YOUR FIRST DIVE-LIVEABOARD

Safari boats parked for the night in the Red Sea of Egypt.
Safari boats parked for the night in the Red Sea of Egypt.

Want a dive holiday? Consider a trip to a liveaboard. These floating hotels give you the chance to visit amazing reefs with small groups of divers, where you can sit and enjoy life and comfort onboard. But what does traveling with a liveaboard actually mean and what do you as a traveling diver have to take into account? What is allowed and what is not allowed and what is actually useful?

Stainless steel railing, a stunning white yacht and the blue sky and indulging sea. Liveaboards are the best.
Stainless steel railing, a stunning white yacht and the blue sky and indulging sea. Liveaboards are the best.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Diving holidays are fantastic but require a bit more preparation than a regular holiday. In addition to any vaccinations and required travel documents, there are a number of things you should take or consider.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE ABLE TO DO AS A DIVER?

Liveaboard diving is for the slightly more experienced diver, but that does not mean that you are not allowed to join at the beginning of your diving career . For every trip, the travel organization has advice for minimum requirements. These are not only in their interest, but also yours. You can easily dive outside your comfort zone at sea and that is not only a shame, but also uncomfortable and can even be dangerous.

In general, you must have at least Advanced Open Water with 30 dives. Than you can dive to a maximum of 30 meters and in some locations you really want to go deeper because there are hammerhead sharks or a fantastic wreck there, for example . If you really want to fully enjoy your live aboard trip, ask in advance what requirements there are and respect them. Do a deep specialty, learn to drift or do some more dives first. Sometimes it is just better to build up experience before you jump in, although you can of course also follow extra training on board. But the more experience and training you have, the more you can fully enjoy a liveaboard diving holiday.

Sometimes few spots sometimes almost completely yellow, meet the gold dotted trevalli.
Sometimes few spots sometimes almost completely yellow, meet the gold dotted trevalli.
Usually swimminglike it needs to catch a train along reef walls hunting for fish and often seen in small groups. This is the bluefin trevali.
Usually swimminglike it needs to catch a train along reef walls hunting for fish and often seen in small groups. This is the bluefin trevali.

DO YOU WANT TO TRAVEL ALONE?

A frequently asked question is whether people can also book a liveaboard trip alone . And yes, of course you can, although you will probably have to share a room and you will be assigned a buddy. It might be a bit more challenging and certainly more adventurous to do it alone, but it is all possible.

GOOD DIVING INSURANCE

In addition to your certifications and your logbook, you will also need to have diving insurance for this vacation. So that is not a normal travel insurance, but one that covers you in the event of a diving accident. Some divers call their travel insurance company and ask if diving is also covered, although they cannot find it in the fine print. As a rule , travel insurance can cover you for diving, but it means your diving baggage and not the medical costs of a diving accident , or possible evacuation or a longer stay . It is therefore sensible and in many cases required by the travel organization to take out proper insurance that covers you in the event of loss of material, diving medical costs, possible postponement of your return trip and the like. Make sure you have that in black and white and especially to what depth you are covered. Also check whether liveaboard travel is included, because unfortunately this is not always the case.

INSURANCE All guests are strongly advised to have a current travel insurance and in case of diving activities a valid diving insurance. Unfortunately we cannot provide any insurance on board, so please check you coverage prior to the trip and bring any paperwork showing that you hold a valid insurance.
INSURANCE All guests are strongly advised to have a current travel insurance and in case of diving activities a valid diving insurance. Unfortunately we cannot provide any insurance on board, so please check you coverage prior to the trip and bring any paperwork showing that you hold a valid insurance.

MEDICAL TEST

Not everyone is allowed to dive everywhere, even if you have a diving certification. It is important that you are also fit and in some cases can demonstrate that. Each country has its own guidelines for medical examinations. Ask your tour operator about this in advance. As a rule, if you take medication, smoke, have surgery, have lung, heart and vessel problems, or are over 50, you need one. And let’s be honest, so many of us should have a medical examination. So check if you need one and get it checked in time.

a section of the famous Ghannis D at Abu Nuhas Reef.
a section of the famous Ghannis D at Abu Nuhas Reef.
The railing of the famous Ghannis D at Abu Nuhas Reef.
The railing of the famous Ghannis D at Abu Nuhas Reef.
Motorcycles by night on board of the SS Thistlegorm that was bombed by the Nazi's during WO II.
Motorcycles by night on board of the SS Thistlegorm that was bombed by the Nazi’s during WO II.

SERVICE AND TEST OF YOUR SET

In the run-up to the trip, many divers leave their regulator set to be serviced before it goes into the suitcase. The sound might be wise o m doing, but usually give these sets problems. It is not uncommon that the new parts in the set have to settle down for a while, that takes a dive or 10 and then it turns out whether the intermediate pressure in your hoses is a bit too high. The result is that the set will leak and on board the liveaboard they cannot always fix that just like that. You just set a turn give n is wise, but make sure you’ve used it before so that beautiful journey begins.

The eyes of the Napoleon wrasse can move and rotate individually.
The eyes of the Napoleon wrasse can move and rotate individually.
This Napoleon Wrasse at Saint Johns Caves lover to swim with us.
This Napoleon Wrasse at Saint Johns Caves lover to swim with us.

MEDICATION

Depending on where you are traveling, it is useful to bring some extra medication. Some painkillers, diarrhea inhibitors, allergy cream and antibiotics, but also think of rehydration salt and medication against seasickness. The salts are very fine in order to use during your travel days if you spend some time in ge-airconditioned airports and airplanes. The air is dry there and you notice that in your body and therefore many people arrive in addition to being tired, also slightly dehydrated. And that’s neither convenient nor comfortable when you go diving. Keeping yourself well hydrated is very important on a diving vacation and good salts can help you with that.

