Reef Encounter

  • 42 - Pax
  • 5, 9, 13 - Dives
  • 1, 2, 3 - Nights

Contact us to check for discounts or specials that may be running prior to booking.

Reef Encounter operates daily 

Reef Encounter is a fully air-conditioned 35-meter catamaran hotel, designed for the utmost stability and comfort at sea.

She is a large, spacious overnight dive boat with 21 cabins, a combination of double, twin-share and stateroom, accommodating up to 42 guests.

Trips depart daily from Marlin Marina, and transfers are via the day trip vessel Reef Experience. Reef Encounter stays on the Reef and moves from site to site like a floating hotel. 2, 3 or 4-day trips are available across a variety of Outer Reef sites suitable for all levels of diver.

Reef Encounter stateroom cabins are either double (one double bed) or twin (two single beds), which can be selected at the same cost. When making your online reservation please tell us your room preference.

All cabins are air-conditioned and have their own ensuite facilities: linen is provided. Furthermore, Reef Encounter makes its own supply of freshwater. In other words, you can enjoy long hot showers at the end of your day of play on the Great Barrier Reef. There’s an air-conditioned dining saloon, bar and lounge (including a fully licensed bar and a TV, DVD and games area). Also a spacious exterior sundeck, complete with loungers and an open-air hot tub! There’s even a helipad on the roof for those wanting to book a scenic reef flight and a glass bottom boat, providing tours on demand.

Caters for snorkelers, certified divers, and also non-certified divers! Want to try diving but not licensed? As long as you can fulfil the medical requirements then we can offer an introductory dive package of 5-day time dives over a 2-day/1-night trip. More dives are available on longer trips. Alternatively, purchase a dive at a time once on board.

All dietary requirements will be met – please advise upon booking

Reef Sites visited: Norman Reef, Breaking Patches, Hastings Reef, Saxon Reef, Michaelmas Cay. See here for more detailed information on the dive sites

Top Deck Club

The Top Deck Club (similar to First Class on an airline) is designed to meet the expectations of the most discerning of guests. Most importantly it offers an unhurried, relaxed ambience. Luxurious touches such as crisp Australian bed linen, silk doona, cotton sheets and feather-down pillows adorn 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
  • A personal guide on all snorkel and dives

Introductory Diving packages

As long as you are medically fit and comfortable in the water, you can try Introductory SCUBA diving on board. Either pay per dive ($70 for the first-day dive and $65 for subsequent day dives) or take a dive package. 2-day/1-night trips offer up to 4-day dives and 3-day/2-night trips offer up to 7-day dives .

Children and babies

Cot hire and children’s beds are available add-ons that may be selected during your online booking. Cot hire is available for babies aged 0-2 years. Small rollaway beds are available for children 2-11 years and will go in the room with the parents. Children age 12 years and above must have a standard bed

Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Reef Encounter also has its very own glass bottom boat, and tours run free of charge upon request. Talk to our friendly crew onboard to organise your glass bottom boat excursion. (Glass bottom boat tours are weather permitting).

Helicopter

For the more adventurous, or those wanting the ultimate scenic experience, Reef Encounter can offer helicopter transfers to the boat, or scenic flights once on board. Contact us for more information.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary for a 3-day 2-night trip.

2-day 1-night trips use days 1 and 3 as a guide

Day 1
(Up to 2 Day Dives + 1 Night)

7:30 am Board the transfer vessel ‘Reef Experience’ at Cairns Marlin Marina for breakfast, check-in & your journey to Reef Encounter
9:30 am Arrive onboard Reef Encounter for your ‘Welcome & Safety Talk’ before being shown to your room to settle in and relax
10:30 am Water Session, time to snorkel for all guests before lunch
12:00 pm Lunch is served in the dining saloon
1:00 pm Water Briefings: Certified Diver / Try Scuba Diving / Snorkel Adventure Briefings
1:30 pm Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time
3:30 pm Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time – Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
6:00 pm Dinner is served in the dining saloon
6:45 pm Night Dive Briefings
7:00 pm Night dive commences for all those scuba diving
8:00 pm Desert is served in the dining saloon

Day 2
(2 Day Dives + 1 Night)

6:00 am Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session
6:30 am Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
7:30 am Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
10:30 am Water Session: Scuba Dive or Snorkel Time
12:00 pm Lunch is served in the dining saloon
1:30 pm Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time
3:30 pm Water Session: Scuba dive or snorkel time – Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
6:00 pm Dinner is served in the dining saloon
6:45 pm Night Dive Briefings
7:00 pm Night dive commences for all those scuba diving
8:00 pm Desert is served in the dining saloon

Day 3
(2 Day Dives)

6:00 am Wake-up call for the early morning dive and snorkel session
6:30 am Water Session: Sunrise scuba dive or snorkel time. Glass bottom boat tour available upon request
7:30 am Breakfast is served in the dining saloon
10:30 am Water Session: scuba dive or snorkel time
12:00 pm Lunch is served in the dining saloon
1:30 pm Water Session: snorkel-only session available to passengers before departure
2:45 pm Departing passengers board the transfer vessel ‘Reef Experience’ for the journey back to Cairns. Complimentary wine, cheese & biscuits served before the return journey
4:30 pm Approximate arrival time to the Cairns Marlin Marina

Reef Encounter - Rates + Bookings

Snorkeler 2 Day 1 Night $585.00
Snorkeler 3 Day 2 Night $825.00
Certified Diver 2 Day 1 Night $675.00
Certified Diver 3 Day 2 Night $955.00
Introductory diver 2 Day 1 Night $795.00
Introductory diver 3 Day 2 Night $1,175.00
wet suit hire (per day) $5.00
SSI Advanced course $250.00
Top Deck Club 2D 1N Snorkeler $940.00
Top Deck Club 2D 1N Diver $1,030.00
Top Deck Club 3D 2N Snorkeler $1,360.00
Top Deck Club 3D 2N Diver $1,530.00
Date of Travel

Reef taxes included.

Prices valid until 31st March 2025

Note: Introductory dives can be arranged on board. Contact us for prices

Note: A Public Holiday surcharge of $100 per person is applicable for all travel from 28/03/2024 to 02/04/2024 AND from the 23/12/2024 to 01/01/2025.

Inclusions

  • All meals and light refreshments
  • Freshwater showers
  • Snorkelling equipment and instruction
  • Glass Bottom Boat Tours
  • Reef Video Presentation
  • Marine Biologist Presentation
  • Diving equipment is included (excludes wet suit) when booking a dive package
  • Bed linen, towels, and toiletries (soap & shampoo)
  • Reef Taxes $15 per person per day

Extras

  • Wetsuits hire for $5.00 per day
  • Prescription masks on board the boat for $10.00 per day
  • Guided dives
  • Transfers from accommodation (City $20/Northern Beaches $30)

Note: All Certified dives are unguided, which allows you to dive in your own buddy pairs, and explore the Great Barrier Reef. If you would like a dive guide cost is $15.00 per person per dive, and can be organized onboard.