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Get to experience the best expedition cruise with Australia's most awarded charter yacht, the "Sydney Sundancer", a 5 star floating hotel with awesome owners onboard! Book a live aboard cabin or a Private Charter for maximum 20 people. Rates for minimum 3 days and nights booking is as low as $1410 per person for for Multi sharing cabin or only $11,500 for private charter. Rates: (all rates in AUD currency, including GST) Live Aboard Cabin (per person rate) Master Stateroom • 3 days and nights: $2500 • 4 days and nights: $2800 • 5 days and nights: $3100 • 6 days and nights: $3400 Forward Stateroom • 3 days and nights: $1800 • 4 days and nights: $2100 • 5 days and nights: $2500 • 6 days and nights: $2800 Side Double • 3 days and nights: $1450 • 4 days and nights: $1800 • 5 days and nights: $2000 • 6 days and nights: $2200 Multi Share • 3 days and nights: $1410 • 4 days and nights: $1675 • 5 days and nights: $1840 • 6 days and nights: $1,995 (Single guests only) Private Charter (Up to maximum of 20 people) • 3 days and nights: $11,500 • 4 days and nights: $13,400 • 5 days and nights: $15,200 • 6 days and nights: $16,600 What You Can Expect: The owners Lynne and John have been personally introducing guests to the Whitsunday water wonderland for more than 30 years, they are your key to gaining a full appreciation for the wonders of nature both above and below the water. "Sydney Sundancer" is available for either live aboard cabin bookings (maximum 8 guests) for 6 day / 6 night expedition cruises. We offer our "Adventures in Paradise" during the WARM, DRY months of June to October which are the very best time of the year to experience the Great Barrier Reef. Our season concludes in mid - October because, by then, the prevailing winds have turned from the South to the North which means that the best bays for snorkeling are inaccessible (almost all the spectacular corals are on the northern side of the islands, where it is not possible anchor when the northerly wind is directing large waves to these locations) and because of the presence of dangerous sea creatures (deadly Box jellyfish and Irukandji jellyfish) and cyclones during the HOT, WET months in the tropics. Wonderful waterways are what the Whitsunday's are all about, and this is where our experience really counts. We will take you to locations, where entering the magical world of colourful coral gardens is as close as just jumping off the back of our boat. Here you will be accompanied by so many brightly coloured, friendly fish that it is like swimming in your own aquarium. We will take you to places where these fish will eat right out of your hand and will swim up to your mask to look you right in the eye as if to say "Welcome to my world"! We offer free tuition to those who have not snorkeled before and guide them to the best locations underwater. We offer a "hands on" holiday, where guests can take the wheel and experience true "big boat" sailing, without having the responsibility of navigating the "tricky" reefs or the drudgery of cooking. The American magazine "Bon Appetite", has written to Lynne requesting one of her recipes for publication in the USA, so you can be assured that the meals enjoyed aboard will exceed your expectation and surpass much of what is served in well-known Sydney restaurants ! We think that fantastic food is the best accompaniment to the breathtaking wonders of nature we all experience, so Lynne has published a cook book (in response to decades of requests from clients) entitled “Gourmet Sailing…. Delicious Dining on the Great Barrier Reef & other delights” which will give you an appreciation for both the meals you will enjoy and also for the daily adventures you will experience, We suggest that guests should consider our yacht as their own private floating luxury hotel, located in the middle of the world's largest marine park because it is fully equipped with "play toys" such as kayaks, fishing gear, snorkeling equipment and a hydrophone (underwater microphone) so we can to listen to the magical songs of the whales as they communicate with each other. We even have a glass bottomed dive tender making us the first live aboard sailing vessel in the area to boast such a great facility. Each night, we anchor our yacht in a different bay, so calm that long stemmed wine glasses are safe ! We like to advise that our guests can go snorkeling over magnificent coral gardens accompanied by thousands of friendly fish before breakfast and their day just gets better from there! Our itinerary each day depends on the wind direction and the best place to visit on the day, and is decided upon by the guests and skipper. We know the islands so well, both below and above the water, that you can be sure to see the very best of everything the area has to offer. The most important thing to appreciate about our holidays is that a boating holiday with us is not just a boating holiday! We simply use our yacht as “a floating 5 star hotel” from which each days personally guided diverse experience begins and ends “in the lap of luxury”. We like to think of our yacht "Sydney Sundancer" as the little sister to the QE2, and indeed previous guests have advised that our level of service for those who want a "do nothing" holiday, is similar but most importantly we guarantee no children aboard when we accept individual cabin bookings. If guests have children under 18 years of age they must charter our yacht privately. Please don’t get me wrong, we love having children aboard because they are enthusiastic about the experience and want to learn so much about the ecology of the reef, it’s just that it Lynne and I think it is not fair on our fellow guests to ask them to appreciate someone else’s’ children the way they