Minke Whales Live-aboard

Dive with Dwarf Minke whales and explore the incredible ribbon reefs 

22 July - 27 July 2021 
7 days / 6 nights Ex Cairns

Minke whales and the diving experience

Dwarf Minke whale diving trips from Cairns are a highlight of the scuba diving calendar, and one that can only be experienced at the Great Barrier Reef. Amazing encounters with these inquisitive whales happen at the peak of their migration every June and July.

Join Lady of the Sea Diving Academy as we travel to the outer Great Barrier Reef to see the inquisitive Dwarf Minke whales as they migrate from the Antarctic waters up to the Ribbon Reefs.  

Dwarf Minke whales grow up to 8 metres (26 feet) long, and a closeup encounter with these majestic 6-tonne creatures is an experience you will never forget.

Minkes often approach snorkellers, divers and boats, so there is every chance to see them close up. The success rate for close sightings during a Minke whale dive over the peak season is over 90%, and your interaction with the whales could last two hours or more!

Minke whale expeditions take place on the liveaboard vessel OceanQuest. With air-conditioned cabins, each with en suite bathroom, a comfortable lounge and bar and an onboard chef delivering delicious hearty meals, you’ll have everything you need to rest and relax after your Minke whale encounter.

Ocean Quest is a three-deck, 35m catamaran purpose built for a top class dive holiday, with a spacious dive deck, large open sundecks and hot, fresh water showers. All delicious meals are prepared by the onboard chef, including hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Enjoy a well-deserved dessert treat after your day in the water!

Liveaboard trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns are truly a remarkable adventure. With more than 14 permanent moorings at Saxon and Norman reefs, and selected sites at Hastings Reef, snorkelers and divers of all levels can explore the reef and its diverse marine life from early morning to night.

At night, relax in the lounge and bar. Or if you’re keen for more undersea adventures, try a unique night dive experience like Sharks in the Dark or Fluoro Diving to make your time on board our floating reef hotel truly unforgettable.

What's Included


  • 1 night twin share accommodation Bay Village Tropical Retreat - Cairns
  • Return transfers from Cairns city accommodation for connection with OceanQuest
  • 4 nights twin share accommodation aboard "OceanQuest"
  • All cabins are air conditioned with en-suite bathrooms
  • Chef prepared meals including tea, coffee and water
  • 1 night twin share accommodation Bay Village Tropical Retreat - Cairns

Diving Package

  • Opportunity for up to 16 in-water snorkel sessions or dives including tanks, weights, belts and dive guide services
  • For snorkelers - snorkel equipment, including wetsuits
  • All reef tax and levies

Note: dive schedule will be adjusted to enable as much in-water interactions with the Minke whales as possible.

Optional Accommodation Upgrade aboard OceanQuest

  • Upgrade to double cabin for an additional $120.00 pp subject to availability

Price does not include 

  • Travel insurance and any excess luggage fees


Thursday 22 July 2021

  • Arrive Cairns
  • Transfer own arrangement to Bay Village Tropical Retreat for 1 night twin / double share accommodation

Friday 23 July 2021

  • 7:30 - Check in at Divers Den to board transfer vessel Reef Quest. Make our way to the Outer Barrier Reef and enjoy two dives at either Saxon or Norman Reef before transferring to OceanQuest at approximately 2:30pm. You'll enjoy one afternoon dive and one night dive before you steam to the Ribbon Reefs overnight.

Saturday 24 July 2021

  • Wake up to the sun rising over the Great Barrier Reef at Steve's Bommie, one of the best dive sites on the reef thank to its huge array of marine life including schools of fish, sharks, rays, nemos, octopus and more. You will enjoy four dives today, two at Steve's Bommie and two others (including one night dive) at various other sites on the upper Ribbon Reefs. 

Sunday 25 July 2021

  • More diving and snorkeling opportunities throughout the Ribbon Reefs. Your two morning dives will be at Lighthouse Bommie where most of our interactions with Minke whales take place. You will also have an afternoon dive and another night dive. 

Monday 26 July 2021

  • Another day on the Ribbon Reefs with up to 4 dives and opportunity to snorkel with Minke whales. After night dive (finishing around 8pm) you will steam south towards Cairns. 

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Wake up to your last morning on OceanQuest. After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Cairns to Bay Village Tropical Retreat for 1 night twin / double share accommodation.