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Coral Sea Safari Liveaboard Adventure Diving for Advanced Divers from Cairns

8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,686

Suit up and dive into the remote waters of the Great Barrier Reef on this underwater adventure for advanced divers. Get acquainted with the massive potato cod at Cod Hole before getting up close and personal with reef sharks at North Horn and minke whales at Lighthouse Bommie, all while enjoying the comforts of the award-winning Spoilsport.

This 8-day adventure cruise takes you from Cairns to many of the best diving spots in the Coral Sea.

Your Australia vacation begins in tropical Cairns on Australia’s northeastern coast. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system and largest living structure. Embark on the Spoilsport to explore this amazing ecosystem.

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions’ Spoilsport is Australia’s most awarded live-aboard diving vessel. With 14 cabins offering a combination of budget accommodations and premium ocean views, the Spoilsport and its crew of 12 are committed to taking you to the best of the Great Barrier Reef. The vessel’s combination of space, stability, and diver convenience is unmatched. Enjoy award-winning food in the bar and lounge and survey the reef from the sundeck while exploring remote Coral Sea atolls.

Begin with a dive to the Cod Hole, where you’ll get acquainted with the eccentric potato cod. These friendly, spotted grey fish can grow as large as humans and make for great photography subjects. Instagrammers, meet your next hit pic! If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to dive to the depths of the Snake Pit and admire the olive sea snakes that call these deep coral bommies home.

Get acquainted with the Osprey Reef by swimming through the underwater caverns of Fairy Grotto. At Admiralty Anchor, marvel at the massive black coral trees and golden fans that line the sea floor. Also keep your eyes peeled for dog-tooth tuna and bump-head parrotfish. Test your daring at the North Horn, where dozens of grey reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks reign supreme. If you don’t get your fill of sharks at North Horn, head to False Entrance, where you could be lucky enough to spot hammerhead sharks cruising during the winter.

Take a break from diving on Lizard Island and climb Chinaman’s Ridge for stunning views of Watson’s Bay. At the Lighthouse Bommie you’ll swim alongside yellow and blue snappers. If you visit in June through August, you’ll be lucky enough to see the small minke whales that migrate the waters. Marvel at the colourful coral formations and blue tangs (like Dory from Finding Nemo) of the Goggle Gardens. Finally, dive to one of the most spectacular spots in the entire Great Barrier Reef: Steve’s Bommie. Boasting seemingly-endless numbers of barracuda, yellow-lined snapper, Moses perch, yellow-lined goatfish, scorpionfish, lionfish, mantis shrimps and brightly-coloured coral, Steve’s Bommie offers a great finish to your reef adventure.

This underwater safari is a perfect way to explore the splendour of the Great Barrier Reef on a trip to Australia.


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8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,686

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1


Check in between 8.30am - 4.00pm at the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions office. Most of the day will be free time to enjoy Cairns! Dinner is not served on-board tonight, at 4pm you can meet other guests at Mondo's Cafe Bar & Grill, Hilton Hotel to purchase a meal if you like. Mike will come say hi if in town. As the sun sets over the coastal port city of Cairns, you'll board Mike Ball's Spoilsport to begin your epic diving adventure. Meet the crew, mingle with guests and settle into your cabin as you cruise overnight to the first stop on your 450 mile dive odyssey.

Duration7 Nights


More Info

Location View map
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    Spoilsport is Australia's most awarded liveaboard dive boat. Custom built to provide superb dive and guest facilities, Spoilsport has a twin hull design which maximises stability and passenger comfort in all conditions. Measuring 30m in length, Spoilsport has a dedicated crew of 12 people including ...

    Spoilsport is Australia's most awarded liveaboard dive boat. Custom built to provide superb dive and guest facilities, Spoilsport has a twin hull design which maximises stability and passenger comfort in all conditions. Measuring 30m in length, Spoilsport has a dedicated crew of 12 people including the dive team, Master, chef and host.


