Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia

SV Whitehaven - SAILING WHITSUNDAYS ​

Starting from

$395 AUD

Departure

Departs: 8:30am – Wed, Fri & Sun
Returns: 4:00pm – Thu, Sat & Mon

Pricing options

$395 AUD / Person – Shared Accommodation (Between: 01 Apr 2018 and 01 Apr 2020)

Trip Highlights

SV Whitehaven is a 2 Day/ Night Eco Sailing Safari

Forget about everyday life and sail away to a slice of paradise onboard SV Whitehaven.

Our award-winning overnight tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with many people choosing SV Whitehaven for its unique, eco-friendly itinerary which is unlike any other in the Whitsundays.

Our friendly, expert crew will endeavour to ensure that this trip is one that you will NEVER forget. Their wealth of knowledge will see you return with a whole new understanding of the importance and history of the islands, the native flora and fauna and surrounding region.

GENERAL INFORMATION

WHAT TO BRING

Will be advised at check in

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Skipper
  • Crew
  • Drinking water
  • Meals
  • Linen
  • Wetsuit hire
  • Snorkelling equipment
  • All Marine Park fees

WHAT'S EXTRA

  • BYO alcohol (no glass).
  • Soft drinks available for purchase on board.
  • Special diets (inc. Gluten Free) will incur a $10pp surcharge. 

Eat, Play, Sleep – Then Do It All Again

Spend your days kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, sunbathing and relaxing at some of the Whitsundays’ most famous sites including Whitehaven Beach, Blue Pearl Bay and Hill Inlet. Here you will have the chance to swim, relax and explore – your level of adventure is only limited by you!

When you are not exploring your magical surroundings throughout the day, relax and watch the sunset with a drink, eat great meals, socialise with your fellow passengers and enjoy a guided tour of the night sky with our knowledgeable skipper.

Have the experience of a lifetime and book the popular SV Whitehaven.

SV Whitehaven is a multi-award winner for Adventure and Ecotourism where you can see more, explore more, do more.

Affectionately known as the ‘Beach Boat’, our guests have the opportunity to see and explore the Whitsundays on an exhilarating yet relaxing 2 day/ 1 night eco-safari. During the day, passengers learn to sail, enjoy kayaking at their own leisure, snorkel over some of the best reefs around the islands and visit the world-famous Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout. And the best way to explore these natural treasures is with our experienced eco-guides who enjoy sharing interesting facts about the Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday islands, the local aboriginal Ngaro tribe and native wildlife.

The evenings are just as leisurely with scrumptious meals, enjoyable banter among your new-found friends and an informative talk from our skipper who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the stars, constellations and the natural landscape above.

The boat itself is the ideal safari vessel, equipped with wide open decks, plenty of seating and a huge shade on the aft deck. She takes 24 passengers in total and offers plenty of room for relaxing and socialising below the deck. And when under sail, SV Whitehaven is a breathtaking sight to see.

If you are looking for a Whitsundays sailing trip which offers something a little bit different, why not choose this Advanced Eco Accredited Safari onboard SV Whitehaven.

Activities On Board

We have put together a specialised itinerary which combines a mix of water-based and beach activities, so you get the most out of your 2 day/1 night eco-adventure around the Whitsundays! There is never a dull moment on SV Whitehaven! Below is a brief of just some of the experiences to be had along the way.

Sailing

Nothing is more relaxing than the feel of a ship under sail, and onboard SV Whitehaven you can even help hoist the sails with the crew or just sit back, relax, and take in the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands. This is a great opportunity to socialise with your fellow passengers or hear from our knowledgeable crew who enjoy sharing stories and information on the local area including those of the Ngaro people.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling is certainly a highlight of the trip and we will take you to some of the best locations around the Whitsunday islands. Get ready to have the experience of lifetime as you get up close and personal with the abundance of marine life and coral reefs, and you may even have a memorable encounter with some of the ‘reef residents’ including ‘Elvis’ the local Giant Grouper who permanently calls Blue Pearl Bay home.

Kayaking

The best way to explore your natural surroundings at your own pace is with one of our eco-friendly kayaks. This is a great way to get back to nature and check out some of the hidden gems around the islands which are only accessible by kayak.

Bush Walking

A stop on Whitehaven Beach wouldn’t be complete without a bushwalk to the world-famous Hill Inlet Lookout. Our crew will take you on a guided tour along the aboriginal Ngaro walking trails where you are bound to encounter a variety of wildlife species. And, the views from Hill Inlet Lookout will leave you breathless as you look over the swirling sands of Whitehaven Beach and the surrounding tropical islands – the ultimate photo opportunity.

