Rum Runner Cairns

Pier Point Rd 1, 4870, Cairns
Pier Point Rd 1
4870, Cairns
0429 638 744

Opening hours

  • Monday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

Rum Runner Cairns provides a unique great barrier reef diving and snorkeling expedition service in Cairns

Dive, snorkel and sail away with us on select departures available from our famous 2D/1N GBR dive and snorkel liveaboard and PADI Courses, or our half and full day Private Charters, Extended Ribbon Reef Expeditions / Charters, and private charter up to 5 days / 5 nights departing from Cairns to Australia’s top attraction - The Great Barrier Reef - to the very outer reefs that we visit - with still abundant healthy tropical reefs, rich with marine biodiversity.

Private Coral Sea Dive Expeditions of 3 nights / 3 days duration can be booked for afternoon departures to one of the world’s top 50 dive destinations – Holmes Reef. Shark dives and sheer walls laced with massive soft corals, schooling barracoota and big eye trevally, and if you’re really lucky manta-rays, whale sharks and hammer head sharks, are just some of the highlights you'll experience with Rum Runner shark diving Charters.

Due to a new GBRMPA reef survey contract till 2024, departures for our famous GBR liveaboard to Thetford Reef are now guaranteed for departure pending fine weather forecast, and no minimum passenger numbers required!

Tours are scheduled on most Wednesdays and Saturdays, and other selected dates were we are able to fit extra tours in. Fine weather forecast means no winds above 25kts. (why would you want to go out there in strong winds for? Not even the Locals will; Some operators will; WE Don't)

So if we can't depart as scheduled we ask to please accept some flexibility and a lot of understanding as you look to book on to this tour. Any bookings made directly with Rum Runner Cairns, which we are unable to honor or which you need to cancel, or are unable to reschedule, will receive 100% full refunds.

Call to book to guarantee the best rate and ask Captain Richard about the best sailing conditions and departure dates. Look out for select scheduled confirmed departures on our booking page, and our DIVE SPECIALS - direct bookings secure free dive gear hire and $40 reef and fuel levy included!

Reef Runner can comfortably have 1- 16 guests. Offering Mid Morning 4hr - Half Day sight seeing / drone flying Charters or the popular 8hr Full Day reef and diving Option. Rum Runner specialise In-water activities, such as snorkelling & diving.

Rum Runner Cairns have been providing Cairns Reef Trips since 2005 and in that time we have gained valuable experience of the area we tour and where the best spots to go are. We take regular groups of up to 16 people for Cairns snorkeling expeditions where guests get to see some of the most beautiful parts of the Great Barrier Reef. Our services are value added with Cairns scuba diving expeditions to some very unique parts of the Great Barrier Reef marine park and we ensure all of our services are operated in the most professional way. If you have never been scuba diving before don't worry! We have trained and certified Cairns PADI course instructors who can help you get the skills necessary before you come out with us for a reef diving trip. And if you ever wanted to go shark diving Cairns this is our specialty with trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea expeditions to take divers to places where spotting all types of sharks is possible.

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Rum Runner Cairns: Reviews

5/5 (50 Reviews)
Patricia Short 2 weeks ago

Fantastic experience: We booked the Rum Runner on a whim and I must say we had a great time. Lots of food and lots of great dive spots. We went to places that no other ships were going. Mind you we went on three different ships and this by far was the best as far as crew, dive spots and pure fun. We liked it so much we are going back next year and bringing our whole family for a private cruise.

Stefan Köpcke 2 weeks ago

Fantastic experience: I really enjoyed the trip on the Rum Runner. It is not a luxury boat, but it is everything there what you need. The Captain is also a really good cook (the dinner was great :-)) I was really happy, that we were on a small reef (3 different diving spots), so there was no other boat around and we could enjoy the great barrier reef in its beauty without being disturbed :-)

Sebastian Nagel 2 weeks ago

Fantastic experience: Had lots of fun on this 2-day dive trip. We did 6 dives around thetford reef with no other ships around and only 8 other guests. Exactly what we were looking for! Food was great and breathtaking sunset, stars and sunrise included!

Ollie Dennis 1 month ago

Fantastic experience: Amazing time on rum runner. It was fantastic value for money and the boat is minimalistic but has everything you need for a trip out to the reef. All meals (plenty of food) and drinking water were included. Take any other drinks and you can keep them in the fridge. The dive equipment was all fully functional and as a certified diver you dive with a buddy (no guide) which was really cool because it meant you could just go explore the reef however you wanted and was great to build confidence diving. All dive sites were safe and easy to navigate, with the most amazing corals and fishies. At night the stars were the brightest I’ve ever seen we saw the Milky Way and lots of shooting stars. Sunrise and sunset over the ocean was another highlight. Would book again without hesitation!! Thanks to richard masa and Corey for a great trip.

