Swim The Whitsundays

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From 50+ Reviews

Immerse yourself in the exquisite waters of the Whitsunday Islands, cruising from one picturesque island to the next on your live-onboard tall ship, swimming at secluded bays, along white sand beaches and around tropical islands.

Slip into crystal clear water and enjoy five of the most scenic ocean swims you’ll ever swim in your life, including along the world-famous Whitehaven Beach and over the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, teeming with fish.

A magical tour even without the swims, you’ll also enjoy snorkelling, SUP’ing and hiking. Fancy a sail? you can hoist the sails and take the helm of the 119-year-old Solway Lass.

When you’re not in the water you’ll be relaxing in the bow net with a book, or sipping cocktails onboard with your new friends as the sun sets over the water.

Located only a short flight from Australia’s major cities, spanning a weekend, and with everything included (except flights & bar drinks), this four day, four night, island-hopping tropical sail and swim tour really is the dream hassle-free winter escape.

Included

Not Included

Itinerary

This swim tour showcases the best of the Whitsunday Islands with a minimum of five ocean swims from the south of Whitehaven to the north of Hook Island, and beyond. Interspersed are an abundance of water-based activities and onboard experiences aboard the historic Solway Lass that make it a truly remarkable destination swimcation.

You can choose to swim all the scheduled swims at their max distance, or simply pick and choose your swims and distances from 1-5km.

Fly into Proserpine Airport, transfer to Airlie Beach, and board the 119 year-old tall ship, the Solway Lass. On our sunset cruise to our overnight mooring among the islands, dine and sip cocktails with your fellow swimmers.

Wake at sunrise and swim the length (or part) of the world famous Whitehaven Beach. After a hearty breakfast, enjoy some time at the Insta-worthy Hill Inlet, followed by an afternoon on the beach relaxing, SUP’ing and sunset drinks.

Start a day of island-hopping with a point-to-point swim over the reef and around a headland, before hoisting the sails for a relaxing morning sail. Finish the day with a tranquil island swim and an evening sunset cruise.

The first swim of the day is a headland navigation that finishes over a coral reef teeming with fish. We’ll stay here for the morning giving you plenty of time for snorkelling and SUP’ing. Complete the day circumnavigating an island.

On the final day, sleep in and then enjoy a beautiful morning hike and a dip, before a short hop over to the mainland to conclude the tour. We’ll transfer you to the airport for your afternoon departure.

Whilst this is our preferred itinerary, this sail and swim tour is guided by the wind and sea conditions at the time, with an experienced local skipper determining the most suitable swim locations each day (if conditions at our planned swim locations are not ideal).

Location

Gallery

Swim safety

Experienced

Skilled, knowledgeable and experienced crew and swim guides are there to support you

Water safety

A 6:1 water safety ratio is supported by crew on inflatable support boats and guides on SUP's

Local crew

The Solway Lass skipper and crew know the best, and safest, places to swim in the Whitsundays

Distance choice

Choose the distance you want to complete for each swim and exit the water at any time

Marine life

Tours are conducted outside stinger season and swim locations are chosen for their safety

Close to shore

Swims are conducted in clear water, within a 20m channel between the shore and water craft

Information and FAQ's

Bookings

How to book, payments, and terms and conditions

Getting there

Flights, airport transfers and making your own way there

Onboard

Accommodation, meals, and what to expect on the ship

Swimming

Pre-requisites, safety and your personal swim experience

Bookings

Once you have purchased a spot, either by making a deposit or full payment, then you will be emailed a confirmation of your booking and an invoice. This means your spot is secured.

The balance for your tour is due 60 days before departure. You can pay your balance at any time by contacting us.

We will confirm the tour is going ahead, 60 days before scheduled departure, or when minimum numbers are met, whichever comes first.

Your 20% deposit per person is non-refundable.

You can transfer to another swim tour, that is already scheduled, up to 60 days before the departure of your originally purchased tour.

You cannot hold your booking to be transferred to a future swim tour that is not already scheduled and taking bookings.

Absolutely! You can trust us to refund your payment if we are unable to deliver your tour, or for any other reason as part of our Tour Terms & Conditions. 

In 2020 during the height of COVID-19 we refunded three full tours, and in 2021 we have refunded 100+ guests impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The minimum age for this swim tour is 18 years unless otherwise specified (i.e. a family designated tour).

No. Unless they are a minimum of 18 years old. We sometimes scheduled family tours where children from the age of 7 are welcome.

We have scheduled our tours to the Whitsunday Islands in the driest, most predictable, time for weather. However, if the weather isn’t ideal, we will be able to find suitable swim locations on sheltered sides of the islands, and there is plenty of room inside the tall ship and under cover on the deck.

