Liveaboard Cairns onboard Reef Encounter Accommodations

Liveaboard Cairns is the best on the Great Barrier Reef.

Liveaboard Cains on Australia’s best liveaboard ‘Reef Encounter.  This liveaboard visits spectacular outer Barrier Reef locations east of Cairns.

While you are on board,  we will be crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef.   We are excited to provide one of the most unique holiday escapes in Australia.

Our floating hotel is always on the Great Barrier Reef, with daily transfers operated by our sister boat, Reef Experience.   Guests can choose when to start their trip and the duration of their stay.

Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or choose to upgrade to the Top Deck Club for the ultimate stay.

With daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter, this liveaboard Cairns is an excellent alternative to a resort based holiday.

Also, there are helicopter transfers available, making great use of our onboard helipad.

Consistently rated ‘number one scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard by both industry professionals and independent reviewers such as Google Reviews,

Our liveaboard Cairns is large enough to provide all the cruise ship comforts yet small enough to access spectacular reef locations not accessible to other vessels.

About Us

We are family-owned and operated (and all scuba enthusiasts). It is our passion to deliver Australia’s best liveaboard.

We take extreme pride in our products, boats, crew, and, most importantly, guests!

 

  • With the best crew on the Great Barrier 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
  • After departing  Cairns,  listen to an informative Marine Biology presentation about the coral reef and marine animals. Barbeque bacon and egg burger with tropical fruit breakfast served on the outbound voyage.
  • In  August 2021, we were delighted to add the opportunity for our guests to add a guided marine biologist tour. Ask our crew for more information.
  • On your return voyage back to Cairns, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and a cheese and fruit platter.
  • While you are on board Reef Encounter, you are welcome to use our Free luggage storage in Cairns City.
  • Daily transfers to the liveaboard are on Reef Experience our sister’s vessel operates the transfers to and from Reef Encounter.
  • Helicopter Transfers
  • Scenic Great Barrier Reef helicopter transfers to or from your liveaboard tour are an optional extra.

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Great Barrier Reef Accommodation 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.

Great Barrier Reef Accommodation

  • Check-in time: 10 am (approximately) Check-out time: 8 am (approximately)*
  • Spacious, air-conditioned staterooms all 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 accommodations with ensuite facilities. All cabins have their en-suite toilet and shower.
  • Double bed or twin-single bed cabins available
  • *For late check-out times and to keep your cabin until departure, please upgrade to our Top Deck Club

 

Sample Itinerary

Please note, this itinerary is a three 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 First, board the transfer vessel ‘Reef Experience’ at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter
  • 9:30 am Next, 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 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 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  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  First Water Session of the day: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
  • 7:30 am Breakfast  served in the dining saloon
  • 8:00 am Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location
  • 8:30 am  Second Water Session: Scuba Dive and Snorkel Time
  • 10:30 am  Third Water Session: Scuba Dive and Snorkel Time
  • 12:00 Lunch  served in the dining saloon
  • 13:30  Fourth Water Session: Scuba Dive and Snorkel Time
  • 15:00 Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location
  • 15:30 Fifth Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
  • 18:00 Dinner  served in the dining saloon *Times may vary according to season
  • 18:45 Night Dive Briefings *Times may vary according to season
  • 19:00  The Sixth Water session is the Night dive for all those scuba diving *Times may vary according to season
  • 20:00 Dessert  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  First Water Session of  Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
  • 7:30 am Breakfast  served in the dining saloon
  • 8:00 am Room Checkout Time. Access to a shared transfer/baggage room with a bathroom is available, along with all other boat facilities *For late check-out times and to keep your 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  Second Water Session of the day: Scuba Dive and Snorkel Time
  • 10:30 am  Third Water Session: Scuba Dive and Snorkel Time
  • 12:00 Lunch  served in the dining saloon
  • 13:30  Fourth Water Session of the day: Snorkel only session available to passengers before departure
  • 14:45 Next 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, Cairns Australia

How to book

Start by Clicking the book button next, select your arrival and departure dates – and then choose your desired activities.

Scuba diving options will only show once you select that you are a certified diver.

 

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.

Flying after Scuba Diving

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

What’s 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 available throughout the day, along with tea & coffee. All dietary requirements will be catered for – please advise us of these when booking.


Optional Extras

  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Snacks
  • Photos


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.

Guests board Reef Experience on Finger A, Marlin Jetty, Cairns.  Boarding starts at 7:30 am.

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 her own helipad for guests looking at adding some magic to their stay you may choose to take a spectacular scenic flight.


Important Information

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 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/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.
  • If you have any questions, we will be delighted to assist you.
  • Please get in touch with 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

  • Plan your travel itinerary. Do not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after scuba diving for a single no decompression 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.


Amenities

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Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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Add your review for Liveaboard Cairns onboard Reef Encounter

5

19 Reviews for “Liveaboard Cairns onboard Reef Encounter”

  1. Sigworth
    5

    Fantastic crew. Funny, caring, experienced. Helpful with our seasick daughter. Great on the dives. Josh, Maddie, Meg, Angus were our main touchpoints, and they were awesome. Good meals. Every effort was taken to accommodate everyone's food issues. Thank you for creating a wonderful reef experience and memory.

    Reply
  2. Rick
    5

    11/10 for the crew. Top-notch human beings. Food was exquisite. I enjoyed the joke of the week, very funny.