    • Bar
    • Lounge
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Fridays, Standard Itinerary - Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Cod Hole: One of the Great Barrier Reefs most amazing phenomenon's awaits you at the Cod Hole, where you'll swim with incredibly inquisitive 'small diver size' potato cod. Also a great site to check out white tip reef sharks sleeping in the sand, the occasional grey reef shark and if you're lucky, sometimes a hammerhead.

Snake Pit: An isolated platform reef shoaling up to form a number of deep coral bommies festooned with multi coloured crinoids. Olive sea snakes are commonly found and are both very curious and very complacent, allowing the more adventurous diver and photographer to get very close indeed! It is also common to sight a variety of ray species, cuttlefish and turtles.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Saturday, Standard Itinerary - Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea

Admiralty anchor: Glide past huge black coral trees, giant feathery soft corals, golden fans and red whips housed along the plummeting walls. Swim amongst schools of giant trevally, dog-tooth tuna, blue spot trevally, barracuda or bump-head parrotfish. Observe or be observed by the many shark species in the area.

North Horn: Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea! Your Osprey Reef adventure builds to a climax with a spectacular shark dive at North Horn. You will see 10-30 grey reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks as well as other species. You can photograph these sleek high order predators at close- range, or not so close, you choose!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Sunday, Standard Itinerary - Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea

False Entrance is another amazing dive site! Other than the resident schooling big eye trevally and barracudas, which make for a great photo opportunity, there's colourful gorgonian fans, whips and soft corals. Keep one eye out on the blue water for cruising hammerheads in the cooler months.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Monday, Lizard Island, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Cruise to Lizard Island on Sunday night. This is the halfway point on your safari, guests from the Fly Dive options join or leave the boat. 7 Night guests can off-gas and take some unique photographs on Lizard Island during a walk along Watson's Bay and climbing the hill to Chinaman's Ridge.

Lighthouse Bommie- Big schools of brightly coloured yellow and blue snapper cruise the top of an adjacent reef, while numerous species of anemone fish have also made it their home. During minke whale season (June to August) this is one of the best spots to see these magnificent creatures.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Tuesday, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Goggle Gardens is a diverse site requiring more than one dive; spectacular coral formations rise from the depths of the ancient 'Starky River' adorning walls, bommies and sandy flats to the reef edge crevasses.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Wednesday, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Steve's Bommie: On the final day, you will find yourself at one of the Great Barrier Reef's most popular sites, Steve's Bommie. Schooling trevally, barracuda and large mackerel hang in the current, reef sharks patrol in the depths, fantastic coral and a huge diversity of reef fish surround the top of the site. A photographer's dream!

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Thursday, Returning to Cairns

Disembark 8:00am at Trinity Wharf, Cairns.

Courtesy transfers are provided from the vessel to the Mike Ball office, inner city hotel locations and the Cairns Domestic and International Airports.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2020/21: Thursdays between Apr 9 - Mar 25*
* Cruise not available May '20 & Feb '21


  • 26 dives
  • Daily serviced air conditioned accommodation
  • Meals as indicated
  • Complimentary soft drinks & wine with your evening meal
  • Complimentary Reef Ecology program
  • Underwater photography competition on each expedition
  • Nitrox
  • Solo diving and re-breather service
  • Complimentary orientation dives for novice divers
  • Uncrowded diving - from main vessel or tender dives
  • Warm towel after each dive
  • Snorkelling
  • Trip end soiree - music & Australian BBQ dinner
  • All guests are supplied with Nautilus Lifeline personal GPS locator devices, tanks and weight belts as part of the diving service


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Gratuities unless otherwise stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Full gear hire is AUD$44/day (Includes mask, snorkel, regulator set, dive computer, full length 5mm wetsuit, 3mm hood, BCD, surface marker buoy, full foot fins, torch and cyalume sticks)
  • Children's sizing is not supplied - it is strongly recommended that children bring their own wetsuit, mask and fins
  • Photo Services
  • Environment charges
  • Reef tax


This is the best Cairns expedition for the average diver, suitable for novice to advanced divers.


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

4 Mar 2021
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