Live aboard or resort?
Many UW photographers have the opportunity to visit distant diving locations. They leave their home, spouse, children or dog, determined to bring home some stunning pictures of the underwater world. There is a choice between a live aboard or a diving resort. The live aboard is the best choice for visiting isolated locations with no diving facilities, restaurants or whatever. Like Papua New Guinea or the Red Sea. And to get away from crowded tourists towns. If you have booked on a special trip for UW photographers like a photo workshop, you will have the best chances of being dropped at the right places to shoot your subjects of interests. And to learn more about underwater photography from other good photographers on the boat. Do not book on a regular live-aboard diving trip, because you might miss the best sites. And you will not have that individual freedom to move around under water, like with an ‘only photography’ workshop. If you are prone to sea sickness the live aboard may give you a hard time, especially if you are bound for rough seas, or to cross the gulfstream between East Florida and the Bahamas🤒
The only privacy you have on live aboard is in your cabin, mostly a shared twin cabin with two beds or a bunk with curtains. Once arrived at your location, you often will have to load yourself and your camera in a smaller Zodiac to arrive at the dive site. And you must be fit enough to wrestle yourself back in the Zodiac after the dive. Much more convenient is to start your dive directly from the platform of the mothership. There is also a negative side of being on a live aboard trip. In our modern world with its booming diving tourism, several larger and smaller boats may be anchored at a favorite diving spot. With their satellite Zodiacs racing over the surface to deliver their packs of divers. Which means that you risk being decapitated if you are not careful enough. The Red Sea in particular is an area where many boats often gather around sites as Elphinstone, the Brothers, Daedalus, Rocky island etc.
In a resort you will have more privacy. Normally you leave in the morning to embark on small vessel with a group of maximal 12 diver to visit a site not too far away, and return to the resort for lunch or dinner. Again, if UW photography is your primary interest, be sure that you book for a place that has experience with UW photographers. Look for a resort with a friendly and experienced staff that will take you to your favorite locations, to meet a bunch of nice sharks or a beautiful reef surrounded by colorful fish, not too far away. Very convenient for the lazy or more senior Uw photographers!