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Frequently asked questions

 

These FAQs provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about diving with Blue Dive, the Great Barrier Reef and Port Douglas.

 

If you have other questions or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email or call us on 0427 983 907 (+61 427 983 for those outside of Australia).

 

Diving

Poseidon and AquaQuest are both purpose-built dive and snorkel vessels that run daily trips to the Agincourt Reefs on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The main difference between the 2 vessels is the number of dive sites visited on a day trip.

 

Poseidon visits 3 sites in a day, whereas AquaQuest only goes to 2 sites. This means you get to see more variety on Poseidon however, AquaQuest can allow a more relaxing day as the vessel spends 2-2.5 hours at the first site. AquaQuest is a great option for newer divers as the pace of things is a little more relaxed. Poseidon will visit 3 sites and spend approximately 1 hour at each site. On both vessels you still can complete up to 3 dives in a day.

There are no restrictions on flying before scuba diving.

 

After scuba diving current guidelines say that you should not go to altitude (fly) within 12 hours of completing a single dive, or 18 hours when doing multiple dives.

 

Most of our diving activities conclude by 2:30 pm, this means you can safely fly out of Cairns airport anytime after 8.30 am the following day.

The more dangerous stingers all tend to stay near the coast line, sightings of stingers on the outer reef are very few and far between. However, between the months of November to May, we wear full-length stinger-suits for extra protection. The great part about them is they also provide SPF 50, which means you don’t need to lather your body in sun cream.

Queensland dive regulations and PADI standards state that 1 dive instructor can dive with a maximum of 4 introductory divers. For groups of more than 4 we can provide 2 Blue Dive instructors so you can all dive together. If you only wanted 1 Blue Dive instructor then we can rotate the divers so there is never more than 4 diving at any time.

The Agincourt reefs are located over 25km from the shore and are not usually affected by rainfall.

 

Coastal dive sites, inshore reefs and islands are often affected by run-off and suffer a drop in visibility after rainfall, on the outer reef we don’t have to worry about this.

Complimentary photographs are included for certified divers diving with a private Blue Dive guide. If there are any introductory divers or open water dive students as part of your private group we cannot include photographs as the instructor is not permitted to carry a camera.

 

For introductory divers and group certified divers, photographs are available for purchase from Poseidon’s or AquaQuest’s onboard photographers.

 

Camera rental onboard the boats is also available. This cannot be booked in advance, all you need to do is chat with the crew on the day.

Yes, all equipment is included in the price and provided onboard the boat. Our divers are provided with a BCD, regulator including octopus, dive computer, mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit and/or stinger suit.

 

 

There is no need to visit us prior to your day of diving to try on gear. All gear is stored on the boat and we have a wide range of sizes.

Yes, prescription lenses between -1.50 and -7.0  are available, however, please note that there are only a limited number of prescription masks available. We cannot guarantee your exact prescription will be available on the day.

If you haven’t been diving for 2+ years then we would usually recommend you take a refresher prior to diving.

 

We can offer a 2-3 hour pool refresher session for $175 per person, minimum 2 people.

 

Alternatively, if you book a private Blue Dive guide for your Great Barrier Reef diving then we can include a complimentary onboard refresher and skills practice on the first dive of the day.

Yes, this is possible if you book to dive with a Blue Dive private guide. Your private guide will complete the mandatory introductory dive briefing/skills practice and take the 2 of you on all 3 dives. There is a maximum depth of 12 metres on these dives.

 

If you are booking the cheaper group diving options then it is not possible to combine certified and introductory divers in the 1 group.

That’s okay, we can usually find your certification details online.

 

If you were certified with PADI please email us your full name (including any middle names) and your date of birth.

 

If you were certified with SSI, NAUI or SDI/TDI please follow the link below:
SSI: https://www.divessi.com/en/myssi/verification/
Naui: https://www.naui.org/verify-certification/
SDI/TDI: https://www.tdisdi.com/cert-search/

 

If you were certified by any other training organisation, please contact us to discuss how to provide proof of certification.

Diving is considered an extremely safe sport and has a much better track record for injury than many other adventure sports. However, certain conditions can raise risks with diving, particularly if you suffer from certain respiratory or circulatory conditions. If you do, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot dive, but you will need to see a doctor to get medical clearance and ensure diving poses no risk to your health.

 

Please see our Diving Medical page for further information: http://bluedive.com.au/medical/

Yes, all boats that we use take divers and snorkellers. There are no boats in Port Douglas that take divers only.

