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Got questions?

Here's a few answers to some of our most frequently asked questions

Prices

Rightly so, this is one of the most common questions we get asked. Many agents in the industry offer a "Best price garantee" and are happy to undercut prices displayed by other agents. Whilst this sounds good for the diver booking a trip, eventually this kind of price war is extremely bad for the industry.

As with ALL AGENTS we have been given permission by the operators to sell spaces on the boats on their behalf. This helps the operator to keep his marketing costs low, because he knows others are marketing the boat for him. In turn, we are given a small commission based on the overall cost of the booking. This covers our marketing costs, overheads and winter shoes for our kids.

This basic business model applies to all agents, not just in the diving industry but in the travel industry as a whole. If we start cutting prices, there will be no profit. If there's no profit, agents will go out of business. If agents go out of business, the liveaboard operators need to start investing more money on marketing. This in turn, will enevitably push the prices of trips higher.

With this in mind, to remain competetive, we can and will compete with other agents on pricing... but we're not happy about it. Instead, we ask you to book your trip where you think you get the best service.

Prices are set by the liveaboard operators themselves and passed on to us to display on our website. Occasionally, we are able to reduce a price ourselves in order to help the operator sell spaces quicker.

This really varies from one boat to the next. As a general rule of thumb, prices usually cover your accommodation and all meals (sometimes including snacks and fruit) whilst on board. Soft drinks such as water, tea, coffee, fruit juices etc are often also included. Generally, all your dives (on regular air) with guide, are also included in the price. However, included services vary from boat to boat, so please refer to the individual liveaboard page for exact details of what’s included and what’s not.

Unless otherwise stated, our prices do not include flights, visa fees, hotels before or after your trip, transfers, travel insurance, flight insurance etc.

Extra costs per boat/trip are always listed at the bottom of the boat’s individual page (or during the booking process) should there be extra charges in relation to a specific trip.

Examples of extra costs can include Marine Park fees, tips and gratuities for the crew, alcoholic beverages, on board internet usage, equipment rental, nitrox refills, merchandise etc. These kind of extra costs are always paid locally to your Cruise Manager when you’re on the boat. We do not take payments for such extras.

No. Unfortunately not.

If you are using our online currency converter to show prices in your own currency, the prices shown are for reference only. Our currency conversion is linked to the daily exchange rate of the ECB (European Central Bank), und therefore always up to date. However, due to uncontrollable fluctuations in exchange rates, or varying exchange rates offered by your own bank, we cannot guarantee that the price displayed, will be the final price you pay for your trip. The exact amount of your trip will be charged in Euro. The exchange rate applied to your payment is controlled by your own bank, using their own exchange rates and may vary slightly to what you have seen on our site.

Sometimes the prices do indeed take your breath away. When prices are higher than you might expect, this generally indicates a certain level standards and of luxury on the liveaboard that you’re viewing. It can also mean that the destination you’re looking at is in high demand, in a remote location or limited in the number of liveaboards that can operate there.

In such cases, we ask you to consider the costs of a comparable diving holiday, in a luxury hotel, with all meals and drinks included and upto four ‘normal’ boat dives per day, for 7 to 14 days. This would probably be an equally expensive experience, but with the limitation of having to stay close to shore.

Our ‘prices from’ are taken from the lowest price that our system can find, per boat/operator, in a vast database of trips, prices, operators and destinations. If you search through every trip that the boat has on offer, in every destination and every route... you’ll find it somewhere.

Payments

We accept payments via secure online payment processors like Paypal or Stripe.
Stripe is one of the world's most popular payment processor services, with which you can pay with all popular credit and debit cards such as Visa or Mastercard. We've integrated Strip into our site in such a way, that you won't even know your using it. Using Paypal, you can also pay with your credit card and of course directly from your Paypal account. We also accept direct bank transfers to our business account - please contact us for Bank transfers.

No. You will be charged the amount stated on our website in Euro. Your own bank will then convert the payment into your own currency at whichever international exchange rate it currently offers.

Currently you will have to pay the full amount as soon as your reservation is confirmed. You will have a period of 72 hours to make your payment, otherwise your reservation will be cancelled and the spaces will be bookable by other divers.

At the moment, this is not possible. We are, however, hoping to implement it at some point in the future.

At the moment, no. We have decided to accept the charges associated with processing credits cards as part of our service to you.

Cancelling / Changes

When spaces are only being reserved for you, and you have not yet paid, you can cancel without incurring any additional costs. As soon as you have made a confirmed booking/payment a cancellation will incur charges.

