LiveAboard Snorkle Only Trips

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Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:32 PM
  #1
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LiveAboard Snorkle Only Trips


Can anyone recommend a liveaboard trip (preferrably 1-3 night) that is good for folks who love to snorkle but can't dive (bad ear issues)??? Looking to depart from Port Douglas or Cairns areas.
lawgirl2831 is offline  
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 03:36 AM
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Hi - IMHO you are in the wrong place for "liveaboard" which I assume to mean a trip where you sleep on the boat.

I'm sure there are operators running out of Port Douglas, but not many as that is a predominantly daytrip market.

If you want choice and the thrill of sailing amongst islands then you must go to Airlie Beach. Not a great place in itself (but then neither is PD!) but it is the gateway to the wonderful, sublime, unique, Whitsunday Islands.

There are boats of all sorts offering trips of all kinds - seriously lux, moderately lux, cheap 'n cheerful.

I you want to snorkel off the boat, sleep on deck under the stars (not compulsory - you will have a indoor berth) - but why not - it's wonderful.
Then all this is possible.

There are loads of websites but here's just one.

http://www.sailing-whitsunday.com/

Happy travels.
fuzzylogic is offline  
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 04:35 AM
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lawgirl - I just brought a fairly recent posting regarding liveaboards to the top where Steve gives some good advice for snorkellers on a liveaboard dive trip, in this case, Spirit of Freedom, out of Cairns (there are no liveaboards which cater to snorkellers only out of either Cairns or Port Douglas).
pat_woolford is offline  
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:15 AM
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My husband and I are snorkelers and wanted to be able to at least do one night out on the reef hanging out under the stars. We are booked with Reef Encounter. They have a scuba option and a snorkeling option. The only thing you really can't do as a snorkeler is the night dive. Too bad, that sounded cool, but we'll just hang out in the hot tub under the stars. It is a very reasonable cost for two days of snorkeling and one night lodging. I goes out of Cairns and you can do either one night or multiple nights. I think most people do either one or two. Hope this helps.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 02:15 PM
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To lawgirl2831: I have extolled the pleasures of Coral Princess before on this site. It is certainly not the only provider of what you seem to be looking for, but for us is was fantastic. While they provide dives by far most of the people on board are snorklers. And the on board marine biologist is a real plus. Check out www.coralprincess.com for their sailing dates and routes. If you click on my name you will see some recent conversation about just this topic. Good luck. We really enjoyed it.
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Feb 3rd, 2006, 09:15 PM
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Here's a few 1-3 night liveaboard dive boats out of Cairns: Reef Encounter, Santa Maria, Kangaroo Explorer, Pro-Dive, Spirit of Freedom. the latter, whilst certainly not a cruise ship, is the most spacious - 3 day trip to Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs include a one way flight Lizard Island - Cairns. See stevew's comments for snorkelling on this trip. Out of Port Douglas is Undersea Explorer, also a scientific research vessel, however minimum trip is 6 nights.
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Feb 5th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Greetings lawgirl

I doubt you will be able to find a snorkel-only live aboard anywhere in the world.

There are many operators that take divers and snorklers alike to the reef, and a few live aboards that also allow snorklers along with the divers. But all of the live aboards cater to scuba divers.

Many of the live aboards can be chartered. If you really want a snorkel only experience, get some snorkeling friends together and charter one of the live aboards.

Our friend Pat has already mentioned a previous post where we discussed the Spirit of Freedom which is quite luxurious. The SOF can be chartered. You can also contact Tusa Dive (who owns SOF) and see about chartering one of their smaller dive boats which would required fewer snorkelers to make it cost effective.

Cheers

Steve and Andrea
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Feb 6th, 2006, 02:38 AM
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I just have to get a new machine!!

But look, OP. Maybe stevew's definition of a liveaboard is different from mine. If it's the same - then what he says is just not true.
fuzzylogic is offline  
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Feb 6th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Greetings fuzzylogic

Live-a-board, pretty simply. Live, Eat, Sleep on board for what ever number of days.

Maybe I misunderstood lawgirl's question, but I have been on many Liveaboards and they have all catered to scuba divers. Many allow snorklers, but since the catering is for scuba. The snorklers still have fun, but not as much had it been dedicated to snorklers.

