Reef Encounter

Sleep at the Reef

  • Boutique Floating Hotel
  • Cabins with Ensuites
Inc. all levies & taxes

Reef Encounter Info

Reef Encounter Liveaboard #1 on Trip Advisor - specialty accommodation

The ultimate way to see the Great Barrier Reef is to live and sleep on the reef.

Reef Encounter is a 35 metre catamaran designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea, accommodating up to 42 guests, This is truly a personalised reef experience for everyone.

Reef Encounter visits between two to three different dive and snorkel locations per day based on the optimal weather conditions. With exclusive dive and snorkel mooring sites across Cairns beautiful Outer Great Barrier Reefs, the best locations are selected based on the weather and time of year to make every reef encounter unforgettable!

What Makes it Great:

  • Daily departures
  • FREE 10 minute Scuba Diving Lesson
  • All meals included
  • Reef Sites visited: Norman Reef, Breaking Patches, Hastings Reef, Saxon Reef, Michaelmas Cay


  • Chef prepared meals made fresh daily on-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Complimentary Tea, Coffee & fruit
  • Glass bottom boat tour
  • Linen & towels provided
  • Snorkel & Dive Equipment
  • Free Scuba Lessons for Snorkellers

Facilities on-board:
  • 21 twin or double Stateroom Cabins with private bathrooms and ocean view
  • Staterooms can cater for up to 2 people
  • Air-conditioning
  • Fully Licensed Bar
  • Dining Saloon
  • Lounge Room with TV, DVD & Games
  • Heated outdoor spa
  • Easy access to snorkelling / scuba dive platform
  • Dive Tender vessels
  • Spacious Sun Deck with sun lounges
  • Heli Pad

Getting to Reef Encounter:
The Reef Encounter is permanently moored on the Great Barrier Reef. Transfers and returns to Reef Encounter are conducted daily via Reef Experience. Click here for more info

For something really special, why not arrive in style with a Heli-flight! Helicopter transfers are available from Cairns or Port Douglas, landing directly onboard Reef Encounter's exclusive helipad.

Reef Encounter caters to snorkelers of all abilities. Experienced snorkellers are free to explore the reef at their own pace and will find an abundance of fish and other marine life in colourful coral formations close to the boat. Each reef location offers different areas to explore and site briefings are given by friendly crew before each snorkel session to let you know the best spots! For those not so confident in the water, friendly crew are are available free of charge as snorkel guides who can assist with swimming to ensure you see as much as you can on every snorkel tour.


Itinerary is subject to change without notice. Reef Encounter visits between two to three different dive and snorkel locations per day based on the optimal weather conditions. All times and locations are subject to change and are at the discretion of the Captain, for the comfort and welfare of our passengers and the ship.

Day 1

07.30 - Board the transfer vessel ?Reef Experience? at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in and your journey to Reef Encounter
09.30 - Arrive on-board Reef Encounter for your ?Welcome & Safety Talk? before being shown to your room to settle in and relax
10.30 - Water Session: Time to snorkel for all guests before lunch
12.00 - Lunch is served in the dining saloon
13.00 - Water activities
13.30 - Water activities
15:30 - Water activities. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
18:00 - Dinner is served in the dining saloon
19:30 - Night dive commences for all those scuba diving (charges apply)
20:00 - Desert is served in the dining saloon

Day 2 of Two Day Live-aboard (Departure Day) (Same for last day of Three or Four Day Live-aboard)

06.00 - Wake-up call for the early morning water activities
06:30 - Water activities. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
07:30 - Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
08:30 - Water activities
10:30 - Water activities
12:00 - Lunch is served in the dining saloon
13:30 - Water Session: Snorkel only session available to all passengers before departure
14:45 - Departing passengers board the transfer vessel ?Reef Experience? for the journey back to Cairns.  Complimentary wine, cheese and biscuits served before the return journey.
16:30 - Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

