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Boat Cruise 2011 Grad Boat Cruise

November 29 to December 5
Sparkling blue ocean... Golden sandy beaches... Balmy summer nights...

What better way to celebrate finishing four gruelling years of study than partying it up in the beautiful Whitsundays? Join us for one last glorious week before the Class of 2011 goes its separate ways.

Over 100 new grads will descend on Airlie Beach in late November, ready to get the party started at the sponsored Opening Ceremony. We'llset sail the next morning, with an island-hopping itinerary full of snorkelling and beach sports by day, merriment and mischief by night. Your crew will choose to motor boat or sail as we wend our way between Hamilton, Daydream and Whitehaven. Full boat safety packs will be provided, and the friendly staff at Whitsundays Rent-A-Yacht will provide you with onboard orientation and training, as well as all the hot tips to navigating the area before we depart. A lack of sailing experience is no barrier to sailing the Whitsundays! What should I do now?

Your Steps to 2011 Boat Cruise Success


Send an email to boatcruise@uqms.org and to get on the elist, so you can keep up-to-date with all the important Boat Cruise info.


Groups with 4-10 members tend to work best. Check out the boats, and think about who will sleep where. Don't forget that you'll be staying in very close quarters, so make sure you'll be happy for the four nights aboard!


First choose between a yacht, catamaran or motorboat. Each have their own advantages. Motorboats are the easiest to operate. Yachts are the best sailing experience, quiet with a gentle motion. Catamarans offer the most space for sun-baking, etc. in general. If you rent a sailing yacht, previous groups have still managed to get around quite cheaply and quickly using engine only.

Check out the Whitsundays Rent-A-Yacht website at rentayacht.com.au to choose your boat. Then call Stacey on (07) 4946 9232 to book your charter – don't forget to mention the "Grad Doctors" deal to secure the magnificent savings. Whitsundays Rent-A-Yacht is offering a fabulous deal, comprising:

  • 20% discount on all advertised charter rates for deposits received up to and including June 30
  • 15% discount on all advertised charter rates for deposits received after June 30
  • Free transfer (airport-accommodation-harbour-accommodation-airport)
  • Free esky hire

Note that the minimum 5 night booking advertised on the Whitsundays Rent-A-Yacht website does NOT apply to our group. Our proposed itinerary is for 4 nights on the boat, with the final night staying back on dry land, but if your crew would prefer you are free to have 5 nights aboard your boat.


Virgin Blue and Jetstar both fly into Proserpine daily. The flight details for these are:

  • Virgin Blue - Tuesday 29th November, DJ 1117, depart BNE 11.40, arrive PPP 13.20
  • Jetstar – Tuesday 29th November, JQ830, depart BNE 08.35, arrive PPP 10.15
Flight details for the options to travel home are:
  • Virgin Blue - Monday 5th December 2011, DJ1118, depart PPP 13.55, arrive BNE 15.20
  • Jetstar – Monday 5th December 2011, JQ833, depart PPP 10.45, arrive BNE 12.10
  • Virgin Blue – Sunday 4th December 2011, DJ1118, depart PPP 13.55, arrive BNE 15.20
DO NOT book the Jetstar flight for Sunday 4th December – this may not give you enough time to return your boat and get to the airport!

If you choose to drive it is approximately 1100kms or 14hrs drive.


You will need somewhere to stay at Airlie Beach for the night of November 29. Our suggested itinerary also includes the last night (December 4) on-shore; but this is up to you, the number of nights you would like to spend aboard your boat and when you are returning to Brisbane. The suggested itinerary has you back in Brisbane for Monday December 5, ensuring you will still have lots of time to prepare for graduation.

Airlie Beach has a wide range of accommodation from 5 star to backpacker style. You may even be able to stay on-board your vessel for the first night for free or a greatly discounted rate. Ask your boat hire company if you are interested in this, and maybe try to get this night for free before mentioning the Doc Grads discount.

We strongly recommend you book accommodation at either:

  • Magnum's Backpackers ($19-61 pp per night) – this is the most likely location for our Opening Ceremony; good option for the party people who don't want to be told to shhhhhh! at 2am
  • Airlie Waterfront Backpackers ($25-130 pp per night) – a quieter choice for the boat-cruise wanting a good nights sleep

It would make for a much more fun atmosphere if most of the group stays together. Also, these are the ONLY locations to which we can guarantee transfers; you may stay elsewhere if you like, but you may have to walk to/from one of our hostels.


Once you have booked your boat, accommodation and transport, head to http://uqms.org/content/view/927/ to register. This helps your friendly Boat Cruise Convenors do all the planning we need to ensure this is the best Boat Cruise yet!


There is a large Coles in Airlie Beach and bottle shops are only slightly more expensive than Brisbane. You can either go shopping when you arrive on the 29th or order online and pick-up. Alternatively, if you really feel like being waited on hand and foot, Whitsunday Rent-A-Yacht will be able to organise for provisions to be stocked onboard to your liking.

Note that it will be very hot in the Whitsundays at that time of year and choose your menu accordingly. You may be tempted to drink alcohol all day but beware that it is a crime to operate a water vehicle while intoxicated or with an open alcoholic beverage and people have been charged with DUI previously. Also, being dehydrated never helps with seasickness!


Graduation is an expensive time, with costs such as medical board registration, graduation ball tickets and graduation gown hire. Make sure you plan ahead so your graduation week is a week to remember for the RIGHT reasons! A rough guide to the cost of boat cruise is $1000-$1500, including boat hire and associated fees, airfares, accommodation, food and drink.

Extra fees to be aware of in renting your boat include:

  • Marine Park Entry Fee – The Whitsunday Islands form part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Park entry is $25 per person. This charge comprises an administration component and an Environmental Management Charge, used by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for management, research and educational purposes. The Marine Park fee is applicable to all charters and is payable in full prior to departure.
  • Fuel – Fuel is not included in charter costs. Costs are calculated on the total fuel litres used and are payable on completion of the charter. Fuel cost estimates are available per charter, on request.

Your crew will also have to pay ONE of the following:

  • Damage levy fee (option 1) – A non-refundable, one-off damage levy fee protects the charterer against damage to the vessel and its fittings or loss of inventory from the vessel - providing the vessel has been operated in a safe and responsible manner in accordance with the charter agreement. The fee is calculated on a daily rate ($45 - $65 per day), depending on the vessel selected. (Convenor's note: this is like the "insurance" option when you hire a car)
  • Bond (option 2) – A non-refundable damage levy fee of $100 plus a refundable $2500 bond option - applicable to all vessels and all charter durations - is also available. Whitsunday Rent A Yacht reserves the right (without showing cause) to apply this option. (Convenor's note: this is similar to the bond you pay when renting a house)

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