9 Night Great Barrier Reef Cruise on Ovation of the Seas from Sydney, Australia Cairns, Australia, Aerial view of Port Douglas Beach
The 9 Night Great Barrier Reef Cruise from Sydney, Australia visits Airlie Beach, Queensland; Cairns (Yorkeys Knob), Australia; Willis Island (Cruising), Australia; Sydney, Australia. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
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9 Night Great Barrier Reef Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Ovation of the Seas
Day 1 - Sydney, Australia
Day 2 - 3 - Cruising
Day 4 - Airlie Beach, Queensland
Day 5 - 6 - Cairns, Australia
Day 7 - Willis Island (Cruising), Australia
Day 8 - 9 - Cruising
Day 10 - Sydney, Australia
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Cairns, Australia, Aerial view of Port Douglas Beach
An aerial view of Port Douglas Beach in Australia
This is your

9 Night Great Barrier Reef Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Sydney, Australia
Onboard
Ovation of the Seas
Day Port
1
Sydney, Australia
Departs at 6:45 PM
2 - 3
Cruising
Day at sea
4
Airlie Beach, Queensland
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
5 - 6
Cairns, Australia
9:00 AM from Day 5, 9:00 AM - Day 6, 5:00 PM
7
Willis Island (Cruising), Australia
8 - 9
Cruising
Day at sea
10
Sydney, Australia
Arrives at 6:30 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Sailing from {{ overview.startDate }} (+ {{ additionalDatesCount }} Additional Dates)

Your ship Ovation of the Seas

Your ship
Ovation of the Seas
View Itinerary
Ovation of the Seas, Aerial View, Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines
Aerial View of Ovation of the Seas Cruise Ship Visiting Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines
Get to know
Ovation of the Seas
Welcome to one of the world's most innovative ships, filled with game changers, edge-of-your-seat entertainment, and dining that defies the imagination. Score 300-foot high views from the North Star®, order up a cocktail in binary at the Bionic Bar®, and enjoy a full-sensory aerial adventure in Live. Love. Legs.

SPACE AGE SURPRISES

Get ready to discover a world of new experiences as you sail between exotic shores. Like hanging ten on the FlowRider® surf simulator, scoring 300-foot-high views from the North Star®, feeling the thrill of free-fall on RipCord® by iFLY®, and sipping handcrafted cocktails paired with surreal views in Two70®.

A FULL-ON FLAVOR FEST

You're in for a palate-pleasing adventure, from robot-crafted cocktails at Bionic Bar® and Mediterranean flavors at Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, to an exclusive five-course epicurean experience at Chef's Table and Tuscan fare with Cali flair at Coastal Kitchen.

AN ADVENTURE ONSTAGE

Score a front-row seat to jaw-dropping acrobatics and mesmerizing visual effects in Live. Love. Legs. Or watch what happens when music, cinematography and tech combine in Pixels.

Day 1: Sydney, Australia

Day 1
Sydney
Australia
View Itinerary
Sydney, Australia, Circular quay and opera house
View of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay with the Skyline in the distance in Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Departs at 6:45 PM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australia.

Go in Circles

Circular Quay is the perfect place to start exploring Sydney. You can find the Opera House here, and Harbour Bridge is within walking distance. Stride into one of the many walking and pub tours that leave from here. Just 20 minutes away, you can stretch your legs on the iconic Harbour Bridge walk, the first of its kind in the world.
Insider tip
Central Sydney is extremely walkable, so take the time to explore the little streets close to Circular Quay.
Sydney, Australia, Manly beach
People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

Get Manly

Bondi Beach gets all the attention, but Manly Beach in the Northern Beaches is a bit more local. The Corso is lined with shops and restaurants, including local favorite, Hugo's. If surfing is your thing, this is the place to be. The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly is a fantastic way to soak in the city's coastline.
Insider tip
Taronga Zoo is filled with indigenous animals (and yes, you can pet a koala). This zoo's biggest secret is that it has one of the best views of the city.
Sydney, Australia, The Gap at Watsons Bay
The Gap at Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walk Watsons

Hop on the ferry or one of the regular buses that go to Watsons Bay to enjoy the scenic hike around South Head. During your journey, you'll enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, North Head, the historic Hornby Lighthouse and, of course, the sapphire-blue Pacific Ocean. The Gap offers breathtaking views of the sea from the rocky cliffside.
Sydney, Australia, Fresh Rock oysters
A plate of fresh Sydney rock oysters

Local Cuisine

With all the water surrounding you, it's no surprise seafood takes center stage on many plates in the city. Head to Sydney Fish Market for giant Sydney Rock oysters or classic fish and ships. Stop into a local pie shop for a traditional Australian meat pie, or explore Sydney's international side with udon or ramen noodles at a Japanese noodle bar, or seek out shrimp dumplings in Chinatown.
Sydney, Australia, Opal ring
An opal ring displayed on a stone

Shopping

There are plenty of shopping malls in the heart of the city, including Westfield Mall, Pitt Street Mall and the wonderful Queen Victoria Building, which is now a shopping mall featuring top designers. Seek out cutting boards made from local camphor laurel — they're not only beautiful but also have natural antimicrobial properties. During your Sydney cruise vacation, look for jewelry made from opal, the national gemstone of Australia.

