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Liveaboard Cruising

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In the March 2001 issue of Rodale's Scuba Diving the editors made a very concise and compelling argument for why liveaboard dive boats are generally so popular. Their observations are as follows:

"Why A Liveaboard Adventure? Some of the many draws to liveaboard diving include: cost; only unpacking once (this includes clothes and dive gear); more dives each day, if desired; more diving flexibility; generally smaller dive groups; less explored dive sites; onboard photography and video services; and advanced certification courses and other educational programs."

"Like taking a cruise, the 'all-inclusive' cost of a liveaboard trip can generally be more economical than a land-based dive vacation. If you compare costs, the savings can (but won't always) include expenses for diving, food, beverages, and more.

"Many people don't think they'll like cruises, but one of several reasons cruise travel has grown in popularity is because you only have to unpack once, even though you are visiting many places. For liveaboards, this means you take your clothes and dive gear out of your bag once and not have to repack until the end of your trip. You also don't have to lug your dive gear around each time you're going diving.

"One of the best reasons to try liveaboards is that they offer more diving each day. The average is typically four or five dives per day, but it's really up to the individual diver (given proper surface intervals, of course). If you really want to dive during your vacation, the sheer quantity of liveaboard diving is an advantage.

"There's also great flexibility when it comes to liveaboard diving. If the conditions aren't good on one site, the ship simply changes locations. If the group tends to like diving on wrecks, and wrecks are available, that's where the liveaboard's diving can lean.

"The diving off liveaboards tends to be in smaller groups as well. This can be because the boat doesn't carry as many divers or it can be because they stagger divers, giving everyone a chance to explore the dive sites with just a few others (sometimes just the dive buddy).

"Liveaboards also tend to offer less-explored diving. This is thanks to their ability to go (and stay) where land-based dive boats simply can't reach in reasonable times. And you go where few (if any) divers have ever been.

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