Liveaboard Diving, Spirit of Freedom [DiveSOF4]

Summary

Liveaboard Diving, Spirit of Freedom [DiveSOF4] Liveaboard Diving, Spirit of Freedom [DiveSOF4] 11 Days / 9 Nights - Cairns, Live-Aboard Diving Expedition

This itinerary departs from the USA on Friday evening with arrival into Australia on Sunday.

Stay in Cairns for one night before you board the diving vessel the next morning (Monday). After disembarking from the dive vessel stay in Cairns for one more night. Your arrival day back into the USA will be on Tuesday morning.

Australia's north eastern town of tropical Cairns is the gateway for two of the world's greatest diving icons, the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. It is also the base for the awesome Spirit of Freedom 120ft liveaboard dive boat

The dive vessel departs Cairns 12:00 noon Monday and returns 07:00 am the following Monday. You will be transferred to and from your accommodation.

Cairns the colourful, sophisticated capital of the tropical north is alive with life and charm. Experience the majesty of this underwater playground which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and is known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Here, warm northern hospitality and enthusiasm are the order of the day. With many unique attractions and activities such as a cruise to the reef or islands, a 4WD safari to the outback, trek into the rainforest or see it from the rainforest cableway above its green canopy on your way to or from Kuranda. These year round natural attractions are truly memorable and inspiring.

Features

  • Accommodation - Cairns (1 Night), Live-Aboard Dive Vessel (7), Cairns (1)
  • US Domestic Flights are not included. Please enquire for flight pricing to be included.
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Brisbane (Return)
  • Australian Domestic Flights - Brisbane to Cairns (Return)
  • Shuttle Transfers - Cairns Airport to Accommodation (Return)
  • Overnight Tours Included - Cairns: 7 Night Liveaboard Dive Expedition Great Barrier Reef
  • Live-Aboard Diving Expedition includes: Transfers to/ from Cairns city accommodation, Opportunity for 24 to 26 dives, En-suite cabin with daily service, Chef prepared meals, Australian wines & soft drinks with evening meal.
  • All Day Tours listed are Optional (Not Included)
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (additional US$15.00 per person)
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Detailed Itinerary

Fri (Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane
Fri (Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Brisbane.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!
Please confirm with the airline at check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record (if applicable).
Sun (Day 2)- Australian Domistic Flight, Brisbane to Cairns
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Brisbane to Cairns.
Sun (Day 2)- Shuttle Transfer from the Cairns Airport to Accommodation
Sun (Day 2)- Shuttle Transfer from the Cairns Airport to Accommodation Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.
Departures occur approximately 30 minutes after aircraft arrival-time for domestic flights. For international flights this will be considerably longer because of customs and other formalities.

Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.
Sun-Mon (Days 2 to 3) - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns
Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Cairns Night Zoo (Evening Event)
Enjoy a great Australian night out at the Cairns Night Zoo!


Enjoy a sumptuous Australian barbeque dinner including steak, sausages, chicken, and seafood with salads and delicious desserts then perhaps enjoy a drink from the licensed bar (not included). After your savory dinner, explore the creatures of the night by torchlight as you journey into the darkness. Learn how owls hunt, touch a possum, pat a koala and see the glowing eyes of the crocodiles in your torchlight as you enter their lair. If you have a clear night, look up towards the skies and star gaze to see the Southern Cross, the Big Dipper and other well known constellations. Cross paths with a "Swaggie" (an original Australian bushman), and join them for billy tea and damper with him by the campfire. Their friends, the kangaroos, will come down and maybe even share a bite to eat! After complimentary cold beer or wine, join in the fun as you lear
Insiders Tip: Visit The Esplanade in Cairns
Experience the leisure atmosphere at the playground for locals and tourists alike at The Esplanade in Cairns!
With so many activities available The Esplanade has always been a focal point for this city. This is a place that literally has everything! Take a stroll and do some bird watching on the boardwalk but as you enjoy the views don't forget to stop off at Foreshore Promenade for a bite to eat at the many available restaurants. Access to The Lagoon is easy here which is set overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity inlet and features all year free swimming where you can take a dip in this filtered saltwater lagoon. Let the kids can play in the sandy edges and in the shallow waters while you lounge on the semi-shaded timber decks. For the kids, don't miss out on the Trinity Bay foreshore playground "Muddy" with equipment for all ages. For the older kids, stop off at the Skate Park to see some skaters and BMXers in action! Whether you decide to take a morning jog, fly a kite or just relax in the large grassy areas for some lunch you will surely enjoy the tropical lifestyle!

