Liveaboard Diving, Spirit of Freedom [DiveSOF4]

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Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia Dive the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, Australia 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.

Travel Package 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.

Travel Package Detailed Itinerary

Fri (Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Brisbane
From USA to Australia 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
Cairns, Australia Travel by shuttle from the Cairns Airport to your vacation accommodation in Cairns, Australia.

<b>Need to Know</b>
Luggage Restrictions: 1 checked bag and 1 hand luggage is free of charge per person in the shuttle. Additional luggage is 10$ each. Strollers are free. Bikes need to be in a bike bag. Fishing rods need to be broken down and in a container.
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!

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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 leisurely 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 diving enthusiasts this liveaboard 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.

Special Expeditions: In June/July this trip offers the chance to swim with Minke Whales as they congregate in the Ribbon Reefs.

<h3>Day 1: Depart Cairns & Dive</h3>
The Spirit of Freedom courtesy bus will pick you up from your Cairns hotel around 11:00 am to transfer you to Trinity Wharf. There you will be greeted by the Spirit of Freedom crew, who will give you an orientation of the vessel before you depart on your 7-night liveaboard dive trip at 12:00 noon.

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, cruise north to the Ribbon Reefs.

<h3>Days 2 & 3: Diving Ribbon Reefs </h3>
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 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 known as a channel for sharks to pass through. 4 to 5 dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Friday. On Saturday evening overnight at Watson’s Bay, Lizard Island, and enjoy a sunset BBQ dinner on the top deck.

<h3>Day 4: Mountain Walk & More Diving</h3>
This morning after breakfast you will have the opportunity to go ashore at Lizard Island. This is a good chance to stretch your legs on land at the halfway point of your trip! We recommend taking the guided walk from Watson’s Beach to Mary Watson’s cottage, over Chinaman’s Ridge, and back to the beach.

Around 11.00 am you 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, and Pixie Wall, and Pixie Pinnacle.

If the tide permits you may repeat a dive at the Cod Hole or visit new sites. Depart in the evening for a 10-hour crossing to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.

<h3>Days 5 & 6: Dive Osprey Reef</h3>
Two days will be spent diving Osprey Reef (weather permitting). Australia’s Coral Sea reefs are renowned for their crystal clear water, with visibility ranging from 30 to 100 metres. The landscape is amazing, with sheer walls laced with gorgonian fans, 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. Four to five dives will be available each day, including a night dive on Monday.

On Tuesday night depart Osprey Reef for overnight travel to the Ribbon Reefs.

<h3>Day 7: Dive Bougainville Reef or in the Ribbon Reefs</h3>
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.

<h3>Day 8: Arrive in Cairns</h3>
Arrive Cairns approximately 06:30am. Breakfast will be served on board and hotel transfer will be arranged for approx 8:00am.

<b>Operates</b>
Departs Cairns every Thursday at 12:00pm & returns to Cairns every Thursday at 8:00am

<b>Includes</b>
<ul>
<li>Chef-prepared drinks meals & snacks, wine and soft drinks are included with the evening meal.
</li>
<li>Tanks, air fills, Nautilus Lifeline and weight belt. Full equiptment rental available for fee. </li>
<li>Daily cabin service. </li>
<li>Cairns hotel or Airport transfers.</li>
<li>GST and all reef levies and fees.</li></ul>

<b>Need to Know</b>
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: Only the Ribbon Reefs portion of this trip is suitable for 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:
<b>Ocean View Deluxe</b>
Located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck, the Ocean View Deluxe Cabin boats a 10.5m˛ area with 3 large windows overlooking the starboard side of the vessel.

A comfy double bed will ensure you are well rest for a full day of diving. The room features bedside tables, wardrobe and 26" flat screen TV.

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom.

Double or Sole occupancy only.

<b>Ocean View Standard</b>
Ocean View cabin is located on the top deck with internal stairwell access to the main deck, as well as external access to the top deck and dive deck.

As the name suggests, you will enjoy stunning views from this air conditioned 7.2m˛ cabin, which contains a double bed, private bathroom, a wardrobe and 26” flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only.

<b>Stateroom</b>


The largest of all cabins onboard the vessel, The Stateroom cabin is located in a private area on the lower deck, close to the dive deck and dining saloon.

Fully air-conditioned, this spacious 12m˛ cabin contains a queen size bed, a private bathroom, extra shelving, wardrobe, bedside tables and 26" flat screen TV.

Double or Sole Occupancy only: no twin share option available.

<b>Standard Double/Twin</b>
Spirit of Freedom has seven standard double or twin share cabins. Five of these cabins contain a double bed with a single bed over the top, bunk style. One cabin contains just a double bed and one cabin has two single beds.

These cabins are all located on the lower deck, with easy access to the main deck and have an average area of 10m˛ square metres in area.

Fully air-conditioned, the cabins have an ensuite bathroom and also contain a wardrobe, personal reading light and a bedside table.

Please advise your preference for double or twin share when placing your booking. Sole occupancy also available.

<b>Quad Share</b>
Located midships on the lower deck, the quad share cabin containing four single beds, bunk style and is a great options for groups or families as you explore the Great Barrier Reef on your epic dive adventure.

This 9m˛ cabin has easy access to the main deck and includes a private ensuite bathroom and personal reading lights for each bed.

The cabin is fully air-conditioned and also contains a wardrobe, as well as storage under the bottom two bunks.
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)
Australia, Queensland, Cairns, Half Day Tours 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.

</b>
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.

<b>Operates</b> Daily; Departs: 2:15pm & Return: 5:00pm

<b>Need to Know</b> 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). Minimum Ages: 13 years or older; Payable on Board: AUD$25.00 Environmental Levy

<b>Inclusions</b> Return transfers from accommodations; 2 hours of rafting; Equipment: life jacket, helmet, spray jacket ; Experienced river guide; Light refreshments

<b>Upgrades</b> Full Day Tully River (Grades 3-4)
Tues (Day 11)- Shuttle Transfer from Cairns Accommodation to Airport
Travel by shuttle from your Cairns vacation accommodation to the Airport in Cairns, Australia.

<b>Need to Know</b>
Luggage Restrictions: 1 checked bag and 1 hand luggage is free of charge per person in the shuttle. Additional luggage is 10$ each. Strollers are free. Bikes need to be in a bike bag. Fishing rods need to be broken down and in a container.
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
From Australia to USA 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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[DiveSOF4] Liveaboard Diving, Spirit of Freedom

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