Day 2 of Three or Four Day Live-aboard

06.00 - Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session
06:30 - Water activities. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
07:30 - Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
08:30 - Water activities
10:30 - Water activities
12:00 - Lunch is served in the dining saloon
13:30 - Water activities
15:30 - Water activities. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
18:00 - Dinner is served in the dining saloon
19:30 - Night dive commences for all those scuba diving (charges apply)
20:00 - Desert is served in the dining saloon

Day 3 of Three Day Live-aboard is the same as the Day 2 of Two day live-aboard
Day 4 of Four Day Live-aboard is the same as the Day 2 of Two day live-aboard

Extra costs:

  • Wet suit hire & night torch hire
  • Scuba Diving
  • Dive Guides
  • Snacks & Drinks from the bar
  • Underwater camera hire
  • Transfers from your hotel

Certified Scuba Divers:
For certified scuba divers, dive sites range between 8 meters (25 feet) to 30 meters (100 feet) depending on each divers qualification and experience. Enjoy underwater swim-throughs, beautiful coral drop-offs and schools of multi-coloured fish. Modern dive equipment including dive computers are included.

Introductory Diving: (Try Scuba Diving - no experience necessary)
Test the water on a ?Try Resort Scuba Diving? trip. Beginners can try scuba diving in calm and shallow lagoons full of tropical marine life that are ideally located close to the boat so that you can get used to the feeling of the underwater world in a safe and fun environment. All resort dives are guided in small groups of no more than four passengers to one experienced Scuba Diving Instructor. A try diving trip is simply the best way for those who don?t have any prior scuba training to get up close and personal with the reef creatures and even have the option to try scuba diving in the dark on a Resort Night Dive!

Top Deck Club  is designed to meet the expectations of the most discerning of guests, offering an unhurried, relaxed ambience. Luxurious touches such as crisp Australian bed linen, silk doona, cotton sheets and feather down pillows adorn our oversized double beds. Soft fluffy robes, plush bath sheets and Australian beauty products are replenished daily.

  • Valet service
  • Champagne on arrival
  • Tropical breakfast served in your room daily
  • Complimentary sunset cocktails
  • Gourmet chef prepared meals with the option of dining under the stars or on the top deck (weather permitting)
  • Turndown service
  • Personal guide on all snorkel and dives

What to Bring:
  • Swimwear, personal toiletries, casual clothes, certification card or diver?s logbook, cash or credit card, hat, sunscreen.

Some Medical conditions and or medication may stop you from participating in Scuba Diving these include Asthma or wheezing. Brain spinal cord or nervous disorder, chronic bronchitis or persistent chest complaint, chronic sinus, collapsed lung, diabetes mellitus, chest surgery, Epilepsy, Fainting, Seizure or blackouts, Heart Disease of any kind, recurrent ear problems when flying, tuberculosis or other long-term lung disease and High blood pressure.

Flying after Diving:
You should not travel to a high altitude (fly or drive above 8000 feet) within 12 hours of completing a single dive or 18 hours after multiple dives. It is recommended that you leave a minimum of 18 ? 24 hours after your last dive before flying. You can fly then dive the same day, however not dive then fly. You will complete your last dive at around 12 noon on the last day of your Reef Encounter trip, so flying any time after 12 noon the following day is recommended.

  • No BYO (alcohol is available for purchase onboard)
  • No alcohol may be consumed prior to water activities
  • Please advise if you have any dietary requirements
  • Glass bottom boat tours are weather permitting

$100 surcharge applies to guests staying between 23rd - 31st December.  This is paid directly to operator.

All payments made to Travstar do not incur a credit card surcharge.

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Reef Encounter Rates

All prices shown in Australian Dollars

Prices valid from now until 31 March 2030

3 Day/ 2 Night Adult Children Family Enquire
Cert -3D/2N Stateroom, Double $835 $835 n/a Book


Child Age = 3+

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