OceanQuest Overnight (Liveaboard) Experience

Overview


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Our liveaboard vessel OceanQuest is the ultimate Great Barrier Reef overnight experience from Cairns. Spend your days and nights exploring the best outer Great Barrier Reef dive sites aboard our floating accommodation, with snorkel, intro dive and certified dive options available.

When just one day at the reef isn’t enough, an overnight trip from Cairns gives you all the time you need. Visit our colourful dive and snorkel sites during the day, and at night everything from the air conditioned cabins with en suites, lounge and bar, are designed for your comfort.

Our three-deck, 35m catamaran is purpose built for a top class dive holiday, with a spacious dive deck, large open sundecks and hot, fresh water showers. All delicious meals are prepared by our onboard chef, including hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Enjoy a well-deserved dessert treat after your day in the water!

Choose to stay one or two nights on board, with departures on Fridays and Saturdays (see itinerary options below).

Overnight (liveaboard) Great Barrier Reef trips from Cairns are truly a remarkable adventure. With more than 14 permanent moorings at Saxon and Norman reefs, and selected sites at Hastings Reef, snorkellers and divers of all levels can explore the reef and its diverse marine life from early morning to night.

At night, relax in the lounge and bar. Or if you’re keen for more undersea adventures, try a unique night dive experience like Sharks in the Dark or Fluoro Diving to make your time on board our floating reef hotel truly unforgettable.

An overnight experience is also the perfect time to complete or enhance your practical dive training at the outer Great Barrier Reef. With our expert dive instructors, you’ll be in the best possible hands.

Duration:

1-4 nights (see itinerary options below)

Dive sites:

Norman Reef / Saxon Reef / Hastings Reef

Accommodation Options:

OceanQuest has 18 twin cabins and four double cabins. All cabins are air conditioned with en suite bathrooms.

Included:

  • Flexible itineraries (see below)
  • Snorkelling (included for all passengers)
  • Snorkelling and scuba equipment, including dive computer and air fills, with full tuition
  • FREE guided dives for certified divers (usually $15 per dive, now free until 1 April)
  • All meals on board, plus chilled drinking water, tea and coffee
  • Sharks in the Dark
  • Transfers from Cairns CBD accommodation

Choose Your Activity

Please click the blue ‘More Info’ button under your preferred activity below to see multi-night pricing and booking options.

Great Barrier Reef Guided Snorkel Tour
From $262.50

OceanQuest Snorkelling

Snorkel some of the reef's best sites, then stay overnight and do it all again tomorrow

More info
From $705

OceanQuest Intro Diving

Learn to dive on an overnight trip and enjoy extra opportunities to practise your new scuba skills

More info
From $300

OceanQuest Certified Diving

For the ultimate Great Barrier Reef dive trip, choose our liveaboard vessel with its exclusive dive experiences

More info
Sharks in the Dark
FREE

Sharks in the Dark

Take a night dive from our overnight vessel and encounter friendly reef sharks and other critters

More info
Fluoro Diving Great Barrier Reef
$50

Fluoro Diving

With our special equipment you'll see coral and marine life like never before - an amazing night dive experience

More info
Minke Whale Expeditions from Cairns
From $1,840

Minke Whale Expeditions from Cairns

Join our 2021 overnight minke whale trips for close up interactions with these inquisitive creatures

More info

Itinerary

2 Day, 1 Night itineraries

Departs every Friday and Saturday

Day 1 (Friday)

7.30am-8am: Pick up from your city accommodation (if booked) and check in at our dive centre at 319 Draper Street, before transferring to the marina

8.30am: Depart Cairns Marina on board OceanQuest for the outer Barrier Reef. Along the way you’ll settle into your cabin, select your equipment and receive in-depth safety briefings.

11:30am: Arrive at the reef

12pm: Lunch is served

1pm: First dive or snorkel

3pm: Second dive or snorkel

6pm: Dinner is served

7pm: If you’re keen for more fun in the water, try a Fluoro Dive or Sharks in the Dark experience! There’ll be a briefing before you try these exclusive experiences.

8pm: Dessert

10.30pm: Bar closes

Day 2 (Saturday)

7.30am: Breakfast time! Sit down to a full cooked breakfast to fuel you for the day ahead.