Seasickness can really get to anyone, even if you’ve been working offshore for 25 years, and can really ruin your vacation. Good medication against seasickness is not available in every country and not every boat has it, so what in the bag from the Netherlands is very smart. Something that seems to help enormously are those little anti-seasickness patches that you stick behind your ear. If you know that you are prone to seasickness, it is even useful to start as soon as you start your trip. It takes some time to build up the active substances in your body and if you only use it when the ship leaves the port, then you are simply too late. If you prefer not to take medication but still do something against seasickness, an alternative are ginger tablets, they help your stomach to relax. Of course they don’t work as well as seasickness medication, but they are a nice alternative.

Whatever you want to take with you on medication, as soon as you start flying you may need to be able to prove what you have with you, what it is for and the like. That means that you keep the pills in their original packaging with leaflet and not to mention a letter from the doctor if she has prescribed.

Green turtles a.k.a. sea turtles love to feed on seagrass.

MAKE NICE SNAPSHOTS

Today, the camera is almost a regular part of diving equipment. Some stick to a small action camera, others pack an SLR or even a drone . What you fot o- or videographic wishes also petition n k that not every country offers so much freedom t like ours. In some countries, for example, having a drone is considered terrorist action and in that case you cannot just take it with you. So get yourself informed in advance, ask your tour operator and do a search on Google.

Do you now have a large camera set and are you wondering how you can best take it with you? Ask your airline, they have all the information you are looking for. For example, you can often add an extra bag or suitcase to your hand luggage on scheduled flights, as long as it contains a camera. Let there then be for you any Allen wrenches and other tools; bite put in your checked baggage, as they may just now not participate in the cabin of the aircraft.

A tiny cowrie blending into its environment and only seen by the lucky or trained eye.
A tiny cowrie blending into its environment and only seen by the lucky or trained eye.

IN HAND OR HOLD LUGGAGE?

How about your lamp , batteries, vending machine set, mo g and those in hand luggage or does it have to be in the hold? Well, that depends on the airline and their policy and you should therefore inquire carefully. In general, the following applie. Batteries from the lamps and lamps and batteries in the hold luggage          

If you fly with a charter flight, your luggage options are enormously limited and they will ask you to pay extra. Scheduled flights, on the other hand, are easier and you can often take extra diving baggage with you for free. When selecting flights, it is therefore useful to compare the costs for the charter flight plus food and baggage costs with the costs for the scheduled flight. With scheduled flights, everything is often included and once you look at the additional costs of the charter, it is not uncommon for a scheduled flight to appear more expensive at first glance, but in practice it is cheaper.

WELCOME ABOARD

By now you have already had a long journey and you are finally taken to the boat, whoohoo the holiday can begin. But before you can t relax and enjoy still have some issues to be settled.

Check-in Upon embarkation all of our guests will be invited for a welcome in the salon, where you will receive information about the trip, the boat and your holiday on board. Additionally there will be some paperwork for all to read and sign, plus we will ask you for your passport and in case of diving activities you diving certification and if needed a medical.
Check-in Upon embarkation all of our guests will be invited for a welcome in the salon, where you will receive information about the trip, the boat and your holiday on board. Additionally there will be some paperwork for all to read and sign, plus we will ask you for your passport and in case of diving activities you diving certification and if needed a medical.

CHECK IN

Unfortunately, the horror of the paperwork cannot be postponed, because the boat usually requires permission from local authorities and it is a condition of the insurance. Either way, you will have to bite through and fill in the necessary papers. Z o z ijn there papers diving related papers and boat related.

But what they want now want to see from you? First of all, your passport, which you must hand over. This is not because they are so sure that you will pay the bill at the end of the ride, but because they are handing it over with a copy to the local authorities for permission to sail. In addition, they naturally want to see your certificates and log, which is allowed both physically and digitally. If you choose the latter, make sure you have a photo on your phone and are not dependent on the internet.

Then there is filling out the paperwork, any necessary indemnities, medical statements and the like. Many people draw this blindly, they are tired and believe it all. But please take a moment to read this as you will be asked to sign a contract. As a rule, it means that you declare that whatever happens neither the organizer nor the boat has any form of liability. Hopefully you’ll never need this contract, but ‘ worst case ‘ it is sl im there a picture of, make it so simply.

And then there is the medical certificate with many questions about medication, your condition and o f you’re trying to conceive, etcetera . As soon as one of these questions is answered with ‘yes’, you must submit a medical certificate from a doctor stating that you are allowed to dive. Don’t just enter ‘no’ everywhere here, but prepare yourself and make sure you have that statement. Ultimately, this is not just a mandatory piece of paper, but again a safeguard from responsibilities and can thus be of decisive importance in the aftermath of the costs of calamities. So take it seriously.

RENTAL EQUIPMENT If any equipment is needed, please inform us minimum a week prior to your trip, so that we can arrange to have all that is requested on boar on time. We do have some spare equipment, however we do not keep all equipment on board at all times.
RENTAL EQUIPMENT If any equipment is needed, please inform us minimum a week prior to your trip, so that we can arrange to have all that is requested on boar on time. We do have some spare equipment, however we do not keep all equipment on board at all times.

BUILD UP THE SET

After check-in you will be given the opportunity to build your set, this can be your own equipment or rented. And completely set up your do but Year Old n times during the whole holiday. After every dive they refill your bottle at your place and you do not have to set up and take down again every time. Now let that be one of the great joys of liveaboard diving.

Building and checking your set is important and take the time for it. As soon as the boat leaves, there are little or no possibilities to get extra diving equipment on board. Most boats have some extra mooring, but that is of course very limited. So don’t just put it on, check that everything works and fits properly . If you use a rental equipment, adjust everything and see if it is in good condition to avoid any misunderstandings and additional costs.

If you have special wishes, such as a 15 liter steel bottle or a double set, sidemounts or your sizes for a wetsuit differ from the average diver, make sure you have checked and booked this. Often ‘special’ wishes are difficult to fulfill because liveaboard travel is done in countries where the resources are not easily available. In addition, many travel organizations offer a discount if you book your rental equipment or courses early .

With the exterior lights on and a sun that is setting behind the horizon a yacht at sea looks stunning.
With the exterior lights on and a sun that is setting behind the horizon a yacht at sea looks stunning.

