Reef Encounter is the best way to see the Reef

If you look at the information available about the different Liveaboard vessels sailing from the Port of Cairns you can easily see that the MV Reef Encounter is an entirely different type of experience.

A luxurious 35 metre long catamaran she looks more like a millionaire’s mega-yacht then the stereotypical scuba diving Liveaboard.

An ocean view from each of the twenty-one staterooms and a helicopter landing pad on the roof helps reinforce that first impression.

Spacious common areas such as the dining saloon which also includes comfortable lounging areas, a big screen television and the bar.

Forward from the Saloon is the hot tub on an open deck overlooking the bow.  A spacious sun deck allows sun worshippers the space they need.

While scuba diving is the main focus on-board a great number of guest come aboard for the snorkeling or to just to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef and the vessel.

The vessel operating procedures are flexible allowing guest to arrive on what every day they wish and stay for as many days that they like.

Scuba Diving Program


Well, a Liveaboard is about diving and the MV Reef Encounter has what may be the best dive program available on the reef.

A MV Reef Encounter typical day will offer six water sessions over two or three reefs.

The first session is one that no day boat can offer, a sunrise dive.

The reef has a definite day shift and night shift and as the sun comes up some are waking up as others are headed to sleep.

The effects of a sunrise while underwater is breath taking.

After a breakfast served in the dinning salon, there are two water sessions before lunch.

After lunch and the relocation of the vessel there are two additional water sessions.

A wonderful dinner will be followed by the opportunity to see the night shift of the reef go to work when doing a twilight or night dive.

Scuba diver’s may choose four of the six session each day to dive and can snorkel during the others.

Scuba Training Programs

The MV Reef Encounter is a SSI accredited dive facility, and offers a range of different training opportunities.

They offer a special learn to dive program and the advance course as well as the Stress and rescue course are very popular. Divemaster and Instructor programs are also available.

Reef Sleep

The MV Reef Encounter “Reef Sleep” program  shows off the non-diving side of the vessel popularity.

The mega-yacht characteristic attract many people who are not divers and just want some place to enjoy the open sea and the reef.

While day boats will certainly give you a look at the reef they are normally rush rush.

Watching the sunset over the reef and seeing the sky fill with more stars than you can imagine is just one aspect that can not be offered by a quick day visit.

The MV Reef Encounter is also a perfect place for a romantic getaway.

The large size of the boat and the few passengers allows the special feeling to be felt.

No loud discos, no street noises just the gentle sounds of the waves and the night. Reef Sleep guest who are not scuba dives are given an opportunity to do a resort dive when they are on-board.

A resort dive is a special program that allows non-divers the opportunity to be escorted by an instructor on a shallow reef dive. Dining on-board is a special treat with the meals being prepared by the on-board chef from fresh ingredient delivered daily.

Getting To The Reef Encounter

The reef sleep program as well as the other programs can be started on any day and for as many days that you wish.

Guest are transferred the the vessel by the MV Reef Experience a daily dive vessel, owned by a sister company.

The MV Reef Experience leaves Cairns each morning and drop off new guest and supplies.

In the afternoon they will meet up again so that returning guest can take the MV Reef Experience back to Cairns