Cairns Liveaboard the best way to see Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Cairns liveaboard

Cairns liveaboard Welcome To The Worlds Best Liveaboards, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Cairns Liveaboard imagine sitting on a comfortable deck chair sipping an ice tea, you look out over the bow of the boat and watch the sun slowly slip below the horizon.

A few minutes later, you arise and walk the short distance to the dive deck for a briefing.

The scuba dive brief gives an overview of your upcoming dive, you know the basic layout of the reef ten metres below you, having dived it a few hours before.

A giant leap and you and your dive buddy are headed towards the reef.

As you descend you notice hundreds of fish drawn towards your dive lights. Some, if not most, you have not seen before as they sleep during the day.

You can not help wondering what is just beyond the light of your torches.

You reach the reef and slowly start to swim, moving your light slowly over the reef and into cracks and crevices as you move along.

The unfiltered light coming from your torch shows the brilliant colours of the reef that is muted during the day by the sunlight.

Shining your light up you see a number of small fish are attracted by your light and are swimming in the beam. Those fish start to attract larger ones until a reef shark joins them for a snack.

After an hour of being awed by the abundant marine life it is back to the surface.


Cairns liveaboard
See the Milky Way

Later on the sun deck you relax with the other divers and compare notes about your dive under a blanket of stars that are awesome in their own right.

At sunrise, you will be watching it from underwater at a different reef.

Every year hundreds of thousands of scuba divers visit Cairns and travel out to The Great Barrier Reef. However only a small percentage of those scuba divers will experience the thrill of a night on the reef.

To many people divers and non-divers alike, the Liveaboards vacation is only for the hard core scuba diver. Sadly it is a myth that persist.

In reality, Liveaboard dive boats provide a vacation that is geared toward divers at all levels of experiences and dedication.

Most of the scuba dive boats that provide Liveaboard trips are comfortable and full of things to do for the non diver as well.

Liveaboards offer dive training both discovery dives and open water certifications.

While some itineraries are only for advanced divers due to the currents on some trips, each vessel does offer routes that are suitable and enjoyable for non-divers enjoying a snorkeling vacation.

What To Look For In Selecting Your Cairns Liveaboard Vacation?

When considering a Cairns Liveaboard vacation there are a number of items you should be thinking of in making your choice.

Some of the Liveaboards are on a fix schedule, that departs from Cairns and sailing for a number of days before returning.

The one’s departing for a week generally head to the Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef. They may offer the opportunity to split the trip between either 3 or 4 days and fly one segment with Lizard Island as a transfer point.

A few depart on three day trips to the Outer reef area. A popular choice found only in Cairns are the Liveaboards that stay out on the outer reefs for extended periods of time.

Guest are ferried from and to Cairns by a high speed ferry. This allows the vacationer to select as few or as many days that they wish to stay on-board as well as schedule their arrival on the day that suits them the best.

The facilities of the vessel should also be explored. Liveaboard accommodations can range from comfortable but simple cabins to luxurious stateroom with ocean views.

Public spaces  are common areas for guest much like lounges and dinning rooms at land resorts.

Meals are included in the fare of a Liveaboard and is generally highly recommended.

Cairns Liveaboard Australia’s Best

Reef Encounter

The MV Reef Encounter is a prime example of the innovations of the Cairns Liveaboard industry. She is a fully air conditioned thirty-five metre catamaran designed to provide the uppermost comfort and excellent diving support.

The MV Reef Encounter has twenty-one staterooms over two decks each with an ocean view to die for.

Overall she resembles a luxury mega-yacht complete with hot tub, and is considered a floating boutique hotel.

The dive deck is state of the art and offers a full range of training offered by Scuba Schools International (SSI).

She is as suited for snorkeling as she is for scuba and offers non-divers a special scuba dive on a shallow reef included in the fare.

The Reef Encounter cruises among the outer reefs.

Unlike traditional Liveaboards you can join her on any day and stay as many days as you wish.

Mike Ball’s Spoilsport

The Name Mike Ball’s Spoilsport says it all. Mike Ball, a member of the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, is perhaps the most widely known name in Liveaboard diving.

The innovations he introduced into the industry changed it from a macho dare devil activity to the high quality experience it now is.

He also helped mold the diving industry of the Great Barrier Reef. Mike Ball currently operates just one vessel and that is the Spoilsport.

Given his passion for the Great Barrier reef and Liveaboard diving you can be assured an outstanding vacation aboard his vessel.

While the Spoilsport has a number of expeditions with special itineraries, The majority of the sailing are to the Ribbon reefs and to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.

The week long dive excursion can be split into a 3 day Ribbon Reef trip suitable for snorkelers and all scuba divers and a 4 day Osprey Reef/ Coral Seas trip for advanced divers.

The Spirit Of Freedom

The 11 cabin steel hulled, Spirit of Freedom has weekly Monday departures for the Ribbon Reefs and the Osprey Reef.  The first dive is an afternoon check out dive on one of the outer reefs followed by a night dive on the same site.

In a week trip there may be as many as 24 more dives.  She travels a similar itinerary as the Spoilsport, that can be split into a three day and a four day trip with the four day trip limited to advanced divers. Readers of Australasia Dive Log Voted her the Best Australian Liveaboard (2012).

Spirit of Freedom contains 11 guest cabins with different cabin styles and 4 price points to best suit your requirements. All cabins are air-conditioned and are serviced each day.

Are You Ready?

The links on this page take you to more information on the three leading Liveaboards that sail from the port of Cairns and to booking information.

Vacations on any of these boats will provide you with a Great Barrier Reef experience unmatched by any land resort.  If you have any questions please contact us.