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Cruise ship one day in port

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Ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 39
Cruise ship one day in port

We will be on Hamilton Island for one day off the Volendam in November. What would you suggest we do for one day? I can't seem to find a lot of information.

Is there a beach that we can access? Is there enough to do walking around or should we book a snorkel trip from the pier?

thank you for your help.

Whitsundays
posts: 528
1. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

Hi there,

Hop onto the island's website for a list of activities you can do. www.hamiltonisland.com.au There are actually quite a lot of things to keep you busy for a whole day, you won't be able to do them all!

If you wish to visit the Great Barrier Reef or Whitehaven Beach which are nearby but not on Hamilton Island itself, the best way to do it is by booking through the Volendam's activities program.

We hope you enjoy your stay in the beautiful Whitsunday area.

TW

Ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 39
2. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

Thank you for the reply. I've been to the website - it's not loading this morning. It doesn't particularly answer my questions. I've read the FAQ here. That's why I posted.

We try to avoid the HAL shore excursions. There are too many people who go too slowly and spend too much time shopping. If there are guides you usually can't hear them.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hamilton Island
posts: 2,612
reviews: 16
3. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

You will have to tender so this will reduce your time.. I doubt you would be able to go off island on a tour as they go early morning or arrive back late afternoon

There are free shuttles which constantly circle the island and you can get on and off.. Check out google earth before you leave home and get an idea if the layout of the island... Catseye is a lovely beach with bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.. There is even a small fauna park where you can have your photo taken with a koala

Enjoy abbey

Ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 39
4. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

thank you, Abbey. That helps a lot.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hamilton Island
posts: 2,612
reviews: 16
5. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

Depending on the tide and what time you have on the island, you can snorkel at low tide... The water goes out a long way and you can walk out to the deep water shelf and snorkel off catseye beach .. You won't see coral but lots of fish

Abbey

Whitsundays
posts: 528
6. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

I've just had a look at the shore excursions available for your trip and if it were me, I would choose either the seaplane flight, the Great Barrier Reef Adventure to Knuckle Reef, or the Whitehaven Beach trip. All trips are operated by our local professionals, but timed specifically to meet your ship.

You say you want to visit a beach, Whitehaven is the most beautiful beach in the Whitsundays, and is often listed on top beaches lists around the world.

It would be a shame to come this far and not see the Great Barrier Reef, and this is your chance here at Knuckle Reef.

Thirdly, the view of the Whitsundays from a seaplane are extraordinary. This flight takes you over both Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef giving you lots of brilliant photo opportunities.

There aren't really any opportunities for shopping on these shore excursions, as you are in remote locations, so that won't be a worry. The only shopping to be found is on Hamilton Island, and there is a gift shop on Daydream Island if you choose that excursion.

Of course, you would also enjoy having time to explore Hamilton Island, visit the wildlife park and pat a koala or kangaroo, swim at Catseye Beach on the island, enjoy a cocktail and/or tapas at the new multi million dollar Yacht Club, and much more, all at your leisure.

We hope you enjoy the cruise and your stay in our beautiful region.

TW

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hamilton Island
posts: 2,612
reviews: 16
7. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

I agree that if the ship is offering some off island experiences, then it is a great opportunity... You are guaranteed not to miss the ship when it leaves so there is great peace of mind and you can enjoy the day ...now deciding which trip???

Hope you have a great holiday

Abbey

Ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 39
8. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

thank you. I was hoping that we could book an independent operator to take a smaller group of us to the reef. This has worked well on other cruises that we have taken.

But I guess we'll have to take the ship excursion if we want to go further afield.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Hamilton Island
posts: 2,612
reviews: 16
9. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

I understand you wishing to organise a private tour and I have been on many cruises where it's possible to get off the boat and get a local operator at the dock, however, HI is only a small island in comparison to other ports in the world... There are only a limited no of boats able to carry out tours and as you will be arriving with some other 1600 odd passengers, places will be limited as it is.. You may be able to organise a private plane or helicopter ride but a boat trip on your own would be difficult

Also on cruises where the stop is a tendered one, I have found it preferable to go with the ship tours as my experience is the organised tour passengers get off first then the others later so you get less time.. We had one stop in the cook islands which means we were in tender no 42 as we were given tickets, by the time we got off, we only had 2 hours on shore and that was a princess line ship and then we had to line up to return to the ship

I haven't been on the island when a cruise ship comes in but I imagine resources would be somewhat stretched as far as trips to the reef and Whitehaven go so maybe check out availability maybe sooner rather than later

Abbey

Ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 39
10. Re: Cruise ship one day in port

Thanks Abbey.

As 4 star Mariners we can get off the ship on the first tender so that isn't the problem. We have been on many cruises. One of the reasons we are taking this itinerary is that it stops in small ports like HI which haven't been available before. That also makes the research and planning more interesting.

You can't blame me for trying to plan something unique and different. <grin>

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