Cairns Liveaboard on Reef Encounter 

Cairns Liveaboard

Cairns liveaboard, Reef stay onboard  MV Reef Encounter stay is a perfect solution for those thinking of staying on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Encounter is a Diamond SSI Facility so you can be sure that you are going on a World Class liveaboard trip

How it Works

Our vessel Reef Encounter is permanently based on the Great Barrier Reef, moving twice a day from one spectacular outer Barrier Reef location to another, allowing our guests the flexibility to join the trip on the day that suits them best and stay for as long as they like.  Our Transfer vessel Reef Experience departs daily from Cairns there is also the option of taking a scenic helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef landing directly onboard Reef Encounter’s onboard helipad, the helicopter option can operate during all daylight hours

About Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is a 35-metre catamaran built as a small cruising ship for stability and comfort.  The vessel is fully air-conditioned

Onboard we have 21 staterooms which are either twin or double, the staterooms have large picture windows and private ensuite bathrooms all packages onboard Reef Encounter include bath and deck towels.

You will find a hot tub on the front of the vessel, a sundeck with deck chairs on the 4th level and a helicopter pad on the very top level

Our spacious dive deck is fully equipped with professional snorkelling and scuba dive equipment.

North Queensland is blessed with delicious local produce onboard our chefs use the finest ingredients to make your Tropical North Queensland liveaboard adventure one that you will remember

We start early in the day with breakfast here is a sample of one of our menus

Our chefs are excellent and do cater to all dietary requirements



Bacon, eggs, hash browns, tomato, mushrooms, and continental,

cereals, platters, yoghurt, chia pudding, porridge/oatmeal

cheese platters, avocado & ricotta.


A selection of gourmet salads,

fresh tropical fruit platter,

fries or wedges with a selection of croissants, filo pastries, burritos

salad wraps, brioche burgers, gourmet bratwursts.


Grilled barramundi with asparagus and sweet potato mash.


Pana cotta with vanilla sauce



We understand that everyone wants to do different things i.e one person may wish to snorkel and the other to scuba dive and onboard Reef Encounter this is totally fine,

Regardless of which option you choose it will start with a briefing to explain which Reef location you  will be on and what you are likely to see and map so that you know your way around

One Coral bommie has so much life on it that it is not always necessary to go far.

We can certainly accommodate everyone whilst they do different activities onboard


our snorkelling packages give our snorkelers the option to snorkel at any time during daylight hours with the exception of when we are moving the boat, or during lunch.  If you are not comfortable in the water or even if you can not swim or crew can assist you to see the Great Barrier Reef

Introductory Scuba Dive

if you have never tried scuba diving you might be best to book on our snorkel package and then try our free scuba dive demonstration where we suit you up in all the scuba gear and take you underwater to see if you are comfortable

if you have tried scuba diving before and want to do more as an introductory diver this package is for you. Introductory divers can dive to a maximum depth of 12 metres and its all handheld by a professional dive instructor

Learn to Scuba Dive

if you are an aquatic person and can swim well our Personalised Open Water Scuba Dive course is for you.  We take a maximum of 4 students per instructor, all dives are done on the Great Barrier Reef.  Once  you have booked your course you will get an email from us showing you how to start your SSI Open Water Certification online and start learning how to  scuba dive right away

Certified Scuba Dive

as a certified diver you have a couple of options, one you can decide to dive with another certified dive buddy (even if you are not travelling with another diver we can at most times buddy you up with another certified diver)

or the second option is to take a guided dive package where all your dives are guided this option is cheaper to book online

you can also decide to to one or several of your scuba dives guided.

All Certified dive packages include all dive equipment and dive computers with the exception of wetsuits which are available to hrie onboard for $5 per person per day

Advanced Adventurer Course

If you would like to extend your scuba diving learning you may like to take our SSI Advanced Adventurer Course we will cover 6 specialises including boat, night, navigation our advanced course will add real confidence to your scuba diving.  You will be qualified to dive deeper from 18 metres to 30 metres opening a whole new range of scuba diving possibilities.

Stress and Rescue Course

A speciality course in Stress and Rescue is one of the best ways that divers can make that next step in their diving education, and is one of the most rewarding and valuable courses anyone who loves to scuba dive can take.

The primary goal of any Reef Encounter specialty course is to teach you important skills in a fun environment. All rescue courses are taught on board Reef Encounter with highly experienced Dive Professional Trainers, ensuring that you get the most out of your training and your diving holiday.

Stress is a major contributor to rescue situations and diving accidents. Through this course, you will learn accident prevention, as well as how to handle problem situations if they occur. The program is about avoiding, recognising and solving problems on the surface and under water.


Accommodation onboard our Cairns Liveaboard

After Breakfast, there is a talk by the onboard Marine Biologist.

Upon arriving at the MV Reef Encounter you will be shown to your ocean view stateroom.

There is time before lunch to get acquainted with the ship and to do some snorkelling.

During Lunch, the vessel will likely move to another reef, and after lunch, there are two water sessions for your diving pleasure.

After your chef-prepared dinner is a night dive.

A night dive shows you a different side of the reef, it is as busy if not busier that you will see during the day.

Marine life that hides during the day come out to feed.

The corals being illuminated by your torch will show more brilliant colours than the filtered daylight will show you.

Make sure you look around at times because many larger species come out at night to feed as well.

In the morning you should be up early, but instead of rushing to the pier to check-in, you take a short walk to the dive deck and suit up for a sunrise dive.

Sunrise on the Great Barrier Reef brings magnificent views but above and below the waterline.

As the early morning sunbeams hit the water the day marine life comes alive and those that were active at night start to find places to sleep away the day.

You will find the greatest number of species active in that time around sunrise.

After breakfast there are two-morning sessions for snorkelers and scuba divers after lunch there is another water session

On your final day, you will be transferred to Reef Experience at approximately 2:30 pm arriving in Cairns at approximately 4:30 pm