 

All sites visited are suitable for certified divers, introductory divers and snorkellers. The reef comes to within 1-2 metres of the surface and usually drops away to 15-25 metres deep.

Aall of the Great Barrier Reef has been impacted by coral bleaching over the last few years, any dive operators telling you otherwise are not being honest with their customers.

 

Fortunately, all our diving takes place on the outer reef, where the impact of coral bleaching has not been as destructive, and we still dive beautiful, healthy dive sites every day. We estimate that about 10% of the coral cover on the Agincourt reefs has been affected by the bleaching and have been heartened over the last 12 months to see new coral growth in many places.

 

Please contact us with further questions if you are hesitant to dive the Great Barrier Reef because of the coral bleaching. We are happy to answer your questions and provide you with the latest information.

Miscellaneous

Please see the bottom of our Prices page for our cancellation policy: http://bluedive.com.au/prices/

We also strongly recommend all guests have comprehensive travel insurance when holidaying in Port Douglas.

We very rarely have to cancel due to weather (an advantage of using bigger boats) however, in the rare instances we have to, we will move your booking to a later date or provide a full refund of your deposit.

Poseidon, AquaQuest and Calypso have a capacity of 60-80 passengers however, they are only usually full during peak periods such as winter school holidays and Christmas. All boats take a mix of divers and snorkellers, with there usually being 15-30 divers and the rest of the passengers snorkelling. Most Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel boats from Port Douglas and Cairns are this size or even larger.

 

It is important to note that the outer reefs with the best visibility and marine life, the Agincourt and St Crispins reefs, are a 90-minute journey from Port Douglas. Larger boats, such as the purpose built dive vessels Poseidon and AquaQuest, are designed for comfortably getting through the sometimes choppy seas we encounter on the way to the protection of the outer reef. Smaller boats find this journey tough going, especially if there is a bit of wind – so they either dive on lower visibility inner reefs or sometimes even cancel.

 

We choose to use bigger boats as it provides the best of both worlds for our customers – comfort and access to the best reefs from Port Douglas. This is something that the smaller boats cannot offer.

Catering for vegetarians is included in the buffet style tropical lunch severed on board. For other dietary requirements such as gluten-free, please let our staff know when booking and we can order a special meal for you.

Smoking is prohibited onboard all dive and snorkel vessels – it is against Queensland Law and legislation.

All prices quoted on our website and in our emails are in Australian dollars, unless otherwise stated.

Transport and accommodation

All diving and snorkelling day tours from Port Douglas leave from the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina. This marina has a large car park and it is free to park all day.

 

The marina is located at 44 Wharf St, Port Douglas, QLD, 4877. It is a 2-10 minute drive from most hotels and resorts in Port Douglas. At the marina you will find a small range of retail shops and a range of cafes, bars and restaurants.

 

Upon booking, we will provide further information on where you need to be and at what time. Different boats and diving options have slightly different departure times and check-in procedures.

 

If you are doing a dive course with us and would like to meet us at the pool, parking is available along Port Douglas road, directly in front of the QT Fitness centre swimming pool.

Of course, we regularly recommend the Nautilus Apartments (see below) and would be happy to make other recommendations for you and your group, If you would like some recommendations then please let us know how many in your party, the style of accommodation (hotel, resort, serviced apartment etc.) you’re after and your approximate budget. We would also recommend using sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com for up-to-date reviews.

 

Nautilus Apartments – Tropically styled self-contained apartments

Just 200 metres from Four Mile Beach and a 10 minute walk from town, the Nautilus Apartments are a great choice for self-contained accommodation in Port Douglas. Each 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartment boasts 2 bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen, full laundry, air conditioning and Austar satellite TV. There is a also a saltwater swimming pool – heated in the cooler months.

 

We are happy to book this for you. Please advise how many in your party and your dates, and we will provide a price for each apartment option. A 15% deposit secures your booking.

Yes, we can arrange transfers from most hotels and resorts in Port Douglas. These transfers are usually free, however, transfers from Thala Beach Lodge, Silky Oaks Lodge and other Mossman accommodation may attract additional charges.

 

Please contact us to confirm if there are any additional charges for your transfers.

Yes, we can arrange transfers from most hotels and resorts in Cairns, Cairns northern beaches and Palm Cove.

 

Please contact us for the latest transfer prices.

“Best and most pristine examples of coral on the Great Barrier Reef” (Port Douglas reefs) – Source: The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority recent report.