If you want to live out a Robinson Crusoe fantasy, but with all the comforts of your ship nearby, then you should add Sherrard Island to your travel plans. This tiny island in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park measures only two hectares (five acres). Due to its breathtaking setting and the spectacular scenery that surrounds it—both above and below the sea—Sherrard Island is an increasingly popular anchorage point for cruise ships. It's a perfect base for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and specifically the Ribbon Reefs, known for their excellent visibility year round, making it a favorite area for divers and snorkelers.
Cruise passengers can see vibrant, layered sunsets and sunrises, and during the day explore the coral reefs, which provide shelter for a vast array of fish of all shapes and sizes. Among other animals, you might see dolphins and turtles, and seasonal sightings include migrating whales and birds. Sherrard Island should be at the top of every birder's must-visit list, as the region is home to a staggering number of species. You'll want a pair of binoculars to scratch a number of birds off of your checklist. Fishing is also permitted, with some restrictions.