Caitlin Wilkinson 1 month ago

Fantastic experience: Best dive boat in Cairns!

Jacob Ryde 1 month ago

Fantastic experience: Other reviews encompass this wonderful Great Barrier Reef overnight experience already, and I'm not sure what else we can add but I'll try! The ship crew were fantastic, both professional in their work and fun as hosts of the trip, cooking delicious meals, leading us on introductory scuba dives (making us feel comfortable and confident, it being our first dives) and making everyone comfortable. This trip isn't for the faint of heart, though! It's raw, it's classic, an old boat that doesn't have luxuries. If you're looking for that, look elsewhere. But if you're happy to sleep in a tight cabin, be rocked around a little by the waves, and not have your creature comforts then this is the trip for you! They offer the best price for more budget-travellers, but even for those with a bit more money I'd recommend this crew for the authenticity they provide and adventure you'll have. 10/10 experience, would recommend to friends and anyone who reads this. (Review taken from my TripAdvisor)

Mathis Menuet 1 month ago

Fantastic experience: Unforgettable Great Barrier Reef dive experience My partner and I did a 2-day/1-night liveaboard trip with Rum Runner Cairns and it was incredible. The crew was friendly and professional, the food was delicious, and the boat was spacious and comfortable. We did six dives, each in a different location on the Great Barrier Reef. The dive sites were stunning and teeming with marine life. We saw colorful fish, turtles. The night dive was also an amazing experience. We saw creatures we wouldn't have seen during the day, like fluorescent corals. The crew was amazing. They were friendly, helpful, and professional. They made us feel safe and ensured we had a great time. The food was another highlight. The chef prepared fresh, delicious meals that were perfect after a long day of diving. The boat was spacious and comfortable. There was plenty of room to relax and enjoy the view, and there was also bathroom with hot showers. We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend Rum Runner Cairns to anyone looking for an unforgettable dive experience on the Great Barrier Reef.

Calvin Wilkinson 1 month ago

Fantastic experience: The crew were excellent; the boat was solid; the opportunity few get in a lifetime.

Jürgen Klopp 2 months ago

Fantastic experience: 2D/1N tour was excellent! We were a small group of 6, there was enough and good food, very relaxed crew. The 6 scuba dives we went as couples or whole group, there is no current and no other boats around. So also for fresh open water divers it's really fun, you don't get lost :) Don't forget to bring some beers for the beautiful sunset! This tour does not feel commercial as other tours, love it!

Isja Visserman 3 months ago

Fantastic experience: I went on an overnight trip to the reef with Rum Runner, and I had a great time! It’s a motor sailingboat, so it’s not the most luxury and spacious boat, but is has got everything you need! At night you sleep in small bunks, but they all have a comfortable pillow and clean sheets. The schedule allowed us to do 6 dives in 2 days, with enough time for good surface intervals. I really liked that the dive time wasn’t too limited; we were allowed to do 50min dives, and were encouraged to do long safety stops at the end of each dive, for extra safety. We also got told that the best part of the reef is the shallower part, and that was very true. This makes it a good tour for snorkelers as well! There isn’t always a guide available, and as a certified diver you’re expected to know how to dive with a buddy. I found that navigating the dive sites was quite easy, so this shouldnt be something to worry about. On our boat there was still a divemaster who took some people out that were a bit less confident diving without a professional. Because it’s a small boat with max 16 people on board there isn’t a lot of crew on board. They were all working really hard to make sure all our needs were met and we had a great time! I especially liked JP’s special fish show at night and him playing guitar after the night dive. The food was really good as well, every meal there was more than enough for everyone! Since there aren’t too many people on board and the boat isn’t very big, it was very easy to socialise and hang out with the others on board, that was definitely a big plus of this tour! I can really recommend this trip to backpackers and solo travellers on a budget, who like to meet new people and explore the Great Barrier Reef!

Jack Duffy 6 months ago

Fantastic experience: Unbelievable first experience on the reef thanks to the Rum Runner crew. Richard, JP, Massa and Tom were all absolute legends to spend 2 days with out on the yacht. Took us to some awesome sites and cooked incredible meals. JP's reef and fish show was bloody hilarious. Highly recommend this tour

Morgane 10 months ago

Fantastic experience: Great experience! There are 6 dives in total, including one at night to try to spot sleeping turtles, with a crew who will teach you more about the corals of the Great Reef. Lots of food and the beds are very pleasant. Thanks to Michael for guiding us throughout the dives!

