Click ‘Book’ to select your arrival and departure dates – and then choose your desired activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling or enrol on a dive course…
Australia’s Best Liveaboard ‘Reef Encounter’ Great Barrier Reef, Cairns
Cairns best liveaboard ‘Reef Encounter’ – surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef – is one of the most unique holiday escapes in Australia. See it at its best – day and night!
Consistently rated ‘number one’ scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard by both industry professionals and independent reviewers such as Trip Advisor, Reef Encounter is large enough to provide all the comforts of a cruise ship yet small enough to access spectacular reef locations not accessible to other vessels.
Family owned and operated (and all scuba enthusiasts) it is our passion to deliver outstanding Great Barrier Reef encounters.
We take extreme pride in our products, our boats, our crew and most importantly, our guests! We believe that Reef Encounter is unbeatable on service and value.
Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or choose to upgrade to the Top Deck Club for that extra bit of VIP luxury.
With daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter, Reef Encounter is an excellent alternative to a resort based holiday.
Reef Encounter Facilities
- A fully air-conditioned 35-metre catamaran hotel, designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea
- Large dining saloon
- TV and lounge area
- Outdoor, freshwater hot-tub
- Spacious sundeck with sun loungers
- Fully licenced bar
- Large, easy access dive and snorkel platforms
- Helicopter pad on the roof for low-flying scenic helicopter tours over the coral reef as your transfer to/from Reef Encounter (optional extra)
Reef Encounter Accommodation
- Check-in time: 10.00am Check-Out time: 8.00am
- Spacious, air-conditioned cabins – with ocean views
- All cabins have their en-suite toilet & shower
- Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo)
- All cabins have Australian power outlets
- Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Encounter
- All meals prepared fresh daily, by our onboard Chef. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Fruit available throughout the day along with tea & coffee. We cater for all dietary requirements – please advise us of these when booking
- The best crew on the reef! The Reef Encounter team is the best in the business, winning personal and professional awards for outstanding customer service in the tourism industry year after year
- The latest snorkelling and scuba diving equipment (wetsuits are a small additional charge)
- Glass bottom boat tour upon request
- On the voyage to Reef Encounter, you will have the option to listen to an informative Marine Biology presentation about the coral reef and marine animals
- Free luggage storage facility available at our offices in the Cairns City
Reef Encounter Overnight Itinerary Sample
7:30 am Breakfast onboard Reef Experience, Marlin Jetty “A” Finger, Cairns. Meet your Top Deck Attendant.
8:00 am Depart Marlin Jetty Marine Biologist Presentation Scuba Dive and Snorkel briefing
9:30 am Arrive Outer Great Barrier Reef ~ Transfer to Reef Encounter
10:30 am Snorkel Session – Sun bake and relax
12 Noon Buffet Lunch
1:30 pm Scuba Dive and Snorkel Session – Relaxation time
3:00 pm Cruise to our next Outer Great Barrier Reef Location
3:30 pm Scuba Dive and Snorkel Session – Relaxation Time
5:30 pm Sunset Cocktails
6:30 pm Dinner under the stars (weather permitting)
7:30 pm Night scuba dive, Relaxation time, Stargazing, board games or movie
6:30 am Early Morning Scuba Dive or Snorkel Session
7:30 am Breakfast served in your Cabin
8:00 am Cruise to next Outer Great Barrier Reef Site
8:30 am Scuba Dive or Snorkel session
10:30 am Scuba Dive or Snorkel session
Noon Buffet Lunch
1:30 pm Snorkel Session, Glass Bottom Boat Tour – Sunbake – Relax
3:00 pm Transfer from Reef Encounter to Reef Experience Wine, Cheese and Tropical Fruit Platters on return Journey4:30 pm Arrive at Marlin Marina Cairns Itineraries can change slightly due to different Season
How to Get There
Your transfer vessel, Reef Experience, departs from Cairns Marina: ‘A-Finger’ View map to Cairns Marlin Marina
Boarding commences at 7:30 am for check-in, directly on the vessel ‘Reef Experience’
Arrive back to Cairns Marina at approximately 4:30 pm
Where Can I Park?
There are several parking stations throughout Cairns in walking distance of the Marina. Click here to see where.
Important Information for Scuba Diving
We have a passion for showing you Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, so please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws.
Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record. The Queensland Government Code of Practice regulates us and comply with all regulations, including medical as is the law.
To avoid disappointment, we recommend guests complete our dive medical questionnaire as some medical conditions, age and medications may prevent you from scuba diving. It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience.
We are happy to help you with any questions you may have. Please contact our office on 07 4037 2700 or email us at [email protected]
Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Dive Medical using the Australian Standard Forms ‘AS.4005.1
Flying after Scuba DivingFor a single no decompression scuba dive, you should not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after a scuba dive. For multiple dives, you should not fly for 24 hours after your last dive. If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible