Are you looking for an adventure? As a passionate diver, you likely want a vacation that features four or more dives per day, visits the best dive sites of any given area and allows you to take in gorgeous landscapes. You’ll get all that and more on a liveaboard.
Convenient and fun, these diving yachts visit far-flung destinations, allowing divers to explore remote dive sites and spend their nights gazing at impossibly star-filled skies. There’s so many reasons to love liveaboard diving. Here’s just a few to consider before you book your next scuba holiday.
1. Unique, Remote Dive Sites
For most divers, the number one reason to travel by liveaboard is access to remote and unique dive sites.
Some destinations are impossible to reach without a liveaboard. This is true of Cocos Island, the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Tubbataha Reef and Wolf and Darwin Islands in the Galapagos. Because of their distance from the mainland, a day boat isn’t an option. Therefore, divers who want to explore these pristine underwater environments must sign up for a liveaboard.
In addition, liveaboards allow you to dive the finest sites throughout a one week period. Sandro Lonardi, head of marketing for PADI Travel™, says, “With a liveaboard you’ll usually explore a much bigger area, compared to staying in a single location, and you’ll be diving in the best dive sites the whole area has to offer, not just the ones you can reach from shore.”
2. A No-Stress Vacation
Let’s face it, travel can be stressful. From finding your hotel to deciding where to eat, there’s a lot to worry about. Add diving every day to that scenario, and you might go crazy thinking about moving your gear around, setting it up and then dealing with the normal stresses of life after all that.
On a liveaboard, everything is done for you, so there’s almost nothing to worry about. Your meals are all included. You only need to travel from your room to the dive deck in the morning, and entertainment is always at your fingertips. The crew onboard handles everything from your gear to snacks between dives. Liveaboard diving is truly a no-stress type of vacation.
Plus, on many boats, like the Scubaspa Fleet, spa treatments are included or available at an extra cost. So, a day on a liveaboard might look something like this. Dive twice in the morning. Enjoy a gorgeous lunch spread. Dive again in the afternoon. Settle in for your Thai massage on deck. Sit down for dinner, and then jump in for a night dive. Sounds lovely, right?
3. Your Dive Gear is Always Ready
Diving is amazing. Hauling scuba gear around is not. While it’s oh so worth it to carry the gear back and forth to the dive shop every day, it’s so much nicer when your stuff can stay in one place.
On a liveaboard, there’s no back and forth involved. All your gear stays ready to go on the dive deck. Most diving yachts are even custom fitted for individual gear storage and provide an easy way to don your kit. Plus, compressors are always at the ready and even Nitrox is available on many boats.
In addition to storing your diving gear in one place all week, you can keep the rest of your stuff in your room. You’ll only need to unpack your bags once, and with the freedom of a liveaboard, you’ll see many different diving areas. You won’t have to worry about transporting your wet swimsuits or gear to your next destination.
4. More Dives Per Day
Another major reason that scuba divers love liveaboards is that the boats usually offer more dives per day than a land-based operator. Almost every diving liveaboard includes four or five dives each full day, including a night dive most evenings. Some liveaboards, like the Ocean Hunter I in Palau and the Damai II in Indonesia, even offer unlimited diving and unlimited bottom time, respectively.
In addition, you’ll enjoy more freedom to pick and choose your dives on a liveaboard. The number of dives you complete is up to you and your dive profile. So if you’re not feeling it, don’t gear up. But if you want to go on every single dive, you can do that too.
5. Amazing Topside Experiences
Many divers worry that traveling by liveaboard compromises the ability to enjoy the culture of any given destination. However, just the opposite is true.
On most liveaboard trips, there are quite a few opportunities for land excursions. For example, you might enjoy a picnic on an isolated sandbank while traveling through the Maldives on the Maldives Aggressor II. Or you might go to Rinca Island in Komodo National Park to search for Komodo dragons while diving from the Indo Siren.
Furthermore, you’ll always have the opportunity to stay a few days before or after your trip. As long as you’ve already paid for the airfare, you might as well enjoy the destination to the fullest.
6. Dive Friendships That Last a Lifetime
One of the best things about liveaboard diving is meeting other divers who are equally as passionate about the underwater environment. Imagine spending a week with a boat full of people just like you. It’s hard to have a bad time when everyone shares the same hobby.
And the conversation is endless. The other guests will likely have dived in places you’ve never visited. You’ll get inspiration for future liveaboard trips, and you can share your adventures, too. In the end, it’s inevitable that you’ll go home knowing a few more scuba diving friends.
7. Liveaboards Are Cost Effective
Liveaboards can be the most cost-effective way to enjoy a dive vacation. The price generally includes diving, food and accommodation. Some boats even offer free alcoholic beverages, rental equipment and spa services. You might think all of this would cost thousands, but liveaboards start at just a few hundred dollars.
For example, a 7-day liveaboard cruise in Egypt can be found for as little as $700. And the Bahamas has several boats sailing for less than $1000. Those prices are far less than you would pay for a week of accommodation, food and diving at a land-based resort.
However, it’s important to note that liveaboards are available in a wide price range. Some of the most luxurious boats in the world can cost a few thousand dollars per week, but you’ll get 5-star service, amazing accommodations and fine dining. While these boats may cost more than your average dive resort, they are well worth the splurge.
In the end, liveaboards are an awesome way to explore the underwater world. Cost-effective, relaxing and fun, they give you the ability to see remote destinations and make friends that will last a lifetime.
Ready to jump in and book your liveaboard trip? Contact a PADI Travel representative by phone or email, and we’ll help you pick out the best liveaboard for your next scuba diving trip.