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Reef Encounter

Photo gallery for Reef Encounter

Cribs/infant beds, bed sheets
Outdoor spa tub
Superior Double Room | Cribs/infant beds, bed sheets
Standard Double Room | Cribs/infant beds, bed sheets
Superior Double Room | View from room

Overview of Reef Encounter

Reef Encounter

4.0 star property
Cairns cruise with restaurant and bar/lounge

9.0/10 Superb

43 verified guest reviews

Popular amenities

  • Free breakfast
  • Non-smoking
  • Air conditioning
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
The price is $633
Price available on 1/29/2023
Cairns Marlin Marina - Marlin Jetty A, Boat: Reef Experience, Cairns, QLD, 4870

Room options

About this area

What's nearby

  • Cruise from Cairns
  • Great Barrier Reef - 1 min drive
  • Cairns Esplanade - 1 min drive

Getting around

  • Cairns Intl. Airport (CNS) - 9 min drive
  • Freshwater Station - 12 min drive
  • Redlynch Station - 14 min drive
  • Cairns Station - 17 min walk


  • North Bar and Kitchen - 2 min walk
  • Tha Fish - 3 min walk
  • Prawn Star - 4 min walk
  • M Yogo - 4 min walk
  • Waterbar & Grill Steakhouse - 5 min walk

About this property

Reef Encounter

A great choice for a stay in Cairns, Reef Encounter is just 4.9 mi (7.9 km) from the airport. The restaurant is a perfect spot to grab a bite to eat, and you can unwind with a drink at the bar/lounge or visit the spa tub for a relaxing end to the day. Fellow travelers like the comfortable beds and helpful staff.



Cleaning and safety practices

Enhanced cleanliness measures

Disinfectant is used to clean the property

Social distancing

Guest rooms kept vacant for 24 hours between stays
Social distancing measures in place

Safety measures

Personal protective equipment worn by staff
Masks available
Hand sanitizer provided
Individually-wrapped food options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
This information is provided by our partners.

At a glance

Hotel size

  • 21 cabins
  • Arranged over 3 floors


  • Check-in time from 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Minimum check-in age - 18
  • Check-out time is 8 AM

Restrictions related to your trip

  • Check COVID-19 restrictions.

Special check-in instructions

  • There is no front desk at this property
  • Guests must contact the property in advance for check-in instructions; your host will greet you
  • This property doesn't offer after-hours check-in
  • To make arrangements for check-in please contact the property at least 24 hours before arrival using the information on the booking confirmation
  • For more details, please contact the property using the information on the booking confirmation
  • The property is a ship at sea. Guests must take the Reef Experience catamaran from Cairns Marlin Marina, A Finger, to reach it. The catamaran begins boarding at 7:30 AM, with check-in and breakfast on board. It departs for the ship at 8 AM. To return, guests will check-out at 9 AM and arrive in Cairns at 4:30 PM.

Required at check-in

  • Credit card, debit card, or cash deposit required for incidental charges
  • Government-issued photo ID may be required
  • Minimum check-in age is 18


  • Pets not allowed


  • No onsite parking

Other information

  • Smoke-free property

Property amenities

Food and drink

  • Free buffet breakfast each morning 7 AM–8 AM
  • Restaurant
  • Bar/lounge
  • Coffee/tea in a common area

What to do

  • Snorkeling


  • Tour/ticket assistance
  • Luggage storage


  • Terrace
  • Television in common areas
  • Spa tub


  • English

Room amenities

Home comfort

  • Air conditioning

Sleep well

  • Crib/infant bed (surcharge)
  • Bed sheets provided

Freshen up

  • Private bathroom
  • Shower only
  • Free toiletries
  • Towels

Special features


Onsite venue - Overlooking the ocean, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Fees & policies

Mandatory fees

You'll be asked to pay the following charges by the property at check-in or check-out:
  • A tax is imposed by the city and collected at the property. Exemptions or reductions might apply. For more details, please contact the property using the information on the reservation confirmation received after booking.

Children & extra beds

  • Cribs/infant beds are available for AUD 50.00 per night

Hygiene & cleanliness

This property advises that enhanced cleaning and guest safety measures are currently in place.

Disinfectant is used to clean the property.

Personal protective equipment, including masks, will be available to guests.

Social distancing measures are in place; staff at the property wear personal protective equipment; guests are provided with hand sanitizer.

Individually-wrapped food options are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Each guestroom is kept vacant for a minimum of 24 hours between bookings.


Only registered guests are allowed in the guestrooms.

This property does not have elevators.

Please note that cultural norms and guest policies may differ by country and by property. The policies listed are provided by the property.

This property accepts credit cards. Cash is not accepted.

