Great Barrier Reef Liveaboard Vacations 3 days
The Liveaboards sailing from Cairns for three day adventures fit a wide range of clients, much more than those interested in the traditional scuba diving Liveaboards.
No longer is the Liveaboard the strict domain of dedicated scuba divers.
Snorkelers and even those who do not want to get into the water will find these Liveaboards an attractive way to spend a hard earn vacation.
New Generation Ships
In the past Scuba Liveaboards had one function and one purpose, to deliver quality scuba diving. Creature comforts were secondary.
The sleeping arrangements were often on the scale of hostels, berths similar to bunk beds. Cabins for two were often not much different, still berths.
Three day trips were very rare with most sailings being a week long. Today, the Liveaboard is not just about scuba diving.
It is equally welcoming to non-divers.
Many offer snorkeling as a part of the three day packages.
The hostel style berths are gone, and in their place are staterooms.
Many of these New Generation ships offer the services and quality of a luxury yacht. Liveaboards, such as the MV Reef Encounter which as a 35 metre catamaran is the size of many boutique hotels or super yachts, can provide an interesting way to cruise the barrier reef at a cost much better than renting a yacht.
She is a floating boutique hotel with 21 staterooms offering either double or twin accommodations.
The MV Reef Encounter even has a special plan for VIP’s. Similar as to a concierge floor at a five star hotel, they offer a plan they call Top Deck. The Top Deck VIP treatment includes special considerations during the transfer from shore to the vessel, welcome champagne, the opportunity for special dining, personal attention by the chef, and your own valet who also will double as your snorkeling or diving guide.
Guest to the vessel also has the option of helicopter rides over the reef area or to transfer to and from the mainland.
The helicopter landing on the vessels helipad.
Even without the Top Deck service and the helicopter rides, A vacation on one of these new generation Liveaboards is not very much different from that of a super yacht.
Typical Three Day Liveaboard From Cairns
There are two styles of three day Liveaboards from Cairns.
A few boats will have a three night itinerary that will leave from Cairns on early Monday morning and deliver you to Lizard Island early Thursday morning for a flight back to Cairns.
For the scuba divers this will give about 11 dives in 2 ½ days.
While these Liveaboards still attract snorkelers and other non-divers they are still geared towards the diver. After delivering their guest at Lizard Island, they will meet another group who will take 4 nights going in the opposite direction heading back to Cairns. Because of their schedule, they are restricted when they can board guest and do not fit into a long weekend style vacation.
The other style of three day Liveaboards is a sort of “Come Any Day Liveaboard”. More of the blend of a luxury boutique hotel and dive vessel, you can arrive and depart on any day, adding nights is also possible.
The vessel stays out on the reef for extended periods of time.
A support vessel, generally a day excursion boat, brings guest and supplies to the boat daily and returns departing guest in the afternoon.
For both snorkelers and divers, there will be plenty of opportunities to get into the water each day at different reefs of the outer Great Barrier Reef locations.
Included for the scuba divers is the chance to do a night dive each night.
These three day trips start in the early morning, spends two nights out on the reef and return late afternoon of the third day. This would fit in for many long weekends as well as be a part of a longer vacation.
Years ago the scuba diver who wanted to go on a Liveaboard generally had to plan that part of the vacation without non-diving travelling companions.
The boats now are so upscale you can highlight the luxury of the Yacht like atmosphere and just mention. Oh they also have scuba diving.