Stargazing

Come night time, the activities just keep on rolling. After a day of non-stop fun, have an enjoyable evening with a delicious and filling dinner, drinks and socialising with your fellow passengers and crew. Afterwards why not head out to the deck and enjoy the view of the blanket of stars above. Our knowledgeable skipper will also share interesting stories about the stars, universe, constellations and more.

Sunbathing

There will be plenty of chances to soak up some of the Aussie sun on SV Whitehaven’s spacious decks, or you can throw a towel out on the beach and work on your tan. Afterwards, retreat from the tropical sun under the large sunroof on the aft deck which can accommodate all of our guests.

(PDF) The Whitsundays Visitor Guide

(PDF) The Whitsundays Queensland - 74 Island Wonders

SAMPLE ITINERARY

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Special Needs

Passengers travelling with SV Whitehaven who have special conditions including traveling with children under twelve, the elderly, passenger with mobility issues or special medical conditions need to contact Whitsunday Sailing Adventures check-in office and discuss their special conditions prior to booking. Special conditions need to be approved by the operator prior to booking or else boarding for the tour may be refused.

If Whitsundays sailing Adventures have not been notified of the above, prior to our 14 day cancellation policy, you may be refused boarding, and there will be no refund as per the cancellation policy.

Age Recommendation:
18-35 yrs
Age Restriction
18
Fitness Requirement
Low
Group Size
24-24
Trip Length
2 Days and 1 Night

Day 1 : Depart Airlie Beach at 8.30am

Sample Itinerary Only – Trips Depend on Tide and Weather Conditions Depart Airlie Beach at about 8.45am. Once on board our friendly crew will brief you about safety and sailing, before setting sail to cross the Whitsunday passage. Get involved with sailing, and take a turn at the helm under the guidance of our skill full crew. After morning tea, at 11am arrive at your first snorkelling destination, our crew will give you an introduction to snorkelling and take you ashore by dinghy to snorkel from the safety of a protected beach, a great way to gain confidence in the water. 12.30pm head back to the ship for a scrumptious buffet lunch of cold meats, salads and rolls, all freshly prepared on board. Then set sail for the next afternoon location. Set sail to our overnight anchorage at Nara Inlet, enjoy kayaking activities and visit the Aboriginal Caves and learn all about the Ngaro tribe from your crew. Enjoy a hot shower, afternoon Hor dourves, a cold beer or wine and hear our tree hugging crew tell some fascinating tales of life below and above the water on the Great Barrier Reef. Listen out for the friendly dolphin pods which frequent the Northern islands. Enjoy a delicious dinner, and enjoy some fun on the back deck, or find a quiet spot and star gaze before falling in to bed for a good nights sleep
Meal(s) included : Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 : Whitehaven Beach

Another early rise, you wouldn’t want to miss a thing in this neighbourhood – mantarays, dolphins, turtles, Whales (in season). After breakfast, enjoy a kayaking expedition, and combine a bit of exercise with some wildlife spotting. Enjoy a race back to the ship to find the champion kayaking team on board! After morning tea, its time to hit the water, for one last snorkelling opportunity – everyone will be experts by now, recognising and identifying even more marine wonders. By midday its back to the ship for a rewarding lunch before setting sail back to Airlie Beach across the Whitsunday passage. Return to Airlie Beach at 4pm, but the fun doesn’t end here… Join your ship mates for the “After Party” were everyone gets chance to let their hair down and go a little bit wild- details provided at the end of the trip!
Meal(s) included : Breakfast, Lunch

Sample Menu
Day one
Lunch: Cold meat platter of ham and salami with tuna salad, coleslaw, potato salad and fresh garden salad with wraps and fresh rolls
Afternoon tea: Tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit cake
Sunset nibbles: Cheese, kabana and vegetable sticks on a platter with a selection of crisps and dips
Dinner: Thai green chicken curry with rice and crusty bread

Day two
Breakfast: Tea and coffee, fruit platter or fruit salad, toast and cereal M
Morning tea: Tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes
Lunch: Cold meat platter of turkey and pastrami with tuna salad, basil pesto pasta salad, fresh garden salad with wraps and fresh bread
Afternoon tea: Fruit selection and Lamingtons

*Please note this is a sample menu and is subject to change. Any dietary requirements incur a $10 surcharge payable on check-in.

(PDF) The economic, social and icon value of the Great Barrier Reef

LOCATION

ADDRESS
350 Shute Harbour Rd, Airlie Beach QLD 4802, Australia

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.

(PDF) The Ultimate Guide to Driving the Great Barrier Reef

(PDF) Reef Pocket Guide

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