Live aboard diving is the next big thing for scuba divers. It basically involves living on a boat which usually caters for no more than 20 people for the duration of your trip.
Whilst on-board the boat you will travel from one dive site to the next and quite often have the chance to do up to four dives a day including a night dive. The boats are usually pretty well fitted out and it’s more like a mini cruise that is specifically centered on diving. There are many different dive operators who offer live aboard diving, as we will explore later.
What to Take On-board a Live Aboard Dive Boat
One of the key things with live aboard diving is that you won’t have the opportunity to quickly pop to the shops if you find you have forgotten something. Hence, do make sure you have everything that you need with you.
Most operators will offer the vast majority of these items in their packages, but do ask them for a comprehensive list of what is included, so that you know what to bring with you yourself.
Some of the items that will likely be provided by the tour operator include:
- Diving equipment (buoyancy compensator, regulator, gauges, dive computer, spare mouth piece, wetsuit, mask, dry bag, compass etc.)
- Non diving equipment such as life jackets
Things that you will have to bring yourself include:
- Diving equipment (spare mask, fins, booties, hood, gloves, log book, your diving certification, tank banger, slate, whistle, reef hook).
- Photography and lighting equipment such as your underwater camera, batteries, chargers and SD cards, silicone, lights and batteries etc.
- Non diving equipment, including swimwear, clothing, toiletries, books, sunglasses, money, insect repellent and snacks.
- Electronic equipment not for diving such as a camera, laptop, batteries, chargers and a tripod.
- Any medication that you take on prescription, as well as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
- Travel documents such as your passport, plane tickets and diving insurance.
Live Aboard Diving the Great Barrier Reef
One great place to go live aboard diving is the Great Barrier Reef as there are very comfortable live-aboard vessels operating in the area.
On board in your personal time, you will be fully comfortable in very comfortable suites with air conditioning, en-suite bathroom and electronics such as a TV and DVD player. Some suites even have satellite phone communication as well as Wi-Fi internet facilities.
Plus, you will be able to enjoy the free laundry service, so you won’t have to worry about dirty clothes. The boats are also constructed in such a way that seasickness is minimised, so even those who feel more comfortable under water instead of on top of it can have a great time.
Live Aboard Diving in South East Asia
South East Asia is one of the world’s most beautiful diving destinations and live aboard diving is an opportunity to go where most people are not able to go.
Most live aboard boats will have very comfortable suites with private bathrooms and generally, only 20 people will be on the ship at one time, meaning that you will not feel overcrowded.
The ships are built in such a way that you can also enjoy your own free time whilst sailing or relaxing, with comfortable sun decks equipped with loungers. Most boats will also have a comfortable saloon for evening entertainment. Click the link for live aboard operators in Thailand
The best thing is that bottled soft drinks are generally free on these trips, meaning you don’t need to blow your budget on staying hydrated. There is also generally an open air restaurant with buffet food, which is included in the price on some trips.
Depending on the season, you can either go live aboard diving in the Sangalaki Region (Indonesian Borneo) or around the Mergui Archipelago or the Similan Islands. The seasons are between June and September and between November and May.
As you can see, live aboard diving is a great opportunity to reach areas that other people will be unable to reach. You will be able to do so in great comfort, in essence going on a cruise with diving as an additional activity. Do check what is included in your holiday package so that you don’t find yourself missing some essential equipment that prevents you from having a good time.
What are your thoughts about Liveaboard diving? Let us know in the comments below
Would you like to go scuba diving from a liveaboard contact us. We have multiple partners that offer dive packages + accommodation and scuba lessons too.
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole who founded bookyourdive early 2012 because he saw that there was no simple and easy to use platform where divers could go to, to read scuba blogs, browse dive centers within locations and where they could read reviews from other scuba divers.