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Michelle B
Michelle B
30. November, 2021.
Amazing Experience I recently travelled with a private tour group to dive & snorkel outer reef locations on the Great Barrier Reef. Selected vessel of choice for our group, was the Reef Encounter. Onboard the Reef Encounter our group was impressed! As all staffonboard were extremely helpful, organised & professional. They handle group bookings with ease & nothing was ever too much trouble for them! Amazing feedback received from the group overall too! Everyone loved how well presented the private cabins are & said they would certainly stay onboard Reef Encounter again, as the cabins are spacious, well appointed, smelt fresh, were all very neat, tidy & hygienic. Beds were luscious too, and sleeping in super comfy beds is paramount, when diving all weekend! There is so much to see and do onboard Reef Encounter and our group were able to enjoy: Epic diving with great visibility,  glass bottom boat tours, marine biology presentations, guided snorkelling sessions, upgrade their diving certification from open water to advanced, play with friendly Reef sharks on the fun night dives, relax on the sundeck, chill out in the lounge area, (some chose to sneak in a nap in between dives), loved the flexibility that they could do this, star gaze at night, and of course were also able to indulge in the amazing catering provided! As there are 6 meals onboard Reef Encounter per day, our group loved this & never went hungry. Here are some lovely pics from our group, which shows how much fun they all had & just how CLEAR THE WATER VISIBILITY WAS. Thanks so much Reef Encounter, we will be back.
Cheryl S
Cheryl S
28. November, 2021.
FOR SNORKELLERS AMAZING EXPERIENCE 4 DAY 3 NIGHT LIVEABOARD as SNORKELLERS Amazing Experience, we had great weather, the sites visited we amazing and we are very thankful that the sites were stunning not only for divers but for snorkellers. Our room was 5 Star, the food was amazing. Take your seasick tablets because you never know when the conditions may change. If you are into night dives you will not be disappointed
Jordan P
Jordan P
14. November, 2021.
Relaxing and friendly environment :) Friendly staff, awesome experience, best company to explore the Great Barrier Reef with snorkelling or diving. Highly recommend the hostie program if you want to save some money and stay on for longer.
Patricia C
Patricia C
16. October, 2021.
Amazing live-aboard diving experience We booked with Reef Encounter for 2 nights. The experience is totally worth it. Amazing crew (super helpful and accomodating). We did the Advance adventurer course while on the boat. Our instructor James was great. He adapted all the course to our preferences and made it super easy for us to go through the different dives. Totally recommend this company. They are great!!
Narelle J
Narelle J
7. October, 2021.
Just brilliant! Do it Just perfect. We didn’t know what to expect but we’re blown away by the experience. The friendly, amazing, professional crew gave us and our son a magical time. Just stunning (helped by perfect weather) .
Paul B
Paul B
8. August, 2021.
The best live-aboard dive operator from Cairns I have now completed nine trips on Reef Encounter, and every time the experience has been amazing. I come mainly for the diving but the reason I always dive from the same company is due to the excellent crew and dive boat. The whole setup is professional from start to finish; from the moment I book my trips with the office, to the moment I step off the transfer boat back in Cairns at the end of the trip. The food on the boat is outstanding and nothing is too much trouble for the chef to prepare, including birthday cakes if your birthday happens to be while you are on board. The diving is first class, at each site a briefing is conducted and the best routes for both diving and snorkeling are explained so that everyone can get the best experience at each site. The dive staff are knowledgeable, helpful and very safety conscious, but also ensure everyone that goes in the water is also having a good time. About me, I am a highly experienced Divemaster with over 1000 dives completed, I have used many dive operators around the world, but this is my favourite.
smithravel
smithravel
21. July, 2021.
Experience of a lifetime Experience of a lifetime! We stayed for 3 nights/4 days with one of us completing their open water and other adventure diver, Amy our instructor looked after us SO well, we felt like royalty! And helped us fit our dive requirements around our stay (and find the octopus I wanted to see!). Highly recommend the top deck for experience of the dedicated crew member alone, what luxury to have that much experience just for us! Would come back in a heartbeat (as many of the people staying with us had done!)
Hannah L
Hannah L
19. July, 2021.
Great trip We were concerned about a male crew member (we think the chef - larger guy wearing backwards cap who dived in an animal hat) who appeared to engage in inappropriate touching with female crew members. We saw him frequently hug female crew members from behind. Otherwise the boat trip was great - the crew were all fantastic. Great notes on dives and snorkels, lovely attention to detail and everyone’s needs. Would highly recommend the trip.
Gone swimmin
Gone swimmin
10. July, 2021.
Saving up to go again The negatives first. The weather. Overcast, windy, rainy and a choppy sea made the snorkelling uncomfortable and the first 2 days onboark a bit queasy. (nothing we can do about this). The boat has aged and not too gracefully. The soft couch is actually a saggy couch. The glass bottom boat was only available on the 3rd day and it is a very tired looking dinghy. Our family of 4 spent 3 days, 2 nights on a dive/snorkel trip. 1 of us did the open water course, another did the advanced course and the other 2 just snorkelled. The dive instructors are fantastic and the crew are brilliant. They are living on board as well and have very long days to help us every moment. I cannot find a fault with any of these guys. Every thing on board was clean, there was plenty of good food to eat and plenty of time and space to chillax. The showers deserve their own review. Unlimited high pressure scalding hot water came out of the non water saving shower nozzle. The 6ft child said they were too low. Dive gear: typical rental standard well maintained bcd's and regs. Wetsuits are not worth the $5 per day and the masks,fins and snorkels are old and worn as well. This could do with an upgrade to newer equipment. Full foot fins are a pain to get on/off on a rocking dive platform, I'd prefer boots and half foot fins. Big tank fills were the go with about 230 bar each dive. Overall a great trip. I'm bringing up my own gear next time and will be asking to work on board for some extra diving. Buy the photo's. By the way, the diving was fantastic!
Tom G
Tom G
2. July, 2021.
Best 2 days my sister (21) and myself (18) have just got back from a 2 day, one night snorkel adventure with reef encounter. We had the time of our lives. From the extraordinary staff to the cooked meals to the sizzling colours of the reef - we can honestly say that we had so much fun. Jasmine was absolutely amazing at organising everything in such a calm manner, and still had time to have a good chat with anyone. The only reason we are not giving 5 stars was because of the creaking bedside table while we tried to sleep, every time the boat rocked, the bedside table creaked pretty loud with it all night. This is just a minor problem that can easily be fixed by jamming one of the pillows in between the bed and the table. Other than this, we had such a great time and already want to go back, if I were to do it again, I would stay longer because of how well we were treated and all the amazing people that we met

