7 Night Ribbons and Beyond Exploration

Explore up towards the rarely visited Tijou Reefs (500km North of Cairns)

7 Night Ribbons and Beyond Exploration

DIVE LEVEL:  We recommend this Great Barrier Reef liveaboard dive trip for Advanced Open Water and a highly competent diver. Minimum 100 dives logged with a high level of fitness and experience in strong currents and remote reef dives.

DEPARTS CAIRNS: Thurs 2 May 2024 12:00    RETURNS CAIRNS: Thurs 9 May 2024 07:30

DEPARTS CAIRNS: Thurs 15 May 2025 12:00    RETURNS CAIRNS: Thurs 22 May 2025 07:30

DIVES: 24-28 Dives depending on weather conditions (including two night dives)

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Liveaboard Overview

Join Spirit of Freedom for a unique exploration of the northern Great Barrier Reef. We will be operating two separate trips and will travel to some of the most pristine areas of the Great Barrier Reef, including the Tijou Reef, Cat Reef, Derry Reef, Wilson Reef, and the world-famous Cod Hole. This seven-night expedition will combine exploratory diving with some of our favourite dive sites in the region. You will travel approximately 300 nautical miles (500+ km) and have the opportunity for 24-28 dives (including night dives).

You will experience an amazing diversity of underwater landscapes including deep oceanic walls laces with massive gorgonians, whips and soft corals; gardens of impressive coral formations; and isolates pinnacles, bays, caves and canyons. Marine life encounters we will experience in this region include a variety of species of sharks, rays, turtles and schools of pelagic fish, as well as an incredible amount of diverse macro life. 

The style of diving (including various forms of entries and exits) on this trip and the conditions we will experience are suited for highly competent divers, and we recommend this expedition for more experienced divers with a high-level of fitness.

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Book directly with us - We guarantee you won't find a cheaper price.

Cabins & Rates

Dive liveaboard trip prices are per person in AUD$ and include:

  • Chef-prepared meals & snacks, wine and soft drinks are included with the evening meal.
  • Tanks, air fills, Nautilus Lifeline and weight belt. Full equipment rental available.
  • Daily cabin service.
  • Cairns hotel or Airport transfers.
  • GST and all reef levies and fees.

Located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck, the Ocean View Deluxe Cabin boats a 10.5m² area with 3 large windows overlooking the starboard side of the vessel. 

A comfy double bed will ensure you are well rest for a full day of diving. The room features bedside tables, wardrobe and 26″ flat screen TV.

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom.

Double or Sole occupancy only.

Ocean View Deluxe Cabin

Our Ocean View cabin is located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck.

As the name suggests, you will enjoy stunning views from this air conditioned 7.2m² cabin, which contains a double bed, private bathroom, a wardrobe and 26” flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only. 

Ocean View Standard Cabin

The largest of all cabins onboard the vessel, The Stateroom cabin is located in a private area on the lower deck, close to the dive deck and dining saloon.

Fully air-conditioned, this spacious 12m² cabin contains a queen size bed, a private bathroom, extra shelving, wardrobe, bedside tables and 26″ flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only: no twin share option available.

The Stateroom

Spirit of Freedom has seven standard double or twin share cabins. Five of these cabins contain a double bed with a single bed over the top, bunk style. One cabin contains just a double bed and one cabin has two single beds.

These cabins are all located on the lower deck, with easy access to the main deck and have an average area of 10m² square metres in area. 

Fully air-conditioned, the cabins have an ensuite bathroom and also contain a wardrobe, personal reading light and a bedside table. 

 Please advise your preference for double or twin share when placing your booking. Sole occupancy also available. 

Standard Double or Twin Share

Located midships on the lower deck, the quad share cabin containing four single beds, bunk style and is a great options for groups or families as you explore the Great Barrier Reef on your epic dive adventure. 

This 9m² cabin has easy access to the main deck and includes a private ensuite bathroom and personal reading lights for each bed. 

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and also contains a wardrobe, as well as storage under the bottom two bunks. 

Quad Share Cabin

Ribbons and Beyond Exploration Diver Safety

  • Suitable for competent divers with a good level of physical fitness.
  • Diver experience recommendation: Advanced Open Water and a highly competent diver. Minimum 100 Recorded Dives with Experience in Strong Currents and remote reef dives.
  • Buddy teams are responsible for planning and conducting their own dives as we do not offer a full guided dive service.
  • Diver Health: If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a medical clearance. Please contact us for guidance.

