Eco Travel: Spotlight on Liveaboards22nd February 2019 | Emma Daffurn
Ecotourism: 'Travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people'.
1. Get involved with some citizen science in Socorro
- Liveaboard: Quino El Guardian, Mexico
- Best time to go November till May
- Trip length: 9 nights
Dive the magnificent underwater world of Socorro Island while taking part in research, learning more about the local ecosystems and even swimming with humpback whales. All can help gather vital data on sharks, mantas and other magnificent pelagics alongside experienced, knowledgeable scientists. This liveaboard offers the unique opportunity to get closer to these animals by helping to protect them and understand their behaviour. To learn more, click here.
2. Learn about dolphins and turtles in the Red Sea
- Liveaboard: Amr Ali Red Sea Defender, Egypt
- Best time to go Year-round
- Trip length: 1 week
This eco liveaboard offers four expeditions - Climate Change & Global Warming, Dolphins & Turtles, Ship Wrecks & Deep Sea, and the Red Sea Shark Week. Regardless of which you choose, expect educational excursions and lectures delivered by knowledgeable marine biologists. This trip runs in partnership with Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA).
3. Search for other-worldly octopus in Cuba
- Liveaboard: Jardines Aggressor 1 & Jardines Aggressor 2, Cuba
- Best time to go December till April
- Trip length: 7 nights
Both of these grand liveaboards offer unique eco-adventures around Cuba. Explore walls covered with sponges, macro creatures, black coral and caverns - some full of schooling fish. Come together with Cuban Scientists and learn about the delicate ecosystems in the region via presentations, discussions and conservation efforts.
4. Delve into the world of whale sharks in the Maldives
- Liveaboard: MV Eco Blue, The Maldives
- Best time to go Year-round (but the best visibility and dry weather is December till March)
- Trip length: 1 or 2 weeks
Partnered with the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, this liveaboard trip will teach you everything there is to know about these majestic creatures, their relatives and habitat. Jump into the clear waters of the Maldives and snap ID photos of the awesome creatures, then clamber back onboard for an educational presentation.
5. Photograph multi-colored macro creatures in Raja Ampat
- Liveaboard: Queen of the Sea - Ratu Laut, Indonesia
- Best time to go October till April
- Trip length: 6 or 9 nights
Step onboard this characterful sailing vessel and work alongside experienced marine scientists and the local community. You'll spend your days doing climate change surveys, megafauna data collection, reef checking and more. You'll dive amongst colorful, nutrient rich ecosystems home to sharks, pelagics, mantas, turtles, dolphins and many, many macro creatures. All profits from this liveaboard go to Barefoot Conservation's Research efforts and community programs.
6. Dive with mantas and sharks in the Maldives
- Liveaboard: Maldives Master/Blue Voyager, The Maldives
- Best time to go 21st - 28th October 2019 (mantas), Jan & Feb 2020 (sharks)
- Trip length: 7 or 10 nights
Understand more about the magical marine life of the Maldives with Maldives Master. Explore kandus and thilas where reef sharks, mantas and even whale sharks can be considered commonplace! Snap photos of marine life in partnership with Manta Trust & Shark Project, contributing to the world's most comprehensive database of Maldives manta and whale shark information.