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Spoilsport

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Mike Ball is synonymous with lavish Australia diving safaris, seen by many as the most luxurious operator in the region and one of the few with minke whale watching permits. Indeed Spoilsport has earned more awards than any other liveaboard operating on the Great Barrier Reef and currently boasts 11 prestigious 'Rodale Readers Choice' awards including 'Best Liveaboard'.

Length: 30 metres / 98.4 foot
Beam: 10 metres / 32.8 foot
Cruise: 16 knots
Divers: 29
Enriched air nitrox is available here
Featured Trip Report

Read our customer reviews for this liveaboardCustomer Reviews
The Spoilsport on the Great Barrier Reef - photo courtesy of Mike Ball Dive
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There are several accommodation categories available on Spoilsport, depending on your requirements and wallet size, most of which have en-suite bathrooms.

A spacious 3-deck layout offers you a roomy dive deck with individual storage spaces for each diver. In-situ nitrox fills are available to help you maximise your unlimited dives aboard Spoilsport - most guests do 4 day dives and 1 night dive each day on these Great Barrier Reef liveaboard trips.

For the photographers amongst you, it's reassuring to note that Mike Ball himself is an avid underwater photographer, so you can rest assured that the setup for photographers is second to none. The dive deck has 3 dedicated camera tables as well as rinse tanks for your valuable equipment. On most trips, an informal photo competition is held, so you can enter your best shot of the trip and see how it fairs against your fellow divers.

Spoilsport operates an "open dive deck" policy, which allows guests to plan and dive independently with their buddies. This means that if you want 2 hours in the water getting that "cover shot" of a particularly elusive fish then there is no problem in doing so. However, if you like having the dive sites' best marine life pointed out to you, the experienced Spoilsport crew leads scheduled dives twice daily. Additional guided dives can be arranged with the Spoilsport staff on an ad-hoc basis.

When not enjoying the delights of world famous dive sites or sampling the delicious meals prepared by the chef, you can top up your tan on the ample sundeck or simply relax in the comfortable lounge, perhaps taking in a movie or 2.

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Scheduled departures, prices, destinations, durations...

Click 'Book' to send an enquiry for your preferred departure date:

November 2014
Dep: 27 Nov Ret: 1 Dec Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
December 2014
Dep: 22 Dec Ret: 25 Dec Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
January 2015
Dep: 8 Jan Ret: 12 Jan Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 8 Jan Ret: 15 Jan Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 12 Jan Ret: 15 Jan Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 15 Jan Ret: 22 Jan Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 22 Jan Ret: 26 Jan Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 22 Jan Ret: 29 Jan Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 26 Jan Ret: 29 Jan Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 29 Jan Ret: 2 Feb Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 29 Jan Ret: 5 Feb Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
February 2015
Dep: 2 Feb Ret: 5 Feb Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 26 Feb Ret: 2 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 26 Feb Ret: 5 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
March 2015
Dep: 5 Mar Ret: 9 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 5 Mar Ret: 12 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 9 Mar Ret: 12 Mar Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 12 Mar Ret: 16 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 12 Mar Ret: 19 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 16 Mar Ret: 19 Mar Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 19 Mar Ret: 23 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,671
Dep: 19 Mar Ret: 26 Mar Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,899
Dep: 23 Mar Ret: 26 Mar Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
Dep: 30 Mar Ret: 2 Apr Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,477
April 2015
Dep: 2 Apr Ret: 6 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 2 Apr Ret: 9 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 6 Apr Ret: 16 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 6 Apr Ret: 9 Apr Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 9 Apr Ret: 13 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 13 Apr Ret: 16 Apr Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 16 Apr Ret: 20 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 16 Apr Ret: 23 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 20 Apr Ret: 23 Apr Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 23 Apr Ret: 27 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 23 Apr Ret: 30 Apr Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 27 Apr Ret: 30 Apr Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 30 Apr Ret: 7 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 30 Apr Ret: 3 May Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
May 2015
Dep: 3 May Ret: 7 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 7 May Ret: 14 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 7 May Ret: 10 May Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 10 May Ret: 14 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 14 May Ret: 21 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 21 May Ret: 25 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 21 May Ret: 28 May Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
Dep: 25 May Ret: 28 May Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 28 May Ret: 1 Jun Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 28 May Ret: 4 Jun Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986
June 2015
Dep: 1 Jun Ret: 4 Jun Ribbon Reefs US$ 1,522
Dep: 4 Jun Ret: 8 Jun Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 1,721
Dep: 4 Jun Ret: 11 Jun Ribbon Reefs-Osprey Reef US$ 2,986

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More Trip Details....

