11 Day charter itinerary – Great Barrier Reef
DAY ONE – Opal Reef
Step on board at 12.00pm and the crew will show you around your cabins. Shortly after we will be steaming for 3 hours to Opal Reef for an afternoon of snorkeling, swimming and exploring the stunning Great Barrier Reef directly off the swimming platform.
Opal Reef is a large, mostly shallow, crescent-shaped reef near the edge of the continental shelf. The shape provides a lot of protection from the prevailing wind. This, combined with the clear water, means the reef has really excellent snorkelling. There are a variety of reef types and we try to combine a selection each day to demonstrate the diversity of habitats. In the late afternoon, we will go to a nearby anchorage for the evening to enjoy your first Great Barrier Reef sunset cocktails and canapes before dinner.
DAY TWO – Escape Reef
A morning of dive at the southern end of Opal Reef followed by a dive at the most northern part of Opal Reef. Enjoy a well deserved late lunch on board whilst we cruise north to Escape Reef.
Enjoy a late afternoon dive at Escape Reef or try your luck bottom fishing for a sought after Coral Trout, which is perfect for lunch the following day! Escape Reef trips offer a diverse range of species and some high-quality fishing for some of the most iconic bluewater Reef species on the Great Barrier Reef. This reef area is a sportfishing paradise, with spectacular year-round action. This reef system has an appeal that keeps anglers coming back year after year, and with the fishing getting better every year why wouldn’t they!
DAY THREE – Cooktown
Steam to Ribbons Reef #2 (overnight or early morning cruising) – Pinnacle Dive and Wall Dive on the southern tip of Ribbons #2. If fishing is your preference, morning fishing is possible whether it be trolling for pelagic species such as tasty Spanish mackerel or bottom fishing for reef species such as Nannygai and Red Emperor! Enjoy lunch on board then relax on the deck whilst you cruise into the small town of Cooktown.
Experience the Endeavour River at its most special time of day. Explore the harbour in the long afternoon light and then head upstream to watch the sunset over the distant ranges. While navigating the maze way of smaller creeks you will be served a complimentary gourmet cheese platter to accompany your drink of choice. After dark, spotlights add a whole new perspective to the impenetrable walls of mangrove that line the river. Listen to some stories about Captain Cook’s infamous passage along the Cape, about the glory days of pearling luggers and about the new Cooktown, gateway to the frontier. This sunset cruise can make a wonderfully peaceful way to end the day.
DAY FOUR – Rainbow Serpent Rock Art & Steve’s Bommie
Early morning, the tenders will drop the guests off at Fisherman’s Wharf for an exclusive aboriginal discovery morning tour. Your passionate guide takes you through a dramatic landscape to six rock art sites, including the Rainbow Serpent cave and an ancestral Birth Site where Willie’s (tour guide) grandfather was born. You’ll gain an understanding of the spiritual meanings and stories behind the paintings, and along the way learn some of the survival techniques of the Nugal-warra people – and maybe taste a green ant or two!
Includes an estimated 30-minute bush walk; there is a short climb to two of the sites, but generally, the terrain is easy. Arrive back on board in the afternoon. Cruise out to Ribbons Reef #3 for late an afternoon dive at the world’s famous Steve’s Bommie.
If you are interested in the remaining 7 days of the entire itinerary please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.