Southern Cross Whitsunday Day Tour
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Sail. Snorkel. Relax. Southern Cross offers a full day exploring the best of the Whitsunday Islands, visiting the Hill Inlet Lookout and Whitehaven Beach. There is also plenty of time for a snorkel at one of the fringing reefs teaming with tropical marine life and abundant corals.
Whether traveling alone, part of a group or with your family, this tour suits those looking to experience the Beaches, Islands and Reefs of the Whitsundays.
There is space on board to relax on the deck, or take a seat in the shaded cockpit. For guests interested in helping to sail, the crew ask for volunteers to help hoist the sails, or you can just simply relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Southern Cross is a racing legend, being built for the America's Cup as Australia's 4th Challenger, with sail number KA4 and beating the competing nations to win the right to race against the American's at Newport Rhode Island.
Today, while Southern Cross still holds the spirit of a racing yacht, modifications have been made to make it comfortable for guest charters, with features such as a shaded cockpit, downstairs lounge area, dining table and guest bathroom.
Departs 8am returns 5:15 to 5:30pm.
With a coach pickup from your accommodation house to the marina, we depart from Abell Point Marina at 8am.
Enjoy morning tea and crew commentary of the surrounding islands, then before you know it, we have arrived at our first destination, Tongue Bay on Whitsunday Island.
Using the tender, guests transfer in groups over to the beach, and then one of the crew will guide guests along the path to the Hill Inlet Lookout. Here guests take in the spectacular view of Australia's number one beach, marvel at the shimmering swirling sands covered by crystal clear waters. Don't forget to ask the guide to take pictures of you with this famous background.
You will then have time to explore the beach, before being welcomed back onboard with a delicious lunch. Setting sail once again for the voyage to our snorkel location. Snorkel equipment and stinger suits will be issued, before the crew provide a snorkel briefing and instruction on the snorkelling site. With temperatures rarely dropping lower than 21°C, this is a very comfortable snorkel location, with tropical fish and corals blanketing the ocean floor, the odd turtle and dolphin also can’t resist saying hello.
Around 3:30pm we set sail for Airlie Beach, switching off the engine and by the power of wind sailing across the Whitsunday Passage. The crew will serve afternoon fruit and cheese platters. Arriving back in Abell Point Marina between 5-5:30pm, and our courtesy coach will be waiting to take you back to your accommodation.
Please be aware, this itinerary may change if the winds are strong. While most of the year we enjoy prevailing S.E trade winds, sailing is also dependent on the winds.
Fruit platter, biscuits, tea and coffee
Sandwich buffet consisting of cold meats and salads, bread rolls and bread for you to select your own fresh lunch. Tea and Coffee
Lamingtons, fruit platter with tea and coffee
Please note : Menu is a guide and may change due to seasonal produce. Please inform reservations of any dietary requirements at time of booking.
Southern Cross is a BYO alcohol vessel (no glass or red wine)
Check-in for Sailing: Guests have the option to:
(a) check-in with us at our office, Shop 1, 4 Airlie Esplanade Airlie Beach until 6:30pm the evening before departure. At check-in we will arrange a courtesy bus pickup and provide boarding passes, or
(b) check-in on our website. Guests will need the booking reference number provided when the booking was made to register. Once the check-in is completed on-line guests should meet the Southern Cross crew at Abell Point Marina (South End) at Barcelona Cafe at 7:45am. (Note: if guests use the on-line check-in and would like a courtesy pickup, PLEASE PHONE us on 4946 4999 before 6:30pm so we can advise the bus company)
What to bring: Please pack in a soft day bag, a beach towel, swimmers, hat and sunscreen. Guests may also like to bring alcohol (no glass).
Extras: Soft drinks and bottled water are available for purchase onboard. The crew are happy to keep a record of your drinks for you to pay at the end of the tour.
Southern Cross is a BYO alcohol vessel (no glass or red wine), so if you would like to bring a few drinks along then this is ok. Please remember, that if you want to go snorkelling in the afternoon that you should not drink alcohol prior to snorkelling.
If you wish to drive your car to Abell Point Marina (South End), the car park will cost $8.00 for the day. Coins or credit card can be used to pay and display.