Notes: These trips are best suitable for advanced divers, due to wall dives that are sometimes exposed to strong currents.

Cruise price per person includes: Low-level scenic flight to or from Lizard Island (for 3 and 4 night trips), cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), in-water observation divers, tanks, weights and weight belts, Nautilus Lifeline GPS.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory): Dive equipment (US$ 38 per day), dive insurance, reef tax (US$ 16) per person per trip. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (customers might provide their own where appropriate at no extra cost).

Optional extras: Transfers from Cairns City hotels, soft drinks (soft drinks with evening meals are complimentary), alcoholic drinks (wine with evening meal is complimentary), nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (US$ 16 per fill), torches (US$ 9 per day). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

How to get there: Spoilsport departs from either Trinity Wharf in Cairns or Lizard Island, depending on the itinerary. 3 night trips begin with a flight to Lizard Island and end on the boat in Cairns. 4 night trips begin on the boat in Cairns and end with a flight back from Lizard island. 7 Night trips begin and end on the boat in Cairns.

For Cairns departures, check in at the Mike Ball office at 3 Abbott Street between 8.30 am and 4 pm on the day of departure. For Lizard Island departures, check in at 7 am at the Mike Ball office for transfer to the airport for the charter flight to Lizard Island.

For more information on getting to Cairns see our How to get there section.

Minke Whale Expeditions: Certain trips in June and July include efforts to dive and/or snorkel with minke whales. Prices remain the same but expect fewer overall dives on these trips. Check out this excellent video of a Minke Whale trip.

Non-diver rate: 10% off the published price, non-diving child (8-15 years) 25% off the published price.

Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 70% of the published price.

Dive clubs and group discounts: None

Whole boat charter rate (per night): There is none available for this boat. Please contact us to enquire for a full charter.

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Cabins, Berths, Showers, Bathrooms...
Spoilsport can accommodate up to 29 divers in 15 air-conditioned cabins across 4 categories. All located on the middle deck, the cabin categories comprise 4 Premium cabins, 4 Standard cabins, 4 Budget cabins and 3 Club cabins.

Of the Premium cabins, 2 are fitted with double beds and 2 with a double and a single bed. The Standard cabins all feature twin single beds, whilst the Budget and Club cabins provide twin bunk beds.

The Premium and Standard cabins feature large windows that allow natural light in. Club and Budget cabins, located in the centre of the vessel, feature cabin lights and reading lamps.

All cabin categories have private en-suite facilities, except for the Budget cabins, which have shared bathroom facilities.

One of Spoilsport's Premium cabins - photo courtesy of Mike Ball Dive All the cabins have:
  • Air-conditioning
  • Private bathroom with hot water shower and hand basin (except Budget cabins)
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reading lamps
  • Cabinet and shelves
  • Mirror
  • Bedding
  • 110/240v 24 hours per day
  • Fire alarm
No. of bathrooms / showers - 15 / 13 - hot water

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Crew, facilities, dive courses...
Spoilsport's expansive dive deck is ideal for exploring the Great Barrier Reef - photo courtesy of Mike Ball Dive The crew comprises:
  • Cruise Leader
  • 2 Divemasters
  • Video / photo pro
  • Captain
  • Cook
  • Engineer
  • 1st Mate
  • Stewardess
  • 2 Deck hands
Enriched air nitrox - 3 Camera tables - Separate rinse tank for cameras - Video/photo editing facilities - Air-conditioned lounge with bar, TV, DVD and music centre - Movie library - Open-air dining area - Wave skis - Computer & CD burner - Satellite phone and fax - Books, magazines, games, fish ID books - Sun deck with sun chairs and shaded areas - Water dispenser

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Menu, cuisine type...
Spoilsport's culinary reputation precedes it with devine international and Australian dishes. Complimentary wine is served with evening meals.

