Enjoy 7 fantastic days diving the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and in the Coral Sea at reefs like Osprey Reef, Bouganville Reef and Holmes Reef. Destinations will vary and be selected to provide the best diving, and allow maximum dive time and passenger comfort, according to the prevailing weather. The Coral Sea reefs feature spectacular walls, steep drop-offs and lone seamounts, rising thousands of metres from the ocean floor to just below the surface. Renown for crystal clear water with average visibility well in excess of 50 metres, a diver can appear suspended in air against a vertical wall laced with massive gorgonian fans. Sharks and schooling pelagic cruise through an amazing display of gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, while nudibranch, anemones, unusual tropical fish, invertebrates, and huge schools of fish provide a rich variety of marine life. You will dive with giant potato cod and encounter an ecosystem of unsurpassed marine diversity. With deeper water you will encounter greater number of pelagic marine life, massive isolated bommies of coral and some of the best adventure diving the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
This trip combines the most exciting dives you will complete on both the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. If you did one dive trip this year then consider this ultimate diving adventure. Coral Sea dive depth is limited only by your air consumption and experience levels. The ocean floor drops away to 1,000m and some dive sites don’t start until 20m below the surface. Dive conditions can sometimes be challenging in the Coral Sea, with strong currents. Visibility is amazing, often over 50m.
Spirit of Freedom is 37m monohull catering to a maximum of 26 passengers. Considered Australia’s largest live aboard dive vessel, and features, 3 spacious decks, fully air-conditioned and electronic stabilisers, wide screen TV/ DVD, and roomy cabins with ensuites. Be prepared for fabulous chef prepared meals and a level of service to satisfy the most discerning dive traveller.
Number of passengers – 26 maximum
Courses Available: PADI Advanced Course and PADI Nitrox Course
Special Note: Due to light aircraft weight restrictions, your total luggage weight is limited to 20kg/45lb per person. All bags must be soft sided.
Mandatory On Board Fees
7 Day Tours: A $25 per person Marine Park Levy & Port fee applies
This 7 Day liveaboard dive trip provides you with the ultimate diving holiday experience on the Great Barrier Reef and Australia’s. The trip itinerary is a combination of the operators 3 Day Ribbon Reef Trip and 4 Day Coral Sea Dive Trip.
Departs: Monday at 12pm
Returns: Monday at 7:30am
Includes – Opportunity for up to 26 dives
Dive Level Recommended – Advanced type diving
The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf, where you will board the vessel. You will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before a 12 noon departure. Enjoy lunch on board while you cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon check-out dive and a twilight or night dive. After dinner you’ll cruise north to the Ribbon Reefs.
Tuesday & Wednesday
These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 Ribbon Reefs. Dive sites and sequence may vary depending on the weather conditions, but will always include at least one dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other dive sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few. If the current is right, you may also take a drift dive at Dynamite Pass, well know as a channel for sharks to pass through. A night dive is available on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening enjoy an overnight stopover at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.
This morning after breakfast you will have the opportunity to go ashore at Lizard Island. A good chance to stretch you legs on land at this half way point, you can take the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage over Chinaman’s Ridge and back to the beach. Around 11.00am we will cruise back to Ribbon Reef Number 10 for two dives at a choice of sites including the Snake Pit, Cod Hole, Challenger Bay, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Wall, and Pixie Pinnacle. If the tide permits we may repeat a dive at the Cod Hole or visit new sites. You’ll depart in the evening for a 10 hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
Friday & Saturday
Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renown for crystal clear water with visibility ranging 30 to 100 metres. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from the ocean floor thousands of feet below. ‘North Horn’ is a dive site at the tip of Osprey where grey reef sharks, silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate, and you can experience a close encounter with the Spirit of Freedom shark attraction dive. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on the Friday. See the dive site page for site selection of some of our dive sites at Osprey Reef. On Saturday night we will depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.
At Ribbon Reefs Number 3 we will dive such sites as the sensational Steve’s Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. A second option for this day, in special weather conditions, is to head south from Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape or caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. On Sunday evening we will cruise overnight back to Cairns.
You’ll arrive back into Cairns at 06:30am. Enjoy a light breakfast on board and a group photo opportunity before being dropped back to your Cairns hotel around 08.00am.
SNORKELERS. The reefs of the Ribbon Reefs are relatively close to the surface, and with little current, offer excellent snorkelling at most sites. However the (at times) deeper reefs tops and currents of the Coral Sea make the Coral Sea reefs only suitable for experienced snorkelers and strong swimmers and you may not be able to snorkel at every site. Please note that while you are safe under the watchful eye of the ‘look-out’ crew, a snorkel buddy may not always be available.
This itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary or the sequence may change. Access to the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is tide and weather conditional.
A fee of 20% applies with 60 days or less notice
100% fee applies with 21 days or less notice
An administrative fee of AU$100 per person will apply for your cancellation of more than 60 days.
Rates quoted are per person, based on double occupancy, or four share for quad.
The Marine Park levy includes the Environmental Management Charge at $19.50.
For Sole Occupancy rates, please double the per person rate and deduct $150 per day. (N/A for Quad share)
For Non Diving Passengers, please deduct $200 off the 3 & 4 day trip rates and $400 off the 7 day trip rates.
Triple Share in Double/Twin: 2 people pay twin share rate, 1 person pays quad share rate.
Ocean View cabins and Stateroom contain double beds only and rates are based on double occupancy.
Dive in Australia are not affiliated with any of the dive operators or boats. We are an online Travel Agency specialising in Scuba Diving holidays in Australia. Our commitment is providing you unbiased advice, sharing our personal diving experiences, tour reviews and working with you to plan and book your diving holiday. Diving is our passion and we consider it a privilege to share our knowledge and experiences with you.