OceanQuest Overnight (Liveaboard) Experience

Overview

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 from one to three nights on board, with departures available from Friday to Saturday (extra dates added during school holidays).

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.

Haven’t experienced an overnight dive or snorkel trip before? Find out what to expect on a liveaboard.

Availability:

Departures Friday & Saturday (Wednesday - Sunday during school holidays)

Duration:

1-2 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
  • 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 $448

OceanQuest Snorkelling

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

More info
From $658

OceanQuest Intro Diving

Try scuba diving on an overnight trip and enjoy extra opportunities to explore the underwater world

More info
Scuba Diving Cairns
From $518

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
Dive Students Cairns Advanced Open Water Course
From $668

PADI Advanced Open Water Courses

Already Open Water certified? Take the next step with our day trip and overnight Advanced course options

More info

Minke Whale Expeditions from Cairns

Four-day minke whale trips offering close up interactions with these gentle giants

More info

Itinerary

2 Day, 1 Night Itinerary

Departs Fridays & Saturdays

Day 1

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 AquaQuest, our fast and modern day trip boat, for a 90 minute cruise 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 snorkel session

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

12:30pm: Second snorkel opportunity

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

6pm: Dinner is served

6.30pm: Sharks in the Dark

8pm: Dessert

10pm: Bar closes

Day 2

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

 

3 Day, 2 Night itinerary

Departs Fridays

Day 1

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 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 snorkel or dive

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

12:30pm: Second dive or snorkel opportunity

2.30pm: Transfer to OceanQuest and settle into your cabin

3.30pm: Third dive or snorkel session

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

10pm: Bar closes

Day 2

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

10pm: Bar closes

Day 3

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
  • Reusable water bottle

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).

Cancellation Policy

You can reschedule or cancel your trip any time up to 24 hours before departure with no penalty. Read our terms and conditions