Explore the underwater world by Liveaboard diving: everything about liveaboard

Explore the underwater world by Liveaboard diving: everything about liveaboard

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One of the names of our Earth is “The Blue Planet”. And indeed, more than 2/3 of its surface consists of water. The water area of the Earth reveals stunning views- from exotic beaches to endless blue of sky and ocean, separated by a horizon. But how about underwater? It reveals a whole fantastic world, calling for exploration. Today we can explore it and one of the best ways to do it is by liveaboard diving. Let’s get into more details about this unique experience!

Exploring the oceans

We live on the land. So, for us is much easier to travel and explore the land. But our abilities to explore the water part of the Earth are much limited.

Humans normally travel by ships, boats, and various other kinds of vessels. In modern times, there are some ways to dive underwater too- there are submarines and bathyscaphes, there is also diving gear.

But most of these ways are not freely accessible for everybody. Only scientists dive by bathyscaphes. Mainly military personnel dive by submarines. Most of the ships are used by cargo companies and not for tourists (although some allow tourists to onboard). You can travel by ferry or tourist boat rides, but only between certain ports, following a certain timetable, and only on short-distance routes (with only a few exceptions).

Scientific expeditions are exciting, but again, they are limited to scientists and their assistants only. Cruises are a good long-distance option for exploring the oceans, but usually, these floating luxury hotels don’t offer diving underwater. If you have your own private yacht and diving equipment, you can fully enjoy the ocean, but only a few people (usually people with a lot of money or sponsorship) can do it.

However, there is another way to explore the oceans (at least a specific part of them). It is called liveaboard, and it offers one of the most unique experiences of your life.

What is liveaboard

In short, this is a specific type of cruise that involves travelling to specific sea destinations with a focus on their underwater parts. So, this is a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world by scuba diving, and at the same time to enjoy floating by boat and the exotic land parts of the area.

These trips are arranged by liveaboard boats. Similar to the cruise ships, the boats are “floating hotels”, but there are some differences. First, they are usually much smaller, yacht-type of boats. And second, they are designed specifically for diving.

A liveaboard boat
A liveaboard boat

So, the liveaboard trips are all-inclusive activities, at least concerning the time onboard. Some of them also include airport transfers or even on land tours, but even if don’t, they always include everything from pier departure to pier arrival.

Liveaboard tours will not take you to the middle of the ocean, and they don’t include diving underwater several thousand kilometers (miles) above the ocean bottom. Instead, they are a type of tourist expedition to coastal areas, so you can explore the underwater world in shallow waters, where you can see and touch the bottom.

Types of liveaboard tours

There are various types of liveaboard tours, depending on destinations, specific diving focus, duration, budget, and what’s included in them.

Liveaboard tours can be organized in many parts of the world, from the tropical atolls in the Pacific and the Caribbean to the icy waters of Antarctica. They can last from 3-4 days to 2 weeks and even more.

Some of the liveaboard tours are budget, with relatively basic conditions, somewhere around 500-700 USD, while others are like luxurious cruises reaching amounts of 6000 USD and more.

Diving activities can be different too. Some of the tours are focused on the beautiful marine life, while others guide you to mysterious shipwrecks or other human-made remains underwater.

As a result, there are various types of liveaboard tours that you can choose, according to your preferences.

Liveaboard details- diving

Although liveaboard diving tours can be different, they all have one in common- diving. In fact, diving is the “core” of such a tour, not an “optional attraction”. These tours are journeys to the underwater world of the shallow waters- usually to 20-30 m.

The diving activities can be different. Some of them are for beginners. In fact, they are practical diving courses, with experienced instructors.

But there are also tours with activities for advanced divers. They usually require a certificate from divers and can guide you to deeper waters- to 50 m and even below. During these activities, you can penetrate some more difficult and even dangerous areas with rocks, caves, spots with currents, and other high levels of difficulty places.

When you go diving
When you go diving

Liveaboard details- when you don’t dive

Diving activities usually occupy most of the day, and sometimes even at night. But how about the rest of the time?

In general, during the rest of the time, you are a sailor, not a diver (of course, “watching and relaxing sailor”). You relax in your room, on your bed, or the deck, watching the endless sea and the horizon, or the nearby islands, reefs, and rocks.

