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What To Expect On A Liveaboard Dive Trip From Cairns

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Wed 13 Mar 2024

A liveaboard dive trip from Cairns is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef! Day trips to the reef are fabulous, and many travelers only have time for a quick trip. One day on the reef is better than nothing! But an overnight trip gives you more time to observe and admire the diverse marine life that thrives in the oceans near Cairns

If you’re interested in booking a liveaboard dive trip from Cairns, you’re in luck. There are lots of top-rated, all-inclusive liveaboards that allow you to spend anywhere from 2 to 7 days on the Great Barrier Reef! If you’ve never been on a liveaboard dive trip, you may be wondering what you’re in for. In this article, we’ll discuss what to expect on a liveaboard dive trip from Cairns so you can decide if this experience is right for you!

girls on a dive boat preparing to scuba dive

What To Expect On A Liveaboard Dive Trip From Cairns

Though every Great Barrier Reef liveaboard from Cairns is unique, many of them have some similarities. Definitely read each tour page in depth before you book so you know exactly what the trip entails. But as a general overview, here is what to expect on a liveaboard dive trip from Cairns!

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scuba divers preparing to explore the great barrier reef

Quality Time With The Great Barrier Reef

The main reason why anyone would book a liveaboard dive trip is to spend more time out on the water! Actually staying overnight on the Great Barrier Reef gives you an extra immersive experience. You’ll get to snorkel, dive, eat, sleep, and relax on the world’s largest coral reef system for a few days. Watch the sun rise and set over the water. Spend ample time exploring the underwater world. Liveaboards give you that extra quality downtime to spend appreciating the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef

scuba diver underwater on a dive trip from cairns

Incredible Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Extra time on the reef means extra time to snorkel or dive! The Great Barrier Reef is filled with so many unique marine species, and snorkeling or scuba diving allows you to get up close to many of them. From larger animals like reef sharks, sea turtles, or manta rays, to the diverse range of colorful corals, there is so much to see on the reef!

Of course, the longer you have to dive, the greater chance you have of seeing different species. On a 3 day liveaboard, you’ll get to do an average of 10 different dives! And on a 4, 5, or 7 day liveaboard, this number only increases. The chance to visit multiple different reef sites and clock in more hours underwater will improve your dive skills and give you more opportunities to spot marine life. Many liveaboards include night dives as well!

reef shark swimming through the great barrier reef

Modern Vessels 

Each liveaboard tour operator has their own unique vessel, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how modern and comfortable each boat is. Smaller tours take between 10 and 20 guests, whereas larger boats can fit 40-50 guests. Boat size can vary, but the amenities are generally impressive! Enjoy cozy sleeping quarters, bathrooms and showers, plenty of space to relax and eat, and all high-quality dive and snorkel equipment included on board. 

Pro Dive boat at sea on the great barrier reef


Most liveaboard tours include all your meals! This is a great feature, especially for the longer liveaboard dive trips that run for 3 days or more. You can just hop on board without having to worry about packing or cooking your own food! Many liveaboards have their own quality chef on board who will prepare fresh, delicious meals for guests. Some boats have alcohol or snacks available for purchase, and most tours can cater to any specific dietary requirements as well if you inform them in advance. 

meals on board a liveaboard dive boat from cairns

Experienced Staff and Instructors

The staff running liveaboard dive trips from Cairns are the best of the best. Comprised of mainly locals or travelers who have settled in the area, you’ll get all the inside knowledge and tips from the staff on your boat. All dive instructors are certified and experienced as well. So whether you’re a first-time diver, or you’re a pro diver, you can be sure that the staff will keep you safe and take you to the best locations in the reef

crew member on a liveaboard dive boat from Cairns

How Much Does A Liveaboard Dive Trip Cost?

The cost of a liveaboard dive trip from Cairns varies depending on the type of tour. 3 day liveaboard tours can range from $700 - $1000. 4 or 5 day liveaboards can cost between $900 and $2,000, whereas a 7 day liveaboard is close to $4,000. But again, exact prices vary depending on what is included and what type of tour you are looking for. Chat with our travel experts online for more details!

Liveaboard tour prices may seem expensive, but remember that most multi-day reef tours are all-inclusive. Scuba diving is an expensive sport, and there is lots of essential equipment and remote travel involved. When you pay higher prices, you are paying for the best quality gear, service, instruction, and reef destinations. And if you're a backpacker with little money, there are budget options that are still high-quality. It’s worth paying a higher price for a better quality reef experience!

aerial view of the corals and sea on the Great Barrier Reef

Ready to book your liveaboard dive trip from Cairns? Chat with our travel agents online or call us at (07) 4082 7470 if you need help planning your trip!

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