Weekends on OceanQuest


JUST ANNOUNCED: This November we’re running a 7-night liveaboard expedition to the Ribbon Reefs as part of the Great Reef Census. Just 14 spots available – find out more.

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

Board the vessel in Cairns on Friday night in time for a delicious dinner, then wake up on the Great Barrier Reef for the first of many dive and snorkel sessions. Return on Sunday afternoon after the perfect weekend escape.

With more than 14 permanent moorings at Saxon and Norman reefs, and selected sites at Hastings Reef, snorkellers and divers of all levels can enjoy the outer reef’s flourishing coral formations and diverse marine life.

There’s plenty of room to spread out on our three-deck, 35m catamaran with its spacious dive deck, large open sundecks and hot, fresh water showers. Our onboard chef provides three hearty meals per day to keep you fuelled in between dive and snorkel sessions.

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. Then drift off to sleep in your air-conditioned cabin with en suite bathroom.

An overnight experience is also the perfect time to complete (or enhance) your practical dive training on the outer Great Barrier Reef, with open water certification options including referral and e-Learning. With our expert dive instructors, you’ll be in the best possible hands.

Departure/Return Location:

Cruise Liner terminal, Trinity Wharf




Departs Friday 6pm, returns Sunday 4.30pm (approx)

Accommodation Options:

18 twin cabins, 4 four double cabins. View details below

Dive sites:

Norman Reef / Saxon Reef / Hastings Reef


  • Visit three outer reef locations
  • Eight opportunities to dive/multiple snorkel sessions
  • Snorkelling (included for all passengers)
  • Snorkelling and scuba equipment, including dive computer and air fills, with full tuition
  • Sharks in the Dark
  • All meals on board, plus chilled drinking water, tea and coffee

Choose Your Activity

Great Barrier Reef Guided Snorkel Tour
From $655

Weekends on OceanQuest: Snorkelling

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

More info Book now
From $865

Weekends on OceanQuest: Intro Diving

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

More info Book now
From $730

Weekends on OceanQuest: Certified Diving

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

More info Book now
Sharks in the Dark

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

Fluoro Diving

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

More info
Cairns Scuba Diving Course
From $935

4 Day, 2 Night Open Water Course

Become PADI certified with two days in the pool and a weekend on OceanQuest

More info Book now
Coral Spawning night trips Great Barrier Reef
From $200

Great Barrier Reef Coral Spawning Expeditions

2020 dates now confirmed! Annual expeditions to see corals reproduce in a spectacular synchronised display

More info Book now



6pm: Boarding commences at Trinity Wharf. After boarding you will be allocated your cabin. If you have already dropped your luggage with us (see below), it will be waiting for you in your cabin and your dive gear will be on the dive deck, set up and ready for tomorrow’s dawn dive. Please let us know if you’d prefer to set up your own gear.

7pm: Dinner service starts

8pm: Trip briefing and meet the crew. A complimentary drink will be offered.

10pm: Bar closes

2am (approx): Vessel departs for a slow cruise to the outer reef


6am: Dive 1 briefing

6.30am-7.30am: Dive 1 is a dawn dive – witness the ‘changing of the guard’ on the Great Barrier Reef, as the nocturnal critters head off to bed and the daytime species begin their day.

8am: Sit down to a full cooked breakfast

8.45am: Dive 2 briefing

9am-10am: Dive 2

10.45am: Dive 3 briefing

11am-12pm: Dive 3

1pm: Lunch service begins. After lunch there will be a rest break, a chance to log your dives and catch up with your fellow divers while we move to a new location.

2.45pm: Dive 4 briefing

3pm-4pm: Dive 4

6.30pm: Dinner service begins

7.15pm: Dive 5 briefing

7.30-8.30pm: Dive 5 is our popular night dive! Slip into the water and discover reef sharks, rays and more.

10pm: Bar closes


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 6 briefing

7am-8am: Dive 6

8.30am: Full cooked breakfast service begins

9.15am: Dive 7 briefing

9.30am-10.30am: Dive 7

11.15am: Dive 8 briefing

11.30am-12.30pm: Dive 8

1pm: Lunch is served

1.30pm: Vessel begins cruising back to Cairns

4-4.30pm: Approximate arrival in Cairns

Additional info


Accommodation Options

OceanQuest has the following accommodation options:

  • 4 Double Cabins with a queen size bed and en suite bathroom (minimum 2 passengers)
  • 18 Twin Cabins each with two single beds and en suite bathroom

Due to current social distancing regulations:

  • Shared cabins are only available to guests in a travel bubble (travelling together)
  • A mandatory sole occupancy surcharge of 25% applies to solo travellers
  • The sole occupancy surcharge will be refunded if restrictions are lifted before departure

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.

You can drop off your luggage and dive gear at our Dive Centre located at 319 Draper Street on Thursdays or Fridays. This will also give you the opportunity to browse our retail shop for any last-minute purchases or souvenirs. We’ll transfer your luggage and gear to the vessel for you. Excess luggage can also be stored at our dive centre.



“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 scuba participants must meet medical questionnaire requirements. 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 12.30pm.