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 scuba diving, scuba courses or snorkeling. Read More

Note: Scuba Divers and Snorkelers can travel together on all of our Cairns Liveaboard tours

Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tours…

 Liveaboard Scuba Dive Tours on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Dreaming of seeing the Great Barrier Reef? There’s no better way than a scuba diving liveaboard cruise! Let us show you the best of this World Heritage-listed Marine Park

Dawn Scuba Dives: One of the greatest attractions for choosing to sleep at the reef is the option to do a dawn dive. Dusk and dawn are the busiest times of day in this marine eco system –  and it’s the best time for scuba! What better way to begin your day than watching sunrise and going for a morning dive?!

Night Diving: Experience the wonder as day becomes night on the Great Barrier Reef. Swim amongst schools of Giant Trevally as they use your flashlight to hunt prey, see glittering eyes of shrimp, crabs and tropical crayfish and of course, encounter sharks at their most active! …It’s all possible on a night scuba dive

How many scuba dives are included on a Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard tour?

Your number of included scuba dives depends on the duration of your liveaboard stay and whether you are a qualified ‘Certified Diver’ or beginner ‘Resort Diver’, or are enrolled on a ‘Learn to Dive’ training course:

Certified Dive Packages:

Applies to all qualified divers on both standard ‘Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tours and ‘Luxury Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tours

Duration of Stay Number of Scuba Dives Included
2 days, 1 night 6:   Up to 5 daytime scuba dives and 1 night dive
3 days, 2 nights 10: Up to 8 daytime scuba dives and 2 night dives
4 days, 3 nights 14: Up to 11 daytime scuba dives and 3 night dives
Each additional night 4:   Up to 4 additional scuba dives; 3 day and 1 night

Resort Dive Packages:

Applies to all non-qualified, beginner divers on both standard ‘Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tours and ‘Luxury Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard’ tours

Duration of Stay Number of Scuba Dives Included
2 days, 1 night 5:   Up to 5 daytime scuba dives
3 days, 2 nights 8:   Up to 8 daytime scuba dives
4 days, 3 nights 11: Up to 11 daytime scuba dives
Each additional night 3:   Up to 3 additional daytime scuba dives

(Resort ‘night scuba diving’ can be booked whilst onboard most liveaboard tours, at an additional cost)

Learn to Dive Packages:

Applies to Open Water Dive courses. For all advanced dive courses, the number of included dives are the same as in the certified dive packages

Duration of Stay Number of Scuba Dives Included
3 days, 2 nights (Standard Liveaboard) 8:   Up to 8 daytime scuba dives
4 days, 3 nights (Standard Liveaboard) 12: Up to 11 daytime scuba dives; plus 1 night dive after certification
4 days, 3 nights (Luxury Liveaboard) 12: Up to 12 daytime scuba dives
Each additional night 4:   Up to 4 additional scuba dives; 3 day and 1 night

What's the difference between Certified and Resort Scuba Diving?

While booking your liveaboard reef tour, you will be given the option to select your activities – such as snorkelling, certified scuba diving, resort diving or a dive course

Certified Diving – Qualified Scuba Divers Certified diving is for already qualified scuba divers who hold a minimum licence of ‘Open Water Diver level or higher. The Dive Supervisor will check your certification card or dive license at the start of your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard tour.

Resort Scuba Diving – No experience necessary Resort Scuba Diving requires no prior scuba experience. Whether it’s your first time going scuba diving or you have tried scuba diving before, Resort Scuba is for people who do not hold a scuba licence but would like to do fun scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. All resort dives are guided tours with an experienced Dive Instructor, with a maximum of four guests to one Dive Instructor.

Become qualified on a ‘Learn to Dive’ Course If you would like to become a Certified Diver on the Great Barrier Reef, you may enrol on a ‘Learn to Dive’ course to become a licenced Open Water Scuba Diver! Read more about ‘Learn to Dive’ courses on the Great Barrier Reef…

I am a qualified diver, but I don’t have my certification licence, can I still dive?

Yes, as long as evidence of your certification level can be provided. Your dive qualification must be ‘Open Water Level’ or higher, for you to go diving as a Certified Diver. This will be checked by the Dive Supervisor at the start of your liveaboard tour. Proof of qualification can be in the form of a dive licence or certification card; a signed and stamped logbook with details of your training or verification from your dive training agency.

You should contact your training agency for your qualification details prior to your trip if you have lost your licence and do not have a record of your training in your divers log-book. Please contact our helpful team prior to your liveaboard trip if you are unable to find proof of your dive qualification. For most major dive agencies, we can often assist you to find proof of your qualification via the training agency if we are given enough time in advance of your tour. If unable to verify your certification level, your liveaboard operator may reserve the right to refuse a person scuba diving as a certified diver.

