CHS Blog

Nov 10

Refresh Your Senses with a Dinner Cruise on Spirit of Cairns

Posted on November 10, 2016 by

When friends from out of town come to visit Cairns, I am the expert they come to ask for assistance for all the things to do and things to see in Cairns as I am a Cairns Holiday Specialist and a Tour Specialist.

I work at the tour desk in the Hilton Hotel and I speak with guests from all over the world each day advising them on the local attractions and matching them up with the key sightseeing attractions and tours that would suit them

So when my friends from Brisbane came to visit recently with only two nights in Cairns I knew I had a task ahead of me.  With so many celebrated Restaurants to choose from the pressure was on.

Just recently one of our dinner cruise boats in Cairns was sold to a well-known Great Barrier Reef tour company and they had spent a lot of money re-fitting this beautiful catamaran to become a wonderful night time dinner cruise must do experience to start off an evening’s entertainment

I had heard many fantastic reviews from people who have experienced this new boat cruise with Spirit of Cairns and saw this as a great opportunity to try it out for myself and take my friends along as well.

Sunset Cruising with the Spirit of Cairns

Sunset Cruising with the Spirit of Cairns

This is one of the perks of working at I get to go out and see all the tours and attractions for free so that I can then tell all the visitors to Cairns about all the intricacies of the tours and attractions and match them up with the ones to suit them

Most people who travel to Cairns are drawn to see the Great Barrier Reef and the Rainforest. However Trinity Inlet is hardly of mention even though it is such a pretty and tranquil place to see and experience.

Unless you arrive or depart by cruise ship or for an outer reef trip the Inlet is best accessed by boardwalk. The boardwalk runs between Trinity Wharf Cruise Terminal past the Marlin Marina and around to the esplanade.

The perspective from the board walk gives an outlook across the inlet past the marina and over to the mangroves to the other side before the inlet eventually winds inland to become Chinaman Creek.

If you are travelling on the inlet by boat you will have this same outlook as well as the additional scene of Cairns City with its hotels and restaurants fringing on the water’s edge.  Behind the city you will see a magnificent backdrop of rainforest sheathed mountains.

These are the mountains the sun glides down behind at the end of the day creating a magical scene for a sunset.

What better way to enjoy an enchanting sunset than standing on the front deck of a catamaran cruising down the middle of the inlet with a glass of bubbly in hand, or maybe a cocktail? Well, for me anyway! And that is exactly what I experienced on Spirit of Cairns the evening I went with my hubby and friends from Brisbane.

It was a perfect way to start off a dinner cruise on the Cairns harbour!

Setting Off On Our Dinner Cruise

Setting Off On Our Dinner Cruise

Our evening began with us checking in at the Spirit of Cairns catamaran which is moored at Marlin Marina.  Check in time is from 6.00pm until 6.20pm for a departure of 6.30pm.

On our arrival we were greeted by friendly staff who offered us a choice of complimentary bubbly, beer or soft drink. Bubbly was definitely my choice of beverage.

As some guests moved to the lower inside deck where the dining area was situated, we remained outside in the open air on the front deck to sip on our beverages for a little longer.

When the catamaran departed from the dock it was such a smooth transition that we didn’t notice it was moving at first.  We remained outside for as long as we could because of the ambience out on the deck.  In fact it was so lovely outside with the view and fresh breeze that was captured on the outside deck that I started to have thoughts on how nice it would be to stay outside and sip on bubbly and cocktails the whole cruise and forgo the dinner even though I am such a big foodie!

I did eventually join the other guests in the saloon on the inside deck where the dining tables, buffet servery and bar were situated. The dining area was very elegant and surprisingly roomy to what I was expecting.

It was a full house the night we went and to my liking we were ushered to a table on the outside deck at the aft. I was pleased with the positioning as I have always been an alfresco kind of person when it comes to dining.

Dining Under the Sail and the Stars

Dining Under the Sail and the Stars

There was a local solo singer on board with a guitar singing covers of easy listening kind of genre inside the saloon area which could be heard on the outside deck via speakers.

It wasn’t long until my girlfriend and I decided to up the ante and order a cocktail. It certainly fit the occasion of a long overdue catch up in a beautiful part of the world. We sipped on our cocktails until it was time for us to make our way to the buffet servery.

On our way to the servery we realised we had lost our partners. We found them by accident as we walked past the Skipper’s bridge and saw their silhouettes in the wheel house. They were chatting away to the captain enthralled by the navigation instruments that controlled the catamaran.

At first we thought they had invited themselves with a knock at the skipper’s door. But it was later that we learnt it was an invitation from the skipper to do so. I thought that was a generous gesture from him. In fact we found all staff extremely pleasant and accommodating during the cruise.

The buffet had a selection of hot and cold dishes including Oysters, Prawns, Salads and an Antipasto Platter in the cold section. The range of hot dishes consisted of steamed Local Fish with Garlic & Caper Butter, Salt & Pepper Squid, Teriyaki Chicken, Slow Cooked Hungarian Beef Goulash, Vegetable Curry Masala and Stir Fried Vegetables.

For dessert there was Baked Cheesecake, Chocolate Brownies, a Tropical Fruit Platter and a Cheese Platter. The food was fresh and looked appetizing as well as tasting scrumptious.

A Couple Enjoying the Sunset

Enjoying the Sunset

After dinner we moved to the front deck of the catamaran and continued to enjoy the views and fresh air outside. All the while there were other guests taking advantage of the dance floor and having a boogie to the music that became more upbeat after dinner. Yes, there was a dance floor!

In addition to the wonderful night catered by Spirt of Cairns, unbeknownst to us we had just happened to go on a night where there were fireworks set off from the edge of the inlet in front of the Hilton Hotel.


A Perfect View of the Fireworks!

I am not sure what the occasion was for but it made it extra special for us as we had a fantastic vantage point to view them when it was so unexpected.

Once the cruise was nearing the end, the catamaran cruised in to its berth with ease. It was so smooth the whole time on the water.

The staff then lined up aside the gangplank as we disembarked with their friendly faces smiling as they were seeing us off. We left feeling contented with our evening catching up with friends. Eating delicious food and drinking tropical cocktails combined with splendid views of the inlet by sunset and nightfall was magical.

It was safe to say it was a fantastic night all round and was a refreshing treat for the senses.

I can now highly recommend you book your berth on this lovely dinner cruise when you next visit Cairns  and you can also call us on 1300 761 612 to talk to us about accommodation or other Cairns and Great Barrier Reef tours and attractions.

We look forward to seeing you soon in our little piece of paradise!

Jenni Tofia

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