Great Barrier Reef Diving | Cairns Overnight Dive & Snorkel Tours

Tour Code: 470

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Port Douglas

21 Luxury Stateroom Cabins
  • Book your superbly appointed stateroom cabin accommodation for your ultimate liveaboard dive and snorkel tour on the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns. Only 21 staterooms available, twin, double, sole occupancy. 
  • Choose your mode of transport from Cairns by boat or helicopter transfer to the liveaboard dive and snorkel boat on the outer reef. Stay for as many nights as you wish on our floating hotel, boatel. 
  • Fully air-conditioned 35 metre catamaran boatel/hotel designed with the utmost stability and creature comforts for extended dive and snorkel holiday in style. Outdoor fresh water hot tub, licenced bar, sundeck, dining saloon, heli pad and more.
  • All of our 21 stateroom cabins have their own private ensuites, fully air-conditioned, towels and toiletries. All meals freshly prepared by onboard chefs, the best dive and snorkel gear, glass bottom boat and marine biology presentations. 

Included In Price

  • Stateroom Guests
  • Twin or Double Stateroom with private bathroom
  • Chef prepared meals: all meals are included in your trip and prepared fresh daily, by our onboard chef: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Fruit, tea and coffee are also included and available throughout the day. Snacks such as chocolate, chips, cookies, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages* are available for purchase from the bar. All dietary requirements will be met – please advise our friendly staff upon booking *No alcohol may be consumed prior to in-water activities. *Alcohol can only be purchased onboard there is NO BYO
  • Marine Biologist presentation when transfers are done by Reef Experience crew
  • All dive and snorkeling equipment with the exception of wetsuits
  • Glass bottom boat tours (not operating until further notice)
  • Reef video presentation
  • Free scuba lessons for snorkellers
  • All dive equipment with the exception of wetsuits
  • Coffee, Tea & Milo are available all day for guests free of charge
  • Fresh fruit is available at all times on board the dive boat

Book our Stateroom accommodation for our very popular Great Barrier Reef scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard tours. Our dive tours are suited to everyone at all levels wanting to see the reef from Cairns

This is the most flexible liveaboard dive boat tour on the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and the best value for money dive and snorkel multi-day tour.

Our liveaboard Great Barrier Reef tours are also perfectly suited for those guests who only snorkel.  

Book your dream Great Barrier Reef tour holiday in one of our 21 luxury stateroom cabins.

 With our SSI Diamond Dive Centre on board the boat we can offer scuba diving courses for all levels whilst you are out on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. 

You can even take a scenic helicopter flight from Cairns and land on the upper deck of our liveaboard dive boat that we call a boatel - hotel. 

Departing daily from Cairns on our day boat you may choose the number of nights you wish to sleep on the reef as per these options:

2 Day / 1 Night Liveaboard - Intro divers 4 day dives, certified divers 4 day dives PLUS 1 night dive

3 Day / 2 Night Liveaboard - Intro divers 7 day dives, certified divers 7 day dives PLUS 2 night dives

4 Day / 3 Night Liveaboard - Intro divers 10 day dives, certified divers 10 day dives PLUS 3 night dives

Catering for a maximum of only 42 divers and snorkellers, guests can choose to spend from 2 days up to 4 days exploring the depths of the world famous Great Barrier Reef from our floating hotel - boatel .

Upgrade for some extra luxury accommodation onboard look at our "Exclusive Captains Club Accomodation" here that offers private valet service for a more luxurious stay on the Great Barrier Reef.  

Cairns Famous Liveaboard Dive Boat

Departing from Cairns we take our guests to see the best parts of the outer Great Barrier Reef so they can spend a few days exploring the depths of the ocean to see the most brilliant of corals and marine life that call these outer reefs home   

We have exclusive dive permits for 15 coral reef sites on the Great Barrier Reef and each day the skipper decides which of these reef locations will offer our guests the most brilliant dive and snorkel conditions.

Our liveaboard dive boat normally visits two reef locations per day.   

Join us and book your cabin on our Cairns floating hotel for your dive trip of a lifetime.

Choose to further upgrade to the "Exclusive Captains Club' and enjoy all the VIP privileges with your very own private valet who will look after your every need on your liveaboard scuba dive trip here.

