Situated between two World Heritage listed natural wonders, Cairns is a flourishing homeport that offers safety, excellent service and a sublime setting for the global superyacht fleet.
Nestled between the Daintree Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is ideally positioned to provide adventurous escapes in a sublime tropical climate. This is also the gateway to the inspiring South Pacific islands, with Papua New Guinea just a three-day sail away, so many superyachts choose Cairns as their base for exploring the wider beauty of this region of the world.
In the heart of the city is Cairns Marlin Marina, offering large berthing facilities up to 140m in length and advanced infrastructure, backed by a diligent team with a wealth of experience in the superyacht industry. The Marina is just a 10-minute drive from the international airport and a leisurely 5-minute walk along the beautiful esplanade from luxury resorts and exquisite restaurants. Attached to the Marina is the iconic Shangri-la hotel, while the Crystalbrook collection offers further opulent accommodation for guests wishing to spend time in the city.
An Endless Source of Inspiration
As a destination for thrill-seeking superyacht owners and guests, Cairns has it all and more. The region is perhaps most synonymous with its location at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Despite largely misplaced perceptions, the Reef remains a spectacular kaleidoscopic diving experience and the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem. The effects of bleaching and cyclones are a thing of the past, a natural occurrence from which the Great Barrier Reef always recovers and there is nowhere else in the world that guests can explore waters containing 1625 species of fish and over 600 strands of hard and soft coral.
The sheer volume of the Reef (344,400km2) means that even while some areas are in the process of recovery, the Great Barrier Reef remains the largest and most diverse Reef experience in the world. There is no better place to visit for genuine marine exploration, and now superyachts even have the rare opportunity to make history and join Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef in survey projects on the 40% of the Reef which remains undocumented.
Not all of the adventure is concentrated at sea, and Cairns is blessed with a second UNESCO Heritage Listed natural wonder – the Daintree Rainforest. As the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree provides unique opportunities for natural and indigenous experiences that would enhance any superyacht charter. Running for thousands of kilometres alongside Queensland’s tropical coastline, the Daintree adds extra adventure within close proximity to your superyacht.
There are an extraordinary range of diverse activities to engage in. Just a 10-minute tender cruise from Cairns Marlin Marina is the Mandingalbray Ancient Aboriginal Tour, reached by an exotic voyage through the mangroves (looking out for crocodiles along the way). Here, you will be given a warm and touching Aboriginal welcome before immersing yourself in their culture and learn about the history and traditional uses of the land. Deeper into the Daintree, the Kuranda Rainforest Journeys offer high-octane tours on ATVs through the rainforest ravines, and even the chance to come face to face with a wild Cassowary, the dinosaur-like bird. These are just a couple of the many enthralling activities that can bring you closer to Australia’s magnificent natural beauty. In Cairns, boredom is never an option. With plenty to do all-year-round, this is comfortable setting for crew and an inspiring destination for guests.
Unlike the jet set shores of the Côte d'Azur or the Costiera Amalfitana, Cairns offers luxury in a more laid-back and low-key culture. This is not to say that luxury in Cairns is confined, far from it, only that it is embedded in a more subtle environment that generates a relaxed atmosphere more fitting for a long-term stay.
In fact, this exact culture has sparked rave reviews from superyacht owners visiting the region, who have felt a sense of freedom in being able to walk among the town without the need for a security detail following behind them. This is one of the great strengths of Cairns in having an island-culture but the security of a developed first world country. Whether recognised by the locals or not, superyacht owners are guaranteed peace and privacy during their stay.
With Cairns Marlin Marina situated in the centre of the town, all of the luxury amenities lie within just a short walk. There are an array of opulent resorts and hotels, from the Shangri-La Hotel overlooking the Marina to the state-of-the-art Crystalbrook Collection resorts based along the Esplanade. Should you wish to venture north of Cairns to experience the tropical paradise of Port Douglas, Crystalbrook also runs the superyacht marina based there, so you can be assured of a high-quality bespoke service.
A Superyacht Service
If the Reef and Rainforest are the natural wonders of Cairns, then there is one further wonder that warrants a mention. The people.
The Superyacht Group Great Barrier Reef is a wonderful community of highly experienced people with shining individual personalities, all connected through their shared determination to deliver a high quality of service to visiting superyachts. From arranging airport pickups through Elliott’s Limousines to navigating the entry process, local superyacht agents go to extraordinary lengths to accommodate your every need. Many of the members have extensive experience working onboard superyachts, and know what is required to make Captains, crew, and guests comfortable during their stay.
World-class Superyacht Infrastructure
An integral component of Cairns’ rise as a homeport is its growing refit capabilities. A strong history in naval and commercial shipping industries has translated into specialist superyacht expertise.
BSE Maritime Solutions is an all-encompassing marine facility that is home to Bessy, the world’s largest Travelift at 1,120t. Neighbouring shipyard Norship is known for its incredible in-house capabilities that are exported throughout the South Pacific. This includes full engine testing facilities and manufacturing capabilities for reverse engineering that eliminate the need to import, parts thus cutting lead times and costs.