Reef Encounter Accommodations

Twin Bed Stateroom Cabin - Reef Encounter

Twin Share

2 x Single beds, ensuite Stateroom. Share with another guest


Double Bed

1 x Double bed, ensuite Stateroom. Requires two guests or sole occupancy


Reef Encounter Stateroom accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef

Reef Encounter accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef with non-stop aquatic activities all day.

When you arrive at the Great Barrier Reef for the first time, and you see the stunning blue clear waters, that is the start of when you fall in love with the GBR.

Then, the next step is diving into the water as a snorkeler or a scuba diver, and you come face to face with the iridescent tropical fish.

While taking in more colours than you have ever seen, a giant sea turtle glides slowly past.  Then, you think, oh my goodness, I don’t ever want to leave.

That’s the real reason to opt for a few days on the Great Barrier Reef rather than a few hours.


Our boutique is a floating hotel that is the best way to see the Great Barrier Reef.

Accommodating 42 guests, Reef Encounter is always at a spectacular outer barrier Reef with unlimited time for aquatic adventures.

The journey begins in Cairns when our guests board our sister boat, Reef Experience, to transfer to the outer barrier reef and our floating hotel.

Once onboard, our fantastic crew will take care of everything for you, from delicious chef-prepared meals to delicious local barista coffee.

Accommodation on Reef Encounter is in a stateroom with large picture windows, all with Great Barrier Reef views.  Our staterooms are 12.5 square metres, and all have private ensuite bathrooms.

Next to all of us who think food is important

We have an onboard chef who always gets fantastic reviews. We use delicious, locally sourced produce and can cater to all dietary requirements.

You will always have a healthy appetite when you spend your days swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Every day, we ask our clients to complete comment cards, and every single one of those comment cards says that the food is excellent.

Aquatic Adventures

Our packages cater for snorkelers and scuba divers, from first-timers to advanced ones.

We are consistently rated the ‘number one scuba diving and snorkelling liveaboard’ by industry professionals and independent reviewers, such as Google.

Reef Encounter is large enough to provide the comfort of a cruise ship but small enough to access spectacular reef locations that are inaccessible to other vessels.

This family-owned and operated business is passionate about delivering outstanding Great Barrier Reef encounters.

We take extreme pride in our products, boats, crew, and, most importantly, guests, ensuring every GBR experience is the best.

Stay for as many nights as you like in superbly appointed staterooms, or upgrade to the Top Deck Club for that extra luxury.

With daily transfers from Cairns by boat or helicopter.

Marine Life

Great Barrier Reef accommodation 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, freshwater 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.

Great Barrier Reef Accommodation

  • Check-in time: 10:00 am Check-Out time: 8 a.m. once you are onboard Reef Encounter.
  • Spacious, air-conditioned staterooms with ocean views
  • All staterooms have ensuite toilets and showers.
  • Towels and toiletries provided (soap, shampoo and conditioner)
  • All staterooms have Australian power outlets

What’s Included

Great Barrier Reef Accommodation Itinerary Sample

Day One

7:30 am Breakfast onboard Reef Experience, Marlin Jetty “A” Finger, Cairns.  Meet your Top Deck Attendant.

8:00 am Depart Marlin Jetty Marine Biologist Presentation Scuba Diving and Snorkel briefing

9:30 am Arrive Outer Great Barrier Reef ~ Transfer to Reef Encounter

10:30 am Snorkel Session: suntan and relax

Noon Buffet Lunch

1:30 pm Scuba Dive and Snorkel Session: Relaxation time

3:00 pm Cruise to our following Outer Great Barrier Reef Location

3:30 pm Scuba Dive and Snorkel Session: Relaxation Time

5:30 pm Sunset Cocktails

6:30 pm Dinner under the stars (weather permitting)

7:30 pm Night scuba dive and then head to the hot tub or the sundeck to see the Milky Way.

Day Two

6:30 am Early Morning Scuba Dive and Snorkel Session

7:30 am Delicious hot and cold Breakfast

8:00 am Cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef Site

8:30 am Scuba Dive and Snorkel session

10:30 am Scuba Dive and Snorkel session

Noon Buffet Lunch

1:30 pm Water Session, snorkelling, Glass Bottom Boat tour, sunbake and relax

3:00 pm: Next transfer from Reef Encounter to Reef Experience.

