We’re here to help make sure you have the Great Barrier Reef tour of a lifetime!

Here, you’ll find everything about your liveaboard reef tour explained – please be sure to spend a few minutes and read what we think is important about our trips…

Special Requirements

If you have any special requirements it is important to inform the Reef Encounter team prior to your trip. You can do this by leaving a note in the ‘Booking Message’ section of your online reservation or by contacting our friendly office, see Contact Us. Please inform us if you require cots for babies, if you have any special requirements such as dietary requirements, allergies, or have any disability/mobility issues that we should be aware of. Reef Encounter is able to cater to most peoples needs. We are a family friendly and disability friendly trip

Travel & Dive Insurance

All passengers are strongly advised to purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation insurance, evacuation and medical cover for all intended activities. Please read the wording of your insurance policy carefully and ensure it covers you for all potential activities, including scuba diving activities. In a medical emergency, any evacuation, vessel relocation, medical or other expenses are the financial responsibility of that passenger. Please be aware that scuba diving and other in-water activities are not covered by all travel insurance companies

Important Information for Scuba Divers

If you intend on scuba diving during your reef trip – or even think you may choose to give it a go once you’re there, you must read the SCUBA Divers – Important Information pageThe laws governing scuba diving in Australia are very different than in other countries so please read this page carefully so you know what to expect

This information applies to qualified Certified Divers, beginner Resort Divers and anyone participating in scuba diver training courses.

Many medical conditions, health issues and/or medications (both past and present) may prevent you from participating in scuba activities unless a dive medical certificate to Australian Standards AS4005.1 can be provided to the dive supervisor onboard. These include, but are not limited to; asthma, wheezing or use of an inhaler (for medication or sport), brain spinal cord or nervous disorder, chronic bronchitis or persistent chest complaint, most chest surgery, chest illness or condition (past or present), chronic sinuses, collapsed lung, diabetes, epilepsy, seizures, heart disease of any kind, some diseases, recurrent ear problems when flying, tuberculosis or other long-term lung disease, high or low blood pressure or anything that may cause fits, faints or blackouts. Some prescription and non prescription medications may also prevent you from diving (including some malaria prevention tablets) or require you to bring a medical certificate to Australian Standards AS4005.1 with you on your reef trip

Flying After SCUBA Diving

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.

For more information about scuba diving regulations, see our Scuba Divers Important Information page

Terms and Conditions

View Terms & Conditions

  • A compulsory fee of $15.00AUD per person per day is included in all prices given on this website, so there are no hidden costs. It is a sum that must be paid by all passengers travelling on tourist boats visiting the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, although many boats do not include the price upfront in their trip rates. This charge is a combination of Reef Tax which is the Australian Government charge to visit the National Park, a Port Charge, a fuel levy and a tax administration fee
  • 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. In a medical emergency, any evacuation, vessel relocation, medical or other expenses are the financial responsibility of that passenger. Please be aware that scuba diving and other in-water activities are not covered by all travel insurance companies
  • We reserve the right to change locations, prices, vessels and itineraries due to unforeseen circumstances and without notice, but will full consideration of safety. Each day the Captain will assess weather conditions and other technical issues to determine the vessels location
  • At the start of your tour with us, all persons are required to fill out a standard Queensland Medical Declaration form [view form]. For children, this form must be filled in and signed buy a parent or guardian. All questions must be answered honestly, as it is a legal document. Your safety is our primary concern. For snorkelers, this information will simply help us advise you accordingly regarding snorkeling safety. For scuba divers, some medical conditions and/or medications and/or health issues (both past and present) may prevent a person from participating in scuba diving activities. All potential scuba divers must read the ‘Scuba Divers Important Information page‘ to see if this may apply to them. If you are unsure of a medical or health condition or a medication, please contact us
  • If guests require private snorkel or scuba diving tours, they must book their trip with ‘Top Deck Club Accommodation’ – which includes a personal crew member solely assigned to your booking party for the duration of your stay
  • Please inform us of any special requirements prior to your date of travel; such as dietary requirements, allergies, mobility and disability issues
  • Two guests travelling together are required to book a double bed cabin, unless a traveler books a ‘sole occupancy cabin’, meaning they will not share a room with another guest. For persons in a twin share cabin, please inform us if you are a male or female if this is not already clear from your first name – as we strive to allocate twin bed rooms with others of the same sex where possible, unless a male and female are travelling together in the same booking party. Double or twin share rooming preferences are allocated on a first come, first served basis
  • SCUBA DIVING: All scuba divers booking a tour with Reef Encounter accept that they have read and agree to the ‘Scuba Divers Important Information Page’, and therefore are aware of the medical requirements for scuba within Australia and other information, terms and conditions of scuba diving with us
  • SCUBA DIVING: Minimum age for resort scuba diving or participation in scuba diver training is 12 years in Queensland, Australia
  • SCUBA DIVING: Minimum age for certified divers is 10 years. All junior divers must either be accompanied by a certified parent or guardian or must dive with a dive professional at an additional charge
  • SCUBA DIVING: No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives
  • SCUBA DIVING: No refunds will be offered for uncompleted dives due to medical / health / medication restrictions
  • SCUBA DIVING: Certified divers must be ‘Open Water Diver’ level or higher, and bring proof of their qualification with them to be checked by the the Dive Supervisor. If unable to verify your certification level we reserve the right to refuse a person scuba diving as a certified diver
  • SCUBA DIVING: Guided dives are available at every reef location for certified divers who choose to take a guided tour (additional charge) – otherwise divers will be buddied together to go scuba diving. Certified divers remain responsible for following safe diving practices and for their own safety
  • SCUBA DIVING: Non-qualified divers will be accompanied by a dive professional at all times – with a maximum of four persons to one Scuba Instructor

Luggage Requirements

  • 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 etc. As the air-conditioning is a set temperature for the heat during the day it can become quite cool in the evenings – even just being on the Great Barrier Reef can be cooler at night.  We therefore recommend bringing something warm to wear for the evenings (jumper/pullover/cardigan)
  • For large luggage pieces that are not required at the reef, we offer a free luggage storage facility at Reef Encounter’s office in the city – 100 Abbott Street, Cairns, Qld 4870. 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. IMPOTRANT – 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

Cancellation Policy

Please note we must receive at least 48 hours notice from you when rescheduling a reservation.

Please refer to cancellation fees below as this includes factors beyond your control including medical problems, airline delays, bad weather,
etc – Please refer to Trade Practices Act 1974. Travel insurance is highly recommended. Cancellation fees are as follows:

  • 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.