Stateroom – Liveaboard Accommodations

Click ‘Book’ to select your arrival and departure dates – and then choose your desired activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling or enroll on a dive course.

Australia’s luxury floating hotel ‘Reef Encounter’ on the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns premier liveaboard ‘Reef Encounter’ – surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef – is one of the most unique holiday escapes in Australia.

Live and sleep on the reef and see it at its best – day and night!

Consistently rated ‘number one’ scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard by both industry professionals and independent reviewers such as Trip Advisor, Reef Encounter is large enough to provide all the comforts of a cruise ship yet small enough to access spectacular reef locations not accessible to other vessels.

Family owned and operated (and all scuba enthusiasts) it is our passion to deliver outstanding Great Barrier Reef encounters. We take extreme pride in our products, our boats, our crew and most importantly, our guests! We believe that Reef Encounter is unbeatable on service and value.

Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or choose to upgrade to the Top Deck Club for that extra bit of VIP luxury. With daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter, Reef Encounter is an excellent alternative to a resort based holiday.

Reef Encounter Facilities

  • A fully air conditioned 35 metre catamaran hotel, designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea
  • Large dining saloon
  • TV and lounge area
  • Outdoor, fresh water hot-tub
  • Spacious sundeck with sun loungers
  • Fully licenced bar
  • Large, easy access dive and snorkel platforms
  • Helicopter pad on the roof for low-flying scenic helicopter tours over the coral reef as your transfer to/from Reef Encounter (optional extra)

Reef Encounter Accommodation

  • Spacious, air-conditioned cabins – with ocean views
  • All cabins have their own en-suite toilet & shower
  • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo)
  • All cabins have Australian power outlets
  • Stateroom Check In time is 10.00am
  • Check Out time 8.00am on morning of departure (access to a shared transfer/baggage room with bathroom is available along with access to all other boat facilities)

What’s Included

  • Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Encounter
  • All meals prepared fresh daily, by our onboard Chef. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert. Fruit available throughout the day along with tea & coffee. All dietary requirements will be catered for – please advise us of these when booking
  • The best crew on the reef! The Reef Encounter team is the best in the business, winning personal and professional awards for outstanding customer service in the tourism industry year after year
  • The latest snorkelling and scuba diving equipment (wetsuits are a small additional charge)
  • Glass bottom boat tour upon request
  • On the voyage to Reef Encounter, you will have the option to listen to an informative Marine Biology presentation about the coral reef and marine animals
  • Free luggage storage facility available at our offices in the Cairns City

 

Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating
Based on 902 traveller reviews
TripAdvisor Ranking #1 of 84 Speciality lodging in Cairns
Most Recent Traveller Reviews
  • 23 Sep 2017: wonderful trip to GBR
  • 20 Sep 2017: Fantastic night on the Great Barrier Reef
  • 18 Sep 2017: Dive livesboard
  • 14 Sep 2017: Fantastic experience
  • 13 Sep 2017: Awesome experienced
© 2018 TripAdvisor LLC

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53 Reviews for “Stateroom - Liveaboard”

  1. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Natalie
    5

    We had a sensational time. Both being experienced divers we LOVED not having to be tied to a guide and babysat – it really does make sooooo much difference to the day! The accommodation was beyond expectation, as was the food (homemade chocolate brownie …. I thanked the Chef personally on the transfer back to Cairns it was so good!) the staff just lovely and the hot tub the icing on the cake after the night dive to look at the stars. Nothing felt rushed, we didn’t feel herded like cats and although only on for one night, met some lovely people, one of which we have exchanged emails with to get together diving again! Such incredible value for money. Love that there is still another small, family business delivering such an incredible product in this region. We are saving up to come again – next time for two nights!!!! Nat xxx

    Reply
  2. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Liza
    5

    Reef Encounter was the best choice when I needed a holiday and this looked awesome. Crew is amazing! Food and accommodations are amazing and above expectations! Thank you guys so much for making this trip awesome! Keep doing what you are doing! and Tayler was awesome. Keep doing what you doing, girl! Great person to be around!

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  3. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Karen
    5

    I booked it cause of the positive reviews and ability to live abroad. The crew were fantastic, friendly and funny. Willing to go the extra mile (kilometre)! Photographer was amazing! The rooms are stupendous - great vies and comfort. Meals imaginative and satisfying. We especially appreciated Kieran and eating on the deck. Our trip with Reef Encounter exceeded our expectations. The way logistics were handled were impressive, as well as the attention to both safety and comfort. Great job, guys !!!

