The Great Barrier Reef (also abbreviated as GBR), is one of the 7 wonders of the natural world, and provides one of the most spectacular maritime scenery on the planet. It’s larger than the Great Wall of China, and is the only living thing that’s visible from space. The GBR is a site of remarkable beauty, and contains the planet’s largest collection of coral reefs, with over 400 types of coral, more than 1,500 species of tropical fish and over 4,000 types of mollusks. A closer encounter with the GBR’s impressive coral gardens will reveal lots of astounding underwater attractions including but not limited to; corals, coral sponges, rays, mollusks, tropical fish, dolphins, sea turtles, giant clams and much more.
As the most extensive coral reef ecosystem in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is actually a globally outstanding entity. As a matter of fact, there are more different species of plants and animals, in one cubic meter of the GBR, than in any other environment on earth. In fact, some of the reefs have more different types of fish than in the whole of the Caribbean Ocean. The reef is also a breeding ground for the humpback whales, and a habitat of a number of endangered species including, the green sea turtle and the sea cow (also known as Dugong). In recognition of its’ significance, UNESCO listed GBR as a World Heritage Site in the year 1981.
Because of its’ natural beauty, both above and below the water surface, the GBR has become one of the planet’s most sought after tourist destination. With colorful marine life, stunning coral reefs, and spectacular scenery, visiting the GBR is a once in a lifetime experience that you will treasure forever.
Great Barrier Reef Cruises
GBR cruises usually range from overnight cruises which focus on diving and snorkeling experiences, through to seven night cruises where you will visit and explore the reef’s picturesque islands. That said, lets look at some of the popular Great Barrier Reef cruises:
- Coral Princess – Locally based, Coral Princess offers 3, 4 and 7 day options on expedition ships that depart from Cairns. Coral Princess normally ventures to amazing locations including, Magnetic Island, Lizard Island, and Pelorus Island.
- Coral Sea Dreaming – Coral Sea Dreaming usually offers a 2 day/ 1 night snorkelling and diving adventure which offers a personalized cruising experience. This GBR cruise visits areas such as Briggs,Thetford and Moore.
- Quicksilver – Quicksilver is actually the pioneer of GBR cruising, and is Australia’s most awarded reef cruise. Quicksilver departs daily from Port Douglas. With Quicksilver, you will get to enjoy semi submersible tours with great commentary, snorkelling, marine biologist presentations, and much more.
- Silversonic – This is among the newest custom built diving and snorkelling catamarans that’s based in Port Douglas. The Silversonic operates with a special roaming permit, and it has exclusive permits at the Agincourt Reef. Silversonic also has a permit to swim with the Minke Whales.
Best Time of Year
The Great Barrier Reef is actually accessible all year round, although there are times which are better than others. That said, the best time to visit is from the month of June, to the month of October. You will enjoy pleasant weather and pretty good underwater visibility. Summer (that is from the month of December to the month of March), is usually the worst time.