    Reply
  3. Ann B
    5

    AMAZING! We cannot say enough great things about our expereince, thanks to the crew. Taylor inparticular, blew us away. Nelson made our first time diving comfortable and spectacular. Every member went above and beyond for all passangers. The accomodation was clean and cozy and the meals were delicious. Thank you Reef Encounter :)

    Reply
  4. Flavia
    5

    Awesome crew. Everybody works so hard to make our time feel special. I had a lovely time, Special thanks to Nathan and Nelson. Also a very big thanks you to Taylor. You are a fantastic worker and human being :) I will be back next time with my husband.

    Reply
  5. Victor
    5

    Reef Encounter, wanted to dive at the great barrier reef. The crew was great, very friendly and even remembered my name for the whole stay. Nathan was a great dive instructor. Hollie was great, and Rea was a great photographer and great person. Food was delicious. This was once and a life time experience. I enjoyed every second of my reef encounter. I would recommend it to anyone.

    Reply
  6. Tiana
    5

    Holy Moly!!! Words can't describe. I don't want to leave because of the crew!! Best experience. The food was perfect, amazing, incredible. Can we take Troy the chef home please?! Just wow - 5 star. Our underwater engagement proposal was the most amazing experience. Would have never expected anything like it. And it was all thanks to the amazing crew.... THANK YOU

    Reply
  7. Mike and Hilary
    5

    Mackensea was fabulous - we enjoyed being with her so much. She made my 1st (and only) dive memorable! She was the best and made us feel so special. The rest of the crew were amazing! Such hard workersand so friendly. Knowledgeable about diving. The reef was so amazing!

    Reply
  8. Ivan
    5

    Friendly and nice. Really welcoming and made the experience amazing. They were very helpful and informative. I did the Advanced Adventurer course and it was also really good. Shout out to John, Josh and Terry. Will definitely recommend you guys. Best way to experience the reef!!

    Reply
  9. Jason and Lee
    5

    Amazing! Hardworking and made everything run smoothly. Our guides and dive instructors were great and made this trip so fun. We both learned a lot and loved the reef! Accommodation was great, the food was so so good! Keep up the good work! :)

    Reply
  10. Demir K
    5

    The crew are awesome, the rooms and food are perfect. Can't wait to come back. Been on cruise nad diving trips some places around the world, but this company was the best so far!

    Reply
  11. Michelle
    5

    I booked with Reef Encounter. Hot Tub and Hot Shower !!! Wow! Accommodating, funny, kind, helpful crew. Jade is my new favorite person! She went out of her way to make us feel special. Rooms more spacious than I anticipated. Meals were delicious and filling. I had a horrible experience learning to dive previously and I was very nervous about trying again. Will was extremely patient and knowledgeable and literally held my hand through my first dive ever. He was so amazing that I requested to dive with him on the night dive.

    Reply
  12. Uoyd
    5

    I booked my trip with a liveaboard Reef Encounter. This was for me a new adventure. Crew is FANTASTIC. They all work extremely hard to make your stay on board a great experience. Accommodation and food are MARVELLOUS - lots of towels, quiet rooms, comfortable tables and deck. I would recommend this overnight on the reef to anyone. Nice to have different sites to snorkel and dive at. Thanks !!!

    Reply
  13. Gabe
    5

    I booked on liveaboard called Reef Encounter. It has great reviews, took snorkeling, good for families. FANTASTIC. HONESTLY, I do not know how they could be any better. In a lifetime of travelling this was probably the friendliest, most laid-back stiil 100 % professional I have ever seen! Accommodation and food are great. Dinners and breakfast were my favourite. Loved the lamb. All was wonderful. Thank you so so much for a trip, we will be telling folks about it forever. Really, it exceeded my expectations in every way. Thanks again!

    Reply
  14. Dez
    5

    I booked with Reef Encounter. The crew is awesome. Great photos, great advice and tours of the reef. The rooms were good sized, I slept well and the food was good too. I especially like the bread :) I loved that boat so so much. I will remember it for ever and ever and ever! Everything was perfect. I think it is so generous you guys take the time to take kids like me out snorkeling. Thank you so MUCH!!!

    Reply
  15. Collette K
    5

    The crew were all really friendly and so helpful and the room was really nice. We loved the food, hats off to the chef :) the boat was so clean! Thanks for making our experience on the Great Barrier Reef so amazing!!!

    Reply
  16. Katharina S
    5

    The crew are awesome. Fantastic. Pros at work! They made our stay a really special one. Meals were haute cuisine; wonderful dishes and fruits. Loved it! Thank you very much for this beautiful stay and meeting all these nice enthusiastic people and staff.

    Reply
  17. Lewis A
    5

    The crew made the trip as amazing as it was. They were all so lovely, friendly and helpful. Both the accommodation and meals were incredible - both better than my experience on a P&O cruise ship. Cannot fault any part of this experience! PS The crew has good taste in music! :) I will tell my friends!

    Reply
  18. Mei & Lee
    5

    The crew were very professional and helpful--the room and meals were wonderful! We'll definitely come back and would highly recommend Reef Encounter to friends! Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Courtney H
    5

    I'd recommend this tour to anyone. The crew were fabulous! Always helpful and friendly. I'm a nervous swimmer and they made me very comfortable. Tyler, our photographer was my favourite person I've met on our vacation too! Food was five stars! And the chef made amazing vegetarian meals for me! Some of the best meals I've had in Australia after 2 weeks.

    Reply

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