Reef Encounter stateroom Australia’s Best Liveaboard

Reef Encounter is a boutique floating hotel on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.   This tour is the best way to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

Consistently rated ‘number one scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard by both industry professionals and independent reviewers such as Google Reviews,
Reef Encounter is large enough to provide all the cruise ship comforts yet small enough to access spectacular reef locations not accessible to other vessels.
Our passion is to deliver Australia’s best liveaboard with family-owned and operated (and all scuba enthusiasts).
We take extreme pride in our products, boats, crew, and, most importantly, our guests!

 

Staying on the Great Barrier Reef

Guests transfer from Cairns on our sister boat, Reef Experience.   This 90-minute transfer meets up with Reef Encounter on the Outer Barrier Reef.

Once we reach the outer barrier reef,  Reef Encounter guests are transferred to Reef Encounter and welcomed on board.

First, there is a welcome briefing, and then guests are shown to their rooms.   After getting settled, there is a water session before a delicious lunch.

Then guests choose to relax on a deck chair or explore the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Encounter generally moves twice a day, once in the morning and the afternoon.  The Captain will decide where we go based on weather conditions.

Activities onboard

Once you have decided on your accommodation style, the next thing to decide is what activities you would like to do.

Snorkelling.

Our reef locations are close to the coral reefs with a mask, snorkel and fins. You will see marine life as soon as you enter the water.  All of our reef locations have shallow coral gardens with an abundance of brightly coloured reef fish.  While you are on board, there is lots of time to snorkel.

Our crew are the best on the reef, and if you are a non-swimmer or not confident in the water, they will be delighted to get in the water and swim for you.

Scuba diving

Scuba divers are in for a treat as our reef locations offer swim-throughs exciting reef walls, and abundant marine life.  We provide 3-day dives and one night dive per full day on the reef.

Introductory Scuba diving

Even if you have never experienced scuba diving, our professional dive crew can have you breathing underwater after a quick lesson.  Introductory divers can explore the reef under the guidance of one of our dive instructors.  This is a fantastic way to see the reef.

Diving lessons

Once you become a certified diver, you will be able to scuba dive in a load of beautiful places all over the World.  Reef Encounter offers a personalise open water course with a maximum of four students per class and all dives done on the Great Barrier Reef.  While you are doing your system, there will be turtles, fish and coral.   This dive lesson is a fantastic way to learn to dive in the crystal clear waters of the GBR.

Transfer in style

Reef Encounter has an onboard helipad so guests arriving after our morning departure can look a transferring by a scenic helicopter ride.

We believe that Reef Encounter is unbeatable in service and value.
Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or choose to upgrade to the Top Deck Club for that extra bit of VIP luxury.
With daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter, Reef Encounter is an excellent alternative to a resort based holiday.

Reef Encounter Highlights

  • The best crew on the Great Barrier Reef
  • The Reef Encounter team is the best in the business, winning personal and professional awards for outstanding customer service in the tourism industry year after year.
  • The latest snorkelling and scuba diving equipment (wetsuits are a small additional charge)
  • Glass bottom boat tour upon request
  • Marine Biology presentation
  • Breakfast is a  barbeque bacon and egg roll and also a vegetarian option.
  • On your return voyage back to Cairns, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and a cheese and fruit platter.
  • Free luggage storage facility available at their offices in the Cairns City
  • Daily transfers to Reef Encounter via our sister ship Reef Experience.
  • Helicopter Transfers
  • Scenic Great Barrier Reef helicopter transfers to or from your liveaboard tour are optional.

 

How to book Reef Encounter

Click ‘Book’ to select your arrival and departure dates – and then choose your desired activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling or enrol on a dive course.

Great Barrier Reef Accommodation

  • A fully air-conditioned 35-metre catamaran hotel, designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea
  • Large dining saloon
  • TV and lounge area
  • Outdoor, freshwater hot-tub
  • Spacious sundeck with sun loungers
  • Fully licenced bar
  • Large, easy access dive and snorkel platforms
  • Helicopter pad on the roof for low-flying scenic helicopter tours over the coral reef as your transfer to/from Reef Encounter (optional extra)
  • Reef Encounter is one of few Great Barrier Reef liveaboards with ensuite facilities. All cabins have their ensuite toilet and shower.

Facilities Onboard

  • Check-in time: 10 am (approximately) Check-out time: 8 am (approximately)*
  • Spacious, air-conditioned staterooms with spectacular reef views and ensuite bathrooms
  • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo and conditioner)
  • Staterooms have Australian power outlets.
  • Double bed or twin-single bed staterooms
  • *For late check-out times and to keep your cabin until departure, please upgrade to our Top Deck Club

Great Barrier Reef Itinerary

Please note, this itinerary is based on a 3-day /2-night stay with Reef Encounter

First Day

Arrive

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 2 Day Dives + 1 Night

7:30am
Board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter

9:30am
Arrive onboard Reef Encounter for your 'Welcome & Safety Talk' before being shown to your room to settle in and relax

10:30am
 Water Session: Time to snorkel for all guests before lunch

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13.00
Water Briefings: Certified Diver Briefings / Try Scuba Diving Briefings / Snorkel Adventure Briefings

13.30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Full Day

On the Reef

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives + 1 Night

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
 Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

15:00

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

15:30
 Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

Summer


18:00
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

18:45
Night Dive Briefings

19:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

Winter


17:30
Night Dive Briefings

18:00
 Night dive commences for all those scuba diving

19:15
Dinner is served in the dining saloon

20:00
Dessert is served in the dining saloon

Last Day

Return

Snorkelling:

Unlimited in water sessions


Diving (Max possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives

6:00am
Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

6:30am
Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request

7:30am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00am

Room Checkout

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

8:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

10:30am
Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

12:00
Lunch is served in the dining saloon

13:30
 Water Session: Snorkel only session available to passengers before departure

14:45
Departing passengers board the transfer vessel 'Reef Experience' for the journey back to Cairns. Complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits served on the return journey

15:00 

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

16:30
Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

*Please note, this itinerary does not apply to 'Great Barrier Reef Deal' bookings.

*Stateroom Check-In time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 8.00am on the morning of departure (access to a shared transfer/baggage room with bathroom is available along with all other boat facilities)

*Top Deck Club Check-in time is 10.00am with Check-Out time 2.00pm on the day of departure>

*This itinerary may vary due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

 

Highlights

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

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. 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.


Optional Extras

  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Tshirts and hats
  • Snacks
  • Photos


What to bring

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.

 


How to get there

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.


Important Information

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.


100 Abbott StreetCairnsQueensland, 4870https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g255069-d13428016-Reviews-Reef_Encounter-Cairns_Cairns_Region_Queensland.html

Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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