Sailing The Whitsundays On Board The Atlantic Clipper

 In Australia, Backpacking, Once In A Lifetime, Queensland

It’s got a reputation.

You’ve probably heard it’s name flying around on the street.

And if you are more than partial to toasting a bevvy or 20 to the sunset – it could be your perfect match.

For those of you completely clueless, I’m speaking about the one, the only…

Atlantic Clipper.


The Atlantic Clipper is one of the many boats that set sail from Abell Point Marina to explore the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 stunning islands off the East Coast of Australia and is home to one of the most famous beaches in the world.

The Atlantic Clipper is known for attracting the young, the wild and the carefree, offering a capacity of around 50-60 {I can’t remember exactly} and catering for nothing short of a party.

The Atlantic Clipper is by far the most popular boat in The Whitsundays.

I had heard of this boat many a time before from fellow backpackers, yet failed to actually hop on board due to my last minute planning and the Atlantic Clippers tendancy to fully book in advance.

You can book the Atlantic Clipper through True Blue Sailing but if you book through Ratpack Travel {like i did} then you can get 10% off your booking using my unique code ‘MOLLIE10’ at the checkout.

Now in my honest opinion, the Atlantic Clipper wasn’t as crazy as I had before perceived it to be.

Apparently though, they recently had to pull the reigns in and tighten the rules, due to things getting a little too crazy on board.

Either way, the fun is definitely still there to be had and I think new rules like ‘lights out at 12pm’ are a blessing in disguise.

You’ll want to have drinks of course, but at the same time you are exploring one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I definitely think it’s a good idea to balance the craziness with some chill so that you can actually appreciate the incredible surroundings you will be sailing through.


As well as being known as ‘the party boat’, the Atlantic Clipper is also known for it’s emphasis on activity and adventure. There are multiple opportunities throughout the trip to access and jump from the slides and platforms on the boat.


What’s the Atlantic Clipper itinerary?

If you jump on the Atlantic Clipper you will spend 2 days and 2 nights exploring reefs, bays and islands within the Whitsundays. You’ll meet the 7 man crew and your new squad at Abell Point Marina for 2pm on Day 1 and sail straight to your overnight spot – Hook Passage. Here you can bag your first jump in the ocean as the crew cook you up a feast. The evening ends as you pop open a few drinks under sun set.


Day 2 has you up and at ’em pretty early {6am} to enjoy a breakfast spread whilst the crew sail you over to the location of dreams – Whitehaven Beach. It’s an action packed day on Day 2 {hence why I said the 12pm curfew is a blessing} which kicks off with a walk up to the Whitehaven Lookout, followed by a few hours free time to enjoy the world renowned silica sands for yourself.


Whitehaven Beach has been voted the 4th most beautiful beach in the world and it’s not hard to see why…

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You’ll then climb back on board the Atlantic Clipper and sail to a prime snorkelling spot. Here you can opt for exploring the reefs and finding Nemo or jumping / sliding from the platforms and slides on the boat. Here you also have the option to sign up for a Scubadive and explore the Great Barrier Reef from a new perspective. Tea, coffee and a bucket load of biscuits for everyone will be waiting back on the boat as the crew continue to sail the afternoon away to your second over night anchoring.


We spotted dolphins on this sail which isn’t uncommon, nether is swimming with turtles and rays on the reefs. Get your GoPro’s at the ready!

This evening is the evening to get down and party. Once you’ve enjoyed your second evening feast, courtesy of the the crew, {they even do the washing up} it’s time to whip out your goon and watch the legendary ‘Show’ from the crew members. After this cracking slice of entertainment, your evening will be well under way…

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Day 3 begins with another early breakfast spread as you set sail to discover more of the Whitsundays before indulging in another prime snorkelling spot by mid morning. Options to slide, dive and jump into the ocean are in full swing once again, followed up nicely by lunch on deck.

Finally, it’s time to enjoy one last sail back to Abell Point Marina where the trip ends, showers are sought out and everyone reunites by sunset in Airlee for the Clipper after party!


What did I like, particularly, about the Atlantic Clipper?

  • The space on the boat.

