There are 2 identical 65 ft (20m) liveaboards running under the Blackbeard's name: Morning Star and Sea Explorer. They are the choice for those seeking a low budget, no frills way to dive the best sites in the Bahamas.
If you are looking for private cabins, a dedicated dining room and champagne in a hot tub, this is not the choice for you. With Blackbeard's you are less of a VIP guest and feel like more like a team player on board a weeklong adventure. You will still dive 3 or 4 times a day at all the same sites as those on more expensive liveaboards, but pay only a fraction of the price. Accommodations are dorm-style upper and lower bunks, either single and double beds with air-conditioning and privacy curtains. Showers are shared and you are encouraged not to leave the water running too long. Meals are served buffet style but most guests will fill their plates, then find a quiet spot to sit inside or on deck and enjoy your meals 'picnic style'. There are 3 such meals per day plus snacks, tea and coffee and a fruit hammock for you to grab a bite whenever the mood takes you.
Up to 22 (normally fewer) fun-loving divers can join these cruises which are popular among adventurers from young newbie solo divers to groups of senior diving veterans who are young-at-heart. The dive deck, where equipment is stored, is at the stern where you stride off into the water and exit the water via a ladder. There are also 2 dinghies, mostly for land visits. There is a strong emphasis on non-diving activities too including sailing, halyard swinging, free-diving, fishing, stargazing, island visits, beach bonfires and swimming with pigs.
You will get to know the fun-loving young crew as friends, unlike luxury liveaboards where they are seen but not heard. They all join in the activities and are happy to keep the rum punch flowing in the evening! Indeed all meals and non alcoholic and alcoholic drinks are included in the price. So if you are looking to experience a Bahamas liveaboard with no frills, and without breaking the bank, Blackbeard's could be the answer. As the operator says: Nothing fancy but we get the job done!
Notes: The dives offered on Blackbeard's are unescorted. The instructor on board will give you a detailed briefing. A guide will be in the water for the check dive, first night dive, all drift dives and the shark feed! If required crew members can act as guides if available.
Dive experience: All Open Water-certified divers may join these Bahamas liveaboard trips.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, soft drinks, hot drinks, alcoholic drinks, dives (as detailed in the safaris above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (max 8 divers to 1 DM), tanks (including some 15L tanks), weights and weightbelts, shore excursions.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment rental (US$ 135 per week), dive computer (US$ 50 per week), scuba insurance, port and park fees (2022: US$ 150, 2023: US$ 155) payable in advance, fuel surcharge (US$ 50 per week, payable in advance). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Transfers to the boat from the airport/hotel/port (US$ 18 per person per transfer), torch, toiletries and towels (please bring 2 of your own) Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: Nassau Harbour Club Marina on East Bay Street is the main departure port for Blackbeard's. This is 30-40 minutes from Nassau International Airport. Return flights from Nassau/Freeport to the USA are treated as domestic flights, which makes life easier for your onward journey as you can make "domestic" rather than "international" connections. For more information see our Bahamas travel information section.
Arrival/Boarding/Departure: You should aim to arrive Nassau either on Friday or on Saturday morning. Boarding at Nassau Harbour Club Marina is at 12:00 hrs on Saturday for an early afternoon departure to the site of the first dives. Return to port is on Thursday and you will dine on board in port. Check out is on Friday morning at 09:00 hrs. The crew can help you with transfers you to the airport or nearby hotels, if booked in advance. The last dive of the trip will be at around 14.00 hrs on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: There is no discount for non-divers.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): Single travelers may request a double bed at no additional cost but these are only subject to availability. Priority will be given to couples.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 10 guests and 1 additional person can join the cruise free of charge (total 11+ guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Pay for 20 guests and 2 additional people can join the cruise free of charge (total 22).
"Easily the best operator Ive ever been a part of. After 375 dives in my career, best professionals I've ever been associated with. Impeccable accuracy on every dive. Thato was an amazing dive master. She was as by-the-book diving professionalism. Ian was exceptional at conducting a great dive service with the sharks. Karen was an excellent help everywhere. Captain Jim was a perfect leader and exceptional host on his rig." - Smith Sinclair, USA, 29 July 2020 ...
Low Budget Options
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