Boat Trips From Port Douglas

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Port Douglas Boat Trips

The “big money” boat trip from Port Douglas is, of course, a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. But there are other boat trips available from Port Douglas and you can even hire or charter your own boat for the day or for several days. We’ll cover your boat trip options from Port Douglas, on this page.

Port Douglas boat trips fall into 4 categories, outer reef cruises for snorkelling or scuba diving, Low Isles cruises, river cruises and sunset sails. We’ll tell you which to book, and which is best for you in this post.

Port Douglas Boat Trips
The Shaolin, Port Douglas’s Chinese Junk. Book a sunset cruise here. The Shaolin also offers lunch cruises and Low Isles snorkel cruises.
Port Douglas river boat trip
The Lady Douglas is another iconic boat in Port Douglas, she’ll take you on a leisurely wildlife and crocodile spotting tour up “The Inlet”. Port Douglas Dickinson Inlet. Book here.

There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows.

Port Douglas River Cruises

You’ll see the Lady Douglas in the photo above. If you’d like a leisurely cruise from Port Douglas Marina on a characterful river boat, choose the Lady Douglas. While crocodile sightings aren’t guaranteed, I’ve never been on the Lady Douglas and not seen a croc. You can also admire the bird life and mangrove habitat along The Inlet while enjoying refreshments. Book a Lady Douglas cruise here, cruises depart daily.

Lady Douglas regular cruises are just 1.5 hours long and depart throughout the day. The departure times are as follows.

  • Morning Cruise 10.30 am -12.00 noon.
  • Midday Cruise 12.30 pm – 2.00 pm.
  • Afternoon Cruise 2.30 pm – 4.00 pm.
  • Sunset Cruise 4.30 pm – 6.00 pm
  • Evening Cruise 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm – Friday Only. (Includes live music. Operating in high season, June-Nov on demand.)

Departure times may vary with time of year, you will specify your departure time when you book here. Walk-ins are sometimes possible. A drink and snack are included.

The Lady Douglas is also available for parties, weddings and private charter. Telephone number for enquiries: 0408 986 127

The Lady Douglas is the Port Douglas boat trip for you if you’d prefer a shorter cruise and don’t have a car to drive up to the Daintree River. This activity can also fit well with cruise ship shore excursions as the point of departure is just steps away from where cruise tenders drop passengers.

If you’re a little more keen on the wildlife of Tropical North Queensland and the Daintree Rainforest, we’d suggest you take a wildlife cruise on the Daintree River itself. To do this you can book a Daintree tour that includes a river tour, or book independently here. Again, walk-ins are sometimes possible if you drive to the departure point on the south side of the Daintree River.

In early 2024 there is only partial access to the Daintree Rainforest because of recent weather events, but most tours are still operating.

Port Douglas Low Isles Cruises

Boat Trips to Low Isles from Port Douglas can be full day or half day, they may include access to the island, or not, and glass-bottomed boats are available on some cruises. Guests can snorkel on fringing reefs off the beaches at Low Isles. It’s a very different experience to the Outer Reef, but still a good one.

The Lowe Isles are just off the coast, slightly north of Port Douglas, you can see them from Rex Smeal Park or the lookout walking track. The journey to Low Isles by boat is 30 to 40 minutes, compared to almost 2 hours to the Outer Reef.

From Low Isles you’ll see soft coral, sea turtles and usually very young reef sharks in the shallows. Having glass bottom boats and beach access is better for families with young children and babies.

The island has sandy beaches and a historic lighthouse to discover.

We’d encourage all visitors to see both reefs if they possibly can, neither is better or worse, just different.

About the author
Alyson Long

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