Why are liveaboard scuba diving holidays the best way to dive, plus what makes them better than resort diving?
If you’ve not experienced a liveaboard diving holiday before, here are ten compelling reasons why you should try it. Even if you suffer from sea sickness!
10 top reason why liveaboard diving holidays are popular with scuba divers:
- More diving experience.
- More dives for your money.
- Chance for night dives.
- Dive remote locations.
- Beginner divers get more diving experience.
- Meet like minded people.
- An all-inclusive experience.
- Operators contribute to environmental wellbeing.
- Arrive at dive sites early.
- Less crowded dive sites.
1. You get more diving experience on a liveaboard scuba diving holiday
One of the biggest benefits of liveaboard diving holidays is the change for more diving experience. This is especially great for beginner divers looking to build their diving experience.
On a liveaboard diving holiday you get to dive, eat, sleep and repeat this every day. On most liveaboard dive trips your first dive is before breakfast. The early bird and all that!
Enjoy a great refreshing dive first thing and get to see the reef wake. Then gather around the breakfast table to enjoy a hearty breakfast and share diving stories with fellow divers.
On a liveaboard diving holiday you can almost roll out of your bed and into the water. Of course you need to don your diving equipment first But that’s how good a liveaboard diving holiday is. It’s all about the diving.
Table of dive liveaboards
This list of liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.
|Liveaboard main photo||Discover Liveaboard||Customer Review (Max 10)||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Country|
|Review Link: MV Seaisee; Booking Link: MV Seaisee||10||90%||YES||NO||YES||YES||Indonesia|
|Review Link: MY Seven Seas; Booking Link: MY Seven Seas||10||87%||YES||YES||YES||YES||Egypt|
|Review Link: Jakaré; Booking Link: Jakaré||10||81%||YES||YES||YES||YES||Indonesia|
|Review Link: All Star Cuan Law; Booking Link: All Star Cuan Law||10||79%||YES||YES||YES||NO||Bahamas|
|Review Link: Leyla; Booking Link: Leyla||10||73%||YES||YES||YES||NO||Indonesia|
|Review Link: Wisesa; Booking Link: Wisesa||10||71%||YES||YES||YES||NO||Indonesia|
|Review Link: Seven Seas; Booking Link: Seven Seas||10||71%||NO||NO||YES||YES||Indonesia|
The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.
Think about it like using Booking.com when searching for the best hotel. Booking.com also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on Booking.com, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10.
2. Liveaboard diving holidays offer more dives for your money
Pound for Pound or Dollar for Dollar you dive more for your money on a liveaboard diving holiday vs a resort diving holiday. The diving is included in the liveaboard trip cost. Plus on most liveaboards you’ll dive at least three times each day. Plus the all important night dive. This means that liveaboards are great value for money when it comes to the diving.
Scuba diving is expensive. So you want to make the most out of it when you can. Time is precious too and if you have little time for holidays or if you’ve saved up for a special diving vacation, you want to get the most out of it.
Liveaboard scuba diving holidays aren’t for everyone. This can be true for families with non-diving partners, but there are many family friendly liveaboards to choose from too.
If you are single or solo diver or if you and your partner both dive, a liveaboard diving holiday is a must.
When you’re on a liveaboard it’s all about the diving. Well there is some socialising and a bit of drinking too. Well may be a bit of eating and perhaps some relaxation and sunbathing. But essentially, when you’re on a liveaboard you’re there to dive.
Liveaboard dives each day
The dives you’ll do each day starts with the early morning dive before breakfast. You may not be an early person, but I strongly recommend you do this of all dives in the day. This is the time that I’ve always found I’ve seen the most sea life.
After breakfast and later in the day, you’ll normally have the opportunity to do at least two more dives. These further dives may be on the same dive site or the liveaboard boat may move to another site.
What if you get sea sick on a liveaboard diving holiday?
If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from sea sickness, I’d say this shouldn’t necessarily stop you from experiencing a liveaboard diving holiday. If you suffer from sea sickness follow these few tips:
- Choose your destination carefully. Some destinations are more likely to have calmer seas.
- Choose the time of year to dive of your chosen holiday destination carefully. Don’t book your liveaboard holiday at a time when the region is expecting high winds. If you do you’re asking for trouble. Even the best of us may struggle in high seas.
- Take sea sickness medication with you. This can include alternatives like ginger (which works), sea sickness wrist bands or other preventative measures.
- Take care to choose your liveaboard boat, as some are more stable than others. Some liveaboard boats have stabilisers to help prevent too much movement in the water. Plus the bigger liveaboard boats will be more stable.
- Think about booking on a twin-hulled liveaboard boat. Twin hulled liveaboards tend to be more stable in the water.
3. Liveaboard scuba diving holidays offer the chance to do night dives
After the second dive of the day you normally have the chance for a night dive. Night dives are dependent on:
- Your scuba diving experience.
- The dive site and whether it’s conducive for a night dive.
- The depth of the dive site as night dives tend not to be too deep.
- Currents in the area as night drift dives are dangerous.
I love night diving. You get to experience a different perspective to the underwater world. On a coral reef at night the fish you see in the day are sleeping in the reef. There are other creatures that come out at night.
It’s great to dive the same dive site you dive in the day, but at night. The contrast is sometimes amazing. It looks so different at night.
