Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Australia Reviews & Specials - Bluewater Dive Travel

Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard

4.625
(4 REVIEWS)
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
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Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard - Dining
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard - Salon
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
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Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard - Dive Deck
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Destination: Australia

Cod Hole & Ribbon Reefs, Coral Sea & Ribbons Reefs, Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs & Coral Sea (3-7 Nights) From $381++/night

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Spirit of Freedom Quick Pitch

The Spirit of Freedom offers the best in liveaboard dive cruising to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and remote Coral Sea reefs. Scuba Dive Tours of 3, 4 and 7-day duration depart our of Cairns to iconic dive sites such as the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and North Horn, Osprey Reef. Shark dives, Potato Cod feeding, sheer walls laced with massive soft corals, manta-rays, minke whales, and abundant healthy tropical reefs, rich with marine biodiversity are just some of the highlights you'll experience with Spirit of Freedom diving tours. 

 

Why You'll Like Spirit of Freedom

  • Voted Best Australian Liveaboard by readers of Australasia Dive Log (2012)
  • 37m (124ft) in length, with a steel hull and electronic stabilizers, Spirit of Freedom provides space, comfort and stability for cruising the Coral Sea
  • Spirit of Freedom is the only dive boat in Australia with a private bathroom in every cabin
  • FREE WIFI (when in range)
  • Safety is assured with a Nautilus Lifeline for every diver
  • Dive Australia's "must do" dive sites, such as the Cod Hole, Steve's Bommie, and North Horn, Osprey Reef
  • Be shoulder to 'shoulder' with the massive but friendly Potato Cod at the Cod Hole
  • Encounter Dwarf Minke Whales on the Ribbon Reefs in June/July, the only known aggregation of these inquisitive whales in the world!
  • Dive with upwards of 50 sharks on the thrilling shark dive at Osprey Reef
  • Advanced Eco-tourism & Climate Action Innovator Certification
 

 

Dive Overview

As one of the world's natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef offers exotic and rare diving opportunities. Its incredibly diverse underwater ecosystem supports copious and colorful marine life. Spirit of Freedom highlights the Ribbon Reefs and the Coral Sea.

[See: Australia Dive Travel Guide & Great Barrier Reef Dive Travel Guide]

 

Check Out This Great Video from Spirit of Freedom!

 

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Accommodations

Types of Cabins, Amenities and Photos

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Spirit of Freedom Accommodation Details

Spirit of Freedom contains 11 guest cabins, all with private bathroom. There are various different cabin styles and 4 price points to best suit your requirements. All cabins are air-conditioned and are serviced each day.

Spirit of Freedom Spirit of Freedom

Ocean View Deluxe and Ocean View Standard cabins
 

Spirit of Freedom Spirit of Freedom Spirit of Freedom

Stateroom, Double/Twin Share Cabin and Quad Cabin
 

Spirit of Freedom Cabin Details

  • Ocean View Cabin - This cabin is located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck. It is a spacious 8.5 square meters in area (not including the bathroom, an additional 2 sq meters) and contains a double bed, bedside tables, writing desk, wardrobe, and 26" flat screen TV & DVD player. It is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom. Double Occupancy only: no twin share option available. Please enquire for Sole Occupancy rates.
  • Ocean view standard cabin - This cabin is located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck. It is 5.2 square meters in area (not including bathroom, an additional 2 sq meters) and contains a double bed, a wardrobe, and 26” flat screen TV & DVD player. It is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom. Double Occupancy only: no twin share option available. Please enquire for Sole Occupancy rates.
  • State Room - This cabin is located in a private area on the lower deck, close to the dive deck and dining saloon. It is a spacious 9.2 square meters in area (not including bathroom, an additional 2.8 sq meters) and contains a queen size bed, extra shelving, wardrobe, bedside tables and 26" flat screen TV & DVD player. It is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom. Double Occupancy only: no twin share option available. Please enquire for Sole Occupancy rates.
  • Standard Double/ Twin - Spirit of Freedom has six standard double or twin share cabins. Five of these cabins contain a double bed with a single bed over the top, bunk style, however, one cabin contains just a double bed, so be sure to advise your preference for double or twin share when placing your booking. These cabins are located on the lower deck, with easy access to the main deck. They are an average 7.2 square meters in area, (not including bathroom, an additional 1.8 sq meters), are fully air-conditioned and also contain a wardrobe, bedside table and private bathroom.
  • Quad Share - Spirit of Freedom has two quad share cabins, each containing four single beds, bunk style. These cabins are located midships on the lower deck, with easy access to the main deck. They are each 7.2 square meters in area, (not including bathroom, an additional 1.8 sq meters), are fully air-conditioned and also contain a wardrobe and private bathroom.