LIFE ON BOARD

DIVE-EAT-SLEEP REPEAT

Life on board a liveaboard is all about diving and you will see that they organize everything around it. Depending on the country and location they make 3-5 dives a day on these boats, yes you read that right. Diving, diving and more diving. The number of dives depends on local laws , regulations and customs, but it is certain that there are many.

The first guide or ‘ cruise director ‘ organizes the times when all activities take place. You have to take these times flexibly, after all, sailing can take longer, the weather is bad or they want to delay the dive slightly due to currents. Whatever it is, the first guide can tell you everything. Now it is of course not useful that this guide has to follow everyone to provide updates, so they have a system on board for that. Often during the meal you will be told where the boat is going and what time the next briefing is. In addition, some ships have a whipe board where they write this down. And to get everyone together in time , they use a ship’s bell when they serve food or the next dive briefing starts . You do not put your alarm clock, but you can just relax until the next bubble going .

As a rule, these ships use the following scheme:
– ” Wake up at crazy time ‘is often a knock on your door Ergen at between 5 and 6 in the morning. Some boats offer a self-service breakfast, but not all. If you need something to eat before diving, please ask beforehand.
– Briefing & Dive 1
– Breakfast
– Relax time
– Briefing & Dive 2
– Lunch
– Relax time
– Briefing & Dive 3
– Snacks
– Relax time
– Briefing & Dive 4
– Dinner          

BEVERAGES On board we offer coffee (Nescafe), variety of tea, mineral water, sodas, beers and wine. The alcoholic beverages are at charge, the non-alcoholic free of charge. If you have any special requests, please inform us a week prior to your embarkation.
BEVERAGES On board we offer coffee (Nescafe), variety of tea, mineral water, sodas, beers and wine. The alcoholic beverages are at charge, the non-alcoholic free of charge. If you have any special requests, please inform us a week prior to your embarkation.

FOOD AND DRINKS ON BOARD

Good food is part of a great diving holiday and is a must, since you can use the energy. That is why liveaboards usually have 2-3 chefs who prepare all the food and preferably use fresh ingredients. If you now have special wishes or allergies that they have to take into account, do not feel burdened, but report it at check-in. If the food is not to your liking, just say it and the chefs will adjust it for you. If you are a vegan and you would like to have special products that non-vegans do not usually consume, please report this to the tour operator before you travel. Some products may not or hardly be available locally, so it is useful if the boat has the time to purchase it for you . If they cannot get hold of it, you can always consider bringing something with you, although this is usually not necessary.

In terms of drinking, there is always a lot. From water to tea and coffee, soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits. The first three are almost always free, the others you sometimes have to pay, depending on the organization. Often there is a list where you have to keep track of what you are using and sometimes there is a bartender. But whatever you take and what you have to pay for, the bill will only be presented at the end of the trip. So you don’t have to walk around with your wallet all the time. But don’t be surprised either and check with the travel organization what they have on board for what you have to pay for.

GENERAL RULES ON BOARD

To keep the boat as pleasant as possible, clean, safe and comfortable, there are general rules that everyone must adhere to. You can think of:

– No loading in your room: One of the major dangers on board is fire and everyone wants to prevent that of course. Hence, they will ask you not to charge anything in your room. Chargers get hot and batteries can ignite spontaneously. And so they offer a public place to charge. It is a good idea to mark your cables and plugs so that everyone can see that they are yours. In addition, it is even more convenient to remove them when you are not using it. That way no one else can take them by mistake and you make room for someone else to load.          

– A dry and wet area : Each boat has a specific area where you can go wet after a dive, some swimming or snorkeling. But water, believe it or not, can be dangerous on a deck because you can slip on it. And so they want you to enter the arid regions only after you’ve dried off. In addition, it is not fresh to participate in lunch with wet swimming trunks, because as soon as you sit down, the moisture absorbs into the upholstery and it starts to smell.          

– No paper in the toilet : Anything that is organic in the sea or ocean, including the toilet drain. There are ceptic tanks on these large ships , but sooner or later they will be dumped in the sea and that ‘s fine, as long as they are organic. That is why you are not allowed to throw paper in the toilet and only in the trash can, which they clean every day. In addition, the pipework on board is small and paper clogs the pipes. The result is a big mess, because if the toilet is blocked, your message will be sent back.          

– No shoes or flip flops : As soon as you get on board you will be asked to take off your shoes and you can walk around barefoot for the entire trip. Not only is it delicious, it also prevents dirt from entering. Do you have a medical reason for toc h wear footwear? Don’t worry, you can, but then it is useful that you use slippers outside and inside to prevent dirt from running in.          

– Don’t jump off the boat : Who wouldn’t want that? Jump off one of the higher decks into clear blue water? Well, unfortunately the answer is the insurance company and therefore you will be asked not to. The insurance does not cover you if you break something or incur something else on that jump and it is not worth it. In addition, jumping from height is not useful if you have been diving and do not want to have decompression sickness. And so most submarines simply forbid it.          

– Hold on and back down the stairs : The boat’s movement is pretty obvious, but often people forget how difficult it can be to walk on a boat. In particular, going up and down the stairs is sometimes a nice challenge that is underestimated. To avoid a fall, it is best to walk as quietly as possible and, above all, hold on tight, especially when going up and down the stairs. If you go off, the advice is to do it backwards or sideways, so that you can put your feet down better. Do not forget to always keep 1 hand on the railing for extra stability.          

– If you want to swim or snorkel, ask first : Whether the ship is anchored or moored on a reef, the captain always has the right to move the ship without informing all guests in advance. It could be that the anchor is dragging or that a line has been snapped. That is why you should always ask if you can swim or snorkel. It is also useful to realize that diving water is not necessarily suitable for swimming or snorkeling, even though it looks fantastically clear . Swimming and / or snorkeling over deep water can even be very dangerous because you attract the attention of certain underwater life or the current can take you with you. So ask if you can and can swim before you slide into the water.          

– Open Door Policy : Traveling by boat is fantastic, but unfortunately not without its dangers. Not that anything happens often, not at all actually. But if something happens, it is immediately silly. And so the entire boat has an open door policy and you can not lock your room door. Ships often have a CCTV system and offer a safe to keep your belongings safe. Do they not have that and do you want your things under lock and key? Then ask for an envelope, close it and put your signature on the closure. They can then keep it for you in the ship’s safe.          

