Choose Us

Reef Encounter is a holiday all in itself, and we believe it’s the best liveaboard trip out of Cairns; aka ‘The Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef’. It was difficult to give you just ten reasons why … but we’ve tried!


1. Outer Great Barrier Reef Locations

Reef Encounter has access to a multitude of destinations across five of the best Outer Great Barrier Reefs. Depending on the length of your stay you will visit a number of spectacular coral reef locations.


2. Scuba Diving

Reef Encounter is a fully outfitted dive boat with the best in scuba equipment included with your trip. Underwater guided tours are available and the locations visited are based on current weather conditions, guaranteeing the best Great Barrier Reef scuba experiences all year round. We also offer a great selection of scuba courses so you can develop your diving skills during your reef holiday! The experienced Reef Encounter Dive Team are dedicated to making your memories of the Great Barrier Reef last a lifetime. [More]


3. UNLIMITED Snorkelling

With five snorkel sessions per day, Reef Encounter offers superb snorkel experiences to people of all ages and abilities. Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or are new to the water world, the Reef Encounter team guarantee you a fun and safe way of seeing the Great Barrier Reef. Reef Encounter always parks in easy distance of spectacular snorkelling coral lagoons and has a purpose built platform on level with the ocean with easy access stairs into the water.

All snorkelling equipment and tuition is included in your trip. Guided snorkel tours are available free of charge; so whether you are a non-swimmer or you’re interested in learning about life beneath the waves, all of your snorkelling needs are taken care of! [More]


4. Award Winner

It’s a winner in the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Awards for ‘Unique Accommodation.’ Furthermore, every year our unbeatable crew are nominated for personal awards for outstanding customer service. Our helpful crew will be happy to assist wherever they can and we are a family friendly and disability friendly reef trip.


5. Excellent Cuisine


Reef Encounter prides itself on fabulous, locally sourced food cooked fresh everyday by our onboard chef. Included in your trip are 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 upon booking. *No alcohol may be consumed prior to water activities.


6. Accommodation

Reef Encounter has 21 spacious double or twin share state-room cabins. All rooms are air-conditioned and have uninterrupted ocean views with en-suite facilities. Australian toiletries are provided along with a supply of fresh bath towels and ocean towels. Reef Encounter also boasts unlimited hot showers! Unlike most charter boats Reef Encounter makes it’s own fresh water, meaning you are not limited to one short shower per day. [More]


7. Fabulous Facilities

Inside on Reef Encounter is fully air conditioned for your comfort. There are large lounge and dining areas, a fully licensed bar and a TV, DVD and games area. Outside there is ample deck space, a huge sundeck & loungers, an open air hot tub and even a helipad on the roof for those who wish to take a scenic flight and view the reef from the air. For anyone going scuba diving, Reef Encounter has two onboard compressors for quick air refills. Access to the water is easy with the purpose built platforms.


8. Daily Departures

Because transfers to and from Reef Encounter are provided daily by its high speed sister vessel, Reef Experience, you can stay as long as you like and work your reef trip around your other holiday plans! Your outward journey to the Great Barrier Reef includes bacon and egg rolls (or veggie burgers) for breakfast, served along with fruit, tea and coffee. On your return journey complimentary fruit, cheese and biscuit platters are provided along with a glass of Australian wine. Bus transfers to and from the Cairns Marina, or helicopter transfers to the reef are also available at an additional cost – see ‘Getting to Reef Encounter‘.


9. Glass bottom boat tours

Take a glass bottom boat tour and see the reef from above. The commentated glass bottom boat tours, available upon request, are included in your trip and are a great alternative to view the marine life beneath the surface and learn something along the way! (Glass bottom boat tours are weather permitting).


10. Six water sessions at multiple Reef locations per day

Plenty of chances to dive and snorkel and relax with six water sessions every day! With access to over 15 different diving and snorkelling destinations on five of the best Outer Barrier Reefs, we guarantee optimal in-water enjoyment. Locations are based on the weather, time of year and other unforeseeable circumstances and are chosen for your safety and comfort. (Night time water session is for scuba diving only).