The chance to plan a dive vacation offers a variety of alternatives for making unforgettable memories. And when it comes to deciding where to go, this is a great time to think outside of the box.
If you’ve always wanted to visit a particular destination – and with a wish list of dive sites already on your mind – vacationing at a dive resort is a good way to go. And among the top dive and all-around vacation destinations in the world is Belize, with its outstanding visibility, thriving barrier reef and fine resorts catering to divers. Roatan in Honduras and the Cayman Islands also have a host of resorts that cater to all-day diving while offering onsite dining, too, so you don’t even have to leave the resort during your stay if you don’t want to. And the Florida Keys makes for another interesting option for partaking in some terrific land-based diving while allowing you the flexibility to get in your car and skip from island to island to see what each spot has to offer in the way of acclaimed dive sites and famous wrecks.
But perhaps one of the most unique adventures that you could ever have as a diver is a liveaboard vacation. Pack your dive bag and get ready to be spoiled beyond belief. Your personal crew will fill your tanks after each dive, hang up your BC for the next day, make sure your gear is well cared for and help you on and off the boat for each dive. You’ll most likely meet up with a great group of individuals, and there’s no limit to the amount of diving that awaits, morning, noon and night. The attentiveness of a liveaboard’s crew is usually to thank for making your trip so special, not to mention their extensive knowledge of the local dive sites.
After a day of diving, dinner aboard the boat is the time to sit back, share the day’s stories and relax while watching a gorgeous sunset on the stern, glass of wine in hand. Sit down for a delicious meal, then wake up to a picture-perfect sunrise and, following a light breakfast, hit the water once again for some great diving.
One secret to a superb stay is to select your cabin in advance. This guarantees that you get exactly what you’re looking for. And if you have special needs or requests, it’s best to convey these at the time of booking – or as soon as you get on the boat – so the crew can be prepared to accommodate you before leaving the dock.
Since a good deal of liveaboard diving takes place in groups, it’s important to be courteous to your fellow divers by being on time for dive briefings and meals.
When it comes to your gear, make sure it’s in good shape prior to your vacation. Having gear serviced at regular intervals keeps it in excellent condition for many years to come. And to prepare for the unexpected, of course, it’s a smart move to pack backup O-rings and spare parts, just in case. Make sure your gear is neatly organized between dives so all passengers have equal space to suit up and remove their gear after dives.
Above all, of course, the most important rule to live by when on a liveaboard is to have fun, relax and enjoy a week of scuba diving beyond your wildest dreams while meeting other divers with whom you might even build lasting friendships, thanks to a common love of diving.
Liveaboards operate in destinations all over the world. And wherever you dream of diving, chances are there’s a liveaboard cruising the area.
Here are just a few liveaboards that are well worth considering for your next dive vacation:
The Aggressor Fleet (www.aggressor.com) gives guests the all-inclusive package, with ships in Baja (Mexico), Belize, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Galapagos, Kona (Hawaii), the Maldives, Palau, Turks & Caicos and Utila (Honduras).
The Cuan Law (www.cuanlaw.com) is one of the largest sailing trimarans in the world and makes for a magical dive vacation in the British Virgin Islands.
Pelagian Dive Yacht (www.pelagian.wakatobi.com), based in Wakatobi in Indonesia, delivers a world of high-class diving that can’t be beat.
Paul Gauguin Cruises (www.pgcruises.com) takes you diving in beautiful Tahiti and elsewhere in French Polynesia.
The Dancer Fleet (www.dancerfleet.com) brings you to top dive destinations in Fiji, Indonesia, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Belize, Costa Rica and Palau.
If you’re ready to escape to a faraway and exotic dive destination, Taka Dive Adventures (www.taka.com.au) and Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (www.mikeball.com) show diver’s the highlights of Australia’s stunning reefs. And the Truk Odyssey (www.trukodyssey.com) is your floating home for exploring the wrecks of Truk Lagoon in Chuuk, Micronesia, while The Emperor Fleet (www.redseadiving.ca) explores the Red Sea for unique diving.
Wherever you opt to have your liveaboard adventure, pack your bags and get ready for a whole new dive experience that comes with the first-class treatment of a liveaboard and a week (or more!) full of memories. What better way could there possibly be dive, unwind and live the dream?
Guest Blog Post by Hope Wilkos