Orion's exploration of Australia's World Heritage Great Barrier Reef is designed to ensure your experience of the Barrier Reef is like no other. Orion's Zodiac safaris allow guests to snorkel and swim over a pristine and seldom visited section of Hardy reef, alive with corals and teeming with myriads of tropical fish. Hayman Island is Australia's most celebrated private island destination, where guests will have access to many of the facilities of this luxury resort. On Percy Island you will enjoy kayaking in this idyllic setting whilst our attentive crew prepares a seafood beach BBQ you will never forget. A small ship cruise to Australia's Great Barrier Reef aboard the Orion is the trip of a lifetime.
Day 1 - Cairns, Queensland
The Cairns region is internationally recognized for world class attractions, superb natural features and friendly north Queensland hospitality. It is the focal point for the magnificent World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and is surrounded by tropical rain forests. Visitors enjoy browsing at indigenous art galleries, shopping at the night markets and dining out on multicultural cuisine in the many restaurants along the esplanade. Board the Orion for your Great Barrier Reef small ship cruise.Accommodations: OrionIncluded Meals:
Day 2 - Hardy Reef, Queensland
Relaxed and ready to explore, Orion guests will meet the day with snorkels in hand. Hardy Reef will offer the opportunity to experience the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef first hand. The colored coral expanses just below the surface of the warm, crystal clear tropical waters are home to an unbelievable array of sea life just below the dazzling surface.Accommodations: OrionIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - Hamilton Island
One of the best known islands on the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in the Whitsunday Island group. Originally developed in the 1970’s by Keith Williams, the island has continued to grow and develop over the years and was just recently featured in the “Best Job in the World” promotion.
As with most of the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton was formed as sea levels rose over time, “drowning” once coastal mountain ranges, turning them into islands. After a short Zodiac transfer to the Hamilton Island Marina you are free to explore the island. Take advantage of the shuttle bus to move around the island, you can easily access Cat’s Eye Beach for swimming and snorkeling, or access the island resort center with its swimming pool, bars and restaurants. Take a walk down Front Street for some shopping, drop into the art gallery or prop yourself at one of the cafes or bars, or take one of the island trails for some more energetic walking (maps of the island trails will be available to you).Accommodations: OrionIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Percy Island
The explorer Matthew Flinders visited the Percy Isles in September 1802 and described one of the coves as "one of the prettiest little places imaginable". Middle Percy, the largest of the three islands in the group, is a favorite stop for cruising yachtsmen en route between the tropical north and southern seas. An A-frame hut on the beach is decorated with memorabilia and souvenirs from these yachts. Middle Percy was first settled in 1870 and the homestead dating from that time is today occupied by the island caretakers.
What more perfect way to spend your day than to while it away in the shade or in the shallows with a glass of wine in your hand? A sumptuous beach BBQ is provided today, our fleet of sea kayaks will be available for you to explore the coast and estuaries of Middle Percy (tide and weather permitting) and the island has a series of walking trails where you may come across resident population of Emu and other native and introduced wildlife.Accommodations: OrionIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - Lady Elliot Island
In addition to swimming and snorkeling on the idyllic beach, Orion guests are offered an included glass bottom boat and snorkel tour around the island. There are also optional scuba tours for certified divers and beginners who wish to experience scuba diving. The diving and snorkeling environment on Lady Elliott Island is second to none.Accommodations: OrionIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - Brisbane, Queensland
Situated midway up the east coast of Australia is Brisbane, capital city of Queensland. With the Gold Coast beaches to the south and the Sunshine Coast to the north, Brisbane is well situated to end your Orion journey.Accommodations:
We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife, and unplanned discoveries. Our ability to be flexible makes our style of cruising unique.
Included in your cruise fare are accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programes, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port & handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers, access to the ship's library, Govt. Fees & Taxes. Fares also include the services of 75 experienced crew.
Fares do not include items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance, laundry charges, shopping onboard, bar expenses, hair dressing and massage treatments, optional shore experiences, medical treatment, telephone and internet charges.
Single travelers may reserve sole occupancy of a twin occupancy stateroom for 25% less than the regular stateroom (twin occupancy) fare in categories JS, A and B. Subject to availability. Some staterooms accommodate a third or fourth person. Adults age 16 years and over pay 50% (children ages 2-15 years pay 25%) of the applicable stateroom category fare when sharing the room with two full-fare guests
Arrival & Departure:
The Great Barrier Reef cruise begins in Cairns and ends in Brisbane. Embarkation time is between 3:00 – 4:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 9:00 – 10:30am.
Payment & Cancellation:
To secure your reservation a deposit of 25% of the fare is required. The deposit must be accompanied by a completed and signed Guest Booking Form and is due within 7 days of booking. Final payment must be received no later than 90 days before sailing. Separate conditions apply to the Cancellation Protection Plan.
Cancellation Policy: The following cancellation fees will apply to all reservations. The day on which written notice is received will determine the applicable penalties.
Day on Which Notice is received Penalty:
121 days and over - 50% of deposit
120 - 91 days prior 100% of deposit
90 days or less 100% of fare
No show - no written notice 100% of fare
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
A number of complimentary shore experiences utilizing Zodiacs are included. In addition, an exciting and diverse selection of optional shore experiences can be either booked in advance or reserved onboard and charged to your onboard account. Due to limited numbers on some experiences we recommend you pre-register to avoid disappointment. Details will be provided with your ticket.
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. Any medical condition, advanced pregnancy or disability must be advised to AdventureSmith Explorations when a request for accommodation is made. On every Orion voyage extensive use of the ship’s Zodiacs will be made transporting guests between ship and shore. It is anticipated this travel may be physically demanding from time to time. In order for the crew to determine if safe passage can be offered, guests may be asked to provide additional information, such as a medical assessment of their fitness for expeditionary travel. All guests must sign a disclaimer onboard to participate in offship activities. Guests should be sure to bring onboard sufficient supplies of any prescription medication they may require.
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