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Ocean Quest

Diving Squad Rating:


7.9 / 10

Ocean Quest is the hands down cheapest great barrier reef liveaboard, yet offers fantastic value for money with an average of 4 dives a day. 

There’s also some really cool additional experiences on offer, including whale safaris and bio-fluorescent dives!

Great for: Cheapest, Value for Money, Beginners, Short Trips, Diving Courses 

Trip Lengths: Flexible

Max Guest Capacity: 48

Operates: All year


Ocean Quest is permanently moored at the outer great barrier reef, with daily transfers from cairns. This means you get ultimate flexibility with planning your time with this liveaboard. You can stay for just 1 night or up to 5.

Most of Ocean Quests’ trips only require open water certification and 3 – 5 logged dives from guests, so this is a good option for newbie divers. It’s also possible to complete diving courses throughout your stay!

Certified divers can go on night dives, but for those who aren’t certified, it’s also possible to go on a “Sharks in the Dark” snorkelling experience. 

Ocean Quest also offers Fluoro night diving for an additional charge of $50. You’ll be provided with specialist torches and mask filters to bring the reef to life in a dazzling array of stunning fluorescent colours. This is the closest you’ll ever come to a rave under the sea.

On the first day you get 5 dive opportunities, followed by 4 on every other day and then 2 on the last day. 

Although the cheapest Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, Ocean Quest is actually one of the most spacious. Her common areas are split into 3 decks; comprised of sundecks, a well stocked bar with entertainment system, indoor lounge and large dining hall. That said, these facilities do feel a little basic. 

There are 22 cabins, each with AC, ensuite bathrooms and TV. Few other liveaboards have TV in all their cabins! Twin single options are available as well as double cabins. 

Ocean Quest is a good option for anyone looking to enjoy a quick liveaboard experience around the Great Barrier Reef. The “Sharks in the dark” experience, also means that this liveaboard can offer snorkelers a little more than most other options.

That said, the variety of dive sites are fairly limited and guests neither get to explore any of the far north Ribbon Reefs or the outer GB Reef further down south. Plus, most trips don’t have special themes as is the case with Spoilsport or Sprit of Freedom 

The final verdict? If you’re on a budget, short for time or a newbie diver , Ocean Quest is a good choice – she offers excellent value for money, and the boat herself feels like she should be more expensive than she is!

But experienced divers in pursuit of real action, or those with more cash to splash, should at least read the other Great Barrier Reef liveaboard reviews, to see what else is on offer! 

Guest Reviews:

Kelsey GCanada
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"The diving is unreal. I also loved that you did NOT have to go with a guide and could go as a buddy team. This was a bonus as group diving can be frustrating. Everything was great, the staff was very professional and structured with safety. My 1 only complaint would be that I personally need the boat needs to be renovated/updated in the rooms and dining areas. It’s a little out dated and worn out".
Tatiana SUnited States
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"Sharks in the Dark was such a great experience - unlike anything I've ever done. The schedule throughout the day works well for divers, the crew and new guests. The boat is large enough to have your own space but also socialize with the other guests. Great trip"!
Joshua WUnited States
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"Sea turtles galore. Friendly atmosphere. Felt welcome, safe and encouraged to have a good time. I had an equalizing problem and couldn't dive ( heart broken ) but the crew still made sure I had a good time and got to enjoy the reef".

Other Features:

  • Sundecks

  • Bar

  • Indoor Saloon

  • Daily housekeeping

  • Seaview cabins

  • Warm water showers

  • Non-diver (snorkeler) friendly

Ellie H from the United States said:

“The highlights of my trip include the shark snorkel experience where I got to see several reef sharks up close. I also saw 7 turtles on one of the morning dives.

The crew knew everyone by name and were incredibly friendly. I really enjoyed my time on the boat, and the guided tours were very helpful since the guides pointed out so much sea life that I would have never noticed if diving unguided”!

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Written by:

Picture of Alex


Scuba fanatic, travel ecstatic and loveable rogue. A rootless divemaster and perpetual adrenaline-junky, Alex holds the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad; a title he most nobly awarded to himself. A scuba-junky since 2014, he's dived much of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. It's hard to say where he'll pop up next for he never settles; forever a leaf on the wind... or perhaps a lone bubble blasted along on the current.