  • The air-conditioned lounge onboard Spoilsport - photo courtesy of Mike Ball DiveAll meals are served in the air-conditioned dining room, however, the open-air rear sundeck can also facilitate meals if you choose.
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
  • Vegetarians are catered for with delights such as oven roasted eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin and capsicum served with warm couscous and wild rice on a well thought-out menu.
  • Complimentary 24-hour coffee, tea, soft drinks and water.
  • A well-stocked bar for a daily diving analysis with favourite tipple in hand.
  • Guests are always welcomed aboard Spoilsport with fruit juice and light refreshments, but the first full meal onboard will be breakfast or lunch, depending on cruise departure time.
  • Fixed menu.


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technical specifications...
  • Australia's Mike Ball Spoilsport - another viewBuilt in year 1989
  • Size - 30m x 10m
  • Top speed - 17 knots
  • Cruising speed - 16 knots
  • 2 x 354 KW Detroit 60 series engines
  • 2 x 95 KVA Cummins 6BT generators
  • 2 x Bauer K180 compressors
  • 10.5 litre aluminium scuba tanks
  • 1 x Nitrox membrane filling system - 3 x 50 litre nitrox banks & 6 x 50 litre air banks
  • Electricity - 240V 24 hours per day
  • Water capacity - 8,000 litres
  • Fresh water maker - 10,000+ per day
  • Fuel capacity - 12,000 litres

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navigation, safety features...
  • Spoilsport's sundeck, for taking in the views of the Great Barrier Reef's Coral Sea - photo courtesy of Mike Ball Dive2 x Life rafts
  • 2 x Inflatable dhingies
  • Global positioning system
  • Radar
  • Echo sounders
  • UHF handheld and UHF/HF radios
  • Mobile telephone
  • Satellite telephone
  • First aid box
  • Oxygen - approx. 20,000 litres
  • Life jackets throughout
  • Fire alarms / detectors
  • Fire extinguishers on deck
  • Bilge pump alarm
  • EPIRB
  • Search & emergency lights
  • Loudhailer
  • Customer dive insurance NOT provided - see our insurance programme for a competitive quotation

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layout plans...
Spoilsport deck plans
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Customer reviews: 

"We had an awesome dive adventure on the Spoilsport. The dives on the Great Barrier Reef were incredible and the liveaboard crew staff exceeded our expectations....the meals, service, etc. was flawless. The trip was an A+!!!" - Ellen & Tom Atchison, USA ...

"The live aboard boat was just great. The cabins were roomy and there was lots of room to spread out. Food was very good.
Diving was really good. Visibility was generally about 50-60 feet at most sites. The marine life was amazing. Saw sharks, moray eels, stone fish, nudibranches, clown fish, potato cod (huge!), lion fish, lots of little fish, etc. Met a number of interesting people on the boat. The staff were great, very accommodating and really friendly.
This was a fabulous experience that I would recommend to anybody. Really good value for the money and superior service. You get to know the crew personally. They all pitch in to help and make the live aboard experience wonderful." - Paul Pilutti, Canada ...

"The Mike Ball group was professional and safety conscious first and foremost. They made the trip comfortable, fun, relaxed, attending to our every need. The dives were set up well from the equipment (would have like full wetsuit but shorties were ok), to the procedure for entering and exiting. The boat was full with 29 divers but spacious enough to spread out. The food was quite plentiful and tasty for hungry divers. We did the 3 night trip and 12 dives and felt we saw the best coral and fish possible. Next time we may include the Osprey Reef on the longer trip." - Cindy Armbruster, USA ...

"Staff was very helpful, ship was very clean, everyone was very friendly and enthusiastic. We had a wonderful time on the cruise, thanks!" - Yi-Hsin Lin, USA ...

"Fantastic set-up. Knowledgeable instructors, great crew, tons of fun, great dive sites. Food was stunningly good." - Graham Carssow, USA ...

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