Apart from the time when you sleep and eat, you can also have a nice time with new friends- fellow divers, or you can even join a party on the boat.

This is a normal day on a liveaboard boat. You wake up in the morning and usually attend the first diving. Then, you have breakfast and after some relaxing time, you go diving again. What follows is lunch, another relaxation, and another diving. Finally, you have dinner, and after that, some tours offer night diving. Somewhere in those hours, you can also expect a party.

An average liveaboard tour

So, how an average liveaboard tour looks like?

It has a starting and ending point (usually, it is the same point). For many tours, this point is a local port, but some tours also include on-land services like arranging a hotel or airport transfer, and even on land tours to the nearby sightseeings.

Then, the time of departure comes and the boat leaves the port. Of course, the tour guides have their route to determined diving points and a schedule of traveling on this route. Depending on the route length, they have also determined the length of the whole tour (hence the price and everything else).

Meanwhile, on land tours and accommodation are also possible in the middle of the tour, or after its end. As I already mentioned, the ending point is usually the same as the starting point.

This is what the liveaboard tours look like. But where on the Earth can you join such tours and what can you explore by joining them?

Liveaboard.com

Liveaboard.com is the best and the basic website for liveaboard tour booking. It is like Booking.com and Agoda for hotels booking. So, if you want to find a liveaboard adventure, this is the place. Yes, some liveaboard activities are not included in this platform, and as a result, they are more difficult to be found.

Take a look at Liveaboard.com!

Anyway, let’s take a look at the diving destinations on the Earth, where you can find liveaboard tours. All of them are featured on Liveaboard.com.

Diving destinations

Liveaboards (and opportunities to explore the coastal sea areas on and underwater) can be found at most of the seaside destinations in the world, but not all. Most of the destinations are in the tropics, but there are also some places located in colder areas, even in the polar regions.

Usually, you can find such tours in every popular sea destination like Maldives, Australia, Indonesia, the Caribbean islands, and more. But they don’t cover all the stunning coral reefs in the world- some places still remain untouched for various reasons. It can be because they are highly protected areas, or just because the area around is too wild and undeveloped for tourists yet.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the map of the Earth, where you can and where you can’t explore the coastal sea areas by liveaboard.

Divers in crystal clear water
Divers in crystal clear water

Liveaboard areas

To make it clearer, I will divide the liveaboard areas into regions.

Spain- Balearic Islands, Mediterranean Sea

The Balearic Islands of Spain are located in the western parts of the Mediterranean Sea. These islands are famous as a sea vacation place, full of resorts and exotic beaches. They also present a lot of places for diving and snorkeling- there are many rock formations and other underwater features worth exploring.

Most of the spots are accessible by small boat rides for several hours. But if you want to find a longer, liveaboard tour, you have to go to Ibiza and Formentera islands. These tours are limited, and not always available, and offer mainly just snorkeling, not scuba diving, but you can still enjoy some exciting adventures.

Check for liveaboard trips in Spain!

Italy, Mediterranean Sea

Italy is the central country of the Mediterranean region. Its boot-like peninsula and the surrounding islands are washed by the Adriatic Sea on the east, the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west, and well and the central parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Its coastlines offer great seacoast landscapes, beaches, rocky cliffs, and more.

However, the liveaboard opportunities are limited only around the Tuscan Archipelago and Elba Island, located between the island of Corsica and mainland Italy. This is a subtropical region and there are no coral reefs. But there are a lot of other underwater wonders like rock formations and rich marine wildlife.

Check for liveaboard trips in Italy!

Adriatic Sea- Croatia and Montenegro

This is the long and narrow gulf-like part of the Mediterranean Sea, separating the Apennine from the Balkan peninsulas. It is shared between Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania. Again, this is a subtropical region, and the sea, as well as the underwater views, are quite similar to those around the Tuscan Archipelago in Italy.

There are a lot of liveaboard tours, but mainly in Croatia, and several more in Montenegro. However, they don’t offer scuba diving, only snorkeling. Thus, they are more like cruises. Anyway, they are still a great way to explore this beautiful area of Europe.

Aegean Sea- Greece and Turkey

The Aegean Sea is the part of the Mediterranean Sea that is closed between mainland Greece from the west and the north, Turkey from the east, and Crete Island from the south. It is full of islands, scattered across the sea, mostly belonging to Greece.