Katharine Rudd , England
Please pass on to Esther and Junior - Crew on SOX 3-5/02/02 Hi Esther and Junior, Thanks for the invitation to Reefos on the night of our arrival back in AB,however we couldn't make it in the end due to feeling absolutely knackered and quite land sick!!! We just wanted to let you both now what a terrific time we both had - a real highlight of our holiday - along with getting engaged!!! Your hard work and efforts along with your determination that everyone should be comfortable,feel at home and be having a good time, is a real credit to the SOX organisation and to yourselves. NOt forgetting the 'no worries' attitude of course!!! We had a fantastic time and will recommend the trip to our friends and anyone we meet on our travels. Anyway, just wanted to let you know our thoughts as we didn't have the chance to say it personally. Thanks again, best wishes Kath and Didier
Carina , Germany
Hi mates, now that I am back in Germany I would like to say how much I enjoyd the two days I spent on your Southern Cross Yacht on January the 6th and 7th 2003. I had a unforgetable time and loved sailing very much. Especially I would like to say thanks to our skipper Drew, who was great und very humorous all the time and to Kau, the cook and good soul of the boat, who always prepared delicious meals. I really hope that someday I can come back on the Southern Cross Yacht and till that time I will recomend this trip to all of my friends - to sail on the Southern Cross was the best experience I have made during my travel through Australia. Best wishes Carina
Racheal and Stephen , Cambridgeshire, England
We had our sailing adventure aboard 'Siska' - April 2003. It was a voyage we'll never forget. Thank you to Damian, Ka-u and Hayden for doing a marvellous job. We felt like the boat was home after a while and didn't want to leave. We felt privelidged to of sail aboard her especially with people from other boats photographing her as we went by. We loved it when she actually sailed and showed what she could do. Very fast, Very leant over-brilliant!!! We loved the Scuba Diving/Snorkelling, visit to Whitehaven Beach, food, drink, music, other guests, scenery, sunsets, everything. What more is there to say-we highly recommend the 'Siska'. Was a lot of fun. Thank you Southern Cross and fellow sailors, Racheal and Steve
Cat , England
One of the highlights of my trip to Australia was the three-day, two-night tour of the Whitsundays (July 2004). Siska is by the far the best choice!!!! The crew: Captain Dave, Ang the chef, Tristan and Ben, and the food was so good, its indescribable, thanks to Ang. I've never laughed so much in my laugh. A truely amazing trip thanks to the best crew ever!!!!!!
default , Germany
From 31.10.-2.11.2004 I was on a 3 days, 2 nights sailing tour on the Boomerang. Back in Germany I must say - the sailing was one of the best during my entire trip to Australia and New Zealand. Whitehaven Beach, the sailing itself and last but not least the great people I met on this tour are things I don't want to miss. Thanks again to the crew (Dave, Adam, Candice and Matt)!!
Andrea , The Netherlands
Was on the same boat, Southern Cross, 26-28 march as the lovely couple from the UK who are going to marry and had the Champagne. Anth (Aaarrrrw) and Candice made it a real good trip. Great food, great snorkeling, great... everything!!! I hope I can come back and work on a sailingboat for a while... Will start sailing in Holland first. Thanks for the great trip guys!!!
LOUISE RAWSON , IRELAND
We set sail on a wet and windy monday morning on the 4th july last, with my lovely yellow rain jacket on I thought what am I doing i'll never last living on a boat for 3 days. we had to dock in hamilton because of the bad weather and some maintenance on the sail, I found a dry cleaners and got all my stuff dry, we could go on land to a pub or club if we wanted to but everyone just got a drink and sat up on top deck and chatted, the gang that was on our tour seemed to gel very well together, there were some crazy canadian chicks who kept us all amused on board aswell, next day the sun split the rocks and we were brought by the lovely Skipper/captain Ghair to White Haven beach, which was the whitest beach i've ever stepped foot on, when we got back on board, Jack, one of the crew had made a lovely lunch for us, the food was great for the whole trip. Then we set sail, being the word, its hard work grinding and winching but its a great feeling to feel the power of the yacht under you as it grabs onto the wind, Sam had a hard job feeding the main sail everytime we put it up, a great idol for any chick thinking of taking up sailing. so yeah, off we sailing to a good snorkeling / scuba diving spot, I had rented a wet suit and I believed it wasnt going to get wet as i'm not really to mad into being out of my depth in water, but I said feck it, i'll give it a go, and it was amazing, to see beautiful fish and the reef underneath me. we were all sad to get off the boat on wednesday, felt strange not to be on it, I was swaying for a few days after, we all met in the beaches hostel bar that night and had a sesson. i'm in cairns now, since getting off the boat i have not been separated from 11 of the new friends I madw on the British Defender, there are 4 of us irish and we have had such a great time from airlie beach to cairns with the new folk we met, the mad canadian chicks left last night to go to cape tribulation. i'm sure if they are coming to europe at any stage in their lives they will look us up, some people just get under your skin like that. It was definetly the highlight of my round the world trip, i've been travelling for 8 months, usa, austrailia, i'm off to new zealand next then thailand. thanks for memorable time. Louise
Karoline and Kerstin , Germany
Southern Cross - Thanks a lot for the good times we had sailing the whitsundays on board the SOUTHERN CROSS - swedish cheerleaders rule! Cheers to Peter and Chris and the rest of the crew! K+K
Jo Day , England
Southern Cross - I was only in Australia for 4 weeks but sailing the Whitsunday's on the Southern Cross was the best part of my holiday. Thanks to the crew Skippy and chief Chris you were excellent, it certainly will be a hard experience to beat. Thanks to all the other guests especially my drinking partner steve!!