8.30am: Dive or snorkel session

10.30am: Dive or snorkel session

12pm: Check out of your cabin

12.30pm: Lunch

2.30pm: Our transfer vessel arrives to return you to Cairns

3pm: Depart Outer Barrier Reef

5pm (approx): Return to your Cairns accommodation

 

Day 1 (Saturday)

7.30-8am: Pick up from your city accommodation (if booked) and check in at our dive centre at 319 Draper Street before transferring to the marina

8.30am: Set off from Cairns Marina on board ReefQuest, our fast and modern transfer boat, for the 90 minute transfer to the Outer Barrier Reef. Select your equipment and receive in depth safety briefings along the way.

10am: Arrive at the reef for your first dive

12pm: Enjoy lunch while we move to our second dive site

12:30pm: Second dive or snorkel opportunity

2.30pm: Transfer to OceanQuest and settle into your cabin. During the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity for more diving or snorkelling, and to relax on board.

6pm: Dinner is served

6.30pm: If you’re keen for more fun in the water, try a Fluoro Dive or Sharks in the Dark experience! There’ll be a briefing before you try these exclusive experiences.

8pm: Dessert

10.30pm: Bar closes

Day 2 (Sunday)

We’ll move to a new location early in the morning, with a chance to see the sunrise ready for the dawn dive.

6.30am: Dive briefing

7am-8am: Dive

8.30am: Full cooked breakfast service begins

9.15am: Dive briefing

9.30am-10.30am: Dive or snorkel session

11.15am: Dive briefing

11.30am-12.30pm: Dive or snorkel session

1pm: Lunch is served

1.30pm: Vessel begins cruising back to Cairns

4-4.30pm: Approximate arrival in Cairns

3 Day, 2 Night itinerary

Departs every Friday

Day 1 (Friday)

7.30-8am: Pick up from your city accommodation (if booked) and check in at our dive centre on Draper Street, before transferring to the marina

8.30am: Set off from Cairns Marina on board ReefQuest, our fast and modern transfer boat, for the 90-minute transfer to the Outer Barrier Reef. Select your equipment and receive in depth safety briefings along the way.

10am: Arrive at the reef for your first intro dive

12pm: Enjoy lunch while we move to our second dive site

12:30pm: Second dive or snorkel opportunity

2.30pm: Transfer to OceanQuest and settle into your cabin. During the afternoon you’ll have the opportunity for more snorkelling or diving, and to relax on board

6pm: Dinner is served!

6.30pm: Gear up for one of our unique liveaboard dive experiences, or simply chill out on board

8pm: Dessert is served

10.30pm: Bar closes

Day 2 (Saturday)

7.30am: Breakfast is served

8.30am: First dive and snorkel session

10.30am: Second dive and snorkel session

12.30pm: Lunch is served

3.30pm: Third dive and snorkel session

6pm: Dinner

6.30pm: Briefing and night dive/sharks in the dark/fluoro dive

8pm: Dessert

10.30pm: Bar closes

Day 3 (Sunday)

7.30am: Breakfast

8.30am: Dive/snorkel session

10.30am: Dive/snorkel session

12pm: Check out

12.30pm: One final lunch before you board the transfer vessel for the trip back to Cairns.

3pm: Depart Outer Barrier Reef

5pm (approx): Return to your accommodation

 

Additional info

Extras

What to bring

  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Overnight bag with changes of clothing, including warm clothing and socks for overnight wear
  • Toiletries

Bedding and bath towels are supplied on board. Excess baggage can be stored at our Draper Street office at check in.

Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We stayed on OceanQuest for 2 nights and 3 days and it was truly an unforgettable experience. The staff were amazing – extremely friendly and professional at all times. The trip was well organised and the diving/snorkel spots were amazing. The boat itself was really clean and comfortable.”

– Hayley

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We wish we could’ve stayed one more night on the overnight liveaboard. The staff were really friendly and made it super enjoyable – Tobi was a great instructor – he ensured we were safe but also independent. I got my open water cert thanks to his good training. The rooms and food were great. I look forward to making it back one day.”

– Jessica

Medical and Altitude Info

All introductory scuba participants must meet medical questionnaire requirements and some conditions or medications may prevent you from diving.

Currently the rules state that for a single no decompression dive, you should not fly/go to altitude for at least 12 hours, or 18 hours after multiple dives. Divers Den recommends waiting a minimum 24 hours whenever possible. These are guidelines only, there is no guarantee that these recommendations will prevent decompression sickness. There are no current guidelines regarding diving after flying.

Altitude is defined as 300m/1000ft above sea level. This includes going to the Atherton Tablelands (a popular local scenic attraction), so be careful if booking tours to follow your dive trip. Under normal circumstances, you should be out of the water on your last dive at 12pm (midday).

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