Our Great Barrier Reef Liveaboards

Stateroom Liveaboard

Cairns' #1 rated liveaboard. Unbeatable on service and value! Come snorkeling, scuba diving or do some diving lessons on the Reef.

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Top Deck Club Liveaboard

Experience the best luxurious liveaboard accommodation and fantastic service on the Great Barrier Reef. Make Your liveaboard trip the best it can be.

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natasha tropeano
natasha tropeano
19. December, 2021.
Verified
Amazing! Such a great experience with such amazing crew! We loved every part of Reef Encounter. The crew were really friendly, chatty and professional. The food was amazing! Fresh cooked meals from a chef, barista made coffee, and refreshments. The rooms were bigger than expected, proper bathrooms, with showers and proper toilets. And of the course the best part… the diving! We went to 4 different reefs I think?, and saw some amazing sites. The crew told us they go to about 20 different sites depending on the wind and weather. For certified divers you can choose to have an experienced guide with you for a small coat. The guides are usually dive master trainees and really know their stuff. They know the sites well, and are very good at keeping track of depth and time, so you don’t have to worry about it and can just enjoy your dive :) this way, you also know you’ll always be ascending at a safe rate. We also did the Marine Biology tour, where you snorkel with a marine biologist who shows you really cool things and teaches you amazing facts. We did not have one complaint throughout this experience. It was fanastic; we will recommend it to all our friends and family and we’ll be back :)
Vitjok Al
Vitjok Al
15. December, 2021.
Verified
I had a great experience on the boat. The crew is super chill and the food is delicious! Do definitely the night dive!
Vance Li
Vance Li
22. November, 2021.
Verified
The best trip I have ever had! Super friendly (and funny) crew members on board to help us with everything we need. 14 dives in just 4 days! I'm relatively new in diving but I felt 100% safe and secure the entire time, even got to try 3 night dives! Do not worry if you're just a beginner because they have highly professional dive guides to make sure you're safe and having a good time. Plus the meals were amazing!!! The chef also caters to all sort of dietary preference! If I ever come back to Cairns, Reef Encounter will be my first choice!
Mateus Brisolla Bonissoni
Mateus Brisolla Bonissoni
21. November, 2021.
Verified
Easily the best trip of my life, if you love scubadiving/snorkeling that's the place. Amazing crew, always ready to help you with anything, literally... The whole environment is unbelievable comfortable, you feel that you're in your own home. Stayed in for 4 days, 14 dives total and still have so much to be seen, can't wait to go back, definitely it is my travel priority again. Super organized, the gourmet food is insanely good and the rooms are 5* hotel :) Thank you so much for everything
Maria Woodgate
Maria Woodgate
1. November, 2021.
Verified
This tour is highly recommended- i snorkelled for 4 glorious days. I learnt so much and was well taken care of by the crew who are very knowledgeable about the reef and cared about preserving the reef. The cabin was very comfortable and the food was plentiful and delicious. A great value trip.
David Ruddell
David Ruddell
11. October, 2021.
Verified
The whole experience with Reef Encounter is outstanding and the entire team are fantastic at ensuring a safe and memorable time diving on the Great Barrier Reef. After a wonderful trip in September 2020 we were back again at the same time again this year for another adventure. Equally as good as last year. Had a great time despite the winds picking up for a day or two. The diving was fantastic. Completed our advanced adventurer course with excellent instruction from Andre. Col as dive master was great - very engaging and focused on ensuring everyone had fun. Food was excellent - good variety and generous servings. It was great meeting and enjoying time with the other guests. Highly recommended.
Peter Greenhalgh
Peter Greenhalgh
7. October, 2021.
Verified
Had an amazing time with Reef Encounter during 3 days of diving and attaining my Advanced Adventurer certificate. The instructor (Santiago) was an extremely skilled teacher and the dive sites were fantastic, seeing turtles, sharks and an eel. The food is great and the rest of the crew were very friendly and made it an enjoyable stay. Looking forward to diving with Reef Encounter next year.
Alan Burgess
Alan Burgess
1. October, 2021.
Verified
Spent 4 wonderful days diving and getting our Advanced Ticket. Thanks to Taco & Andy who were thorough and professional yet made it fun. The crew are all fantastic and friendly that made the experience all that more worthwhile. Food was great and they will cater if you not fussed on the option. Met some very nice like minded people doing the same thing. We will be back!!

