The Best Cairns Liveaboard Boats Await You


Want to visit the very best locations that Australia’s outer Great Barrier Reef has to offer? Look no further than Cairns liveaboard boats!

Cairns is famously known as the city with access to the most pristine areas of coral reef and abundant marine life.

Liveaboards Cairns Reefs

Reef Encounter Liveaboard, Cairns 

Maximum guests 42
Length 34.92 metre
Beam 13.28 metre
Vessel type catamaran
Number of cabins 21
Number of bathrooms 21
Duration 2 d, 3d, 4d , 5d , 6d and 7d
Nitrox yes
Groups and Charters yes

The Reef Encounter is a luxurious floating hotel that will take you to some of the best dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef. With a maximum of 42 guests, you can be sure that you’ll get plenty of personalized attention from the crew.

The accommodations on board are top-notch, with air-conditioned cabins that come with en-suite bathrooms and ocean views. There’s also a spacious lounge area, a sun deck, and a dining area where you can enjoy delicious meals prepared by the onboard chef.

But the real highlight of the Reef Encounter is the diving. With up to four dives per day, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the stunning coral reefs and encounter an array of marine life. The crew is made up of experienced dive professionals who will ensure your safety and guide you to the best dive sites.

Ocean Quest Liveaboard, Cairns

Maximum guests 44
Length 36 metres
Beam 13 metres
Vessel type catamaran
Number of cabins 23
Number of bathrooms 23
Duration 2 d, 3d, 4d, 5d,
Nitrox yes
Groups and Charters

Ocean Quest Liveaboard Cairns offers a range of diving expeditions, including day trips and overnight trips. Our day trips offer the perfect opportunity to explore the crystal-clear waters of the outer reef, where you’ll have the chance to encounter an array of marine life.

If you’re looking for a more extended diving experience, our overnight trips provide the ultimate opportunity to immerse yourself in the reef’s beauty and tranquillity. You’ll spend your days diving in the crystal-clear waters and your nights sleeping under the stars, surrounded by the peaceful sound of the ocean.

Scubapro 1, 2 and 3

Maximum guests 32
Length 23.95 metres
Beam 7.35 metres
Vessel type Monohull
Number of cabins 14  twin and 2 doubles
Number of bathrooms 8
Duration 3 days and 2 nights
Nitrox yes
Groups and Charters

Scubapro Liveaboard is a spacious and comfortable vessel that can accommodate up to 28 guests, ensuring a personalized and enjoyable experience for all. The vessel features a large dive deck with ample space for gear storage and preparation, as well as a comfortable lounge area and a delicious onboard menu.

One of the highlights of Scubapro Liveaboard’s dive trips is the opportunity to explore some of the Great Barrier Reef’s most iconic dive sites. From the vibrant coral gardens of the Ribbon Reefs to the dramatic walls of the Osprey Reef, there’s something for divers of all levels to enjoy. You can expect to see a diverse range of marine life, including reef sharks, rays, turtles, and schools of colourful fish.

Coral Sea Dreaming


Maximum guests 12
Length 18 metres
Beam 5 metres
Vessel type sailing yacht
Number of cabins 4
Number of bathrooms 2
Duration 2 days and one night
Groups and Charters yes

The Coral Sea Dreaming is a custom-built dive vessel designed to provide comfort and ease while exploring the reef. With spacious cabins, a large sundeck, and a comfortable dining area, you can relax and enjoy the journey to and from the reef.

Our boat is equipped with state-of-the-art diving equipment, including a compressor, nitrox system, and a wide range of rental gear, so you can be assured of a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

Liveaboard boats are offering every sort of excursion, and it’s easy to find one that’s tailored precisely to your needs.

Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs

Mike Ball’s Spoilsport Coral Sea diving expeditions


Maximum guests 28 guests
Length 30 metres
Beam 10.5 metres
Vessel type catamaran
Number of cabins 14
Number of bathrooms 14
Duration 3,4 and 7-night dive expeditions
Nitrox yes
Tech diving yes

The Mike Ball Spoilsport is a 30-meter catamaran that can comfortably accommodate up to 28 guests. The vessel is equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and exciting diving experience, including a spacious dive deck, a camera room, and a comfortable lounge area. The vessel also boasts a top-notch crew that is dedicated to ensuring that every guest has a safe and enjoyable experience.

One of the unique features of the Mike Ball Spoilsport is its flexibility in the itinerary. The vessel offers a range of expeditions that cater to all levels of divers, from novice to advanced. Whether you’re interested in exploring the remote outer reefs or diving with sharks, Spoilsport has an itinerary that will suit your needs.

Spirit of Freedom

Maximum guests 24
Length 37 metres
Beam 7.1 metres
Vessel type monohull
Number of cabins 11
Number of bathrooms 11
Duration 3, 4 and 7 night
Nitrox yes
Groups and Charters

If you’re a diving enthusiast looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, look no further than Spirit of Freedom Dive Expeditions! This premier liveaboard diving vessel offers a range of exciting expeditions throughout the Great Barrier Reef, allowing you to explore some of the world’s most incredible underwater landscapes.

The Spirit of Freedom is a 37-meter vessel that can accommodate up to 26 guests, ensuring a personalized and comfortable experience. The vessel features a spacious dive deck, a camera room, and a comfortable lounge area, as well as a top-notch crew that is dedicated to ensuring your safety and enjoyment.

