My first liveaboard experience was one that changed my life forever…
COVID – 19 has wreaked havoc on the world. Sometimes it is hard to see the other side of this, but it will soon come. It got me thinking about how short life is and how we shouldn’t put off those dreams any longer.
Liveaboards are the ultimate way to dive. And surprisingly, it seems that now may be the best time to book a liveaboard trip to your dream destination.
My First Experience with Liveaboards
I had my first experience of a liveaboard in 2017. It was shortly after finishing my work with Global Vision International in Southern Thailand and I was looking for something exciting to do before I flew back to England.
Liveaboards are simply boats that are built suited to be lived on. They are popular with divers (and non-divers) for many reasons, some of which I list below.
When booking your liveaboard trip, you can relax knowing that all of your dives, equipment, food and accommodation are organised for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy.
Many operators offer differing durations ranging from a single night to several nights, allowing time to access those remote dive spots that may not be reached in a day trip.
Why Dive on a Liveaboard Now?
There are many reasons why people choose to spend time on a liveaboard, and it was most of these that appealed to me back in 2017. I was quite a new diver having not long passed my PADI Open Water Course, and I was traveling on my own.
- Suitable for single or group travelers
- Many offer beginner diving courses in small groups
- Liveaboards can access dive sites that other boats may not be able to
- You can see much more of an area that may only be able to be explored by boat – such as places like the Bahamas or Indonesia
- They offer an all inclusive package so you have very little to plan – you can just eat, dive, sleep and repeat!
- You get to meet and spend time with like-minded people
How Will Covid-19 Affect Liveaboards?
Just because liveaboard operators have not been able to take divers out, it doesn’t mean they have been moored up and out of action.
Some dive shops have partnered with local sea police and marine enforcement officers to make sure that the empty dive sites are not being illegally fished.
Liveaboards, like the Aggressor Adventure fleet launched a company wide Clean, Refresh and Sanitise Initiative to ensure that their boats are in their best condition ever. Staff are spending all their time deep cleaning and disinfecting, ready to welcome customers back on board. Watch the video from the CEO here!
Not only that, they are making the most of this time to optimise the liveaboard experience and ensure the safety of their customers and staff are at the highest level. They are running drills and emergency training scenarios, organising, testing and servicing equipment and updating briefings and presentations.
PADI have created a useful COVID-19 Scuba Diving Status Map which can help you find out if your dream destination is safe to dive in.
How Can Divers Protect Themselves When Booking A Liveaboard during the Pandemic?
As I mentioned earlier, it appears that this is the perfect time to book a liveaboard trip and give yourself something to look forward to.
Liveaboard.com have ensured that whatever you book, and whenever you may book that for, you will be provided with a special policy. They have updated their Flexible Booking Terms & Conditions to ensure you stay protected if you need to re-schedule or cancel your trip.
Please do not board the liveaboard if you have symptoms of COVID-19! To ensure you are best protected, follow these simple rules:
- Thoroughly disinfect masks (especially the nose pockets), snorkels, regulators and BCD oral inflators before and after use.
- Don’t spit into your masks, use a de-fog solution instead.
- Don’t share surface interval snacks.
- Keep to social distancing guidelines.
Five Reasons Now is a Good Time to Book a Liveaboard
There are lots of reasons to chose a liveaboard when diving, and there are even more reasons to at this moment in time.
Less People are Booking
And this means quieter dive sites. It will inevitably be a while before the dive industry is back in full swing, so it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the quiet dive sites and explore. Afterall, what one persons sees at a site with very few divers will be completely different to what another sees at the same site but when busy!
Something to Look Forward To
We all need that holiday to count down the days towards, and considering that most of us have been on lockdown since the beginning of April, we need it more than ever. If you are like me, as soon as you have that dream holiday booked, life becomes a lot more brighter and it does wonders for my mentality!
Flexible Booking Terms & Conditions
With so much uncertainty surrounding every plan we now make, it is vital you book with a reputable agent that can protect you from any financial loss. Liveaboard.com have done everything they can to ensure that your booking will be protected and if travel restrictions are implemented by local government or the government of the country that you are travelling to due to COVID 19.
You are eligible for either of the following:
- Providing you with the option to receive a full refund with no cancellation penalties up to 30 days before departure.
- The opportunity to move your booking to another date for the same liveaboard up to 24 months from the original departure date with no re-booking fees.
Strict Cleaning Routines
Staff teams on board liveaboards are very used to spending much of their time ensuring the place is clean and tidy. With the arrival of COVID-19, this is going to be central to their service to keep you safe, with a strong focus in particular on any rental gear on board.
Value for Money
You’d be silly not to take advantage of the current offers available. Liveaboard.com are offering some impressive discounts on some of their most popular dive liveaboards including: