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Reef Encounter

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Reef Encounter is a 35 metre long steel hull catamaran designed with stability and safety in mind, closely followed by your diving pleasure and leisure fun. Permanently stationed on the Cairns Outer Barrier Reef, the Reef Encounter is reachable in a flash by the speeding Reef Experience shuttle boat, or if you just can't wait, you can opt for a helicopter transfer, at an extra fee, of course.

Length: 35 metres / 115 foot
Beam: 15 metres / 48 foot
Cruise: 8 knots
Divers: 42
Side view of Cairns liveaboard, the Reef Encounter

On-board luxuries and creature comforts abound. The roomy cabins in twin and double configuration all have en-suite bathrooms. The cabins, dining area and enclosed recreational areas are all air-conditioned. A hydraulic diving platform makes getting in and out of the water on to this Cairns liveaboard effortless, and a heated spa is at the ready for all guests at any time you feel like a soak.

The Top Deck Club is something a little extra for the discerning diver and is subject to availability. Joining this club you will be assigned a dive or snorkel guide, who will act as your personal valet in and out of the water. You will enjoy benefits such as bath sheets and daily toiletries, breakfast in bed, exclusive use of the top deck, cocktails with the captain, romantic dinners for 2, and a turn-down service of your 800 thread-count Egyptian cotton bed linen. All guests who join the Top Deck Club are assured of top deck cabins with splendid sea views.

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Scheduled departures, prices, destinations, durations...

Click 'Book' to send an enquiry for your preferred departure date:

There are currently no future dates available

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More Trip Details....

Cruise price per person includes: Top Deck Club: This is effectively a luxury upgrade which guarantees you (among other things): own personal guide and assistant, top deck cabin, fine linen daily turn-down service, breakfast in bed a romantic dinner for two and cocktails with the captain.

Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), tanks, weights, weightbelts, dive equipment (except wetsuits and dive torch).

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory): Cruise price per person excludes (where applicable): Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, transfers to the boat, helicopter transfer, insurance (mandatory), torch and wetsuit, fees and charges US$ 13 per person per day. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (customers might provide their own where appropriate at no extra cost).

How to get there: Reef Encounter departs from Marlin Jetty in Cairns every day and sea transfers in an air conditioned catamaran are included. A helicopter transfer is also available at additional cost if requested. Land transfers from outer suburbs, northern beaches and Port Douglas to Marlin Jetty are all available at additional cost. For more information on getting to Cairns see our How to get there section).

Non-diver rate: Between 14% and 20% off the published price, depending on cabin and duration of stay.

Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): Various supplements apply. Please check with us.

Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 15 guests and receive 1 extra space free of charge. Whole boat charter rate: There is none available for this boat. Please contact us to enquire for a full charter.

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Cabins, Berths, Showers, Bathrooms...
Reef Encounter have 14 cabins on the upper deck including 6 Double cabins and 8 Twin cabins. On the main deck there are a total of 7 cabins including 3 Doubles and 4 Twins. All cabins are the same price unless you elect to join the Top Deck Club.

Reef Encounter's spacious Top Deck Club cabin All the cabins have:
  • Air-conditioning and fan
  • En-suite bathroom with hot water shower
  • Hand basin, towels and toiletries
  • Cabinet and shelves
  • Mirror
  • Reading lamp
  • Bedding
  • Safebox
  • 24-hour, 240v electricity supply
  • Intercom fire warning system
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Life jackets
No. of bathrooms / showers - 23 / 23 - hot water

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Crew, facilities, dive courses...
Get ready to dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, onboard the Reef Encounter The crew comprises:
  • 2 Dive Instructors
  • 1 Dive Masters
  • Captain
  • Cruise Leader
  • Cook
  • Engineer
  • 9 Stewardesses
  • 3 Deck Hands
35m² Dive deck with toilets and fresh water showers - 30m² Dive platform - 2 Motorised dinghies - Separate rinse tank for cameras - 100m² Air-conditioned saloon with TV, DVD and sound system - 50m² Dedicated air-con restaurant area - 40m² Shaded, outside area - 150m² Sun deck with sun chairs - Movie and book library, games and magazines - Fish ID and diving books - Water dispenser - Well-stocked bar

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Menu, cuisine type...
  • Spacious chill-out and dining area aboard the Reef Encounter
  • The menu aboard Reef Encounter is flexible, with a mix of Thai, international, Chinese, Italian, BBQ and Australian dishes served.
  • The menus are not fixed and meals are served buffet style in the dedicated air-conditioned restaurant.
  • Main meals comprise pre-breakfast, breakfast, lunch & dinner with snacks in between.
  • Fruit, tea & coffee and drinking water are available free of charge throughout the day. Milo and toast at breakfast, biscuits during the afternoon and ice-cream as desert are also free.
  • Candybars, soft drinks and Australian beer and wine are available as additional extras on board.
  • Vegetarians and most other special diets are catered for with prior notice.
  • Catering starts with lunch or dinner on check-in day, depending on your time of arrival.


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technical specifications...
  • Australia's Reef Encounter - another view
  • Built in 1988, restored in 2001, refurbished annually
  • Size - 35m x 14.7m
  • Top speed - 11 knots
  • Cruising speed - 8 knots
  • 2 x 500 KW Cummins engines
  • 2 x 190 KW Cummins generators
  • 2 x Bauer KA15 dive tank compressors
  • 12 litre aluminium tanks with international fittings and DIN adaptors
  • Electricity 240v - 24-hours per day
  • Water capacity - 40,000 litres
  • Fuel capacity - 27,000 litres
  • Freshwater maker - 450 litres per day
  • Environmental storage tanks

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navigation, safety features...
  • Soaking up the Cairns sun on the generous sundeck of Reef Encounter
  • 2 x 16 person Yamaha 15 HP dinghies
  • 3 x life rafts
  • SB / UHF radios
  • Fire alarm / detectors
  • Emergency lights / signal devices
  • Engine room CCTV
  • Radar
  • GPS
  • Fishfinder
  • Autopilot
  • Echo sounders
  • Mobile phone
  • Bilge pump alarm
  • Searchlight
  • Loudhailer
  • Life jackets in cabins
  • Fire extinguishers throughout
  • MFA box and trained staff
  • 12,000 litres of continuous-flow oxygen on board
  • Customer dive insurance NOT provided - see our insurance programme for a competitive quotation

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layout plans...
Reef Encounter  deck plans
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