That’s not to say you can’t night diving from land-based dive resorts, as some do. But it’s not as common as it is on a liveaboard boat.
4. On a liveaboard diving holidays you can dive more remote diving locations the day trips can’t reach
A liveaboard boat is not governed by the distance from the land. There’s no requirement to return to your dive resort at the end of each day. Liveaboard boats can cover much larger distances and more distance dive sites. Most liveaboards travel between sites during the night when everyone else on-board is resting or sleeping.
Locations including Komodo day dive boats can reach the dive sites, but on a day trip you’ll spend more time travelling to and from the dive site than the diving itself. Whereas with a Komodo liveaboard you’ll be able to spend more time in the water diving. Which is what it’s all about.
Also, the more remote dive locations is where you’re more likely to spot whale sharks and manta rays.
Places where day trip boats cannot reach
There are a number of dive locations where you simply cannot get to by day boat. These include places like:
- Scuba dive with giant manta rays at Socorro Island.
- Scuba dive the outer reaches of The Great Barrier Reef on a liveaboard dive boat.
- Jardines De La Reina, Cuba to encounter sharks and crocodiles.
- Experience schooling hammerheads like nowhere else a the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica. Only experienced by liveaboard diving holidays.
- Mergui Archipelago can only be dive by liveaboard. This is off Myanmar (formerly Burma). Explore these almost undiscovered waters not visited by many divers.
- Rowley Shoals from the west coast of Australia can only be dived from a liveaboard boat. Explore remote reefs and some of the best diving in Australia or the world.
- The southern Red Sea or The Brothers can only be dived on a liveaboard diving holiday. The Brothers diving in the Red Sea is an amazing place where you’ll experience many sharks.
- Liveaboard diving holidays to the Galapagos Islands, and especially to Darwin and Wolf Islands are only reached by liveaboards. Enjoy the sight of hundreds of hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, playful sea lions, clouds of tuna, whale sharks and even humpback whales.
The best opportunity to experience places that are still untouched and wild is to book a liveaboard diving holiday.
5. Liveaboard diving holidays are great for beginner divers to get diving experience
Liveaboard diving holidays for beginners is one of the best ways to gain experience. You immerse yourself in diving for a week on a liveaboard boat and dive every day. As already mentioned, you can dive at least three times a day.
Over a week that’s at least 21 dives under your beginner experience belt. You get to hone your diving skills. You get to master your equipment and putting it together. Plus you get to master your buoyancy control skills with your BCD.
At the end of the week you’ll not only have met a number of like minded people (see the next point), but you’ll have entered many more dives into your log book.
6. Liveaboard diving holidays offers the chance to meet like minded people
As with all specialist holidays, you are joined by other like-minded people. Everyone on a liveaboard diving holiday will have similar interests to you. But above all they’ll all have a passion for diving.
The opportunity to meet new people and to share new experiences. Most of my liveaboard diving holidays were as a part of a BSAC dive club. This meant we were mostly good friends already. But often times we’d also meet up with other divers too.
Share with your fellow liveaboarders the diving experiences and stories of the day. Also share your photos and videos of what you’ve seen.
One of the added benefits of liveaboard diving holidays is most have photo-stations. These are designed for you to download your images from each dive of the day.
7. Liveaboard diving holidays offer an all-inclusive experience
The food on all liveaboard diving holidays are almost always all-inclusive. Which means once you’re on-board you never have to think about where to eat. You’ll have breakfast, lunch and dinner served, together with in-between coffees, teas and snacks to enjoy.
Alcohol and what else is include in the all-inclusive deal varies from one liveaboard holiday to the next. Some liveaboards include alcohol, whereas as others won’t. Some liveaboards include a glass of wine with the evening meal. Other times you’ll have to pay extra for the alcoholic drinks
8. Liveaboard holiday operators contribute to environmental wellbeing and awareness
Liveaboard scuba diving operators truly care about the underwater environment. Which is not to say that resort dive companies don’t.
But for liveaboard dive operators marine conservation becomes so important, as this is their livelihood. Most reputable liveaboard operators encouraging those on-board to conserve and protect the local environment.
9. Liveaboard boats arrive at dive sites early for a pre-breakfast dive
As they say, the early bird gets the early worm, which if you’re interested in underwater wild life like myself is one of the great benefits of liveaboard diving holidays. But especially if you’re interest in scuba diving with sharks. Often the best time to see sharks is first thing in the morning.
If you’re not any early bird this isn’t a problem. There are more than enough dives going on during the day to enjoy. So if you miss the first dive jump on the next dive of the day.
10. Liveaboard diving holidays transport you to less crowded dive sites
There are two main reasons why you get to dive on less crowed dive sites from a liveaboard boat.
- The first reason is you get to the dive site well before the day boats have even left port. That is of course if you’re an early bird and like to dive at 7-7:30 in the morning before breakfast.
- The second reason is that on liveaboard diving holidays you are transported to dive locations that are out of reach of the dive day boats. So if the dive site is out of reach for the days boats the dive site will be less crowed.
Many of the diving locations visited by liveaboards often only have one liveaboard moored at any one time. Especailly in the more remote dive locations.go to, which means you get to see those reefs, wrecks or other dive sites that resort divers never get to see.
I hope you enjoyed this article about why liveaboard diving holidays are popular
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof gopro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about why liveaboard diving holidays are is popular), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and on snorkeling) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!