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.

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…

What’s Included

  • Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef 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
  • All meals prepared fresh daily, by an onboard Chef. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. 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. A barbeque buffet breakfast is served on the outbound voyage
  • On your return voyage back to Cairns, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and a cheese and fruit platter
  • Free luggage storage facility available at their offices in the Cairns City
  • Daily transfers to the liveaboard vessel via a fast catamaran boat mean you can depart for your luxury liveaboard tour on a date that suits you – and stay as long as you desire. (Scenic Great Barrier Reef helicopter transfers to or from your liveaboard tour are an optional extra).

Liveaboard 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 is one of few Great Barrier Reef liveaboards with ensuite facilities. All cabins have their own en-suite toilet & shower

Liveaboard Accommodation

  • Check-in time: 10 am (approximately) Check-out time: 8 am (approximately)*
  • Spacious, air-conditioned cabins – with spectacular ocean views
  • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo)
  • All cabins have Australian power outlets
  • Reef Encounter is one of the few Great Barrier Reef liveaboards with ensuite facilities. All cabins have their own en-suite toilet & shower
  • Double bed or twin-single bed cabins available
  • *For late check-out times and to keep your own cabin until departure, please upgrade to our Top Deck Club

Important Information for Scuba Divers

  • This information is for all guests participating in scuba diving activities during your Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tour
  • Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record. Please make sure you understand the scuba diving laws in Queensland, Australia
  • 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
  • To avoid disappointment on your liveaboard tour – we strongly recommend that all passengers complete our dive medical questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and/or medications may prevent you from scuba diving. It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef tour
  • We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have. Please contact our office on +61 7 4037 2700 or email our helpful team today.
  • Alternatively, you may like to consult your own Doctor for a Queensland Dive Medical using the Australian QLD Standard Form 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

Sample Itinerary

Please note, this itinerary is based on a 3 day, 2-night liveaboard stay. Any additional days will be additional ‘full days’.

*This itinerary may vary due to weather conditions, seasons and other circumstances

First Day – Arrive

  • 7:30 am Board the transfer vessel ‘Reef Experience’ at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter
  • 9:30 am Arrive onboard Reef Encounter for your ‘Welcome & Safety Talk’ before being shown to your room to settle in and relax
  • 10:30 am  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
  • 18:00 Dinner is served in the dining saloon *Times may vary according to season
  • 18:45 Night Dive Briefings *Times may vary according to season
  • 19:00  Night dive commences for all those scuba diving *Times may vary according to season
  • 20:00 Dessert is served in the dining saloon
  • Full-Day – At the Reef

  • 6:00 am An optional wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session
  • 6:30 am  Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
  • 7:30 am Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
  • 8:00 am Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location
  • 8:30 am  Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time
  • 10:30 am  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
  • 18:00 Dinner is served in the dining saloon *Times may vary according to season
  • 18:45 Night Dive Briefings *Times may vary according to season
  • 19:00  Night dive commences for all those scuba diving *Times may vary according to season
  • 20:00 Dessert is served in the dining saloon
  • Last Day Day – Departure

  • 6:00 am An optional wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session
  • 6:30 am  Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
  • 7:30 am Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
  • 8:00 am Room Checkout Time. Access to a shared transfer/baggage room with bathroom is available along with all other boat facilities *For late check-out times and to keep your own cabin until departure, please upgrade to our Top Deck Club
  • 8:00 am Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location
  • 8:30 am  Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time
  • 10:30 am  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 journey15:00 Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location16:30 Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina, Cairns Australia

Would you like to view our VIP Service, for many added incisions and Great Barrier Reef luxuries? Click here to see our Top Deck Club

100 Abbott StreetCairnsQueensland, 4870https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g255069-d1193995-Reviews-Reef_Encounter-Cairns_Cairns_Region_Queensland.html

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Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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