cairns diveFAQ’s Reef Day Tour



We are committed to making sure that you holiday in Far North Queensland is as close to perfect as possible

Our choice of Great Barrier Reef day tours – something for everyone

Compass Cruises – is our budget tour to the Great Barrier Reef – Compass provides a fun tour to the Outer Barrier Reef with 2 spectacular reef locations read more

Reef Experience is Cairns only all-inclusive Reef Tour includes scuba diving, snorkeling read more

Reef Experience Top Deck Club package – Our VIP day tour  read more

Reef Magic’s Marine World a large pontoon – Marine World has a lot of activities for people who are not planning on getting in the water read more

About Cairns Weather 

Tropical North Queensland temperature ranges from 22-29º Celsius (75-85º Fahrenheit)  which makes our region perfect all year round  to enjoy water activities including snorkeling and scuba diving

Cairns Weather


What is the Water Temperature at the Great Barrier Reef?


Can I book an open dated voucher

Yes you can,  it will be subject to availability, we recommend that you book your tour 3-4 days prior to your choice of travel date

What if it is raining ?

We will still travel in the rain – Even if it is raining in Cairns there is a good chance that it will not be raining at the reef.

Do you have credit card facilities onboard?

Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard, Bankcard & Eftpos (minimum spend may apply)


Are life Jackets available? 

life jackets are certainly available if we need them in an emergency.  Life jackets are designed to keep you upright making it impossible for snorkeling or scuba diving.

snorkel noodle
snorkel noodle

We provide snorkel noodles and strongly recommend the use of wetsuits which also provide buoyancy and protect you from sunburn and coral cuts

Will I get Seasick? 

Hopefully not we have both natural ginger onboard as well as medicated travel calm which should be taken 30 minutes prior to departure

Some tips to avoid seasickness keep your sugar content up, make sure to eat before travelling


What if the weather is bad?

In bad weather we are happy to move your booking with out charge to the next most suitable day, subject to availability.

If we decide that the weather is not safe to travel in we will give you a full refund


Can I pay with Credit card?

Yes we accept Bankcard, Mastercard, Visa and Eftpos onboard our vessels


What is the cancellation policy? requires 48 hours advance to make any changes or cancel a booking. The cancellation fees are as follows:

20% cancellation fee 30 days or more prior to departure.
50% cancellation fee if within 30 days prior to departure.
100% cancellation fee within 14 days prior to departure.
Schedules are subject to change.

Will I need travel insurance and dive insurance?

Travel insurance and dive insurance are highly recommended. Please be aware that trip cancellations, scuba diving and in-water activities are not covered by all travel insurance companies. Please read the wording of your policy carefully. In a medical emergency, any evacuation, vessel relocation or medical expenses are the financial responsibility of that passenger.

We strongly recommend dive insurance

Is the reef better from Cairns or Port Douglas?

This depends more on the actual reef site visited rather than the departure point. Both Cairns & Port Douglas locations have professional operators with access to world class snorkel and dive sites. Our Reef locations are all on the Outer Barrier Reef and are exceptional


Diving Questions

What is the minimum age to scuba dive?

The minimum age to scuba dive is 12 years. A medical questionnaire must be completed and signed by a parent/guardian for divers under 18 years.

Can I Scuba Dive with no experience?

Yes you certainly can our friendly scuba dive instructors are the best on the Great Barrier Reef and can have you in the water and enjoying the magic of scuba diving in no time.

Please be sure to read our medical information click here for more details

Can I learn to scuba dive?

Reef Encounter our liveaboard vessel offers an outstanding learn to scuba dive course where all dives are done on the Great Barrier Reef with a maximum of 4 people in a class

Read more information about our learn to scuba dive course


What if I’m a certified diver and forget my certification card?

With both PADI and SSI we can often find your information on their database with your full name, date or birth and dive centre please contact our office for more details

I normally wear glasses or contact lenses. Can I wear these under my mask?

Depending on the strength of your glasses a standard snorkel/dive mask may be sufficient as they magnify objects underwater by around 25%.  Glasses cannot be worn under a mask however prescription masks are available in a range of magnifications for only a $10 fee.

Contact lenses can be worn snorkelling however please note some water may get into your mask. Gas permeable contact lenses are suitable for scuba diving however a prescription mask is preferable.


Should I be concerned about Jelly Fish or Marine Stingers?

While certain species of Jelly Fish can be found in tropical waters at any time of year, the majority are harmless to man. Official ‘Stinger season’ in Cairns is from November to May when water temperatures suit the few species of concern.

While incidents involving serious stings are extremely rare our crew are trained to recognize sting types and apply appropriate first aid assistance if required. We recommend the use of  a wetsuit

Are there sharks at the reef?

Yes of course, most are shy and quite harmless such as the common white tip reef sharks which only grow to approximately 5 ft and are very timid.

I am driving to the marina, where can I leave the car? 



Can we sit anywhere on the boat?

You are free to sit where ever you please, except areas signed as staff only. Choose between air-conditioned cabins on the upper and lower decks all with large viewing windows.

On Reef Experience the Top Deck Club does have allocated seating in the Wheelhouse on all other parts of the vessel guests are invited to move around freely whilst the vessel is stationary

Seating outside on the upper rear deck in the fresh air and sunshine on our sun lounges is very popular.

For your own safety try not to move around the boat too much when the boat in underway, especially in rough weather.

What do I need to bring?

Hat, Towel, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, something to swim in, a dry change of clothes, cash or credit card for optional activities and onboard purchases such as souvenirs, professional photos from our on-board photographer or a drink from the bar.

Do you supply towels?

The best idea is to bring one from your hotel or accommodation.

Are there toilets, showers & changing rooms at the reef?

There are toilets on the boats which are accessible at all times throughout the day

Do you cater for vegetarians & other dietary requirement?

Yes we can cater for all dietary requirements please let us know at time of booking so that we are well prepared for you

Is the snorkeling equipment also in child sizes?

We have snorkeling equipment in both adult and child sizes. Fins range from children’s size 1-3 to Adults 11-13 and masks are in adult and child fittings. Wet suits and lycra suits are also available in sizes ranging from XS to XXL.

Do you have baby-sitting or child minding facilities?

No, parents are responsible for supervising their children at all times. Our friendly crew can help organise the timing of your activities so that one parent is always free to attend to the children.

Do you have lockers on board?

No sorry we do not have lockers onboard

Are there facilities for the disabled? There is ramp access from the wharf to the vessel and vessel to the Marine World platform. However, passengers are required to negotiate at least one set of stairs on the vessel depending on tides and loading position so the assistance of a carer is highly recommended.

Our vessels are disability friendly and we will always do our utmost to provide assistance

The best idea is to give us a call and talk through the level of disability and we can suggest suitability or not – send us an email

If you are even slightly interested in snorkeling our crew can show you how under close supervision in shallow our coral lagoon. Personal flotation devices make snorkeling as easy as possible.

If you are concerned about getting in the water for any reason please be sure that you are travelling with a great local company and our crew will assist you in the water even if you can not swim

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