 

 

General Facilities

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Spirit of Freedom Spirit of Freedom

Dining Saloon (LEFT) and  Forward Lounge (RIGHT) 

Spirit of Freedom Spirit of Freedom

Top Deck (LEFT) and Dive Deck (RIGHT)
 

Spirit of Freedom Boat Features

  • Shaded diving deck
  • Top deck to relax between dives
  • Dining Saloon
  • Forward lounge to chill out & relax
  • Ship's bar
  • Camera Station
  • Audio & video entertainment
  • Library
  • Free Internet
  • TV in cabins
  • Aircon Cabins
  • Sun DeckIndoor Saloon
  • Non-Diver (Snorkeler) Friendly
  • Warm Water Showers
  • Photography Station
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Separate rinse for u/w camera
  • Camera room with table and charging point
  • Custom built for diving
  • Charging stations
 
 

Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Deck Plan

Spirit of FreedomSpirit of Freedom
Spirit of Freedom
 

Spirit of Freedom Dive Facilities

  • DIN Adaptors
  • DNAx Nitrox Membrane System
  • 2 x Bauer 21 CFM Compressors
  • 65 cf & 88 cf Alloy Tanks
  • Nitrox available
  • Rinse hosts
  • Dive deck
  • Tenders for diving
  • Dive equipment available to rent
  • Dive courses available
 

 

 Schedule, Rates & AVAILABILITY

Spirit of Freedom Schedule & Rates

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The rates indicated below are per person in AUD. Prices valid until 31 Mar 2024

 

3 DAY COD HOLESTANDARD

LOW SEASON

(May '23, Aug '23 and Mar '24)

Ocean View Deluxe$3,130$2,504
Ocean View Deluxe (Sole Use)$5,810$4,648
Ocean View Standard$2,800$2,240
Ocean View Standard (Sole Use)$5,150$4,120
Stateroom$2,800$2,240
Stateroom (Sole Use)$5,150$4,120
Double/Twin$2,470$1,976
Double/Twin (Sole Use)$4,490$3,592
Quad (4) Share$2,140$1,712

 

Click here to see 3 day Cod Hole inclusions


4 DAY CORAL SEASTANDARD

LOW SEASON

(May '23, Aug '23 and Mar '24)

Ocean View Deluxe$4,045$3,236
Ocean View Deluxe (Sole Use)$7,485$5,988
Ocean View Standard$3,605$2,884
Ocean View Standard (Sole Use)$6,605$5,284
Stateroom$3,605$2,884
Stateroom (Sole Use)$6,605$5,284
Double/Twin$3,165$2,532
Double/Twin (Sole Use)$5,725$4,580
Quad (4) Share$2,725$2,180

Click here to see 4 day Coral Sea inclusions



7 DAY COD HOLE & CORAL SEASTANDARD

LOW SEASON

(May '23, Aug '23 and Mar '24)

Ocean View Deluxe$6,445$5,156
Ocean View Deluxe (Sole Use)$11,840$9,472
Ocean View Standard$5,675$4,540
Ocean View Standard (Sole Use)$10,300$8,240
Stateroom$5,675$4,540
Stateroom (Sole Use)$10,300$8,240
Double/Twin$4,905$3,924
Double/Twin (Sole Use)$8,760$7,008
Quad (4) Share$4,135$3,308

 

Click here to see 7 day Cod Hole & Coral Sea inclusions

 

Optional Extras 

The rates below are in Australian Dollar (AUD).

