Reef Encounter Stateroom accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef

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

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 you are 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 look after everything for you once onboard, from delicious chef-prepared meals to delicious local barista coffee.

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

Next to all of us who think food is important

We have an onboard chef who always gets fantastic reviews!   Delicious locally sourced produce, and we can cater for 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 the food is excellent.

Aquatic Adventures

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

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

Reef Encounter is large enough to provide a cruise ship’s comfort but small enough to access spectacular Reef locations that are not accessible to other vessels.

This family-owned and operates 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: 8.00 am once you are onboard Reef Encounter.
  • Spacious, air-conditioned staterooms with ocean views
  • All staterooms with ensuite toilets and shower
  • 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 – Sun bake 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 following 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, snorkel, 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.
  • Barista Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrox
  • Tshirts and hats
  • Snacks
  • Photos

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.

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 between 4 and 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 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.

Our mission is always to provide our passengers with the very best Great Barrier Reef tour.

If you have any questions, we will be delighted to assist you.

Please contact our office on +61 7 4037 2700 or email our helpful team today.

Alternatively, you may like to consult your Doctor for a Queensland Dive Medical using the Australian QLD Standard Form AS.4005.1

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.

Check-In: 10:00 am

Check-Out: 8:00 am

Read policies

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


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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