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Welcome aboard S.V. Rum Runner, the little big motor sailor that can do it all
Australia’s premier budget dive expedition and Cairns’ most affordable outer reef liveaboard dive and snorkel tour operator
Rum Runner Coral Sea diving expeditions
Get away for the weekend aboard S.V Rum Runner, a 66-foot Mono Hull Sailboat with a maximum of 10 divers plus crew

It is for 3 nights / 3 days, and allows for 8 - 10 Holmes Reef dives, including 1-night dive and 1 twilight dive at the fabulous Coral Sea.


Sample Departure is from Marlin Marina, E finger, Cairns at 2:00 pm Friday, return time 8.00 am Monday. However Departure can be scheduled for any day.


Diving in this section of the Coral Sea is a great experience for both new and experienced adventurous divers. This trip visits Holmes Reef, a reef system lying some 90 miles outside the Great Barrier Reef. Due to its isolation the reef has incredible visibility (almost always over 30 meters, and if you don't have at least one dive at Holmes Reef of 30m plus or see any Sharks, Rum Runner offers a 100% Money back guarantee!), abundant sharks and large pelagic fish life. Divers have observed the reef sharks here at shark feeds for 25 years, and it is still a spectacular sight.

We can't think of any Coral Sea trips where you can get up to 10 more amazing and adventurous dives. We emphasize the term ‘adventurous’ as any open ocean trip can get bumpy, and once outside the Great Barrier Reef there is no protection from Pacific Ocean swells on the trip out to Holmes Reef (or back, but it's always better, we highly suggest seasickness medications).

While the diving is always amazing all year, the most certainty of a comfortable trip would be between October and April, the less windy months even though that's cyclone season. The visibility is the best during the winter months. The diving on this trip is suitable for beginner OW divers with our crew, to the experienced diver wanting to do their own diving schedule.


With this trip you get the amazing visibility that the Coral Sea Reefs are famous for, with visibility reaching 50 meters plus and is rarely less than 30 meters.

Very little of these reefs have ever been dived, surrounded by depths of 1000 meters, rising vertically to the surface, offering magnificent wall and shark diving opportunities.

On this trip you can make up to 10 Holmes Reef dives including 1 night dive and 1 twilight dive at the fabulous Coral Sea. You also get to dive with large pelagic, (yes sharks are seen on nearly every dive here!), as well as huge gorgonian fans, resilient hard and soft corals and several species of tropical fish endemic only to the Coral Sea, making Holmes Reef a truly unique dive location. As of this time, Rum Runner is the only vessel that visits Holmes Reefs regularly, so you are diving at amazingly pristine dive sites.

Being such large reefs, sand cays and large sheltered areas have formed over the centuries, with good anchorages and dive sites manageable for novice divers. The beauty of these Coral Sea Reefs is their diversity in dive sites and marine life, offering extremely good dive conditions and excellent visibility, leaving room for us to explore new realms of diving and keeping it adventurous, yet safe.

The open ocean isolation also draws in large pelagic fish such as dogtooth tuna, mackerel and barracuda. These reefs are great places to spot sharks of all kinds, especially white tipped and grey reef sharks. With Rum Runner expect Silver tip sharks and more! Scuba diving the Coral Sea reefs can be a pretty expensive proposition, with trips being focused on 5-star comfort, service and priced out of the range of many novice and beginner diver budgets.

Cairns shark diving
Cairns Reef Trips
Cairns snorkeling
Cairns scuba diving
Cairns PADI course


$9900.00 all inclusive. ($3,300.00 per day)

Included: 8 -10 dives, tanks, weights, air fills; all scuba gear as required, all bedding linen, all meals, light refreshments provided after dives coffee, tea, hot chocolate, BYO alcohol and other drinks (no glass on deck), tap drinking water.



All prices are in AUD Dollars.

Inclusions: BCD, Regulator with computer, wetsuit, plus any other snorkel gear as required.

Book online or call to book to guarantee the best rate and ask the Captain about the best sailing conditions and dates for this expedition.

Rum Runner Cairns 0429 638 744 or e-mail:


shark diving Cairns Reef Trips Cairns
snorkeling Cairns
scuba diving Cairns
PADI course Cairns
Cairns shark diving
Cairns Reef Trips
Cairns snorkeling
Cairns snorkeling
Day Private Charters
Dive and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef with the experts who have more than 20 years’ experience
Cairns scuba diving
2 Day Snorkel & Dive
This is our specialty tour that departs all year round on selected Monday’s and Thursday’s
Cairns PADI course
Shark Diving
3 nights, 3 days with up to 9 dives at Holmes Reef, including a night dive and sharks guaranteed
shark diving Cairns
Special Charters
Private charter and extended expeditions can be catered for all special diving tours and intimate groups
Operational Update

Operational Update 2024/25

2D/1N GBR Live-aboard tours - Book direct online with confidence

2D/1N tours are scheduled on most Mondays and Thursdays, selected Saturdays, and other selected weekdays where 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.

Book online (Book Now) to guarantee the best rate or call to ask Captain Richard about the best sailing conditions and departure dates. Look out for our DIVE SPECIALS - direct bookings secure discount dive gear hire and $40 reef and fuel levy included!

Rum Runner is a 20m Fiberglass Yacht with shaded deck and all the creature comforts such as amenities, seating and dive platform/showers/Floating Dock and private tender to help make your trip a memorable experience.

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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