Check for liveaboard trips in Greece!

This is another subtropical region with similar geographical features to the western Mediterranean parts. So, again, the liveaboard opportunities are limited and focused only on snorkeling. They can be found occasionally in Greece and only in Fethiye in Turkey.

Check for liveaboard trips in Turkey!

Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea

Azores, Atlantic Ocean

The Azores are an archipelago of volcanic islands, located on the Mid Atlantic Ridge that splits the ocean from north to south across its length. They are in the subtropical geographic zone and being volcanic, they present a lot of weird and fantastic formations. At the same time, here you can see a rich diversity of marine wildlife.

These islands are a part of Portugal and they are connected to the mainland by flights. But once you arrive in their main city Ponta Delgada, you can join a liveaboard tour. “Water and Wind” is one of the few boats that offer the best liveaboard experience in the archipelago, although it is a bit expensive.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Azores!

Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean

This is another famous archipelago, well-known for its resorts and vacation opportunities. The islands are not on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, they are close to the coast of Africa, but they are volcanic like the Azores. So, the Canaries feature a lot of volcanic underwater formations.

However, currently, the liveaboard options are relatively limited. These tours are usually week-long and travel mainly between Tenerife and La Gomera. But if you join such a tour, you can enjoy a fantastic experience in the underwater world, where you can see rock formations, marine life, and some shipwrecks.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Canaries!

Red Sea

The Red Sea is known as one of the saltiest, hottest, and most transparent-water seas on the Earth. It is quite closed- connected to the Indian Ocean only by a narrow strait. Here you can find a lot of coral reefs, as well as some shipwrecks.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Red Sea!

Currently, you can find liveaboard tours here mainly in Egypt, and partially in Saudi Arabia (the Saudi tours are quite new since the country only recently opened for tourists). Other Red Sea countries (Israel, Jordan, Sudan, and Eritrea) offer only local diving or nothing, but no liveaboard tours.

Red Sea underwater
Red Sea underwater

Gulf of Aden

Technically, this is not a gulf exactly, but a strait, connecting the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean. Four countries shared their territory- Yemen, Djibouti, and Somalia, but only the first three offer some limited liveaboard tours.

Currently, the political situation in the region is quite unstable, there is a war in Yemen, so, the liveaboard tours there can be easily canceled. Anyway, the area is not far from the Equator and the marine life here is rich and impressive.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Gulf of Aden!

Gulf of Oman, Arab Sea

This area has limited choices for liveaboard tours, but with the increasing popularity of Oman as a tourist destination, we can expect more soon. Currently, you can find such tours only around the Musandan Peninsula that separates the Gulf of Oman from the Gulf of Persia. The focus in these waters is the whale sharks and the weird sunfish.

Check for liveaboard trips in Oman!

Maldives, Indian Ocean

The Maldives are famous among tourists and travelers around the world as one of the most perfect tropical paradises. This archipelago consists of thousands of islands, islets, and reefs, gathering in sub-archipelagos and atolls, with crystal clear water.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Maldives!

The waters around the islands are full of corals and marine life, and there are a lot of liveaboard tours, as well as smaller diving tours (only within a day).

The Maldives
The Maldives

The Western Coast of India, Indian Ocean

This coastline faces the eastern part of the Arab Sea, where it becomes a part of the Indian Ocean proper. It has some limited liveaboard opportunities from Chennai and Kerala State. However, they can be canceled indefinitely. At least smaller local diving tours are available, mainly from Goa.

Check for liveaboard trips in India!

Seychelles, Indian Ocean

This is another famous archipelago, attracting a lot of visitors. It also consists of many atolls and coral reefs, but unlike the Maldives, there are some higher, mountainous islands. There are fewer liveaboard opportunities, compared to the Maldives, but again, the proximity to the Equator proposes a fantastic underwater world and a lot of diving adventures in the area.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Seychelles!

Madagascar, Indian Ocean

Madagascar is one of the largest islands on the Earth, located east of Africa, in the western part of the Indian Ocean, in the southern tropical zone. The island belongs to the Malagasy Republic of Madagascar, and it is quite off the beaten place, far from the tourist crowds. This makes Madagascar an attractive place for adventurers, who seeks something unique and non-touristy.