Please ensure that as a Certified Diver, you have read and understand that certified diving in Australia is subject to stricter medical and health restrictions than in other countries – please contact us prior to booking if unsure to avoid disappointment on your liveaboard tour

If you hold a lower scuba qualification than ‘Open Water Diver’ level, then you may go scuba diving as a ‘Resort Diver’ subject to the medical conditions, or enrol on an ‘Open Water Course’ to become a fully qualified, Certified Diver.

What is the water temperature and visibility on the Great Barrier Reef?

Water temperatures on the Great Barrier Reef range from around 18°C (64°F) in the winter and 30°C (86°F) in the summer. The reef is a vast ecosystem and visibility at any given location changes daily with tides, weather, currents, winds and the seasons. Visibility ranges from around 12 metres (40 feet) to 40 metres (130 feet)

Which Great Barrier Reef sites are visited and how deep are they?

Liveaboard tours have the option of visiting many different dive sites across a multitude of the best outer Great Barrier Reef locations. The places visited will be decided by your boat’s Captain each day – to provide the best conditions based on the current weather, time of year and other circumstances

As the coral on the Great Barrier Reef needs sunlight to survive and grow, the majority of good dive locations are found in relatively shallow areas. Dive depths may vary at each location, but on average are between 6 and 20 metres. Certified dive sites have an average depth range of 10-25 metres (30-80 feet). Deep dives up to 30 metres (100 feet) are available for those who hold the appropriate advanced certification, or guests who choose to complete an Advanced Course while onboard. Qualified divers with an Open Water Licence may dive to a maximum depth of 18 metres (60 feet), and Resort Divers (non-licenced) may dive to a maximum of 12 metres (40 feet).

When can I fly after scuba diving?

We recommend that you do not fly for at least 24 hours after scuba diving. On the last day of your liveaboard scuba tour, your final dive will be finished by around 12 noon. This means the earliest you should fly is 12 o’clock (midday) the day after your liveaboard tour finishes. 

Who will I be diving with?

If you are a qualified ‘Certified Diver’ you may choose to buddy up with another equally qualified passenger, or take the wonderful ‘guided tour’ option with a crew member – it’s your choice. If you’re travelling alone and don’t wish to take a guided tour, your friendly dive team will ensure you have a buddy to go diving with.

If you are a beginner ‘Resort Diver’ – meaning you do not already hold a scuba diving licence – all dives are guided tours with an experienced Dive Instructor, with a maximum number of four guests to one Dive Instructor.

If divers require private scuba tours, they must book their trip with ‘Luxury Liveaboard’ accommodation – which includes a personal crew member solely assigned to your booking party for the duration of your stay 

Do I need to bring my own equipment?

Scuba diving equipment is included in your liveaboard tour cost when you book your scuba dive package. While equipment is included, you’re welcome to bring any personal dive equipment if you wish to. Optional extras are wetsuit hire if you require one, and prescription lens masks are also available for hire. (Stinger suits are included during the stinger season).

Can I decide later if I would like to try scuba diving?

Yes.* If you’re not sure whether you would like to go scuba diving during your liveaboard stay, please book one of our snorkel packages and then try our free scuba dive demonstration on-board and see if you are comfortable underwater.* If you are, you can upgrade to one of our beginner ‘resort dive’ packages. Finding the best way to for you to experience Great Barrier Reef is what we’re all about!

*Please note that age, health and medical restrictions apply for scuba diving in Australia – if you are considering trying scuba diving, please ensure you have read the information pages, or contact us to avoid disappointment on your trip

Important Information for ALL Scuba Divers in Australia

This information applies to qualified divers, beginner/resort divers and anyone participating in scuba training courses. We advise all scuba divers not to assume that because it is considered safe for you to scuba dive in another country that it will be okay in Australia – please check with us before booking and avoid potential disappointment.

Many health issues, medical conditions and/or medications (both past and present) may prevent you from participating in scuba activities unless a dive medical certificate to Australian Standards AS4005.1 can be provided to the dive supervisor onboard. These include, but are not limited to; asthma, wheezing or use of an inhaler (for medication or sport), brain spinal cord or nervous disorder, chronic bronchitis or persistent chest complaint, most chest surgery, chest illness or condition (past or present), chronic sinuses, collapsed lung, any diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, heart disease, past or present heart conditions of any kind, some diseases, recurrent ear problems when flying, tuberculosis or other long-term lung disease, high or low blood pressure or anything that may cause fits, faints or blackouts

Some prescription and non-prescription medications may also prevent you from diving (including some malaria prevention tablets) or require you to bring a medical certificate to Australian Standards AS4005.1 with you on your reef liveaboard tour