Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia

Apollo SAILING Adventure

Starting from

$589 AUD

Departure

Departs: 08:00am – Monday & Friday
Returns: 03:30pm – Wednesday & Sunday

Pricing options

$589 AUD / Person – Shared Accomodation

Trip Highlights

Apollo has a proud and extensive racing history listed as follows:

Sydney Hobart one first, three seconds and two thirds. Winner of the South China Sea Series. Apollo has won every major race held on the East Coast of Australia including: Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to Gladstone. Apollo set the record for the Sydney to Southport race. Winner of the Kenwood Cup. Winner of the Around Hawaii Island Race. Winner of the Cairns New Guinea Race. Winner of the Hobart to Honiara Race and not forgetting Winner of the 6 grueling Whitsunday Fun Races consecutively.

Famous as a Sydney to Hobart race winner (The first IOR rated Maxi charter yacht in the Whitsundays), Apollo’s great speed allows us to depart from Abell Point Marina in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands and sail faster to our various locations. After the excitement under sail youll have more time to relax at stunning Whitehaven Beach with its 4 miles of white silica sand or at Luncheon Bay or Blue Pearl Bay at Hayman Island. These destinations are the pick of the Whitsundays both for their beauty and their magnificent fringing reefs ideal for the snorkelling and diving enthusiast. This means more time at world famous destinations for your passengers.

GENERAL INFORMATION

WHAT TO BRING

  • Alcohol (NO GLASS AND NO RED WINE)
  • Wet Weather Jacket is Recommended
  • Towel
  • Warm Clothes for Cooler Nights
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • Camera/Underwater Camera
  • IPOD/MP3’S

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Skipper
  • Host
  • Drinking water 
  • Meals
  • Showers and Linen 
  • Wetsuit hire
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • Marine Park fees
  • 1 FREE scuba dive
  • Freshly prepared delicious meals
    Breakfast : Some
    Lunch : All
    Dinner : Some
     

WHAT'S EXTRA

Optional Extras:

  • Diving – Cash Only:
  • – Introductory & Certified Dives – $60
  • – Certified Night Dive – $70
  • – Certified Dive Package (1Night, 1Day) – $110
  • Your safety in the water is our primary concern. 
  • To ensure your comfort and safety divers must be 18 years or over and they will require that you have a Divers Medical Certificate for certain medical conditions or if over 45 years old.

Apollo is an accomplished racing boat which has competed in many regattas worldwide. From the Sydney Hobart race to the winner of the South China Sea Series, Apollo’s accomplished sailing history makes her one of the most well-known maxi yachts in Australia. With a rich racing history and lasting popularity, Apollo continues to impress people on a daily basis as she cruises through the Whitsunday waters at top speeds.

Apollo has all shared accommodation, with both single and double bunks throughout the boat. With plenty of space onboard for guests to roam around, sunbathe, or perfect your backflips off the back of the boat, Apollo is an action-filled home away from home in the Whitsundays. She was constructed in 1980, whereupon she began her amazing racing career, followed by a 1999 refit to retire as a comfortable charter boat, who still packs a lot of punch under sail. After making the Whitsundays her home, Apollo has since been chartering guests around the Whitsundays at top speeds to see all the best highlights of the Whitsundays. She is 67 feet from bow to stern and continues to be one of the most popular maxi yachts in Australia, full of fun, adventure and performance sailing.

Diving 

While diving you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. With thousands of species of coral, fish, sea turtles, rays and sharks, each dive site will give you a different look into the beautiful underwater world of the Whitsundays.

Possible dive sites that you may visit while onboard Apollo includes Blue Pearl Bay (home to the new Ngaro Underwater Marine Sculpture Trail), Coral Gardens, Hook Passage, Luncheon Bay, Caves, and Langford Spit.

