Many seasoned divers and diving teachers will attest to having a liveaboard during their diving excursions. It is way inexpensive than living out of a port hotel, and you have your meals and accommodation catered for so that you can use as much time as possible having fun and diving. Moreover, liveaboards enable you to reach the far out remote places that will more likely enrich your diving experience. How do you find a great dive liveaboard that will make your vacation more memorable?
These few tips will enlighten you on what you need to consider.
1. Select a hotspot
Liveaboards run in diving hotspots, so choose one, depending on what you would love to experience or caters to your travel budget. The Galapagos Islands are the best place to visit; these volcanic islands are home to the rarest species of marine wildlife and are a diving hotspot. The Americas (Mexico, Ecuador, and other Pacific diving locations), as well as the exotic islands of Fiji and Palau, are perfect for shark enthusiasts. For wreck diving, visit Chuuk lagoon and the Middle East where the 19th and 20th-century shipwrecks will fascinate you. Other amazing hotspots with biodiverse underwater environments are in South East Asia (Thailand, Burma, Malaysia), the Red Sea (Egypt, Sudan, and Oman and Indian Ocean diving sites (South Africa).
2. Marine wildlife
What type of flora and fauna are you seeking to discover? Consider the season you are traveling in to ensure you find a marine activity at its peak. Macrolife is perfect for photography, and you will see species such as shrimp and ghost pipefish. Most liveaboards also look forward to interacting with larger wildlife such as hammerheads and whale sharks.
3. Duration and number of daily dives
Duration taken to get to the chosen diving spot depends on a few factors. Easy to get places to have shorter travel itineraries, for instance, to get to the Similan Islands in Thailand only takes four days. However, trips to remote locations can take up to a fortnight. When deciding on how many dives to take per day, consider the area's temperature and your physical limits. Most liveaboards offer 4-6 tanks, and most people will get exhausted after four dives.
Are you seeking a less expensive or exclusive luxury experience? While drawing your budget, include miscellaneous costs such as the cost of buying souvenirs, hotels, meals, and cost of traveling to the port of departure. If you decide to go with the luxurious experience, take full advantage of its perks (massages, kayaks, and hot tubs).
5. Online reviews
If you are just starting, you can comb liveaboard review websites to get the opinions of seasoned divers. Pay attention to the ones flagged as unsafe to ensure you don't find yourself on one, and choose those that are marine-environment friendly.
When you finally find a few liveaboards that are pleasing, book their services through a reputable agency to avoid falling victim to fraudsters. Do not compromise quality for the money, as many things could go wrong on the wrong liveaboard.