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At a glance...
- Visits Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, Osprey Reef
- Dive The World's 2015 Operator of the Year
- All cabins have ensuite bathrooms
- Ocean view cabins have TV, DVD, window
- Complimentary wine
- Large stable boat with steel hull
Click on an image to enlarge
Experience the boundless pleasure of Australia's Great Barrier Reef liveaboard, the luxurious Spirit of Freedom. This is one of the largest and best-equipped dive charters in Australia, ensuring your comfort on the Great Barrier Reef's most relaxing diving holiday vessel. No wonder it is the winner of Dive The World's 2015 Operator of the Year award!
At 37 metres long, the Spirit of Freedom allows you dive intervals with the benefit of space and superbly equipped facilities. The comfortable lounge bar is a popular part of the ship, as is the saloon, doubling as an enclosed dining area, with a flat-panel TV, DVD player and a movie library. An excellent onboard wine cellar with complimentary wine completes meal times, which you can also enjoy in the al fresco dining area on the upper deck.
The en-suite cabins onboard the Spirit of Freedom are very spacious, modern and well-fitted. There are various accommodation standards available, including Ocean View cabins that feature seaview windows as well as TV and DVD players.
With a 6,000 nautical mile range, the steel-hulled Spirit of Freedom's Australia diving cruises easily reach the more remote regions of the Coral Sea and the Northern Great Barrier Reef, allowing you access to the most pristine dive sites. Electronic stabilisers provide a smoother ride, confining green gills to the colourful fish on the reef. It is also 1 of the few liveaboards with minke whale permits.
The dive deck is designed with space and convenience in mind. An onboard nitrox membrane system allows qualified divers to benefit from extended bottom times on the fabulous reefs. Digital photo facilities enable you to manage those 'Kodak' moments captured during your dives.
For 3-4 day liveaboard guests, there is an opportunity to experience a fantastic low level flight between Cairns and Lizard Island. It's an awesome way to start or finish your Great Barrier Reef holiday and the views are simply stunning. Remember to keep your camera with you for some amazing reef shots from 200 metres above! Of course, this also saves you valuable time allowing you to spend more time diving and less time travelling.
Scheduled departures, prices, destinations, durations...
More Trip Details...
Dive experience: We strongly recommend that you have at least PADI Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent and have minimum of 20 oceanic dives logged prior to joining the Osprey Reef trips and have dived at least 5 dives within 12 months to date of departure. Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef trips recommendation is a Open Water Certification and a minimum of 10 ocean dives including 5 dives in the last 12 months.
Cruise price per person includes: Low-level scenic flight to or from Lizard Island (for 3 and 4 night trips), cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, transfers to the boat from Cairns City hotels, dives (as detailed in the trips above), in-water observation divers, GPS units, tanks, weights and weight belts.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Flights to/from Horn Island (where applicable), scuba equipment (3 night US$ 103, 4 night US$ 134, 7 night US$ 213), dive insurance, environmental management charge of (US$ 16 (3 and 4 nights US$ 39, 7 nights US$ 20 per person). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks (wine with evening meals is complimentary), nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (3 nights US$ 59, 4 nights US$ 83, 7 nights US$ 142), torches and cyalume sticks. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: The Spirit of Freedom departs from either Trinity Wharf in Cairns or Lizard Island depending on the itinerary.
3 night trips start in Cairns and involve a flight from Lizard Island to Cairns, 4 night trips start in Lizard Island and involve a flight from Cairns to Lizard Island, 7 night trips (departing Mondays) start and end on the boat in Cairns with no need for flights. For more information on getting to Cairns see our How to get there section.
Minke Whale Expeditions: Certain trips in June and July include efforts to dive and/or snorkel with minke whales. Prices remain the same but expect fewer overall dives on these trips. The last dive of the trip will be at around 15:00 hrs on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: Deduct US$ 158 for 3 & 4 night trips, or US$ 315 off for 7 nights.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin (no guarantee of same gender sharing) or pay a supplement on the published price. Approximately equals to twice the normal diver price less AUD 150 per day.
Dive clubs and group discounts: From Feb till May: Pay for 8 guests and 1 extra person can join the cruise in a 4-bed cabin free of charge (total 9 guests). From June till Jan: Pay for 10 guests and 1 extra person can join in a 4-bed cabin free of charge (total 11 guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Whole boat charter rates are available on application - we can give you prices for particular trips.
Cabins, Berths, Showers, Bathrooms...
Spirit of Freedom has 11 large, en-suite cabins across 4 cruise price brackets. All cabins are on the lower deck except 2 on the upper deck: the Deluxe cabin (ocean view) and 1 Standard cabin (ocean view).
The lower deck has 1 Standard cabin ('Stateroom'), 6 Double/Twin share and 2 Quad share.
Deluxe and Standard cabins are equipped with double beds and CD Players (the Standard cabins also feature a TV and DVD player). The Double / Twin cabins are equipped with single and/or double beds, and the Quad cabins have bunk-style single beds. It is possible for a 3rd person to share a double/twin cabin for the same price as a berth in a quad cabin.
These ocean view cabins have windows, allowing in natural light, while the other cabins feature cabin lighting.
