Please help - Are there any inexpensive liveaboards?

Aug 14th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 15
Please help - Are there any inexpensive liveaboards?

I have gotten lots of helpful advice but the one thing nobody seems to be posting on is a good option for a liveaboard that won't break the bank. Does that mean there isn't one? Is it possible to find any kind of specials or anything for late September/early October? And I have also noticed that while none of the liveaboards are cheap, some seem to be almost twice as much as others because they go to Cod Hole and feed sharks, etc. Will I be missing out if I don't take one of the more expensive ones? What should I look for when searching to make sure I am getting a good liveaboard and not one that takes you to places that are "swarming with tourists and full of dead reef" as I have heard described? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
dreamingofoz is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,126
If you could list what you've considered so far, and where you came across them, it might help to establish if there are options you haven't found yet.

afterall is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Absolutely! Sorry to have not posted more info in the first place. I have been looking at 3 day liveaboards. The less expensive ones I have seen are Pro Dive for $580 (Outer Reef), Reef Encounter for $660 (Outer Reef), and Ocean Quest for $545 (Outer Reef). The more expensive ones I have seen are Spirit of Freedom which I have seen recommended on this board starts at $1300 (Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs), Mike Ball Expeditions start at $1430 (Cod Hole and Minke Whales), and Abyss starts at $1305 (Cod Hole and Shark feeding at Osprey Reef).

So...I guess what I am wanting to know is 1) Is $550 the cheapest I can expect to find a three day liveaboard? 2) Are the ones in the more expensive group worth the extra cost? (More than twice as much!) 3)Can anyone differentiate between any of these for me to tell me what the differences are? 4) Are there any really great options I haven't found? Thank you so much for all the help! The Great Barrier Reef is a big part of why this is my dream trip so I want to make the most of it, but I don't start out my marriage in debt from our honeymoon!
dreamingofoz is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
I don't know of one liveaboard which takes you to places that are "swarming with tourists and full of dead reef', it wouldn't stay in business if it did.

Lower end prices are all out of Cairns and the more accessible outer reef sites, (about the cheapest I can think off hand is the yacht Vagabond - 2 days one night from $240 plus extra for dives).

It costs a lot more to run a reef trip up to Lizard Island area for ribbon reefs, Cod Hole, etc. Some of them, including Spirit of Freedom, include a one way low level scenic flight to Lizard Island, this always costs, no matter who you fly with. For instance a one day snorkelling trip with Daintree Air from Cairns to Lizard and return to Cairns is $590.

Suggest you have a good look at all liveaboard websites and a decent reef map, check exactly what is offering in terms of cabin size, inclusions, etc., and then make a comparison.

pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 15
Thank you for the help! I hope people will continue to post! I don't know where it was that I read about the dead reef, but that was something I was concerned about. I guess it sounds like that isn't an issue after all, so that's a relief! Other than the low level flights, what are the differences between traveling to Ribbon Reef and the ones that go to the closer Outer Reef. Is the Ribbon Reef more beautiful, more marine life? I really want to get the best experience, but over $1000 per person is a lot for a young newly married couple!
dreamingofoz is offline  

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