The Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon: An Unforgettable Underwater Adventure

The Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon is a remarkable destination that offers a gateway to the mesmerizing world of the Great Barrier Reef. Situated on the vibrant waters of the reef, this pontoon serves as a hub of exploration, relaxation, and unparalleled underwater encounters, allowing you to immerse yourself in the wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Reef Discovery Center: The pontoon is equipped with a Reef Discovery Center, where you can deepen your understanding of the reef’s ecology, its inhabitants, and the vital importance of its conservation.

2. Snorkeling Extravaganza:

Grab your snorkel gear and dive into the crystal-clear waters surrounding the pontoon—Marvel at the kaleidoscope of colourful corals and the diverse marine life beneath the surface.

3. Semi-Submersible Tours:

Experience the reef’s magic without getting wet. Climb aboard the semi-submersible vessel and peer through its large windows to witness the underwater world’s beauty in comfort.

4. Scenic Helicopter Flights:

Elevate your experience with scenic helicopter flights that provide breathtaking aerial views of the pontoon, the reef’s formations, and the iconic Heart Reef.

5. Underwater Observatory:

View the underwater observatory to get an up-close glimpse of the reef’s marine residents, all while staying dry and comfortable within the observatory’s chambers.

6. Adventure Activities

For thrill-seekers, the pontoon offers an array of adventure activities, from snorkelling safaris to guided dives, allowing you to explore various sections of the reef.

7. Glass-Bottom Boat Tours:

Enjoy the best of both worlds with glass-bottom boat tours. Traverse the reef’s shallows in a vessel that offers a clear view of the underwater realm beneath you.

8. Coral Gardens Exploration

Wander along dedicated pathways on the pontoon that lead you to the coral gardens, where you can witness firsthand the intricacy and vitality of the reef’s diverse coral formations.

9. Conservation Initiatives

Cruise Whitsundays’ commitment to reef conservation shines at the pontoon, where efforts are made to educate visitors about sustainable practices that protect this fragile ecosystem.

10. Indigenous Connections

Learn about the reef’s significance to the Ngaro Indigenous people through educational displays and immersive experiences highlighting the region’s cultural heritage.

11. Reef-Friendly Experience

Cruise Whitsundays takes pride in offering reef-friendly experiences that minimize the environmental impact, ensuring that future generations can continue to appreciate its beauty.

12. Family-Friendly Activities

The pontoon caters to visitors of all ages with family-friendly activities and guided experiences that allow everyone to enjoy the magic of the reef.

13. Memorable Reef Sleep

Immerse yourself in the reef’s tranquillity with the Reefsleep experience. Spend a night on the pontoon, surrounded by the reef’s wonders, as you create lasting memories under the stars.

14. Marine Expertise

The pontoon’s knowledgeable crew, including marine biologists, guides, and dive instructors, are on hand to provide insights and assistance, enriching your reef adventure.

15. Endless Exploration

From observing the delicate corals to encountering schools of vibrant fish, every moment spent at the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon is an opportunity for discovery.

Embarking on an adventure to the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon is a journey into a world of wonder. It’s a chance to witness the vibrant marine life, embrace the reef’s beauty, and contribute to its preservation while creating memories that resonate with the splendour of this natural treasure.

FAQS Cruise Whitsundays

Q. What is the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon?

A. The Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon is a floating platform on the Great Barrier Reef. It serves as a base for various activities, including snorkeling, diving, semi-submersible tours, and more.

Q. How do I get to the pontoon?

A. You can reach the pontoon by booking a cruise with Cruise Whitsundays. They offer ferry services and boat transfers from different departure points, such as Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

Q. What activities can I do at the pontoon?

A. At the pontoon, you can enjoy snorkeling, diving, guided underwater observatory tours, semi-submersible rides, scenic helicopter flights, and exploring the reef’s marine life.

