When you are planning your next dive vacation you might want to consider the new fad: liveaboards. Liveaboards are boats that are typically designed for people to live on for a set period of time. Sometimes liveaboards feature many appealing attractions, which is one of the main reasons why they are popular with divers.
While smaller than a standard residence and prone to bad weather exposure, they are very mobile, making them the most inexpensive means of water access. Liveaboards also allow you to integrate your transportation, housing costs, and recreational needs into one area.
The arrangement of living on the boat as it moves around the dive area has several advantages. Some of them are:
You don’t have to pack and unpack several times.
You only need to set your dive gear up once.
Non-diving times, including meals, are all casual dress.
You have more opportunities to dive, sometimes up to four dives per day.
Surface intervals are literally only a few steps away from the dive deck.
Frequently there are night dives offered multiple times during a trip.
Most often, the other divers on a live-aboard trip are more dedicated divers than you might find at land-based resorts, with more dive trip experience. This leads to great conversations over dinner and opportunities to learn from the experiences of your fellow divers.
Since a live-aboard dive trip includes not only multiple dives per day, but also food and lodging, many people feel that they get more “bang for their buck” on live-aboards. There are no other costs; it is truly an all inclusive dive trip.
And, if you need further financial justification for the cost of a live-aboard trip, you can divide the cost of the trip by the number of dives that are available. Assuming that is upto 5 dives per day, as contrasted with 2 or perhaps 3 dives per day at a land-based dive resort, the cost per dive analysis usually comes out in favor of the live-aboard.
There are live-aboard dive boats located all over the diving world. Although they are most numerous in warm water destinations.
The style, level or luxury, size, number of guests, number of guest cabins; whether the lavatory facilities are private in each cabin or “down the hall”all vary from boat to boat. And, of course, the costs will vary accordingly. So, those variables need to be considered when choosing where you might want to go and what live-aboard options and prices are available during the time that you want to do the trip.
There are several large, well known live-aboard operators who have multiple boats positioned around the world in most of the well known dive destinations.
If you have not yet tried live-aboard diving, do so. Chose a destination that attracts you and then chose a live-aboard that meets your needs and your wallet.
Many divers say, “once I did a live-aboard, I never wanted to do shore based again.” …“I feel spoiled and I get to dive, dive, dive!”