Cairns Dive Boat Liveaboard Accommodation Choices

Only 21 Stateroom Cabins

  • Twin Share or Double Beds
  • Private ensuites
  • Air-conditioned
  • Ocean views from the cabin.
  • Towels and toiletries are provided along with power outlets for charging of phones and camera equipment.
  • Check in time 10.00am
  • Check out time 8.00am

Please note: These cabins are located on the 1st floor and each cabin has a port hole for fresh air. All guests in these rooms are to bring their own personal towels. Guests must be 18 years and older to stay in these rooms without parents.  

Cairns Liveaboard Dive Boat Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Great crew members to look after our guests
  • The latest snorkelling and scuba diving equipment (wetsuits additional charge)
  • Prescription mask available additional charge
  • Compressors
  • Glass bottom boat tour upon request (not currently operating)
  • Marine biology presentation
  • Six water sessions at multiple reef locations per day
  • Night time diving for certified scuba divers only
  • Free luggage storage facilities in Cairns  

On-Board Scuba Diving Courses

This Cairns dive boat is a SSI Diamond Dive Centre training facility offering certification courses from beginner level to professional diver level onboard the boat.  

The boat has classrooms on-board making it easy to improve your diving skills and knowledge whilst on your Great Barrier Reef tour negating wasted time and money spent on accommodation in Cairns.

Our onboard training centre enables our students to dive with more confidence, comfort and have more experience underwater.  

Dive Courses Available

  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Referral Scuba Dive Course
  • Advanced Adventure Course
  • Refresher Course
  • Stress and Rescue Course

Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world, but also the safest scuba diving record. All scuba divers are required to complete and pass the medical questionnaire prior to the boats departure.

Cairns Helicopter - Boat Transfers

If you really wish to travel in style then book our Cairns helicopter scenic flight transfer package. 

Board the helicopter in Cairns and take a low level scenic flight over the reef and land on the upper deck of your floating hotel that will be sitting on the outer reef.  

You may also take a return helicopter flight back to Cairns at the end of your liveaboard dive and snorkel tour. 

Helicopter transfers are subject to availability & passenger body weights, priced from $812.50 per person (minimum 2 passengers required)

Cairns Dive Boat Facilities

  • Fully air-conditioned 35 metre catamaran hotel designed for stability and comfort just like a hotel
  • Large dining saloon
  • TV and lounge area
  • Outdoor, fresh water hot-tub
  • Spacious sundeck with sun lounges
  • Fully licenced bar 
  • Large easy access dive and snorkel platform
  • Helicopter pad on the roof for scenic flights and land transfers from Cairns to the dive boat 

Cairns Dive Tour Sample Itinerary 3 Day 2 Nights (winter schedule May to Sep) - Day 1

Board Reef Experience transfer vessel at Cairns Marlin Marina for transfer to Reef Encounter

Breakfast Bacon & Egg Rolls

Arrive onboard your liveaboard dive boat home for the next few days where you are greeted by the crew for your ‘Welcome & Safety Talk’ before being shown to your room to settle in and relax

Room check-in

Water Session: Time to snorkel for all guests before lunch

Lunch is served in the dining saloon

Water Briefings for all (certified & intro divers as well as snorkellers)

Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time

Reef Encounter moves to new reef site

Water session: scuba diving, snorkelling or glass bottom boat tour

Night dive briefing for certified divers

Water session for night divers



Cairns Dive Tour Sample Itinerary 3 Day 2 Nights (winter schedule May to Sep) - Day 2

Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

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

Breakfast is served in the dining saloon


Reef Encouter moves to new reef site

 Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

Lunch is served in the dining saloon

Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

Reef Encouter moves to new reef site

Water session: scuba diving, snorkelling or glass bottom boat tour

Night dive briefing for certified divers

Water session for night divers



Cairns Dive Tour Sample Itinerary 3 Day 2 Nights (winter schedule May to Sep) - Day 3

Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session

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

Breakfast is served in the dining saloon

Room check-out

Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time

Lunch is served in the dining saloon

Water Session: Snorkel only

Departing passengers board the transfer boat for the journey back to Cairns

Refreshments complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits served on the return journey

Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

About the Diving & Snorkelling Locations

We visit spectacular Outer Great Barrier Reef locations, with access to well over 15 dive and snorkel sites over a range of the best Outer Great Barrier Reefs. 

Each day our dive boat Captain decides which reef locations to visit based on the time of year, weather, other conditions and which reef site offers guests the best reef experience and comfort.

Generally we would visit two reef locations every day –  moving twice per day – once in the morning and once again in the afternoon (weather dependent).

