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Liveaboard diving means to live, dine, and scuba dive off a vessel purposely designed or adapted for scuba diving for an extended duration of nights. Simply put, you are living aboard!
To be on a vessel customized to any diver’s needs, access to pristine and remote dive sites, and spending time with like-minded people ultimately get scuba divers hooked on this type of diving!
It can’t get any better than having everything a diver needs in one place, a few days off the grid, and being able to do multiple dives a day!
Liveaboard diving is considered to be a practical and convenient approach to a dive holiday. However, a list of logistics and planning still comes with it, such as finding the right option to fit your budget, seasonality, choosing the right fleet, and finding a fitting destination for your experience level.
Be you a seasoned liveaboard diver or only getting started with this new way of planning a dive holiday? There are always a few simple tricks and steps to make planning easier and more convenient.
Let’s look into five simple steps to booking a liveaboard expedition.
Research Different Liveaboard Destinations
Putting time into researching different liveaboard destinations and what they offer is crucial to ensuring a safe and enjoyable dive trip. Not only is it about seeing a different part of the world and having another country to tick off the bucket list, but there are also different destinations to suit divers with different levels of experience and different areas of interest.
While new or less experienced divers are happy to seek out smaller underwater life and explore colorful and sheltered reefs, more experienced divers more often have a clearer preference to see bigger life and do deeper dives. While the conditions at some destinations are open for divers of all experience levels, some destinations can be niched for divers with more experience.
Get To Know The Seasonality Of Your Chosen Destination
To begin with, ask yourself which marine species you want to see.
Some destinations have a season running all year round, which means you can see different marine species during different times of the year. This is not the case with all liveaboard destinations. Some destinations can only run trips for three to six months out of the year due to possible storms, a decline in water visibility, or rainy seasons.
Some popular examples of flexible destinations and liveaboard itineraries are
Find a Fitting Itinerary
The right itinerary plays a big role in how you will enjoy your liveaboard expedition and if it will meet your trip expectations. There are a lot of aspects to consider before going ahead to book an itinerary; the first thing you should make sure of is that your dive certification and your number of logged dives meet the fleet requirements; the majority of liveaboard itineraries include up to four dives per day, and there are a variety of activities to choose from like stopping off at remote islands, kayaking or fishing and to end off, some destinations can also require long voyages to and from dive sites.
It is always important to check in on these factors before choosing your itinerary, and if it seems too overwhelming or puzzling to decide, it can come with great help to seek expert advice!
Get To Know The Fleet
To add to the endless benefits of liveaboard diving, liveaboard vessels are versatile; there is a liveaboard suitable for every destination and potentially for every type of diver!
We have a guide to the different types of Liveaboard. Here are the three most common types of liveaboard:
Steel or Wood-hull Motorboats
These vessels are more popularly associated with liveaboard diving.
They include top dive facilities and anything a diver may need on board, including comfortable cabins. Thanks to their strength and stability, they can make safe crossings to remote dive sites in challenging weather conditions where you’d dive with bigger marine life like pelagics, sharks, and megafauna.
Destinations where you can find a steel or wood hull motorboat
Traditional wooden style liveaboards (Phinisis)
Phinisis-style liveaboards are a core part of Indonesia’s ancient shipbuilding tradition.
These vessels were used to carry spices and textiles across the old spice route, and fast forward to today, they have been repurposed for diving and cruising. Incorporating such a core part of Indonesia’s history into today’s dive travel is a remarkable craft.
On a Phinisis liveaboard, you can expect to be surrounded by traditional designs, beautiful wooden interiors, and cozy cabins, and to top it off. These vessels are still equipped with facilities for divers.
Destinations where you can find phinisis liveaboards
Expedition or Research-Focused Liveaboards
These vessels are custom-built for the destination or purpose they need to operate in. They can offer adventurous divers an opportunity to reach some of the most untouched environments on the planet!
These ships are usually bigger, and expeditions combine diving, wildlife observation, and other adventurous activities.
They are prepared for all kinds of weather conditions and are robust enough to manage long crossings with challenging weather conditions without causing any discomfort to guests.
Destinations where you can find expedition or research-focused liveaboards
Booking a Liveaboard with Experts
Liveaboard agencies come with passionate people with the knowledge and experience of liveaboard destinations worldwide!
They are always happy and ready to help with puzzling questions about itineraries, seasonality, travel logistics, and budget options. Liveaboard agencies like DiveBooker.com are available for inquiries 24/7 and are always happy and eager to help divers find a fitting boat and itinerary.
Get Travel Ready
Now that you have found your destination, boat, and itinerary, it is finally time to mark off the days on your calendar before embarking on your next dive adventure!
However, there are always extra trims to cut before you step on board and explore the underwater world.
The last few things to prepare and check off will be
- Dive gear: Make sure your dive gear is serviced and ready before your trip. If you need to rent any gear, book it with the liveaboard operator in advance.
- Pack Light: The eat, sleep, dive repeat approach to travel does not require heavy travel. Remember that your cabin is small and potentially shared. Also, bring bags that can flatten after unpacking to save cabin space.
- Paperwork: Make sure that your guest form is filled out. Your liveaboard agent will happily help with this; double-check that your passport is valid and be aware of the destination’s visa requirements.
- Check availability on Divebooker.com
Lastly, have fun! There are various liveaboard destinations, and remember to dive within your limits.
After all of the pre-logistics and planning are in place, it may feel like planning a liveaboard is a job on its own, but with the right recourses and assistance, booking a liveaboard can be a smooth and fun process!
If you are ready to find your next Liveaboard holiday, check out our partner Divebooker.com which has all you need to find & book your liveaboard holiday at your fingertips. Book your next liveaboard holiday today.