Sample Itinerary

The below itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions. The stated number of dives and dive sites visited cannot be guaranteed.

Cairns City hotel transfers begin at 11 am, for a 12 pm departure. 

Cairns to Norman Reef, two dives, dinner and then steam to Ribbon 10 overnight.

Diving Ribbon 10 and Cod Hole. Opportunity to do up to 4 dives then overnight travel to Tijou Reef South.

Diving Tijou Reef South. Opportunity to do 5 dives including 1 night dive, followed by overnight travel to Tijou Reef North.

Diving Tijou Reef North and Cat/Ham/Derry Reef. Opportunity to do 4 dives, followed by overnight travel to 3 Mile Opening.

Diving 3 Mile Opening and Creech Reef. Opportunity to do 5 dives, including one night dive. Followed by overnight travel to Alladins Cave.

Diving Alladins Cave, Amazing Grace and Wilson Reef. Opportunity to do 4 dives, followed by overnight travel to Ribbon 5.

Diving  Ribbon 5 and 3. Opportunity to do 4 dives, followed by overnight travel to Cairns

Arrive in Cairns early morning. Breakfast on board and disembark at 7.30 am. 

Trip Map

7 Night Beyond The Ribbons Expedition Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As our guest, you are free to enjoy your own diving style, within the boundaries of safe and responsible diving. As such we set no limits on time, depth or style of diving outside of normal safe diving practices. You and your buddy are in charge, planning your own dive and diving your own plan. Buddy teams may follow one of our inexperienced groups, led by a Safety Diver, and come and go as you please.

Every dive begins with a detailed dive briefing. The dive staff are on deck providing surface support including a safety lookout. When available, dive staff may be in-water offering support with photography and critter spotting. Spirit of Freedom does not offer a full guided dive service. Our Safety Divers are assigned to those divers who are at risk or to assist students.

Spirit of Freedom can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests and operates with a maximum of 11 crew members.

Yes, Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. You can get a free quote for liveaboard dive insurance here.

In the event the trip is cancelled due to inclement weather, deeming it unsafe to travel, the company does not offer refunds for cancellations for reasons beyond the company’s control (Force Majeure). Comprehensive Travel Insurance covering trip cancellation due to poor weather is strongly recommended in this case, particularly during the Australian summer months (November to May) when cyclones and high winds can affect our trips.

We strongly recommend travel insurance to cover you against any unforeseen eventuality, as our policies do not allow for refunds on cancellations within 60 days.

Also, should you experience any flight delays or cancellations, lost luggage, etc which may result in you missing the vessel departure, Travel Insurance should cover these issues.

We strongly recommend all passengers (divers and snorkellers) have evacuation and medical cover for scuba diving. Please be aware that scuba diving and in-water activities are not covered by all Travel Insurance Companies, and it is advisable to check with your insurance agent regarding your coverage for scuba diving. It is important to note that in a medical emergency, the costs involved for an evacuation, vessel relocation or medical expenses are the responsibility of that diver.

Spirit of Freedom provides divers with a mask, snorkel, boots, fins, tanks, weights, and weight belts. We also supply safety equipment including surface marker buoys, whistles, and Nautilus LifeLine Marine GPS. Cyalume sticks and torches will also be provided for night diving.

For more detail on what equipment is available aboard Spirit of Freedom, visit our equipment rental page.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea is great year-round! During Cairns’ winter (May to August) the water is a little cooler and offers great visibility and beautiful clear days, but sometimes can bring stronger winds. During this season it’s a great opportunity to swim with minke whales.

From September through December the water warms up a little, and generally, conditions are clear with light winds. Many coral reef species breed at this time.

January through April is considered our wetter season, with amazing feeding and marine action following the breeding season. Refer to our Great Barrier Reed Diving Seasons and Weather page for more information.

Booking direct with Spirit of Freedom means you should always pay the lowest price on our trips. If you find any Spirit of Freedom trip advertised under the same terms and conditions (brand, date, number of people, availability, inclusions) and at a lower price online, we’ll credit you the difference between the price paid and the lower price found. All special offers and promotional campaigns are marked as such. Simply email us with details. See terms for full details. 

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