do…. From the cover photos you will see that we have a wide and sturdy ladder on the aft deck leading to a massive swimming platform, which in turn makes getting in and out of the water extremely easy for all ages (both old and young!) The swimming platform also makes it very safe and easy to get into our large, stable (because it is a catamaran), glass bottomed dive tender. Not only is this type of holiday wonderful for all ages to enjoy equally but it is an educational holiday with nature too!! Lynne is delighted to guide guests onto the drying reefs identifying amazing creatures which the normal eye would miss. We are the only tour operator in the whole Great Barrier Reef Marine Park permitted to conduct reef walking excursions on the drying reef at low tide because of Lynne’s knowledge and experience. On snorkeling excursions, she is always in the water to guide our guests at all times, ensuring all the best corals and fish are observed at close quarters, and to inform guests the names of the fish and corals that they are viewing!! John is always nearby in the tender whilst our guests are snorkeling, just in case anyone wants to vacate the water before the others!! This also gives confidence to those who are more nervous or not confident about snorkeling. We supply fins and great quality masks (that never leak!!) so all you have to do is lie there, wiggle your fins and be amazed at the incredible underwater sights!!...and if our guests are still nervous, Lynne is only too happy to hold their hands to give them confidence until they become fully accomplished snorkelers! July, August and September are THE best months for Whale watching, so we thought you might like to see an amazing experience we had whilst returning from the outer reef when 6 Humpback whales decided to come and play with us!! We had been visiting Bait Reef, one of the most picture perfect locations in the whole 133,000 square miles of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where access to this magical location is restricted to a handful of charter operators. Because of its’ remote location (about 30 miles offshore), we had spent the night in the sheltered Bait Reef Lagoon where we watched the sun set into the sea to our west and in the morning saw it emerge from the sea in the east – simply amazing! The sea was smooth so it was easy to see some humpback whales in the distance breaching (jumping out of the water) and tail lobbing (projecting their tails out of the water and slapping the surface) where the sound of their tail hitting the water is so loud that it sounds like a cannon explosion. Lynne took the following photos with her powerful zoom lens which makes them appear much closer than they really were but this was merely an appetizer for the main course…. We offer individual cabin bookings for the following accommodation: The master stateroom is located between the engine room and crew quarters. It is the full width of the ship (hence the name stateroom) & contains a double bed nearly 7ft long, and varying in width from around 5ft to 6 1/2ft (because of the curve shape of the hull). On the opposite side to the double bed, there is a settee that we would convert to store your suitcases allowing you easy access to all your gear.. There is an en suite bathroom attached and this stateroom also has direct access to the aft deck above. There is also a TV / DVD player which is usually clipped up to the ceiling, but can drop down to give guests the facility to watch any of our large library of DVD’s. The forward stateroom (also a stateroom because it too extends the whole width of the ship) is smaller than the master stateroom previously described because the ship is narrower at this location (see attachment HR Forward cabin). There is a bathroom immediately next to the door to this stateroom. The side double during the day is a corridor to the master stateroom which is converted by the crew to a double bed after dinner if necessary. There is a curtain affording privacy from the main saloon and a door at the opposite end giving privacy from the master stateroom. Guests must be aware that there are no wardrobes or drawers for guests belongings in this accommodation, so if guests choose the side double, their clothes etc must be left in their bags for the duration of the cruise. Because there is so much to see and do, we normally conduct 6 day / 6 night scheduled cruises from Hamilton Island departing each Saturday afternoon around 3pm. We return the following Friday morning at around 10 am (or earlier for anyone on an early flight). When we accept individual cabin bookings, we limit the Multi Share accommodation to 2 single guests, so the maximum number of guests is 8 persons aboard.The individual cabin prices are per person and include all gourmet meals but if you would like to relieve Lynne and I of all the washing up duties (while still enjoying her fabulous food being expertly prepared), we offer a $40 per day discount to each person taking over those duties. It is really not a chore - we have had many guests who paid full price but by midweek wanted to help (but not take the discount), it is just like fully participating in shipboard life! Except for private charters, we do not return to Hamilton Island midweek so if guests choose a private charter the minimum is 3 days / 3 nights. For individual cabin bookings, we recommend 6 nights/ 6 days because a water-taxi to / from our yachts location is at guests own expense and can be very expensive. Potential guests should be aware that if they choose a duration shorter than 6 days / 6 nights, there is a lesser chance of visiting the outer reef because the longer window of opportunity allows us to choose calm weather which is required for an expedition so far from land. Private charter includes