The Diver Guide to Liveaboards - Sept 2000

The DiverGuide to LiveaboardsHolidays afloat can be terrific, but liveaboard diving has its pitfalls, too. Let Diver help you plan your trip, by highlighting the hazards, sorting out the specs and providing some personal recommendationsTHE TABLESEuropeRed SeaIndianOcean/SE AsiaAmerican Pacific/CaribbeanAustralia/S Pacific/MicronesiaUsing the tablesQuestions to askThe BoatsThe worst boat holidays ever!!Oyster at the Brothers

  • All the liveaboards highlighted on the following pages have been sampled, by Gavin Anderson, John Bantin, Tim Eccott, John Liddiard, Brendan OBrien or Mark Webster.
  • Those simply listed in the tables are not necessarily recommendations - we havent tried them all. They do, however, represent a broad sample of vessels around the world, and their owners or agents took the trouble to respond to Divers request for information.
  • Many more vessels are available thanks to the Internet, though by booking through your local agent you will have someone to complain to if things dont go to plan.
  • The vessels are divided into four broad price categories, per day per passenger: A) up to $99; B) $100-199; C) $200-299; D) more than $300 (local permits, departure tax and gratuities are not included).
  • Note that if Pax (number of passengers) is not twice the number of cabins, some cabins might accommodate three or more.
  • Pick-up boats might be available but not routinely used. Courses includes advanced and speciality courses. E6 refers to photo processing and CCR to closed-circuit rebreathers.
  • Canned drinks includes all pre-packaged drinks. Passengers are normally charged extra for onboard phone calls.
  • Finally, the listed contact is not necessarily the sole representative.


  • Does the vessel visit the sites you want to dive
  • Where does it depart from
  • Will the diving suit your skill level
  • What sort of ride will the hull give you
  • Will you have to share a cabin with strangers
  • Hows the plumbing
  • Is there plenty of fresh water
  • What sort of food can you expect
  • How many dives can you make during the trip
  • What auxiliary boats are used for the diving
  • Can you contact recent passengers for references
  • Is the air-conditioning reliable
  • What facilities are provided for photographers
  • What diving equipment do you need to bring
  • What extra costs should you expect to pay
  • When aboard, how do you contact home

Check the forums for comments from previous passengers.

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