Day 2 - 3: Cruising

Day 2 - 3
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Mom and Son on Bumper Cars
Mon and Son Driving and Enjoying the Bumper Cars
PLAY ANY WAY YOU LIKE
North Star During Sunset
North Star During Dusk

North Star®

It’s time to raise the bar on adventure — with 360-degree views of the world from 300 feet above sea level in the North Star® observation capsule — winner of the Guinness World Record for tallest viewing deck on a cruise ship.
Instructor Jumping on Flowrider
Man Jumping Mid Air on Flowrider

FlowRider®

Grab your board and get ready for 30,000 gallons of rushing awesome headed your way. The surf’s always up on the 40-foot-long FlowRider® surf simulator.
Navigator of the Seas Adventure Ocean
Girl Playing with Dolls at Adventure Ocean

Adventure Ocean®

“Are we there yet?” is a thing of the past. We keep every kid entertained with games, events, age-appropriate activities and more in our award-winning youth program.
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time

Rock Climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Day 4: Airlie Beach, Queensland

Day 4
Airlie Beach
Queensland
View Itinerary
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, Sandy beach with palm trees
A sandy beach with palm trees in Airlie Beach, Australia
Things to do in
Airlie Beach
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Airlie Beach is the Queensland coast's go-to spot for maritime adventure. It's the mainland town that allows the easiest access to the 74 incredible Whitsunday Islands — take the ferry out and spend your day relaxing by clear aqua waters at Whitehaven Beach or snorkeling among the heart-shaped portion of the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or stick to the mainland: Walk the Bicentennial Walkway along the Airlie Beach waterfront, popping into a cafe for a late-morning flat white (the Australian signature latte). Take a dip in Airlie Beach Lagoon, or head to Conway National Park, where you can hike your way through rain forest to panoramic views of the city and the harbor.
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, Whitehaven beach coast
Whitehaven beach during a sunny, clear day in Australia

Islands Among the Reef

Doing a half or full-day trip to the Whitsunday Islands is the thing to do in Airlie Beach. For best Great Barrier Reef experience, do a tour to Hardy Reef's pontoon. There are also half-day trips available to both South Molle Island and award-winning Whitehaven Beach.
Insider tip
Airlie Beach's Main Street is very walkable from end to end, so there's no need for public transport.
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, View from rainforest
View of Shute Harbour from a rainforest in Australia

Wander the Rain Forest

Airlie Beach is not only an ocean gateway. Conway National Park — and its regional parks — are located minutes from Airlie Beach. The area is known for its lush rain forest, seasonal waterfalls, scenic lookouts and walking and biking trails. Locals recommend the easy Coastal Fringe Circuit, a 1.2-kilometer (0.7-mile) track.
Insider tip
Shop around to find the best day trip option available, as there's lots of competition.
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, Downtown Lagoon
View of the Airlie Beach Lagoon in downtown Airlie Beach, Australia

Laze by the Lagoon

Located in the town center, the Airlie Beach Lagoon is a free, self-chlorinated swimming pool. The Lagoon is surrounded by grassed areas, barbecue facilities and swaying palm trees for sunbathing or reading in the shade. There's also a children's pool and sandy beach area attached to the Lagoon.
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, Grilled Barramundi
A filet of grilled barramundi on a white plate

Local Cuisine

The Esplanade is Airlie Beach's go-to spot for dining. Head here for traditional fish and chips as well as higher-end seafood-focused fare — try tempura-battered local tiger prawns or wild-caught Barramundi with new potatoes. You can also find internationally inspired takes on the ocean's bounty, like Malaysian-style laksa, a noodle soup with curry broth, piled high with prawns, squid and scallops.
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia, Handcrafted artisan necklaces
An assortment of handcrafted artisan necklaces

Shopping

The Airlie Beach Saturday Markets happens on the foreshore every Saturday. Drop by and browse the local art, craft and clothing stalls for a unique souvenir. PAYA Boutique also stocks a wide range of hand-selected fashion and lifestyle products, including women's fashion, accessories, jewelry, home wares and gifts.

