Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard

4.625
(4 REVIEWS)
Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
shark diving australia
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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 USD. The actual pricing at the time of booking may vary depending on the latest global AUD/USD exchange rate.

 

 

Optional Extras 

The rates below are in Australian Dollar (AUD).

Extra

Rate pp in AUD

3 Day Full Equipment rental

130

4 Day Full Equipment rental

170

7 Day Full Equipment rental

270

3 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

75

4 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

105

7 Day Nitrox package - includes all dives on nitrox

180

PADI Advanced Course

295

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

325

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)

This tour begins every Monday from Cairns, and travels along the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, finishing 240 km to the north at the world famous Cod Hole. Over two and half days you will have the opportunity for up to 11 dives and encounter clouds of colorful 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. Your last night is spent on board the 'Spirit' in the bay at Lizard Island. Enjoy time ashore at Lizard Island the next morning, before boarding your return flight to Cairns. The one-hour, low-level scenic flight back will arrive in Cairns around 11:30 am on Thursday.

Recommended Dive Experience Level: Open Water Diver to Experienced

Adventure Level: Mild to mid-level comfort factor on dive entries depending on weather conditions

Departs Cairns: 12:00 noon Monday

Returns Cairns: 11:30 am Thursday

  • Monday: The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf, where you will board the vessel. You will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before a 12 noon departure. 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.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday: These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 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. See the dive site page for site selection of some of our dive sites on the Ribbon Reefs. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on the Tuesday. On Wednesday evening we overnight at Watson’s Bay on Lizard Island and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
  • Thursday: 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. Here you will board a twin-engine light aircraft for your low level flight over the reef and / or along the coast back to Cairns. The one hour flight arrives at Hinterland Aviation, Cairns General Aviation Airport around 11.15 to 11:45am, where the Spirit of Freedom courtesy coach will meet you for your transfer back to your Cairns city hotel.

 

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

The 4 Day Coral Sea tour begins Thursday morning at 8.30am, with a low-level flight from Cairns along the coastline and over the reef to Lizard Island, to meet the 'Spirit of Freedom'. The first day will see you diving the very top of the Ribbon Reefs, before overnight travel out to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Two days is spent diving the spectacular walls of Osprey Reef, an old volcanic atoll lying 220 km off the coast. Renown for its spectacular 1000 meter walls, Osprey Reef also offers massive soft corals, amazing shark action, and exceptional visibility. 'North Horn' at the tip of Osprey is a site where grey reef sharks, silver tips, and the occasional oceanic congregate. Here you can also experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. The last 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 Monday morning.

Recommended Dive Experience Level: PADI Advanced or equivalent and above.

Adventure Level: Mid-range to High level, depending on the winds, swells, and currents.

Departs Cairns: 08:30 am Thursday

Returns Cairns: 07:30 am Monday

  • Thursday: Around 07:30am this morning the Spirit of Freedom courtesy coach will transfer you from your Cairns city hotel to Hinterland Aviation at Cairns General Aviation Airport. Here you will board a twin-engine light aircraft for your scenic flight up the coast to Lizard Island. 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 Number 10. 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.
  • Friday & Saturday: Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renown for crystal clear water with visibility ranging 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. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on the Friday. See the dive site page for site selection of some of our dive sites at Osprey Reef. On Saturday night we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Sunday: At Ribbon Reefs Number 3 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 Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape or caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. On Sunday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
  • Monday: We arrive back into Cairns at 06:30am. Enjoy a light breakfast on board and a group photo opportunity before being dropped back to your Cairns hotel around 08.00am. 

 

 

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

This tour begins every Monday from Cairns, and travels 240km along the rarely visited Ribbon Reefs, to the Cod Hole. Along the 'Ribbons' you will encounter clouds of colorful 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. Within your 7 days, you will also spend 2 days at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. An old volcanic atoll lying 220km off the coast, Osprey Reef is renown for its spectacular walls to 1000m, its massive soft corals, 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. Here you can also experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. This tour also includes an overnight stay in secluded Watson's Bay and a couple of hours ashore at Lizard Island. Return to Cairns 7 days later on Monday morning.

Recommended Dive Experience Level: PADI Advanced or equivalent and above

Adventure Level: Mid-range to High level, depending on the winds, swells, and currents.

Departs Cairns: 12:00 noon Monday

Returns Cairns: 07:30 am Monday

  • Monday: The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf, where you will board the vessel. You will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before a 12 noon departure. 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.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday: These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 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. See the dive site page for site selection of some of our dive sites on the Ribbon Reefs. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on the Tuesday. On Wednesday evening we overnight at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
  • Thursday: This morning after breakfast you will have the opportunity to go ashore at Lizard Island. A good chance to stretch you legs on land at this half way point, you can take the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage over Chinaman’s Ridge and back to the beach. Around 11.00am we will cruise back to Ribbon Reef Number 10 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.
  • Friday & Saturday: Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renown for crystal clear water with visibility ranging 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 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. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on the Friday. See the dive site page for site selection of some of our dive sites at Osprey Reef. On Saturday night we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.
  • Sunday: At Ribbon Reefs Number 3 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 Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape or caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. On Sunday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
  • Monday: We arrive back into Cairns at 06:30am. Enjoy a light breakfast on board and a group photo opportunity before being dropped back to your Cairns accommodation around 08.00am.

 

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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Reviews (4)

  • 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
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

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