Once you have made a confirmed booking/payment, a full cancellation will incur certain costs and charges.

Liveaboard Diving UG will charge a €50 Euro administration fee for every confirmed booking that is then cancelled, regardless of time before trip departure. We also reserve the right to pass on to you any costs incurred by us, should you have paid with a credit card.

Each operator also has individual, often very strict, cancellation policies and charges. You can see the individual cancellation policies of the liveaboard you have chosen on the boat page.The later you cancel, or rather the nearer to the departure date that you cancel, the more money you’re likely to be charged. Some liveaboards will require the full amount, should you cancel within three months of departure! This is why we recommend: if for any reason you cannot make the departure date of your booked trip, we encourage you to try and re-organise your trip for another date, to fully minimise any losses.

Please contact us directly via our Contact page and let us know your reason for wanting to change your booking. We will then assist you in any way we can to help you make the changes you require to your booking.

Booking Process

No. Unfortunately not. At the present time, there is no worldwide system in place that allows for direct, immediate booking and allocation of spaces on liveaboard boats. The operator will be informed of your reservation request as soon as you send it. He will then check the spaces that you’re enquiring about in his own reservation system. If they’re available, he clicks one simple link that we have sent him. You will then receive an email to say that the spaces are reserved and you will then need to pay to confirm your booking.

A reservation request is when your initial enquiry, via our website, to the operator. This request is received by the operator so that he can check actual availability in his booking system.

A reservation is when the operator has confirmed that the spaces you have enquired about are available, and that he has reserved them for you. Such a reservation is usually for a limited amount of time.

A booking is when you’ve confirmed and paid for the spaces that an operator has been holding for you.

As an industry standard, liveaboard spaces are usually reserved for a period of 72 hours. This gives you plenty of time to organise flights and hotels. Some of our operators even choose to give you a little longer to decide. When you make a reservation request, you will always see a notice of how long the operator will hold the spaces for you, as well as a countdown (time remaining to pay) in your user area.

As soon as we have received your payment for spaces that have been reserved, the operator is directly notified. From this point on, you have a final and confirmed booking.

Not to worry. Some operations are relatively small scale with the owner, management, sales team, marketing team, accounting, logistics and tea boy all being the same person. On top of that, they also trying to lead dives, 7 days a week, on a boat in the middle of nowhere. With this in mind, please be patient. If an operator has not reacted within a certain amount of time, we send automated emails every now and then to remind him that you're waiting for an answer.

Unless otherwise stated, all reservation enquiries go straight to the operator via our automated reservation system. He can then check the details of your reservation enquiry and react accordingly to your request, much akin to popular websites like AirBnB. Sometimes, when specifically requested by the operator, general ‘pre-sales’ enquiries from the operators own boat page arrive in our inbox for us to answer. This helps the operator to concentrate on the more important aspects of running his business.

If you have only part filled a cabin - for example you’re travelling alone but the cabin you have chose is for two people - it might be necessary to share the cabin with another (unknown) diver.

If you do not want to share the cabin, ie. you want the cabin just for yourself. you can often opt for ‘Single Occupancy’. This option usually comes with an extra charge on top, often the full price of the space that you are blocking.

Until you have a confirmed reservation, there’s no reason for us collect information about you or anyone travelling with you. You will only need to enter this information during the booking/payment process.

During the booking/payment process we ask you to have the following, necessary information to hand, for everyone who is travelling with you: Full name, Nationality, Age, Diving Certification and approx. number of logged dives. Also, we require the postal address of the main contact in your party.

No! Never. Ever!

Some liveaboard travel agents ask you to enter your credit card number, before they’ve even checked to see if the spaces are available… sometimes before you can even send your enquiry. Let’s be honest. Until you’ve got a confirmed booking (and a payment is due) nobody has the right to ask you for your credit card number!

We will never ask for your payment details until we have confirmed that the spaces on a boat are reserved for you! During the initial reservation request, we will only ask you for your name, a valid email address so we can contact you and a password (of your choice) so you can login and check your reservation/booking status.

We inform you via email of every stage of your reservation enquiry through to your booking/payment. If this is not enough, you can always log in to your User Account and see directly what the current status is.

Hotels, Flights and Packages

Yes we can! (kind of...)

However, we're more geared up for the independent traveller/diver. If you're booking your own hotels and flights, we find you are more flexible and can make spur of the moment decisions without losing time contacting your agent. Having said that, we realise that many divers also want a complete travel package including hotels, flights and transfers. For complete holiday packages, we pass your enquiry along to our licensed dive travel partner, Wiro Dive, who will organise your holiday for you.

