6 – 13 July 2020

Image result for mv spirit of freedom

Duration:   7 Day / 7 Night  (Monday to Monday ex Cairns)

Depart Cairns: 6 July 2020:  Board @12.00 noon Trinity Wharf, Cairns
Return Cairns: 13 July 2020: Disembark @ 7.00 am  Monday Trinity Wharf, Cairns

Price of Cabins
(all cabins have ensuite):
1 x Quad share cabin
(4 single beds, bunk style) Sold
$3,900 p/p
5 x Standard Twin share cabins
(1 double bed + one single bed)  3 Available
$4,700 p/p
1 x Stateroom
(1 queen bed )  Available
$5,290 p/p
1 x Ocean View Standard 
1 double bed)    Available
$5,720 p/p
1 x Ocean View Deluxe
(1 double bed)   Available
$5,800 p/p

You can view the different cabins here:

The Spirit of Freedom can accommodate a maximum of 26 guests in 11 cabins all
with private bath.

Inclusive of:
Chef prepared meals and snacks daily
Soft drinks, Australian wine and beer available with the evening meal. 
Tanks & weights 
Daily cabin service
Hotel transfers in Cairns city area
10% goods and services tax
Additional charges:
Marine Park levies $25 per person 
Optional Extras: 
Scuba Gear Hire 
Nitrox fills
Soft drinks & Alcohol outside of the evening meal time  


Experience the profound sense of connection that comes from looking into the eye of another species…

Dwarf Minke Whale Expeditions run for 6 weeks each June/July and all encounters take place on the whale's terms. Learn about their biology, behaviour and life history through onboard lectures by marine biologists and scientists. Guests will be given the opportunity to assist the ongoing research by helping to identify individual whales and be involved in behavioural observations. This is truly one of the most unique under water experiences available (and don't forget that it is accompanied with magnificent diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef!)

Code of Practice for dwarf minke whale interactions

Sample itinerary:

TRIP BEGINS: Day 1:DAY 1: (noon- 12:30)
Board your vessel around noon at Trinity Wharf, Cairns. Meet the crew of Eye to Eye Marine Encounters  and Spirit of Freedom. You will be shown to your cabins,  have a tour of the vessel, a safety brief,  check all paperwork is completed and dive gear organized. Enjoy lunch on board and head out to a local reef for your check out dive or snorkel in the afternoon.  Continue steaming into the evening and overnight and awake at your first dive/snorkel site.       

DAY 2:
Wake up to the Ribbon Reefs stretching out before you. Enjoy a light breakfast before the first dive/snorkel, followed by a hot cooked meal. This will be accompanied by an in-depth briefing on swim-with-whale guide-lines. Afterwards, travel to your next destination, searching for whales whilst underway. If whales are eager to interact, don your wetsuit and enter the water, ready for the experience of a lifetime. Watch as their confidence and curiosity grows, bringing them eye to eye with you. If no whales are found, continue your dive/snorkel adventure on beautiful coral gardens and pinnacles. In the evening, attend an interpretive talk (and power point presentation) by researchers on whale biology, behaviour and the history behind the Minke Whale Project.

DAY 3:
Depending on the events of previous day, focus upon either diving/snorkeling on the reef, or spotting whales. Dive site will be selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine highlights. Night dives are offered most evenings. During mealtime, enjoy informal talks with onboard biologists and researchers.

DAYS 4 - 5:
Spend the day looking for whales (very often the whales will find us!) and exploring the northern Ribbon Reefs and visiting famous dive sites including the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie. During encounters help researchers identify individuals and key behaviours and be sure to keep an ear out for the minke’s unique acoustic repertoire. Increase your marine knowledge and enthusiasm by attending another interpretive talk offered by our onboard biologists.

DAY 6: Final day  snorkeling, diving and we hope interacting with whales one last time as we steam south along the Ribbon Reefs! Steam overnight arriving back in Cairns on 13 July.

DAY 7: After a light breakfast, photos and goodbyes, disembark at  Cairns Trinity Wharf at 7am. Complimentary transfers to accommodation or airport will be provided.

4 & 5 Day Trip :

Our 4 and 5 day day itineraries are flexible and will be similar to that of the 6-day trip (including interpretive talks on board). The focus will be on whale interactions (both above and below water) but we also include snorkeling and diving at some of the Great Barrier Reef's best dive sites such as the world-famous Cod Hole, Pixie’s Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie.

Eye to Eye also offers private swim-with Minke whale charters across a range of vessels.

Why choose us?

John Rumney and his dedicated team of researchers and crew have been running swim with minke whale trips for 17 years and pioneered the swim with whale experience in Queensland. They were also instrumental in the development of guidelines that ensures all encounters are carried out on the whales’ terms and have now been adopted by industry as World’s Best Practice.

We believe in connecting people with nature in a profound and meaningful way. Our aim is to create the best minke experience along with excellent reef snorkelling and diving.

What make Eye to Eye Marine Encounters unique?

  • Minkes are our priority. We maintain a flexible itinerary in order to maximise the time and quality of whale encounters.

  • Dive sites are selected based on weather conditions and seasonal marine attractions, not on a predetermined timeframe

  • Researcher presence. Our scientists actively conduct field work while on board and appreciate and encourage guest involvement (i.e. by contributing photographs and behavioural observations to the Minke Whale Project)

  • Our dedicated and highly skilled crew has worked with us for years and shares our passion, values and thirst for adventure and fun.

  • We believe in the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge as a means of enriching the marine experience.

We want to give YOU the best wildlife experience possible in the hope that it will inspire you to protect our marine treasures. Our ethos and reputation has made us the first point of call for documentary film crews, universities and marine institutes around the world. We have been fortunate enough to introduce the beautiful minke whales to IMAX, Galatee (Oceans), National Geographic and the BBC and wish to continue sharing one of world’s most incredible wildlife experiences with others.


Eye to Eye Marine Encounters is still available for private, whole boat Minke whale charters on a variety of vessels.

Please contact us for more details including prices, dates and your custom itinerary.

For private yachts, Eye to Eye offers the highest level of Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea guides including the Swim with Minke Whale experience.

For more information, please don't hesitate to contact us.







Eye to Eye also offers private swim-with Minke whale charters across a range of vessels.

Please contact us at : jlrumney@gmail.com


For more information of our scheduled itineraries :contact Eye to Eye Marine Encounters:

 on 61 (0) 7 4098 5417  or   email : jlrumney@gmail.com



© Eye to Eye Marine Encounters