– Do not drink water from the tap : the water on board can be bunkered in the harbor or self-made with a desalination system . Whatever it is, it is limited and stored in tanks. This water is not suitable for drinking or brushing your teeth, only use the mineral water that the boat provides. Be careful with your water use, rinse off after a dive, but save the extended shower until after your last dive. This way you save the environment and the water supply.            

All in all, many rules on board that try to prevent the risk of an accident or inconvenience or dirt accumulation. And that is more in your interest than you may realize. The thing is, many fantastic diving areas are far from civilization. And that in an emergency a helicopter has to fly out or the boat has to bring you back. That helicopter is a wonderful solution, but unfortunately that service is not offered worldwide. And so in most cases at most locations the boat will have to bring you back. So be careful, prevention is certainly better than cure and above all a lot more pleasant during your diving holiday.

CABINS All cabins are shared, unless booked individually. Most Liveaboard have an open door policy. The Cabin is private but due to safety reasons cannot be locked. Each cabin has storage space, however the space on board boats is limited and so is the storage. Each cabin has private storage inside the cabin. Please note that cabinets and other storage space is limited as you are on a boat.
CABINS All cabins are shared, unless booked individually. Most Liveaboard have an open door policy. The Cabin is private but due to safety reasons cannot be locked. Each cabin has storage space, however the space on board boats is limited and so is the storage. Each cabin has private storage inside the cabin. Please note that cabinets and other storage space is limited as you are on a boat.

YOUR CABIN

Most boats require your own air conditioning and a private bathroom. You can book rooms with single beds, double and sometimes even bunk beds. As a rule, women will share with women and men with men, unless you book a man-woman combination yourself.

In the cabin you have some cupboard and / or storage space, m a sleigh that is limited. When you come on board such a ship for the first time, you see that space is used extremely efficiently, which means that the space in the cabin is not as you are used to at home. Of course there are luxury variants that are very spacious, but that also comes with a price tag. As a rule you share a room, but for additional prices of 40 to 60% you can have a room alone. With a bit of luck you will get a room on your own, but don’t expect that if the ship is booked half full that everyone will get a single cabin. After all, that doesn’t happen in a hotel either.

WiFi& MOBILE PHONES Even though we provide free WiFi at times we will enter areas of the Red Sea where there is no coverage for cell phones or internet. These concern most of the south and the deep south of Egypt’s Red Sea. In case of emergency or at request satellite phone is available for use at a surcharge.
WiFi& MOBILE PHONES Even though we provide free WiFi at times we will enter areas of the Red Sea where there is no coverage for cell phones or internet. These concern most of the south and the deep south of Egypt’s Red Sea. In case of emergency or at request satellite phone is available for use at a surcharge.

INTERNET & WIFI

It is now almost unthinkable for us, but the internet is limited at many super beautiful dive locations. Especially when you consider that many ships sail far from land and therefore simply do not have an internet connection available . Some ships do offer WiFi, but that does not mean that you always have an internet connection and to be honest, that is great. Get away from the world, really socialize with other divers, go on an adventure without Facebook . Still, it is useful to be able to send a message home to let those at home know that everything is going well with you . Therefore, upon arrival on board, ask for a WiFi connection, possibly a hotspot, so that you can send that one message before the boat leaves.

If the ship now has WiFi, their options are often limited. Therefore, turn off all roaming , don’t upload anything to the cloud and don’t try to stream anything to limit your data usage. Do you have an action camera with an app everything on your phone o f tablet mount, do not worry too WiFi works without internet, but you have the app or already have on your phone. Download all your things before you travel, or take an adapter with you so that you can have your SD card read directly by your tablet or phone.

HEALTH AND HYGIENE

Traveling with an offer is really fantastic. The water, the adventure, being outside, wonderful. Yet there is also a downside. During your stay on board you live with the other travelers and the crew on a very small area. You share toilets , rooms and everything you use. And every traveler comes through an airport or has someone on the home front who has a cold or the flu. In addition, they have local bacteria that your body has to get used to and all of that makes hygiene very important. At least if you want to minimize the chance of a cold or special movements in your intestines. But how can you best do that?

Only use the bathroom in your room, so that if something is transferable , it will not be passed on to everyone. And as strange as that may sound, wash your hands as often as you can and use disinfectant gels if necessary. Only drink from your own water bottle and do not use tap water for drinking or brushing your teeth. For the first few days, take it easy with the food and be careful with anything that is not cooked. Do not bake excessively in the sun and apply a factor of 50.

Do you feel a small headache, your stool is not what you are used to, a rash on your skin, it does not matter what, but everything you normally do not have you should take seriously now. Report it to the guides and they can help or advise you. But please don’t think it will end like that. You are in a tropical country on vacation where you dive a lot. Health problems are lurking and they can seriously spoil your holiday fun . W ees so on time and follow the advice of your dive guides or ask a doctor if required. Keep in mind that professional medical help is not always close by, so be careful.

DRINKING WATER The water on board is produces by desalination or taken from the Marina. The water in our tanks is filtered multiple times. However since this water is in a holding tank and we care about your well being we provide mineral water on board and we advise to ue this water for any consumption.
DRINKING WATER The water on board is produces by desalination or taken from the Marina. The water in our tanks is filtered multiple times. However since this water is in a holding tank and we care about your well being we provide mineral water on board and we advise to ue this water for any consumption.

DRINK 3L OF WATER PER DAY

As a diver, traveler to tropical areas and not used to such warm temperatures, you can easily dry out. And dehydration not only headaches, but increases also the can ‘s decompression sickness. And so the advice is to drink at least 3 liters of water per day and that means real water. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and alcohol dehydrate you , so make up for your shortages continuously. Do you really drink 3 liters a day but do you have a mild headache? Then it might be wise to take some rehydration salts. Ultimately, you need water and minerals to retain moisture in your body. However, be careful and do not drink water with these salts all day long, as this will make you over hydrated and that in combination with diving can cause an odeema . But a bag of salt a day is fine and prevents many problems, as long as you drink enough water.

