Ribbon Reef Explorer – CANCELLED


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Ribbon Reef Explorer – CANCELLED

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Please note this tour has been cancelled. Deep Sea Divers Den ceased running the Ribbon Reef Explorer trips on 25 December 2015. For more information, please visit our News story. We apologise for any inconvenience and welcome you to look at our other Ribbon Reef and Cod Hole liveaboard dive trip tour options and suggestions.

Are you on a budget and want to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs? Then this is the trip for you! This 4 day / 3 night liveaboard trip includes up to 10 dives, including night dives, and is hundreds of dollars cheaper than other Ribbon Reef liveaboard dive trips.

So, what’s the difference and why does it cost less? Basically, this trip combines the Ribbon Reefs with diving on reefs off Cairns and Port Douglas. It does not visit the Cod Hole, but does provide one full day of diving (four dives, including a night dive) on the Ribbon Reefs.

Also, this boat is smaller (and less luxurious) than some of the other Ribbon Reef liveaboard dive boats. TAKA, which runs the Ribbon Reef Explorer dive trips, is owned and operated by Deep Sea Divers Den. This operator has more than 30 years’ experience running dive trips and has tailored this trip to suit the budget market. Accommodation ranges from 2 / 4 shared facilities, to twin / double with ensuite and a stateroom with ensuite.

The tour price includes: Cairns city hotel transfers, three nights accommodation on the TAKA boat, all meals and linen (in the cabin – not on the dive deck), all snorkelling equipment, some diving equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, tanks, weights and wetsuits) and a free dive guide subject to availability. This trip is suitable for snorkelers and divers (for more information on these activities, please see below tabs). Maximum of 30 guests. Departs Tuesday and returns Friday.


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Detailed below is a basic itinerary, based on a standard trip. Please note, the itinerary may vary, pending weather and conditions. We have included highlights, as well as detailed trip information, for ease of reading. Please contact us for more information.

TUESDAY. Highlights: Boarding TAKA, departing Cairns and travelling to the Great Barrier Reef’s Saxon and Norman Reefs. Chance for snorkelling and up to two (2) dives, including a night dive. Sunset over the Coral Sea.

MORE DETAIL: Your Ribbon Reef Explorer trip commences with a morning pick-up from your Cairns city accommodation around 9.15am. From here, it’s over to Marlin Marina to board TAKA and commence your diving adventure. Breakfast is provided on-board the boat and guests are shown to their cabins and provided with welcome, diving and trip briefings, en route to the first reef destination.

Today TAKA visits Cairns’ northern reefs, Norman and Saxon, with guests able to take up to two (2) scuba dives, including a night dive with reef sharks, and enjoy unlimited snorkelling. With all guests back on board, TAKA commences its overnight steam up to the Ribbon Reefs.

WEDNESDAY. Highlights: Waking up on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs and diving some of these pristine dive sites. Up to four (4) dives today, including a night dive.

MORE DETAIL: Today you spend the whole day playing on the southern Ribbon Reefs. TAKA is able to visit a range of sites across the Ribbon Reefs and will choose the best sites to maximise your experience, pending weather and conditions during your visit.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served at various times throughout the day, keeping everyone fuelled up for their diving and snorkelling. There is the option for a night dive tonight.

THURSDAY. Highlights: Up to four (4) dives on the Ribbon Reef and Agincourt Reef systems, including a night dive.

MORE DETAIL: Today is spent exploring some more of the southern Ribbon Reefs and the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served at various times throughout the day, keeping everyone fuelled up for their diving and snorkelling. There is the option for a night dive tonight, before TAKA commences its return to the reefs off Cairns.

FRIDAY. Highlights: (or lowlights) Leaving the boat and returning to the mainland and your accommodation.MORE DETAIL: Wake up in Cairns and enjoy breakfast on the boat, before drop-offs back to your accommodation, which commences at around 9am.


This trip is recommended for certified divers only. Open Water certification is a minimum requirement and there is no solo diving on this trip. Divers travelling on their own will be paired up with a buddy on board, by the friendly crew. Most of the diving is unguided, however, crew are in the water on most dives and can provide assistance, if needed and available. Alternatively, there is the option to hire a private dive guide (costs $120 per dive or $500 per day).

Some diving equipment is included in the tour price. This is: mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit, tanks and weights, torches for night dives. You can bring your own BCD and gauges / regulators etc or hire these on-board (along with dive computer) for $160 per trip. Other extras include the chance to take a PADI Enriched Air Course ($300) or PADI Advanced Course ($200). Nitrox certified divers can book enriched air fills at $10 per fill or $120 per trip.

Divers can enjoy up to 10 dives on this trip. Conditions (pending extreme weather events) should be relatively easy. Maximum dive depth will be 30m (or to your certification level). You do not have to do all of the dives: you can do as many or as few as you like with the chance to snorkel. Dive site briefings are provided at every site.

Divers will be required to show proof of their certification (dive cards / log books) and will need to complete dive medical paperwork on board.


Snorkellers will also enjoy the Ribbon Reef Explorer trip. Snorkelling conditions on Norman Reefs and the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs are excellent (all of these locations are visited regularly by day boats with snorkelers on them). The southern Ribbon Reefs also offer fantastic snorkelling, although the reef system is (generally) a little further under the water here. Snorkelers travel at a slightly discounted price.

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Cairns Underwater Camera Hire Service

Spend over $550.00 AUD on your Great Barrier Reef tour with us and receive the latest Digital Underwater Camera Hire. Take amazing High-Resolution images and 1080 HD Video.

Not available for any tours to the Islands as fine white sand damages the seals on the cameras and makes them leak!

You need to come into our shop located on the Cairns Esplanade the day before departure to pick up the camera before 5:30 pm. You also need to supply your own SD Camera Card and drop the camera off back at our shop before 6:00pm.