Day 5 - 6: Cairns, Australia

Day 5 - 6
Cairns
Australia
View Itinerary
Cairns, Australia, Palm Cove
View of the beach at Palm Cove in Cairns, Australia
Things to do in
Cairns
9:00 AM from Day 5, 9:00 AM - Day 6, 5:00 PM
Situated in tropical north Queensland, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. These two UNESCO World Heritage Sites are why Cairns is the fourth most popular destination for international tourists in Australia. Enjoy the city's year-round tropical summer weather as you relax beside the man-made lagoon on the Esplanade. Then, experience one of Cairns' two main drawcards: Head into the rainforest in nearby Kuranda, which you can reach by taking the Skyrail Cableway or the Scenic Railway. Cruise to Cairns and take the half-day trip to Green Island — you'll be snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef within an hour of leaving the city.
Cairns, Australia, Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef
Two people snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

Dive the Reef

Experience the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world's seven natural wonders. Take a half-day snorkeling tours to the outer reef via jet boat. There are also brief daily snorkeling trips to picturesque Green Island available.
Insider tip
As Cairns is geared toward tourists, hiring a vehicle isn't necessary thanks to organized tours and public transport.
Cairns, Australia, Esplanade Lagoon
The Esplanade Lagoon man-made pool in Cairns, Australia

Laze by the Lagoon

The Esplanade Lagoon is a man-made pool on the foreshore. With its sandy edges and saltwater from the Trinity Inlet in Cairns, it's the city's most visited attraction. While you're here, stroll on the boardwalk, where you'll find fitness equipment, playgrounds and volleyball courts.
Insider tip
Cairns experiences a tropical climate, so sundresses and shorts are worn year-round.
Cairns, Australia, Palm Cove Beach
Palm trees lining Palm Cove beach in Australia

Beachy Keen

If you want to swim in the sea, hop on a public bus and head to the region's northern beaches. Palm Cove is the most popular outer Cairns suburb, with luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches and boutiques. Trinity Beach is a more local alternative.
Cairns, Australia, Kangaroo steak dish
A grilled Kangaroo steak on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Cairns offers an array of upscale and casual eateries specializing in everything from international fare to Australian classics. Fill up on local prawns and oysters at a harborside seafood spot. During your Cairns cruise, you can find top-tier Thai food and Korean food. Get adventurous with updated takes on Australian indigenous flavors, like char-grilled kangaroo sirloin with chili glaze.
Cairns, Australia, Koala bear stuffed animal
An assortment of Koala bear stuffed animals for sale

Shopping

The Pier offers the best waterfront shopping experience in Cairns. Specialty shops at The Pier include Wild Sugar, a bright and bold women's clothing range by Cairns designer Sajeela Jamie. Along Abbott Street, you'll find several stores that stock Cairns-specific souvenirs, including kangaroo leather products and items inspired by the local rainforest.

Day 7: Willis Island, Australia

Day 7
Willis Island
Cruising, Australia
View Itinerary
Willis Island (Cruising), Australia White-capped Noddy
White-capped Noddy flying over ocean
Things to do in
Willis Island
Willis Island is the only permanently inhabited island in the Coral Sea Islands Territory. Located beyond the Great Barrier Reef, this island stands 280 miles from Cairns. The only residents on the 7.7-hectare sandy island are a handful of Australian Bureau of Meteorology staff members working at the weather monitoring station.The main attractions are the sights you'll see as you cruise through the Coral Sea. Spot tropical birds like black noodies, sooty terns and wedge-tailed shearwaters. Cruise to Willis Island to see the Great Barrier Reef stretch beneath the turquoise waters and the exotic fish that swim here, including angel fish, clown fish and hammerhead sharks.
Willis Island, Australia Sea Turtle
Sea turtle in the ocean

Turtle Time

Being next door to the Great Barrier Reef means the area surrounding Willis Island is filled with magnificent coral and marine life. Green sea turtles call the reef and the island home. Meteorologists on Willis Island have said that the turtles nest on the island annually.
Insider tip
Like its far-flung neighbor in Cairns, Willis Island has a tropical climate.
Willis Island (Cruising), Australia Nurse sharks
Nurse sharks feeding

Jump for Jaws

Osprey Reef is also a part of the Coral Sea Islands Territory. Located on the outer Great Barrier Reef, Osprey is one of Australia's best dive sites. It's been a reef shark feeding site for 15 years, and divers can sit in a natural amphitheater to watch the daily action.