Things To Consider When Deciding On Your Cairns Liveaboard Boat

Liveaboard Cairns boats cater to a range of guests – and finding the one that suits your needs can ensure that you get the best Great Barrier Reef tour for you.

Here are three questions to consider when browsing reef liveaboards:

#1 The number of nights you wish to spend onboard?


How much time do you want to spend at the Great Barrier Reef? Most never want to leave! But your travel plans and timeframe will affect the tour you select.

Luckily, because Cairns has such easy access to superb Great Barrier Reef destinations, there are liveaboard itineraries to suit everyone.

Three and four-day liveaboard Cairns trips are the most popular for those visiting the region. Two-day (one-night) trips cater perfectly to those on a tighter timeframe who still wish to experience this incredible ecosystem at its varying stages throughout the day.

These tours depart daily and easily fit in with your travel plans.


For enthusiastic scuba divers, a select number of Cairns liveaboard boats travel farther out into the heart of the coral sea.

These voyages last a minimum of seven nights and visit elite scuba diving sites such as the ‘Cod Hole’ and remote Lizard Island.

These liveaboard boats cater to experienced divers only and aren’t recommended to in-experienced divers or snorkellers.

#2 Liveaboard Snorkelling, Liveaboard Scuba Diving, BOTH or neither?

Cairns Liveaboard Boats

Liveaboard Snorkelling
Are you looking for a Cairns liveaboard boat with breathtaking snorkelling opportunities that visit shallow areas of dense coral gardens and a crew that offers guided snorkelling tours?

Liveaboard Scuba Diving
Are you a scuba diver, or are you looking to become one on the Great Barrier Reef?!

Cairns Liveaboard Boats
Introductory Scuba Diving

Some liveaboard boats cater only to experienced scuba divers, while others accommodate all levels of experience, from advanced divers to beginners.

Liveaboard boats usually offer a range of scuba diving courses. Learn To Dive certifications and various advanced dive certifications are popular options. This can be a fun way of meeting new people, interacting and expanding your dive skills during your reef vacation.


One of the most frequent questions is about liveaboard tours that expertly cater to various guests. Maybe the people you are travelling with would like to experience the reef differently from you. Or do some want the option to try new things once onboard?

We can help you here. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we’ve discovered those fantastic boats that consistently get rave reviews for catering to many requirements. It’s not impossible to ensure everyone gets what they dream out of a liveaboard tour!

Cairns Liveaboard Boats
Relaxing on the Reef


Not everyone who wants to experience a night on the Great Barrier Reef wants to go diving or snorkelling. Many guests that visit Cairns want to sleep on the Great Barrier Reef! View the stars over the ocean in a moonlit sky, awake to sunrise over the majestic Coral Sea and meet others with a passion for natural landscapes.

Choosing a ‘floating hotel’ over its land-based equivalent is one of Australia’s most unique and unforgettable holiday experiences. Some liveaboard tours cater to non-swimmers, with other activities such as glass-bottom-boat tours, outdoor relaxation areas, communal spaces indoors and optional scenic helicopter flights over the reef.

#3 What Accommodation Type Suits You?

Do you like a little luxury? Are you looking for a boat with hotel-style amenities, ensuite cabins and home-cooked meals? Is air-conditioning a must for you? It may not sound like something to consider when booking your reef trip, but these little (and sometimes big) differences are all part of the memories you’ll make of your holiday.

View Cairns Liveaboard Boats With Hotel Style Accommodation

Are you a boat lover at heart? Does the idea of setting sail and not knowing where you’ll end up thrill you? Cairns liveaboard boats vary in all shapes and sizes.

A small sailing-craft vessel may be what you’re looking for if you’re a traditional seafarer. Small sailing liveaboards offer intimate groups – usually of no more than 12 guests – where passengers and crew get to know one another well.

These tours provide intimate ocean experiences. Weather dictates destinations, and guests should be comfortable sharing small spaces.


Do you not care where you sleep as you plan on spending as much time as you can in the water – and it doesn’t matter where you rest your head?

Many ‘no-frills’ boats have all the modern upgrades but with a lower price tag. Bunk-bed-style shared cabins and shared bathroom facilities are less expensive than hotel-style accommodations.


Are you looking for a VIP voyage – with a private crewmember assigned to give you personalised, in-water, Great Barrier Reef tours and bring you breakfast in bed?

More boats are offering ‘first-class’ options now, and they’re proving popular with couples on romantic getaways and those looking for one-on-one, in-water, guided tours. These VIP liveaboard experiences are tailored to suit the guests’ individual needs.

View Cairns Liveaboard Boats Offering VIP Service and Luxury Inclusions

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Visiting Cairns, Australia

Cairns is universally known as the ‘Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, but it also has many other attractions that bring people to this incredible region. Far North Queensland’s tropical climate, laid-back atmosphere and vibrant city culture make it a popular hot spot.

Cairns Liveaboard Boats
Cairns City

There are attractions and activities to suit almost everyone’s taste.  Ranging from tropical food tasting tours and aboriginal cultural experiences to extreme sports such as bungee in the rainforest and white water rafting.

North Queensland is the only place on earth where two independent world-heritage-listed ecosystems thrive.

The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Daintree Rainforest. As the oldest living rainforest globally, the Daintree Rainforest draws tourists in its own right each year and is well worth visiting.

From Cairns, travellers can visit the rainforest village of Kuranda.  On the Scenic Railway and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway tour.

Next, go crocodile spotting on the Daintree River and visit the majestic waterfalls of the Atherton Tablelands.

Next, book a liveaboard Cairns trip today