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Live Aboards

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Live Aboards

My husband and I are traveling to the GBR in January, 2006. Would like to do a live aboard diving trip for the first time. We are experienced divers but not the GBR. There are many choices and we would like some advice on the best companies and ships. Money is not a problem but we like good value. So, we would do a private yacht to a small ship but want good dive spots and 5 star service and facilities. Any comments are welcome on experiences both good and bad from those who have been there and done that.

Thx, Irene

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1. Re: Live Aboards

Irene - your choices for diving are as follows:

If you choose to take a scheduled dive operator, the two to consider are Spirit of Freedom and Mike Ball Dive. I cannot say they are luxury nor 5 star, but they are certainly service oriented and the best on the water. If you know Agressor Fleet and Peter Hughes dive, they are in the same line and in my eyes, much better. Both companies pride themselves on service, food, service, vessel, service. No flash and lux, but wonderful boats built specifically for divers. Thousands and thousands and thousands of happy customers...so they must be doing something right!

www.mikeball.com

www.spiritoffreedom.com.au

For a week on board these boats in a premium level cabin will run around $3800A per person per week.

Your other option for scheduled diving and totally lux, 5 star is True North. They only come to Cairns area one short window of the year, and I am not sure what months this would be. True North is based out of Broome on the West Coast and offers total luxury from stem to stern.

Charter options are endless, but to find boats with compressors on board to fill your tanks narrow your choices. If you are out for a week (which you should consider to get best diving) compressors will be a must.

You can look at Laura J, Isis II, Seal, DeJaVu II .......private charters will run starting around $13,000 a day ++ and up.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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2. Re: Live Aboards

Some info on true north..

We've been looking at it for a birthday celebration next year in Nov so i can give you some info... The adventures in paradise which goes out of Cairns is from Nov thru Dec.. and is not on the reef...

Something which may work is Synergy II which also looked good at as they do private charters and cater for the luxury market..

Broadbeach...
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3. Re: Live Aboards

Before we bought our own Motor cruiser,we used to Bare Boat the Whitsundays which starts at $600 per day.The advantages here are that you can do what you want,when you want without sticking to dive boat schedules.

You don't have to dive the crowded dive sites and you have more privacy.At the end of the day,you choose where you will anchor for the night,whether it's Hamilton,Daydream,Hayman,Long Islands or you might want to find your own secluded anchorage.

You pay between $40-65 and this gives you all access to the Islands facilities.Then next morning,you can be diving at the crack of dawn.

There are better reefs further north but cruising the Whitsundays is one of the best holidays you will experience.

Broadbeach...
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4. Re: Live Aboards

Oops,forgot to add the link.

http://www.rentayacht.com.au/index.html

London
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5. Re: Live Aboards

Deelybob

I did a GBR liveaboard with MikeBall last January startuing from Cairns ending up in Lizard Island then you flew back to Cairns. I believe you can do it the other way around. I am an experienced diver and an instuctor so quality of service and value for miney were a priority. Although I cannot compare to other GBR liveabords, the other posts are accurate. MikeBall were very professional, excellent kit, excellent brifings, some great sites (Pixxie Pinnacle, Cod Hole and very luckyilly Hanging Gardens (real diving!!), most excellent food. I've seen / heard about and read about other more luxurious boats, but in all honesty, I thought the trip was extremely good value for money.

Enjoy the GBR

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