    Reply
  4. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Yoganya
    5

    Very friendly & helpful. Hitomi was an absolutely awesome dive instructor- thank you! Accommodation was very comfortable and more spacious than expected - very comfy couches and beds. Meals were good, all dietary requirements met with enthusiasm. We had a wonderful time, thank you to all the crew who looked after us. It might be a few years before I'm back, but will definitely come with you guys again!

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  5. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Katie
    5

    The crew were friendly, approachable and able to provide helpful information re. locations, equipment, and the daily schedule. The meals were excellent and the room was very comfortable and clean. Lovely warm shower! I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 day stay on Reef Encounter and would definitely recommend it!

    Reply
  6. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Alexandra
    5

    I chose Reef Encounter Top Deck cause of its small size, top deck experience and excellent reviews. The crew were amazing! Jacob was so great. He took excellent care of us and we had a lot of fun. The food was delicious. The rooms were lovely. I had a wonderful experience! Perfect way to experience the Great Barrier Reef. I will forever treasure the experience and the memories.

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  7. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Deborah Burger
    5

    Everything was as advertised and more. I booked online and was able to speak to a representative, who answered my questions. The boat and the whole team were beyond expectations. They even did things for people before they asked and were spot on. I was there for 7 days 6 nights and saw the turnover of the staff, all were so much fun and also took their jobs seriously to ensure our safety. I loved it and would book with them again and again. The main reason for choosing them was the very flexible schedule for taking people to stay on the reef. My schedule didn't fit some of the other dive companies trip schedules. Their boat schedule allowed maximum time out on the reefs... I thank everyone on Reef Experience, you made my vacation so relaxing and memorable.

    Reply
  8. Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard review by Tom
    5

    I booked the liveaboard on Reef Encounter cause of the friendly salesman at office. The crew were fabulous. The food was yam, the rooms were clean and comfortable. Keep on doing that good work guys. It was a pleasure to stay with you! We will remember this trip for a long time. Thanks for all from Switzerland :)

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  9. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Brendon
    5

    It is a very good value, good reviews. The crew were absolutely brilliant, everyone including hostes made the trip awesome, cant thank them enough!!! The meals were excellent. The rooms were above the expectaions. Keep doing what you are doing, it is a fantastic experience, we are already talking about booking another trip with you guys. Cheers!!!

    Reply
  10. Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard review by Colin
    5

    Great recommendations from multiple people. had nothing but wonderful things to say. Crew is Amazing! Every single crew member was so kind, helpful and entertaining. Whenever I had a question I could ask anyone and they would know the answer and who/where to direct me to. The meals were perfect. Seriously, both of the chefs did such a great job with every meal. By the third day I almost had to go up a wetsuit size. 10 out of 10 would recommend Reef Encounter to all family/friends. Had the best birthday, I'm certain, I'll ever have thanks for making it special. Latly, thaks especially Hitomi, Sam and Elle for such a wonderful 4 days - I will never forget it.

    Reply
  11. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Jon
    5

    It was my last minute decision to do a liveaboard, and you depart everyday. The crew is fabulous, so friendly and helpful, they were a joy to spend time with. Very considerate of everyone's needs, just lovely people. Food was superb, meals were delicious, varied, and frequent. Was never left unsatisfied. Beds were great, slept like a baby. You all were the best! Would definitely like to come back for a longer stay. Quality people, quality boat, quality gear. Top marks all around.

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  12. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Julie Sheather
    5

    I did a 3 night dive package and I wish it had been longer, the diving was magnificent, the facilities were well above what I expected and the crew exceptional, I will definitely be back!

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  13. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Roxanne
    5

    The crew are absolutely the best! You are hard workers and always smiling! Thank you for everything. Food was nothing but perfect. The cook could be compared to superman! We had so much fun here on the boat and under water. I saw an octopus!! Each dive was completely amazing and we are more than happy. Thanks!!

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  14. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Ian
    5

    Nothing was ever a trouble for the crew, really great fun bunch. Slept like a baby, food was great, tasty & healthy. Well worth it. I wish time allowed and I would have stayed longer. I will definitely come back.

    Reply
  15. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Kate
    5

    The crew were so helpful with my special diving needs. Mike was a wonderful, calm, accommodating dive guide. Accommodation was very comfortable and the food was perfect. Surpassed expectations. One of the most comfortable dive boats I've been on, all around. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  16. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Stuart
    5

    The accommodation was a lot better and bigger than expected! The meals were amazing with good portion sizes. Would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys diving or snorkelling.

