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The Best Liveaboards on the Great Barrier Reef

Posted on 06/26/2020

Why liveaboard?

One of the best ways to see the Great Barrier Reef is from the deck of a liveaboard. Day trips out to the reef can only go so far in one day, and their dive sites are often crowded with other boats and divers. This limits your visibility and ultimately you only enjoy one or two dives at the reef of your dreams!

Liveaboards are able to travel farther out and stay for longer. This way, divers are able to explore more of the reef in smaller groups – a sure way to check off bucket list marine life sightings!

Liveaboards offer more for your money! Why spend the money to only go on one dive when you could do anywhere from 10 to 13 dives in one trip – dependent on conditions.

Which company?

When choosing a liveaboard company to go with, it can be overwhelming! There are so many, and they all seem similar enough.

Don’t make the mistake of going with any company other than Pro Dive Cairns! They offer two or three-day liveaboard options that will offer the best possible views of the Great Barrier.

The boats are clean and comfortable, with a sun deck on the top to dry out in the sun for a post-dive nap or to catch some rays while you chat with fellow divers about their reef finds. The meals are fabulous and timed perfectly between dives.

The crew really makes the trip! The Pro Dive staff are just that – pros! Their dive briefings show you exactly where you should be looking and pointers for each dive site. Their expertise is the perfect resource to discuss the specifics about marine life that is specific to the Great Barrier.

What does the trip look like?

On the first day of the trip, it’s an early start. Booking a hotel in Cairns the night before is recommended so that you can be ready to go before sunrise. You can relax in luxury at the Shangri-La or the Hilton overlooking the Marina next to plenty of incredible restaurants. Our favorite spot was Salt House, with waterfront views and something on the menu for everyone from pizza to seafood to Asian fare.

The crew will pick you up in the morning if needed and bring you to their store to fill out necessary forms and get fitted for your gear before taking you to the marina to get settled in your cabins and head out to the reef. Following the safety briefing and a lengthy ride out to the first site, you begin diving the very first day!

Depending on the trip you choose, the amount of diving differs. We enjoyed the 3-day liveaboard experience, which included 11 dives (two of which are night dives). With this much time to dive and explore the reef, it is easy to become acclimated and get comfortable right away – even for those rusty divers that haven’t been in the water in a while.

Dive briefings before each dive provide the group with the coordinates needed to see the highlights of each site and get back to the boat within your limited bottom time. While the dives are self-navigated, the crew offers a few guided dives for orientation purposes and all of the night dives have the option of a guide for those wearier of the reef after dark.

Among the array of dives, the sunrise dive was one of our favorites. Witnessing the reef come to life as the sun rises was something that can only be experienced and will not soon be forgotten by novice and experienced divers alike.

After completing all of the dives and the trip back to Cairns, divers can enjoy a relaxing night back at a resort or enjoy the pubs and night life that Cairns has to offer.

Do I need to be certified?

Being certified before you go on a liveaboard is convenient. However, you can also get certified while on the trip! Crew members are well-equipped to help customers achieve their PADI certification whether it is Beginner, Advanced, or Professional coursework.

What now?

Ready to dive into the Great Barrier Reef? Start browsing our Australian packages to customize your dream trip!

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