Liveaboard Destinations Ideal for European Divers (Part 1)

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Liveaboard diving has changed the way divers explore the underwater world. Offering a unique and immersive experience, liveaboard trips have become increasingly popular among diving enthusiasts worldwide. As more divers seek thrilling and unforgettable adventures beneath the waves, the appeal of liveaboard diving continues to grow. 

What should be considered before choosing a liveaboard destination: 

Selecting the perfect liveaboard diving destination requires careful consideration of various factors. From budget and distance to diving experience and season/weather, each element plays a vital role in determining the ideal location for your underwater adventure. 


When it comes to choosing a diving destination, budget considerations are paramount. Assessing the trip cost and factoring in flights is crucial to ensure your financial comfort throughout the journey. Liveaboard trips vary widely in price, depending on factors such as the duration of the trip, the level of luxury offered, and the destination itself. Consider not only the cost of the liveaboard package but also additional expenses such as flights, equipment rentals, and onboard extras.


Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a diving destination is the distance and the amount of time you are willing to spend traveling to reach your desired location.

Consider how much time you are willing to allocate for travel. If you have limited vacation days or prefer to spend more time diving rather than traveling, it may be more suitable to choose a destination that is relatively closer to your home or requires a shorter travel duration. This allows you to maximize your time underwater and minimize the time spent in transit.

However, if you have the flexibility and the desire to explore more remote and exotic dive sites, you might be willing to invest more time in travel. Remember that longer travel times may also involve additional costs for flights, accommodations during layovers, or ground transportation.

Diving Experience and Certification:

It’s essential to choose a destination that matches your skills and certification level to ensure a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

If you are a newly certified diver or have limited experience, it is advisable to select a destination that offers a variety of beginner-friendly dive sites. These locations typically have calm waters, mild currents, and shallow depths, providing an ideal environment for building confidence and improving your skills.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced diver seeking more advanced and thrilling underwater experiences, you may want to consider destinations that offer challenging dive sites with strong currents, deep walls, or wrecks.

Season and Weather

Different destinations have varying peak seasons for diving due to water temperature, currents, and marine inhabitants’ behavior. Research the seasonal patterns of your desired destinations to determine the optimal time to visit for the best diving conditions.

Liveaboard Destinations Ideal for European Divers (Part 1)

Considering all of this, here are some of the most convenient destinations for divers based in Europe

Red Sea, Egypt

Egypt’s Red Sea offers a wide range of liveaboard options to suit various budgets, accommodating both experienced divers and those seeking beginner-friendly dive sites. With numerous dive sites, including world-famous locations like the Brothers Islands, Ras Mohammed, and the Thistlegorm wreck, there is something to suit every diver’s preference and skill level. This country offers a range of options to suit different budgets. Whether you’re a budget-conscious diver or seeking a more luxurious experience, there are liveaboard trips that cater to every wallet. Let’s explore some of the most affordable liveaboard options available in Egypt’s Red Sea based on trip cost.

The most affordable choices include Freedom III and Snefro Pearl, offering short 3-4 night cruises starting from EUR 450 (USD 483) per trip per person. Classic 7 nights trips will cost from EUR 750 (USD 805). Discovery I (Amelia) and Blue Melody provide comfortable accommodations. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, the newest addition to the fleet, Seawolf Steel Liveaboard, offers cruises starting from EUR 1,905 (USD 2,043). Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the season.

Egypt is a cost-effective option for Europe-based divers, particularly considering the cost of airfare. Many European airlines offer direct flights to popular Egyptian cities such as Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. By choosing Egypt’s Red Sea for your liveaboard diving adventure, you can take advantage of affordable airfare options, allowing you to allocate more of your budget toward the liveaboard experience itself, such as choosing a comfortable boat, diving equipment, and additional diving activities.

Most dive operators in Egypt require divers to hold an Open Water Diver certification or an equivalent entry-level certification from a recognized scuba diving agency. This certification ensures that divers have the basic knowledge and skills to dive safely. While novice divers can find suitable dive sites, certain sites with more challenging conditions, depths, or currents may be better suited for experienced divers. Diving at the Brothers Islands and exploring the wrecks of the Red Sea requires a higher level of diving certification and experience due to the challenging nature of these dive sites. Typically, an Advanced Open Water Diver certification or its equivalent is the minimum requirement. If you specifically plan to explore the wreck sites in the Red Sea, obtaining an Advanced certification or Wreck Diver Specialty certification is highly recommended. This specialty certification focuses on proper wreck diving techniques, safety procedures, and navigation skills for exploring sunken vessels.

The best time for diving in Egypt, particularly in the Red Sea, is during the months of April to November. This period generally offers the most favorable diving conditions with warm water temperatures, excellent visibility, and calm seas. However, it’s important to note that diving is possible year-round in Egypt, and each season has its own unique characteristics.

During the summer months of June to August, the water temperatures in the Red Sea can reach their highest, averaging around 27-30°C (81-86°F). This period is popular for diving due to the warmer water and longer daylight hours, allowing for more time underwater.

Liveaboard Destinations Ideal for European Divers (Part 1)


The Maldives, like Egypt’s Red Sea, offers a wide range of liveaboard options to suit various budgets. With stunning coral reefs, encounters with manta rays and whale sharks, and exceptional visibility, Maldives diving is on the bucket list for divers. From budget-friendly to luxurious vessels, there are liveaboard trips available for all preferences. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, the Maldives promises unforgettable underwater adventures.

In the Maldives, the cost of liveaboard trips varies depending on the class of the vessel and the duration of the trip. The most affordable options start from EUR 1,666 (USD 1,779) for a 7-night trip. Nautilus Two and Theia can be considered excellent value for money. For an average price of EUR 1,863 (USD 1,990), Maldives Blue Force 3 offers 7-night trips. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, Scubaspa Yang and Emperor Explorer offer trips starting from EUR 2,350 (USD 2,510) and EUR 2,480 (USD 2,650) respectively.

When considering the cost of airfare, Maldives liveaboards can be a more expensive destination compared to some other dive locations. Several European countries have direct flights to the Maldives. Some major airlines operate direct flights from these countries to Malé, the capital of the Maldives. 

To fully enjoy the diving experiences in the Maldives, many liveaboards require a minimum of 40 to 50 logged dives and an Advanced Open Water Diver certification or equivalent. This is because some dive sites in the Maldives can present challenging conditions, including strong currents. Having the necessary experience and certification ensures that divers are prepared to navigate these conditions safely. However, there are also dive sites in the Maldives that are suitable for Open Water Divers.

The best time to visit the Maldives for diving depends on the marine life you wish to see and the diving conditions you prefer. If you’re eager to witness manta rays and whale sharks, the dry season from November to April is ideal, as the calm waters and plankton-rich currents attract these magnificent creatures. May to June is the period when coral spawning occurs, offering a unique opportunity to witness the remarkable reproduction of corals.

For those seeking pelagic encounters, the months from May to September provide a higher chance of encountering hammerhead sharks and other pelagic species, thanks to the stronger currents during this time.

Liveaboard Destinations Ideal for European Divers (Part 1)

*Please note that the prices provided below are accurate as of June 2023. However, it is important to keep in mind that these prices are subject to change

Stay tuned for Part 2…

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