EYE TO EYE MARINE ENCOUNTERS has
been very busy working on the
establishment of a not- for- profit
marine research and educational
organization called Great Barrier
Reef Legacy. Modelled after the
Undersea Explorer and operating from
onboard a dive/research vessel, GBR
Legacy will support research,
citizen science, students and
adventure divers. Because of this,
we have decided not to run our usual
scheduled trips in 2016 so that we
can focus on getting this exciting
and game-changing project up and
going. However, depending on
interest, we may run a trip on the
luxury charter boat Aroona in early
July with only 6 - 9 guests (see
below for dates/prices). This is in
one of the peak Minke weeks. We have
worked with Aroona for many years
and if you are looking for smaller
more luxurious travel then this is a
We will also be available for custom
whole boat private charters and reef
If you think you might like to join
either of these options please don't
hesitate to contact us.
Alternatively, we should be back
with our usual scheduled Minke trips
and many more exciting expeditions
MV AROONA: Between 4 - 9
5 day/5 night trip
Here is your luxury vessel : Aroona
Dep: noon on 4 July with a scenic
flight from CNS - LIZARD Island
Disembark: 9am - 9 July Yorkey's
Master cabin*: AUD $3,825
per/person ($ 765 per day incl CNS –
4 guests (sharing queen bed
converted into bunks with pound
board in middle for single people)
VIP cabin: AUD $5,400
per/person ($1,080 per day incl CNS
– LIZ flight)
2 guests per cabin (double bed)
AUD $4.950 per/person *($990 per day
incl CNS – LIZ flight)
2 guests per cabin (either couple in
double bed or 2 guests in bunk)
AUD $3,825 per/person ($ 765 per day
incl CNS – Liz flight) 3 guests per
cabin (there is a double bed with
single bunk overhead)
Please contact us for more details.
What is included?
All linen, including two towels per person We recommend you bring an additional deck towel if possible.
Superb meals - freshly prepared onboard using local produce.
Delicious snacks after every dive
Complimentary tea, coffee, Milo, water, cordial, biscuits and fresh fruit are available 24 hours a day
Tanks, weights & Safety Kits (safety sausage, whistle, cylume stick)
Optional guided dive (subject to instructor/divemaster availability)
Interesting & educational presentations on marine life biology, ecology, conservation & research.
Please note: Itinerary is flexible and may be adjusted at any time due to weather conditions, tide and at the discretion of the skipper.
Extra Costs (payable onboard)
an Environmental Management Charge ($16.50 per person) collected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
dive gear hire
Beer, wine and soft drinks available on board
Experience the profound sense of
connection that comes from looking
into the eye of another species…
Dwarf Minke Whale Expeditions run
for 6 weeks each June/July and all
encounters take place on the whale's
terms. Learn about their biology,
behaviour and life history through
onboard lectures by marine
biologists and scientists. Guests
will be given the opportunity to
assist the ongoing research by
helping to identify individual
whales and be involved in
behavioural observations. This is
truly one of the most unique under
water experiences available (and
don't forget that it is accompanied
with magnificent diving and
snorkelling on the Great Barrier
Code of Practice for dwarf minke
TRIP BEGINS: Day 1: (4:30 - 5:30pm)
Board your vessel at Pier 319 (behind St Mary’s By the Sea church), Port Douglas. Meet your crew, organize/hire dive gear and complete paperwork. Enjoy a meal in town with fellow guests and return to the boat at 8:00 PM for a safety and minke whale briefing. Depart around 9:00 PM. Steam overnight and awake at your first dive/snorkel site.
Wake up to the Ribbon Reefs stretching out before you. Enjoy a light breakfast before the first dive/snorkel, followed by a hot cooked meal. This will be accompanied by an in-depth briefing on swim-with-whale guide-lines. Afterwards, travel to your next destination, searching for whales whilst underway. If whales are eager to interact, don your wetsuit and enter the water, ready for the experience of a lifetime. Watch as their confidence and curiosity grows, bringing them eye to eye with you. If no whales are found, continue your dive/snorkel adventure on beautiful coral gardens and pinnacles. In the evening, attend an interpretive talk (and power point presentation) by researchers on whale biology, behaviour and the history behind the Minke Whale Project.
Depending on the events of previous day, focus upon either diving/snorkeling on the reef, or spotting whales. Dive site will be selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine highlights. Night dives are offered most evenings. During mealtime, enjoy informal talks with onboard biologists and researchers.
DAYS 4 - 6:
Spend the day looking for whales (very often the whales will find us!) and exploring the northern Ribbon Reefs and visiting famous dive sites including the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie. During encounters help researchers identify individuals and key behaviours and be sure to keep an ear out for the minke’s unique acoustic repertoire. Increase your marine knowledge and enthusiasm by attending another interpretive talk offered by our onboard biologists.
Final day of the expedition! Enjoy your last two dives and/or minke swim in the morning as we steam south towards Port Douglas. Relax whilst underway taking in the beautiful views of our emerald rainforest clad coast. If we are really lucky we could even see one of the first Humpback whales of the season! Vessel returns to Port Douglas late afternoon (4:00 – 5:00) where you will disembark and say your good-byes!
4 & 5 Day Trip :
Our 4 and 5 day day itineraries are flexible and will be similar to that of the 6-day trip (including interpretive talks on board). The focus will be on whale interactions (both above and below water) but we also include snorkeling and diving at some of the Great Barrier Reef's best dive sites such as the world-famous Cod Hole, Pixie’s Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie.