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Spirit of Freedom – Coral Sea Trip

4 Day / 4 Night Trips | Operates: Weekly | Departs: Thursday 8.30am | Transfers available: Yes, Cairns city included

If you want adventure diving with 1,000m wall drop offs, amazing visibility and more reef sharks than you can poke a stick at, then the Coral Sea is the place for you! The Coral Sea and its North Horn reef site are ranked in the world’s top 10 of shark dive feed locations and you are guaranteed an amazing time during this 4 day / 4 night Spirit of Freedom trip from Cairns.

This is remote diving. The Coral Sea is 230km west of the Queensland coastline and 350km north-east of Cairns: safe diving is paramount and this trip is recommended for scuba divers with Advanced certification.

The only way to visit and explore these remote coral reef locations is aboard a liveaboard dive trip. Spirit of Freedom provides five-star luxury trips from Cairns, which include a low-level scenic flight from the tropical port city to Lizard Island, where you will rendezvous with the boat.

Spirit of Freedom is a 37m monohull vessel which has 11 passenger cabins (a mixture of quad share, double/twin, stateroom and ocean view deluxe), each with their own ensuite and all serviced daily. The crew to guest ratio is 10:26. The boat has three levels of air-conditioned interior, an exterior sun deck and comfortable rear dive deck. The customer service is brilliant, with the crew helping you with everything from putting on and taking off your fins, to defogging your mask before every dive.

As above, the Coral Sea trip is recommended for experienced scuba divers but their non-diving companions are welcome aboard (see below tabs for more info on diving and snorkelling). The tour price includes: Cairns city hotel transfers, four nights accommodation, meals and linen aboard Spirit of Freedom and a scenic, low-level flight from Cairns to Lizard Island. Diving equipment hire is extra. Trip departs Thursday and returns Monday.

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Cairns best scuba diving trip to the Cold Hole and Ribbon Reefs

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Rate Option # Dives Price Taxes Total Deposit
Ocean View Deluxe Certified Diving 15 $2,950.00 $20.00 $2,970.00 $590.00
Ocean View Standard Certified Diving 15 $2,700.00 $20.00 $2,720.00 $540.00
Stateroom Certified Diving 15 $2,700.00 $20.00 $2,720.00 $540.00
Double/Twin Certified Diving 15 $2,375.00 $20.00 $2,395.00 $475.00
Quad Share Certified Diving 15 $2,050.00 $20.00 $2,070.00 $410.00


SPIRIT OF FREEDOM WILL BE OUT OF THE WATER ON ANNUAL REFIT: MONDAY 15TH MAY TO MONDAY 05TH JUNE 2017


Inclusions: Accommodation, transfers (City), all meals.

Optional Extras: 4 Day Full Equipment rental – $160.00, 4 Day Nitrox package – $105.00, PADI Advanced Course – $265.00, PADI Nitrox Course – $295.00

Reef Tax: $20.00 per person Marine Park Fee is payable direct to Spirit of Freedom. This is included in the price table above.

Prices are shown in Australian dollars and include GST. Prices subject to change without notice.

Detailed below is a basic itinerary, based on a standard trip. Please note, the itinerary may vary, pending weather and conditions. We have included highlights, as well as detailed trip information, for ease of reading. Please contact us for more information.

THURSDAY. Highlights: Low-level, scenic coastal flight from Cairns to Lizard Island, boarding Spirit of Freedom, and two (2) certified dives on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. First night aboard the ship.

MORE DETAIL: Your Spirit of Freedom Coral Sea adventure begins around 7.30am on Thursday morning, with complimentary coach pick-ups from Cairns city hotels. Transfers are provided to the Cairns Airport, where you’ll board a twin-engine light aircraft for a scenic, low-level flight to Lizard Island. The crew will greet you on the tarmac, walking you down to the beach and providing a tender transfer to Spirit of Freedom, which is moored in Watson’s Bay.