Q. Do I need to be a strong swimmer to participate in the activities?

A. While some activities require swimming skills, such as snorkeling and guided dives, options like the semi-submersible tour and underwater observatory allow you to experience the reef without swimming.

Q. Is the pontoon suitable for families and children?

A. The pontoon offers family-friendly activities and experiences. Activities are ideal for children, and the crew is attentive to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Q. Are there food and drinks available on the pontoon?

A. Yes, the pontoon has catering facilities that offer a variety of meals, snacks, and refreshments. You can enjoy a meal with an incredible view of the reef.

Q. Can I stay overnight on the pontoon?

A. The Reefsleep experience allows you to spend a night on the pontoon, surrounded by the reef. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy the reef’s tranquillity during the day and under the stars.

Q. How can I learn more about the reef's marine life?

A. The pontoon has marine experts, including marine biologists and guides, who offer informative talks, guided tours, and presentations to educate visitors about the reef’s marine ecosystem.

Q. Is the pontoon environmentally friendly?

A. Cruise Whitsundays is committed to sustainable tourism practices. The pontoon follows eco-friendly initiatives to minimize its environmental impact and protect the reef.

Q. Can I book activities on the pontoon in advance?

A. Yes, booking your activities in advance is recommended to secure your spot, especially during peak seasons.

Q.What should I bring to the pontoon?

A. It’s advisable to bring swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, a towel, and a change of clothes. If you’re planning to participate in diving, bring any necessary certification.

Q.Is the pontoon accessible for people with mobility challenges?

A. The pontoon is designed to accommodate visitors with mobility challenges. Facilities and equipment are in place to ensure everyone can enjoy the activities.

Q. Can I see the iconic Heart Reef from the pontoon?

A. Some pontoon tours include scenic helicopter flights that offer aerial views of the iconic Heart Reef, allowing you to admire its unique heart-shaped formation from above.

Q. How does the pontoon contribute to reef conservation?

A. Cruise Whitsundays is dedicated to reef conservation. The pontoon educates visitors about preserving the reef and supports various initiatives to protect its fragile ecosystem.

Q. How do I book a visit to the pontoon?

A. In a few easy steps, start by clicking on the Book button right here on this website;

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef from the Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Pontoon is a remarkable adventure that allows you to engage with the reef’s beauty, learn about its importance, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Enjoy a full day of adventure at Reef World

Discover the magnificent colours of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.



So Much Packed Into 1 Day!

Snorkeling with all gear provided
An innovative and spacious reef pontoon
Semi-submarine boat Tour
Underwater viewing chamber
Impressive buffet lunch
Morning and afternoon tea
Tea and coffee
Reef Presentation
Wetsuit and stinger suit usage
Sun deck
This tour is also available from Hamilton Island and Day Dream Island
Government Reef Levies

Optional Extras

  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • Introductory and certified scuba diving (medical conditions apply)
  • Guided snorkel tour
  • Massage
  • Seabob tour (medical conditions apply)

What to bring

  • Sunblock
  • Swimwear and Towel
  • Protective clothing from the sun including a hat
  • Light jacket/sweater during cooler months
  • Money / credit card for optional purchases
  • A camera and a sense of fun

How to get there

Getting to Reef World

Depending on weather and sea conditions, this Great Barrier Reef tour takes 2.5 to 3 hours to get to Reef World.

Daily Departures and Return times
Port of Airlie departs at 8:00 am and returns at 6:10 pm (Please arrive at 7.30 am for check-in)
Hamilton Island Departs at 9:00 am and returns at 5:00 pm

Coach transfers to Port of Airlie are available at an additional cost. Return times when the vessel arrives back at the island resort or mainland.


Important Information

Important Information for Scuba Diving

We have a passion to show you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.   We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.

To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all of our passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and/or medications may prevent you from scuba diving.   It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.

Scuba Diving Medical 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 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.






Tour Features

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24 Cove RoadAirlie BeachQueensland, 4802
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