With over 2,300km of reefs, sand cays and islands to explore, extend your reef experience from one night to up to one week with a liveaboard diving trip.
Who says a diving trip in the Great Barrier Reef should be limited to just one day?
With over 2,300km of reefs, sand cays and islands to explore, you’d be wise to extend your reef experience from one night to up to one week with a liveaboard diving trip.
If you need more convincing to book a few additional days of annual leave to dive in, check out these seven reasons why you should book a liveaboard diving experience in Tropical North Queensland.
You can get your PADI certification onboard
Consolidate your online, classroom and pool-based learning with three nights on a liveaboard boat to gain your PADI Open Water Certification.
Pro Dive Cairns offers a range of courses that can take you from novice to open water diver in as little as four days, as well as offering a PADI Advanced Open Water course during their liveaboard cruises.
With three multi-million-dollar dive vessels (MV Scubapro I, II and III), with 14 twin-share bunk rooms and two double-bed cabins with shared bathrooms, you’ll only be sharing your diving experience with up to 32 passengers during your trip.
Divers Den OceanQuest also offer intro dives and advanced dives from their multi-deck, 35m purpose-built catamaran with a large dive deck as well as sundecks – ensuring your downtime is just as comfortable as suiting up to jump feet first into the water.
With access to over 14 permanent moorings at Saxon Reef, Norman Reef and Hastings Reef, each snorkel or dive promises a new seascape to explore.
You can explore the outer reef and its coral gardens
Mark Osprey Reef as your to-dive location and explore this world-famous reef in the Coral Sea.
Book a four-day liveaboard experience with Spirit of Freedom to spend two days diving at a range of different diving sites in the area, best known for 1,000-metre reef walls, oversized soft coral and exceptional visibility.
While this old volcanic atoll is the main attraction during this liveaboard voyage, you’ll have the chance to scuba or snorkel at Ribbon Reef 10, Ribbon Reef 3, as well as other popular dive spots such as Challenger Bay or Bougainville Reef.
You can add a touch of luxury to your diving expedition
If chef-prepared meals paired with Australian wines is your preferred style of cruising, book a luxury liveaboard experience with Coral Expeditions.
Depart Cairns for seven days exploring both the land and seascape of Cooktown, Lizard Island, Fitzroy Island and Sudbury Cay, including the world renowned dive sites Osprey Reef and Ribbon Reefs.
During your expedition, you’ll hear from experienced expedition leaders, marine biologists and naturalists to share stories about the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ecosystem during your cruise.
Pair your snorkelling and scuba diving with land-based activities, including birdwatching, wildlife spotting, nature walks and hiking.
You can dive with dwarf minke whales
Did you know, the Great Barrier Reef is the only place in the world where you can dive or snorkel with dwarf minke whales?
In June and July each year, these creatures measuring eight-metres-long and weighing up to several tonnes, migrate to the warmer northern waters and Mike Ball Dive Expeditions offer a three, four or seven-night liveaboard expedition for you to have a close encounter with them.
These inquisitive creatures are known to seek out the boat and linger for longer and with up to 10 dives (including two night dives) on the three-night expedition, there’s no shortage of opportunities to have a minke whale meet and greet.
Not only is this a one-of-a-kind diving experience, but spending time in the water with these giants also plays a key role in their research.
You’ll join a James Cook University MWP (Minke Whale Project) researcher to record whale interactions, with divers are encouraged to share their experience too.
Minke whale dive tours are also available through Spirit of Freedom, Divers Den and Pro Dive.
You can visit more dive sites in a day
When a liveaboard cruise operator has 10 Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice awards to its name, you know you’re in good hands.
Reef Encounter has access to over 15 dive and snorkel spots across five of the most popular reefs, visiting on average two reef locations every day and moving in the morning and afternoon to ensure variety for your underwater experience.
With five snorkel sessions each day, and offering underwater guided tours, you’ll be ticking off your Great Barrier Reef marine life bucket list in no time.
To ensure you’re fuelled properly for your time spent underwater, Reef Encounter provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert daily, serving fresh, locally sourced produce.
You can seek out sharks
Have a close encounter with a reef shark during a liveaboard experience with Rum Runner Cairns.
Board their 66-foot Mono Hull Sailboat (S.V. Rum Runner) for a weekend exploring Holmes Reef, located 90 miles outside of the Great Barrier Reef.
You’ll have up to 10 reef dives, including one night dive and one twilight dive to explore pelagic fish, soft and hard coral, tropical fish and of course the main attraction – reef-dwelling sharks.
With all diving equipment, bedding, meals and refreshments provided, all you need to do is BYO your sense of adventure.
You can also experience a sharks in the dark experience and book a fluro night diving experience – where the underwater world comes to life with the use of special torches and mask filters – when overnighting on Divers Den OceanQuest.
You can organise a private charter for your family or friends
If snorkelling has been on the bucket list of your group of friends and family too, book a private charter and personalise your reef adventure.
Coral Sea Dreaming offers private liveaboard charters, from a single day to five days at sea.
With a dedicated skipper and crew, the only heavy lifting you’ll need to do this trip is suiting up to dive in the water or raising your glass for sundowners.
Choose from up to 30 moorings on nine different reef systems, including two new moorings at Michaelmas Cay and Upolu Reef, which is home to untouched coral gardens.