. Below is a brief overview only
  • Scuba Diver certification
  • Compass Cruises can cater for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and any food allergies. Please inform of dietary or other special requirements before the date of travel
  • Please re-confirm your reservation 48 hours before travel
  • We require 48 hours to re-schedule a trip subject to availability (see Cancellation Policy)
  • Locations, prices, vessel and itinerary, are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances without notice but with full consideration for your enjoyment and safety
  • Children under 18 years old who are qualified ‘certified’ scuba divers must dive with a qualified ‘certified’ parent or guardian or pay an additional fee for a crew member as Dive Guide
  • Travel and dive insurance, We strongly recommend that all clients have travel insurance covering illness, injury, medical evacuation, loss or damage to personal belongings and not being able to travel on the confirmed date of departure
  • Scuba Diving Activities (applies to both certified and beginner divers):
    • No refunds on uncompleted dives
    • Ages 12+ years for all scuba activities
    • You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire before participating in any scuba activities – SEE Important Information for SCUBA DIVING below
  • No alcohol may be consumed before in water activities
  • Please remember you need to allow 24 hours from your last dive before flying
  • As with all boats to the Great Barrier Reef, Compass is a non-smoking vessel

Tour Itinerary

  • 07:30 – Board the boat Compass, at Cairns Marina ‘Marlin Wharf Berth 18’, for check-in. View map to Cairns Marlin Marina
  • 08:00 –Depart Cairns to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Safety talk, snorkel and dive briefings
  • 10:30 – Arrive at your first Great Barrier Reef Location
  • 12:30 – BBQ Lunch with fresh salads
  • 13:00 – Cruise to 2nd Reef Location
  • 15:30 – Depart the Great Barrier Reef
  • 17:30 – Approximate Arrival time at Cairns Marina

Important Information FOR SCUBA DIVING

Our ‘Budget Scuba Dive Tour’ is for Certified Divers (qualified) who already hold a scuba diving licence of ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher. Not a certified diver? …Please see our budget reef cruise for beginner Resort Divers

What is a Certified Dive? A Certified Scuba dive is when you have completed an “Open Water” Dive Course or higher and have a certified scuba divers licence as proof of qualification (generally takes 3 – 4 days to complete)

What is a Resort/Introductory Dive? Resort diving requires no previous scuba experience. Conducted in small groups of 4 guests, under the supervision of an experienced Dive Instructor. Resort dives give beginners an unforgettable Great Barrier Reef experience without having to complete a full scuba diving course. Please follow the link above if you are not a qualified Certified Diver to book a budget Resort Dive tour

Can anyone go Scuba Diving? If you can swim and are in good physical health, you can probably dive.

Certified Scuba Diving in Australia is subject to medical conditions – this applies to qualified divers AND beginner divers alike. The minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years.

Queensland Dive Laws are the strictest in the World – with the safest dive record in the world

IMPORTANT Please be aware that some Medical Conditions (past or present) or Medications could prevent you from participating in scuba activities. If you wish to partake in our Certified Scuba Dive OR Beginner Scuba Dive, it is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure they are medically fit to dive. If you have had any medical condition OR are taking any medication OR have ANY health condition, please complete our can I go diving questionnaire.

Flying after Scuba diving

For a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive. For multiple scuba dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible


Book Read policies


Compass Cruises Cairns best budget reef tour

Private: Great Barrier Reef Budget Cruise

Compass Cruises - Reef Day Tour

Enjoy a wonderful reef day tour with Compass Cruises. Travel on the basic package & tailor your day by selecting the activities you wish! It's Cairns BEST BUDGET REEF TRIP: Snorkel, Scuba Dive, Glass Bottom Boat, Boomnetting & much more.



3 Reviews for “Reef Day Tour Scuba Dive”

  1. Sangramjit S

    Excellent support staff/crew with all inputs valuable. The best part was snorkelling/scuba diving. Good crew members attitude towards us as well support for all activitities. Recommend for all my friends to come through Compass Cruise.

  2. Clayton

    The crew were friendly, helpful and fun. It was great seeing so many colours. Don't change the lunch--it was epic!!!

  3. Fiona

    We loved it. It was a great experience and the crew where extremely enthousiastic and helpful. They gave us a great explanation of what we were going to do and see. It was a day to remember.


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