Quickies

Issue #154, 2015

Welcome to our Summer issue of Quickies,

keeping you posted with some of our latest news and happenings.

It sure is warming up as we head into our tropical Summer. Bring your board shorts Santa!

We’ve had a wonderful time showcasing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef to our customers, agents and even a few celebrities too! Nature has indeed been putting on a show for our visitors lately. Can you imagine a whale shark cruising by as you snorkel or seeing the annual phenomenon of coral spawning during a night dive?!

The 15th Cairns Great Barrier Reef branded ‘experience’ shop was opened in Beijing China, just in time to welcome the Year of the Monkey. Our program of fleet maintenance has continued at full steam and as always, focused on providing the best products and Great Barrier Reef experiences for our guests. This year saw major refurbishments to Great Adventures’ Reef King, dive and snorkel catamaran Poseidon and Pro Dive Cairns’ liveaboard Scuba Pro II. Next year our flagship wavepiercer Quicksilver VIII is booked in for her makeover!

As we reflect on the year past and get ready to welcome the new, we'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, safe festive season and a prosperous 2016.

In the meantime, enjoy a break with our latest Quickies!

With warm tropical wishes from the Quicksilver Group Crew

WHAT'S NEW

15th Cairns and Great Barrier Reef Travel Shop Opens in China

It’s all about the experience! The newest Cairns and Great Barrier Reef travel shop recently opened in China’s capital Beijing is giving customers a taste of what our magnificent World Heritage region has to offer.

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Located in one of Beijing’s major shopping complexes, this new themed travel shop, complete with beautiful imagery, digital displays and trained specialist staff, is the 15th such branded shop to be opened in mainland China in a Quicksilver Group led activity now spanning 10 years.

The newest shop with Beijing Caissa International Travel Service Co Ltd is the result of a jointly funded partnership with the Cairns-based China Sales Group and Tourism Australia.

Speaking at the launch of the new shop, Michael Healy, Quicksilver Group’s Director of Sales and Marketing said, “This is the second themed shop we have opened in Beijing and these branding initiatives bring the purchase of tourism product and experiences to a whole new level. They also enable us to engage with our key distribution partners and ensure high levels of product knowledge.“

The China Sales Group brings together a range of quality Great Barrier Reef and Cairns land-based touring products and accommodation, including Quicksilver, Great Adventures, CAPTA, Hot Air, Seawalker Green Island, GBR Helicopters, Accor Hotels and Kingfisher Bay Resort amongst others.

Great Barrier Reef documentary premieres

Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary series, Great Barrier Reef, had a special premiere at Australia House in London last week attended by royalty, film stars and even our very own Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Michael Healy!

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Australia House in London last week attended by royalty, film stars and even our very own Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Michael Healy!

During an interview, Sir David said that after his own home, his favourite place in the world is North Queensland. And we’d have to agree! At the Quicksilver Group, we’re very privileged to call Tropical North Queensland our home.

“It’s got mountains, it’s got tropical rainforest, it’s got the Barrier Reef. It’s got wonderful creatures that occur nowhere else. It’s a great place,” Sir David Attenborough.

The documentary “Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough” will broadcast early next year, coinciding with Tourism Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences campaign.

A Blast from the Past

Thank you to Paul Crewe for sharing a little bit of Green Island history with us. These family photos were taken on Green Island by his father over 70 years ago in 1944!

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The very basic and quaint holiday cabins seen here are a far cry from luxuries that greet our guests today at Green Island Resort. Generations on, Green Island is still the dream tropical island holiday adventure - but now with all the modern day comforts!

Wavedancing with kids on the Reef

Every year, Quicksilver gifts the children of local Douglas Shire primary schools in their final year with a free trip to beautiful Low Isles on our sailing catamaran, Wavedancer. This year over 160 children from nine local schools took part, along with their teachers and parents.

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It was a chance for the kids to gain a better understanding of the Great Barrier Reef and its environment, as well as the role we play living in a World Heritage area.

Quicksilver strongly believes in engaging with local children to help build a better future for this unique environment, investing $20,000 over two days to cater for the students and their escorts. The positive feedback was overwhelming, with teachers also pleased to see their students socialising with others who face the challenge of moving onto secondary school next year.

Date night with some coral!

Late November brought one of the most spectacular events on the Great Barrier Reef; the annual phenomenon of Coral Spawning. While guests aboard Pro Dive Cairns’ liveaboard trips were able to witness this during exciting night dives, in a special event this year, Quicksilver Group dive instructors and marine biologists were treated to an exclusive coral spawning night dive excursion aboard our dive and snorkel catamaran Silverswift.

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Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said it was a great opportunity for our dive and marine biologist teams to witness this rarely seen event in their ‘office’, gaining from the personal experiences and also the intimate knowledge they can impart to our guests.

While our marine biologists can predict the likely timing of the annual coral spawning occurrence, a precise date is difficult to predict. This is because a variety of factors come in to play, with the coral only spawning in perfect conditions. We know the moon cycle and specific water temperatures (greater than 26 degrees celcius) play a role, but it also appears that tide height, salinity levels and day length can also affect the timing. Spawning happens two to three hours after sunset, which scientists believe is timed to ensure most of the plankton feeders are asleep, creating a greater chance of pollination for the corals.

