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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
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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 one 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...
Notes: Age restrictions - Minimum age on board Spirit of Freedom is 16 years (full fare applies). All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times, including when diving or snorkelling. We cannot guarantee that a crew member will be available to dive with a junior open water diver on all dives.
All dive guests over 65 years old will now need to obtain a dive medical certificate prior to departure. The certificate must be less than 12 months old on the cruise start date.
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 4 night trips only), cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, wine/beer with evening meals, transfers to the boat from Cairns City hotels, marine park fees, dives (as detailed in the trips above), in-water observation divers, GPS units, SMBs, torches, cyalume sticks, 10.5/12/15 litre tanks, weights and weight belts, all taxes.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Flights to/from Horn Island (where applicable), scuba equipment (incl dive computer: payable in advance: 3 night US$ 88, 4 night US$ 117, 7 night US$ 205), dive insurance. 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 (payable in advance: 3 nights US$ 72, 4 nights US$ 117, 7 nights US$ 169). 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 departing on Thursday in Cairns and ends in Lizard Island on Sunday (involve a flight from Lizard Island back to Cairns). 4 nights trips departing on Sundays in Lizard Island (involve a flight from Cairns to Lizard Island) and ends in Cairns on Thursdays. 7 night trips departing Thursdays 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.
Cruises that start from Cairns - 10:30 am hotel pick up, boarding 11 am, port departure 12 noon.
Cruises that start from Lizard Island - 7 am Cairns hotel pick up for 8:30 am flight to Lizard Island, boarding the boat at 11 am, port departure 12 noon.
Cruises that end at Cairns - boat returns to port at 6:30 am, disembark at 7:30 am.
Cruises that end at Lizard Island - disembark boat at 8 am, flight back to Cairns lands at 12 noon.
The last dive of each trip will be at around 4 pm on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: Deduct US$ 130 for 3 & 4 night trips, or US$ 261 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 of approximately 85% of the published price for their own cabin.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 11 guests and 1 extra person can join the cruise in a 4-bed cabin free of charge (total 12+ guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Pay for 22 guests and 2 extra persons can join in a 4-bed cabin free of charge.
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 Oceanview Deluxe double bed cabin, and the Oceanview Standard double bed cabin. The lower deck has 1 queen bed Stateroom', 7 Standard double/twin bed cabins and 1 Quad share bunk bed cabin.
Deluxe and Standard cabins are equipped with CD Players (the Standard cabins also feature a TV and DVD player). 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 Oceanview 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 of 12 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 - Photo work station - Satellite Phone - Books, magazines, games, fish ID books - Sun deck with shaded area - 24-hour Electricity supply (240V and 110V) - 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
- Themed buffet-style meals service in the air-conditioned lounge or open-air dining area
- Complimentary Australian wine and soft drinks 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 Yanmar 500 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
"Good facilities, great food, excellent crew. The crews are super friendly. It's all good.
" - Abbey Chau
, Hong Kong, 29 October 2022 ...
"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 ...