Extra

Rate pp in AUD

3 Day Full Equipment rental

$135

4 Day Full Equipment rental

$180

7 Day Full Equipment rental

$315

 

3 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

$110

4 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

$150

7 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

$260

PADI Advanced Course

$285

PADI Nitrox Course - includes Course and all subsequent dives on nitrox

$280

3 Day Cod Hole Inclusions

  • Transfers to/from your Cairns city hotel
  • Low-level scenic flight – Lizard Island to Cairns
  • Opportunity for up to 11 dives
  • En-suite cabin with daily service
  • Chef prepared gourmet meals – Australian style
  • 1 Australian beer, wine or soft drink with evening meals

 

4 Day Coral Sea Inclusions

  • Transfers to/from your Cairns city hotel
  • One way flight - Cairns to Lizard Island
  • Opportunity for up to 15 dives
  • En-suite cabin with daily service
  • Chef prepared gourmet meals - Australian style
  • 1 Australian beer, wine or soft drink with evening meals

 

7 Day Expedition Inclusions

  • Transfers to/from your Cairns city hotel
  • Opportunity for up to 26 dives
  • En-suite cabin with daily service
  • Chef prepared gourmet meals - Australian style
  • 1 Australian beer, wine or soft drink with evening meals

 

Exclusions

  • Reef Tax
  • Gear Hire
  • Nitrox Fills
  • Any courses taken on board
  • Drinks outside of the evening meal time
  • Seasickness tablets
  • Any souvenirs purchased
 

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Other Dates & Availability

For more information on other departure dates that are not listed above and on availability email us at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com or call us at +1-310-915-6677 and we will gladly help you plan your dream dive vacation!

 

Dive Information & Itineraries

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Itinerary Overview

Diving the remote regions of the Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, requires you to join a live-aboard scuba diving tour. Join Spirit of Freedom and witness the massive Potato Cod being fed at the Cod Hole, experience the thrilling shark dive at North Horn, Osprey Reef, and in the winter months you may even encounter the inquisitive Minke Whale on the Ribbon Reefs. Spirit of Freedom live-aboard dive tours depart from Cairns in the tropical north of Australia and offer 3, 4 and 7-night dive expeditions.

 

Cod Hole & Ribbon Reefs Dive Adventure (3 Day/3 Night)

DIVE LEVEL:  We recommend this Great Barrier Reef liveaboard dive trip for Open Water to Experienced divers, or divers with minimum 10 ocean dives, including 5 dives in the last 12 months.

DEPARTS: Cairns 12:00 noon Thursday   RETURNS: Cairns 12:00 noon Sunday

DIVES: 11 (including one night dive)

Stepping aboard the sleek and spacious ‘Spirit of Freedom’, our 3-night liveaboard dive trip departs every Thursday from Cairns, and travels along the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, finishing 240 km to the north at the world-famous Cod Hole. Along the ‘Ribbons’ you will have the opportunity to complete up to 11 dives as you encounter clouds of colourful tropical fish, an incredible variety of vibrant healthy corals, giant clams, anemones, huge schools of cruising pelagic fish, and a family of giant potato cod. On Saturday, we will make our way to the remote Lizard Island (Jiigurru), some 90km off the Queensland coast, for an overnight stay in the secluded Watson’s Bay where you will enjoy an evening BBQ dinner on the top deck. Sunday morning, you will have time to explore Lizard Island before boarding a one-hour scenic flight back to Cairns.