Your Holiday, Your Way!

SSI Diamond Facility

Fun For Everyone

We offer the best scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard Great Barrier Reef tours.

Reef Encounter cruising on the Coral Sea

Scuba divers, snorkelers and those who wish to stay on a floating hotel cruise on the Great Barrier Reef can travel together with a Cairns liveaboard tour! Live and sleep on the reef and see it at its best – day and night!

An excellent alternative to a resort based holiday and a fantastic upgrade from a day trip, it’s one of the most unique holiday escapes in Australia!

Luxury Accommodation

Our Cairns liveaboard is a boutique floating hotel surrounded by crystal clear waters.

Accommodating only 42 guests at any time, Reef Encounter is large enough to provide the comforts of the largest cruise ships yet small enough to have access to spectacular reef locations inaccessible to other vessels.

Designed for utmost stability and comfort at sea, all our cabins are air conditioned and have private ensuite bathrooms.

Daily Departures

Our liveaboard trips depart every day, via our transfer vessel Reef Experience.

Enjoy greater flexibility with your travel plans and start your liveaboard holiday on the day that suits you – and stay as long as you like! Boarding daily in Cairns at 7:30 am from Cairns Marlin Marina.

Alternatively, helicopter transfers are low flying scenic excursions over the Coral Sea that are an excellent way to start or end your Great Barrier Reef adventure!


Highlights

Best Locations

Great Barrier Reef locations

We visit a variety of snorkel/dive sites per day. Our experienced Captain selects the optimal sites for the weather conditions, so you can see the very best the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.

Marine Biologist

Nemo Clown Anemonefish on Great Barrier Reef corals

During the transfer to the Great Barrier Reef, we have a Marine Biologist who gives an informative presentation about the Coral Sea, introducing you to this unique underwater habitat.

Friendly Crew

Your Reef Encounter team

Our crew are by far our greatest asset, and it’s their passion and pride that does make all the difference! If you’re not a confident swimmer, one of our guides will get in the water and assist you.

VIP Upgrade

For an extra touch of luxury, select our Top Deck Club package. Champagne on arrival, breakfast in bed, dinner under the stars and a personal valet/guide to ensure an experience nothing short of breathtaking!


What to do on the outer reef?

Snorkelling

Great Barrier Reef liveaboard

Everybody can see the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef snorkelling, no minimum age and no experience necessary – just fun! Read more

Scuba Diving

scuba dive Great Barrier Reef

See the Coral Sea up close and personal with the best scuba diving Cairns has to offer. Packages are tailored for all skill levels. All scuba equipment is included. Read more

Scuba diving lessons

Learn to dive or complete an advanced or rescue diver course. We are a dive training vessel and offer a wide range of scuba diving courses. Read more

Scuba divers, snorkelers and those who wish to stay on a floating hotel on the Great Barrier Reef can travel together with Reef Encounter


Or you can do nothing and relax on the Great Barrier Reef

 

 

Read More: 10 Reasons why you should choose Us!

 

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