 

 

Boat Layout

Racing History

Apollo has a proud and extensive racing history listed as follows:

  • Sydney to Hobart Race: 1 first, 3 seconds and 2 thirds
  • Winner of the South China Sea Series
  • Apollo has won every major race held on the East Coast of Australia including Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to Gladstone
  • Apollo set the record for the Sydney to Southport race
  • Winner of the Kenwood Cup
  • Winner of the Around Hawaii Island Race
  • Winner of the Cairns New Guinea Race
  • Winner of the Hobart to Honiara Race
  • The only boat to Win 6 Whitsunday Fun Races consecutively

SAMPLE ITINERARY

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Age Recommendation:
  • 18-45 yrs
Age Restriction
  • Refer above
Fitness Requirement
  • Diving and Snorkelling
Group Size
  • 1-27

Trip Length

  • 3 Days and 2 Nights

Dietary Requirements

  • All passenger must confirm booking and dietary requirements/allergies 48 hours before travelling.

Luggage Limit

  • LARGE BAGS AND ANY BAGS WITH ZIPPERS ARE NOT PERMITTED ON THE BOAT.

Apollo Departure Information will be emailled out three days before departure to the email address on the booking. Please ask guests to check both Inbox AND Junkbox for this email.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Apollo’s tour begins with an 8:00 am departure where you will make your way out of Coral Sea Marina out into the Coral Sea. First, you will head out towards the islands to your first snorkel destination, where your talented crew will take the opportunity to set the sails to allow the power of the wind to get you there! You can lend a hand and learn a thing or two about the art of sailing, or sit back and relax as the islands pass you by. Once you arrive, take the opportunity to jump in the water and check out the amazing underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, where you will find many amazing wonders waiting below the surface. Keep an eye out for beautiful sea turtles, playful clownfish, elusive stingrays and the many colourful parrotfish, coral trout and fusiliers. Guests can also take the opportunity to enjoy their free scuba dive here, which is open to both introductory and certified divers.

After snorkelling and scuba diving, you will make your way to Hook Passage, where you will be spending the night. Once anchored, guests will get to relax onboard, enjoying the beauty of their surroundings.

Days 2 and 3

Day two will start early as guests head for Whitehaven Beach – one of the most famous beaches in the world. With soft silica sands, warm blue waters and seemingly endless shorelines, it’s easy to understand why. Guests can join in on a short bushwalk up to Hill Inlet Lookout for amazing views of the swirling silica sands below, where they can take once-in-a-lifetime photos! The sands are never the same twice, and are always stunning and unique, changing by the minute. After spending quality time at Whitehaven, guests will head back to the boat, where they will set sail for their second snorkelling and scuba diving location. For those who are certified, there is also the opportunity to enjoy a night dive later in the evening.

During the last day, guests will head to their final snorkelling or diving location for more time in the water. After lunch, sail back to Coral Sea Marina through the beautiful Whitsunday Passage. Apollo’s diverse and fun itinerary allows guests to see all the best of the Whitsundays during their 3 day, 2 night tour!

  • Snorkelling and Scuba Diving 
    The coral reefs around the Whitsunday Islands have been renowned as some of the most beautiful in the world. The islands offer unique protection to the fringing reefs, making it the perfect environment for hundreds of different types of corals to flourish. Here, thousands of different fish species can be found as well as other marine life like turtles, dolphins, dugongs, reef sharks and even manta rays. The best way of seeing marine animals up close is by scuba diving. Apollo offers the first dive for free, but we are sure you will want to get back in to see more. Please note conditions apply for diving, see the more information section for more details.

Sample Menu

Day one
Lunch:  Garden salad and cold meat platter, basil pesto pasta,
Snacks: Tea, coffee, lamington fingers and delicious nachos
Dinner: Rice, try our famous kangaroo stew with garlic bread and rice.

Day two
Breakfast: Tea, coffee, fresh fruit, bread, spreads and cereals
Lunch: Garden salad, sausages, pumpkin risotto and breads
Snacks: Crackers, cheese and dips
Dinner: Steak night with mashed potato, vegetables and garlic bread.