Stephen Henderson 11 months ago

Fantastic experience: We had a great time on the 2 day tour. We did the snorkeling only as we have a 5 and 7 year old. All the sites had great snorkeling. The crew were fantastic and gave us a great experience as a family. Plenty of good food and simple, but comfortable sleeping arrangements. Great value too.

Diane Dewalque 11 months ago

Fantastic experience: Very nice experience on the rum runner for a 2D/1N cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. The crew (Richard,JP, Michael, Rina and Chris) was great. The food was really good. The accommodation is quite basic but we expected that so all good for the price you pay. The diving is quite intense (4 dives the 1st day and the 2 dives the second one) so you really get your money worth. We sometimes dived twice at the same spot. The sea was really rough that day. So if you're easily seasick, think twice :) Thanks guys!

Scarlett Schumacher 1 year ago

Fantastic experience: The 2D1N snorkel and dive trip is an absolute must do! The reef is amazing and the crew were fantastic. A special shout out to Mike, who helped me as a first time diver to feel comfortable and safe even when I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it. I loved every moment and am eternally grateful.

Noah Demeuldre 1 year ago

Fantastic experience: Absolutely fantastic trip shout out to Scuba Mike, Richard, Phill & Zeb for making it such a special trip!

Les Gurney 1 year ago

Fantastic experience: Just had an amazing 2 day, 1 night trip to the great barrier Reef. I could not have asked for a better first time diving experience. The crew are amazing, very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, amazing food and a great atmosphere onboard.

Anders 1 year ago

Fantastic experience: A lovely trip with amazing crew and plenty of diving and snorkelling! We finished our open water course, another finished her advanced open water course and some tried introductory diving. There’s is something for everyone and this is by far the cheapest and best we have ever tried

Mojo Lhs 2 years ago

Fantastic experience: Positive: Communication , Professionalism , Quality

Max Hannan 2 years ago

Fantastic experience: Positive: Quality , Value

Luke McMurray 2 years ago

Fantastic experience: Positive: Quality , Value

Genevieve Dennis 3 years ago

Fantastic experience: Positive: Professionalism , Value

Mimi Hsu 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Highly recommend this tour group. Did an overnight boat trip into the great barrier reef and it was such a great experience. All the food they prepared was delicious and the weather was also perfect.

Toby Long 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Despite the mixed reviews, I gave Rum Runner a go and this is what I found. Firstly, I’ve been diving for 15 years and this is my 5th time diving on the Barrier Reef. The boat is as described - an oldish 20m motor sailing yacht. After chatting to the captain I learned the sail is for stability and I found the boat was stable and comfortable. The boat immediately felt intimate but never cramped. Quite a different feel to the large catamarans like Silver Sonic, Wavelength etc. One issue I’ve found with some of the larger newer cats is the constant diesel smell that somehow vortexes back inside cabin while cruising. Ok so it takes a little longer to reach the reefs, I didn’t really find this to be an issue and we still comfortably fit in 6 dives over 2 days (one of them a night dive) with food in between every single dive. Back at 3pm on the second day. They run a tight but well thought out schedule which was easy to follow and never felt rushed. I found the crew to be awesome, very friendly and accommodating. Captain JP was true blue and knew his stuff. He is very experienced and when a random mechanical fault happened to the diving tank filling hose occurred, he fabricated and improvised on the fly and had the mechanism fixed without a single delay, like it was an episode of deadliest catch! The crew were experienced divers that were doing their DMTs and a professional photographer. Due to the small numbers on the boat, this meant that although they weren’t necessarily 20+ year dive master veterans, we had small groups of 4 with our own personal underwater tour guide! They encouraged us to buddy up and explore if we desired or follow their lead which lead to some really good diving. (See the pics). Heather, Dom and Suzie thank you!!! - you guys were genuine and awesome and really made the trip! Food was great and absolutely no complaints from me. Seeing the captain salting up a couple of big bits of pork for roasting was something to look forward to! I eat everything but they also accommodated for vegetarians, vegan etc with every meal. In meal time crew will keep working and not touch a thing until every passenger has eaten - then they serve themselves before calling “seconds” which is thoughtful. I’d heard about the gear so I brought my own wetsuit mask and snorkel. From what I could see most of their gear was good enough. Never had an issue with my BCD. Did see a couple of holes in parts of some wetsuits (nothing really major) their fins and masks all looked completely fine. Boat has air con. It’s off at night as the generators are off. But they open the hatches to give you airflow. They have little fans in each room that can stay on. I slept like a log and I’m a light sleeper. Didn’t notice any bed bugs or get bitten. Clasping at straws for negatives - toilets were a little smelly at times but you’re not exactly sitting in there scrolling through your Instagram. Night dive could have been a bit longer. Bacon at breakfast to go with the eggs and all the sides!? Haha All in all it was a great trip and I’d do it all over again. If you’ve got some diving experience and want a good honest fun livaboard for a couple of days, Rum Runner is great. Value for money is unbeatable and it hopefully won’t be the last time I jump onboard!

