A number of reef tours suspend operations


Karlie Brady


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The Quicksilver Group is among a growing list of tour operators unable to continue during the coronavirus crisis. Image: Supplied.

Many of Port Douglas’ largest reef tour operators are suspending their operations in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as much of the tourism industry comes to a grinding halt.

The Quicksilver Group will suspend operations on all the company’s Port Douglas boats, including Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise, Silversonic, Poseidon, and Wavedancer on Friday 27 March until further notice.

“As the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 continue to evolve, the Quicksilver Group has regrettably made the difficult decision to suspend operations across our range of reef experiences, with the exception of a daily Green Island transfer,” a Quicksilver spokesperson said.

“We continue to closely monitor the situation and will endeavour to recommence operations as soon as practicable and in line with recommendations.

“On behalf of the Quicksilver Group, we thank you for your support and wish you well as we all navigate through this difficult and unprecedented time.”

Calypso Reef Cruises has also halted operations stating the safety of everyone and stopping the spread of COVID-19 is of the upmost importance.

“While it saddens us to say, we, like so many other businesses in Australia are being greatly affected by COVID-19,” the company said.

“Due to the Australian Government's recent announcement restricting all non-essential travel, combined with self-isolation requirements, we have made the decision to suspend all Calypso Reef Cruises operations until further notice.

“All current passengers will be contacted regarding their booking over the coming 24 hours. Please bear with us during this time. We will be working through the most urgent bookings on a rolling basis. If you have not booked with Calypso Reef Cruises directly and you have used an agent or third-party provider, you will need to speak with them directly about your booking and their terms.”

Sailaway Port Douglas has also confirmed it has halted operations on 23 March.

“We are committed to survive this health and economic crises and be in pole position to contribute to recovery and inspire visitation,” Sailaway owner Steve Edmondson said.

"We thank all our loyal agents and guests for the wonderful support Sailaway has had the last 17 years with us and we will be back. Wishing the best for our community and to follow the very important restrictions in place for the good of all and getting through this together. Take care, stay well and remain positive in the face of adversity.”

Wavelength is another on the list of shutdowns saying yesterday was their last day taking tours out until further notice due to safety and it being unfeasible to continue at this time.

Reef Sprinter has said it is unsure at this stage if they will suspend tours and decisions are still being made.


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