Hastings Reef

Hastings Reef is a fabulous coral reef in all weather, and we have many different locations to choose from here depending on which way the wind blows!

Being the largest reef site that our liveaboard dive boat visits, it provides good protection and calm diving and snorkelling conditions all year round.

Favourite dive and snorkel spots along this reef include ‘coral gardens’, ‘the fish bowl’ and ‘compass mooring’.

Breaking Patches Reef

A popular afternoon destination for when the weather is good, Breaking Patches is a small reef location  just north of Michaelmas Cay – a tropical sand island and marine turtle breeding ground.

As the name suggests, this is a patch reef and is great for viewing giant clams and blue spotted stingrays.

It’s also home to one of our well loved marine friends – the friendly resident sea turtle, called ‘Gus’.

Saxon Reef

Depending on the time of year, Saxon Reef can be a hive of marine activity. In the right seasons it’s a great reef to see young cuttlefish families or migrating humpback whales.

White tip reef sharks can often be seen sleeping on the shallow sandy areas and hiding under coral coves.

Popular dive and snorkel spots along this reef site include ‘magic mooring’, turtle bommie’ and the famous ‘twin peaks’.

Norman Reef

The furthest north Outer Great Barrier Reef destination that we visit – the coral and vast variety of marine life here is simply breathtaking!

Outstanding swim throughs, underwater caves, bronze whalers and it’s also home to our giant Maori Wrasse ‘Frank’.

This is the most impressive reef for a sunrise snorkel or night dive due to the number of larger inhabitants such as turtles and reef sharks

Jorgensen Patch
There are walls, gullies, small caves, overhangs and swim-throughs that can be found in the area of ‘Jeorgies’ – a reef visited at the right time of year.

With sandy bottoms that have giant clams, there are sea cucumbers and bluespotted lagoon rays on the sandy bottoms as well as lots of soft corals

You can also observe whitetip sharks, schools of damsels and fusiliers schooling in the plankton rich waters

For more liveaboard dive trips on the Great Barrier Reef see here or to book one of our 8 Captains Club Cabins look here 

Tour Languages Offered
  • English
Departs From


Departure Time

Boarding 7:30am - Departure 8:00am - Returns to Cairns 4.30pm (approx.)

Departure Instructions

Please note your transfer vessel from Cairns to the liveaboard dive boat will be Reef Experience located at Cairns Marlin Marina, A Finger.

Pickup Locations
  • Cairns
  • Cairns Northern Beaches
  • Port Douglas
  • Return transfers are an extra cost
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Norman Reef, Saxon Reef, Hastings Reef, Breaking Patches and Michaelmas Reef. The Captain will choose the location based on weather and which reef offers the best experience and comfort for guests. 
Months of Operation

January - December

Days of Operation



2 to 4 days
Additional nights available on request

Available for Purchase / Hire
  • Return coach transfers from Cairns, Northern Beaches or Port Douglas are an optional extra and need to be prebooked (subject to availability)
  • Return or one way helicopter transfers are an optional extra and need to be prebooked (subject to availability)
  • All diving and water activities and extras are bookable/payable on the day of travel direct on the boat: 
Fitness Level Required

Medium, Active

  • Scuba Diving – minimum age 12
  • Certified dive packages are for those already qualified as scuba divers and must hold Open Water Diver level or higher and produce divers certification

Scuba Diving Restrictions

  • Certain medical conditions and medications may preclude some people from scuba diving.
  • Participation is subject to a medical questionnaire completed on board with the tour operator
  • Minimum age for scuba diving is 12 years.
  • Flying after scuba diving: a wait of 12 hours is recommended after one dive, 18 hour after 2 dives and at least 24 hours after multiple dives, before ascending to an altitude of 300 metres or greater.

Advanced Dive Medical Intro Dive Medical

Read more about Diving Safety on the Great Barrier Reef.

