Overnighting on the Reef

Spirit of Freedom (tel. 07/4047 9150; fax 07/4047 9110; www.spiritoffreedom.com.au) in Cairns offers a chance to "sleep on the Reef" aboard the 36m (120-ft.) Spirit of Freedom, a sleek, modern motor yacht with electronic stabilizers, a widescreen TV with DVD player, comfortable lounge areas, sun decks, and 11 luxury double or quad shared cabins, each with an en-suite bathroom. There are 3-, 4-, and 7-day cruises to choose from. You will visit the popular Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef and, on the 4- and 7-day trips, venture into the Coral Sea. A 3-day, 3-night trip will cost A$1,425 to A$2,200 depending on your choice of cabin and ends with a 193km (120-mile) one-way low-level flight from Lizard Island back to Cairns. The 4-day, 4-night cruise begins with the flight and then cruises from Lizard Island back to Cairns. It costs between A$1,750 and A$2,500 and includes up to 16 dives. A 7-day cruise, priced from A$2,925 to A$4,450 is a combination of both shorter trips. On a 3-day trip you will fit in up to 11 dives, and up to 27 on the 7-day trip. Prices include meals and pickup from your Cairns accommodations. Allow A$120 to A$245 extra for equipment rental.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.