At the coast of Madagascar
At the coast of Madagascar

Concerning the liveaboards, they can’t be found around the whole island’s coastline, but only west from its northern tip. And they are not on the mainland of the islands, but around several satellite islands, known as Mitsio and Radames archipelagos. And the best diving point is called Nosy Be. Here you can see the best of the local marine wildlife, which includes whale sharks, manta rays, and many more.

Check for liveaboard trips in Madagascar!

Sri Lanka, Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka is another destination with Equatorial waters. The island country doesn’t offer many liveaboard opportunities, but the tours are relatively luxurious and full of adventures. The main diving points around the island are Northwest Kalpytia and West Colombo, where you can explore one of the best wreck sites in the Indian Ocean.

Check for liveaboard trips in Sri Lanka!

Andaman Islands and Andaman Sea

The Andaman Sea is a tropical paradise quite rich in liveaboard opportunities. The sea borders Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the west, Myanmar from the north and northeast, the western coast of Thailand from the east, the island of Sumatra (Indonesia), the Strait of Melaka, and the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia from the south.

Check for liveaboard trips in Myanmar!

You can find a lot of liveaboard trips in all of these countries, except in Nicobar Islands (a part of India), and Indonesia (there are plenty of liveaboards in Indonesia, but not in this part of the country).

Around the west coast of Thailand
Around the west coast of Thailand

Actually, most of the tours can be found at the western coast of Thailand and neighboring Myanmar (on the same coast). In fact, if you go to Thailand and look for liveaboards, you can look at the western coast of the country (not to the Gulf of Thailand in the east!). Some tours can also be found in Penang, Malaysia.

Check for liveaboard trips in Thailand!

Eastern Sunda Archipelago- Indonesia and East Malaysia

This is a labyrinth of big and small islands and seas between them, belonging mainly to Indonesia, and the eastern part of Malaysia. The main islands here are Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, and the archipelagos of Nusa Tenggara (where the famous Bali is located) and Maluku (Moluccas). The whole area is located around the Equator, and what you can expect here is a great variety of coral reefs and marine life.

Check for liveaboard trips in Indonesia!

In this region, the main places that you can find liveaboards are the easternmost coast of Malaysia (Semporna and Sipadan), and the islands of Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Ternate, and Halmahera.

Check for liveaboard trips in Malaysia!

All of these excellent diving spots can be combined with exciting journeys and expeditions around this tropical paradise.

Philippines

This is another diving paradise. Like Indonesia, the Philippines consists of several thousand islands and islets, with a lot of coral reefs and other marine sanctuaries around them. The archipelago is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean from the east, the South China Sea, and the Sulu Sea from the west. And the main liveaboard diving is focused on the west, where the waters are calmer than the open ocean.

So, if you go to the Philippines and look for liveaboards, check for opportunities in the Visayas- the middle islands of the archipelago. Here you can explore the rich marine wildlife, including the giant whale sharks. And if you are looking for coral reefs, focus on the Sulu Sea and its gem- the Reefs of Tubbataha.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Philippines!

The Island of Papua

This is the second-largest island on the Earth, located just south of the Equator, and surrounded by multiple small islands and islets. It is divided between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and both countries offer a lot of liveaboard opportunities.

The main liveaboard areas here are at the northwestern coast of Papua, near the Chendrawasih Peninsula. This is the location of the fantastic paradise of Raja Ampat.

Raja Ampat in Indonesia
Raja Ampat in Indonesia

And in Papua New Guinea, the liveaboard locations are again at the northern coast of the island, as well as the neighboring New Britain Island.

Check for liveaboard trips in Papua!

Melanesia, Pacific Ocean

Here I mean “the rest” of Melanesia because geographically, Papua belongs to Melanesia too. And the rest of it consists of several main archipelagos: Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Fiji.

Check for liveaboard trips in Vanuatu!

These archipelagos are island countries (New Caledonia is under the rule of France), and each of them offers great liveaboard opportunities. The islands are in areas with rich marine wildlife and a lot of coral reefs, so, you can find everything you want, including some shipwrecks.

Check for liveaboard trips in Fiji!