All the liveaboard cabins have:
- 24-hour electricity (Aus 3 pin 240v)
- Private en-suite bathroom with hot water shower, toilet and hand basin
- Fire warning system
- Life jackets
Additionally, ocean view cabins feature:
- TV, DVD & CD Player
- Writing desk & bedside table (Deluxe cabin only)
No. of bathrooms / showers - 13 / 11 - hot water
Crew, Facilities, Dive Courses...
The crew comprises:
- Cruise Leader
- 3 Instructors
- Deck hand
Enriched air nitrox - 50m² dive deck with 2 hot freshwater showers - Motorised dive dinghy - Separate rinse tank and table for cameras - Air-conditioned lounge & bar - Open-air dining area - 2 Plasma TVs, DVD, music centre - Movie Library - Computer & CD burner - Satellite Phone - Books, magazines, games, fish ID books - Sun deck with shaded area - 24-hour Electricity supply - Water dispenser
Menu, Cuisine Type...
The Spirit of Freedom is renowned for the Australian and international cuisine that its talented chef prepares. In fact, guests enjoy it so much that many often leave a little heavier than when they arrived!
With 2 breakfasts (1 before and 1 after the first dive of the day), lunch and dinner, as well as snacks such as freshly baked cakes, you certainly won't go hungry onboard the Spirit of Freedom.
Additionally, soft drinks and Australian wines are available during the evening meal or are otherwise available for purchase from the bar.
- Expertly prepared Australian and international cuisine of which the only complaints is picking up weight.
- The reason is possibly the scrumptious 4 meals per day: breakfast, another breakfast after the first dive of the day, lunch, dinner and snacks
- Not to mention the snacks to connect the meal dots, including freshly baked cake
- Vegetarians and other special diets are catered for with advanced notice
- Buffet-style meals service in the air-conditioned lounge or open-air dining area
- Complimentary Australian wine and softdrinks during evening meals
- First meal upon boarding is lunch.
- Built in year 1992, and refitted annually
- Size - 37m x 7.1m
- Top speed - 12 knots
- Cruising speed - 11 knots
- 2 Cummings 6BTs generators
- 2 Bauer 21 CFM dive tank compressors
- 2 Rolls Royce C8M 410 HP diesel engines
- 10.5 & 12 litre aluminium scuba tanks with INT valve fittings
- Enriched air nitrox
- Electricity - 240V 24 hours per day
- Water capacity - 10,000+ litres per day
- Fuel capacity - 3,000 litres
Navigation, Safety Features...
- 3 x Life rafts
- 2 x 4.8m Naiad tender boats
- HF & VHF radios
- CDMA Mobile telephone
- Satellite telephone
- Electronic stabalisers
- First aid box
- Oxygen - 9-13,000 litres
- Life jackets throughout
- Search lights
- Bilge pump alarm
- Emergency lighting
- Fire detectors and extinguishers throughout
- Nautilus Lifelines issued to all divers
"The best operator service. The crew, food and dive sites - all excellent.
" - Jarol Espinosa
, Australia, 06 March 2020 ...
"Great service. Staff were friendly and attentive. Meals were good. Boat was in good condition.
" - Vincent Chuakaew
, USA, 27 December 2019 ...
"A very professional Crew gave us an excellent time. We were lucky that we could see Osprey and Bougainville reef. Awesome shark viewing, spectacular cave diving, beautiful corals, even whale watching, Very informative briefing by Nick before each dive. Perfect explanations by reef master Michelle and Alice!! Altogether an incredible diving tour!!! We were very happy that we decided to take the 4 night tour! Thanks to all the crew!
" - Henry Schroeder
, Germany, 13 August 2019 ...
"The vessel, crew and service were great with no place for improvement! Special thanks to the cook, who created incredible dishes.
" - Natalie Hauser
, Germany, 18 October 2015 ...
"Excellent! Would recommend it to any avid diver.
" - Benjamin Fallon
, USA, 12 September 2014 ...
"Professional. Well Organised. Friendly. Top quality.
" - Chris James
, UK, 12 July 2014 ...
"My wife and I were very pleased with the dive operator's equipment, staff and facilities of the Spirit of Freedom liveaboard. The staff was friendly and competent and the equipment seems well cared for. I had difficulty with some personal equipment and they were helpful in trying to fix my equipment and to provide me with substitute equipment when their efforts were unsuccessful.
I would like to know why the boat ran aground. I have some experience with boats and it was a surprise when a well instrumented boat with an experienced captain made this sort of mistake.
I was also surprised that some of the dives were not more closely supervised by divers from the Spirit of Freedom, particularly the night dives. I am accustomed to diving in the Caribbean and normally the dive masters make sure the divers are following the dive plan. Perhaps this is not the case with Australian operations. I was never in danger or concerned for my safety but I was concerned for some of the less experienced divers.
" - Dale Strickland
, USA, 14 October 2010 ...
"The system for safe diving is the best. Food is also very good.
" - Jae-Yeon Jang
, South Korea, 5 July 2010 ...
"Great ship, very comfortable, excellent food, fun staff, good safety procedures. Overall very good, would love to go again.
" - Kenneth Jorgensen
, Denmark, 3 October 2009 ...
"Crew was excellent, friendly, professional without being offputting; organization on the boat was the key. Normally 26 divers seems more crowded/hectic, especially for a small dive deck area, but the crew and their system was seamless. Food was excellent and plentiful.
" - Tila Duhaime
, USA, 13 March 2009 ...