Reef Encounter: Unveiling the Ultimate Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Experience

Prepare to embark on an extraordinary adventure with Reef Encounter’s multi-day liveaboard dive trips, setting sail from Cairns. Whether you’re a snorkelling enthusiast or an avid diver, our range of options caters to every budget and itinerary. So, what makes a liveaboard trip so exceptional? It’s all about the extended moments you get to revel in the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. From awe-inspiring sunrise and sunset views to thrilling night and early morning dives, your journey promises to be unforgettable.

Reef Encounter

Daily Departures with Ease

Convenience reigns supreme with our daily departures for all liveaboard options, made possible by our trusty day boat, Reef Experience. This vessel ensures swift and comfortable transfers between Cairns and Reef Encounter, essentially a permanent fixture on the reef. This flexibility guarantees a hassle-free itinerary, allowing you to focus on the adventure ahead.

Reef Encounter’s Splendid Deck

Reef Encounter stands tall as a spacious vessel boasting 21 cabins. These include double, twin-share, and stateroom options, accommodating up to 42 guests. Rest assured, all cabins are air-conditioned and feature private ensuite facilities, with linen provided. After your Great Barrier Reef exploration, indulge in refreshing hot showers courtesy of our onboard freshwater supply.

Amenities Beyond Compare

Our onboard amenities are designed to elevate your experience. They include:

  • An air-conditioned dining saloon
  • A fully licenced bar for your favourite beverages
  • A lounge complete with TV, DVD, and games area
  • A spacious sundeck furnished with loungers and an open-air hot tub
  • A helipad for those seeking scenic reef flights
  • A glass bottom boat offering on-demand tours

Boutique Floating Hotel

Your Reef Encounter adventure encompasses twin and double stateroom accommodation with ensuites, chef-prepared meals, coffee, tea, and fresh fruit throughout your stay. We provide snorkelling equipment, instruction, and a complimentary scuba lesson for snorkelers. Dive into the world of marine wonders with our glass bottom boat tours and enrich your understanding of the ecosystem through a marine biologist presentation. Reef Encounter is a locally owned and operated company that allows you to explore multiple reef sites during your live-aboard stay.

Please note that Reef Encounter charges an additional $100 peak season surcharge per booking per person for bookings made from December 23rd to January 2nd and from March 28th to April 2nd each year.

Accommodation Information

  • Check-in Time: 10:00 am
  • Check-Out Time: 8:00 am

Experience comfort like never before in our staterooms, where large windows frame breathtaking views of the Great Barrier Reef. Ensuite facilities are at your disposal, including toilets, showers, and all necessary towels and toiletries. Australian power outlets are available in all staterooms for effortless device charging.

Delicious Meals

Feast on an exceptional culinary journey aboard Reef Encounter—our talented onboard chef crafts all your meals, from hearty breakfasts to delectable desserts. Fresh fruit, tea, and coffee are available throughout the day. We are dedicated to accommodating all dietary requirements, so please inform us of any specific needs when booking.

Scuba Dive and Snorkel Equipment

Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef

To fully immerse yourself in the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, we provide top-of-the-line snorkelling and scuba diving equipment. Our glass bottom boat tours offer a unique perspective on the marine life beneath the surface, while an informative Marine Biology presentation enriches your understanding of the ecosystem.

A World of Amenities Awaits

Reef Encounter sundeck

Onboard, you’ll discover a comfortable dining saloon, a TV and lounge area, and an inviting outdoor space. Coffee connoisseurs can savour barista-made brews. Indulge in our freshwater hot tub or bask on the spacious sundeck with sun loungers. Our fully licenced bar ensures you can enjoy your favourite beverages while enjoying the reef’s beauty. With easy access to scuba diving and snorkelling platforms, your underwater adventures are moments away. And for those seeking an elevated view, our helicopter pad offers scenic flights.

Reef Encounter promises an incredible reef experience and the comfort and amenities to make your stay exceptional. Dive into the adventure and explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef like never before.

Discover more Great Barrier Reef liveaboards


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 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. Breakfast and lunch is served in a buffet format. Dinner is plated. Fruit is available throughout the day, along with tea and coffee.
  • All dietary requirements will be catered for – please advise us of these when booking.
  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Tshirts and hats
  • Snacks
  • Photos

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.

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.

Boarding starts at 7:30 am on Finger A on the Marlin Jetty, Cairns.

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 a helipad on board for guests looking at adding some magic to their stay. You may choose to take a spectacular scenic flight.

Cabin Share Advisory: Please note that the allocation of same-gender cabin shares in twin-share cabins cannot be guaranteed.

Important Information for Scuba Divers

This information is for all guests participating in scuba diving activities.

Australia has 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 medications may prevent you from scuba diving.

Our mission is always 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 contact our office on +61 7 4037 2700 or email our helpful team today.

Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Queensland Dive Medical using the Australian QLD Standard Form AS.4005.1

Flying after Scuba Diving

Plan your travel itinerary.

On the final day of your Reef Encounter stay, your last dive will be completed by 1 pm.

Do not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after scuba diving for a single no decompression scuba dive. You should not fly for 24 hours after your last scuba diving in multiple dives.

If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after your dive.

We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.


, , , , , , , , , , ,

Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

Read policies


Reef Encounter Accommodations


2 Reviews for “Reef Encounter”

  1. Yutoa Wang

    Wonderful experience, the crew are so nice and friendly. Perfect accommodation with ocean views and very hearty meals so much better than hotels in Cairns

  2. Lucy

    This was the trip of a lifetime! Staying aboard a boat on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia was a dream of mine - and this exceeded all expectations. The entire trip - from the fish, reef and marine life, to the boat to the crew were all fantastic. I want to come back again!! Thank you for a terrific experience.


Add a review