Micronesia, Pacific Ocean

This is a vast tropical area north of the Equator, consisting of four main archipelagos- the Mariana Islands, Caroline Islands, Gilbert Islands, and the Marshall Islands. These islands are shared between three countries and two US territories. Micronesia includes most of the Mariana and Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands is a separate country, Palau is a small island country in the Caroline Archipelago, and the US territories of Guam and North Mariana are a part of Mariana Islands.

Check for liveaboard trips in Micronesia!

Micronesia is a tropical area, full of coral reefs and rich marine wildlife. But also, it has been a war field of the main battles between the USA and Japan during WW2, remaining a lot of shipwrecks.

Diving into a shipwreck in Micronesia
Diving into a shipwreck in Micronesia

So, here in Micronesia, you can find some exciting liveaboard experiences. They are located in Palau, as well as in the islands of Truk and Yap in the State of Micronesia. Again, many of them are focused on shipwrecks.

Western Polynesia, Pacific Ocean

Polynesia is a huge area, in fact, it is larger than the largest continent on Earth! Yet less than 1% of its territory consists of land- thousands of tiny islands and islets, grouped in archipelagos, as well as some isolated islands. They spread across the central part of the Pacific Ocean, from Tonga to Easter Island, and from New Zealand to Hawaii.

And the western part of Polynesia consists of several countries and overseas territories- Tonga, Western and Eastern Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, and more. All of them are tropical paradise gems with a lot of fantastic underwater sights to reveal.

There are not too many liveaboard opportunities here, but one of the countries offers such adventures. This is Tonga. Here you can enjoy a fantastic diving experience around the islands of Vava’u, exploring an unearthly labyrinth of coral reefs, underwater tunnels, rock formations, and rich marine wildlife.

Check for liveaboard trips in Tonga!

French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean

Further east is French Polynesia. It is an overseas territory of France, scattered on several archipelagos. The largest and most popular of the islands are Tahiti and Bora Bora. But there are many other islands, mostly off the beaten jewels, preserving the virgin beauty of the ocean.

Check for liveaboard trips in French Polynesia!

Again, this is a relatively new area for the liveaboard, so, you can’t find too many opportunities. Anyway, if you are looking for such adventures here, focus on Tuamotu and Marquesas Islands. The liveaboard tours in these places are relatively luxurious and expensive, but the fantastic views on and underwater are worth every dollar!

French Polynesian paradise
French Polynesian paradise

Hawaii, Pacific Ocean

This archipelago, a US state, forms the northeastern ends of Polynesia. Hawaii is a group of volcanic islands with a tropical and subtropical climate, quite isolated from the rest of the world. But today it is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

However, liveaboard opportunities here are limited. They are focused only on several points, and the main things to see there are volcanic formations, pinnacles rising from the bottom of the ocean, and diverse marine wildlife.

Check for liveaboard trips in Hawaii!

Western Australia, Indian Ocean

Australia is the smallest continent on Earth, surrounded by the Indian and the Pacific oceans. Most of the continent is located in the tropical and subtropical geographic zones. All of its coastline and the surrounding waters offer endless diving opportunities, but the liveaboard tours are focused on two main areas- Western and Eastern Australia.

The liveaboard destinations in Western Australia are located near the northern part of its coastline. It is a wild and remote area, where you can feel like you dive into landscapes from another planet. But the best diving spots are located some 80-100 miles far from the coast- the reefs of Mermaid and Clerke.

Check for liveaboard trips in Australia!

Eastern Australia, Pacific Ocean

This part of the Australian coast and its surrounding waters is more popular and more touristy. And there is a reason for that- here is the largest coral reef system on the Earth- the Great Barrier Reef. It is an underwater paradise, constantly attracting a lot of divers and explorers.

The Great Barrier Reef from above
The Great Barrier Reef from above

Although there are some diving spots are the coast of the mainland, the main liveaboard focus is on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. And the most visited places here are Osprey Reef, Ribbon Reef, Milln Reef, Flynn Reef, Cod Hole, and Lizard Island. To make the exploration of the Great Barrier Reef full, some liveaboard tours include even a helicopter ride over the reefs for fantastic views and camera shots from above.

Check for liveaboard trips in the GBR!

Now, let’s go to the Americas.

