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Reviews (1)

Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard


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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