Additional Information
  • This operator reserves the right to change locations, prices, vessels and itineraries due to unforeseen circumstances without notice. Each day the captain will assess weather conditions and other technical issues to determine the vessels location for that day.
  • You should not travel to a high altitude (fly or drive above 8000 feet) within 18 hours of completing a single scuba dive or 24 hours after multiple dives OR after any ‘deep’ dive. (A deep dive is any dive over 18 meters/60 feet).
  • We recommended leaving a minimum of 24 hours after your last scuba dive before flying. You can fly and then dive the same day – but not dive and then fly. On the last day of your liveaboard scuba tour, your final dive will be finished by around 12 noon.
  • Please consider this when arranging ongoing travel plans which include flying or driving to altitude. Flying any time after 12 noon the following day is recommended.
  • If you have booked a helicopter transfer back to Cairns as part of your Great Barrier Reef liveaboard tour – lucky you! It’s a fabulous way to end a Great Barrier Reef adventure. Our helicopter tours are low flying scenic excursions over the coral reef that are designed to be a safe activity after scuba diving. You may book a helicopter transfer back to Cairns on the final day of your stay with us, even if you have scuba dived that day.
  • Queensland, Australia has some of the strictest scuba diving rules in the world but also the safest scuba diving record.
  • We have a passion to show Australia’s Great Barrier Reef so please make sure that you understand the scuba diving laws. We are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules including medical as is the law.
  • To avoid disappointment on your day of travel we strongly recommend that all passengers complete our Dive Medical Questionnaire prior to booking as some medical conditions, age and / or medications may prevent you from scuba diving. Age restrictions will also apply to any diver training courses.
  • It is always our mission to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef experience. We are very happy to help you with any questions you may have. Please contact us.
  • No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives.
  • No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives due to medical / health / medication restrictions.
  • All prices are in Australian dollars and include GST
  • We recommend Travel Insurance
  • Please bring with you only a small to medium overnight bag with personal items:
  • Casual clothes, personal toiletries, sun hat, swimming clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, medication if needed, jumper/pullover/cardigan as evenings can be cool etc.
  • Camera
  • For large luggage pieces that are not required at the reef, we offer a free luggage storage facility at office in the city. It is about a 15-minute walk to the Cairns Marina from our offices. Office opening times are from 7am – 9pm, 7 days a week. If you have selected a bus pick-up option on the morning of your tour, you may leave any large items with the bus driver who will deliver them to our office storage facility
  • For safety reasons, Reef Encounter has a ‘no shoe’ policy. There is no need to bring extra pairs of shoes – socks are great
  • Personal dive/snorkel equipment if you would prefer to use your own. While equipment hire is included in your booking, you are welcome to bring any personal dive/snorkel items if you wish to. (Optional extras for hire are wetsuits and prescription lens masks)
  • Cash or credit card for purchases
  • Proof of certification if you are a Certified Scuba Diver (must be equivalent of Open Water Level or above) – this will be checked by the Dive Supervisor at the start of your trip. All persons intending to scuba dive should read the Scuba Divers Important information page. Read More
  • Dive medical if you are intending to Scuba Dive and require one to comply with Australian Dive Regulations – See our SCUBA Divers Important Information page to avoid disappointment on your trip.
  • IMPORTANT – dive medicals will only be accepted if they are conducted using the Australian Medical Examination Form AS4005.1 and clearly state this on the medical Certificate that you provide the Dive Supervisor onboard Reef Encounter

  • Children 2 to 18 adult rates applies
  • Rolloway beds are available for children up to 11 years of age - on request only, extra cost applies
  • Introductory/Resort Scuba diving is available for children 12 years and over
  • Certified dives are available for children that hold a scuba dive certification

All cancellations must be in writing.

We understand things may change, so we have made cancellations very easy.

In every instance we always recommend you purchase travel insurance for life’s last-minute hiccups.

Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.

Operators policy:

  • 20% cancellation fee 30 days or more prior to departure
  • 50% cancellation fee if within 30 days prior to departure
  • 100% cancellation fee within 14 days prior to departure
  • We require a minimum of 48 hours notice to re-schedule a reservation or to alter a reservation.
  • There will be no refund of any part of your tour costs should you fail to arrive at a scheduled tour departure time. Tour departures may not be delayed due to passenger circumstances – including events beyond your control, medical problems, airline delays, weather etc.
  • All passengers are strongly advised to purchase Comprehensive Travel Insurance that includes trip cancellation insurance, evacuation and medical cover. Please read the wording of your insurance policy carefully and ensure it covers you for all potential activities.

Great Barrier Reef Diving | Cairns Overnight Dive & Snorkel Tours

Tour Code: 470

Departing: Cairns

Pickup: Cairns, Cairns Northern Beaches, Port Douglas

21 Luxury Stateroom Cabins



Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.

Child: au$585.00
Family: au$2,340.00

Tour Code: 470



19 yrs & over

2 - 18 yrs

Ages of Children
(Discounts May Apply)
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745
1300 231 118
+61 427 074 745

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