  • Thursday
  • The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00 am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf. There you will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before on you depart on your 3-night liveaboard dive trip at 12 noon. Enjoy lunch on board while we cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon check-out dive and a twilight dive. After dinner we cruise north to dive the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Friday & Saturday
  • These two days are spent diving along the Ribbon Reefs. Dive sites and sequence may vary depending on the weather conditions, but will always include at least one dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few. If the current is right, you may also take a drift dive at Dynamite Pass, well know as a channel for sharks to pass through. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Friday. On Saturday evening we overnight at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
  • Sunday: 
  • This morning after breakfast you will disembark and say farewell to Spirit of Freedom. On shore, at Lizard Island, you can take the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage over Chinaman’s Ridge and back to the air-strip. Following a picnic of a Breakfast Roll and drinks you will board a light aircraft for your flight back to Cairns. The one-hour flight arrives at Hinterland Aviation, Cairns General Aviation Airport around 11.15 to 11:45 am, where the Spirit of Freedom courtesy coach will meet you for your transfer back to your Cairns city hotel at the end of your liveaboard dive trip.

 

Coral Sea & Ribbons Reef Adventure (4 Day/4 Night)

DIVE LEVEL:  We recommend this Great Barrier Reef liveaboard dive trip for Advanced divers, or divers with a minimum of 20 ocean dives, including 5 dives in the last 12 months.

DEPARTS: Cairns 8:30 am Sunday  RETURNS: Cairns 8:00 am Thursday

DIVES: Up to 15 (including 1 night dive)

Our four-day Coral Sea trip begins on a Sunday morning, with a 200km flight from Cairns along the coastline and over the Great Barrier Reef to the remote Lizard Island (Jiigurru), some 90km off the Queensland coast. Landing on the small island runway, you will be met by our crew and welcomed aboard as your liveaboard dive trip adventure begins! Your first day will see you diving at the very top of the Ribbon Reefs, before our 100km overnight voyage out to the world-famous Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Isolated from other reefs, Osprey is an old volcanic atoll lying 220 km off the coast and offers some of the world’s best diving. You will spend two days diving a variety of Osprey’s spectacular sites, renowned for spectacular 1,000 metre walls, massive soft corals, amazing shark action, and exceptional visibility. ‘North Horn’ at the tip of Osprey is a site where grey reef sharks, Silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate. A natural amphitheatre makes this the perfect location for our shark attraction where you can witness up to 30-50 sharks circling. The final day of your liveaboard dive trip is spent at Ribbon Reef Number 3, or occasionally if the weather permits, Bougainville Reef, to the south of Osprey Reef. Overnight travel on the last night returns you to Cairns early on Thursday morning.

  • Sunday: At approximately 7 am, the Spirit of Freedom courtesy coach will transfer you from your Cairns hotel to Hinterland Aviation at Cairns General Aviation Airport. Here you will board a light aircraft for your scenic flight up the coast to Lizard Island and the start of your 4-night liveaboard dive trip. The Spirit of Freedom crew will greet you on arrival and escort you via tender to the vessel. After an orientation of the vessel, we depart for Ribbon Reef. This afternoon we will have the opportunity for two dives at a choice of sites including Challenger Bay, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Gardens, and Pixie Pinnacle. We depart in the evening for a 10-hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
  • Monday & Tuesday: Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renowned for crystal clear water with visibility ranging from 30 to 100 metres. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from the ocean floor thousands of feet below. ‘North Horn’ is a dive site at the tip of Osprey is a site where grey reef sharks, silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate, and you can experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. Four to five dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Monday. On Tuesday night we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Wednesday: At Ribbon Reef we will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. A second option for this day, in special weather conditions, is to head south from Osprey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape or caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. On Wednesday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
  • Thursday: We arrive back in Cairns at 6:30 am. Enjoy a light breakfast onboard and a group photo opportunity, before being dropped back at your Cairns hotel around 8:00 am. 

