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 the Cairns Liveaboard tours advertised
Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Tours…
Discover the Great Barrier Reef on a Liveaboard Scuba Dive Tour
Always dreamed of seeing the Great Barrier Reef? there is no better way than a Great Barrier Reef scuba diving liveaboard scuba diving tour with Reef Encounter’s scuba dive Adventure is the way to do it!
Whether you”re new to the sport or have a fair few scuba dives under your belt, the unrivalled beauty and wonder of our pristine Outer Barrier Reef locations will not fail to excite your senses. Let us show you the best of this World Heritage listed Marine Park!
Cairns scuba diving liveaboard catamaran, Reef Encounter, provides a wonderful overnight trips to The Great Barrier Reef with boutique hotel style accommodation.
Scuba Diving Time
- Reef Encounter has six (6) water sessions per day so you can choose when you want to scuba dive and when you want to relax or enjoy the other activities onboard.
Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard scuba diving may include
Spend the morning diving on Michaelmas Reef at a dive site called ‘Thirty Three and a Third” – three underwater bommies of reef all connected by shallow swim throughs. Wonder at the sheer volume of marine life that surrounds you as you begin your descent! This isolated area of coral has some of the most beautiful hard structures such as huge Gorgonian Fans up to 5 metres wide for you to look through and is even home to the occasional majestic Manta Ray gliding through the blue.
Maybe spend the afternoon scuba diving ‘Twin Peaks” at Saxon Reef – huge underwater mountains of coral leading to sandy bottoms where sharks and stingrays dwell during the day, and schools of chevron barracuda are silhouetted as you look up the dramatic overhangs. Dive back to the boat along the shallow wall and discover a plethora of soft coral, lionfish and hopefully some green turtles along the way!
In the evening head to Norman Reef. Our furthest North Outer Barrier Reef Location, Norman Reef is easily one of the most prized Cairns dive locations. With underwater caves, drop offs that stretch to 30 metres deep for the advanced divers, shallow sandy bays covered in colourful sea fans and even our very friendly Maori Wrasse ‘Frank’, there is something here for everyone!
Note: All scuba dive locations and itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.
Fun Fact: Coral ‘Bommies” are underwater reef structures, short for ‘bombora” – an Aboriginal word meaning outcrop or mountain of reef.
Dawn Dives: One of the greatest attractions for choosing to sleep at the reef is the option to do a dawn dive. As in any eco system dusk and dawn are the busiest times of the day and many of the crew will tell you that it”s the best time to scuba! Can you imagine a better way to begin your day than watching the sun come up over the ocean and going for a morning dive?
Night Dives: See the wondrous transformations as day becomes night on the Great Barrier Reef… Swim amongst schools of giant trevally as they use your torch light to hunt for their prey, see patches of coral transformed into a glitter ball as the eyes of shrimp, crabs and other crustaceans crawl over the reef, look under overhangs to find huge painted tropical crayfish and of course, see the sharks at their most active! Looking for a thrill? With Reef Encounter you have the opportunity to find hiding octopus, watch free swimming moray eels and maybe even marvel at the beauty of a sleeping turtle!
Other Certified Diver Information
How deep are the dive sites?
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. Our dive sites have an average depth range of 10-25 metres (30-80 feet).
Who will I be diving with?
Buddy up with another passenger or take the guided dive option, it”s your choice. If you”re travelling alone our friendly dive team will ensure you have a buddy to go diving with.
Haven’t been diving for a while?
If you haven”t been diving for over a year we strongly recommend you book an onboard Refresher Course to update your skills and re-boost your confidence in the water. See ‘Refresher Course’.
Flying after diving
We recommend that you do not fly for at least 24 hours after diving. This means the earliest you should fly is 12 pm (midday) on the day after your dive trip ends.
Resort diving liveaboard trips
If you have always dreamed of going Scuba Diving on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef then start right here! Join Reef Encounters ‘no experience necessary liveaboard Resort dive package and have the holiday adventure of a lifetime.
Reef Encounter is a live-aboard catamaran providing wonderful overnight trips to The Great Barrier Reef with boutique hotel style accommodation.
A Cairns liveaboard Resort Dive Tour with Reef Encounter is the best way for people who have no formal diving qualifications to scuba on the Great Barrier Reef. Let our friendly and experienced dive team introduce you to a whole new world that won’t fail to excite your senses as we show you the beauties beneath.*
Why Choose Reef Encounter
For many, visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience. We share our passion to give you an unforgettable trip that exceeds all expectations
Our Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard, Reef Encounter voyages up to 200 nautical miles off the east coast of Australia across four Outer Great Barrier Reef locations.
This means you get to experience a variety of dive sites and marine attractions during your trip. We use years of marine experience to ensure that we take you to the best diving and snorkelling locations depending on the weather and current conditions, to ensure exciting, fun and comfortable scuba dives.
Time to dive! Reef Encounter has six water sessions a day so you can choose when you want to scuba dive and when you want to relax and enjoy the other activities onboard.
How it works Before entering the water you will be given a 30 minute briefing that will outline the basic information required for a safe and enjoyable introduction to the sport of Scuba Diving. You can then choose when you would like to scuba dive. Under the watchful supervision of your Dive Instructor, each person is taken underwater where we will assess your comfort level just below the surface. Once comfortable, your Scuba dive Instructor will take you on guided underwater tours of the reef in small groups of a maximum of 4 passengers.
What will I see? Be awestruck as your Dive Instructor points out the myriad of wonders beneath the surface. Maybe you’ll learn how to make colourful Christmas tree worms disappear, swim amongst schools of parrot fish or even find a friendly sea turtle! The ocean is your oyster!
Dawn Dives One of the greatest attractions for choosing to sleep at the reef is the option to do a dawn dive. As in any eco system dusk and dawn are the busiest times of the day and many of the crew will tell you that it’s the best time to scuba Dive! Can you imagine a better way to begin your day than watching the sun come up over the ocean and going for a morning dive?
Stay in style Our vessel is fully air conditioned for maximum comfort. Reef Encounter boasts large lounge, dining, dive and sun deck areas. All of our spacious cabins are en-suite with ocean views and all gourmet meals are freshly prepared by your onboard Chef.
Stay as long as you like! Because there are daily transfers to and from our Cairns Liveaboard Reef Encounter on our high speed catamaran, Reef Experience, you can fit your diving trip in to suit your holiday plans.
The Best Dive Equipment As an introductory scuba diver on Reef Encounter, you will be Scuba diving with high quality, up to date scuba diving equipment. With our purpose built dive deck, everything is set up for you ready to go so getting into and out of the water couldn’t be easier!
Other Activities Reef Encounter also has a variety of different activities for you to enjoy, with glass bottom boat tours running daily, a television and games area, a fully licensed bar and even boasts an outdoor, group sized hot tub! – Ideal for after a dive, watching the sunset or gazing up at the stars.