FRANKLAND ISLANDS REEF CRUISES / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

You can find answers to our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have another question that we have not yet answered here, let us know!

When do your tours operate?

Frankland Islands Reef Cruises currently operates on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays, with additional dates opened subject to availability. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.

Do you provide transfers between Cairns and Deeral?

Yes, coach transfers from Cairns CBD accommodation to our departure point at Deeral are available for our all-inclusive tour passengers. Simply select your preferred option when booking.

You're also welcome to make your own way to the boat using our handy self-drive map. Please make sure you check in by 8.15am.

Do you have a local discount?

Yes! Cairns locals receive a 30% discount. Simply enter the promo code LOCAL30 at checkout.

Our locals discount applies to Cairns locals only (persons whose primary place of residence is between Innisfail, Cape Tribulation and the Tablelands). A driver’s license is adequate proof – management must approve any other form of identification. These discounts are not available for visiting friends and families of locals. Language students and people on working holiday visas are not considered locals. Discount not available on public holidays.

What are your COVID safety measures?

Please view our COVID safety info page for important information about Queensland Health requirements and helping us keep our passengers, staff and community safe.

What should I bring?

You'll need your swimsuit and towel, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (try for a reef friendly type), and shoes that can get wet and sandy. Bring anything else you want to have with you for a day out on a tropical island. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle, and cash or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for onboard purchases or optional activities.

If you've chosen our transfer-only rate, you'll also need to bring your food and drink for the day and any snorkelling gear. We will have snorkelling equipment available for hire.

What time does the tour depart Deeral?

Our boat the Turtle Islander will depart Deeral at 8.30am unless otherwise advised. Please check in at 8.15am.

What time does the tour return to Deeral?

Between 3.30pm and 4pm.

Do the tides affect the timing of the tour?

Yes, they can. Extreme low tides may vary the times of the tour or cause it to be cancelled. We will advise guests at the time of booking or as soon as possible afterwards if this is the case. The tour duration stays the same, we just depart later and return later. We will not depart earlier than our usual time of 8:30am. You can view upcoming dates affected by tides on our tour page.

How long do I get to spend on the Great Barrier Reef?

Between 4 and 4.5 hours.

Is there parking at the departure location in Deeral?

Yes, there is plenty of free parking.

What is the general day plan? Can I choose activities when I am out there?

After departure, we serve morning tea on board the Turtle Islander. The timing of the day depends on guest numbers and pre-booked optional activities. The crew will provide an outline of the timing for the day before arriving at the island. There is also a chalkboard at the picnic area with the information for guests to refer to, and if you need more information or advice throughout the day, you can ask any of our friendly crew!

Can I go scuba diving?

Scuba diving is subject to availability and minimum numbers apply. Please contact us for more information.

I am very nervous in the water. If I choose not to swim, what else can I do?

For nervous swimmers we provide a range of flotation devices including life jackets and pool noodles. Our snorkel guides will also assist you. Should you decide not to snorkel, we have our semi-submersible boat tour to join and the guided island walk. The island is also a lovely place to relax on your very own crowd-free white sandy beach with a good book!

I have certain foods I cannot eat or choose not to eat, am I catered for?

Yes, we can arrange special meals for most dietary requirements. Please let us know at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Do I need a protection suit for stingers and what is the cost?

We provide lycra suits free of charge from November to April. During this time, they are compulsory for all our guests to wear them.

Is this tour suitable for families with young children?

Yes! During our day on the island young children can easily swim or snorkel from the beach. We provide flotation devices and our snorkel guides are happy to help with equipment and tuition. The guided island walk and our kids' treasure hunt are also great fun for children.

Guests are welcome to bring portable prams, but please note there are no paved walk so they will need to carry or push them on the sand. The shaded picnic area is a lovely spot for a nap for the little ones.

Is this tour suitable for elderly people or people with mobility issues?

As there are no paved walkways on the island, guests need to be able to walk up to 100 metres on sand and navigate stairs on board the vessel. Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for guests using wheelchairs.

Are there toilets on the island?

There are no toilets on the island, but we run direct shuttles back to the main vessel for any toilet breaks required.

Does the tour go ahead if it is raining?

Yes, we will still visit the Great Barrier Reef if it is raining! Please be aware there is limited shelter on the island. We recommend bringing a light waterproof jacket.

