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The Islands of The Bahamas Official Association of Dive Operators Member Website


Text and Photography by Bill Harrigan
f you haven't tried live-aboard diving in The Bahamas, you're missing the best thing to happen since the invention of scuba. Bahamas live-aboard diving is absolute convenience. You set up your dive gear once, then you only handle it when you're actually diving. No lugging gear from hotel to van to boat. No jockeying for space on a crowded bench and no long, uncomfortable ride out to the dive site and back. Of course, there is also the pleasure of diving away from the crowds. Liveaboards around the world take you to the outer reaches, where few divers go-and that's particularly true in the islands of The Bahamas. You can dive your buns off on a Bahamas live-aboard. Three to five dives a day are the norm, and some boats offer even more chances to get wet. But, if you are the less enthusiastic half of a diving couple, you don't have to go on every dive. In fact, many divers on a live-aboard make only one or two dives a day. Even non-divers go on these trips and have fun. There is plenty to do, including shore excursions, watersports and just relaxing. The food served on Bahamas liveaboards is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because it's usually fantastic. It's a curse for the same reason! Don't go on a live-aboard if you expect to lose weight. The food is great, there is lots of it and your appetite will be ravenous.
Bahamas Liveaboards

Aqua Cat Cruises
(888) 327-9600

Blackbeard's Cruises
(800) 327-9600

Cat Ppalu Cruises
(800) 327-9600

Sea Dragon
(954) 522-0161

Nekton Diving Cruises
(800) 899-6753

Bottom Time Adventures
(800) 234-8464

Juliet Saliing & Diving
(866) 5-JULIET

Ocean Explorer, Inc.
(800) 338-9383

Sea Dragon
The Exuma Cays, a remote island chain stretching nearly 100 miles along the edge of the Great Bahama Bank southeast of Nassau, are home ground for Sea Dragon. Owned and operated by Captains Dan Doyle and Sue Ford, who have been exploring the Exumas since 1972, Sea Dragon was custom built for live-aboard diving in 1980. Accommodating eight passengers in four air-conditioned cabins, the 65-foot vessel normally departs from Nassau, although occasional trips originate in Georgetown. Each charter is tailored for the group aboard. With shallow reefs and beaches on one side and deep walls on the other, the Exumas are perfect for live-aboard diving. Protected by the Bahamas National Trust since 1955 as the Exumas Land and Sea Park, they are packed with fish and coral. The tidal flow between the islands also gives Sea Dragon divers fantastic drift diving.
The Nekton Pilot's expansive sun deck.
Pirate's Lady, with the wind in her sails. Liveaboard guest kayak south of bimini and snorkel off Rum Cay.
Blackbeard's Cruises
Veteran Blackbeard's divers affectionately call this type of dive trip "camping on the water" and they come back every year for another trip. Admittedly, private space is at a premium on the three 65-foot sailboats, Morning Star, Pirates Lady and Sea Explorer. Single and double berths for 16 divers are arranged in four air-conditioned cabins. At night you retire to your own berth with a curtain closure. But, when you consider the price, the arrangement is fine. Except in the winter, when Nassau departures to the Exumas are available, the Blackbeard's boats sail from Miami. After crossing to The Bahamas, the captains have full control of the itinerary, selecting the route according to the best diving and the desires of the passengers. The western and middle Bahamas are fair game, including Grand Bahama, the Gingerbread Grounds, Andros, New Providence, Bimini and points south. Blackbeard's Cruises also operates the upscale Cat Ppalu, a 65-foot, 12-passenger sailing catamaran that offers special charters out of Nassau. Cat Ppalu has no set itinerary.

Aqua Cat Cruises
The new, power catamaran, Aqua Cat (103 feet), will begin service from Nassau to the Exuma Islands in July of 2001. The Exumas offer a fascinating variety of things to do-superb scuba diving, beautiful beaches, hidden coves. Twenty-two divers will be accommodated in private cabins with their own ensile bathrooms. A crew of ten will be onboard to accommodate guests. Aqua Cat offers luxury cruising for both divers and non-divers. Divers can experience up to 27 dives per week, photo and video labs, E-6 processing, Nitrox, a free REEF fish ID course and specialty scuba courses. A 28-foot launch will transport guests to beautiful beaches and secluded coves for an afternoon of snorkeling, kayaking, beach volleyball and scuba instruction.