Once aboard, the friendly trip director provides an introduction and orientation of the ship, before allocating cabins. All diving passengers are divided into groups, issued with dive equipment and allocated places on the dive deck, before meeting with the dive master individually to discuss their experience and certification levels. Any divers travelling on their own will be paired up with a buddy of similar experience / skill levels at this time.

The first two dives of the trip are completed on the Ribbon Reefs, around Lizard Island. The exact location will be dependent on weather but may include the Cod Hole, Challenger Bay or Pixie Pinnacle. These are considered introductory / refresher dives, allowing divers to become familiar with the equipment and familiarise themselves with diving, if they have not been scuba diving for a while. There is the option of guided or unguided dives this afternoon.

After a quick shower, it’s time for dinner, which is served ala carte style in the saloon by the crew. It’s always a hot meal, which is served with complimentary house wine (red or white), followed by dessert.

As guests turn in for the evening, Spirit of Freedom commences its 10 hour overnight motor to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY. Highlights: Some amazing scuba diving in the Coral Sea! 1,000m wall drop offs, excellent visibility, lots of sharks, colourful sea fans, giant schools of pelagic fish, sea turtles, groupers, cod and much, much more.

MORE DETAIL: The next two days of the trip are spent exploring Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Reef sites and dive times may vary, pending weather and conditions, but a highlight will be visiting the famous North Horn site for a shark feed dive.

All passengers are kept informed of daily plans and schedules via the regular dive briefings and informative notice board in the saloon. The trip director is in constant communication with the Spirit of Freedom captain and relays all important news, in regards to the boat’s movements and weather conditions, to the guests.

There are two things you can be assured of: the diving will be excellent and the meals and snacks will be constant, delicious and plentiful. A ‘basic’ daily plan aboard Spirit of Freedom is as follows.

Wake up and have “first breakfast” which consists of cereals, yoghurt and tropical fruit. Then have a scuba dive / snorkel, before coming back to the boat for “second breakfast”, which is always a selection of hot items, including bacon, eggs, toast and more. Then it’s back into the water for more fun and exploration before a hot / cold lunch is served buffet style in the saloon. After lunch, there’s more time in the water and when you emerge, help yourself to a selection of snacks, which varies from day to day (cakes and slices, to tropical fruits and nuts). More time in the water in the afternoon, before dinner is served around 6pm. There is always the option of taking a night dive and dessert will be served after this is completed.

The reef sites you visit will vary, depending on the conditions during your trip, but may include: Admiralty, North Horn, False Entrance, Around the Bend, Secret Caves and Rapid Horn.

Saturday is your last day exploring Osprey Reef on the Coral Sea: tonight, as you sleep, Spirit of Freedom returns to the Ribbon Reefs.

SUNDAY. Highlights: Returning to the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs for more diving and a fantastic BBQ final feast.

MORE DETAIL: Wake up this morning back in the “shallower” waters of the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. This is your last day diving and it’s much the same schedule as previous days, with a “first breakfast” followed by diving, “second breakfast”, diving, lunch, diving, snack, diving and then dinner. Although, there is no night dive available tonight.

The reef sites you visit will vary pending conditions, but may include Steve’s Bommie (an amazing dive site!), Flare Point, Temple of Doom and more.

On your last night it’s party time, with the Spirit of Freedom crew preparing and serving a most excellent BBQ dinner feast including lamb cutlets, marinated chicken, kangaroo steaks, sausages, steamed vegetables, corn on the cob and fresh salads. This is a great time to unwind with the complimentary red and white wine, sharing stories with your fellow guests. As you sleep, Spirit of Freedom will make its way back to Cairns.

MONDAY. Highlights: Returning to Cairns.

MORE DETAIL: There is no water action today. When you wake up at 6.30am, Spirit of Freedom will already be moored in Cairns’ Trinity Inlet. There is a light breakfast (fruit, cereals and yoghurt) served on board before a final group picture and crew farewell. Guests disembark at 7.30am and coach transfers are provided back to your Cairns city accommodation.