all meals for 6 guests, & up to 4 extra guests are charged only $70 per day to cover extra food & laundry (for less than 6 guests we rebate $50 per person / day for guests not aboard). The same discount for relieving Lynne and I of all the washing up duties is available for private charterers but the maximum discount is $240 per day. Private charter for shorter periods is generally available within the Saturday departure Friday return schedule, we simply return at the conclusion of the booking. Everything is included in our prices except drinks (a wide selection of fine Australian wines, beer and soft drinks is available at reasonable prices) and reef taxes (A$50 per person). FYI: We are the only charter yacht operating from Hamilton Island that offers individual cabin bookings and we are the only charter yacht in the whole area that offers TRUE 6 day / 6 night cruises. We genuinely conduct Expedition Voyages for Discerning Explorers because our yacht is set up for exploration in remote locations! Any other boat in the area that claims a 6 day cruise is really offering 2 x three night cruises because it has to returns to base at Airlie Beach after 3 days to re-provision, then they return to the same locations visited in the first 3 days. This e-mail is probably a little longer than you were expecting, so I would just like to mention one more important matter to consider: Hamilton Island was developed after Airlie Beach (the original gateway to the Islands) which has Proserpine as its nearest, but not so local, airport more than half an hour drive by taxi and a lot longer by the local bus. We have decided to establish our base on the island (which has daily flights from most major Australian cities direct to the airport and is less than 5 minutes from our marina berth), rather than the cheaper (for us) alternative on the mainland at Airlie Beach for our guests convenience & benefit, not ours! Once we depart our base at the marina on the island, we are immediately sailing the waterways that are world famous and can quickly enjoy all the activities mentioned above. This is vitally important for guests whose time is short, because the first day of any excursion beginning at Airlie Beach is wasted by sailing from the mainland, as is the last day sailing back to the mainland. Without trying to brag, we know we offer "the best of the best". This fact was recognized in May 1999, when we were awarded BEST PRODUCT at the first "World Wide Aussie Specialist Conference" (of overseas travel agents) in Brisbane for our sailing and scuba diving holidays in the Great Barrier Reef. During the wet season in the tropics, we operate on Sydney Harbour where we have won the prestigious Australian Bridal Industry Award (ABIA) for Excellence for the Best Sydney Harbour Wedding Reception Vessel five years in a row (2003 through 2007). In 2008, we were inducted into the ABIA “Hall of Fame”, making us one of only six wedding suppliers in the whole of Australia to be so honored! We are also the only charter boat ever, to win both the City of Sydney Council Award for The Best Decorated Boat on New Year’s Eve, and The Australia Day Council’s award for The Best Presented/Best Decorated Charter Boat on Sydney Harbour (2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015!!) so you will appreciate just how much effort we invest in making each and every cruise a success!! In the Whitsunday’s, being one of the original professional tour operators, our Permit issued by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority allows us to visit unique and remote locations where most other charter boats are not permitted. If you have any questions, we can answer those through GetMyBoat’s messaging platform before you pay. Just hit, “Request to Book” and send us an inquiry for a custom offer.
John is a master mariner and former yacht-racing champion who has been sailing on Sydney Harbour for over 30 years. His knowledge of maritime matter is legendary and his Sydney scuffle but. Lynne originally trained as a professional hairdresser and at the age of 21 had the best job around - she managed the hair salon aboard the luxury liner Q.E.2. Her creative flair in the galley even exceeds her hairdressing ability. She is a self-taught chef who has been delighting fastidious connoisseurs for more than 2 decades. You can be assured that the meal you enjoy aboard wi exceed expectation and surpass much of what is several in well known Sydney restaurants.
You’ll get directions to the departure location when you make a booking.
Booking procedure When a client confirms a date and time of a cruise, we block that period off from future enquiries for 7 days. Cancellation If for any reason the charterer decides to cancel the charter, we refund the full charter fee less $100 if we are able to secure another charter for the same charter fee on the same date and time. If not, there is no refund. The reason for this is to prevent us being “out of pocket” because of your decision to cancel. For unforeseen medical cancellations we always suggest to take travel insurance immediately after booking. In some circumstances we can offer alternative dates. Unsuitable weather Our yacht is probably the most suitable sailing vessel to be aboard in inclement weather because it is a world cruising yacht, weighs 37 tons and is very stable even in the choppiest waters. In 32 years of chartering from June to October each year we have never had to cancel a charter because of inclement weather. We have rarely had rain and if it is windy, we simply choose areas that are protected from the prevailing winds. Even in the windiest weather we always find calm sheltered bays out of the winds, thanks to our local knowledge. The hilly Whitsunday islands afford protection in all wind conditions.