Dive equipment Weights, a 12L tank and air are provided free of charge. We would like to invite you to bring your own dive equipment, please assure it is in full working order before your trip. At request we can provide rental gear, please inform us before the trip of any needs. The following equipment you need to bring if you prefer not to use any rental equipment: Mask, snorkel and fins Suit, hood and boots, the latter depending on your fins. BCD/WING and regulator including means to read the tank pressure Dive computer Note that diving with a dive knife, reef hooks or gloves is not allowed according to the Red Sea Guidelines, this to prevent any damage to reefs or marine life.
Dive equipment Weights, a 12L tank and air are provided free of charge. We would like to invite you to bring your own dive equipment, please assure it is in full working order before your trip. At request we can provide rental gear, please inform us before the trip of any needs. The following equipment you need to bring if you prefer not to use any rental equipment: Mask, snorkel and fins Suit, hood and boots, the latter depending on your fins. BCD/WING and regulator including means to read the tank pressure Dive computer Note that diving with a dive knife, reef hooks or gloves is not allowed according to the Red Sea Guidelines, this to prevent any damage to reefs or marine life.

ALCOHOL AND DIVING

As pleasant as a drink can be, alcohol and diving is not the best combination. It is a general rule that once you drink a drink t you the rest of that day more pops. If you want to enjoy a drink, just do so, but be sensible. Stop alcohol 8-10 hours before the next dive and drink only in moderation.

FIRST AID

Every liveaboard has a first aid kit or box containing the necessary resources. Often they also have additional medication, but that depends on country as not everything is easily available everywhere. The guides and crew are trained to provide first aid and can also administer oxygen where necessary. This means that oxygen must be part of the required first aid equipment and is immediately ready for use at all times. If you are now on medication from the boat, remember that the guides are not doctors. They will advise you to the best of their ability, but be sensible and always read the pamphlet.

As the sun rays play with the sand a small fish crossed the blue water just under the surface.
As the sun rays play with the sand a small fish crossed the blue water just under the surface.

ENVIRONMENT

Unfortunately but true, we humans leave a lot of rubbish in this world and we see the consequences all too much. You have probably noticed that the seas and oceans are severely affected. So every little bit helps, no matter how small and luckily more and more liveaboards are going along with it. They no longer give you water bottles, but offer a water station. This means that you can either use the cups on board or bring your own water bottle. The choice is entirely yours.

Do you want to go the extra mile? How about a travel coffee cup or a net to put in any litter during your dives. Also, don’t forget to check your sunscreen. Did you know that sunscreen damages coral? Now it is not smart to travel without sunscreen in these often tropical areas, but there are creams available that protect you and do not damage the reef. Yes they are a bit more expensive, but what is more important, your wallet or the environment? The choice is entirely yours.

By zodiak these seaman are preparing to Moore the main boat.
By zodiak these seaman are preparing to Moore the main boat.

SMART TO HAVE WITH YOU

All in all, you need a lot of things to make your diving holiday enjoyable, especially if you bring your own equipment. Still, there are a few small things that can make your comfort on board a bit more pleasant.

Consider, for example, a small bag to use on deck or in case of a land excursion. Preferably a waterproof bag so that you can safely store a camera in it. In addition, it is useful to bring some earplugs. Sometimes you have a roommate who do not sleep so quietly, or do you stop you on sounds from a machine room. And don’t forget to bring something warm. Many people think that it is always warm and that is simply not the case. A nice hoody , a scarf or a hat can quickly help you get rid of some cold.

CAPTAIN, CREW AND GUIDES

Often there are a lot more staff around than you initially realize. Ultimately it is a boat, a hotel with rest aurant and a diving organization. And to ensure that everything runs smoothly, quite a few staff are needed.

For example, there is the captain and sometimes there is a second. He is responsible for safety on board, navigation movements and is in charge of all crew. Then we have the necessary sailors and an enineer . They work directly with the captain, help you sail and park, drop you on a dive site by zodiac, help you with your equipment and fill your tanks.

Then there are usually two or three chefs who together make all meals and desserts, bake bread and cake and often do the dishes with the hand . Really quite a job, although you usually don’t see these people. Serving the food and keeping the inside of the boat clean including your room is done by two people. These are named differently in different countries, such as salon managers or housekeeping and a host.

In addition to the boat and the hotel staff , they have guides and possibly a cruise director , sometimes also called first guide. They are there to brief you, to guide you, but also to help manage the hotel area and to deal with and resolve any complaints.

In most countries the crew live on board almost continuously and spend their holidays with the family. People are often asked if they can do something for the crew and of course they can. For example, bring some chocolate or sweets, which are greatly appreciated and often difficult to obtain on location. Of course you can also express your appreciation in the form of a tip, a use on all safari boats worldwide.

ONBOARD BILLING At the end of your trip we will offer the billing of any sales or services that you have taken on board. If these were not prepaid, that you will be invited to make the payment on board. All payments will be taken care off before we come back to port. So please assure that you have the means with you before departure of the boat at the beginning of the trip. The following payments will be possible: Cash in USD, Euro and Egyptian pounds or by credit-card at a surcharge.
ONBOARD BILLING At the end of your trip we will offer the billing of any sales or services that you have taken on board. If these were not prepaid, that you will be invited to make the payment on board. All payments will be taken care off before we come back to port. So please assure that you have the means with you before departure of the boat at the beginning of the trip. The following payments will be possible: Cash in USD, Euro and Egyptian pounds or by credit-card at a surcharge.

MONEY AND PAYMENTS

The bill is settled at the end of your trip, often before you return to the port. All you have taken has yet to be settled on board, although there are travel releasing w el everything in the price is included. Extra costs can come from drinks , a shirt you bought , excursions, use of nitrox, a larger tank , rental of diving equipment, taking a course or having a private guide. Do not be surprised and ask for the costs of these things before your booking. Some tour operators offer you a discount if you book it in advance, but pay on board.

