Great Barrier Reef Australia - Whitsundays Sailing Adventures
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   Essential Reading Before Booking your Sailing and Diving Tour

Should I book direct or through an Agent?

Booking through a reputable agent is perfectly acceptable.

The advantage of booking direct with Whitsundays Sailing Adventures is that should a trip be cancelled for any reason (for example extremely bad weather) we will refund you 100% of your payment immediately on the spot whereas booking agencies may not offer a refund at all, withhold a percentage to cover their costs and have cumbersome and time consuming procedures in order to obtain a refund.  When booking through an agent it is wise to check their refund policy before making your booking.

Many websites sell the same tour, which one should I choose?

Things to look for when choosing an agent:

Does the agent have a verified secure website?
Reputable websites will use a verified security certificate. The issuers of these certificates go to great lengths to ensure that the company that owns the website is reputable and has a verifiable physical office. Your browser will show the company name with a green background if the website is secure.
Click here to see an example.

Does the agent require credit card details by email?
Never send your credit card details by email.  Email is particularly unsecure and can result in the fraudulent use of your credit card.  Over the phone is more secure as long as you can be sure you are talking to a reputable agent that actually exists.  Supplying your Credit card detail on a secure verified website is the best.

What is their cancellation/refund policy
Sailing tours are always dependent on the weather. Although rare, once or twice a year we are forced to cancel trips due to extreme weather conditions.  If your trip is cancelled for any reason Whitsundays Sailing Adventures will refund you 100% of your payment on the spot if you book direct.  Make sure you know what your agents refund policy is.

Be wary of Bait and Switch
Some websites will offer quality tours at low prices or even tours that don't exist to attract your attention.  When you try to book they will make up an excuse why the tour is not available and offer you an "equivalent" which is usually an inferior option.  This practice is called Bait and Switch and is illegal in Australia.  It you suspect a website is subjecting you to this practice you should report them to the Australian Office of Fair Trading,

Should I book early or wait until I am in Airlie Beach?

You may have heard of "cheap fares" being available from local Airlie Beach agents the day before departure.  This does happen sometimes, usually in off peak times.

However be aware that the "better boats" are usually always booked out well before departure date.  Your trip to the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef is usually a once in a lifetime event.  Do you really want to put the entire experience at risk to try to save a few dollars?

Our recommendation to avoid disappointment is to book early, especially if you want a particular boat or private cabin.

Why do some trips cost more than others?

Beware of "Cheap Tours".  Many of these are of a very low standard.

The old saying "You get what you pay for" is particularly applicable to Whitsundays Sailing and Diving tours.  The advertised retail price will almost certainly reflect the quality of the tour.

Factors that effect the price are:
  • Number of passengers on the vessel relative to the size of the vessel
  • Quality of food (eg. pre-packaged vs freshly prepared)
  • Comfort factors (eg. Air Conditioning, Private Cabins)
  • Number of Days and Nights
  • Itinerary (eg. outer reef)
  • General quality and maintenance level of the vessel
Whitsundays Sailing Adventures Operators pride themselves in offering the best quality within each price range.  Use our Vessel Chooser to see the vessels within the various price categories.

What does 'Shared' mean?

Most boats offer shared accommodation options as a way of providing lower cost tours.  These are usually described as "Share Single" or "Share Double".  This means a single or double bed that is in a cabin with one or more other passengers.

What is the EMC that I have to pay at Check-In?


Your trip is helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  Tourists visiting the area are charged a small fee per day – Environment Management Charge (EMC).

The compulsory EMC collected goes directly towards Marine Management including education and research, impact assessments, ranger patrols, site planning, public moorings, reef protection markers, signage and maps.

As from 1 April 2014 the EMC will be collected on check in at our office for certain boats and varies from boat to boat depending on the time at sea, usually $15-$20 per person.

Is it safe to book on-line?

On this website, Yes.  The Whitsundays Sailing Adventures website provides a secure booking wizard to enable you to book directly and make a secure payment with MasterCard or Visa.

When you start your booking the wizard will switch to the HTTPS secure protocol.  Most modern browsers will show a padlock symbol and a green background in the address bar at the top of the screen window and display the credentials of the company owning the website.
Click here to see an example.
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