Spirit of Freedom – Cod Hole & Coral Sea Trip
The ultimate liveaboard dive trip from Cairns! This 7 day / 7 night adventure delivers the very best of the Great Barrier Reef, before taking you way out to the 1,000m wall drop-offs in the Coral Sea and bringing you back again. Up to 26 certified dives available on this Spirit of Freedom trip, which departs Cairns every Monday.
The first part of your adventure is completed within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, exploring various sites in its pristine northern Ribbon Reefs. These reefs are 120km north of Cairns and home to an amazing, vibrant collection of Great Barrier Reef marine life. The second half of the week takes you out to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, which is home to North Horn, rated in the world’s top ten shark feed dive sites.
Your boat is the 37m monohull Spirit of Freedom, which offers five star trips with chef prepared meals daily. Each of its 11 fully serviced, air-conditioned cabins have their own ensuite and come in a range of configurations (quad share, double/twin, stateroom and ocean view deluxe), allowing you to tailor your trip to suit your needs and budget.
The crew to guest ratio is 10:26 and customer service is brilliant, they’ll help you with everything from putting on and taking off you fins, to defogging your mask before each dive. When you’re not in the water, relax across the three-levels of air-conditioned interior, including saloon and lounge, or on the upstairs sun deck.
This exciting liveaboard tour is suitable for snorkelers and divers (for more information on these activities, please see tabs below) but recommended for certified scuba divers. The tour price includes: Cairns city hotel transfers and all accommodation, meals and linen aboard Spirit of Freedom. Diving equipment hire is extra.
Special - FREE Digital Underwater Camera Hire - Valid until the 30th DEC 2017
Remember with every Spirit Of Freedom booking you are entitled to 1 x FREE Digital Underwater Camera Hire
|Rate Option||# Dives||Price||Taxes||Total||Deposit|
|Ocean View Deluxe||Certified Diving||26||$5,200.00||$20.00||$5,220.00||$1,040.00|
|Ocean View Standard||Certified Diving||26||$4,750.00||$20.00||$4,770.00||$950.00|
|Quad Share||Certified Diving||26||$3,500.00||$20.00||$3,520.00||$700.00|
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM WILL BE OUT OF THE WATER ON ANNUAL REFIT:
|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.
MONDAY. Highlights: Boarding Spirit of Freedom, departing Cairns, two (2) certified dives on the Great Barrier Reef and going to sleep on the Coral Sea.
MORE DETAIL: Your 7 Day Adventure begins around 11am on Monday morning, with complimentary coach pick-ups from Cairns city hotels. Transfers are provided to the near-by Trinity Inlet, where Spirit of Freedom is moored awaiting your arrival. The crew welcomes you aboard, providing an orientation of the boat and showing everyone to their cabins. Afterwards, guests gather for introductions and to receive a quick briefing on the day ahead.
As the boat fires up its Rolls Royce engines for a 12pm departure, a delicious buffet lunch of cold meats and salads is served in the downstairs saloon. As Spirit of Freedom makes its way to the Great Barrier Reef, your trip director provides a comprehensive introduction, safety, boat, trip and dive briefing to all passengers.
Certified divers are issued with dive equipment and allocated places on the dive deck, before meeting with the dive master individually to discuss their diving 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 reefs off Cairns. 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 the guests turn in for the evening, Spirit of Freedom commences its overnight motor to the far northern Ribbon Reefs.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY. Highlights: Some amazing scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs, including at least one visit to the Cod Hole. Certified scuba divers can enjoy up to nine (9) dives, including early morning and night dives. Chef prepared meals, cruising the Ribbon Reefs and sun rise and sun set over the Great Barrier Reef.
MORE DETAIL: The next two days of the trip are spent exploring the Great Barrier Reef’s Ribbon Reefs. Reef site sequence and dive / snorkel times may vary, pending weather and conditions, but you will have at least one visit to the world famous Cod Hole.
The Spirit of Freedom trip director does an excellent job of keeping everyone informed of the daily plans, dive times and boat movements. The trip director is in constant communication with the Spirit of Freedom captain and in addition to briefings, there is a notice board in the saloon which is kept up to date with the latest news and plans for your easy reference.