Day 8 - 9: Cruising

Day 8 - 9
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Ovation of the Seas Fish and Ships Fish Sandwich with Beer
Ovation of the Seas Fish and Ships Fish Sandwich with Beer
LET THE FLAVOR FEST BEGIN
Greek Meze, Coastal Kitchen
Greek Meze, Coastal Kitchen

Coastal Kitchen

Exclusively for suite guests and Pinnacle Club members, Coastal Kitchen fuses Mediterranean influences with farm-fresh flavors from California. Filled with Pacific Coast favorites and Med-inspired entrees, the menu here rotates to spotlight delicious, seasonal ingredients. And you can pair every bite with a glass or bottle of wine off a list that includes vintages from the sun-kissed valleys of Napa to the golden-green hills of Tuscany.
Grilled NY-Strip Steak -  Chops Grille
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

Chops Grille℠

For more than a decade, the chefs at Chops Grille have specialized in serving up quality, hand-cut meat. Dinner at this hallmark Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant goes far beyond the typical steakhouse experience, though, with reimagined classics like succulent Maine lobster, gruyere cheese tater tots, white truffle-scented mushroom soup, and of course, expertly prepared prime beef.
La Patisserie
La Patisserie Entrance with Outside Dining

La Patisserie

Get ready for some French confectionary perfection. Take your sweet tooth on a decadent journey through an exciting assortment of flaky macarons, tantalizing petits-fours and rich artisan chocolates — all paired with tasty espressos, frothy cappuccinos and more at La Patisserie.
Cafe Two 70 Soup and Sandwich
Cafe Two 70 Soup and Sandwich Lunch

The Café @ Two70

The Café@Two70 is a gourmet marketplace where every meal comes with a side of captivating views. Choose from a variety of savory hot-pressed sandwiches, crisp custom-made salads, homemade soups and more — all packed up picnic-style, so you can enjoy them while looking out floor-to-ceiling windows in Two70® or anywhere else onboard.

Day 10: Sydney, Australia

Day 10
Sydney
Australia
View Itinerary
Sydney, Australia, Aerial View
Aerial view of Double Bay in Sydney, Australia
Things to do in
Sydney
Arrives at 6:30 AM
You won't have any trouble filling up an itinerary in Sydney — there's a wealth of sights, sounds and activities here to delight adventurers of all stripes. Visit one or all of the city's three iconic landmarks: the Sydney Opera House, the massive arched Harbour Bridge and white-sanded, crescent-shaped Bondi Beach. Get your culture on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with works from ancient tribal Australia to medieval Europe to modern times. Cruise to Sydney and check out the North Head Cliffs at Manly Beach, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the skyline, or go snorkeling along the underwater nature trail at secluded Gordon's Bay to spot starfish and sea urchins.
Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge. Australia.

Go in Circles

Circular Quay is the perfect place to start exploring Sydney. You can find the Opera House here, and Harbour Bridge is within walking distance. Stride into one of the many walking and pub tours that leave from here. Just 20 minutes away, you can stretch your legs on the iconic Harbour Bridge walk, the first of its kind in the world.
Insider tip
There are a surprising number of interesting museums in Sydney, including the Maritime Museum, which explores the seafaring history of the city.
Sydney, Australia, Manly beach
People enjoying Manly beach in Sydney, Australia

Get Manly

Bondi Beach gets all the attention, but Manly Beach in the Northern Beaches is a bit more local. The Corso is lined with shops and restaurants, including local favorite, Hugo's. If surfing is your thing, this is the place to be. The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly is a fantastic way to soak in the city's coastline.
Sydney, Australia, The Gap at Watsons Bay
The Gap at Watsons Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walk Watsons

Hop on the ferry or one of the regular buses that go to Watsons Bay to enjoy the scenic hike around South Head. During your journey, you'll enjoy views of Sydney Harbour, North Head, the historic Hornby Lighthouse and, of course, the sapphire-blue Pacific Ocean. The Gap offers breathtaking views of the sea from the rocky cliffside.
Sydney, Australia, Fresh Rock oysters
A plate of fresh Sydney rock oysters

Local Cuisine

With all the water surrounding you, it's no surprise seafood takes center stage on many plates in the city. Head to Sydney Fish Market for giant Sydney Rock oysters or classic fish and ships. Stop into a local pie shop for a traditional Australian meat pie, or explore Sydney's international side with udon or ramen noodles at a Japanese noodle bar, or seek out shrimp dumplings in Chinatown.
Sydney, Australia, Opal ring
An opal ring displayed on a stone

Shopping

There are plenty of shopping malls in the heart of the city, including Westfield Mall, Pitt Street Mall and the wonderful Queen Victoria Building, which is now a shopping mall featuring top designers. Seek out cutting boards made from local camphor laurel — they're not only beautiful but also have natural antimicrobial properties. During your Sydney cruise vacation, look for jewelry made from opal, the national gemstone of Australia.

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