Day three
Breakfast: Tea, coffee, breads, spreads, cereals, scrambled eggs, bacon and baked beans
Lunch: Tomato pesto pasta, potato salad, bread rolls, salad platter and leg of ham

Please note this is a sample of menu and is subject to change and amendments

Most dietary requirements can be catered for but may incur an additional fee of $10.00. Please advise when booking.

LOCATION

THE WHITSUNDAYS

With over 3000 individual reef systems, 600 islands and 300 coral cays stretching from the most northeastern part of the Queensland coast all the way down to Bundaberg, it’s easy to see why millions of visitors come each year to witness the beauty that is the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is World Heritage listed and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  There are two types of the reef; fringing reefs which are formed around the islands and the mainland and the outer reef which forms a protective “barrier” further offshore.  Both are abundant with marine life and hold spectacular beauty and biodiversity.

THE WHITSUNDAYS AND GREAT BARRIER REEF

Corals are the building blocks of the reef.  Quick reef facts;

  • Many individual coral polyps aggregate in genetically identical colonies. This is what we know as a “coral reef”.
  • Corals secrete a calcium carbonate exoskeleton which is left long after a coral has died.
  • Some corals can catch small fish and plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles however most obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from zooxanthellae (single-celled dinoflagellates) that live within their tissues. This is why most corals on the Great Barrier Reef require sunlight and prefer to grow in clear, shallow water.
  • The foundations provided by coral reefs provide habitat and feeding grounds for an abundance of life.

But it is not just the reefs that are important.  The mangroves around the islands and on the mainland coasts provide important nursery grounds for fish species and work as filters, trapping sediment and improving water quality.  The seagrass meadows provide important habitat for juvenile fish before they head out to the reefs or ocean and are a vital food source for marine life including dugongs and mature marine turtles.

There are lots of things to see above and below the water.  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is dotted with hundreds of tropical islands and includes some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  Certainly, a location not to be missed when visiting Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is under threat from climate change, poor water quality from land-based run-off, impacts from coastal development and illegal fishing.  In recent years major storms and floods have affected an ecosystem already under pressure. Crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and marine debris are also affecting the Reef. 

Coral bleaching is a well-publicised event that has occurred in some coral species along the Great Barrier Reef that are not able to withstand spikes in ocean temperatures.  The most recent bleaching events were in 2016 and 2107 and luckily the Whitsundays reefs were largely unaffected.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) warns that in the long-term, ocean acidification is likely to be the most significant impact of a changing climate on the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Quick Facts:

  • climate change is the biggest threat to the reef
  • The average annual temperatures are getting hotter
  • the oceans are acidifying
  • sea levels around the globe on average are rising
  • cyclone intensity is predicted to increase however frequency is likely to decrease.

This is why Red Cat Adventures is striving for environmental excellence.  See our Ecotourism page for more info.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority provide regular video updates on the health of the Reef.  Check out their latest update here.

THE WHITSUNDAYS AND GREAT BARRIER REEF

Corals are the building blocks of the reef.  Quick reef facts;

  • Many individual coral polyps aggregate in genetically identical colonies. This is what we know as a “coral reef”.
  • Corals secrete a calcium carbonate exoskeleton which is left long after a coral has died.
  • Some corals can catch small fish and plankton using stinging cells on their tentacles however most obtain the majority of their energy and nutrients from zooxanthellae (single-celled dinoflagellates) that live within their tissues. This is why most corals on the Great Barrier Reef require sunlight and prefer to grow in clear, shallow water.
  • The foundations provided by coral reefs provide habitat and feeding grounds for an abundance of life.

But it is not just the reefs that are important.  The mangroves around the islands and on the mainland coasts provide important nursery grounds for fish species and work as filters, trapping sediment and improving water quality.  The seagrass meadows provide important habitat for juvenile fish before they head out to the reefs or ocean and are a vital food source for marine life including dugongs and mature marine turtles.