diane leishman 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Positive: Value

Jennifer Dorn 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Great boat diving trip! One of the best diving experiences I've ever had. It's more private with less people on the boat. The crew is friendly and the food on board is really delicious. To conclude, the whole trip was much fun and good education at the same time.

Cari Hartsell 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: We are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 kids (15 and 17). We really enjoyed our time on the Rum Runner! Richie was our captain, he was fantastic. The crew was great as well, especially Katie. A special shoutout to G who really took the time during our introductory dive to help my son when he had a problem equalizing. I would recommend Rum Runner to anyone.

Sandra Ong 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: My brother and I enrolled in the introductory scuba diving course. It was our first time so it was scary. But our instructor, Mike was extremely patient and helpful but at the same time he pushed us and encouragrd us so that we don't give up. We ended up 4 out of 5 dives and really felt proud of ourselves. Thank you so much to rum runner team! Definitely recommend them for your diving trips.

Sergiy Kovalenko 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: I would highly recommend a dive experience with Rum Runner. The crew went above and beyond our expectations. All required diving gear was waiting for us upon arrival, even for my son who is on the smaller side. The crew made sure we were well fed, and had wonderful diving experiences. All six dives were great in our two day sail. I would highly recommend Rum Runner.

emmanuel gey 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: We were a French family of 5 in August 2019.The young crew (under the watched of the experimented captain) was amazing. Nice weather and nice dives (6 among which a memorable night dive with an épaulettes shark) and one whale and several dolphins on the way to the dives from the boat. Meals were excellent. Crew were 6 and clients 7 : very cool atmosphere! Happy time on the Rum Runners!

Anne Stähle 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: The two day tour is a wonderful trip with a small group of very nice people with a lot of diving and the very special experience of spending the night on the reef. It is no luxury boat, but you won`t miss the luxury.

Megan Jones 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Recently took my 12yrs old Scuba Diving mad son on an overnight trip. Cannot say enough lovely things about this crew and Captain. Friendly, dedicated, encouraging and helpful. The boat is exactly as advertised, well loved, though clean and effective. Food was great and ample for all. Crew were so lovely to my newbie diver and he learned so very much on his 5 dives. We will be returning customers, for sure!!

Brian 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: Great budget trip. Crew/divemasters were great, very friendly and helpful. Captain stopped the boat when we spotted dolphins and whales so that we could get photos. Food was good, varied, and plentiful enough for the passengers. Crew ate after us. All scuba equipment was provided to the customers, including dive computers. Equipment was in great condition except for the wet suits, which were ripped and full of holes. Accommodations were fine, basic bunks plus a sheet. However the toilets were fairly gross and smelly after the first day, and the shower is literally above the toilet, so the bathroom floor is always wet with "something". I hope it was shower water... The diving was good, went to 4 different areas in 6 total dives. Saw plenty of animals. For the price, this was a good trip.

Jonathan Hernandez Algarin 4 years ago

Fantastic experience: If you are looking for a secluded and private experience in the Great Barrier Reef along with an amazing crew, then look no further. We literally had entire reefs just for ourselves. The dives were spectacular. The crew was beyond amazing. Also, the captain is a good cook. Everything was perfectly organized and smooth. Loved it.

Endy Lim 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: great trip, lol like other has said it, the skipper was grumpy but he can do almost everything! this trip is not for those who easily sea sick, but their price is unbeatable, a bit too hot for summer i guess, would recommend to go early springs. food was nice and plentiful. the reef was nice and alive, although sadly i didnt see any big fauna like turtles. would recommend if you want to spend more time on reef

Yan Stord 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: Small vessel delivers real out on sea experience. Cooking is basic, as can be expected for the price and limited means, but overly nice and tasty for that matter. Crew was great and simply the best value trip in money for number and duration of snorkels/dives.

Gav Allan 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: Had a fantastic experience with Rum Runner. This was my first time scuba diving and has got me hooked! Crew were very friendly and there was a great atmosphere onboard. Really enjoyed the trip and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to explore the GBR.

Jessica Sandy 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: We had a fantastic trip with Rum Runner!! Staff were very relaxed yet professional. Richard was very accommodating and flexible and we had an amazing time. Good food, great snorkeling/scuba diving, and even a few dolphin/whale sightings to top off one of the best weekends!

