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How Long Is My Whitsundays Boat Tour?

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Alison Condon
Updated Wed 29 May 2024

Planning your dream sailing adventure around the Whitsundays? There are so many different styles of tours, we don’t blame you if you feel spoiled for choice!

Each tour is totally unique, from the itinerary and the route to the vessel and the time spent at sea.

To make sure you have the best time on your once-in-a-lifetime trip, we’ve put together a little guide to help you understand how long you’ll be sailing through the Whitsundays!

Tourists posing for a photo onboard the Getaway boat in the Whitsundays

How long will my Whitsundays tour last?

When planning your Whitsundays tour, you’ll notice that our overnight tours fall under different formats, such as ‘2D2N’ (2 days, 2 nights) or ‘3D2N’ (3 days, 2 nights). Generally, these align with how much time is spent at sea during your tour. Here’s a breakdown of how to make sense of trip durations so that you can pick the best tour for you!

People smiling and posing onboard the Apollo boat in the Whitsundays

2D1N Tours

During a 2D1N (2 Day 1 Night) tour, you will spend one night aboard your boat of choice, but a total of 24 to 48 hours in total at sea.

These trips typically span over one night and include parts of two days. Even though they include only one night, they extend beyond 24 hours but do not reach 48 hours.

Some examples of 2D1N tours include Siska (31.5 hours at sea), Defender (31 hours at sea), and Habibi (31.5 hours at sea).

Backpackers enjoying a trip on Siska in the Whitsundays

2D2N Tours vs 3D2N Tours

Both 2D2N (2 Day, 2 Night) tours, like the Atlantic Clipper, and 3D2N (3 Day, 2 Night) tours, like Apollo, spend two nights at sea. The main difference is that 2D2N tours are out at sea for less than 48 hours in total, while 3D2N tours are out at sea for anywhere between 48 and 72 hours.

2D2N (2 Day, 2 Night) tours are trips that cover two nights at sea and are close to two full days, lasting a total of more than 24 hours, but less than 48 hours.

For example, 2D2N tours like Whitsunday Getaway and Entice spend a total of 46 hours at sea with two overnights.

By comparison, Solway Voyager and Apollo, spend 55 hours at sea, and Kiana spends 56 hours at sea, but still have two overnights.

Backpackers having fun onboard the Solway Voyager in the Whitsundays

3D3N Tours vs 4D3N Tours

Similarly, 3D3N (3 Day, 3 Night) tours like Powerplay and 4D3N (4 Day, 3 Night) tours like Summertime both spend 3 nights at sea, but the former returns to land earlier than the latter.

While a 3D3N tour would spend anywhere between 48 and 72 hours out at sea, a 4D3N tour would extend into four days by exceeding 72 hours.

A couple smiling on a sailing boat at sunset in the Whitsundays

Why the Differences?

The main reason for these differences is that the boats in the Whitsundays operate on varying schedules and itineraries. While some might start their trips in the afternoon and return in the morning, others may leave first thing in the morning and return to the marina in the evening. 

Tourists posing and smiling onboard Salty in the Whitsundays

How to choose the right boat trip

When choosing your boat trip, consider not just the number of nights the tour is out at sea for, but also the actual duration in hours to better understand how much time you'll have to explore the Whitsundays.

Whether you're looking for a quick getaway that hits all the hotspots or a more extended adventure around the islands, there's certainly a trip that’ll help you make the most of your time here!

A man jumping off the boat New Horizon into the sea

Why not take a look through our list of overnight tour options to see what works best for you?

Do you have more questions about Whitsunday boat tours and itineraries? Live chat with our local travel experts or call us at +61 74914 2425. 

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