The maximum group size for this tour is 24 participants. The ship can sleep up to 32, so there is plenty of room for everyone on board, including spacious indoor and outdoor areas.

Getting there

Virgin & Jetstar fly to Proserpine Airport (PPP).

No. You will need to organise your own flights to Proserpine Airport, or other transport to Airlie Beach.

We will let you know as early as possible when to book your flights once we have confirmed the tour has met minimum numbers, at the latest we’ll let you know 60 days before departure.

The airport you will need to fly into is Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP), and Virgin and Jetstar fly here. Your return airport transfer to/from Airlie Beach is included in your tour package.

Flights need to arrive by 3pm at the latest on the day of departure, and shouldn’t be booked earlier than 1.30pm on the day final day.

Return transfer from the airport to the marina or your accommodation are included.

If your flight is into Proserpine Airport, and you are flying in on the tour departure day and flying out on the final day of the tour, then you only need to organise your flights. We will transfer you between the airport and the marina. 

If you are arriving via any other form of transport into Airlie Beach it is your responsibility to get yourself to the marina.

If you are arriving before the tour departure day, and/or departing after the final tour day, we will organise your airport transfers, however, you will need to make your own way to/from the marina to/from your accommodation.

Due to the remote nature of this tour, participants are encouraged to investigate travel insurance. Travel insurance is also handy for if you need to cancel your tour, flight disruptions and missing luggage etc.
Due to limited space onboard, guests are required to bring a soft duffle bag about the size of carry-on. We’ll send you a list of gear to bring, but you won’t need much.

We’ll let you know what to bring once you’re booked, but it isn’t much. In fact, we ask that you only bring enough clothes to fit in a soft duffle bag that could fit in carry-on luggage.

Onboard

All four nights accommodation are aboard the tall ship ‘Solway Lass’. There are nine basic air-conditioned cabins onboard, with a mixture of shared bunkroom (singles), private double and private double with ensuite available.



 

No. This is a live-onboard swim tour, so everyone will be sleeping on the Solway Lass. There is no land-based accommodation at the locations we will be mooring overnight.

There really is no better way to enjoy the Whitsundays than on boat and there are no land-based alternatives that will give you the experience in the same way as you’ll enjoy on this tour.

If you’re sceptical about staying on the ship, watch our FAQ videos from Andre who explains what to expect on board and in the water for this tour.

Yes, you certainly can! Depending on the schedule, there will be opportunities to spend time on the shore, including on Whitehaven Beach and at Hill Inet.

Technically you can, but you will need to pay for two people as double cabins must have two guests in them.

i.e. the total price of a Private Double cabin is $4,390 and a Double with Ensuite is $4,790.

Yes you can, but we don’t recommend it as it’ll be a tight squeeze! If you decide to do this, you will need to contact us to organise. The price Per Person will be the same, so you will pay 3 x the PP rate.

There is a private shower, toilet and basin in the ensuite of the Private Double With Ensuite cabins.

Private Double cabins can accommodate two (2) people in them.

The Private Double/Twin cabins have 1 x double bed and 1 x single bunk bed and can have a couple sleeping together in the double bed, or one person sleeping in the double bed, and one person sleeping in the single bed.

Yes! There are fresh water showers available, however, please note that there isn’t always warm water available. We kindly ask guests to use the showers once a day (so we’ve got plenty for the whole tour).

It’s highly unlikely, and to find out why, watch Andre answer the question in the FAQ video.

FAQ Video: Will I get sick aboard the ship?

All meals are freshly prepared onboard, with snacks, coffee and tea available. Dietary needs can be catered for with advanced notice.

FAQ Video: What sort of food will be available on board?

Dinner on the first night, 3 meals on day 2, 3 & 4, and breakfast on the final morning. There are also snacks available, and coffee, tea and tap water.

Yes. The following diets can be catered for: lactose-free, gluten intolerance, nut/fish allergies, vegetarian and vegan diets. You will be asked for your dietary requirements before the tour.

All meals are catered for on this swim tour, so you don’t need to bring any food (unless you wish to bring additional snacks).

The onboard cook can accommodate special dietary requirements.

There are no cooking facilities onboard for guests.

No. There is no BYO alcohol. There is a licensed bar onboard with drinks at very reasonable prices. Drinks include beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks. Coffee, tea and water is free.

We are unable to store your luggage onshore, however, there is a luggage service offered in the Airlie Beach township:

Airlie Beach Bag Storage (Part of Redcat Adventures)
350 Shute Harbor Road, Airlie Beach
Cost: $5/day

More Info

Please note, it is your responsibility to ensure you have time to store your luggage before the tour and pick it up after. Airport transfers on the day of the tour departure, or the final tour day, are likely to be too tight to include a stop off at the storage location. You should choose the late afternoon/evening departure flights if you intend to leave luggage.

