Scuba Diving  Great Barrier Reef

A liveaboard scuba diving vacation is the ultimate dream for many divers, and Australia is where many of them wish to experience it.

Life onboard Reef Encounter is like being in a floating hotel and is the perfect way to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

First, we will explain how it works.  On the first day, you will check in on our sister boat Reef Experience on Finger A on the Marlin Jetty.

This boat operates a taxi service for Reef Encounter’s clients taking them to and from the reef.  Allowing guests to choose the day of departure that suits them best and the length of time onboard.

Scuba diving Great Barrier Reef with Reef Encounter

The best way to experience the Great Barrier Reef is to become one of the fish and enter the world of scuba diving.

Reef Encounter is a team of like-minded individuals who share a passion for the Cairns region and the Great Barrier Reef.   Sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge allow guests to partake in a truly memorable diving experience.

Once onboard Reef Encounter, guests will enter a spectacular world of colour and marine life, with coral gardens that bloom under the sea.

Aside from the coral, the Great Barrier Reef is probably best-known for its spectacular variety of fishes.

Over 1500 species, from coral trout and sweetlips to marlin, can be found in Reef waters.

The range of sizes, shapes and colours combine with the overwhelming beauty of the coral itself to make the Great Barrier Reef one of the world’s natural wonders.

 Great Barrier Reef locations

Click the links to read more about our reef sites Breaking Patches, Hastings Reef, Michaelmas Cay, Norman Reef and Saxon Reef. 

Scuba divers will also get a chance to interact with Green Sea Turtles or the friendly resident giant Maori Wrasse, “Frank”, during their scuba diving adventures.

Instead of learning to dive in a resort pool or onshore shallows, at Reef Encounter, the Great Barrier Reef itself is your classroom!

Catering for a range of diving options allowing even the most inexperienced divers to enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular triumphs.

While you are on Reef Encounter, you may enjoy a range of dive packages.

Introductory Dive Options

  • Try Reef Encounter’s FREE 10-minute Scuba Diving Lesson. Ever tried scuba diving? Why not try an Introductory/Resort Scuba Dive with Reef Encounter’s team of experienced dive Instructors. No experience necessary! It’s fun…it’s safe…it’s easy!
  • Our professional Dive Instructors guarantee a fantastic first experience. (Children need to be a minimum of 12 years in age to participate in scuba diving.)
  • NITRO Diving. Experience NITRO, Reef Encounter’s ‘Introductory Night Dive’. No School Scuba. No testing. No license. Just fun guided diving with their team of experienced instructors!  Discover more about our introductory diving

 Scuba Diving Courses

Personalised Open Water Course (SSI Open Water Certification): the Personalised Open Water Course is ideal for previously experienced divers or confident aquatic people.

Enjoy more guided dives than the open water and advanced courses combined!

Eight pleasure dives are combined with six skills sessions over a 3 day/2 night period leaving the diver with their Open Water Certificate.    Find out more 

On the Wildside Boat Dives:

Reef Encounter’s dive tender can transport up to twenty-four scuba divers to unique and adventurous diving locations.

This vessel has a  hydraulically lifted boat platform that allows for easy departure and returns to the dive deck.

Daily Transfers to Cairns Liveaboard

Transfers to Reef Encounter are available by a 90-minute boat ride from Cairns or a stunning helicopter trip over the Great Barrier Reef – a service that no other vessel can provide!

We have amazing packages for snorkelling for our guests who want to experience a liveaboard but do not wish to scuba dive.

 

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 n° possible):
Up to 2 Day Dives + 1 Night

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

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

10:30 am
 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
 the 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 n° possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives + 1 Night

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

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

7:30 am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00 am

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

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

10:30 am
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 n° possible):
Up to 3 Day Dives

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

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

7:30 am
Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

8:00 am

Reef Encounter moves to another spectacular outer barrier reef location

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

10:30 am
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 10.00 am with Check-Out time 8.00 am 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 10.00 am with Check-Out time 2.00 pm on the day of departure

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