There are two things of which you can be assured: the Ribbon Reef sites will be excellent, with a mind blowing amount of colourful marine life and corals, 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 will visit vary depending on the conditions during your trip, but may include: Two Towers, Challenger Bay, Pixie Pinnacle, Rod’s Rock, the Snake Pit and more.
On Wednesday afternoon, Spirit of Freedom makes its way to Watson’s Bay, just off Lizard Island. It moors here for the evening and that night, there is an excellent BBQ dinner which weather permitting, is cooked and served on the top deck. The crew will also feed sharks off the back deck and you can expect to see several reef sharks, giant groupers and tawny nurse sharks.
THURSDAY. Highlights: Exploring Lizard Island and meeting new guests who come aboard, two (2) more certified dives on the Ribbon Reefs and departing for the Coral Sea overnight.
MORE DETAIL: Today is a bit of a changeover day on Spirit of Freedom. Those guests who booked a 3 Day Cod Hole trip will be departing, while those who have booked a 4 Day Coral Sea trip will be arriving. For those on a 7 Day Adventure, today offers the chance to stretch your legs on dry land.
A light breakfast is served in the morning (cereals, fruit and yoghurt) before the crew provides a briefing on the day ahead. Everyone assembles for farewells and group photos on the sundeck, before tender transferring to nearby Lizard Island for some land exploration.
There’s time to enjoy a quick guided tour of the island and its historical points (Mrs Watson’s Cottage) before climbing the hill to enjoy views over the ocean. Cod Hole guests depart and Coral Sea guests arrive. Lunch is served aboard Spirit of Freedom and then in the afternoon, there’s time for two scuba dives on the Ribbon Reefs (site determined pending weather).
That night is somewhat of an introductory dinner, when you will get to meet and mingle with the new guests properly. Overnight, Spirit of Freedom will complete its 10 hour 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 will vary, pending weather and conditions, but a highlight will be visiting the famous North Horn site for a shark feed dive.
There are two things you can be assured of: diving in the Coral Sea will be amazing, with its 1,000m wall drop offs and astounding visibility, and the meals and snacks will continue to be constant, delicious and plentiful. The ‘basic’ daily plan aboard Spirit of Freedom continues as per the first two days in the Ribbon Reefs.
The reef sites you may visit 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. 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 in the Coral Sea 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 ($245 for 7 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 26 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 on-board 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 – 3 DAY DIVING REVIEW - Reviewed by Julie on the Sunday 6th of March 2011
Spirit of Freedom is a professional operator committed to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and delivering their guests a luxurious, first class experience in paradise. The boat is spacious and comfortable. The dive deck, equipment, briefings and crew are modern, friendly and informative. They even help you put on and take off your fins, as well as defogging your mask prior to every dive: now that’s service! The Ribbon Reefs were a joy to dive, vibrant hard and soft corals, feather stars, sea stars, lionfish, reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, giant potato cod, tiny jewel-like damselfish and everything in between. This is a once in a lifetime trip, creating many memories. It is highly recommended... read full review
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM – CORAL SEA REVIEW - Reviewed by Julie on the Saturday 21st of January 2012
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
Fabulous Aventure - Geoff Bradd
4-5 dives each day on the Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef. The dive sites on Ribbon Reefs are well populated with fish and interesting coral. At the cod hole the cod feeding was excellent, with cod swimming very close to divers. At Osprey Reef the shark feeding was awesome. The diving staff are excellent. The dives are well planned, safety protocols are excellent, the dive guides are very helpful. The food is gourmet. The staff are very friendly and supportive. Highly recommend ... travelled on 26/08/2013
Wonderfully Exhilarating - Rina
I can heartily recommend Spirit of freedom live aboard dive trip. The ship is very comfortable with Wi-Fi as well. The crew are so friendly and helpful, our even putting on your fins on for you. The food is incredibly good. I was amazed at what the chef produced out of that tiny kitchen. All and all a great experience. ... travelled on 06/05/2013