This trip is recommended to experienced, certified divers. Open Water certification is a minimum requirement, but Advanced certification is highly recommended, with some deeper reef sites not even starting until 18m beneath the surface.

There is no solo diving on Spirit of Freedom. Any guests travelling on their own will be paired up with someone else on board of similar experience / skill levels. Most of the diving is unguided, however, Spirit of Freedom dive crew are in the water on every dive and can provide assistance if required.

Diving equipment is not included in the tour price. You are welcome to bring your own (some weight restrictions apply, ask us for more information) or hire it on the boat ($160 for 4 day full equipment rental). Other extras include Nitrox and the choice to participate in some dive courses (PADI Advanced or Nitrox).

Certified divers can enjoy up to 15 dives on this trip: you do not have to do all of the dives, do as many or as few as you like (there are no discounts if you do less dives).

Dive safety is considered paramount, especially given your distance from the mainland during this trip. This is stressed at every point along the trip. Divers must follow safe diving practises at all times. There is no reverse profiling.

Comprehensive dive site briefings are provided before every dive. In regards to depth, divers should dive to their experience levels or certification. There are no set limits on dive time: although divers must return to the boat with a minimum of 50 bar of air left in their tanks.

The dive service aboard Spirit of Freedom is excellent. The crew will help you to take on and off your fins for each dive, as well as defogging your mask. There are cold / hot freshwater showers on the dive deck and hot, fresh towels available after every dive.

Certified divers will be required to show evidence of their certification: through current dive licenses and log books. All divers will be required to sign a Waiver Release and Indemnity Deed on board the boat. You will also be required to complete dive medical paperwork on board.

Spirit of Freedom is really a dive boat and the Coral Sea is not really a snorkelers destination, however, snorkelers and non-diving partners are more than welcome to join their diving partners on this trip. Please be aware that snorkelling will not be available at all reef sites and any snorkelling completed, will be on open water sites. This means the sites are subject to waves and current: water depth will vary.

There are lots of activities for non-divers to enjoy aboard Spirit of Freedom, including an extensive selection of onboard books and DVDs, sun lounges on the sun deck and the air-conditioned lounge. Discounts apply for snorkelers: contact us for more information on prices.

SPIRIT OF FREEDOM – CORAL SEA REVIEW - Reviewed by Julie on the Saturday 21st of January 2012

Here we go, check Nick with the cage!

The Coral Sea delivers adventure diving by the bucket load with its reef sharks and 1,000m wall drop-offs. We were extremely lucky with the weather, enjoying flat seas, blue water and unbelievable visibility for the entire trip. For those who had booked a 7-day trip, they had also seen (snorkeled and dived) with a Whale Shark the day before we joined them! Given the depths (and currents that sometimes occur in the open ocean) a Coral Sea dive trip is more suited to Advanced Divers, or Open Water Divers with lots of experience. Spirit of Freedom is a luxury liveaboard dive boat with air-conditioned interior and spacious exteriors. Even with its full accompaniment of guests on this trip, there was plenty of room to relax and enjoy your own space. A life changing and memorable dive trip... read full review


Awesome live aboard experience! - Lynnette Tay

Great diving experience - caring and attentive crew, world class dive sites on board a great vessel. Food was well prepared with huge range of variety every meal, rooms were clean and well kept. The vessel was spacious with lots of room to rest between dives. Highly recommended for anyone who would like to dive the great barrier reef, especially osprey reef! ... travelled on 26/08/2013

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Great dive trip in heavy winds! - SIGNE HOLM-HANSEN

Had an amazing 4 days on the SOF. The crew on the ship is the most friendly people, and the dive guides are really good at showing you the great stuff below the surface. We had a windy trip - meaning we couldn't get out to the Coral Sea. But the we made the best of it and had some really awesome dives (both day and night) at the Ribbon reef. The crew is sorted and you feel really safe. But at the same time you have the freedom to dive as you like. And with the camera from Cairns Dive Adventures I have 677 great photos to take with me back home! ... travelled on 09/05/2013

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