Spirit of Freedom
Liveaboard At A Glance
Operated by the experienced Tusa Dive, Spirit of Freedom is a magnificent vessel, superbly managed with excellent facilities.
She operates diving trips of three, four and seven day duration, departing from Cairns. The seven day option is a circular route which takes in the very best of the Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea and allows divers to join or depart from the vessel at either Cairns or Lizard Island.
The unique eco-systems of the region create an amazing diversity of marine life, from the coral gardens with waving sea anemones and colorful reef fish to the 1000 meter reef walls, home territory of reef sharks, whalers, schooling hammerheads, mantas and barracuda.
Without doubt, Spirit of Freedom is the best liveaboard cruising to Australia's Great Barrier and Coral Sea reefs.
At 37 metres in length, she has three decks of living space and generous sized cabins offering comfortable accommodation for 26 divers.
Five of the standard double or twin cabins have a double bed with a single bed over the top, while the sixth cabin has just one double bed. These cabins are located on the lower deck with easy access to the main deck. They are an average 7.2 sq.m in area (not including the bathroom which is an additional 1.8 sq.m). Spirit of Freedom has two quad share cabins, each containing four single beds, bunk style and located midship on the lower deck.
The spacious Ocean View cabins are located on the top deck and have external access to the top and dive decks while the 9.2 sq.m Stateroom cabin is located on the lower deck in a private area. These rooms have double beds, TV and DVD player. All cabins have private bathroom and air conditioning.
The dining saloon in the centre of the ship is also a briefing area and theatre room with a 42 inch widescreen TV and DVD player. The forward lounge has comfortable sofas and bean bags and here you will find a coffee machine, tea selection and hot water as well as a camera work station.
The ship's bar contains a large range of wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks.
The huge top deck is a great place to relax between dives with shaded and open areas, comfortable lounge seating and sun loungers. Alfresco barbecue dinners are often enjoyed on this deck.
The large dive deck contains individual stations for 26 divers with dry storage above and a storage box under for every two divers.
For photographers, there is a camera wash tub, small camera table and an air gun. Fresh water showers are located aft of the dive deck and deck towels are provided after each dive. Diving usually takes place from the main vessel but on some drift dives the dive tender will be used.
All diving activities are overseen by the trip director, who is supported by three instructors and a dive master who will brief you before each dive.
PADI Advanced Open Water and Nitrox course are available.
If you are taking the three day itinerary you will dive Cod Hole and the Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, while the four and seven day options will also include the reefs of the Coral Sea. The Ribbon Reefs, well beyond the reach of the day boats, offer some of the best diving of the Great Barrier Reef.
Dives are generally less than 20 metres, often with the most abundant marine life being found in the top five to ten metres. The Coral Sea, known for its clear blue waters, offers more challenging diving and is recommended for the more experienced diver.
Schedule & Itinerary
Spirit of Freedom offers four different itineraries, embarking either at Cairns or Lizard Island on Monday or Thursday, depending on the tour.
3 day/3 night - Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs dive adventure These tours begin every Monday, joining the vessel at Trinity Wharf, Cairns and cruising to the outer Great Barrier Reef for a check dive and a twilight or night dive. After dinner, cruise north to the Ribbon Reefs. The next two days are spent diving the northern Ribbon Reefs, including Cod Hole and a night dive on Tuesday. Overnight at Watson`s Bay on Lizard Island and disembark on Thursday morning with a guided walk prior to taking your low level flight over the reef to Cairns.
4 day/4 night - Coral Sea and Ribbon Reefs adventure Early Thursday morning scenic flight to Lizard Island to join the vessel with two dives in the afternoon (including Cod Hole), followed by a ten hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Friday and Saturday are spent diving Osprey Reef, returning to the Ribbon Reefs on Saturday night. On Sunday, dive the Ribbon Reefs and Monday arrive back into Cairns early in the morning.
7 day/7 night - Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea Adventure Combine the two trips and enjoy the best of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea, with an opportunity for up to 26 dives.
14 day Exploratory Expedition In October and November, Spirit of Freedom will operate an exploratory expedition to the far northern Great Barrier Reef.
If you are travelling through, or from, the UK we can arrange flights to Australia with a variety of airlines including Emirates, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific at very competitive fares. If you would like to arrange your own flights, we can quote you a rate for your liveaboard that excludes flights.
With such flexibility in air travel you can choose to stay in Australia and explore for as long as you would like or take a trip to Fiji to dive the Rainbow Reef.
If staying in Cairns, Spirit of Freedom offers return courtesy transfers from all City Hotels. We recommend arriving into Cairns at least the day prior to your trip, as unforeseen flight delays or lost baggage may cause inconvenience or you may even miss the boat. However, if you do decide to fly into Cairns on the day of departure, please note that you will need to make your own way to the boat from the airport.
Please check with our office for up to date Visa requirements for Australia
Depart Cairns 1200 for 7 days on board The Spirit of Freedom. After lunch on board cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef for an afternoon check dive followed by a twilight or night dive.
Diving the most northern of the Ribbon Reef, including the Cod Hole, where you encounter the massive and very friendly Potato Cod!
Morning on Lizard Island. Around 1100, 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. Depart in the evening for a 10 hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
Diving Osprey Reef and its beautiful landscape of sheer walls laced with gorgonians, sea whips, and bright yellow soft corals. Shark dive on 'North Horn' where grey reef sharks, silvertips, and the occasional oceanic congregate.
Ribbon Reefs Number 3 including sites Steve's Bommie, Temple of Doom, and Flare Point. Weather permitting, head south from Opsrey to Bougainville Reef, known for its unusual underwater landscape and caverns, and its partially submerged wreck. Overnight cruise back to Cairns.
Arrive Cairns 0630 and depart Spirit of Freedom after a light breakfast.
7nts Spirit of Freedom - Cod Hole & Coral Sea Itinerary from £2398 per person
Price includes 7nts in a Double/Twin cabin, all meals, Australian wines and soft drinks with evening meals, transfers to/from your Cairns city hotel, up to 26 dives with tank/weights, Reef Levy and Fuel Surcharge.