Bottom Time Adventures

Fast, stable and spacious, Bottom Time II can take 14 divers to the far reaches of The Bahamas in air-conditioned comfort. A host of guest conveniences, such as a wet bar, sundeck and lounge have been designed into Bottom Time II, and five crew members make sure everyone is happy. E-6 processing and video services are available. Want to be among the very few who have scuba dived the pristine reefs of Samana Cay or Crooked Island? This luxury catamaran has no milk run. Instead, it cruises the length and breadth of The Bahamas, from the Abacos to Cay Sal to San Salvador and beyond. Dolphin encounters are also a Bottom Time II specialty. For the last 16 years they have been putting snorkelers and dolphins together in the clear, shallow waters of both the Great Bahama and Little Bahama Banks.

Nekton Diving Cruises
Nekton Pilot has the living space of a small hotel and the stability of a large cruise ship, thanks to its advanced design. Borrowing from the U.S. Navy's research, it uses a concept called Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) to produce a vessel so stable that seasickness is a rarity among Nekton Pilot passengers. Guest areas include extra generous air-conditioned cabins, all with picture windows and huge bathrooms; a spacious dining room and salon; and a volleyball court-sized sundeck with whirlpool. Photographers have two carpeted camera tables, three dedicated camera rinse barrels, daily E-6 processing, light tables and projectors. More innovation can be found on the dive deck, which is adjusted at the touch of a button to the perfect height for easy entry and exit. Divers can come and go at will while the vessel is on each site, so the dive deck is never crowded. If you want to see the best of The Bahamas, give yourself a treat and spend a week on a live-aboard. The superb diving, ultra-convenience, indulgent cuisine and great times with new friends will spoil you forever.

A Buffet of Experiences/Rick Frehsee
Meeting the Ocean Masters/Bill Harrigan
An Underwater Wonderland/Michael Lawrence
The Stuff of Dreams/Michael Lawrence
The Difference is in the Destination/Bill Harrigan
Vertical Descents, Decorated Caverns-Turning
Fascinating at Any Depth/Bill Harrigan
Superb Diving and Absolute Convenience/Bill Harrig
One Nation with a World of Diving Opportunity
Grouper Spawns, Lobster Marches/Rick Frehsee
Choose Your Thrill/Bill Harrigan
Intimate Adventures/Michael Lawrence
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Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas
 Visit our website for current specials and deals! http://www...
Small Hope Bay Lodge
 ALL INCLUSIVE! For 50 years, Small Hope has been providing p...
Andros Beach Club & Andros Diving
Tiamo Resort
Blackbeard's Cruises
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Seafari Bahamas @ Club Med
 Located at Club Med, San Salvador
Sea Dragon (Exuma Cays, Conception Island)
 "Sea Dragon" is a Live-aboard Dive vessel for groups of eigh...
Dive Time
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Undersea Adventures-USA Travel
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Aqua Cat Cruises
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Stella Maris Watersports
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Valentine's Dive Center
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Cat Ppalu Cruises
 Cat Ppalu is a 12 passenger charter liveaboard catamaran
DIVE ABACO! An Island Tradition Since 1978...
 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014, 2015, 2016 & 201...
Carib Dancer (Part of the worldwide Dancer Fleet)
 The Carib Dancer is the newest addition to the Dancer Fleet ...
 We offer many resort-based dive operations...
Dive Exuma
 A PADI 5 Star Dive Resort offering dive trips, PADI courses,...
Bimini Undersea
 SCUBA Diving, Snorkeling, and Wild Dolphin Adventures on the...
Neal Watsons Bimini Scuba Center
 US #: 964-615-1011 Island: 242-347-3500
Bimini Big Game Club PADI Dive Center
 Coming Soon!
Brendal's Dive Center & Water Sports International
 Brendal has been awarded the prestiges Bahamas Tourism Caciq...
Sunn Odyssey Divers
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Dive Guana
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Bahamas Diving Assocation
US Address:
2101 S Andrews Ave, #201
Fort Lauderdale , FL 33335
Toll-Free: 1-800-866-D...
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Nassau/New Providence
  Home the sharks, wrecks, walls and the nation's captitol with impressive diving...
  Encompassing many smaller cays, this is diving paradise...
Freeport/Grand Bahama
  Home to dolphins, wrecks, sharks, reefs and more...
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