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 Google Reviews,  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

What’s Included

  • 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

Day One

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

Day Two

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 Journey

4:30 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.

Reef Encounter Medical Questionnaire

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 Diving

For 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

Would you like our VIP Service?  see our Top Deck Club


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Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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Stateroom Liveaboard Accommodations

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10 Reviews for “Stateroom Liveaboard”

  1. Leonie W

    I booked this tour because they offer lots of water time. Accommodation was superb, lovely rooms, food exceeded all expectations, really amazing food each meal! The crew were absolutely lovely, really genuinely nice people who were happy to help with anything. Nicki was a really great guide for our intro divers. This was the best trip ever...couldn't have asked for a better experience with better people.

  2. Steph

    Everyone was so lovely and helpful. Will and Hitomi in particular were so kind and lovely - thank you! Accommodation and meals were much more than I was expecting - exceeded my expectations! It was truly a lovely experience and I am so grateful to everyone on board for their patience and kindness!

  3. Omar

    Booked because the dates were more flexible than other services. The crew were very lovely. Everyone was very helpful, pleasant, and welcoming. I was honestly surprised by how amazing the meals are. Very delicious, healthy, & not what I would have expected on a liveaboard ship. Overall an amazing way to experience the reef. I will be highly recommending this kind of exposure to anyone that mentions going to Cairns to experience the reef.

  4. John

    Excellent. A great reef experience. Staff were fantastic, friendly and helpful. Value for money. Food was amazing.

  5. Wendy

    Amazing! Very attentive, helpful, friendly, listened and took time to make my dive experience enjoyable. <3 Great meals, and I am picky (vegan + GF)!! One of my best diving experiences. They reminded me how much I enjoy diving and respected when I couldn't do something.

  6. Justin

    Amazing! Always helpful + pleasant crew. Accommodation was clean and nice. The meals were absolutely fantastic; literally every meal was delicious + above expectations. Had a great time - very glad I chose Reef Encounter after looking through many options. Equipment was also very nice for diving.

  7. Gill + Dave

    Crew were amazing, very kind, excellent sense of humour. Very safety conscious, hospitable, lovely smiley happy people. :) :) :) Fantastic meals, compliments to the chef, gorgeous food, thank you. Highly recommend, you're all doing a fantastic job thank you very much. :) <3 xx

  8. Tsubasa

    Everyone is so friendly, easygoing and very kind on Reef Encounter. We love you guys! The room was clean and comfortable. The meals were way better than I expected. Everything was great thanks! We'll definitely come back!!! Thank you!

  9. Nathan

    Thank you to all the crew. Made for an easy, relaxing and fun experience. Rooms were fab and clean. The meals were SO tasty! Plenty of food - great that chef checked each meal that all was ok. Amandine, Felipe and kohler showed us around. Very professional but also fun in the water.

  10. Guy

    Kohler was an amazing dive guide. His enthusiasm was engaging and he really went the extra mile to make sure we had great dives. Thank you to the chefs for accommodation my dietary requirements. Crew were personable, attentive and professional.


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