Launching this month is Tropical Journeys Calypso Reef Cruises new half day tour, with two departures daily.
It joins Reef Sprinter as the only other operator to provide this shortened outer reef option.
Calypso’s director Graham Jones said it was exciting to be able to offer something for everyone when it came to reef tours from Port Douglas.
“Not everyone wants a full-day tour and many visitors have been asking at the tour shops in town for a half-day outer reef experience,” Mr Jones said.
The arrival of Calypso’s smaller capacity, custom-built vessel for its popular half-day Low Isles tours has allowed the larger Calypso Blue, which can carry up to 50 passengers, for the new half-day outer reef tour.
Calypso will also still operate three full day outer reef tour options as well as a full day Low Isles package.
He hoped the new tours would only enhance what has already been a good year so far for the Port Douglas owned business.
“The season so far has been excellent and hopefully will continue. Forward bookings are looking promising,” he added.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett welcomed the news, which reinforced the region’s reputation as a premier reef tour destination.
“Both tours offer a marvelous opportunity for people who are short on time or who do not wish to spend a whole day out on the water,” Ms Bennett said.
She said there was a lot to talk about as operators continued to invest in their products.
“Reef Sprinter has invested in a new vessel, which arrived this month, and the iconic 45 metre Quicksilver VIII is back in the water after a million-dollar refurbishment.
“The beautiful Chinese junk Shaolin also returned to Port earlier this year as a reef tour vessel offering trips to Low Isles as well as sunset tours and private charters.”
Reef Sprinter owner Steve Sherwell said its new upgraded vessel, which was only broken in last week, boasted 350 horse power super charged outboards.
“We can travel to the outer reef in just 40 minutes. It is a fast, fun exciting boat ride, cruising at about 40 knots.”
The speed boat was built locally by Far North Fabrication in record time of just four months.
“This boat is built more for open water and gives us the flexibility of now offering two outer reef tours on the same day,” he added.