Western Mexico, Pacific Ocean

This is the Mexican coast of the Pacific Ocean. And a significant part of it is the long Baja California Peninsula, separated by the Gulf of California from the rest of the continent. Here you can find some of the most diverse and fantastic diving spots on the Earth.

There are three liveaboard spots in this area. The first one is the tiny island of Guadalupe, located west of Baja California’s coast. Here the liveaboard tours guide you to swim with Great White Sharks in a cage.

Check for liveaboard trips in Mexico!

The second place is the southernmost tip of Baja California, the area, called the Sea of Cortez. And the third place is Revilla Gigedo Archipelago, located deep into the Pacific Ocean, south of Baja California. All of these spots are great places for watching marine wildlife.

Diving with Great White
Diving with Great White

Costa Rica-Panama-Colombia’s Pacific

This is the western coast of Central and northwestern South America and the Pacific waters around them. It is located just north of the Equator. Here you can find some of the most beautiful diving spots in the Americas, and they are located around the small islands in the ocean that belong to these countries.

Check for liveaboard trips in Costa Rica!

Again, the main diving focus here is on coral reefs and marine wildlife. But the best spots are two islands, located deep in the ocean, several hundred miles far from the continent. They are Cocos and Malpelo- two isolated tiny pieces of land, the best sites for watching hammerhead sharks.

Check for liveaboard trips in Colombia!

Galapagos Islands, Pacific Ocean

The image of the Galapagos is well-known for every explorer. These unique islands, located west of South America are like nowhere else. They are volcanic, but the most impressive thing there is their wildlife. And it is unique not only on the land but also underwater.

Check for liveaboard trips in Galapagos!

So, no wonder the Galapagos Islands are one of the diving capitals in the world. There are a lot of cruise and liveaboard tours roaming around the archipelago. Since Galapagos Islands are one one the best shark diving places in the world, a lot of these tours are focused on this activity. Many of them are luxurious and relatively expensive, but the experience is so unique that the price is worth 100%.

Diving in the waters around Galapagos
Diving in the waters around Galapagos

A special gift for the explorers and divers is Wolf and Darwin islands. They are protected areas and nobody can visit them except those who join liveaboard tours. The guides can get special permits to dive into the Wolf and Darwin surrounding waters, full of natural wonders and wildlife.

The Caribbean Sea and the Antilles

The Caribbean Sea is closed between mainland Central America on the west, the northern coast of South America, and the islands of the Antilles from north and east, which separate it from the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is in the tropical zone and it is famous for its small island countries, full of resorts and great vacation opportunities.

Check for liveaboard trips in Belize!

Many of these places offer liveaboard tours, and they can be found in several main areas. On the mainland side, you can enjoy such tours along the coasts of Belize, Guatemala, and the northern coast of Honduras.

Check for liveaboard trips in Cuba!

Other places include the Cayman Islands, the southern coast of Cuba, the waters around the Dominican Republic, and the area around St Maarten, Anguilla, Virgin Islands, and St Kitts. Again, all these tours are focused on coral reefs, shipwrecks, and rich marine wildlife.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Bahamas!

Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea

The Bahamas and Turks & Caicos

This region is north of the Caribbean area and is closest to the USA’s Eastern coast. These archipelagos, currently shared between two island countries are another tropical paradise, with all of its “attributes” in the sea- coral reefs and rich marine wildlife.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Bahamas!

Again there are a lot of shipwreck sites. But there is something more- the specific terrain of the ocean bottom around the islands, providing fantastic underwater landscapes.

Check for liveaboard trips in Turks & Caicos!

Most of these areas above are in the tropical geographic zone. But there are some polar areas with liveaboard activities.

Arctic

Scuba diving in polar waters is much different than in the tropics. It is not for beginners and requires some experience and special gear for such an environment. But it is worth trying because these regions offer their own unique beauty tempting to be explored.

Check for liveaboard trips in the Arctic!

Currently, there are three places in the Arctic, where you can find liveaboard tours. The first one is in Greenland, in the largest and deepest fjord system on the Earth, called Scoresby Sund. The second is the waters around the islands of Svalbard, Norway. And the third place is Alaska, where divers can get closer to whales.

