Cairns shark diving
Cairns snorkeling
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
Overall, S.V. Rum Runner is a comfortable sailboat, well suited for the adventurous
The S.V. Rum Runner is a 20m Motor Sailing Schooner, built in 1984, and with a near indestructible fiberglass hull

The vessel will accommodate up to 10 guests in multi share twin single bunk areas, semi-private twin single bunk cabins, and a 4-share single bunk cabin. She is the equivalent of a mutli-share hostel, just on water.

As typical with sailboats, the cabins are not spacious or very private; they are for resting and sleeping. The common areas include an open saloon area and galley inside, and both covered and open outside deck areas.

We have USB, 12V dc and 240V ac for charging cameras and phones, and separate male and female toilet and shower cabinet with hot water.

It is by no means a luxury dive boat. Those seeking pure sailing, privacy and luxury should consider elsewhere. Rum Runner is a great opportunity to meet other divers and guests from around Australia and the world and have fun with the crew doing it.


  • Small group tours with only a maximum of 10 divers and snorkelers per trip (private charter available up to 16 if from the same group/ household)
  • Depart and return on the same vessel with the same group, so by the end you will be a friend not just a number
  • Fabulous meals prepared fresh onboard. Vegetarian always catered for. Vessel re-stocked each trip
  • Have been in operation since 2005 and working the local area for over 20 years
  • High standards of safety by WorkSafe Qld. (100% safety record)
  • PADI scuba diving courses from Introductory Diving, Open Water Certification through to Advanced Diver Courses are all available
Cairns scuba diving
Cairns PADI course
shark diving Cairns
Reef Trips Cairns
snorkeling Cairns


Leave the crowds behind!

See the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea aboard S.V. Rum Runner

We believe in offering the best value day and extended overnight dive trips for the lowest possible price without any sacrifice of safety, both in and out of the water. We can offer this because we’re an owner operator family-based operation with the reefs as our Head Office!

That's what we call "Livin the Dream”!!!


scuba diving Cairns PADI course Cairns
Cairns shark diving
Cairns Reef Trips
Cairns snorkeling
Cairns scuba diving
Cairns PADI course
shark diving Cairns
Cairns snorkeling
Full Day Reef Tour
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 Wednesday’s and Saturday’s
Cairns PADI course
Shark Diving
3 nights, 3 days with up to 9-10 dives at Holmes Reef, including 1-night dive and 1 twilight dive
shark diving Cairns
Special Charters
Private charter and extended expeditions can be catered for all special diving tours and intimate groups
Operational Update 2021
Live-aboard trips re-started since June 2020

Great news as we are now operating our all our tours within any of the new COVID limitations. Now up to 2 Sq meters per person.

We have been working continuously and we are ready to operate trips to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea and have our COVID safe plans and signs on board. Departures are scheduled on selected dates, and we will need a minimum number of passengers to make it viable. So, we ask to please accept some flexibility and a lot of understanding as you start to book on to our tours.

New COVID restrictions means guest numbers of 16 persons only plus the crew, everyone gets their own equipment for the entire trip: no sharing. All day help yourself snacks, and all meals prepared individually on board. We are also ready to operate our Full DAY 2 dive Outer reef trips (6am to 6pm ) in the summer months, and we return to the Shark Diving / Coral Sea / Holmes Reef between October through to April.

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 departures on our booking page, and COVID SPECIALS direct bookings secure free dive gear hire and reef tax included!

At this stage we are still bound by many restrictions such as ‘ social distancing 1.5m ’ so to make that possible we like to schedule departures on ‘fair weather and sunny dates’. By selecting days where we can assure the best cruising conditions possible, we can manage numbers accordingly ensuring social distancing measure onboard the S.V. Rum Runner.

If you would like to be added to our ‘potential guest register’ with further updates, please e-mail us with your interest at Any bookings made direct 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.

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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