There are lots of things to see above and below the water.  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is dotted with hundreds of tropical islands and includes some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  Certainly, a location not to be missed when visiting Australia.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is under threat from climate change, poor water quality from land-based run-off, impacts from coastal development and illegal fishing.  In recent years major storms and floods have affected an ecosystem already under pressure. Crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and marine debris are also affecting the Reef. 

Coral bleaching is a well-publicised event that has occurred in some coral species along the Great Barrier Reef that are not able to withstand spikes in ocean temperatures.  The most recent bleaching events were in 2016 and 2107 and luckily the Whitsundays reefs were largely unaffected.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) warns that in the long-term, ocean acidification is likely to be the most significant impact of a changing climate on the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Quick Facts:

  • climate change is the biggest threat to the reef
  • The average annual temperatures are getting hotter
  • the oceans are acidifying
  • sea levels around the globe on average are rising
  • cyclone intensity is predicted to increase however frequency is likely to decrease.

This is why Red Cat Adventures is striving for environmental excellence.  See our Ecotourism page for more info.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority provide regular video updates on the health of the Reef.  Check out their latest update here.

THE WHITSUNDAYS

Located at the “Heart of the Reef”, the Whitsundays is known as the gateway to exploring the Great Barrier Reef.  The Whitsundays area of the marine park is made up of 74 islands, most of which are uninhabited.  Whitsunday Island is the largest of the islands and home to Whitehaven Beach, a 7 km long beach is famous for its crystal clear waters and perfect 98% silica white sand. Voted number one beach in the Australia and best beach in the South Pacific in the 2016 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards and the second best beach in the world in 2017 by FlightNetwork, Whitehaven Beach is one location not to be missed when visiting the Whitsundays.

Airlie Beach is the main coastal town centre and the location that tours to the reef depart from. The Whitsundays local airport, Proserpine Airport, is just 30 minutes’ drive away from Airlie Beach, making it easy for travellers to visit.  Airlie Beach has a diverse range of accommodation to suit any traveller. The town boasts many restaurants, cafes and bars. Airlie Lagoon is a 140m x 40m saltwater swimming lagoon. Admission is free and features BBQs and lifeguards in the precinct seven days a week.

The Whitsundays has many spectacular places to visit on the mainland including Conway National Park.  The Honeyeater lookout walk has a view not to be missed for the active traveller.  Visitors can see saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat and get up close and personal with native wildlife on a variety of local tours.

A huge array of events attract visitors to the Whitsundays including the annual Great Barrier Reef Festival,  Airlie Beach Festival of Music and, for the sailing enthusiasts, you may like to time your trip to coincide with Race Week.

THE WHITSUNDAYS MARVELLOUS MARINE LIFE

Six of the seven species of marine turtle that can be found around the world exist on the Great Barrier Reef and regularly visit the Whitsundays.  Turtles nest from November to February and hatchlings start emerging from January to April.  Unfortunately all of our turtle species are listed as either endangered vulnerable which means that they may become endangered if threats continue.  This is one of the reasons why Red Cat Adventures is dedicated to a Green Wave Policy to ensure that the impact of our operations is minimal and we are doing everything we can to conserve the reef and the amazing creatures its supports.

The waters of the Great Barrier Reef are visited annual by migratory species including the humpback whale which can be seen from June to September when they seek warm protected waters to give birth to their calves before heading south again for summer.  Guests on Red Cat trips regularly site these majestic creatures on our tours in winter months.

Other large animals that can be seen in the Whitsundays include mammals the snubfin and bottlenose dolphin and dugongs.  Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef has one of the world’s most important dugong populations!

The Great Barrier Reef is home to over 130 species of rays and sharks including reef sharks, tiger sharks, wobbegong, earning their name from the Aboriginal word for shaggy beard due to their shaggy appearance and rays including manta rays.  Although sharks do inhabit our waters the chance of an encounter on tours is minimal as sharks usually are most active at dawn and dusk.

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