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!
1. You get more diving experience on a liveaboard scuba diving holiday
On a liveaboard diving holiday you get to dive, eat, sleep and repeat this every day. On most dive trips on a liveaboard boat, 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, up as it were. Then gather around the breakfast table to enjoy a hearty breakfast and share diving stories with fellow divers.
On a liveaboard dive trip 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.
2. Liveaboard diving holidays offer more dives for your money
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.
Whilst liveaboard scuba diving holidays aren’t for everyone, especially families where there are non-diving partners, if you are either single or if your partner dives too, liveaboard diving 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.
That means that more than any dive resort holiday, you’ll do more dives per day and really get value for money.
Depending on the location, and depending on the dive depths, you are usually able to dive at least three times per day. Sometimes four times, although this isn’t necessarily recommended.
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?
If you’re unfortunately enough to suffer from sea sickness, I’d say that even this should prevent you from experiencing a liveaboard diving holiday. If you do 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. That is, don’t book your holiday at a time when the region is expecting high winds. If you do, you’re asking for trouble, as even the best of us may struggle in high seas!
- Take sea sickness medication wit 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, as these 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 to do a night dive. This is dependent on your experience, the dive site, the depths and the currents around the area.
I love night diving, as 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.
What I like to do is to dive a site during the day and then dive the same place at night. The contrast is sometimes amazing. It looks so different at night.
This is not to say you can’t do 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 you get to dive places where day trips are not able to go
A liveaboard boat is not governed by the distance from the land. There’s no requirement to return you to your dive resort at the end of each day. Instead, the liveaboard boat can go to more distance dive sites and normally the liveaboard boat will travel between sites during the night while everyone on-board is resting or sleeping.
There are places, like Komodo where a day trip can reach the dive sites. But the problem with a day trip is you’ll spend more time travelling to the dive site, which doesn’t allow enough time for diving.
Whereas with a Komodo liveaboard, you’ll be able to spend more time in the water diving. Which is what it’s all about.
The more remote places are where you’re more likely to see whale sharks and manta rays.
Places where day trip boats cannot reach
There are a number of dive sites where you simply cannot get there by day boat. These include places like:
- Socorro Island, where you can dive with giant manta rays.
- The outer reaches of The Great Barrier Reef can only be dived from a liveaboard dive boat.
- Jardines De La Reina in Cuba and encounter sharks and crocodiles.
- The Cocos Islands from Costa Rica can only be dived by liveaboard. Around the Cocos Islands you get to experience schooling hammerheads like nowhere else.
- Mergui Archipelago is diving by liveaboard only, which is in 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 by liveaboard. The Brothers diving in the Red Sea is an amazing place where you’ll experience many sharks.
The best opportunity to experience places that are still untouched and wild is to join a liveaboard trip.
5. Liveaboards are great for beginner divers to get diving experience
Liveaboard diving for beginners is one of the best ways to gain experience. You immerse yourself in diving for a week on a live aboard 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 boats offer the chance to meet like minded people
As with all specialist holidays, you are joined by other like-minded people. Everyone on board 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 dive trips were as a part of a BSAC club, which 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, along with photos and videos of what you’ve seen.
One of the added benefits of a liveaboard in this respect is most have photo-stations where you can download your images from each dive.
7. Liveaboard diving holidays offer an all-inclusive experience
The food on all liveaboard diving holidays are almost always all-inclusive. That 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’s include with drinks will vary from one liveaboard to the next. Some boats will include alcohol, when as some won’t. Some may 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. If you’re interested in underwater wild life like myself. But especially if you’re interest in scuba diving with sharks, often times the best time to see them is first thing in the morning.
On many of my Red Sea liveaboard trips the early morning dive before breakfast would be the best dive. Especially for seeing sharks.
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 you miss the first one, not a problem, jump on the next dive of the day.
10. Liveaboard dive boats take 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 is that you get to the dive sites 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.
But that’s if the dive site is in reaching distance for the days boats. If it isn’t within day boat distance, then this is the second reason why you get to dive on less crowded dive site from a liveaboard boat
There are less boats diving the sites that liveaboards 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!