Every unmissable highlight of our Great Barrier Reef cruises

When you cruise to the Great Barrier Reef with Carnival, the destination isn’t the only highlight of the journey. Here are all the not-to-miss highlights.

Great Barrier Reef from above

Without doubt, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions.

And we can’t think of a better way of getting to the reef than on a cruise. It might be the ultimate destination on our seven- and 10-day cruises from Brisbane (Carnival Spirit) and Sydney (Carnival Splendor), but there’s so much to see and do before you even get there.

Here are seven unmissable highlights of our cruises to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef. (Ports of call and their order may vary – below is indicative only).

Fun on Carnival Splendor

Bay watch

On our 10-day cruise from Sydney, your first port-of-call is Tangalooma on Moreton Island. Nothing will quite prepare you for how beautiful this little-known treasure of Brisbane’s Moreton Bay actually is. Beyond the ultra-white sand and impossibly crystalline waters, the island is also a marine sanctuary and home to the Tangalooma Wrecks, a haven for snorkellers. The real highlight? Hand-feeding wild dolphins who come close to shore at dusk for “dinner”.

Tangalooma Wrecks in Moreton Island, Queensland

Food glorious food

While the natural world shows off all its beauty outside, inside our chefs are creating great food to tempt you. Indulge your tastebuds at fabulous eateries like the BlueIguana Cantina, 24/7 Pizzeria, Guy’s Burger Joint and Swirls. Or elevate your culinary experiences by trying one of our specialty restaurants*: try melt-in-the-mouth steak at Nouveau/Farenheit 555, Japanese deliciousness at Bonsai Sushi or book a seat at the very special Chef’s Table.

Blue Iguana Cantina onboard Carnival Spirit

Idyllic isle

Airlie Beach, on the central Queensland coast, is a beautiful port town and a gateway to the state’s sublime Whitsunday Islands, including one of the largest: the uninhabited Whitehaven. On our Exhilarating Whitehaven Expedition, take a wild ride on an inflatable boat to the isle, home to Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the whitest sand in the world. Swim, walk and enjoy lunch before returning to your cruise ship for an evening of entertainment galore.

Airlie Beach relaxation in Queensland

Blue sky day

Once you’re in Cairns, the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef are on your doorstep. And one of the best ways to take in the reef’s magnitude is from the air. On a 40-minute scenic flight you’ll take in the incredible colours and shapes of the reef before flying back towards the mainland, passing over Green Island, Arlington Reef and Palm Cove.

Cairns from above

Who dares wins

For adrenaline junkies, Cairns also offers endless opportunities to get the pulse racing, while giving you access to some of the region’s most spectacular sights. Explore the Goldsborough Valley’s Mulgrave River on our Wild River Tube Ride; take a white-water rafting thrill ride down the Barron River; or strap in for a parasailing adventure over the turquoise waters of Trinity Inlet.

White Water Rafting over the Barron River

On board games

In between marvelling at Australia’s incredible coastline, you might also find yourself marvelling at some of the incredible offerings on board Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor. That might include enjoying one of our dazzling original Broadway-style musical productions or stage shows; laughing till your sides hurt at The Punchliner Comedy Club; testing your skills in Hasbro, The Game Show; or showing the world what you’re made of at karaoke.

Hasbro the Game Show onboard Carnival.

Blues and greens

Last, but certainly not least, is Port Douglas, the only place in the world where two World Heritage sites – the reef and the Daintree rainforest – meet. For a close-up look at the big blue sea, take a fast catamaran to Agincourt Pontoon in the Outer Reef, where you can swim, snorkel and hop aboard a semi-submersible vessel for a view you won’t forget in a hurry. Or, to explore the greens of the rainforest, take an excursion deep into the Daintree to learn more about its incredible history (some 150 million years of it) and immerse yourself in its endless beauty.

Snorkel the reefs at Port Douglas, Queensland

* Additional charges apply.

For all the latest and best offers, speak to your Travel Agent, call Carnival on 13 31 94 or visit carnival.com.au.