Boats can definitely get claustrophobic and you’d think even more so with 60 young and slightly intoxicated individuals on board. However the Atlantic Clipper boasts a luxury in space, particularly on top deck. There are covered and uncovered sun decks, bean bags, benches and a jacuzzi to relax unwind and soak up the Australian rays on. I was super impressed with this factor.

  • Curtis.

A reason alone to book the Clipper. You’ll understand within 10 seconds of meeting him.


  • The fact you know you’ll get a fun crew

Because the Atlantic Clipper has a reputation for being the fun ‘party boat’, people know full well what they are signing up to when they book. Therefore the vibes you expected and were told about, are pretty guaranteed to manifest. Everyone’s up for a good time.

  • The added extras

I loved the addition of a/c in the bedrooms which I know not all the boats have. I loved too the jacuzzi that sits at the front of the boat and the awesome slides that blow up and attach to the side of the boat. These extras just enhance the fun and memories you make on board the Atlantic Clipper and too, make for some awesome footage.


Why should you choose the Atlantic Clipper over the other Whitsunday boats?

All of the sailing trips in the Whitsundays cover pretty much the same areas and locations but they all just cater for different individuals, vibes and preferences. I’ve sailed on board the Condor, Boomerang and now the Clipper too, and can say they were all amazing but very different experiences.

If you’re a backpacker, you love good energy, you’re ready to give good energy and you are partial to a few drinks jokes and games, then the Clipper will secure the experience you’re after.

The Atlantic Clipper is like the Whitsundays hostel. It is here you’ll meet all the backpackers travelling the coast and make friendships that you’ll reunite with later on in your trip. I know when I was on board the Condor {because i left it too late to get on the Clipper}, I was gutted and wished I had planned a little further in advance.

However, if you do want a more toned down and relaxing experience then something like the Condor may be more suited to you {i was on board with couples and more of a mixed age range of travellers}.

I’ve heard New Horizon is something in-between the two, however I know we {Clipper} anchored next to this boat on both evenings. Having been anchored next to the Clipper when I was on board Condor 2 years ago, I have to say it wasn’t the most peaceful experience so maybe make room in your bag for your ear plugs. Haha!


Do I take all my luggage on board the Clipper?

Nope! The clipper is spacious, but space is still limited. You’ll want to grab the essentials and just take one small bag / backpack on board with you. Most of the hostels / travel shops in Airlee Beach offer luggage storage for $5 a night. If you stay at a hostel the night before your trip, you can store your luggage as we did for free.

What age are the travellers on board the Clipper?

Travellers must be 18+ to board the Clipper and as far as i know there is no age limit. The average age on our boat, which I reckon is a given for the Clipper, was around 20-25 years old.

How much alcohol can you take on board?

30 cans / a goon sack / bottle of spirit each. Considering you are recommended to take the first night pretty easy {due to Day 2 being so action-packed} you’ll only be drinking drinking on the 2nd night.

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Tips and additional information for boarding the Clipper:

  • No zippers are allowed on your bags due to previous cases of Bed Bugs. They can  lay their eggs within the zips and if bed bugs spread on the boat it’s a mission to clean and means cancelling of the trip.{When you check in the day before you sail, you can get a Clipper bag for $3 each}
  • It’s BYO Alcohol on the boat, so head to the bottle shop before you board!
  • No glass is allowed on the boat so make sure you buy cans / bags.
  • If you get motion sickness, be sure to bring medication on board {it’s not rough sailing though}
  • Remember your PADI license if you want to do some advanced diving
  • You can pay an additional $60 to do a dive {intro or advanced}
  • Lights and music goes off at 12pm {at which point you can star gaze!}

Remember, you can book the Atlantic Clipper through True Blue Sailing but if you book through Ratpack Travel {like i did} then you can get 10% off your booking using my unique code ‘MOLLIE10’ at the checkout.

Have you sailed The Whitsundays? What trip did you do?

I’d love to know!

Thank YOU guys for reading <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

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Sailing the whitsundays on the atlantic clipper in australia, backpacking guides | where's Mollie A UK Travel and Adventure Lifestyle Blog

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