What is a Liveaboard?
Many divers are unfamiliar with the idea of liveaboards, or think that liveaboard diving might be too difficult or only for expert divers. Some divers make only local day trips, preferring to return to the hotel in the evening. A liveaboard enables you to dive more remote and often better dive sites, and spend your evenings close to nature, out on the ocean gazing at stars far from the madding crowd. Cabins on board are comfortable and air-conditioned, food is tasty and plentiful, and you get to know a group of divers all sharing the same dive experience. The liveaboard life is summed up by “Dive, Eat and Sleep”, which is not far from the truth. There are often chances to visit islands and while not diving, or we can highly recommend getting back in the water after diving for some of the best snorkeling you’ll ever do. You might see turtles, morays and other marine life in the shallower waters that you may have missed while diving.
Who Can Join a Liveaboard?
Liveaboards carry a mixture of divers with a range of experience and backgrounds. While maybe a liveaboard to Burma or Komodo is recommended only for those with a bit more experience, the Similan Islands in Thailand are ideal for all divers. If you are a PADI Open Water Diver, it would be a good idea to get your Advanced certification on board – all boats offer this. A typical 4 day tour will give you a maximum of 14 dives, including at least 1 night dive. This may seem like a lot of diving, but your surface intervals are long and you will find a liveaboard cruise rewarding and relaxing. All dives are made with a dive master or instructor, unless you prefer to dive as a group or buddy team. Some dive sites are not easy to navigate, so it is usually better to take advantage of your guides knowledge and experience. Dive groups are kept small – the maximum is normally 4 or 5 divers per dive master, so you won’t feel crowded under water and if you are a less experienced diver, you don’t need to worry – your dive guide will look after you!
How is a Typical Day on a Liveaboard?
The best thing about liveaboard diving … wake up early, grab a coffee, listen to a dive briefing and walk a few meters to your dive gear, and start diving! On a full day of diving your first dive is usually before breakfast, then a second dive before lunch, a 3rd dive sometime in the afternoon and then either a late afternoon dive or a night dive. It’s relaxed, your dive gear is looked after by the crew, food is plentiful (hungry divers need feeding!) and you’re on a boat with others who also love diving. if you have never done a liveaboard before, you’ll want to do more! In many areas, in between dives, there may be chances to zip over to beaches and islands and viewpoints.
Liveaboard diving is for everyone. We offer liveaboards in Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia. Liveaboard diving is the best way to experience the more remote islands in Indonesia around Komodo or Raja Ampat, and it’s the only way to dive in Myanmar. Thailand certainly has other options and we run courses and day trips year-round from our base in Phuket. If you want to know more about liveaboards, do contact Sunrise Divers!
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