I’ve now done two SCUBA LiveAboard trips: one in Egypt in 2017 and one in Thailand last year. With LiveAboards, you live on a boat while it takes you around to different dive sites for 3-10 days. I cannot recommend them enough… and here are some reasons why!
They are a lot more cost effective than people realize. Here’s an example…
The boat I took in Egypt is one of the more luxurious LiveAboards available. The itinerary I took is $950 per person for a single cabin for 8 days/7 nights. That’s about $120 per day for accommodation, up to four dives a day (two dives alone usually cost over $100 when I do day trips in other places), three buffet style meals a day and snacks and the utmost comfort in the mess and on deck between dives. Be sure to double check what your own LiveAboard includes and doesn’t include (rental gear, park fees and tips were about $150 of extra costs on my trips).
Waited on hand and foot
Once your SCUBA gear is set up once, you don’t lift a finger for the rest of the trip. After your dives, the crew helps you strip off your gear, gives you a warm drink and towel and fills your tank with air for the next dive. Your room is cleaned daily and all your meals are cooked for you buffet-style. What’s not to love?
I came into a SCUBA course on my first LiveAboard kind of on accident: I needed the Advanced Open Water certification if I wanted to do any of the meaningful dives. Feeling a bit deceived (the site said I only needed Open Water), I begrudgingly took the course. However, it turned out to be super practical and fun. For the PADI Advanced certification, you need all sorts of specialty dives that were easy to fit into a LiveAboard itinerary: wreck dive, night dive, drift dive, etc. Although it was a pain to spend all my down time studying, I couldn’t imagine getting that certification anywhere else. I recommended my brother get his in Thailand and he was glad he did too!
Lots of dives
On a similar note, these trips have tons of dives. About four a day to be precise. Obviously, you don’t have to do every single dive as it can be tiring but it’s a great way to build up your logbook (some LiveAboards, professional diving opportunities and higher certifications often require a certain number of dives). Not to mention, each dive site and even returning to the same dive site at a different time of day gives you the chance to see so much wildlife and a range of different sites like reefs, walls and wrecks. With so many dives, the probability of seeing something exceptional like a pod of dolphins, a whale or shark is almost guaranteed.
Finally, you meet some awesome people on these trips. You’re living with these people 24/7 for the better part of a week, so you get to know your boatmates pretty well. Granted, not everyone will be your cup of tea, but at the very least, you can all talk about your mutual love for SCUBA diving and get suggestions for your next LiveAboard.
Whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner or a small group, LiveAboards are a great way to see a lot of extraordinary dive sites with a cost-effective and relaxing experience. Hopefully when COVID blows over we are all able to travel safely again soon, I can’t wait for my next LiveAboard!
Would you like to take a LiveAboard trip?