Rosangela Pacheco 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: The Rum Runner tour is awesome! I had my first dive ever with them at the GBR and it was fantastic! I also went snorkeling and loved it. It was a lovely experience in total, would definitely do it again and would also recommend anybody to join them as well! Not to forget that the crew is the best! :)

sabrina wagner 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: I had an absolute great diving adventure with Rum Runner! They took us out to Thetford Reef to amazing sites, gave us the chance for a night dive and cooked amazing food. The boat is small and simple which I personally prefer and the crew is amazing too. Absolutely recommend going with them.

Krist PJ 5 years ago

Fantastic experience: Exceptional crew. The whole time out at sea was amazing, the crew guided us through the reef. Every dive was relax and pleasent. The crew took care of us very well. The price for the 6 dive trip is unbeatable. I defeniy would recommend this dive crew to anyone. Next time I will be on for the shark dive as it is a little longer, with a few more dives.

Corinna Z 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: We had such an amazing time at our trip to the great barrier reef. The crew was awesome and we had so much fun with them. They made really delicious food and it was difficult to leave the rum runner and its crew. Thanks a lot guys! I'll never forget those gorgeous diving spots.

Cheyenne Moreau 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: Took my mom out who honestly isn't a huge fan of the water and yet she had a blast! Awesome crew, plentiful food. I would highly recommend choosing Rum Runner for your GBR trip! The small numbers they take out makes a huge difference to the whole experience (there were times where my buddy and I were the only ones diving). The captain has a lot of knowledge of the reef and a great story, he also picks the dive sites to avoid the crowds, only saw 1 other distant vessel the whole time. I'll be back!

Thomas Jones 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: Fantastic experience! I did the introductory diving tour, which meant I did five dives with the instructor over two days out on the Thetford reef. Really recommend the diving instructor (Jack), he was great and really put me at ease. Would also recommending trying a bit of the snorkelling, you can see some fantastic things both ways! The crew (Hannah, Nick and George), Diving instructor (Jack) and captain Jase are all brilliant, really appreciated the effort they go to in order to make it a fantastic trip! You're certainly fed well over the two days! I'd probably sum up the trip by a lot of diving, snorkelling, snacking and looking at ridiculous views. Staying out on the reef was an incredible experience. In short: It's a no frills, brilliant value group trip (up to 16 people plus crew). Would happily go again.

LAURENT DUPUY 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: I recommend you to go diving with them, the boat is still family size, the crew is really very friendly, they speak French, English and Spanish and they are always available and smiling .... We eat super well ... They are super fly ... Good wind with this very nice team

Jussi Suvanto 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: I had a great weekend diving on a Great Barrier Reef. Crew was professional and friendly. Food was great too. There was only five divers on aboard and Rum Runner was only vessel on that part of a reef so it was a hasselfree and private diving!

Georgia Krause 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: A completely unique and unforgettable experience. If you're looking for a super generic, crowded, and impersonal Reef tour look elsewhere. The Rum Runner crew is incredibly knowledgeable and personable. You get incredible meals cooked by the captain himself, a small group setting, and unparalleled access to the reef. I hope to come back again.

twoseasons 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: We booked a trip March 10-11. What a great trip. The captain "Jace" was awesome. We had the time our life's. The food was great. The dive was great. They delivered a great memory for my wife and I. If you want a real down to earth crew and a great trip with great food and good times...well this is your trip! HAVE FUN>WE DID. thank you again JACE and crew!

Chris F 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: Excellent time on the GBR with Jase and the crew. The captain/cook was colorful and interesting to talk to. Chelsea, Kelly and Jack were all super friendly and helpful. Loved that the boat was small and that our group was the only one on this section of the reef. Thanks Chelsea for getting me and my kids diving for the first time, we are hooked!

Magnus Rundqwist 6 years ago

Fantastic experience: Nov. 23-24. Best “Thanksgiving” ever. Family of 4 (2 girls 15 and 18), Atlanta Georgia Snorkeling (and intro dives by the girls) With only 10 days in Australia, we really looked forward getting as much out of our 2 days on the reef as possible. The Rum Runner Cairns delivered. We had a great time and the crew was fantastic. The accommodation was basic as expected (like described on the website). However, above expectation were the crew, the reef, the food and the sunshine (re-apply!!!!) -Jason, thanks for a great time and good food! -Jen, you did a fantastic job introducing my daughters to diving. -Soap (-Sp?), Heather, Sabrina and Hanna, you truly made the time on Rum Runner Cairns great.

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