This simultaneous mass spawning of corals on the Great Barrier Reef was first scientifically observed in 1981 by several marine biologists and it's Mother Nature's way of maintaining a consistently robust coral gene pool.

Looking Good! Our well-oiled, purpose-built Australian fleet!

Quicksilver Group’s program of fleet maintenance has continued at full steam this year and as always, focused on providing a premium 5 Star standard and experience for our guests. With 13 major vessels across our brands, each has been purpose built for their operations and are all proudly Australian built.

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This year saw the major refurbishments to Great Adventures’ Reef King, dive and snorkel catamaran Poseidon and Pro Dive Cairns’ liveaboard vessel Scuba Pro II.  This follows on from last year’s extensive and super stylish refurbishments to our Quicksilver V wavepiercer and sailing catamaran Ocean Spirit. It was also quite a sight to see the Agincourt 2D and Moore Reef activity platforms towed into Cairns from the Outer Reefs for refurbishments.

But it doesn’t stop there! During 2016 our flagship wavepiercing catamaran Quicksilver VIII will undergo (a 10 week) major internal refurbishment, as will Pro Dives Cairns’ liveaboard vessel Scuba Pro I.   Quicksilver’s premier platform at Agincourt 3 will also be towed into the mainland for refurbishment – a journey of over 100 km from the Agincourt ribbon reefs to Cairns.

While all of our vessels undergo annual refit and ongoing maintenance, Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said we have always recognised the need to reinvest and keep our products to the standard of a five star reef operator.

“We have a fantastic in-house engineering team of qualified tradespeople and marine specialists as well as local contractors who work very closely with us to ensure the maintenance and presentation of our fleet are always to the highest standards. This means our passengers have the newest and best facilities available to enjoy their time at the reef.”

 

Quicksilver VIII

45.5m Wavepiercer Catamaran

Quicksilver V

37m Wavepiercer Catamaran

Reef King

30m High Speed Catamaran

Reef Spirit

24m High Speed Catamaran

Green Island Express

22m High Speed Catamaran

Silversonic

29m Dive & Snorkel Catamaran

Silverswift

29m Dive & Snorkel Catamaran

Poseidon

24m Dive & Snorkel Catamaran

Wavedancer

30m Sailing Catamaran

Ocean Spirit

32 m Sailing Catamaran

Scuba Pro I, II, II

24m Liveaboard Vessel

 
 

Christmas Lunch on Green Island

A sumptuous buffet lunch and no dishes to wash – that’s dreaming of a Green Island Christmas! What better way to celebrate Christmas Day than at Emeralds Restaurant with a feast prepared by Green Island Resort’s Executive Chef, Shuki Salem, featuring fresh local produce and traditional Christmas favourites.

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Available to resort house guests, limited seats are also available to be enjoyed by day visitors who want to make their Christmas just that little bit more special, along with the choice of a glass bottom boat tour or snorkelling on the Reef.

There’s still time to book but be quick and bookings are essential. For more information contact the crew at Great Adventures Reservations on 4044 9944 or email [email protected].

Download menu as PDF Green Island Resort Emeralds Christmas Day Lunch Menu

An Unexpected Visitor

Pro Dive Cairns crew and guests were blessed recently with a visit from a Whale Shark, the world’s largest fish. These magnificent fish are known to grow up to 14 metres in length and can live for up to 150 years. They are a rare sighting on the Great Barrier Reef, occasionally visiting the area during their migration.

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This particular whale shark, only around three metres in length, popped by to say hello and hung around for about 15 minutes at one of Pro Dive Cairns’ popular dive sites, Petaj on Milln Reef, before heading on its merry way.

Thanks to Pro Dive Cairns’ dive instructor Mark Bottcher for the photos

Showcasing our Wonders - InBound Up North and SELL TNQ

Quicksilver Group was once again delighted to be involved in two high profile industry events here in our region. ATEC’s annual Tropical North Queensland “InBound Up North” was a big hit with participants. For Quicksilver, this included hosting a day aboard our flagship wavepiercer, Quicksilver VIII, to Agincourt Reef in picture perfect conditions to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

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We were also pleased to participate in `Business Events Cairns’ “SELL TNQ 2015”, giving event planners the opportunity to experience firsthand the amazing and diverse range of business events products in our region. Highlights included an amazing beachfront gala dinner at Palm Cove and a wonderful day at the idyllic Low isles on Wavedancer.

EVENTS


The Season for giving – 12th Annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Appeal

It’s the season of giving and we wish to extend a huge thank you to all staff, industry colleagues, suppliers and friends who donated to our annual Quicksilver Group Christmas Appeal, helping to bring a brighter Christmas to those in need. This year, St Vincent’s de Paul, the Salvation Army and the Douglas Community have received an estimated $9000 of food and gift donations, which will be distributed among local families and individuals.

