Reef Encounter, Australia’s Best Liveaboard  ‘Great Barrier Reef, Cairns

 

Reef Encounter Cairns is the best liveaboard imagine spending a few days surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef.  Visitors can enjoy non-stop water activities.  This Cairns liveaboard is one of the most unique holiday escapes in Australia.

Reef Encounter is large enough to provide all the comforts of a cruise ship yet small enough to access spectacular reef locations.

Family-owned and operated (and all scuba enthusiasts), we are passionate about delivering outstanding Great Barrier Reef encounters.

We take extreme pride in our products, boats, crew and, most importantly, guests!   Reef Encounter is unbeatable in service and value.

Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or upgrade to the Top Deck Club for that extra luxury.

Reef Encounter is an excellent alternative to a resort-based holiday, with daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter.

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)

 

  • Check-in time: 10.00 am Check Out time: 8.00 am
  • Spacious, air-conditioned staterooms with ocean views
  • All Staterooms have an ensuite toilet and shower.
  • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo and conditioner)
  • All Staterooms have Australian power outlets

Please see our Top Deck Club options and other fantastic options if you would like a late checkout.

 

Please note, this itinerary is based on a 3-day /2-night stay with Reef Encounter

First Day

Arrive

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 2 Day Dives + 1 Night

7:30am
Board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter

9:30am
Arrive onboard Reef Encounter for your 'Welcome & Safety Talk' before being shown to your room to settle in and relax

10:30am
 Water Session: Time to snorkel for all guests before lunch

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13.00
Water Briefings: Certified Diver Briefings / Try Scuba Diving Briefings / Snorkel Adventure Briefings

13.30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Full Day

On the Reef

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives + 1 Night

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
 Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Last Day

Return

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Room Checkout

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Snorkel only session available to passengers before departure

14:45
Departing passengers board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' for the journey back to Cairns. Complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits served on the return journey

15:00 

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

16:30
Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

*Please note, this itinerary does not apply to 'Great Barrier Reef Deal' bookings.

*Stateroom Check-In time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 8.00am on the morning of departure (access to a shared transfer/baggage room with bathroom is available along with all other boat facilities)

*Top Deck Club Check-in time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 2.00pm on the day of departure>

*This itinerary may vary due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

We visit the following Outer Great Barrier Reef locations

Combine our liveboard Cairns package with some of our best North Queensland Destinations

Highlights

Nothing compares with how amazing it is to stay on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef!

While you are on board, there will be plenty of opportunities to Snorkel and scuba dive with brightly coloured fish and coral.

At night, take in the stars from the top deck or our onboard heated hot tub.

Included

Included in Reef Encounter Stateroom packages

  • Great Barrier Reef accommodation with Reef Encounter, Cairns best Great Barrier Reef liveaboard
  • A variety of spectacular outer Great Barrier Reef locations during your stay
  • Snorkelling or scuba diving, depending on which you select upon booking.
  • Delicious  fresh meals
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Breakfast and lunch is served in a buffet format. Dinner is plated. Fruit is available throughout the day, along with tea and coffee.
  • All dietary requirements will be catered for – please advise us of these when booking.

Optional Extras

  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Tshirts and hats
  • Snacks
  • Photos
  • Wetsuit hire (Please note stinger suits are provided during wet season/summer from November to May)

What to bring

What to bring

  • Hat,
  • Sunglasses
  • light jacket
  • socks
  • Camera
  • Travel Voucher
  • Certification card and logbook for certified divers
  • Cash or credit card for onboard extras

Reef Encounter is a barefoot experience.

How to get there

Getting to Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is always on the Great Barrier Reef.

By Boat (included in tariff)

Our sister vessel Reef Experience operates daily transfers meeting up with Reef Encounter.

Boarding starts at 7:30 am on Finger A on the Marlin Jetty, Cairns.

Reef Experience will bring you back to the same destination around 4:30 pm on your final day.

Helicopter Transfers (optional extra)

Reef Encounter has a helipad on board for guests looking at adding some magic to their stay. You may choose to take a spectacular scenic flight.

Important Information

Cabin Share Advisory: Please note that the allocation of same-gender cabin shares in twin-share cabins cannot be guaranteed.

Important Information for Scuba Divers

This information is for all guests participating in scuba diving activities.

Australia has the strictest scuba diving rules globally and the safest scuba diving record. Therefore you must understand Queensland’s scuba diving laws. Great Barrier Reef liveaboard boats are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules, including the requirements for a dive medical, where applicable, as required by law.

Please complete our dive medical questionnaire, as some medical conditions, age and medications may prevent you from scuba diving. A certificate from your doctor stating that you are “Fit to Scuba Dive” or a Queensland dive medical may be required.

Flying after Scuba Diving

Plan your travel itinerary. On the final day of your Reef Encounter stay, your last dive will be completed by 1 pm.