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  17. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Julie & William
    5

    The crew was just amazing! They are always here for you! They are friendly and helpful in each situations! The food was really good and with a good diversity, and the accommodation was so comfortable. Thanks for all, we hope to come back soon!

    Reply
  18. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Marie
    5

    Great food, healthy, carefully prepared, beautifully presented. I enjoyed everything about the cruise and most importantly, I felt our safety was of upmost importance. I would definitely recommend this trip to "just snorkelers", those who want to learn to dive & experienced divers

    Reply
  19. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Nab & Naz
    5

    The crew were great. Hitomi is an amazing instructor, Ellie was great at keeping us comfortable. Slept well, plenty of hot water and the food was excellent. Appreciate the effort taken to accommodate our dietary requirements. Reef Encounter provided one of the most unique and treasured experiences for us so far. Gaining the skills to dive with a great instructor and then exploring the reef in absolute comfort - highly recommend.

    Reply
  20. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Tiffany
    5

    The crew exceeded my expectations! They were all so helpful and friendly. I really enjoyed getting to know them! The food was delicious and of great quality. Thank you so much for a fantastic scuba trip! We will never forget it. And we will be recommending this experience to everyone we know!

    Reply
  21. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Cathy Sanderson
    5

    Our family of 5 visited the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) last week. It was an amazing experience which I cannot recommend highly enough. The whole experience was excellent, from safety, crew, food and friendliness. My husband and 3 boys were looked after by Cait, who guided them on every dive. She was kind, helpful and always had a smile on her face. She never seemed to stop working and helping out. I snorkelled, with Luke occasionally coming along with me to show me things I wouldn't normally appreciate. The entire crew was fantastic, from the chef, Rodrigues, who baked a birthday cake for my son on his final day on board, to Tito, the photographer, who took some wonderful photos and gave my family tips on underwater photography. Safety was paramount, but did not detract from the fun vibe on board. Seriously, this is one of the best things we have ever done - if you have not been to the GBR, then visit it with these guys, who know great spots and look after you. And the Reef is beautiful; another world !! Cheers, Cathy (from Sydney, NSW)

    Reply
  22. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Cathy Sanderson
    5

    Our family of 5 had a truly wonderful time aboard Reef Encounter. My husband and teenage sons scuba-dived and I snorkelled. Cait, who went with my husband and sons was wonderful; she guided them on every dive which has really boosted their confidence. She always had a smile and sought us out to ask what we wanted to do next. We saw lots of sea life and had calm seas and warm breezes!! My son turned 19 whilst we were on board and the chef, Rodriguez, baked him a cake which made his day!! The entire crew made and signed a card for him as well which was really thoughtful. Tito, the photographer, took some awesome shots which will be a lovely reminder of a great few days out on the Reef. All the crew were friendly and helpful (felt like family); and the whole trip/ water sessions were conducted with safety as a priority, without being onerous ie it still felt like being on holiday. Couldn't recommend this experience highly enough. Cheers, Cathy

    Reply
  23. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Flemming
    5

    We (mom, dad, 2 grown up children) booked the stay because they had good reviews. We stayed for 2 nights. I dont know where to start. They claim, they have the best crew on the Reef. That is an understatement :). They were fantastic. None of us had any diving expreience, but Niki (our dive instructor) did a great job guiding us through the OpenWaterDiver course and got us certified in the end. The rooms were excellent, the food was super and the atmosphere was friendly and professional. The entire stay was very well organized. It is a must for anyone wanting a great diving experience and see the Reef as well.

    Reply
  24. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Crystal
    5

    I booked Reef Encounter because of Top Deck VIP package. The crew is great! Very accommodating and helpful. Accommodations is good. Top Deck room was very comfortable with amazing views of the reef! Shinee and Kate were amazing! They made sue we had everything that we needed and made us feel very safe and comfortable in the water.

    Reply
  25. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Oliver, Peter and Claudia
    5

    I booked Reef Encounter because of good reviews on Trip Advisor. The Crew was amazing and very friendly and professional. Meals were awesome. This was the best holiday in our life!!!

    Reply
  26. Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard review by Sarah
    5

    I booked my overnight reef trip with Reef Encounter. I made my choice cause they had good reviews. The crew was incredibly friendly and helpful with everything, especially our dive instructor Nikki was amazingly kind and patient and made this a once in a lifetime experience. The meal providing exceeded all my expectations and were absolutely delicious. It was also great how they were able to work with all dietary restrictions. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to be on this boat with the amazing crew, food, and experiences. Another big thank you to Nikki for being the best and extremely patient with our group. Thank you !!!

