Liveaboard vacations are a whole other beast when compared to land-based scuba vacations. For some it is the ultimate and only type of dive vacation. Climb aboard your charter and sail toward the horizon, bound for remote dive destinations. Once you’ve set sail, you simply have to roll out of bed each morning, stumble to the salon to fuel up for your dives, then head out to the deck to gear up and climb into your tender, or stride directly of the swimstep into the water, to start yet another day of four to five dives. Repeat this for 7 to 10 days and you have your liveaboard vacation fantasy fulfilled.
So why, you ask, are so many divers drawn to the attraction of a liveaboard vacation? Well here are just a few reasons:
The “all-inclusive” cost
Due to the nature of these types of vacations, the upfront package price is frequently more than your typical land-based vacation, but when you compare apples to apples, there are savings to be found in the overall price of your vacation, like the amount of diving included, the expense of food and beverages, and the list can go on.
Unpack once and done
Unpack your gear on the deck and your clothes in the cabin and you are done for the rest of the vacation. And when it comes to your clothes, remember to pack light. No need for extra shoes or formal wear on this cruise. A couple of t-shirts and shorts, and fleece to keep you warm from the cool ocean breeze or air-conditioned cabins, and you are good to go.
However, when it comes to your scuba gear, don’t skimp on back-ups. Remember, you wanted to get away from civilization, and because of that, there is no dive shop around the corner to replace that broken fin strap or dead computer battery.
Dive to your heart’s content
On the average liveaboard, you can typically dive four or five times a day if you want (depending on surface intervals and conditions, of course). For the diver who can’t seem to get wet often enough, a liveaboard vacation has a clear advantage over a land-based operation.
More diving flexibility
The beauty of a liveaboard is its ability to go where the diving is good. If conditions at one site are not favorable, the boat can simply pull anchor and head to another site. Also, let the crew know what you are looking for and that could influence what sites the boat may go to.
Less explored dive sites
The beauty of a liveaboard is its ability to go to (and sometimes stay at) dive sites that can’t be reached by your average land-based day boat in a reasonable amount of time. This means you sometimes find yourself diving sites that few have ever dived.
Whether it be because the liveaboard doesn’t sail with a lot of divers, or it staggers the divers it does sail with, you get to enjoy your dive sites without having a crowd bumping into you left and right. Also, the remoteness of the dive sites adds to the chances that you won’t see divers other than those in your group.
Some liveaboards really cater to underwater photographers and videographers
Are you a diver aspiring to expand your photography or videography skills? Often times, liveaboards are designed to provide special areas for photo/video equipment and will also provide the ability for you to see your work while under sail. And with a little research, you can find boats offering special sailings with expert instructor workshops to improve your skills.
So if sailing the open seas to remote destinations and setting anchor at dive sites away from civilization sounds like your cup of tea, then you may need to rethink how you prepare for your scuba vacation. Remember to do some research to find the liveaboard that’s right for you. And check out my expert tips for trip preparation, and packing your bags for this adventure, in my liveaboard information guide available FREE to you.
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