Best Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Reviews 2019

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Liveaboards cruising around the Great Barrier Reef

Scubapro

Scubapro liveaboard is a 25 meter long d

Scubapro Liveaboard Review


MV Scubapro II

So vast that it may be seen from space,

MV Scubapro II Liveaboard Review


MV Scubapro III

MV Scubapro III is owned and operated by

MV Scubapro III Liveaboard Review


MV Odyssey

MV Odyssey is the titular flagship of Od

MV Odyssey Liveaboard Review


MV Ocean Quest

The MV Ocean Quest is one of a series of

MV Ocean Quest Liveaboard Review


Spoilsport

Spoilsport liveaboard is a custom-built

Spoilsport Liveaboard Review


Spirit of Freedom

Spirit of Freedom liveaboard is one of A

Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Review


MV Kangaroo Explorer

MV Kangaroo Explorer was originally buil

MV Kangaroo Explorer Liveaboard Review

Check which Budget Liveaboard options are available on the GBR!


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Lowest Price Guarantee: If you can book the same package any cheaper then you will get 100% of the price difference, guaranteed!

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Liveaboard diving in Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is popular because of its spectacular underwater scenery. This reef system is located in the east coast of the Australian Continent and is considered as the biggest reef system in the planet. Spanning more than 2,000 kilometers, the Great Barrier Reef is composed of 900 islands and more than 2,900 individual reefs. One would even be surprised to know that it can be seen from outer space! Awesome, isn’t it?

The Great Barrier Reef is the only reef system on Earth that is visible from outer space!

The Great Barrier Reef is the only reef system on Earth that is visible from outer space!

Photo credit: http://fallenscoop.com/

Having declared and granted a UNESCO world heritage status in 1981, it is just appropriate to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The reef system is home to more than 400 different types or species of vibrant and attractive corals and more than a thousand species of tropical fish. There is an entire array of striking creatures and natural beauty that envelopes this place. The Great Barrier Reef is indeed a collective abode to a hundreds of wonderful aquatic marine species, which makes it an ideal if not the best dive destination for SCUBA divers.

With its natural beauty and spectacular wide array of life, it is indisputable why the Great Barrier Reef landed one of the highly coveted spots in the list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!

With its natural beauty and spectacular wide array of life, it is indisputable why the Great Barrier Reef landed one of the highly coveted spots in the list of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!

Photo credit: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/

Watch this video and explore what is considered as the largest living structure on Earth, the Great Barrier Reef.

The sparkling blue and clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef invites you to visit, sail away and immerse in the beauty of mother nature. And the best way to explore this reef system and its magnificent dive sites is through liveaboard!
I usually use this website to book in advance my Liveaboards in Australia as they usually have the lowest rates I find. I like it because they have an easy booking system.

Best times to go on Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard

The Great Barrier Reef is blessed with tropical climate and over-all auspicious diving conditions. The reef system is naturally blessed with awesome visibility from September to November. Surface conditions through the year are calm, with June to August experiencing moderate conditions. However, it is highly recommended to dive the Great Barrier Reef between the months of December to May. Surface conditions are generally calm, however, it can be choppy sometimes and strong currents might pose a challenge to most divers.

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef is definitely possible any time of the year!

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef is definitely possible any time of the year!

Photo credit: http://blog.queensland.com/

Water temperature is between 24°C and 29°C. Except during the Australian winter months, sea conditions are generally moderately calm. Monsoon season usually happening in January and February may see changes in wind patterns and bring less settled surface conditions that can affect itineraries. It is also in June until November when divers are enticed to go to the Great Barrier Reef to see the humpback whales which can be easily spotted during this period. From October to November, both scuba divers and underwater photographers are more mesmerized by the coral spawning taking place this time.

If you're lucky then a Minke Whales encounter is possible while diving the Great Barrier Reef. Be sure to dive between the months of May to July though to have greater chance of seeing and meeting these marine creatures.

If you’re lucky then a Minke Whales encounter is possible while diving the Great Barrier Reef. Be sure to dive between the months of May to July though to have greater chances of seeing and meeting these marine creatures.

Photo credit: http://www.mikeball.com/

 

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Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Routes

Probably the highlight of every diver’s diving adventure in Australia is liveaboard diving the Great Barrier Reef, right? More often than not, liveaboard vessels either depart from Cairns, a city located in the northern part of Queensland or from the small town called Port Douglas, which is more than an hour away from Cairns.

Because of the substantial distances among and between the dive sites, once can only reach the pinnacle of Great Barrier Reef diving through an Australian liveaboard.

Because of the substantial distances among and between the dive sites, once can only reach the pinnacle of Great Barrier Reef diving through an Australian liveaboard.

Map credit: http://www.divegbr.com.au/
The Great Barrier Reef has more or less 200 dive sites.Most liveaboard operators include and highlights the following dive sites in their itineraries:

The Ribbon Reefs
Located in the northern part of Cairns, the Ribbon Reefs are also famously referred as the Northern Reefs. These reefs are called such as the reefs are long and narrow. The Ribbons reefs are composed of ten reefs that are long and narrow shaped. One can only reach the Ribbon Reefs through liveaboard diving.

Watch this video to see what lies underwater the Ribbon Reefs.

The Ribbon Reef extends up to more than a hundred kilometers and have some of the best dive spots in the planet!

The Ribbon Reef extends up to more than a hundred kilometers and have some of the best dive spots in the planet!

Photo credit: http://www.ribbonreefs.com/

Top dive sites in the Ribbon Reefs include the Cod Hole, Temple of Doom and Pixie Pinnacle.