Do not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after scuba diving for a single no decompression scuba dive. You should not fly for 24 hours after your last scuba diving in multiple dives.

If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.

Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

Read policies

Reef Encounter Accommodations

Twin Bed Stateroom Cabin - Reef Encounter

Twin Share

2 x Single beds, ensuite Stateroom. Share with another guest

Book

Double Bed

1 x Double bed, ensuite Stateroom. Requires two guests or sole occupancy

Book

Add your review for Reef Encounter

5

18 Reviews for “Reef Encounter”

  1. Veronica
    5

    Amazing, all very kind and responsible. Funny crew always with a big smile on their faces. Very helpful and accommodating staff. Great accommodation! Well organized. All the areas very clean. Delicious meals! We wouldn't ask for anything better! An unforgettable experience! Thank you so much guys! <3

    Reply
  2. Brandon
    5

    Booked Reef Encounter because of great ratings/fair price. Crew were friendly, knowledgeable, and always happy to help! Accommodations were clean & bed was comfortable. Meals were well-balanced & delicious! I had a wonderful time and will be sure to recommend Reef Encounter if they are travelling through Cairns!

    Reply
  3. Samantha
    5

    AWESOME! All of the crew so nice & friendly and great knowledge of marine lifes. Great guides I had. Also photographers were world-class - wonderful photos! Meals & accommodation all perfect! We were taken great care of and never felt hungry. Amazing encountering the Reef Encounter! Keep it up! You all give me the reason to come again!!

    Reply
  4. Megan
    5

    SO welcoming and the friendliest bunch. The best vibes from all of them. Slept like a baby and veggie food was dreamy!!! Thanks for having me! I'm sure I'll be back 110% <3 X <3

    Reply
  5. Megan
    5

    The crew were fantastic! So helpful and so much positive energy! Accommodations were great and the food was fantastic - much better than what I expected on a boat. I had a great experience - would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

    Reply
  6. Marie-Noelle
    5

    Absolutely wonderful. Fun, supportive crew made me/us feel right at ease... and helped me with every one of my snorkeling sessions. Very grateful! :) Accommodated my food allergy. Thank you for everything guys! This was absolutely magical and you guys rock... or reef!

    Reply
  7. Dale D
    5

    We wanted to stay longer! Great trip, great itinerary, great people. Thanks for a wonderful time! Dale

    Reply
  8. Eric
    5

    Everyone was amazing!! Rooms were large and comfy (twin singles). Having towels was great. All in all one of the most enjoyable and sure to be memorable experiences of my life! Thanks, Eric

    Reply
  9. Anita
    5

    I felt very good, you all do a very good job. It was for me like family :) Very nice and clean room, all you need is there, delicious food. I just want to say "Thank you" I had a wonderful time and would like to stay longer... THANK'S

    Reply
  10. Amanda
    5

    Crew were amazing. Friendly, kind, helpful. Made us all feel very safe and comfortable. Accomodation and food were excellent. Really happy with the whole experience. Thank you.

    Reply
  11. Mikayla
    5

    The crew were amazing. Especially Maddy was a great guide while diving. THe accommodations were great no complaints. The meals were soooo... good, and very good with dietary restrictions. Great experience for my first dives. Had a lot of fun. =)

    Reply
  12. Andrea
    5

    Amazing. Everyone was friendly & accommodating. I have food allergies and always felt really taken care of. Meals were amazing with lots of variety over the three days. I loved my intro two dives. The instructor took her time to ensure I felt safe and confident each time.

    Reply
  13. Tina
    5

    The crew were all lovely, friendly and very approachable. I liked how they came and sat with us during meals to chat. Rooms were comfortable & clean. The meals were delicious! Kudos to the chef and all who helped. What a great tour! I will definitely be returning and recommending this to all my friends.

    Reply
  14. Alexis
    5

    Just perfect. It was just amazing, one of my best adventures of my life. Thanks to this I will do other diving all around the world.

    Reply
  15. Garrick
    5

    Crew were all friendly and helpful, enjoyed all their company and personalities. Room was great, and food was surprisingly delicious. Definitely the highlight of my entire vacation trip; would love to come again.

    Reply
  16. Richard
    5

    I booked Reef Encounter because the standard looked a cut above (and it was). Crew were amazing - friendly, professional, fun to be around. Very slick and professional despite being relaxed, a real skill. Accommodation was excellent, more space than expected and comfortable bed. Hot shower, lots of water pressure! Meals were great, good and hearty. I just want to say I had a great time, I look forward to coming back with my family...

    Reply
  17. Hannah K
    5

    The crew are very attentive! Kind & knowledgeable. The rooms were clean, spacious and nice. Food was delicious! and everyone was very accommodating of dietary restrictions.

    Reply
  18. Lorenny
    5

    Really nice people and good service. I loved everyone. I feel sad because I have to leave.

    Reply

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