scuba dive cairns

3 Day Liveaboard, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns



Three Day- Two Nights MV Reef Encounter Great Barrier Reef Discovery

A Three Day- two night diving vacation to Cairns can be the highlight of your diving history. Some of the best scuba diving is around Cairns, just off shore on the Great Barrier Reef.  Diving opportunities are easy to find. Cairns steps to the beat of a different drummer when it comes to diving and resorts. In most places in the world you can stay at a resort that has a dedicated dive center or you make your diving arrangements with a dive center. In Cairns the focus is more centralized. Few resorts are dedicated to diving and even fewer operate their own boats. Dive boats are larger vessels than at most locations and depart from either the Reef Terminal or nearby Marlin Marina.

The MV Reef Encounter is a liveaboard diving vessel with a difference. The vessel stays on the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef for extended periods of time, with transfers to and from the boat by means of a daily dive vessel the MV Reef Experience. This allows guest to arrive on any day as they wish and stay as long as they wish. The 35 meter boat is the size of a mega-yacht and has many of the same comforts. For divers without a great deal of time in Cairns, the three day two night package that they offer is by far the best way to explore the Great Barrier Reef.

MV Reef Encounter Vs A Hotel And A Daily Dive Vessels

There are many advantages to staying on-board the MV Reef Encounter. Examine what you can expect diving for 3 days on a daily vessel. There are three days of finding transportation between the hotel and the dive boats. Some companies do offer transfers, however, even with a transfer that is three round trips dragging your gear. That is three days waiting for everyone to get checked in so the boat can depart. Three days of 90 minutes to a reef and 90 minutes back.  On the MV Reef Encounter you have one round trip and the staff will be more than glad to help you with your gear. You check in with the MV Reef Experience and relax over breakfast as everything gets underway.

The Daily dive boats provide two reefs each day and two water sessions so two dives a day. So in three days you have six dives. On the MV Reef Encounter a three day trip will allow ten dives and two additional snorkeling sessions. The MV Reef Encounter has six water sessions a day of which a diver can choose four. Because of the travel time, the scuba diver can do a snorkeling session when arriving at the MV Reef Encounter, followed by two afternoon dives. After his diner on board there is a night dive, a dive that no daily vessel offers. After dinner desert is served, something extra to replaced the calories you just burned.

It is up early in the morning, if you wish and you will, because the first possible dive is a sun rise dive. Enjoy that special time on the reef as the reef wakes up and the night creatures head off to sleep. Sunrise is the most active time for a reef as the large Pelagic are still there from their night time feeding and the day fish start their feeding. No daily boat offers a sunrise dive.  Breakfast is a nice relaxed meal, prepared by the chef for the maximum of 42 guest aboard.  The dining area, as is all the enclosed spaces, is fully air conditioned. If you want to soak up some rays and enjoy the fresh salt air, then the sun deck is a great place to eat your meals. After breakfast are two dive sessions. Most divers will choose one dive and relax or snorkel for the other session. Divers are allowed four dives a day as long as they stay within their NDL time. The additional off gas time will but them in good shape for one of the two afternoon sessions. Many divers again only chose one session and save the last dive for another night dive.

Your third day and last one starts off the same with a sunrise dive and breakfast. Most divers will dive both of the sessions after breakfast as those are the last dives available to them.  After having lunch the diver can snorkel one more time before the MV Reef Experience stops by around 2:45 for the return trip.

One thing also to consider, on some of the daily dive boats there are a very large number of people and the staff is very busy. The guest are on board for about six hours than they are gone and the crew goes home. Here for the two night trip you are on-board the vessel for over 55 hours and so is the crew. You can a chance to interact with them on a personal level that you will not get on a day boat.

Stateroom To Dive Deck

We mentioned before about transferring from your hotel or resort to the dive vessels. Another point to keep in mind about the Reef Encounter is that your never more than 30 meters from your stateroom while you are on board. So if you want to jump out of bed, threw on your swim suit and head to the dive deck for the first dive, then do it. After the dive, just head back to your cabin and take a hot shower and prepare for breakfast. If you want to take a nap between dives, well the bed is right there waiting for you. Between dives or if you want to skip a water session all together there is plenty of space on the sun deck and you can even relax in the hot tub. Many non-divers do spend time on the boat and find it a relaxing experience. They can take a glass bottom boat to view the reef if they do not feel like getting in the water.

Your Dive Site Is Just A Giant Step Away

Many daily dive vessels seem to be a hurry up and wait experience. There are two chances to dive and snorkel a day. So people rush to get the most of it. On-board this mega-yacht there are six sessions a day and at most only 42 divers. Divers only do four dives so on average you are really talking about 28 divers a dive.  When you prepare for your first dive you will have space for your gear to be stored. It will be in the same place for the entire trip.

As you look at the different features and benefits you can clearly see that this is the best way to see the Great Barrier Reef