Reef Sleep 4 days on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

If you are looking for a vacation for a long weekend or just need a short break, then the 4 day reef sleep program on the MV Reef Encounter may be just what you are looking for.

The MV Reef Encounter is more than just another  Liveaboard, it is also a floating boutique hotel giving an extra level of quality and service.

Generally in hotels and resorts you can arrive and depart on what ever day you wish, not so on most Liveaboards who follow a set itinerary.

On the MV Reef Encounter you select the day you wish to arrive.

While the 3 night reef sleep program is their most popular for divers, stays can be shorter or longer.

The MV Reef Encounter Difference

There are many things that makes the MV Reef Encounter different from the other Liveaboards that sail from Cairns and in fact anywhere else in the world.

Starting with the fact that the MV Reef Encounter stays out on the reef for extended periods of time.

Guest arrive daily being transferred from Cairns aboard the MV Reef Experience, an 10 am arrival gives the arriving guest time to get settled in their luxury stateroom and going swimming or snorkeling before lunch.

Lunch will be buffet style served in the air conditioned saloon which also has space for a lounge and a fully licensed bar for after the days diving is done.

Generally the Captain will relocate the vessel during lunch giving those that dove before lunch a new dive site for the afternoon.

The MV Reef Encounter visits two and often three reefs a day while out on the outer barrier reefs.

After lunch the newly arrived diver will receive a dive safety briefing before the general dive site briefing.

Guest who are not a certified divers will receive a water safety briefing and if they desire snorkeling lessons.

Snorkelers can also try a complimentary resort dive which can be scheduled any time during the stay.

Those who wish to stay dry can still visit a reef on-board the glass bottom boat of the MV Reef Encounter.

The afternoon has two water sessions for either scuba or snorkeling.

Plenty of time for a decent surface interval and time to enjoy the hot tub or sun deck.

After being served a delicious meal prepared by the chef, scuba divers have an additional water session.

As any scuba diver who has been on a night dive will tell you, the reef has a different personality at night.

On the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reefs this is especially true.

Small reef fish that have been hiding during the day, comes out and species like octopus and squid are more active at night.

One of the biggest difference you will see is in the activity of the larger species that come up from the nearby deep water to feed.

So keep that torch moving around every so often to see what is just outside the beam of your light.

Speaking about your light, you will see the true colour of the coral and fish at night.

Sunlight is filtered as it comes to depths, even in 2 or 3 metres of water the colour blue has been absorbed and does not show the true colour of the reef.

At night the major light source is your torch and the distance is much shorter to the subject so the color has not been significantly filtered.

After your night dive have a late desert and enjoy the night skies.

While land based divers are getting up early and dragging themselves and gear towards a dive boat taking them on a 90 minute boat ride, you can just walk a few metres to the dive deck at sunrise, gear up and enjoy the most spectacular time of day on the reef, daybreak.

You could have your sunrise dive, breakfast and be on your second dive before those land based scuba divers are even gearing up for their first dive.

Your full days on board allow you four scuba dives that you can take from any of the six water sessions a day: sunrise, two morning sessions, two afternoon sessions and the night diving session.

The day time sessions that you skip diving can be used for snorkeling, a glass bottom boat ride or just some down time to relax.

Your last day gives you time for three water sessions, the sunrise session and the two morning sessions.

If you would like to snorkel after lunch there is time before your afternoon departure on the MV Reef Experience back to Cairns.

On Board Differences

In addition to the variable length of stays and the means of transfer, there are other items that set the MV Reef Encounter apart from the other Liveaboards.

The MV Reef Encounter sails with a maximum of 42 guest. As a 35 metres catamaran, she is the largest size that is allowed to moor within the Great Barrier Reef Park.

reef sleep
Great Barrier reef sleep

There are 21 luxury staterooms each with a to die for ocean view, in either a double or two twin configurations.

Each stateroom has en suite facilities.

The MV Reef Encounter has a desalination plant which means there is no rationing of water that has to occur on vessels who can not produce their own fresh water supply.

The method of transferring guest also means that the food is resupplied frequently, allowing the chef to use the best of local products while still fresh.

The quality of the food rivals any resort restaurant.

When you evaluate all the benefits of diving aboard the MV Reef Encounter it is clear to see that for most divers and even snorkelers, Cairns Liveaboard MV Reef Encounter is an excellent choice.