Then sit back and enjoy a glass of  Wine, Cheese and Tropical Fruit Platters.

4:30 pm. Then arrive at Marlin Marina Cairns.

Itineraries can change slightly due to different Season


Combine Reef Encounter with one of our fantastic tour packages.

Reef Encounter visits the following Outer Barrier Reef locations.




Nothing compares with how amazing it is to stay on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef!

While you are on board, there will be plenty of opportunities to Snorkel and scuba dive with brightly coloured fish and coral.

At night, take in the stars from the top deck or our onboard heated hot tub.


Included in Reef Encounter Stateroom packages

  • Great Barrier Reef accommodation with Reef Encounter, Cairns best Great Barrier Reef liveaboard
  • A variety of spectacular outer Great Barrier Reef locations during your stay
  • Snorkelling or scuba diving, depending on which you select upon booking.
  • Delicious  fresh meals
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Breakfast and lunch is served in a buffet format. Dinner is plated. Fruit is available throughout the day, along with tea and coffee.
  • All dietary requirements will be catered for – please advise us of these when booking.

Optional Extras

  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Tshirts and hats
  • Snacks
  • Photos
  • Wetsuit hire (Please note stinger suits are provided during wet season/summer from November to May)

What to bring

What to bring

  • Hat,
  • Sunglasses
  • light jacket
  • socks
  • Camera
  • Travel Voucher
  • Certification card and logbook for certified divers
  • Cash or credit card for onboard extras

Reef Encounter is a barefoot experience.

How to get there

Getting to Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter is always on the Great Barrier Reef.

By Boat (included in tariff)

Our sister vessel Reef Experience operates daily transfers meeting up with Reef Encounter.

Boarding starts at 7:30 am on Finger A on the Marlin Jetty, Cairns.

Reef Experience will bring you back to the same destination around 4:30 pm on your final day.

Helicopter Transfers (optional extra)

Reef Encounter has a helipad on board for guests looking at adding some magic to their stay. You may choose to take a spectacular scenic flight.

Important Information

Cabin Share Advisory: Please note that the allocation of same-gender cabin shares in twin-share cabins cannot be guaranteed.

Important Information for Scuba Divers

This information is for all guests participating in scuba diving activities.

Australia has the strictest scuba diving rules globally and the safest scuba diving record. Therefore you must understand Queensland’s scuba diving laws. Great Barrier Reef liveaboard boats are regulated by the Queensland Government Code of Practice and comply with all rules, including the requirements for a dive medical, where applicable, as required by law.

Please complete our dive medical questionnaire, as some medical conditions, age and medications may prevent you from scuba diving. A certificate from your doctor stating that you are “Fit to Scuba Dive” or a Queensland dive medical may be required.

Flying after Scuba Diving

Plan your travel itinerary. On the final day of your Reef Encounter stay, your last dive will be completed by 1 pm.

Do not fly or go to altitude for at least 18 hours after scuba diving for a single no decompression scuba dive. You should not fly for 24 hours after your last scuba diving in multiple dives.

If Skydiving or Hot Air Ballooning, you must wait 24 hours after your dive. We recommend waiting a minimum of 24 hours whenever possible.


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Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

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5 Reviews for “Reef Encounter”

  1. Louise



    Room was very clean and comfortable. Meals were excellent. The crew were brilliant! Very attentive, friendly. Very good guides for those nervous in the water. Very safety conscious which was brilliant! Thank you to everyone on the boat. I will highly recommend this

  2. Beau



    Everything was perfect - thanks guys! The meals were exceptionally nice. Did not expect anything like that! Crew were funny, helpful and always around.

  3. Sapphira



    Thank you for an unforgettable experience! This was one of the best experiences of my life. The staff were so friendly! Always happy to help or explain whatever information you needed. Very chatty and social. Made our stay so much more enjoyable. Accommodation was comfortable and a good size. The food was amazing! Delicious and large portions.

  4. Alanna Rottler

    Alanna Rottler


    Absolutely delightful and extremely knowledgeable. It was great getting to know the crew. The food was also delicious, well presented and nourishing after lots of swimming. Thank you so much for having us :)

  5. Tom Eckart

    Tom Eckart


    Excellent, friendly, respectful and helpful crew. We loved it. Thank you so much for having us.


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