I read the link you posted and the sailing vessels seem interesting, but all mention snorkel/dive together. Of course that doesn't mean that a snorkler would not have a great time, and since I have never been on those vessels I cannot offer any advice and will leave that to those who have. I expect that you have. I simply post responses based upon personal experiences.

I am an avid sailor myself and have sailed in many locations around the world.

I personally have found PD to be a great place. Seems we all have differing opinions, and that is a good thing or the world would be terrible boring

Cheers

Steve
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Feb 6th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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fuzzylogic - "liveaboards" out of Cairns form a huge part of the local dive industry and is the common term used for dive boats with overnight sleeping and dining arrangements. A couple are also sailing vessels, ie, 45metre tall ship SV Atlantic Clipper and 59' SV Santa Maria, a gaff-rigged schooner. Some liveaboards out of Cairns stay within the reef, others go beyond to Coral Sea, many do both. Different liveaboard experiences to those offered at Whitsundays, can't see why you think Steve's correct description is not true.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 02:42 AM
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greetings Pat and Steve,

What I dispute is Steve's comment that:

"doubt you will be able to find a snorkel-only live aboard anywhere in the world."

It's the "anywhere in the world" that I question. Maybe things have changed.

When I last went livingaboard in the Whitsundays for 3 full days I remember some folk got suited up on the first afternoon and that was it. Those suits and tanks were not seen again. And we never stopped anywere where it was too deep for snorkellers to see what there was to see. It was a snorkeller trip.

Now, of course, diving is even more the flavour of the decade and us snorkellers are very much the poor relation. So things may have changed.

I'm looking to go again, 8 years later, and preferrably not on the same boat - not 'cos it wasn't just amazing, but I think sometimes you shouldn't go back, repeat.

So I have been checking out the options in the Whitsundays. There are boats that advertise themselves as dive boats, or take pride in offering a free "resort dive"; there are those that say no divemaster or equipment on board, but we can arrange to rendezvous with a dive boat for you (now that would be really annoying for non-divers - so avoid them cos you don't know what you're getting); and there's boats that make no mention at all. And there's so many of them that some may be just what they say they are - a leisurely voyage around the islands with stops for snorkelling. It would be crazy if there weren't - some of those boats will be looking to fill that niche.

There are probably over 30 boats offering the chance to sleep on board for 1-2 days sailing out of the Airlie ports, compared with ?? four sailing our of FNQ.

I intend to email and check before I book. Going in JUNE - I'll report back.

Cheers
fuzzylogic is offline  
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Feb 8th, 2006, 02:16 PM
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Greetings Fuzzylogic

It is sad that there are few options for snorklers. And if you read some of my other posts, you will find that I give tips to those snorklers who want to get out and get a look and the world underwater.

My daughter is a snorkler, not a diver.

The title of this post was "...Snorkle Only"

I have never seen an advertisement for any liveaboard that just had snorklers. It would be nice if I were wrong as everyone should have the opportunity to get out and see the wonders below.

I do think that the "chartering" option isn't a bad way to go. You would be with friends, although it is always nice to meet new friends from different parts of the world.

Best of luck and if you do come across a true snorkle only boat, post it up here for us

THORN

Cheers

Steve
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Feb 8th, 2006, 09:15 PM
  #13
 
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We have just had a great trip with Captain Cook Cruises Reef Endeavour ex Cairns. They offer both a three and four day package.

http://www.captaincook.com.au/b_reef/ship.htm

They cater for both snorkelling and diving but on our trips there was a vast majority of snorkellers. Every one was very happy. Highly recommended.

As with Coral Princess, there was also an excellent marine biologist on board our ship and we got interesting view of natural history of the area. Cooktown v interesting. I posted on trip last week sometime, we have just got our happy snaps back and they were great!
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Feb 9th, 2006, 01:48 AM
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There seems to be a wee bit of confusion about what constitutes a liveaboard. In Far North Queensland its a common term described for a designated scuba dive boat, equipped with scuba tanks and all the other paraphanelia associated with diving. Some will only take certified divers, some will take competent snorkellers as well. Simple as that.
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