    Reply
  27. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Caroline
    5

    I chose Reef Encounter because of good ratings, ability to stay onboard and take dive training. All the crew were friendly, attentive, helpful. Michelle, my dive instructor, was excellent. She was patient through, and extremely careful. The photographers were both excellent too. Accommodation was actually better than I expected. The bed was too comfortable with the rocking boat, it was way too easy to fall asleep. The food was very nice. I cannot say enough positive things about Michelle. Their was a high anxiety undertaking for me, I am not sure anyone else could have encouraged me through it. She is a calmly influence :)

    Reply
  28. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Ann McInroy
    5

    Wonderful experience for the whole family! Crew was incredible, rooms were clean and comfy, and food was great. Overall, can't recommend highly enough!

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  29. Stateroom Liveaboard review by John
    5

    "Amazing. Jackson was great, not only as a dive instructor and guide but as a friend. Travelling alone 1/2 way across the world away from family, the value of a friend and a great experience with every other member of the crew simply cannot be put into words. I will definitely recommend y'all to my friends and colleagues. The room was great, far better than expected and larger. The meals were great, I was very happy that my dietary needs were met easily. Adding additional dive training into an already great diving experience gave me a feeling of accomplishment and added immeasurably to my dive vacation. I would recommend this to any level diver traveling."

    Reply
  30. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Shelly
    5

    "The crew are exceptional...so helpful & friendly. The meals and accommodation provided are outstanding. Thank you all for the great time."

    Reply
  31. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Eoin
    5

    Brilliant!!! Easy recommendation and availability for my time in Cairns. Boat crew work very well with each other and are willing to do what is needed. Accommodation is very good. Food was great. It is a very professional team.

    Reply
  32. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Annabelle
    5

    Brilliant! I chose Reef Encounter because I could book the full Certified dive package. The crew were like a family to us. Everybody was genuine and kind. The dive instructor made us really calm and comfortable with all the info we had to take on. Meals were amazing. They accommodated our dietary needs with such care and pride. Rooms were great and comfy. Totally raving about this crew, company and experience !!!

    Reply
  33. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Wayne
    5

    Certification to dive was easy. The crew were amazing and they made our time fun and enjoyable. Food was great. The kitchen staff made the food choice available to accommodate for gluten and dairy free diet.

    Reply
  34. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Niwle
    5

    The crew were amazing! went above and beyond for myself and my family. They made this trip even better. The accommodation was excellent, everything was better than I expected. They even made meals that were dairy free to fit my dietary needs

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  35. Bonnie
    5

    The crew were Awesome! Very friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. The accommodation were very good, the meals were outstanding, I have to leave 5 star eating restaurant food.

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  36. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Barret
    5

    "Very friendly! Great crew, organised and very obvious that they wanted to keep us safe and want us to have fun." "Very good food, rooms were nicer than expected." "Thanks!!"

    Reply
  37. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Molly
    5

    The crew wer wonderful, everyone was always super helpful. Our guide Mike was outstanding! Wonderful food! So Yummy. Mike was great and was wonderful to have as a guide. Very friendly.

    Reply
  38. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Bill
    5

    "Fantastic crew. Michael is a great dive master guide, Marley was also excellent. Rest of crew was very accommodating, friendly and makes us feel like family. Room was very comfortable overall ship is great. Meals were excellent! You'll get 5 stars from us on Trip Advisor!"

    Reply
  39. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Dolores
    5

    "The crew was great, very helpful with all activities. Amazing meals, the accommodation was very clean and comfy. Thank you for everything, it was my first time diving and I had a great time!"

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  40. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Nathan
    5

    "Find overall experience great. No hassles and everything ran smoothly. Exceptional rooms -- Food was unreal. Bedding and showers above expectations."

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  41. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Ha Phan
    5

    I signed up for Reef experience one day tour scuba dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. I was recommended to book this tour by the hostel I stayed at in Airlie Beach. I didn’t have much time so I need to book everything in advanced. Everything was so professional. We were given each a safety number, this is how they assigned the snorkeling gears to us and also to keep track of us. We boarded the boat and one of the engine died so we had to move to another boat of another tour. Even with the chaos of 2 tours on the same boat, but the crews of 2 tours worked so cooperatively and professionally. I love the safety video playing at the beginning of our trip. So out of the box, not boring at all and got everybody attention. We had to fill out forms for these kind of activities. They do take it seriously. When I remember in south east Asia, you have to rent a life jacket for snorkeling tour in Indonesia. I am a certified diver so I had my private briefing session and I got to dive for 40’ with a dive master, Damien. It was so cool to see so many beautiful fishes and the coral. I couldn’t do a second dive because I’m flying out early the next morning so at the second spot, I joined a marine biology tour which costs $25. It was lead by Campbell and it was so educational. I definitely recommend to do this for an additional of $25 but you learn a lot more and he is so knowledgeable and passionate about his job. Breakfast, lunch and wine and cheese and crackers were provided. Overall, this is a wonderful experience and I recommend to do this tour with Reef experience.