Under regulatory laws we are not allowed to offer more than a single travel service: for us, this is the booking of liveaboard diving trips.

With this in mind, we cannot book hotels for you. We have, however, included a number of hotels for your chosen liveaboard and relevant departure/arrival points relevant to each specific trip or recommended by the liveaboard operators themselves.

Alternatively, you can request an entire trip package during the reservation process. This enquiry is then processed by our fully licensed travel partner, who is able to offer a complete travel package, including hotels, flights and transfers etc.

On board

Cabin stnadards vary wildly from one liveaboard to another. They are generally big enough to be comfortable for the duration of your trip with enough storage for your belongings. Som of the more expensive, luxury liveaboards have much more room, with TV, Computer, Desk etc. Please refer to the images of the cabins on each specific boat page to see how big/small/luxury the cabins actually are.

Our team is still answering this question.

Awesome! Over the last few years, the food on liveaboard vessels has become almost as important as the diving. Boat operators have realised that your holiday isn't just about the diving, but about the entire experience! For this reason, the food standards on the vast majority of boats is very, very good with a wide range of choice - from local dishes to western food and sometimes even a la Karte menus!

During the reservation process, you will have the opportunity to communicate any special requests with us in the booking form, for example if you are vegetarian, or if you are a diabled diver, or if you want to travel with children. If you are uncertain, you can always contact us, or the liveaboard operator, for more information and we'll endeavour to help you where we can. Many liveaboards are very accommodating when it comes to special requests.

The vast majority of crews aboard liveaboards vessels are more proud of their boat than the owners themselves! They spend a lot of time on the boat, often having their own living quarters... essentially a home for them. With this in mind, they will always welcome you warmly on board, like a guest in their own home, and be there for you when you need them - whether that means setting up or dismantling your equipment, helping you in/out of the boat, cooking your favourite dish or singing and performing local music for you in the evening, your crew will make your stay onboard comfortable and memorable.

Yes, almost certainly. The prices on our website are usually only for the cost of your trip, with dives, accommodation and food. Many liveaboards have extra expenses to pay onboard - there are often Marine Park Fees, Port Fees, Fuel Surcharges, Equipment hire costs and a sack full of other possible expenses to pay once you are onboard. We have tried to list all the extra costs assosiated with your trip on the relevant information pages - what's included, what's not included and what is payable on board. Although we always try to keep the information up to date, we cannot be held responsible for extra costs that have not been communicated to us by the operator.

Your saftey onboard is one of the top priorities for the liveaboard owners, therefore saftey standards are generally very good. Please keep in mind however, that saftey standards vary from one country to another.

The vast majority of liveaboards will also cater for non-diving guests, although we cannot garantee a price reduction. Please contact us for more information if you are planning on travelling with non-diving guests.

Generally, smaller children are not allowed on board liveaboard vessels. This is for the saftely of the children and to reduce the probability of a serious accident. In the event of an emergency, many liveaboards simply do not have the correct sized lifejackets for children. Once children are of a diving age, there should be no problem getting them on board. If you're planning on travelling with children, please contact us for more information adn we'll be happy to negotiate with the boat operator on your behalf.

Also keep your eye out for 'family' specials offered by some operators. Such trips cater for families of all ages and sizes and the boats are often well prepared, and plan for smaller children.

Not all, but some liveaboards do have wireless internet available onboard. This can however get very expensive and then with limited bandwidth and small data limits. If you absolutely need to stay connected whilst onboard, bring plenty of money and be prepared to turn off all non essential apps or automated updates. We’d also recommend waiting until you get back to land to upload your best pictures to Facebook or Instagram!

Diving

Whilst we can generally forecast the conditions for a particular season and destination, diving conditions (like the weather) can vary from day to day and can be unpredictable. The main thing, we think, is that you're underwater and seeing the underwater action.

No, not always. Due to unpredictable weather conditions or currents, liveaboards cannot guarantee any advertised routes or dive sites. The actual route, and any dive sites visited during your trip, are entirely at the discretion of the captain and his number one priority: to keep his boat and all guests safe at all times.

In most cases, yes. Many boats will even require proof of diving insurance before you enter the water. It's always best to travel and dive with adequate insurance, so we recommend one the many packages on offer at DiveAssure.com.

You will certainly need a good amount of experience to take part in a liveaboard trip. Many of the dive sites are deep or very remote with strong currents and, because of this, more suited to experienced/advanced divers or divers with more than 50 logged dives. If there are limitations on certain trips, the minimum requirements are shown during the booking procedure and you will be asked to confirm that each diver meets these requirements before you can book.