Also known as

Reef Encounter Boat
Reef Encounter Boat Cairns
Reef Encounter Cairns
Reef Encounter Hotel Great Barrier Reef
Reef Encounter Cruise
Reef Encounter Cairns
Reef Encounter Cruise Cairns

Frequently asked questions

Does Reef Encounter offer free cancellation for a full refund?
Yes, Reef Encounter does have fully refundable room rates available to book on our site. If you’ve booked a fully refundable room rate, this can be cancelled up to a few days before check-in depending on the property's cancellation policy. Just make sure to check this property's cancellation policy for the exact terms and conditions.
How much does it cost to stay at Reef Encounter?
As of Jan 28, 2023, prices found for a 1-night stay for 2 adults at Reef Encounter on Jan 29, 2023 start from $633, excluding taxes and fees. This price is based on the lowest nightly price found in the last 24 hours for stays in the next 30 days. Prices are subject to change. Choose your dates for more accurate prices.
What are the cleanliness and hygiene measures currently in place at Reef Encounter?
This property confirms that disinfectant is used to clean the property. Furthermore, guests are provided with hand sanitizer, social distancing measures are in place, and staff are given personal protective equipment. Please note that this information has been provided by our partners.
Are pets allowed at Reef Encounter?
Sorry, pets aren't allowed.
Is parking offered on site at Reef Encounter?
Sorry, there's no onsite parking at Reef Encounter.
What are the check-in and check-out times at Reef Encounter?
You can check in from 7:30 AM - 8:00 AM. Check-out time is 8 AM.
Is there an onsite casino at Reef Encounter?
No, this cruise ship doesn't have a casino, but Reef Hotel Casino (5-min walk) and Cazalys Cairns (6-min drive) are both nearby.
What is there to do at Reef Encounter and nearby?
Have fun during the warmer months with activities such as snorkeling. Reef Encounter also has a spa tub.
Are there restaurants at or near Reef Encounter?
Yes, there's an onsite restaurant that offers ocean views. Nearby restaurants include Tha Fish (3-min walk), Prawn Star (4-min walk), and M Yogo (4-min walk).
What's the area around Reef Encounter like?
Reef Encounter is a short 1-minute walk from Great Barrier Reef and 3 minutes' walk from Cairns Marlin Marina.







Staff & service




Property conditions & facilities


10/10 Exceptional

Awesome trip to the famous Barrier Reef.All was well organised, comfy, bed, lovely people around, amazing diving. Waiting for my next trip!
2-night romance trip
Verified Wotif guest review

8/10 Very Good

2-night trip
Verified Expedia guest review

10/10 Exceptional

Great luxury live aboard adventure. Stayed one-night as it was our first time on a boat and found the 6 dives over 2 days was great and tiring. The "premium room" is their Top Deck package and the upgrade was well worth it to us though only 3 rooms were booked as this upgrade during our time there and everyone else had fun too.
BrosonTravel, 1-night romance trip
Verified Orbitz guest review

10/10 Exceptional

Tang, 1-night romance trip
Verified guest review

10/10 Exceptional

Awesome stay and a great staff :) Memorable for years to come!
Amy, 1-night romance trip
Verified guest review

6/10 Good

Very overpriced trip. The yacht is very old. No cabin has lockers on the door - according to the stuff, that’s the policy on the boat. This mean that theoretically anyone can enter your room at any time. You can’t controll the conditioner in your room and in the dining area, it is freezing there. It’s a problem to get the fresh towel - you will be sent to use the only public dryer where everyone washed their stuff. The yacht has no shoe policy but the floor is pretty dirty. The wetsuits are literally tearing apart! I would say this is like a good friendly motel but they advertise and charge as 5 star hotel.
Diver, 2-night trip
Verified Expedia guest review

10/10 Exceptional

Super stay
Fabulous trip out to the reef. The crew were extremely friendly and helpful, the food was great and the cabin was very comfortable. We saw loads of fish, dolphins, turtles and baby reef sharks. Excellent way to get closer to the reef.
Jacqueline, 2-night romance trip
Verified guest review

10/10 Exceptional

The hot tub is great and was very often in use. Great stay!
Stefanie, 4-night trip
Verified Expedia guest review

10/10 Exceptional

This was an amazing experience! I recommend staying two nights. The staff was so accommodating and it almost felt like you were traveling with good friends! Food was delicious and beds were comfortable. Good sleep is very important to me,
Debra, 2-night romance trip
Verified guest review

10/10 Exceptional

We were aboard Reef Encounter for 3 nights & everything was lovely! Food was excellent, staff were young and delightful. no complaints - would definitely return!
Karen, 3-night trip
Verified Expedia guest review