Click ‘Book’ to select your arrival and departure dates – and then choose your desired activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling or enroll 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, fresh water 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 own 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 desert. Fruit available throughout the day along with tea & coffee. All dietary requirements will be catered for – 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
12:00 pm 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
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 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. 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.
- Barista Coffee
- Soft Drinks
- Tshirts and hats
What to bring
What to bring
- light jacket
- 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 between 4 and 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 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.
Our mission is always to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef tour.
If you have any questions, we will be delighted to assist you.
Please contact our office on +61 7 4037 2700 or email our helpful team today.
Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Queensland Dive Medical using the Australian QLD Standard Form AS.4005.1
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.