When the bill has been made, it will be checked with you and you can pay it. As a rule they accept cash in dollar s and / or euro and the local currency. Payment by credit card is also possible, but don’t be surprised if they charge for this. It is wise to check the payment options and possible costs with the operator in advance.

Tipping for the crew For those who have been travelling by liveaboard or safari boat before, you know that we have a tipping culture for the guides and the crew. We keep this culture is place to assure that crew and guides provide the best possible trip in the given circumstances. Of course you are free to tip as you please, here are a few considerations: The tipping will be organized on the last day of travelling. Tipping left for the crew will be divided equally among all members. Please make a tipping in cash, unfortunately we are not allowed to take any tipping on a credit-card payment. Tipping can be done in USD, Euro, Egyptian pounds and GBP. Please note that we cannot exchange any coins or ‘old’ type notes. As a guideline we advise you to tip 10% of your booking-price per perso
Tipping for the crew For those who have been travelling by liveaboard or safari boat before, you know that we have a tipping culture for the guides and the crew. We keep this culture is place to assure that crew and guides provide the best possible trip in the given circumstances. Of course you are free to tip as you please, here are a few considerations: The tipping will be organized on the last day of travelling. Tipping left for the crew will be divided equally among all members. Please make a tipping in cash, unfortunately we are not allowed to take any tipping on a credit-card payment. Tipping can be done in USD, Euro, Egyptian pounds and GBP. Please note that we cannot exchange any coins or ‘old’ type notes. As a guideline we advise you to tip 10% of your booking-price per perso

TIPPING IS CUSTOMARY

We Dutch are not used to it, but tipping is common when you make a liveaboard trip. The guides and crew are of course paid, but a significant part of their income comes from the tips. We may find that strange, but practice shows that everyone takes that extra step to give you a great holiday. And that can of course be appreciated. In the end you can be on a beautiful ship in the best diving area in the world, but it is the crew and guides who give your holiday an extra dimension.

Tipping is usually organized. That is, they have a tip jar or envelope at the end of the week. That way , not only the guide gets a good tip, but also the assistant chef who does the dishes in the kitchen. Traditionally, tips are divided equally, although some ships have separate tips for crew and guides. In that case you can ask how many guides there are and how many crew and split the self equally. Ultimately, everyone is needed to give you a fantastic holiday and sharing is fair.

But how much tip should you leave now ? You do not want to come across as cheap , but you also do not want to spend too much, we remain Dutch anyway. The general rule is 10% of the sum you paid for the boat trip. It sounds like a lot, but when you consider that there are 15 to 18 members of staff who are there for you day and night, then it is not so bad in the end.

You have to pay the tips in cash and in a currency that they can actually exchange. So if you have some money left from your trip to Korea, you unfortunately cannot give them that money because it is often worth nothing locally . They also often cannot exchange coins, so stick to paper money in a general currency. Calculate before you leave 10% of your boo treissom and take that money contan t join euro ‘ s of dollars , so you always have enough money and you can possibly later always if you h use something else et not spend on tip .

The best dive stairs you can use with your fins on your feet in case you need to get out of the water fast.
The best dive stairs you can use with your fins on your feet in case you need to get out of the water fast.

AS FOR THE DIVING…

DIVE EQUIPMENT

Do you dive in caves, on wrecks, in strong currents, do you drift or hook in or sit on your knees in the sand with tiger sharks. You can do diving in 101 ways and each way requires different equipment. Every country has different customs as well, so there are restrictions on diving in protected parks or local laws that prohibit going deeper than 30 meters. So ask the travel organization in advance if you need any special equipment, whether it is for rent or for sale on board or whether it is offered for free for use. Then you can buy or borrow your own material in advance and you will not be faced with unexpected extra costs.

INSERTS

We use both DIN and INT connections, but that is not the case everywhere. As a rule, liveaboards offer both options, possibly by means of an adapter. But those adapters can have other sizes, so that your INT connection of your regulator set leaks easily. So if you have such a system, bring your own adapter to avoid problems.

Is it still time to set your service – and wants you still doing here for the trip? That’s not handy. After a few dives aboard settle the new parts and get much just geservic oath sets suffer from blowing machines, especially when diving in strong currents. Make always a test dive at home and preferably own a piece of 5-10 to make sure that the pressure in your middle pressure s l do not set too high angen.

Dive equipment Weights, a 12L tank and air are provided free of charge. We would like to invite you to bring your own dive equipment, please assure it is in full working order before your trip. At request we can provide rental gear, please inform us before the trip of any needs. The following equipment you need to bring if you prefer not to use any rental equipment: Mask, snorkel and fins Suit, hood and boots, the latter depending on your fins. BCD/WING and regulator including means to read the tank pressure Dive computer Note that diving with a dive knife, reef hooks or gloves is not allowed according to the Red Sea Guidelines, this to prevent any damage to reefs or marine life.
Dive equipment Weights, a 12L tank and air are provided free of charge. We would like to invite you to bring your own dive equipment, please assure it is in full working order before your trip. At request we can provide rental gear, please inform us before the trip of any needs. The following equipment you need to bring if you prefer not to use any rental equipment: Mask, snorkel and fins Suit, hood and boots, the latter depending on your fins. BCD/WING and regulator including means to read the tank pressure Dive computer Note that diving with a dive knife, reef hooks or gloves is not allowed according to the Red Sea Guidelines, this to prevent any damage to reefs or marine life.

KNIVES AND GLOVES

They are allowed for wreck dives, but not for almost all other dives. Because you don’t wear gloves, you have less tendency to grab something and the reefs are better protected. Also, it is restricted the use of knives, because diver s of these used in the past to a starfish, for example, to an arm and to get rid di perform e to another animal. It’s unfortunate but true, which is why the use of knives and gloves is generally prohibited on liveaboards . If you want something with you to cut a line, take that with a line cutter. If you have to wear gloves for medical reasons, ask your doctor for an explanation and everything will be fine.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT WETSUIT

That is always a difficult one, because which suit do you need at what water temperature? One person dives in a T-shirt in 29 degrees while the other still likes to wear a 5mm suit. So it is an individual choice, but your dive organization can certainly help you with that.