    • Cod Hole

This dive site as its name suggests, is a spot made popular by the Giant Potato Cods found in the area. What makes this site amazing is the fact that one can get up close and personal with the cods, who are friendly and sociable.

Experience diving up close Giant Potato Cods such as this one in the Code Hole, one of the Great Barrier Reef’s famous dive site.

Experience diving up close Giant Potato Cods such as this one in the Code Hole, one of the Great Barrier Reef’s famous dive site.

      • Photo credit: http://best-diving.org/

 

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    • Temple of Doom

This site is considered as the site with most numbers of fish. This reef is pretty much alive with all the fish swimming in and around the reef. Warning: Be sure to have your camera fully charged before diving this area. You might ran empty of your battery because of the abundant marine life in this dive site!

Just one of the countless and abundant marine life that will greet you underwater the Temple of Doom!

Just one of the countless and abundant marine life that will greet you underwater the Temple of Doom!

Photo credit: http://heiberg.dk/

Play the video and watch a shark sleeping at Temple of Doom dive site! :)

    • Pixie Pinnacle

Probably one of the most famous dive spot in the Ribbons Reefs, the Pixie Pinnacle is only about 15 meters in diameter but the area is toured by liveaboards because of its spectacular marine life, making the Pixie Pinnacle ideal and best for both day and night diving.

Check out this video to have an idea on what to expect when night diving the Pixie Pinnacle.

Osprey Reef
Located in the most northern part off the coast of Cairns, the Osprey Reef is a distant and faraway reef. Being a remote reef made it a good and unspoilt dive site that will leave every diver breathless and captivated. The Osprey Reef also is very famous and popular for its wall diving.

Check out this video, which is all about diving in the Osprey Reef.

The Northern Horne is frequently the highlight of liveaboards touring this area. Aside from its huge gorgonian fans and great corals, this site is popular for its sharks! In fact, the Northern Horne is famous as a shark feeding dive site. So be prepared to see Reef Sharks and even Hammerhead Sharks go on a feeding frenzy on the Northern Horne!

Watch this video about shark feeding in the Osprey Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef indeed is a favorite playground for all amateur and experienced divers, snorkelers and underwater photographers alike! Happy exploring and diving everyone! :).

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8 comments on “Best Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Reviews 2019

  1. I plan to dive with the Great Barrier Reef in October or Novmber, 2016. and would like to receive newsletter or offer about the related liveaboard trips.

    Thank in advance!

  2. I get pleasure from, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  3. I will be diving the great barrier reef in early January. Would like information on 2 day 1 night liveaboards. It is for my son and I and we are certified divers.

    • Hi Gus,
      Our timing is similar. We’ll be diving the GBR in February. And similarly, we want a 2 day/1 night liveaboards. What did oyu find? (Hope you’ll share!) Husband, wife and 21 year old son (who will be studying abroad in Rockhampton for the semester!).
      Thanks for any feedback, in advance.
      Fawnda in Colorado

  4. We will arrive in Cairns or Port Douglas on Jan. 6th or 7th for a few days. We are a family of four. Our boys are 19 and 21. We are all certified. Can you give me some prices an options for diving the Great Barrier Reef. We would like options for day trips and short term liveaboards. We had not considered liveaboard option, but it seems as though most of the diving takes place from them. Is that the case, or can we reach plenty of good dive sites from land daily?

  5. My husband and I stayed on the MV Ocean Quest liveaboard for three days and two nights, September 23-25th 2018. I learned to scuba dive in 1975, and finally had an opportunity to fulfill my dream of diving on the GBR, as a gift from my husband for our 30th wedding anniversary. He applied for the trip through PADI. PADI requested health information and approved the dive trip for both myself and my husband. We filled out more forms when we were shuttled to the Ocean Quest land office in Cairns on the first day of our liveaboard trip. On our arrival on Reef Quest, which is the day boat that ferries people between Cairns and the Ocean Quest, we were asked to fill out additional forms, covering the same information we had provided twice before. Then my husband was taken aside by the dive head of Reef Quest, and told he would not be allowed to dive, because of a medication he was taking to control his triglyceride levels. Reef Quest/Ocean Quest would require a dive doctor (not available) to overturn this decision. This poorly handled situation was a VERY unpleasant surprise. We were further told that we would receive no reimbursement for the trip and that, if we elected to leave the boat, we would have to pay our own hotel fees for the two nights we had planned to stay on the liveaboard. We were also told that PADI had not shared any of the health information with Ocean Quest, that we should have registered online through the Ocean Quest site, and that the dive boss had had “bad experiences with people your age.” (I’m 57, my husband is 60). Because we were not going to get a refund, we elected to stay on the ship. I dove. My husband snorkeled. While the GBR could never disappoint, our Ocean Quest experience was not as advertised. Talking about our experience with travel guides in Cairns, we were told that they would have recommended different boats for our trip. From photos I’ve seen, other ships that leave Cairns have better dive set ups, including solid hand rails on the dive deck, which would have been useful in the 7 ft waves we experienced. Ocean Quest has only a loose rope. Anyway, as an older American, if I go again, it won’t be with Ocean Quest/Reef Quest.

    • Hi Diane!
      I’m sorry to read about this frustrating situation you and your husband encountered, sincerely. I simply wanted to thank you for taking the time and sharing your review on Divezone.net, it’s very helpful to other divers.

      Wishing you a perfect future trip where both of you get to dive! Safe bubbles!

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