If you happen to be in Cairns on a Saturday be sure to check out the Weekend Markets which feature only locally made arts and crafts, clothing and much more. While you're there listen out for the live music and fun street characters. The market gets into full swing on the promenade (just by the lagoon) every Saturday between 8am - 4pm.

Lagoon Hours: All Year, 6am-9pm
Closed Wednesdays until midday for maintenance
Mon-Mon (Days 3 to 10) - 7 Night Liveaboard Dive Expedition Great Barrier Reef
For Live-Aboard diving enthusiasts this live aboard dive trip represents the ultimate dive vacation. Dives include Osprey Reef, on the Coral Sea with other sites such as Cod Hole, Dynamite Pass, North Horn, Bougainville Reef, Steve's Bommie, Temple of Doom and Flare Point. With Gourmet Meals and the Outstanding Level of Service you will feel like you are aboard your own private yacht.

Day 1: Depart Cairns & Dive


Board Spirit of Freedom at 11:15am at Trinity Wharf (complimentary transfers from Cairns city hotels are available) for a 12 noon departure. Lunch will be served on board while we cruise to the Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon orientation dive and a twilight or night dive.

Days 2 & 3: Diving Ribbon Reefs


These two days are spent diving at the most northern of the Ribbon Reefs, Number 9 & 10 Ribbon Reefs, 120 miles to the north of Cairns. You will dive at the Cod Hole, where you encounter a family of massive and very friendly Potato Cod. Other sites may include Wonder-wall, Pixie Pinnacle, Challenger Bay, Two Towers, Lighthouse Bommie, and the Snake Pit, just to name a few. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Day 2. On Day 3 you will overnight at beautiful Watson's Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.

Day 4: Mountain Walk & More Diving


This morning some of guests will depart at Lizard Island and some new guests will join the vessel. There will be time for a morning walk on the island. This afternoon we will have the opportunity for two dives at a choice of sites such as the Cod Hole, Pixie Pinnacle and Challenger Bay before departing in the evening for the Coral Sea.

Days 5 & 6: Dive Osprey Reef


Osprey Reef. Australia's Coral Sea reefs are renowned for crystal clear water with average visibility in excess of 100 feet. Two days can be spent diving at Osprey Reef, including North Horn, well known for its shark action. You can expect to see grey whalers, silvertips, reef sharks, occasional hammerheads, schooling barracuda, trevally, and other pelagics. The landscape is amazing with sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals, rising from thousands of feet below.

Day 7: Dive Bougainville Reef or in the Ribbon Reefs


After overnight travel back to the Great Barrier Reef arrive at Ribbon Reefs Number 3 where you 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 and caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. This evening you will cruise overnight back to Cairns.

Day 8: Arrive in Cairns


Arrive Cairns approximately 06:30am. Breakfast will be served on board and hotel transfer will be arranged for approx 07:30am.

Operates
Departs every Monday

Need to Know
Please note that above itinerary is a sample only and sites may vary, or the sequence may change. Access to the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea is weather conditional and while every attempt will be made to keep to the advertised itinerary, the Coral Sea and specific sites on the Great Barrier Reef are not guaranteed.

Diver experience recommendation: Advanced Diver certification with minimum 20 ocean dives including 5 dives in the last 12 months.

Diver Health: If you have a medical condition or are currently taking prescription medication, you will need a medical clearance. For further details refer to our Diver Information form or contact our Reservations team.

Luggage Restrictions: Due to light aircraft restrictions, your total weight of your luggage is limited to 20 kilograms/ 45 lb per person, including your dive gear and carry-on luggage.

