These are the cheapest liveaboard boats on the Great Barrier Reef
If you’re wondering ‘how much does it cost to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef‘, this depends. The answer to this question depends on whether you’re land based or scuba diving from a liveaboard boat. For this post I’m going to explore the cheapest liveaboards diving the Great Barrier Reef option.
4 of the cheapest liveaboards Great Barrier Reef:
- The Coral Sea Dreaming.
- Pro Dive Cairns – M/V ScubaPro I,II or III.
- Ocean Quest Liveaboard.
- Rum Runner Liveaboard, Australia.
If you are on a budget with your scuba diving travel, you’ll probably be looking for the cheapest liveaboard boats for scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.
But just because the liveaboard is cheap, this doesn’t mean the diving experience is cheap too. The cheapest liveaboard Great Barrier Reef will be as stunning as the most expensive, as they’re on the same reef.
All Australia dive liveaboards table
This list of all Australia 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 Rating Out of 10||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Gear Rental|
|Review Link: Shore Thing Catamaran; Booking Link: Shore Thing Catamaran||9.9||69||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: MY Spoilsport; Booking Link: MY Spoilsport||9.4||73||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: MY Spirit of Freedom; Booking Link: MY Spirit of Freedom||9.3||83||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Coral Sea Dreaming; Booking Link: Coral Sea Dreaming||9.2||62||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: MY Pro Dive Cairns; Booking Link: MY Pro Dive Cairns||9.2||52||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: Rum Runner; Booking Link: Rum Runner||9||44||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Review Link: MY Ocean Quest; Booking Link: MY Ocean Quest||9||40||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: MY Odyssey; Booking Link: MY Odyssey||8.6||60||YES||NO||YES||NO||YES|
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.
The best budget diving liveaboards for the Great Barrier Reef
These are the best low priced and affordable liveaboards trips to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef:
4 cheap liveaboards on the Great Barrier Reef
1. Coral Sea Dreaming liveaboard
This is a cheap liveaboard sailboat, which is a steel ketch with a beautiful wooden interior. Diving is focused around the Outer Great Barrier Reef.
This includes famous reefs such as Flynn Reef and Milln Reef. This is an uncrowded liveaboard boat which caters for just 12 guests. She is just 18 metres (60 feet) in length and has just 4 air conditioned cabins.
The Coral Sea Dreaming is also available for charter too. Itinerary includes 2 days 1 night dive trips to dive and sail. But note that when you book this liveaboard it’s for the cruise only. But a 4-day dive package can be added at an additional charge. Open water certification is required and no minimum logged dives.
Review of Coral Sea Dreaming – 4.5 Stars out of 5, rated 9.1 Superb!
Jan and Cam were real personalities and with a group of 10 divers the atmosphere created was terrific. The dive experience day and night was superb. ‘Shark life was plentiful and dive sites were stunning.’ The boat was sail and motor which was relaxing. The dive sites were incredible. A relaxing trip with great team of people. 10 out of 10 Exceptional 5 stars out of 5! Stuart M – The United Kingdom.
2. Pro Dive Cairns – M/V ScubaPro I,II or III
The Pro Dive Cairns liveaboards are perfect for the budget conscious diver with limited time to spend diving on vacation.
This low budget option is a 24 metre (78.5 feet) liveaboard boat. She’s designed for 32 guests and caters for scuba diving and snorkeling. Accomodation is in 14 twin cabins and 2 doubles.
Dive trips are for 2 nights and 3 days and offers outer reef locations on the Great Barrier Reef. Offering up to 11 dives in total with two night dives. All the cabins have TV, DVD and en-suite facilities.
3. Ocean Quest Liveaboard
Australia’s Ocean Quest liveaboard is a cheap Great Barrier Reef diving liveaboard option. A 36 metre (118 feet) catamaran catering for up to 48 guests.
This cheap liveaboard offers dive trips to the magnificent Outer Great Barrier Reef in Australia. All 22 cabins have an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning, plus a TV.
Plus the chance to jump in and see the Great Barrier Reef sharks at night. Itineraries from 2 days 1 night to 6 days 5 nights. On the longer trip there’s the opportunity to dive up to 21 dives in total. Dive sites include Norman Reef, Saxon Reef and Hastings Reef.
Nitrox and dive gear rental is available on board. Certified divers need an Open Water certification and a minimum of 4 logged dives.
4. Rum Runner Liveaboard, Australia
Another cheap liveaboard sailboat for scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. Catering for up to 16 guests in four small cabins.
Not the dive trip suited for those looking for privacy, but great if you’re scuba diving on a budget! Itineraries include 2 day, 1 night trips to 4 day 3 nights. On the 4 day trip you get to dive up to 9 dives in total.
Open water diver certification and a minimum of 4 logged dives is a requirement. For those of you who want to scuba dive with sharks, there’s the 3-night Coral Sea shark-diving trip. DIN adapters are available and diving equipment rental onboard.
Great Barrier Reef diving difficulty
The Great Barrier Reef is suitable for all diver levels. The diving is mostly easy and can range from 1 metres (3 feet) through to 30 metres (100 feet) of depth. Of course to dive the deeper dives to 30 metres, you’ll need the relevant certification and logged dives.
However, many of the dives will not be any deeper than around 20 metres (66 feet), which is suitable for Open Water divers or equivalent.
Most of the above cheap liveaboard boats for the Great Barrier Reef require Open Water diver certification or equivalent.
Great Barrier Reef video taster
Here’s a taster of what it’s like to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef…
Liveaboard diving the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is probably on most scuba diver’s bucket list. It was the place where I first scuba dived, and what a place to begin my scuba diving experiences!
The Great Barrier Reef stretches for 2300 kilometres (1,437 niles) along the east coast of Australia’s Queensland. The reef can be seen from outer-space. This world famous dive site has unrivaled natural beauty and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage Site, and is one of the top dive destinations on planet earth!
Top sea creatures of the Great Barrier Reef
The sea creatures of The Great Barrier Reef are too numerous to list completely, but here’s a taster:
- Reef fish of all shapes, sizes and colour, which includes the infamous Clownfish, which was featured on Disney’s Finding Nemo.
- Sea turtles – 5 of the 6 species of sea turtle including green turtles and loggerheads.
- Moray eels.
- Manta rays.
- Eagle rays.
- Nudibranchs, shrimps, lobsters and crabs.
- Sea snakes.
- Minke whales.
- Humpback whales.
- Giant potato cod of Cod Hole.
- Grey reef, whitetip and blacktip reef sharks.
- Hammerhead sharks.
- Silky sharks.
- Tiger sharks.
- Wobbegong sharks.
- Nurse sharks.
Some of the above sea creatures only visit the Great Barrier Reef at certain times of the year. For example, the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef to see the Humpback Whales and Dwarf Minke Whales is between July and August.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the cheapest liveaboard great barrier reef
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 types of scuba diving (or specifically about the cheapest liveaboard great barrier reef), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.
Have fun and be safe!