And as tempting as it may seem to dive into just a shirt , wearing a long suit that completely covers your body is wise. It prevents you from damaging your skin if you accidentally touch the reef in a strong current or while swimming into a wreck. Or how about jellyfish bits or water fleas? The diving suit protects you against those things, so whatever thickness you want, a long suit is always wise.

DIVE LIGHT

Not every trip offers you the chance of night diving, but that does not mean that a lamp is very useful. If you dive deep, you can see the colors better or you can use it to point out something or attract attention. Dive lights are often offered for rent on board, but they are usually not as good as your own light. So if you still have room in the suitcase, plop it in, it never hurts.

BUOY OR DSMB

Everyone who dives must have a buoy with them. Some people choose to have a nice little elegant cuff , but that’s not always handy. You use the buoy to show yourself on the surface and the better you do that, the more effective you are. A small buoy or a black one just reduces the chance of being seen. Choose a decent sized orange buoy, say medium. Take a fingertip so that you can release the buoy from depth. On board they can help you confirm and show you how to use the buoy best.

SECURE EVERYTHING

The number of cameras , lights, reef hooks, rattles and other additional diving equipment lost at sea or in the ocean is insane. Something unexpected happens, you climb in a zodiac or you are just distracted and notice after the dive that something is missing. Very annoying and damaging to the environment and it can easily be prevented. It turns d at a wrist strap is not enough, but that lenyard to whatever you have attached to your vest offers the best solution.

Liveaboards in a setting sun over a calm Red Sea.
Liveaboards in a setting sun over a calm Red Sea.

DIVE-PROCEDURES

DIVE BRIEFING

For each dive tell d e dive guides you all you need to know about the dive site, the flow of marine life and how to make the best dive. They also indicate any dangers and tell you how and where you can get out of the water again. Following the briefing is mandatory for everyone who dives and the moment of the briefing is often announced with the ship’s bell. If you don’t join the next dive, tell your guide before the briefing so they don’t wait for you. To prevent further unnecessary waiting, it is nice if everyone comes immediately as soon as the bell is rung. This way you don’t let anyone wait and quickly go through and dive again.

Vo ordat briefing begins you should check your bottle. Ie you check the pressure and the gas mixture (a hen you with special nitrox or other mixed gas diving ) and fills the log of the boat reason this is being done for the briefing that we still have some extra time to a if necessary , while not delaying the dive.

As we brief we use maps to explain where we are parked and how we would like to plan our dive.
As we brief we use maps to explain where we are parked and how we would like to plan our dive.

PLAN THE DIVE AND DIVE THE PLAN

The briefing tells you how best to make the dive, but sometimes the current changes during your dive and it is difficult, uncomfortable or even dangerous to hold on to the plan. In that case you can of course always change the plan and go in the other direction. Be aware, however, that the crew of the dive above eye keep t you come up to something expected. If you change the dive plan during the dive and you go completely in a different direction, make yourself visible in time and well by raising a buoy (SMB). This way the crew knows where you are, you avoid unnecessary waiting at the end of your dive and you know for sure that they can find you.

DIVE TIME AND DEPTH

As a rule, one-hour dives are made, with the night dive often limited to 45 minutes. If you want to dive longer, ask this in the briefing. The maximum diving depth for a recreational trip is 40 meters, or in some cases 30 meters because deeper is not permitted by law. Respect that maximum depth and do not exceed it, as it can mean that your insurance does not cover you in the event of an accident or that you receive a serious warning from the guides. After all, they should not simply allow it to be exceeded because then they would become personally liable and could lose their job, not to mention the consequences in the event of an accident.

Do you have to dive to maximum depth now? No, of course not, you and your buddy can of course just dive shallower. Also keep in mind to what depth you are certified and whether your insurance covers you. Stay within all those boundaries and please you don’t have to do anything but enjoy yourself. Do not play strange things or go deeper than you like.

Dive time The regular dive time for day dive is 60 minutes and 45 for a night dive. These maximum times are needed for us to serve meals hot and not overcooked and to assure that we can realise the plan of the day including all schedules dives. If you have the desire to dive longer at a briefed dive site, please ask the guides during the briefing if its possible
Dive time The regular dive time for day dive is 60 minutes and 45 for a night dive. These maximum times are needed for us to serve meals hot and not overcooked and to assure that we can realise the plan of the day including all schedules dives. If you have the desire to dive longer at a briefed dive site, please ask the guides during the briefing if its possible

DIVE WITH YOUR BUDDY

Like it or not, are certified for solo diving or not, the general rule is everyone dives with a buddy. Together you do a buddy check before diving and you stay close to each other during the dive. The latter is a flexible concept, but the general rule is a maximum of 4 meters. This way you can help each other in an emergency, share the fantastic experience of diving, and so on. Of course there is a guide, but he or she simply does not have 8 arms or eyes in mind. The guide’s priority is to lead the group and keep it as a whole safe and comfortable during a dive. So take care of each other and share your dive with your buddy responsibly. Petitions k you buddy is not your partner and you may always change.  

CHECK DIVE & CHECK OF WEIGHTS

Every trip on a liveaboard starts with a check dive. That is, relatively simple diving conditions in which you make the first dive, check your weight and equipment and possibly practice releasing an SMB. Don’t worry, the guides and crew will help you. Not only with putting on your diving equipment, but also with entering the water and making your dive. Do you have back or knee complaints? Report this immediately and the crew will help you re-carry your equipment or get out of the water. Don’t worry, they have a solution for most circumstances.

Follow the dive-guide
Follow the dive-guide

FOLLOW THE GUIDE

They know the waters and know where to find them, so even if you’re a star at navigating, following a guide has its advantages. In addition, you are not allowed to dive alone with your buddy everywhere. On some trips it is mandatory to dive with a guide due to strong currents or navigation difficulties. If you prefer to dive without a guide, ask this in advance, so that you will not be faced with surprises. If you dive with the guide and pass him or her, then you no longer follow the guide, because he or she cannot split up into divers in front of and behind him.