We discourage luggage storage if you are arriving on the tour start day and departing on the tour finish day.

Limited power points are available onboard to charge digital devices. Phone signal is limited and intermittent.

FAQ Video: Will there be Wifi onboard?

While on the swim tour, you will only need extra money to make purchases at the onboard licensed bar. Bar accounts are settled at the end of the trip.

Swimming

The best person to explain this is Andre, watch the FAQ video below to learn more.

FAQ Video: We do we swim in the Whitsundays?

FAQ Video: What is Andre’s favourite swim of the tour?

You will need to be able to swim at least 1km non-stop freestyle (i.e. you may have previously completed a 1km ocean swim event). The minimum swim distance for every swim is 1km.

FAQ Video: What swimming abilities do I need to have on the tour?

We welcome swimmers of all speeds, however, there may be times when we need to give you a quick lift in our support boat if you’re getting too far behind. This won’t be a problem if you stick to the shorter distance options on each swim.

No. You can choose which swims you participate in. Non-swimming guests (that don’t meet the pre-requisite) cannot participate in any distance swims (social swimming/bathing is fine).

FAQ Video: Do I have to do all the swims on tour?

Yes! You can choose to swim the minimum 1km, or the maximum distance for each of the swims. You can also exit the water at any time into a support boat.

Not if you’re registered as a ‘swimmer’. You will need to be able to swim at least 1km non-stop freestyle (i.e. you may have previously completed a 1km ocean swim event). The minimum swim distance for every swim is 1km.

Guests registered as a ‘non swimmer’ do not need to be able to swim freestyle.

Yes! We welcome friends/partners to join swimmers at a ratio of one non-swimming guest to one swimming guest. Non-swimming guests can participate in all activities except the scheduled ocean swims.

The water in the Whitsunday Islands is between 22-25 degrees, so it’ll be nice and warm for swimming. However, some people feel the cold more than others so wetsuits are an option. They also provide additional stinger safety, should you wish to be extra vigilent.

Whilst we can’t 100% guarantee that stingers won’t be present, our swim tours to the Whitsunday Islands are scheduled during the non-stinger (winter) season when the water is a little cooler (still 22-25 degrees). Our highly experienced, local, crew will be aware of the stinger situation as we start the tour. 

Events like the Whitehaven Beach ocean swim are held in the non-stinger season and participants don’t wear stinger suits.

There will be one stinger suit available per person, should you wish to wear one at any time.

Absolutely! We will have up to three support inflatable boats in the water, and swimmers will swim in clear water between the shore and the line of support boats. 

There is a water safety ratio of a maximum of 1:6.

We have a comprehensive water safety plan for all swims.

It is ok to wear swim fins, however, the practice is discouraged as we are swimming over precious reef. The ship is eco-certified and no fins are carried on board. If you must wear fins you will be briefed on their use when swimming over the reef. For those who wear fins for safety when swimming in deep water and surf, you will not require them for this purpose on our swims as we swim close to shore and predominantly in waist/shoulder deep water.

Non-swimmer partners or friends are welcome on this trip at a maximum of one non-swimmer per swimmer. The price for a non-swimmer is the same as for a swimmer, and non-swimmers have access to all equipment and activities.

Non-swimmer guests must be identified at the beginning of the swim tour, and cannot participate in the distance swims.

From $1,995

Per Person


*How to book Private Double cabins: Private Double, Private Double/Twin and Private Double Ensuite cabins must have two guests in them. The Private Double cabin has 1 x double bed only. The Private Double/Twin cabin has 1 x double bed and 1 x single bed and can sleep two people in the double bed, or one in the double bed and one in the single bed. When booking a double cabin, you will need to book both guests in at the same time on the same transaction, deposits and balance payments are made by the booking customer on behalf of both guests.

Dates don't suit? Looking for a double?
Join the waitlist for new dates.


COVID Flexibility Guarantee

7-days to confirm

Want us to hold a date? Simply book with a deposit and you can cancel within 7-days for a full refund* if more than 60-days prior to departure

COVID-19 impacts

If you can’t travel, or the tour is cancelled, due to COVID-19, we will give you a refund* or transfer your booking to a future date^

Booking transfers

You can transfer your booking to another scheduled tour, or to another person, up until 60-days prior, for free

Read the full Tour Terms & Conditions. *All refunds exclude the booking fee and credit card fee. ^When a tour is cancelled within 30-days of departure, 20% deposits will be held as credit for a future tour and the balance refunded.

Have any questions?

Get in touch with our friendly reservations team today by phone, email or web chat.

Charter your own private tour

Would you like to book a private swim tour for just you and your friends? 

You can charter an entire tall ship with OceanFit and fill it with swimmers and non-swimmers, adults and kids! Ask us about the dates we have available

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