 

 

Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs & Coral Sea Adventure (7 Day/7 Night)

DIVE LEVEL:  We recommend this Great Barrier Reef dive liveaboard trip to Advanced Divers, or divers with at least 20 logged ocean dives including 5 in the past 12 months. 

DEPARTS: Cairns 12 pm (noon) Thursday   RETURNS: Cairns 8:00 am Thursday

DIVES: 26 (including two night dives)

For the diver who wants to see it all, our 7-night dive liveaboard trip begins every Thursday from Cairns and combines the 3 Night Cod Hole/Ribbon Reef and 4 Night Coral Sea trips into one of the world’s most epic liveaboard dive boat adventures. Stepping aboard the sleek and spacious ‘Spirit of Freedom’, your Great Barrier Reef dive liveaboard expedition begins with a 240km journey through the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, to the famous Cod Hole dive site. Along the ‘Ribbons’ you will the opportunity for up to 11 dives as you encounter clouds of colourful tropical fish, an incredible variety of vibrant healthy corals, giant clams, anemones, and huge schools of cruising pelagic fish, and a family of giant potato cod. On Saturday, will make our way to the remote Lizard Island (Jiigurru), some 90km off the Queensland coast, for an overnight stay in the secluded Watson’s Bay where you will enjoy an evening BBQ dinner on the top deck.  In the morning, you will have time to explore Lizard Island as our 3-night guests depart for their flight back to Cairns and the 4-night guests arrive to join the trip as we move to more advanced diving conditions. As you share tales of the past 3 days with your new dive companions, we make our way to the top of the Ribbon Reefs dive sites like Challenger Bay and Lighthouse Bommie, before an overnight crossing to the famous Osprey Reef (weather permitting) in the Coral Sea. An old volcanic atoll lying 220km off the coast, Osprey Reef is renowned for its spectacular walls of 1,000m, its massive soft corals, shark action, and exceptional visibility. We will spend two days here exploring different locations. North Horn, at the tip of the Osprey Reef, is a site where grey reef sharks and Silvertips congregate and your chance for a close encounter shark dive where you yo will typically see up to 30-40 sharks on this incredible dive. Your final day is spent at Ribbon Reef Number 3, or occasionally if the weather permits, Bougainville Reef, to the south of Osprey Reef. Overnight travel on the last night returns you to Cairns early on Thursday morning where you will enjoy breakfast before departing the vessel with up to 26 amazing dives to add to your logbook, and many fond memories of your liveaboard dive trip aboard Spirit of Freedom.

  • Thursday: The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11 am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf. There you will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before you depart on your 7-night liveaboard dive trip at 12 pm (noon). Enjoy lunch on board while we cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon check-out dive and a twilight or night dive. After dinner, we cruise north to the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Friday & Saturday: These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs. Dive sites and sequence may vary depending on the weather conditions, but will always include at least one dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few.  If the current is right, you may also take a drift dive at Dynamite Pass, well known as a channel for sharks to pass through. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Friday. On Saturday evening we overnight at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
  • Sunday: This morning after breakfast you will have the opportunity to go ashore at Lizard Island. This is a good chance to stretch your legs on land at the halfway point of your trip! We recommend taking the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage, over Chinaman’s Ridge, and back to the beach. Around 11 am we will cruise back to Ribbon Reef for two dives at a choice of sites including the Snake Pit, Cod Hole, Challenger Bay, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Wall, and Pixie Pinnacle. If the tide permits we may repeat a dive at the Cod Hole or visit new sites. We depart in the evening for a 10-hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
  • Monday & Tuesday: Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renowned for their crystal clear water, with visibility ranging from 30 to 100 metres. The landscape is amazing, with sheer walls laced with gorgonian fans, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from the ocean floor thousands of feet below. ‘North Horn’ is a dive site at the tip of Osprey where grey reef sharks, silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate, and you can experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. Four to five dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Monday. On Tuesday night we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Wednesday: At Ribbon Reef we will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. A second option for this day, in special weather conditions, is to head south from Osprey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape or caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. On Wednesday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
  • Thursday: We arrive back in Cairns at 6:30 am. Enjoy a light breakfast onboard and a group photo opportunity, before being dropped back to your Cairns accommodation around 8.00 am.

