One of the most popular and unforgettable ways to explore Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is aboard one of the extended boat tours known as live aboards. Live aboard passengers can choose between smaller group tours where the vessels do not contain cabins or larger motorised vessels with more luxurious creature comforts.
All Great Barrier Reef live aboard tours depart from Cairns to various destinations across the Great Barrier Reef. Although some of this legendary Australian landmark is accessible via shorter boat tours, longer live aboard voyages are necessary to reach many of the most beautiful and pristine parts of the reef.
Some liveaboard excursions last only a day or two, while others enable passengers to spend a week or even more exploring the Great Barrier Reef. It is not uncommon to see colourful tropical fish leaping alongside dolphins and whales beneath the searchlights of ships, but the reef’s most outstanding sea creatures swim further below the surface.
The larger liveaboard vessels are similar to cruise ships or floating hotels and can accommodate a number of passengers and crew, but there are also plenty of smaller companies to choose from for people seeking more intimate scuba diving or snorkelling experiences. Some liveaboard diving groups contain as few as two to four divers. Most vessels have diving instructors, skippers, and cooks on board.