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Dive Review of Spirit of Freedom in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Joel Snyder, AZ, US
Contributor   (14 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6471
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, S. Pacific
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

cloudy, dry  
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
26   to 28    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No reverse profiles on multi-dive days; occasional time limits (nite dive,
and when the boat had to be moved).  Generally no limits. 24-hour no-fly
limit recommended, but not strictly enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Tables provided for cameras, along with rinse tanks.  Ample laptops and
other facilities for moving digital images.  Boat divemasters generally
carry cameras so you can also trade pictures with them or buy a CD with
them all at end of trip.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
We went with Spirit of Freedom for a week-long tour.  Leaves Monday morning
(free pickup at your Cairns hotel), followed by a couple of checkout dives
not far from Cairns.  Then, steam all night and wake up the next morning at
Cod Hole.  From there, 4 or 5 dives a day for 3 days, then another
all-night steam out to the Coral Sea and Osprey Reef (and 4 to 5 dives a
day), before returning to Cairns.  You can elect to do one half or the
other if you wish, but 7 days is the way to go.

Boat: fantastic.  No compromises to make this a great luxury dive platform.
 Always plenty of room in the dining area, salon, and a great top-side
sundeck.  Dive deck a bit crowded with 25 divers, plenty of space with
less.  But not a problem---you're relaxed and there's plenty of time and if
you have to wait for 3 minutes to get off the boat, it's not a problem. 
Everything in top-notch condition, including lots of fresh tasty water, air
conditioning (actually a bit cold some days inside, but that's what the
sundeck is for), seating and facilities.

Diving: Great Barrier Reef, done from a liveaboard.  There may be better
diving in more obscure places, but these guys take you where the diving is
great and give you the opportunity to have a lot of fun.  Not a
"tech" boat on our cruise, so plenty to do for both advanced and
novice.  Nitrox available, and not a bad idea since depths are rarely
greater than 30 meters.  Spare gear if yours breaks, and an overall relaxed
attitude.  Safety: NO COMPROMISES.  It gets on your nerves (if you skip a
dive to take a nap, they wake you up since you have to sign in person that
you're on the boat), but safe diving is good diving and you can't hold it
against them if they are looking out for your welfare.  Once you're in the
water, though, you can dive as you wish with no time limits except on nite
dives and occasionally to meet a move-the-boat schedule.  Good for novice
to advanced divers; if you're not happy if you're not in deco, this is
probably not the right trip for you.  With 4 dives most days and 5 dives
some days, you can't say you didn't get enough diving in. 

Crew: fantastic attitude and plenty of help.  Everyone made an effort to
learn names, likes, dislikes, and talk to the passengers.  Crew Director
Nick top-notch, knew when to step in and help and when to back off and let
you figure it out yourself.  They pick good folks and we always felt safe
and well taken care of, from captain down to host/hostess.   Food as good
as could be expected, and more than ample quantities.  You never felt

Overall: a great trip we had a great time on.  Highly recommended as a way
to really see the Great Barrier Reef; compared to day boats, this is THE
way to go.
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Other dive reports on Spirit of Freedom

All Australia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Australia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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