 

Far North Expeditions

Join us on board Spirit of Freedom to dive the exotic Far Northern Great Barrier Reef. With space aboard our 7 Day / 7 Night Fly/ Dive Expeditions, you can take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience the seldom visited reefs along the isolated region of the Cape York Peninsular.

The Far Northern Reefs are known as the isolated reefs north of Lizard Island that extend to the east the tip of Cape York peninsular, around 500 nautical miles north of Cairns. One of the last totally pristine areas of the Great Barrier Reef, these reefs are seldom visited by any boats, and many of the hundreds of reefs in the region, are yet to be fully explored. The Far Northern reefs are famous for their fantastic wall dives, pinnacles alive with fish, massive coral heads, and reef fish and invertebrates of incredible variety and colors.

The nesting season for the green sea turtle runs from October through February, and November and December sees thousands upon thousands of turtles descending on the many small coral cays in the region.

The Spring is also the best weather season to dive the outer walls, offering a great chance of encounters with sharks, manta rays and massive schools of pelagics. The diving in this region can be challenging, and these tours are only recommended for the experienced diver.

[See: Australia Dive Travel Guide]

 

Other Information

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Boat Specifications

  • Year built: 1992
  • Construction: Steel hull with aluminum superstructure
  • Length: 37.0 metres / 122 feet
  • Beam: 7.1 metres/ 24 feet
  • Draft: 2.2 metres/ 7.26 feet
  • Speed: 11 knots
  • Engines: 2 x Rolls Royce C8M 410 249.8 kw diesel
  • Generators: 2 x Cummings 6BTs, 90 KVA each
  • Navigation: JRC 72 mile radar, Transas Plotter, Tsunami GPS System
  • Communications: Ship’s phone, satellite phone and email, Icom HF Radio, Icom VHF radio, Wireless internet access when in range
  • Compressors: 2 x Bauer 21 CFM Compressors
  • Displacement: 250 tonnes
  • Fresh Water: 20,000 litres plus Desalinators, Fully Air-conditioned throughout, Electronic Stabilizers
  • Maximum guests: 26
  • Number of cabin: 11
  • Number of crew: 10
  • Tenders: 2 x 4.8m Naiad Tender boats

 

Practical Information

  • Time Zone: GMT+10
  • Payment Onboard: AUD cash, Visa, Mastercard and American Express
  • Local Currency: AUD (Australian Dollar)
  • Language Spoken: English, Dutch, French and Japanese
  • Electricity: 240 & 110 V
 

Got Questions? Ready to Book?

Call us today at 310-915-6677 or email us info@bluewaterdivetravel.com

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Underwater Gallery 

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Reviews (4)

4
5
4
5

This trip was amazing - particularly the swim throughs in the coral sea, the shark dive in the CS and the day trip to Lizard island was a nice way to break up the steaming. I loved the small yellow box fish on most of the reefs.
The crew were impressively skilled despite horrendous conditions in the coral sea - it was worth a rough crossing and some difficult boat transfers to see 40m vis filled with turtles coral and pelagic action!

Their dedication at getting us out to the coral sea proved to me that they were committed to outstanding customer service.
The food was nutritious and plentiful.

In my experience - the best boat on the GBR!

