Travelling on a shoe-string doesn’t mean you have to rule out jumping on a diving live aboard or two. (Which we think is the only way to scuba dive. Find out why here).
The one thing that you need to remember about booking a dive live aboard is that they are all-inclusive. So while it might seem like you’re forking out a fair bit of your hard earned cash, you’re actually paying for your food for a week or so, your air fills, your insanely amazing diving, a comfortable bed and in most cases, all those sunset cocktails.
A budget dive live aboard is a particularly good choice for anyone who wants to spend part of their time touring the above-water sites of their chosen holiday destination, yet also wants to explore what the underwater world has to offer. And the best thing? Once you’ve paid for your live aboard trip upfront all you have left to do is count down the days on your calendar without worrying if you’ve put enough cash aside for your holiday, because you’ve already paid for it!
Whilst some people might not want to splurge all their holiday savings on a diving live aboard, there are plenty of options out there to suit a diver with a tight budget. Below we’ve listed the top three best live aboards for those on a budget, in a few of the must-dive destinations.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
This place is spectacular. Thousands of kilometres long and the legendary David Attenborough’s favourite place in the world (or so he told Mr. Obama). The Great Barrier Reef is the one place you have to dive if your planning on visiting the sunburnt country that is Australia.
While there are day boats that leave from Port Douglas, Cairns and the Whitsunday’s, hands-down the best way to see the Reef is on a dive live aboard. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up and getting in your dive gear for a dawn dive, just as the sun is beginning to rise over the horizon. Watching the fish begin to become more active after a night of rest, and seeing the coral regain its colour as the sun begins to get higher in the sky is an incredible experience that you just don’t get on a day trip.
You’ll visit the more untouched parts of the Great Barrier Reef on a dive live aboard, and the Scuba Pro vessels offer trips that won’t break the bank. ScubaPro has three vessels, called ScubaPro I, ScubaPro II, ScubaPro III. For a two night trip you’re looking at around $230 AUD a day, and the short length means you can visit the Great Barrier Reef and have still have time to see the rest of Australia and do some croc-wrangling, koala cuddling and kangaroo wrestling.
The Red Sea, Egypt
This is not only one of the most renowned scuba diving destinations, but also one of the most reasonably priced. If you’ve got your heart set on a Euro-trip, the Red Sea needs to be on your travel itinerary. With no shortage of budget diving liveaboards, the Red Sea is renowned for it’s incredible coral formations, drift and wall dives, pelagic species and tropical water.
The Celebes Explorer is the only vessel that offers year round diving in this iconic dive destination and is great for a diver on a budget. Another area of the underwater world that is best explored by live aboard, you can expect turtles galore along with huge schools of pelagic fish on a backdrop of fantastic coral formations. There are only a maximum of 120 diving permits issued in a single day, ensuring this area remains pristine and treasured, making your trip even more rewarding.
Liveaboard.com has the most extensive range of live aboard dive trips to suit any dive enthusiast, on every kind of budget.
Have you got any great tips for divers on a budget? Let us know by leaving a comment below.