Liveaboard the Best way to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Why stay near the Great Barrier Reef when you can enjoy paradise on the Great Barrier Reef!? Liveaboard tours take you to destinations that day tours just can’t reach, with access to the very best scuba diving and snorkeling locations!

Choose either a standard ‘Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tour or a VIP ‘Luxury Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tour, select the number of nights you wish to spend, then add activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or even enroll on a scuba dive course.

Why choose a liveaboard tour?

Waking up to a sunrise scuba dive or snorkel is an experience most people never forget…

Encounter the reef at it’s best – day and night… The benefits of more time on the Great Barrier Reef mean that you experience the reef’s animals throughout the day, sunrise and sunset having the most abundant marine life activity.

Sunrise is by far the most active and beautiful time on the reef as it’s the only time when the colorful, exotic fish of the day thrive in the bustle to wake up and find their morning feed, while the night creatures of the reef – sharks, lobsters, stingrays etc – are still winding down from the nights activities. …Plus, night diving on the Great Barrier Reef is on most Scuba Diver’s bucket list!

Daily Departures

Liveaboard tours are flexible with your travel plans. Cairns liveaboard trips use small, fast transfer boats to take you to your liveaboard boat – meaning you can start your Great Barrier Reef experience on the day that suits you – and stay on the Reef as long as you like!

Spectacular Outer Barrier Reef locations

More time on the reef! Liveaboard tours offer up to six water sessions at a variety of reef locations every day, meaning there’s plenty of time to dive, snorkel or just relax in paradise

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef is available with liveaboard tours, for all abilities and levels of experience. ‘Certified dive tours’ are for experienced divers who have a current scuba qualification, while ‘resort dive tours’ are for beginner scuba enthusiasts and require no prior experience for those who don’t already have a licence.

For those unsure whether scuba is for them, most liveaboards offer the chance to decide whether to give it a try during their trip. As with all Cairns Liveaboard tours, guests must first choose the tour type – a standard reef cruise or luxury reef cruise – plus the accommodation dates that they wish to stay for, then can add-on their scuba diving activities during the booking process. For more information on Liveaboard Scuba Diving, click here…


Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef is included with all liveaboard tours and is a fantastic way to experience the incredible natural wonder for all ages and levels of experience. Assistance is offered to non-swimmers while experienced snorkelers are free to explore the vast diversity of marine life at every stage throughout the daytime, across various spectacular reef locations.

Vessels always park in easy distance of spectacular snorkeling lagoons and all liveaboards are equipped with easy entrance platforms and stairs into the water.  For more information on Liveaboard Snorkeling, click here…

Glass Boat Tours
  • Glass bottom boat tours are available free of charge with most liveaboard excursions, upon request, and offer an alternative to getting wet that’s suitable for all ages and abilities
Time to Relax!
  • The beauty of the Great Barrier Reef isn’t only in the water. Sunrise and sunset over the Coral Sea are spectacular vistas to behold, while liveaboard facilities offer everything from licenced bars, outdoor hot-tubs, and even helicopter tours over the reef. There’s lots to do in your spare time!

Activities: Snorkeling / Scuba Diving / More...

  • Unlimited Snorkelling (Included with all liveaboard tour bookings, suitable for all ages)Read More
  • Certified Scuba Diving for experienced divers – (select this package during booking)*Read More
  • Resort Scuba Diving for beginner divers – (select this package during booking, or choose to give it a try once on-board)*Read More
  • Learn To Scuba Dive Course – become a qualified diver – three day courses or four day courses available (select this package during booking)*
  • Advanced Scuba Courses for qualified divers (select course during booking)*
  • Glass-bottom Boat Tours of the Reef – a fun and informative way to view the reef for all ages (available free of change, upon request during your stay)
  • Helicopter Tours over the Great Barrier Reef (select helicopter transfer when booking)
    *Scuba Diving in Australia is Subject to Conditions – this applies to Certified (qualified) and Beginner divers – please read the ‘Scuba Diving Important Information‘ page before booking any tours including scuba activities

How to book

To book your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard cruise, first choose the tour type – a standard reef cruise or luxury reef cruise – plus the dates of travel that you would like to stay, then add-on the activities that each person wants during the booking process – such as snorkeling or scuba diving etc. Note that snorkelers and scuba divers are able to travel together on all Cairns liveaboard tours. During the booking process you will also be asked to select any preferences such as a double bed cabin or a twin bed cabin, any dietary requirements such as ‘vegetarian’ and any additional extras such as helicopter tours. It’s very simple to book the perfect liveaboard tour!


Liveaboard Facilities & Accommodation

Hotel style accommodation on a Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard
      • ‘Reef Encounter’ offers a choice between double or twin bed cabins at no additional cost* (See policies)
      • Spacious, fully air-conditioned cabins – with ocean views
      • All cabins have their own en-suite toilet & shower
      • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo)
      • All cabins have Australian power outlets
      • Tea & coffee station in the communal area open all day
Liveaboard Facilities
      • Hotel style catamaran, designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea
      • Large dining saloon
      • Fully licenced bar
      • TV and lounge area
      • Outdoor, fresh water hot-tub
      • Spacious sundeck with sun loungers
      • Large, easy access dive and snorkel platforms with stairs into the water
      • Helicopter pad on the roof for low-flying scenic helicopter tours over the coral reef as your transfer to/from your liveaboard tour (optional extra)

Should I choose a standard 'Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard' tour or a 'Luxury Great Barrier Reef Liveboard' tour?

Select your liveaboard tour type and then add any then add activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving or even enroll on a scuba dive course…

Standard ‘Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ Tours
  • A standard liveaboard includes your tour of a variety of outer Great Barrier Reef’s, wonderful hotel style accommodation, excellent Chef prepared meals and any activities you choose (scuba diving, snorkeling etc.)
  • Accommodation is spacious and air conditioned – all cabins have their own ensuite and ocean view, and you have full access to the vessels facilities; such as sundeck, bar, hot-tub etc… plus the best crew on the Great Barrier Reef! Read More
‘Luxury Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ Tours
  • The ‘Luxury’ liveaboard tour is ideal for couples looking for a luxury getaway vacation, groups who enjoy a bit of VIP treatment or anyone who desires personalised in-water care.
  • Much like first class with an airline, the Luxury Tour comes with many additional extras including (but not limited to) a personal crew member for private scuba/snorkel guided tours, late check-out times, the best rooms on the boat, champagne upon arrival, evening turn-down cabin service, luxury three course evening meals served under the stars, evening cocktails… and more! Read More

Getting There

      • Liveaboard trips depart from Cairns Marina every day, via a fast transfer vessel. Check-In and Boarding is at 7.30 am (for an 8 am departure)
      • Alternatively, you may choose to transfer to and/or from your liveaboard tour by helicopter. The helicopter transfer is an optional extra that you may select during your booking process online
      • Bus transfers to and from your Cairns accommodation are available to the Marina at an additional cost and may be booked during your online reservation, or added at a later date by contacting our friendly reservations team
      • Approximate arrival time back into Cairns Marina on the final day of your tour is 4.30 pm

Great Barrier Reef Destinations

Liveaboard tours visit the very best locations across a range of outer Great Barrier Reefs. With access to areas of the reef not available on day trips, liveaboard cruises often visit more locations per day and allow you to experience the busiest times in this marine habitat – dusk and dawn. Locations are selected daily by the Captain for optimal Reef conditions based on weather and other variables, meaning that you always experience the best there is to offer. The number of locations visited will depend on your chosen length of stay. For more information on Great Barrier Reef locations, click here