Visited on 02/2007 - Submitted on 05/29/2014
  • Top Reviewer
Larkspur, CO
United States
4
3
5
4

Any dive excursion on the Great Barrier Reef should be great, and this one delivered. The only disappointment was that we couldn't go out to Osprey Reef due to high winds. The marine life on the GBR is outstanding. We saw the full range of South Pacific critters. Special ones included a large crocodile fish, manta rays, bumphead wrasse, stonefish, lacy scorpionfish, wobbegong shark, coral shrimp, and an aquarium full of colorful tropicals. For an intro to South Pacific diving, the GBR is hard to beat. The SOF is a good boat, with a very good crew and dive masters. The crew is over-the-top helpful and friendly, and the dive masters let you do your own thing after they were confident of your skills. SOF is a little cramped compared to other live-aboards I've been on, but quite adequate. Food was quite good and plentiful. I was diving in the late summer (April). Would like to go back in their winter to see the dwarf Minke whales.

Visited on 04/2013 - Submitted on 07/30/2014
  • Reviewer
Chino Hills, CA
United States
5
5
5
5

The Spirit of Freedom is a liveaboard dream vacation in Australia's Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea. The ship has spacious state rooms with private bathrooms and the staff is friendly and accommodating. The cook created gourmet meals four times a day, and the food was absolutely delicious. The hard working staff also took time to dive with the patrons (even the cook!). Most impressive were the pristine reefs in the Coral Sea. We dived famous sites such as Cod Hole and Snake Pit, enjoying the giant cod, snakes, manta rays, and tiny critters such as nudibranchs, pygmy sea horses, and pipe fish. The boat also does a shark dive at the iconic Osprey Reef. The Spirit of Freedom offers three, four, and seven day vacations with one day visiting Lizard Island.

Visited on - Submitted on 01/13/2014
5
5
5
5

I dove with SoF in November 2013. I chose SoF because they and Mike Ball are the only 2 liveaboards that depart Cairns and take you way out on the Great Barrier Reef. SoF also had perfect ratings on TripAdvisor and other reviews I read on google.
Originally I wanted SoF's 4-day package to the Coral Sea, but there was no availability. So I ended up settling for the 3-day package along the Ribbon Reefs. The 3-day package did not disappoint at all!
Immediately when I arrived to the vessel in Cairns, I was greeted by staff dressed in uniform. I was really impressed! Before we even left port, the staff offered to get us any thing to drink, took food requests, and the staff was super service driven. This did not end at port, but continued throughout the duration of my 3 days.
The ship is about 30m long, super stable in choppy seas, and super clean. There's no rust on the ship, and I even remember seeing one of the staff scrubbing the outer hull on my last day to clean the salt off. What impressed me the most was my 2nd day on the ship, when I came back to my quarters, I saw my bed was made! I couldn't believe it. We had daily housekeeping on SoF. The toilets and showers were scrubbed each day by staff as I'm sure all of us were very salty after each dive. If I remember correctly,SoF accommodates 24 divers and 10 staff.
About the diving!!! I live in Hawaii and have also dove in the Red Sea. This exceeded all those dive sites. We completed about 11-12 dive in the 3 days. On the 2nd day we dove the Cod Hole and the potato cod feeding was awesome! Just beyond the feeding was shark alley and we saw BIG sea life. Lots of white tips, turtles, manta & sting rays. Some of the other dives were like swimming in an aquarium; we were just surrounded by that many schools of fish! The fish were so colorful, the corals were also colorful. We didn't dive in too many places where the coral was bleached and the GBR seemed alive and vibrant. I bought underwater housing for my camera from Bluewater Photo who was the only vendor in the US that carried what I needed. My only regret is I did not buy a red filter from them at the time. I took nearly 500 digital photos in 3 days!
The crew was super friendly, helped us before and after each dive with our gear, and ALWAYS did a double head count when we got back on board. I'm sure this is standard in Australia, but besides a standard safety sausage and whistle, they also included a 2-way radio and GPS device on everyone's BCD.
If I ever go back to Australia, I will seek out SoF again as a returning customer. My only suggestion is to book early with them. I booked 2 months before my departure and was lucky to get the last spot on the 3-day package. Remember, I did want the 4-day package, but it had already filled up.

Visited on 11/2013 - Submitted on 02/17/2014

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