What differentiates Passions of Paradise is their determination to give you an ecologically great experience of the Great Barrier Reef whether you’re a snorkeler, certified divers, or wanting to try an introductory dive. As Climate Action Leaders, within the tier of Advanced Ecotourism operators, their commitment to a sustainable visit to the Reef, and their passion to share an understanding of the unique marine environment shines through.
Passions operate a purpose built 25m sailing catamaran with trips to Paradise Reef and Michaelmas Cay daily. It is not the fastest boat, nor the biggest taking only 80 passengers max, but Passions have an exclusive permit for Paradise Reef, and one of only three permits to visit Michaelmas Cay – with its amazing marine bird population.
The trip combines migratory sea birds, access whether snorkelling or diving to the marine environment without the crowds and true sailing.
The cat has an air-conditioned cabin, giving passengers inside a good view over the ocean, and a full commercial galley. Outside, there is level wrap around deck, plenty of space for sun-worshipping in the nets between the bows, and a custom dive deck with twin stairs into the water, at the stern.
Passions offer both certified and introductory diving with all the gear you could need available for hire.
Passions of Paradise is a certified PADI dive centre. One of the courses on offer is the National Geographic Diver specialty course which as part of a full day’s diving on the Reef includes an Eye on the Reef survey. An experience I can truly recommend; you can read more about that on our Blog here.
Operating from Cairns, Passions have an exclusive permit for Paradise Reef, and one of only three permits to visit Michaelmas Cay.
Enquiries: please contact Passions of Paradise directly: +61 7 4041 1600 or via their Contact page.
Check-in at the Cairns Reef Terminal is at 7.30am for an 8am departure. Morning tea including freshly brewed coffee and muffins is served on the trip out to the Reef.
The cat moors at Michaelmas Cay. Divers are taken using the glass bottom boat as the tender to the best locations on the day. On Paradise Reef, you can dive straight from the boat via the stairs.
Snorkelling is also available throughout the day, and any non-divers in your party can take advantage of free snorkelling tuition, or the Introductory Diving sessions on offer.
Between dives an expansive hot and cold buffet lunch is served in the main cabin.
It is worth making time to snorkel over to Michaelmas Cay at some point just to see the amazing bird life – not to mention some of the nicest reefs on the way.
The water is crystal clear, and you’ll see a myriad of reef fish, small and large, on the reefs and bommies. As well as places you might not expect.
In between is a fine sand in which you might spot a Garden eel.
We also encountered some larger fish including the resident grouper, and a few pockets of batfish.
You are also extremely likely to encounter a turtle, as we did on the sand crossing between two bommies.
During the trip back, Passions will raise her sails making a considerable saving in diesel fuel, and making good her commitment to sustainable tourism. A perfect time to enjoy the ocean from the sundeck – a time when you’re most likely to catch sight of dolphins.
Alternately, in the main cabin you can listen to the reef interpretation talk, or watch the entertainment provided by staff whilst enjoying a beverage from the bar.