Polar waters for diving
Polar waters for diving

Antarctica

The southern polar waters provide amazing environments with marine wildlife of penguins, whales, and more animals wandering among icebergs or just around rocky bottom terrain. Here, the main liveaboard areas are between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula.

You can find liveaboard tours around the Falkland Islands. Proceeding southward, you can enjoy such experiences around South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands. Finally, you can find liveaboards in the “classical” Antarctica- along the coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Check for liveaboard trips in Antarctica!

In general, these are the areas on the Earth, where you can join liveaboard tours, and they are concentrated along with the best diving sites. But how about the other ocean places?

“Non-Liveaboard” areas

Yes, where is Brazil? Where is South Africa? Where are the other African countries except Egypt and Djibouti? And where are Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea? Or how about New Zealand, Mauritius, Cape Verde, and many more?

In fact, there are some occasional local liveaboard tours in some of these places too. But they can’t be found in Liveaboard.com, just like many hotels in this world can’t be found in Booking.com or Agoda.

And finally, there are areas where you can’t find any liveaboard tours. Maybe some small few-hours boat ride, but nothing more. This is due to the specific natural environment that is not so attractive for diving, the political instability of the area, or just undeveloped tourism of the area.

Why liveaboard?

First, why you should try a liveaboard tour? There are many pros of such an experience:
You can enjoy the underwater world for a longer time, without a hurry to back to the boat and the coast.
You can reach many destinations that are not reachable in other ways, or at least difficult to reach. Some of the destinations are natural reserves and require permits, and only the liveaboard guides can obtain them for you.

Also, you can learn and improve your diving skills.

Finally, you can meet new fellow adventurers. As you know, sometimes such new friendships and relationships can be life-changing.

On the boat
On the boat

Important liveaboard tips

There are some details that you need to have in mind when applying for a liveaboard tour.

Food and drink

Normally, the liveaboard tours are all-inclusive. But you’d better check it in advance, and if need, you can bring more food with you.

Some liveaboard tours don’t allow alcohol on the boat, so you have to check it too.

Diving equipment

Not all liveaboards offer scuba diving. On some tours you can only go snorkeling- this is mainly in the Mediterranean Sea. For snorkeling only it would be easier. Bring your own snorkels, masks, and fins. Yes, usually, the liveaboard boats provide their equipment, but your own would be always better.

However, for scuba diving, you need more accessories. If you are an active scuba diver, you probably have most of them. But if not, usually the boats provide all that is necessary. And again, better bring your own mask and snorkel.

Safety

Needless to say, safety is a high priority for the liveaboard guides. There are a lot of dangers in the underwater world- sharks, venomous creatures, sharp rocks, and corals, as well as various diving issues.

Some tours are proper only for experienced divers, and they can even ask for a certificate. Other tours are good for beginners. Also, many liveaboard tours provide scuba training, and you can use this opportunity to improve your diving skills.

Communications

Most of the liveaboard tours guide you to areas with poor mobile network coverage. So, be ready to go “far from the world”. Some of the boats provide Wifi, but again, don’t expect good quality.

Liveaboard as a part of your bigger journey

If you are an explorer, you can plan your itinerary that can include on-land and sea experiences. The on-land part can be designed by determining the destinations you want to visit and the activities you want to try.

You can also arrange your transport– flights, trains, buses, local transport, probably some adventurous ways of traveling- biking, hiking and more. Then, you can make reservations about your accommodation– hotels, Airbnb, probably camping, or other exotic ways of spending the night.

And a part of this itinerary can include a liveaboard tour. This is easy- it is all-inclusive and you don’t need to arrange the details during the trip.

However, have in mind that many liveaboard tours can be full several months before departure! So, if you want to combine an on-land-and-sea journey, you have to plan it as early as possible. And since usually the on land details can be arranged later, first start from the liveaboard! As a result, you can experience a life-changing adventure, diving into the amazing wonders of our planet!

Take a look at this video guide about scuba diving:

Check some travel books about planning a trip!

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An ultimate guide about liveaboard: what is liveaboard, liveaboard diving, useful tips, liveaboard destinations and more. An ultimate guide about liveaboard: what is liveaboard, liveaboard diving, useful tips, liveaboard destinations and more. An ultimate guide about liveaboard: what is liveaboard, liveaboard diving, useful tips, liveaboard destinations and more.

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