Liveaboard Diving – The Ultimate Guide to Dive Safaris & Charters

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Take Your Holidays to the Subsequent Degree – Bounce on a Liveaboard to Dive the Greatest Websites

Many divers consider scuba diving is a day journey exercise, however we consider that diving is a vacation in itself. Think about spending every week on board a luxurious vessel looking for the best and most remote dive sites on Earth. That is liveaboard diving, an expertise each scuba diver ought to attempt at the very least as soon as of their life.


Sunset on a dive safari

What's a Diving Liveaboard?

The definition of a liveaboard is a ship that has been purpose-built or reworked to deal with scuba divers and supply area for scuba diving operations. Scuba diving liveaboards can be referred to as dive safaris, dive charters or dive cruises. These vessels for scuba holidays can range extensively in worth, variety of friends, facilities and measurement. Due to this, discovering the perfect liveaboard journeys might be troublesome.

Under we’ll define some liveaboard diving fundamentals as a way to aid you discover the right boat in your subsequent dive trip.


What Certification is Required for a Liveaboard?

This is a wonderful query, however the reply varies relying in your chosen vacation spot and itinerary.

Liveaboards for Newcomers

For those who’re simply beginning your life as a scuba diver, you're definitely excited and nervous to attempt a liveaboard. A vacation filled with diving is a good way to extend the variety of dives you’ve logged, however you’ll need to select the best vacation spot. When looking for your first dive safari, you’ll need to search for:

Requirements for liveaboard vacations

Liveaboards for Superior Divers

As you progress in your scuba diving interest (or profession), you’ll need to go to totally different locations than once you have been simply starting. 70% of the time it really works out that the greater the challenge, the greater the reward. In the event you maintain an AOWD certificate, you need to search for these choices when reserving a liveaboard:

  • A minimal logged dive requirement: Because of this there will probably be no newcomers on the boat, and that some of the dive sites require skill. In fact, this quantity ought to match the variety of dives in your logbook or much less.
  • An AOWD certification requirement: Whereas a lot of divers get their Superior certification shortly, this could nonetheless be a very good indicator that a liveaboard is on the lookout for extra skilled divers.
  • Extra distant locales: Not precisely a tough and quick rule, however usually, the harder a vacation spot is to get to (i.e. Socorro or Cocos Island), the extra expertise the vacation spot requires.

How A lot Do Liveaboards Value?

There are all kinds of liveaboards. Some value just a few hundred dollars, whereas others value USD $5,000 or extra.

Luxurious & Premium Liveaboards

In case you’re on the lookout for luxurious, you’ll certainly discover opulence whereas diving from a liveaboard. When it comes to facilities, the sky’s the restrict on these boats. You’ll be capable of select from charters with plush cabins, ensuite loos, scorching tubs, yoga studios, therapeutic massage parlors, kayaks and/or a full bar. These cruises usually include a price ticket of USD $2,000 or extra.

Costs and fees of liveaboards

Price range-Pleasant Liveaboards

For lower than USD $1500 for a 7-day itinerary, you’ll discover a number of high quality liveaboards for reserving on PADI Journey. They could be cheaper, however that doesn’t imply they provide worse diving than different boats within the space. These dive safaris merely have fewer onboard facilities.

For instance, you may discover personal cabins with ensuite loos, personal cabins with shared loos and even dorm-style cabins with shared loos on board. As well as, onshore excursions are stored to a minimal and alcohol shouldn't be often included within the worth.


How Many Divers Do I Want in My Group to E-book a Liveaboard?

Most clients guide liveaboard diving holidays in teams of two. Nevertheless, it’s turning into increasingly more well-liked to go on a dive safari with a bigger group or as a solo traveller.

Liveaboards for Solo Vacationers

For those who don’t have a dive buddy, you possibly can nonetheless take pleasure in a liveaboard vacation. Most dive safaris promote areas based mostly on double occupancy, however a rising variety of dive charters are catering to solo divers. Search for these kinds of advantages in case you’re touring alone:

  • Single rooms: A number of boats function single rooms with one twin mattress. This lodging preferrred for solo divers who like their privateness however don’t want a whole lot of area.
  • Low single complement: Most boats cost a hefty single complement. Typically a single diver can pay 65% to 100% greater than a diver who travels with a dive buddy. For instance, if a ship prices $1,000 per individual based mostly on double occupancy, a single diver may pay $1,650 to $2,000 to be able to keep in a room by him or herself. Nevertheless, there are some boats that cost 30% or much less. Undoubtedly hunt down a low single complement cost if you wish to have privateness and a substantial quantity of area.
  • Quad rooms: In the event you don’t thoughts sharing a room with three different divers of principally the identical gender, search for a quad room.
  • Bunk mattress rooms: Just like hostels, liveaboards with bunk mattress rooms have giant rooms with 6 to eight beds inside. That is often the most cost effective choice for solo divers.
Liveaboards for solo travelers and full charters

Liveaboards for Teams (Charters)

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, giant teams (6+ divers) typically select to journey on a liveaboard collectively. For these divers, there are two choices.

  1. Guide as a gaggle: Dive boats typically give reductions for teams of 6 or extra plus free areas relying on the full group measurement.
  2. Constitution the complete boat: This feature provides exclusivity, flexibility and management over the itinerary. Your group would be the solely divers on the boat. For giant teams, that is the only option.