    Reply
  42. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Laurens
    5

    Superb

    Reply
  43. Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard review by Laura
    5

    Amazing diving experience Highly recommend this company. We had amazing 5 day stay on the reef encounter. All services were delivered in a professional and timely matter. The staff were very friendly and professional. The overall accommodation was very comfortable, clean and created a nice atmosphere. The food was beyond what I expected for a live aboard. The diving was some of the best I've ever done thanks to the great dive masters and guides.

    Reply
  44. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Ineke
    5

    Amazing diving experience Highly recommend this company. We had amazing 5 day stay on the reef encounter. All services were delivered in a professional and timely matter. The staff were very friendly and professional. The overall accommodation was very comfortable, clean and created a nice atmosphere. The food was beyond what I expected for a live aboard. The diving was some of the best I've ever done thanks to the great dive masters and guides.

    Reply
  45. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Walker Pabis
    5

    Amazing experience. Everything very exciting, living in a boat even for 1night is pretty good. You should try. Excellent crew, awesome diving spots. We saw turtles, sharks, octopus, stingrays and thousands of different fishes. I enjoy every moment.

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  46. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Tom
    5

    For us the Reef Encounter was a trip of a life time and highly recommend it for Scuba divers and mariners. Food was always great with good variety, have any food allergies, no problem they will custom make your meal. The staff were the best, made me feel like being 25 again. We spent 4 days and 3 nights and should have stayer longer. I had a dive guide and would recommend one as each reef has different underwater sites and layout. All dive equipment was all in good shape and there is no need to bring your own.

    Reply
  47. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Bart
    5

    Highly recommend this comapany!! All services delivered in a timely and professional matter. We had an amazing 5 day stay thanks to the very friendly and professional staff. Very organized experience, the food was great and the overall accommodation was comfortable and clean. The diving was some of the best I've done thanks to the excellent dive guides on board.

    Reply
  48. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Lynette
    5

    Excellent staff, excellent accommodations, excellent food. The rooms were beautifully and promptly maintained. There were ample water events which were professionally supervised. Staff were at all times efficient, courteous, and friendly. The atmosphere was terrific.

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  49. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Gladys Patricia Vargas
    5

    I went with my friends and my husband to this reef experience. We chose and booked through Reef-Encounter our experience. From the beginning we received the guidance and support we needed. I found the experience not only exciting, but we also felt confident and safe doing it. The staff was very professional and knowledgeable. The food was absolutely delicious and the rooms clean and comfortable.

    Reply
  50. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Lucinda Boffa
    5

    Absolutely Fabulous!! Had an incredible three days with this amazing crew!

    Reply
  51. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Graham Spiers
    5

    I had a great time spending 3 days and 2 nights on the Reef Encounter. The crew are very friendly and helpful, the meals were great and the accommodation is very comfortable. Had an excellent time scuba diving, saw plenty of turtles, fish and reef sharks.

    Reply
  52. Stateroom – Liveaboard review by Chelsea Coupar
    5

    Best part of my trip to north QLD!! I could not fault the tour, the company, the employees or the boat. All the workers were so friendly and genuinely love their jobs and helping everyone onboard enjoy their time, this made the trip on the boat so fun and informative. I would recommended this tour to absolutely anyone venturing to cairns, it is a 100% hands down must do experience. I would recommended spending at the very least 1 night on board the boat. If I could do it again I would spend a few days aboard. This tour with this company is a must do for anyone visiting cairns!

    Reply
  53. Stateroom Liveaboard review by Kristi B
    5

    Our stay (my sister and I) aboard Reef Encounter was an incredible experience. The dive master, Macca, was incredibly friendly, kind when I had some issues, and made me feel confident in what was going on. Our dive guide, Dan, was also exceptional and I can't say enough about how great he was when I had some issues diving. The food was amazing, in fact for most meals there was way more food that a single person could eat. Although we did try. The rooms were more than comfortable and we found that the rocking of the boat made for a great night's sleep. The diving was beautiful even though during our time the weather was cloudy and the water was fairly choppy. I wish we had much more time.

    Reply

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