LiveAboard

Ocean Quest Liveaboard, Australia

  • Rating 9.0 out of 10 9.0 Superb
    • Nitrox available
  • from $ 201 / day
  • Book Now

“This apparently is the only liveaboard option for snorklers for the GBR. Unfortunately, this trip was a bad fit for us and we left…”

Heather H, Flag of United States United States

Highlights

    • Fluoro Night Diving to experience fluorescent colors
    • Nightly "Shark In The Dark" dives
    • Whale diving safari to meet the Minke

The OceanQuest Liveaboard is a 36m Catamaran offering year-round diving trips to Australia's magnificent Outer Great Barrier Reef. The OceanQuest liveaboard is permanently moored at the Outer Reef, and guests are transferred by fast boat from Cairns. 

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Included: VAT, Hotel Transfer, Drinking Water, Tea & Coffee, Full-Board Meal Plan (All meals), Diving Package, Rental Gear.

Required Extras: Port Fees (20 AUD per day).

Optional Extras: Gratuities, Airport Transfer, Alcoholic Beverages, Soft drinks, Snacks, Nitrox, Nitrox Course (269 AUD), Private Dive Guide (120 AUD per activity), Scuba Diving Courses.

Book now, pay later: You can easily place your booking online. We will then hold the spaces for you and you can confirm with a payment later.

* Extra fees are shown per person.

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Cabin Types

Ocean Quest Reviews

  • Rating 9.0 out of 10
  • 9.0 Superb
  1. Vessel
    8.8
  2. Crew
    8.5
  3. Food
    9.5
  4. Diving
    9.1
  5. Value
    9.1
  • Rating 4.8 out of 10
  • 4.8 Review score
  • Heather H
  • Flag of United States United States

Not a good fit at all!

This apparently is the only liveaboard option for snorklers for the GBR. Unfortunately, this trip was a bad fit for us and we left after 2 nights even though we paid for 5 nights. The pros: the staff was fantastic and safety is taken seriously. Food was ample and adequate and the fruit was excellent. The boat smelled OK (with the exception of our head, because our swim gear and towels wouldn't dry there). The cons: Boat amenities are the bare minimum and policies seem to be focused on efficiency rather than customer comfort. Unfortunately, we first learned about these policies when we were already underway, as they were not disclosed previously. First, we learned while onboard Aqua Quest that both boats were barefoot only. I just spent the better part of 4 years eradicating incredibly resistant plantar's warts (which spread from one foot to the other), and this included daily chemotherapy and other painful injections that affected my mobility. This was followed by a couple of rounds of athlete's foot. I have sterilized all shoes, socks and linens and my doctor has implored me to never go barefoot in any wet areas, including in my own house, so that my family members and I won't have the chance to spread viruses or fungus to each other. Suddenly, I learned I was *required* to share foot viruses and diseases with a whole slew of people in a wet environment. If I had known about that in advance, we never would have booked this trip. We tried to make the best of it, but it was not tolerable for us. Second, we were required to be completely dry in order to be inside both Aqua Quest and Ocean Quest (which means getting in and out of wetsuits and swim gear between every snorkel). This was challenging, because there were no hooks, hangers or clothing lines to hang wet or dry clothes in the wet heads on Aqua Quest or our cabin on Ocean Quest, and insufficient air circulation in our cabin head for gear or towels to dry overnight. I also didn't notice any hairdryers in our cabin to assist with drying ourselves. These have been basic amenities on all other livaboards we have stayed on, but Ocean Quest offers the bare minimum. The aircon on Ocean Quest was freezing indoors, so even when dry, it was difficult to warm up. We actually skipped some snorkels because we were already cold and couldn't imagine getting wet and colder. These boats are designed for diving, so I can't understand why they weren't furnished with floors and furniture in some indoor areas that can simply be wiped down. I also can't understand why the temperature couldn't be controlled and there was no option for heat. As for our cabin, having a bright and open view of the water and horizon is really important to us when we are at sea, for enjoyment and to prevent seasickness. We were told when we booked that our room type would have a window to the water. We were assigned a cabin on the lowest level of guest rooms that faced forward to the bow, which was about 3 steps above us. We could see water when we searched for it, but our view was obstructed by equipment and was dark and depressing. We ended up keeping our shades closed often for privacy, because staff would need to operate equipment on the bow. That is, we kept the shades as closed as possible, because the curtain holds were falling apart. Considering most people booked the boat for 1 or 2 nights (and we booked for 5), we were surprised that we were not assigned a nicer room. Some other people had a sitting area in their room, but we had nothing like that. We just had a bed with 2 pillows and 2 throw pillows on a bed for 2 people. We saw no places to charge anything in our cabin except in the head, right above the sink (with no shelf to place any belongings). Again, the bare minimum. We couldn't wait to disembark, as this is unlike the experience we have had any other time at sea (and we've done many livaboards, including powerboats and sailboats) of all sizes. The water was fairly choppy

Recommended for
The pros: the staff was fantastic and safety is taken seriously. Food was ample and adequate and the fruit was excellent. The boat smelled OK (with the exception of our head, because our swim gear and towels wouldn't dry there).
  • Rating 9.2 out of 10
  • 9.2 Superb
  • Traci D
  • Flag of United States United States

Great way to experience the GBR!

We really enjoyed the trip. As stated above, the staff, the equipment was ample and well maintained. Liked that you could dive or snorkel and that guides were always available. The lead into the trip was great. Communication was clear and I always received responses to my questions. The downside was the air conditioning. It really needs to be upgraded. We were very cold and uncomfortable in our room. The vent is loud, cold and no ability to adjust to a reasonable temperature. The only other area for improvement would be cleanliness. The rooms are only superficially cleaned between guests. However our takeaway was very good memories and fun.

Recommended for
The locations and experience on the reef. The dive guides. The sunrises from the boat.
  • Rating 6.0 out of 10
  • 6.0 Review score
  • Kris H
  • Flag of United States United States

Minke Whale trip June 2024

It definitely felt like a cattle boat the first day, as they take day snorkelers and day divers on the transfer boat. It was chaotic without a lot of information and so many people. You had to pay for a guide for each dive if you wanted one, never saw this before on a LOB, yet the price was high. Was happy to dive without the pricey guides. No towels provided for after dive, had to use room shower towel. Seeing the Minke whales was spectacular. Advertised as Dive trip, but you don’t dive with the Minkes - only snorkeling, which was ok, just wish that was made clearer. Next time I’ll choose another boat.

Recommended for
The boat was kept clean, but is old and tired. Big decks, but absolutely no chairs on sun deck to relax.

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