Divers Den Cairns is the departure point for a stay on the OceanQuest liveaboard that is permanently moored around Norman Reef, on the Great Barrier Reef. With 17 Outer Reef moorings, OceanQuest offers flexible itineraries (2 Day 1 Night to 7 Day 6 Night) for snorkelers, certified scuba divers and introductory diving for those who want to try scuba diving for the first time.
The transfer is made via the Divers Den SeaQuest day boat that visits the outer reef daily, and connects with liveaboard OceanQuest. The SeaQuest also offers a day’s snorkelling and diving, but this page specifically covers the OceanQuest scuba diving liveaboard experience.
Guests can book any number of nights of their choosing, though I would recommend a stay of at least 3 nights. There are cabin types available from doubles, to twins to a ‘bunk room’ though all are en suite, very tidy and have ocean views.
The boat is perfectly functional with three decks: cabins at the front, open decks at the back: dive deck at the waterline, spacious sundeck above it, and above that the bar and lounge and the open moon deck.
You can take as much of your own equipment as you like, or use theirs. All the gear is almost new, and all regs have a dive computer and compass. If you dive on the Sea Quest – they will transfer your regs so that you have continuity with the dive computer.
|Training School Type:||none||Nitrox Fill:|
|Air Fill||Number of Guides||4|
|Gear Hire||Number of Boats||3|
|Gear Sales||Number of Dive Sites||17|
The Ocean Quest moves daily between a number of moorings on the Norman, Saxon and Hastings Reefs.
What to expect
Each day runs to a published schedule, allowing the opportunity for five dives. A dive briefing precedes each dive, where the Dive Master explains the features of the site and some options for navigating the site.
The maps are pretty detailed and the mooring lines fan out from all corners of the large catamaran to anchor blocks almost at the foot of the reef wall. As all regs have compasses navigation is pretty easy, and as there’s hardly any current, even if you do get lost and surface – chances are you’ll be less than 50m from the boat. Even so, at the conclusion of the dive briefing, we’re asked whether we’d like a guide; and those not already in buddy pairs are buddied up.
Our gear is all assembled and waiting for us downstairs on the dive deck. It’s very easy diving: slip into the BCD, walk down six steps on the dive platform, fins on and slip into the ocean. There are decent lines, a spare tank slung at 5m, and mooring lines to take you straight to the foot of the reef.
The first dive of the day is at 6.30am, which means up at 5.45am – grab a cup of tea and get to the dive brief.
This first dive is typically followed by a hot shower in the en-suite bathroom, followed by a buffet breakfast of “the works”, with healthy options like cereal, fruit and yoghurt.
The morning dives are at 9 and 11 am giving a solid surface interval.
A buffet lunch is available from 12.30pm.
The fourth dive is at 4 pm, so this gives a little time to relax, catch up on sleep, and log dives on the sun deck.
The transfer also takes place in this slot from 2.30 to 3 pm. (Note the only mobile coverage at this part of the reef is Telstra 3G).
At some point during the day, the boat will move to a new mooring and the dive map and brief change to cover the new site.
After the fourth dive, there is again a little time to freshen up before dinner. Dinner is plated in the kitchen and served by the staff to the tables, where the conversation concerns the night dive: there is an option of the shark dive or the fluoro-dive, both of which are guided.
There’s a little write up of fluoro-dive in this blog post, with a lot more detail about a one night stay aboard the Ocean Quest.
After the night dive, dessert is served: something like a nice warm fruit bake with ice cream. There is no chance of being even the slightest bit hungry on the Ocean Quest. After that, the bar is open until 10 pm and a number of guests gather on the moon deck to discuss the day’s diving and swap dive stories from around the world.
Pricing for Divers Den Liveaboard Cairns
|Valid 01 April 2019 - 31 March 2020|
|3 Days/2 Nights Excursions||AUD|
|Double cabin with ensuite||780|
|Twin cabin with ensuite||740|
|Quad share cabin with ensuite||740|
|PADI Dive Courses Include 3 Days/2 Nights Excursions|
|5-day PADI Open Water dive course (incl. 3 day/2 night excursion)||AUD|
|Double cabin with ensuite||985|
|Twin cabin with ensuite||945|
|PADI Open Water Referral dive course (3 days/2 nights)||AUD|
|Double cabin with ensuite||945|
|Twin cabin with ensuite||905|
|PADI Advanced dive course (3 days/2 nights)||AUD|
|Double cabin with ensuite||980|
|Twin cabin with ensuite||940|
|Included: Cabin, return transfers to/from your Cairns city hotel, non-alcoholic beverages (tea, coffee, water), all meals, snacks, bed linen (no towels included), for divers up to 10 dives, full hire gear incl. a dive computer and short wetsuit for divers & full snorkeling gear and wetsuit for snorkeler. Courses also include PADI Open Water Certificate, manual and log book to keep (no manual for Referral course students) & accommodation transfer daily (Cairns City only).|
|Please use the [Enquiry Form] button to give us your exact requirements in terms of Trip#, dates, number of divers/snorkelers, and we'll give you the best deal we can.|
Divers Den Liveaboard Cairns Extras Payable Locally
|Valid until 31 March 2020|
|Nitrox per tank||10|
|Environmental Management Charge (EMC) (per day)||20|
|Fluoro Diving (per night dive)||50|
|Return transfer from the northern beaches (per person)||20|
|Prior to commencing your Learn to Dive Course you are required to complete the self assessment Student Diver Medical Declaration. A positive response to any question means that there is a pre-existing condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must consult a medical practitioner preferably with experience in diving medicine to obtain a dive medical certificate that states that you are fit to undertake recreational diver training.|
|To avoid disappointment we suggest that you complete the Student Diver Medical Declaration and if necessary obtain a dive medical from a doctor prior to commencement. (Any costs associated in this process are payable direct to the doctor).|
|Student Diver Medical Declaration and Dive Medical (if required) must be completed within 90 days of commencement of your learn to dive course.|
|If you do not have your PADI manual from your theory course, it is a PADI requirement that you purchase a manual prior to completing the course.|
|Non PADI referrals - If you have completed your pool and school training with another training agency (not PADI) you will need to do a crossover. This involves an additional day of pool and theory work and will incur additional costs.|
|Not Included: 2 x passport photos needed for certification, dive insurance|