Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Dive and snorkel new Great Barrier Reef sites

  • Passions III to visit new Reef sites

New diving and snorkelling sites will be accessible on the Great Barrier Reef with the launch of Passions III in Cairns this month.

Passions of Paradise has unveiled its 25m reef vessel which was designed and built over three years to be one of the fastest commercial sailing catamarans in Australia.

Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden said Passions III would cruise at 15 knots, with a maximum speed of 19 knots allowing it to access two of the Cairns company’s 25 outer Great Barrier Reef moorings on a day trip.

“We have added a 30-metre mast so Passions III will have one of the largest sailing rigs in Australia to take advantage of Tropical North Queensland’s prevailing south-easterly winds.

“Our carbon-neutral company takes great pride in sailing back to Cairns from the Great Barrier Reef and with the faster catamaran we can choose the best sites for the weather conditions on the day.

“As a locally owned company we have been able to draw on our 30 years of Great Barrier Reef and tourism experience to design an environmentally-friendly catamaran that suits both our market and our reef conditions.

“Passions III has a second deck, two large spaces for sun lounging and a modern luxurious interior with a larger galley and bar and plenty of room for 100 passengers to comfortably move around.

“The purpose-built boat will allow Passions of Paradise to tailor each day on the Great Barrier Reef to the wind conditions ensuring a comfortable trip with ideal dive and snorkelling locations.

“Passions III will visit a range of moorings including Flynn, Milln and Moore Reefs to the south of Cairns and Norman and Hastings Reefs to the north.”

A revamped Passions of Paradise logo, website and new uniforms also will be launched with Passions III giving the company a new look for 2017.

“What hasn’t changed is the friendly customer focus and the fun and educational, personalised experience on the Great Barrier Reef that Passions of Paradise is renowned for,” Mr Garden said.

To book or for more information go to

Passions III Great Barrier Reef day tour includes:

  • Two Reef locations
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Guided snorkelling tour
  • Eco-accredited presentation on marine life
  • Hot and cold buffet lunch prepared on board by a chef
  • Morning and afternoon tea

Cost (including Reef Levy):

Adults $174, Child (4-14) $115, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $519

Passions of Paradise awards

  1. 2014 Queensland Tourism Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
  2. 2014 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
  3. 2013 Innovation in Ecotourism Award, Ecotourism Australia
  4. 2013 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Award for Adventure Tourism
  5. 2013 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Award for Major Tour &/or Transport Operator
  6. 2009 Australian Tourism Award for Adventure Tourism
  7. Queensland Hall of Fame for Adventure Tourism
  8. Defence Employer Support Awards Small Business category 2012

Green credentials

  • Passions of Paradise is the only PADI 100% AWARE partner in Cairns, donating a portion of each dive certification to Project AWARE for marine conservation projects worldwide.
  • Passions launched the Save A Shark Program through the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society and has donated more than $30,000 to student research into sharks.
  • The company partners with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Eye on the Reef program which trains tourism staff to conduct long-term scientific monitoring on the Reef.
  • Passions works with the Australian Rainforest foundation to offset carbon emissions and has helped plant more than 1200 trees in the Daintree Rainforest.


Passions of Paradise was conceived by Alan Wallish and Steven Carter in 1987. The pair lived on yachts and dreamt about taking visitors to the Great Barrier Reef, so they built a catamaran and in 1989 took their first passengers from Cairns to Cape Tribulation. The destination was changed to Upolu Cay, and in 1996 Paradise Reef was added to the itinerary. A high-speed 25m catamaran was launched in 2002, and in 2005 the itinerary was changed to Michaelmas Cay and Paradise Reef. Alan Wallish continues to be managing director and is business partners with Roger Cumming and Scott Garden. The company has 29 employees and takes 27,000 passengers to the Reef each year.

To book or for more information go to

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