Michiel Dahmen , Rotterdam, Holland
we sailed 3 days with the Southern Cross and had a perfect time. Good food, beautifull place. Marc and Dave, thanks a lot. We will come back. Michiel em Ebeline
Chris , Surrey, England
British Defender, what a boat, what a crew and what a time. One of the highlights of my trip to Australia. A must do tour. Thanks to the crew of Brendan, Reece and Trish for an unforgettable 3 days.
Mike and Fiona , Fiona , England
We we're aboard Siska V Back in May 2001, can honestly say it was amazing! Three days of Adrenalin combined with the best tour of the Whitsundays i have ever seen. The crew are a force to be reckoned with, and if Trish is still around then make sure she gets thrown in at the end!!! (sorry trish). Brendan had to be the most chilled out person i had ever met and boy he could sail that thing well. We would spend every minute wondering if he was gonna flip that boat over but he kept his cool. I can now only dream of getting back and seeing the boat again, but dreams do come true!!! The end party's worth the money on its own. Good luck with it Allen, see you got your British Defender after all......
Simon Appleby , Weymouth,Dorset, England
"SOLWAY LASS" After spending three months travelling, our time on the Solway was by far the most exhilarating thing we did and the money well spent. The Crew including Henry,Greg,Drew and the Cook were all absolutely fantastic and were a laugh a minute. I Highly recommend this trip of a lifetime to anybody of any age. Thanks Southern Cross, we'll remember this for a long, long time!! Simon&Joanna
Ulrike Poley , Hamburg, Germany
Thank you Southern Cross for this very good time I had on your boat during my trip in australia, the best service I had on a tour, yet. The boat condition, sailing experience, guide and food were excellent!!! Yours, Ulrike
Louise and Terry , England
A few weeks ago we took a trip on the Solway Lass and can honestly say it was one of the best experiences we have had in our 4 months of travelling. The ship is magnificant, the crew (Greg, Shaun, Brendon, Leon and Davina) were all amazing without exception and the good mix of people aboard (from 23 to 62) made it superb fun (not to mention the amazing food). The crew went out of their way at all times to make our trip special and even one day spent in Nara Inlet waiting out a storm was made into the best of fun with the crew thinking of lots of things for us to do to keep us entertained. We had a fabulous time we had and what a great ship/crew you have. We have recommended Southern Cross/Solway Lass to everyone we have met.
The Forcey Family , Australia
We've just returned from 3 fantastic days on the Southern Cross--the highlight of our Qld holiday. Our son Eric, (age 14) said "it was the best three days of my life!" Our crew, Captain Dave and host, George were so professional, friendly and eager to please, that we all had a fun-filled, relaxing time. We enjoyed meeting everyone from different countries and having them delight in our wonders down under. The Southern Cross is a former America's Cup racing boat, so we left everyone else in our wake! This was a holiday we'll never forget, and will be wanting to repeat again in the near future. Thanks for everything!
Tanya , Denmark
In June 1999 I went sailing on Southern Cross with a good friend. We were on our "big trip" to Australia before starting university. The days we spend on the boat has become one of my favourite memories. I particularly remember one night - the boats were tied together and everybody met in the middle, at some point I just needed some time alone, and went back to Southern Cross where I stood all alone watching the stars, the quiet water, and the reflections from the small lamps on board. It was... sensational - as the (very) dear captain Damian commented! Sweetie, you were too much of a gentleman....
Maja , Switzerland
Hey Tristan, can you remember me?! I was on a trip over the easter weekend on Southern Cross! Just visited this homepage and remembered me the good times I had Down Under! Hug, Maja
All , UK
Southern Cross - We had the most amazing time aboad the Southern Cross (26 - 28 March 2005). The Whitsundays are so beautiful! Great views, great food (thanks Candice!), great people and great sailing! Special thanks to Ant for helping me with the plan to propose to my girlfriend on Whitehaven Beach, and thanks for all at Soxsail for the champagne to help us celebrate! We'll be back to sail the Whitsundays!
Sailing Reviews - Sailing the Whitsundays I did my Schoolies on the southern cross and i have to say that it was the best thing that i have ever done i would definatly do it agian it was such a amazing week highly recomend it to everyone
Whitsundays Sailing - Just wanted to say what a brilliant time we had We had never done anything like that before but it was probably the best time my family and I have had on a holiday. We loved it so much my girls were depressed for the first day or so when we went to Lindeman Island afterwards. We missed the boat and Jeremy and Tom our crew. Forgot to say it was the Southern Cross in Jan 2011.
A great trip with great staff food and atmosphere Would definitely recommend this tour to others