 “The overwhelming support and generosity of the local tourism industry and friends of tourism continues to amaze and impress us,” said Michael Healy Quicksilver Group Director Sales and Marketing, “Our region is known for its generosity and again this shows in the incredible compassion with the amount of food and gifts received for charities in need at Christmas. Everything donated will certainly help make this Christmas much happier for a lot of families and people.

Over 12 years ago, the Quicksilver Group made the decision to contribute to local charities and this has been an ongoing investment since with the Industry and community support.

Download menu as PDF Quicksilver Group Xmas Appeal Thanks

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SEEN ON THE REEF

 

  • Stephen Curry
    We were delighted to welcome aboard Wavedancer one of Australia’s best known actors and comedians, Stephen Curry, for a day visiting Low Isles. Star of a favourite Australian movie “The Castle”, Stephen spent the day taking in the beautiful sights of this Great Barrier Reef island.  It was some well deserved R&R after judging the region’s short film festival, Port Shorts, along with Wolf Creek producer Matt Hearn who also experienced a day diving on Silversonic.
  • Sunrise
    The crew from Channel 7’s popular morning show, Sunrise, broadcast the nation’s weather live from Green Island in November, showcasing our beautiful Great Barrier Reef coral island. It was the perfect day with clear blue sky and calm waters as presenter Sam practised some yoga moves with instructor Nathalia on Green Island’s white sandy beach.
  • Governor Paul de Jersey
    Queensland’s Honourable Governor Paul de Jersey also visited Green Island on his tour with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services to experience the Great Barrier Reef. A glass bottom boat tour was the order of the day before heading off to Michaelmas Cay.

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BIO BITS

Can fish talk?

The answer is yes! Just like humans, fish have their own method of communication. They don’t have vocal cords, so they find more creative ways of communicating to each other and to other species. Vibrating muscles against their swim bladder can produce a variety of low pitch noises such as squeaks, moans and croaks. Rattling their bones and gnashing their teeth can also produce various pitches. Grunts, booms, hisses, whistles, creaking, shrieking, chirps, pops and wailing are all indicators of a fish’s mood. It is believed these communications serve to scare off predators, attract mates or orientate themselves.

While all fish can hear, not all fish can talk, although we bet Wally has a few things to say!


THE ZOO


Introducing Cleo Legge, Pro Dive Cairns Reservations

Cleo is our happy Reservations Manager at Pro Dive Cairns. She has worked in reservations for two years, following working as a dive instructor on the boats so you could say Cleo knows Pro Dive Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef inside out! Most of her day is taken up with answering phone calls and emails, speaking to both agents and customers ensuring every thing is in place for a Pro Dive Cairns adventure.

With Pro Dive Cairns recently introducing a new reservations system, Respax, Cleo has been busier than ever, but with tongue in cheek, still has her favourite part of the job. “Being seated, dry and air conditioned – such a novelty after working on the boats for a few years!”

 

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Postcard.... to Quicksilver


My fiancé and I have just had the pleasure of completing your Ultimate Reef Pass and thought you might like some feedback! We travelled on Silversonic, Wavedancer and Quicksilver. It goes without saying that the reef was spectacular. We think your company is too. To start, I have to say I never knew what it meant to "run a tight ship" until completing your tours, where it was made completely obvious to me.

Absolutely every process and detail was so organised and well thought out. We could not have felt safer or in better hands whilst travelling the ocean! Secondly, it was just incredible to see what a thoroughly happy, friendly, knowledgeable and passionate team of people you have working for you. We have met so many staff members over the last week and every person was nothing short of delightful… By the end of our week we feel that we are leaving a fantastic new bunch of friends behind and are already planning our next trip.

Thank you so much for the excellent work that you do.

With best regards Katie & Mark, Aus

QUICKBITS


  • Christmas Day Operations:
    The following day cruises will be operating as normal on Christmas Day: Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise; Great Adventures Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure, Green Island Eco Adventure and Green Island Discovery.
  • Introducing Quicksilver Cruises’ brand new website!
    Quicksilver’s new website has been launched and it’s looking good with an all new look! The site offers all new functionality, an extensive photo gallery, product and Great Barrier Reef information as well as the all important focus on activities available for every kind of visitor travelling to the Outer Barrier Reef. There’s something for everyone! Check out the new site here http://www.quicksilver-cruises.com
  • Now Showing! Ocean Spirit’s day at Michaelmas Cay
    A day aboard our 32 metre sailing catamaran Ocean Spirit as she heads to picturesque Michaelmas Cay is now showing! The new video captures some of the amazing experiences that a day on Ocean Spirit offers, from beginning to end.

     

  • Did you know we’re on Instagram?!
    Instagram.com/ReefCruises
  • FREE Wi-Fi:
    Our dive and snorkel adventure vessels Silversonic and Silverswift, and Pro Dive Cairns' liveaboard fleet all provide free unlimited Wi-Fi - even when 50 km offshore! Green Island Resort guests also have free Wi-Fi from the comfort of their rooms as well as the Coral Cay guest lounge.
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