What happens in the case of extreme weather?

We'd love to guarantee perfect weather for all our guests, however we cannot control this! Should the weather create an unsafe environment, then we will cancel our tour. We will do all we can to contact our guests and advise of this prior to the day of travel and where possible re-book guests on an alternative date or provide a full refund.

What if I get sea sick? Is this a suitable tour for me?

Yes, our tour is more suitable than many other Great Barrier Reef tours for guests who may get sea sick, as we have a calm water river cruise and the shortest crossing to the Great Barrier Reef of just 6 miles (approximately 30 minutes). Once we arrive at our destination, we base ourselves on the island, which does not move, and you can recover quickly and enjoy your Great Barrier Reef experience. If you are still concerned, we recommend you take seasickness medication.

Can I bring my fishing gear?

Sorry, fishing is not permitted on this tour.

What is the cancellation policy?

You can change or cancel your booking any time up to 24 hours before departure without penalty. 100% cancellation fee will apply after this time. Please view our terms and conditions for more information.

What payment methods are available?

You'll need to pay for your trip at the time of booking via Visa or Mastercard. If time permits, we do allow bank transfer, however funds must be settled into our account prior to the tour. Contact us for more info.

Do you sell gift vouchers?

Yes! Give someone the gift of a day in paradise with a gift voucher. These are valid for 12 months from the purchase date so the recipient has the flexibility to travel whenever they choose. Head to our pricing page to purchase a voucher.

Can you recommend any Great Barrier Reef scuba trips?

Yes! Our sister company Divers Den runs day trips and overnight trips to the outer Great Barrier Reef. If you're looking to travel even further out to the remote regions of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, we recommend Spirit of Freedom liveaboard cruises.

Can I fly my drone on the island?

The operation of Drones, both private and commercial, and publication of footage taken by Drones is governed by Commonwealth legislation, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Personal Drone classification – Maximum 2kg, No commercial use of footage No commercial drone flights without prior approval. The following guidelines must be followed for passengers wishing to operate their personal drone: The following guidelines must be followed for passengers wishing to operate their personal drone: • Recording or publishing of recordings is for private use only. It cannot be published on public media sites including FRANKLAND ISLANDS social media sites. It may not be used for commercial or scientific purposes. • Recreational use of a drone must be in accordance with CASA guidelines/legislation • Drone flights to be conducted only when vessel is moored/stationary • Drone flights to be conducted BEFORE lunch. Helicopter activity occurs in this area in the afternoons. • Consult Captain prior to launch regarding moving times for vessel • All passengers flying drones must communicate their intended launch time with the skipper/supervisor and receive verbal permission prior to launch. • Launching and landing locations will be chosen by the skipper/supervisor to suit the operaion and pax numbers for the day. • Stay 15m clear of radar, aerials, antennas, ships lights etc during flight. • No night flying • No flying in or through cloud or fog • You must be able to see your drone with your own eyes at all times (not using FPV, binoculars, telescopes) • Do not fly higher than 120m/400’ above ground/sea level • Do not fly in a way that creates a hazard to other aircraft. • No unusual lighting - strobes, high intensity lights, extended lighting at a single location. Distances & Exclusion zones • Drones not to operate in GBRMPA/National Parks aircraft exclusion areas (mainly bird nesting & turtle nesting sites) includes Raine Island, McLellan & Moulter Cays, Sandbank #7 & #8, Fitzroy Island Reef, Seabird Islet (Liz Island group), 3 islands, 2 islands, intertidal area Daintree & Bloomfield rivers, state marine park rivers, streams, inlets between Bloomfield & Mission Beach, Cape Trib Bay • Drones/units not to approach closer than: • 20m radius marine turtles • 30m radius crocodiles • 30m radius dugongs • 75m radius from seabirds • No filming of Whales or Dolphins (Commonwealth – includes GBR & Coral Sea) • No filming within 30m of Frankland Island vessels, any persons in or on the water, any persons in or onboard vessels. • No flying directly above passengers in-water or directly above the vessel. • No filming of other vessels, aircraft or persons Note: Radius means above and around All filming equipment, accessories and activities are at the sole risk of the operator/owner. • GBR Marine Park - no permit required for non-commercial drone • Coral Sea Marine Park - permit required from PARKS AUSTRALIA

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