Top liveaboard destinations

The Prime Liveaboard Diving Locations

Under we’ve compiled an inventory of locations for the best liveaboard dive trips around the world. If one sparks your curiosity, be sure you click on by means of the hooked up hyperlink to browse the obtainable liveaboards within the space.


Liveaboard diving in the Caribbean

Liveaboard Diving within the Caribbean

Like many island-centric areas, diving within the Caribbean is greatest by liveaboard. With dive boats, you possibly can attain the websites round a number of islands whereas land-based diving solely permits you to see one island’s dive websites. As well as, some locations (like Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina) are solely accessible by dive constitution.

  • Bahamas: With a few of the best shark diving in the world, the Bahamas is residence to hundreds of islands and cays. To see one of the best reefs, wrecks and marine life, you’ll have to journey by liveaboard. View All Liveaboards in the Bahamas
  • Cuba: Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina is shortly turning into recognized for its incredible shark diving and pristine waters. In different elements of Cuba, new routes are being launched each season. View All Liveaboards in Cuba
  • Belize: House to the most important barrier reef within the Northern Hemisphere, Belize guarantees journey. To see the Blue Gap, whale sharks and wholesome reefs in a single dive journey, you’ll have to journey the nation by liveaboard. View All Liveaboards in Belize

Liveaboard diving in the Red Sea

Liveaboard Diving within the Pink Sea

The Red Sea can definitely be dived from land, however the distant nature of the best wrecks, probably the most lively pelagic hotspots and the area’s pristine reefs make Egypt, Sudan and even Djibouti greatest dived from a liveaboard. Scuba divers can select from dozens of various routes (Deep South to Far North) to tailor their dive trip to greatest go well with their pursuits.


Liveaboard diving in the Indian Ocean

Liveaboard Diving within the Indian Ocean

An enormous expanse dotted by distant islands and atolls, the Indian Ocean has a few of the world’s most luxurious liveaboards crusing its waters. It’s additionally home to a large variety of whales, manta rays, whale sharks, hammerheads and extra. Common liveaboard locations embrace the Maldives, the Seychelles, Thailand and even India.


Liveaboard diving in the Pacific

Liveaboard Diving within the Pacific

An enormous ocean spanning a excessive proportion of the globe, it’s solely pure that the Pacific Ocean would supply excellent diving. Given the tendency of nations inside the ocean to incorporate a number of islands, the world is nicely suited to liveaboard exploration. In most areas, you’ll discover pelagic marine life, wonderful wrecks and pristine reefs.

  • Palau: A fantastic vacation spot for lovers of marine life, heavy currents sweep previous Palau, bringing in sharks, manta rays, barracudas and jacks. Palau additionally options drop-offs, coral reefs and wrecks from World Struggle II. View All Liveaboards in Palau
  • Hawaii: The premiere liveaboard vacation spot within the USA, Hawaii’s Kona has a few of the greatest websites within the nation. Land-based operators will solely see half the websites across the island, however liveaboard visitors catch the opposite (higher) half. Prepare for an epic manta ray night time dive. View All Liveaboards in Hawaii
  • Galapagos: A well-liked bucket record vacation spot, the Galapagos is understood for its excessive variety of endemic species above the waves and its pelagic life underneath the water. To succeed in Wolf & Darwin Islands, you’ll have to journey with a dive safari. View All Liveaboards in the Galapagos
  • Cocos Island: Located far off the coast of Costa Rica, Cocos Island is probably the best place to dive with hammerhead sharks. Dozens might be noticed within the current-filled waters, however the journey to the island is simply attainable by boat. View All Liveaboards at Cocos Island
  • Mexico: Nearly all of liveaboard diving in Mexico takes place on the west coast within the Sea of Cortez or round Guadalupe and Socorro Islands. Huge fish are the specialty right here, and also you may see great whites, mantas and whales. View All Liveaboards in Mexico
  • Australia: Well-known for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia provides all kinds of liveaboards from price range to extremely luxurious boats. Dive the well-known websites or attempt an off-the-beaten path journey on the west coast. View All Liveaboards in Australia

Last minutes and special deals

Particular Presents on Liveaboards

Simply since you need to go on a liveaboard vacation, doesn’t imply you must pay an arm and a leg for it. Boats commonly go on particular. Look out for the next reductions earlier than reserving your subsequent dive trip.

  • Final-Minute Offers: Many liveaboards promote empty rooms at a reduced worth because the crusing date attracts close to. This sort of low cost works properly in case you are already in your vacation spot of selection or can shortly get there. To attain probably the most cash off, regulate our specials page, the place you'll be able to seek for reductions on cruises within the subsequent 30 days.
  • Particular Offers: Along with last-minute reductions, liveaboards recurrently supply promotions with reductions between 5% and 40% per individual. You may also discover different forms of specials resembling no single complement or free areas for teams. Create an account and join PADI Journey’s publication to obtain the newest specials straight to your inbox.
  • All-Inclusive Offers: Most liveaboards supply meals as part of the package deal, however sometimes you’ll discover specials to incorporate mushy drinks, alcohol or an in any other case upgraded expertise. These kind of specials may additionally present free Nitrox or equipment rental.
  • Constitution & Group Reductions: For teams of divers trying to guide a number of rooms on a ship or constitution the complete boat, hefty reductions might be straightforward to seek out. Free areas or a proportion off could also be utilized to the reserving. Check out PADI Travel’s group page for more information.
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