Stateroom Liveaboard Accommodations

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

Australia’s 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.  Our floating hotel is always situated on the Great Barrier Reef  Daily transfers are operated by our sister boat Reef Experience, allowing guests the freedom to start their trip on the day that suits them and stay for as long as they like.  Helicopter transfers are also an option landing directly onboard Reef Encounter’s onboard helipad.

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

  • 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
  • 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 Reef Encounter are operated by our sister vessel Reef Experience allowing daily departures.
  • Helicopter Transfers
  • Scenic Great Barrier Reef helicopter transfers to or from your liveaboard tour are an optional extra.

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. All cabins have their own en-suite toilet & shower

Great Barrier Reef 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 accommodation 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

Amenities

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Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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Add your review for Stateroom Liveaboard

4.8

25 Reviews for “Stateroom Liveaboard”

  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. Manjeet
    5

    The crew were amazing. Super cool and really helpful. Everything was great.

    Reply
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Sydney C
    5

    I recently stayed on Reef Encounter, the meals were so tasty with decent size portions. The room was very clean and had everything i needed for 1 night. The crew were also very nice and helpful

    Reply
  7. Ray
    5

    Crew were five star! Exceeded all my expectations. Absolutely amazing service and hospitality was outstanding. Pete the chef knows how to handle his pan! Overall the best experience! Highly recommend.

    Reply
  8. Natalia
    0

    Thank you so much for letting me live this experience. Definitely this is something I will never forget! The crew are amazing. They have the nicest energy and vibe. The bedding was really comfy and the food was AMAZING!! The best meals I've had while being in Cairns.

    Reply
  9. Hendrik
    5

    Friends recommended us to book on a liveaboard called Reef Encounter. Crew is amazing, everyone was helpful, from the departure from Cairns to the departure to Cairns. Accommodation super. Big private rooms with a comfortable bed and nice warm shower. All meals were delicious, tasteful and generous. Bay and Hendrik would like to thank all the crew members. We were 4 on the entire boat. Great Experience on the GBR with great people.

    Reply
  10. Nige
    5

    I booked my overnight reef trip on a liveaboard called Reef Encounter. I heard lots of great things about it. Fabulous crew, kind, hard working, enthusiastic. A really top group people. Excellent accommodations. Bed very comfortable, very clean - so thanks to housekeeper and crew. Food was a real winner. well done chef! Keep doing what you are doing. Thanks. Great job XX <B

    Reply
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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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