Snorkelers: The (at times) deeper reefs tops and swift currents of the Coral Sea, make the Coral Sea reefs only suitable for very experienced snorkelers and strong swimmers with a high level of fitness. You may not be able to snorkel at every site. Please note that while you may be safe under the watchful eye of the 'look-out' crew, a snorkel buddy may not always be available and you may be required to snorkel alone and to wear floatation equipment.

Room Types Available are: Ocean View Deluxe, Ocean View Standard, Stateroom, Double/Twin, Quad Share (paired with other divers)
Mon-Tues (Days 10 to 11) - 1 Night Accommodation in Cairns
Travel to your accommodation Cairns, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4.5 star accommodation combines contemporary decor with a tropical ambience. The magnificent location of this 176 room hotel is perfect for exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest or Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands. Other nearby highlights include: Cairns Casino, Marlin Jetty, the Esplanade and the Night Markets. Unwind with a cocktail by the pool or bar followed by a sumptuous meal at the award winning Bushfire Flame Grill.

All rooms and suites have individual balconies, individually controlled air conditioning, refrigerator, television, broadband internet access, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, along with tea and coffee making facilities. Facilities include: 24 hr reception, tour desk, free wireless internet, Bushfire Flame Grill, bar, pool, business services on request, coin operated laundry on four floors, room service, laundry & dry cleaning.
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - White Water Rafting (Half Day, Afternoon)
Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - White Water Rafting (Half Day, Afternoon) Discover a fun and exciting way to discover the pristine rainforest, with a half day of rafting on the Barron River!
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Located just 20 minutes outside of Cairns, the half day raft is perfectly suited for the first time adventurer! This tour can be arranged from Cairns, the Northern Beaches or Port Douglas.

No previous experience is necessary to raft these exhilarating grade 1 to 3 rapids through the majestic scenery of Barron Gorge National Park. You don't even need to know how to swim as you will be fitted with a helmet and lifejacket and have your experienced river guide at your side.


Here you can feel the rush of rafting within the awesome wilderness of Australia's tropical rainforests with operations all year round, tropical water temperatures and breath-taking scenery and rapids. So take a ride through our planet's oldest continuously growing tropical rainforests on rivers that still run totally wild. Take home the memories and be sure to smile as professional photographers take your pictures which are available for purchase at the end of the day! Last stop is at the cafe where you can take a break and have some drinks before returning to your accommodation.

Includes: Transfers to/from Cairns accommodations (Transfers from Port Douglas also available with 3 hours of free time to explore Cairns), 2 hours of rafting, equipment: life jacket, helmet, spray jacket and experienced river guide, light refreshments

Operation Days: Daily; Estimated Times: Departs: 2:15pm & Return: 5:00pm
Minimum Ages: 13 years or older; Payable on Board: AUD$25.00 Environmental Levy

Upgrade Available (extra cost): Full Day Tully River (Grades 3-4)

Need to Know:
By booking this tour you confirm that you do not have a medical condition that would make it unsafe to participate. If you are pregnant you will be unable to raft. If you have a medical condition or are unsure that you are physically able to participate, we recommend that you consult with a medical practitioner.
Prior to your rafting trip you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and sign our liability waiver (either online or on paper).
Tues (Day 11)- Shuttle Transfer from Cairns Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.
Luggage restrictions apply as per standard economy Australian domestic flights of 2 standard bags under 30kg (66 lbs) per passenger. Excess baggage is AUD$5.00 per bag payable on board. If traveling with excess baggage please advise the shuttle company upon reservation confirmation so appropriate trailer size is available.
Tues (Day 11) - Australian Domestic Flight, Cairns to Brisbane
Travel within Australia by domestic air from Cairns to Brisbane.
Tues (Day 11) - International Flight, Brisbane to Los Angeles
Tues (Day 11) - International Flight, Brisbane to Los Angeles Mid-day Departure from Brisbane, In-flight Dinner and Movie with arrival in the USA. Note: You will be traveling back across the International Date line so you will gain a day. You actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Australia.
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