COME AND WATCH ONE-BY-ONE

Suppose the guide or another diver points to something on the reef or is looking at something and you want to see that too. Then give everyone the chance to do that because if we go to that at the same time it will only get busy and that will damage the reef and only irritate everyone. Take your time, view and / or photograph it, but then make room for the next one, so everyone can enjoy it.

Longimanus a.k.a. oceanic white tip shark. Seen on offshore reefs and giving us divers one of the most intimate shark experiences possible.
Longimanus a.k.a. oceanic white tip shark. Seen on offshore reefs and giving us divers one of the most intimate shark experiences possible.

DON’T FEED, DON’T TAKE AND DON’T TOUCH

We divers can only prevent underwater life if we do not dive there. And that is of course not an option for us underwater enthusiasts. What we can do is protect nature and ourselves as well as possible. While diving, that means not touching anything that is alive. So it has eyes and a mouth, nice colors and it doesn’t look like a gray rock, don’t touch it. Even reef hooks and nudi pointers deal damage, so the best thing really is just not to touch it. Even sand is full of life and just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. So avoid sitting or standing, arrange your own trim and be aware of how tall you are. Use your fins with a horizontal stroke when you are close to a bottom, in a wreck or cave.

Also feeding animals or bringing shells is something we shouldn’t do. Feeding is obvious, although shark feeding sessions are organized in some parts of the world under the guise of education, it is preferable not to do it. Our on w ezigheid and behavior changes underwater life , but let this impact to minimize as much as possible by taking only memories and pictures and call to leave.

Ready to go diving this group goes out by zodiac to be rolling back on a pinpointed location for the best diving.
Ready to go diving this group goes out by zodiac to be rolling back on a pinpointed location for the best diving.

ZODIACS

Each area has its own way of diving and in particular from which boat you dive. Every liveaboard has support boats that make the dive possible and can pick you up if necessary. You can think of a zodiac, dhoni or skiff. You will all be told on board how to safely get into those boats, enter the water or get out of the water. The crew and guides help you as much as possible, although you can imagine that some disabled divers can have a lot of trouble with it. If less validity applies to you, check the options with your travel organization before booking the trip.

EVERYONE HAS / USES A BUOY

SMB or buoy at liveabo ard dive frequently used and everyone should have one. Of course they understand that you dive with your regular buddy and that your buddy always releases the balloon and you don’t need one. But what if you lose sight of your buddy? Or a current pushes you in a different direction? Or do you have to prematurely abort your dive while your buddy is hooking up with another pair? Even if you don’t expect it or you normally never do, all these things happen and then you need an SMB. But for what exactly? Very simply at the end of your dive, you can release the buoy at the start or end of your safety stop. The crew sees the buoy and the zodiac, skiff or dhoni comes to pick you up. So it’s a way of hailing a cab. Another important time is when there are many boats while you are diving and you are shallow in an area where these boats can poten

tially sail. In that case, the buoy is the best way to show everyone that you are just below the surface of the water. Are you not experienced in releasing a buoy? Then ask the guide on board to explain it to you and practice it during the check dive.

The largest fish on the planet, the whale shark. Feeding on plankton and traveling worlds oceans.
The largest fish on the planet, the whale shark. Feeding on plankton and traveling worlds oceans.

DIVE COMPUTER, SAFETY STOPS AND NO DECO DIVES

Unless you have booked a technical dive trip, decompression diving or diving deeper than 40 eater is out of the question. This has to do with the license, the insurance, the liability and the possible means. If you really want deeper and longer, you will have to book a technical dive trip.

So that means the liveaboord normally organizes diving within recreational diving that you dive within the no-stop within 40 meters continue and make safety stops. Many people want to get the most out of all dives and prefer to go as deep as possible and as long as possible. But the question is why would you do that? You just defy fate and if you think that as long as you dive within your computer’s no-stop times, you are safe, then you are not the first to make a serious mistake. We have all learned that diving involves certain risks and if you do as many dives as you do on a live aboard trip, the chances of those risks increase. So make your safety stop, stay well within the no-stop times and only go deep if you can see something special there and you are trained and certified for it. When you are tired, just skip a dive. If you have problems with your ears or problems with equalizing, take it easy, it can only be broken once and there is no dive worth it.

The dive computer and m aking safety stops are not a choice , but an obligation. Everyone must have a working computer and everyone makes the stops.

Top of a reef with stunning sunlight.
Top of a reef with stunning sunlight.

KEEP VISUAL REFERENCE

Whether it’s the reef, an anchor line, the bottom or a wreck, make sure you always have a visual reference. If you have lost it, search for a maximum of one minute and then finish your dive. Because even if you don’t feel it, there is almost always a current at sea and that current can distract you so far from the dive site that the crew can hardly find you. So don’t do crazy things, abort your dive and ask if they can drop you off the reef again so that you can continue to enjoy your dive in safety.

AFTER THE DIVE

Once you come back from the dive and your tank is back in place, loosen the first stage so they can fill the bottle right in front of you. Tidy up your belongings and hang up your suit with the zipper closed. Taking care of your diving equipment is your responsibility at all times. So if something breaks or you lose something, that is not only a bummer, but that is also for your account. As a rule, you do not rinse your equipment after every dive, but only at the end of the trip. This prevents unnecessary water use.

FULLY ENJOY

All in all a lot happens on a live board , you have to observe a lot of things, know what you are doing and create the most fantastic d u ik adventures. It is an absolute must because you can get to places where you would otherwise not be able to dive. Some like life on the boat, the comfort, the cosiness and the outdoors. Others simply come along because they really want to see a particular dive site . Whatever it is , choose your liveaboard consciously. They seem a bit pricey, but if you book a hotel on land with separate dives, you are often much more expensive. Either way, it’s a great way to put your dives into practice, get to know other divers and embark on special adventures. And with all that, the guides and crew are on hand to make your trip as pleasant as possible. Do not hesitate, they have seen or experienced it all before, just ask them the question and they will be happy to help you.

Safari boats parked for the night in the Red Sea of Egypt.
Safari boats parked for the night in the Red Sea of Egypt.