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Juliet Sailing and Diving

Our Bahamas trips are different

April through November, departing from Miami, and diving some of the most pristine sites in the Bahamas chain.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Liveaboard diving in St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Join our Winter-only trips in the USVI

sailboat diving liveaboard

Mona Island: "The Galapagos of the Caribbean"

Select trips December and March – tough to get to but worth the effort.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Repositioning Trips on Juliet

Juliet heads south each winter, you can join the adventures but don’t forget your sea legs.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Diving and Sailing in the Bahamas

Juliet is a charming 100′ Liveaboard Schooner primarily based in Miami running week-long diving trips to the Bahamas every spring, summer, and fall. In the winter look for us in Puerto Rico for our semi-annual Mona Island trips, or in St. Croix where we are based December through early March.

Liveaboard Diving

Voted #1 US-Based Scuba Diving Liveaboard by Sport Diver Magazine. 104′ vessel, 12 passengers, and five friendly and experienced crew members to anticipate your every need. Come see what all the fuss is about.

Multiple Destinations

One week at your choice of four destinations: Bahamas and Florida Keys from downtown Miami April to November, or meet us in Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands each winter.

Travel in Comfort

We’re constantly improving accommodations. Six private cabins, 2 ensuite cabins have private heads and showers for extra privacy and 4 standard cabins have plenty of storage and space to stretch out.

For over 15 years & counting…

Juliet Sailing and Diving was founded in 2003 by Captain John Beltramo, who had explored the Bahamas since the early 90s. He had been diving all over the world, and chose to base a scuba diving liveaboard company in the Bahamas because there is something special here. Sold in 2016 to long-time crew member and captain, Liza Hash, Juliet still runs primarily out of Miami, providing trips to the Bahamas in the Bimini area where there is an abundance of fish life and beautiful dive sites. Here we find some of the most breathtaking reefs along the eastern edge of the Santaren Channel – when the weather cooperates, that’s where you’ll find us.

Some of our most popular…

Diving Tours and Packages

sailboat diving liveaboard

7-day Bahamas Trip

sailboat diving liveaboard

7-day St. Croix Trip

sailboat diving liveaboard

7-day Mona Island Trip

sailboat diving liveaboard

4-day Bahamas Trip

sailboat diving liveaboard

11-day or 2-week Repositioning Trips

sailboat diving liveaboard

Mona Island

Juliet at Mona Island

Repositioning Trips

sailboat diving liveaboard

What they say

Customer Testimonials

The four crew members on Juliet this past week are some of the most wonderful people I have had the honor to meet! Their care and concern for each of us as individuals made for a very pleasant experience! We cannot wait to see them all again

I had an incredible time, and I can truly say it was the best dive trip I have ever been on.

Crew went above and beyond to make the trip an enjoyable and memorable one.

The diving was awesome and was a fantastic experience, I look forward to doing again.

The time I spent on the Juliet was fantastic. The Captain and crew did everything within reason to make the trip safe and enjoyable. I highly recommend to anyone to charter with the Juliet where ever she is berthed.

What makes these trips is the crew and I simply cannot say enough good things about [them]. They went way beyond reasonable to provide a first rate experience. There was never any question about safety or how things were being done. Overall a fabulous experience.

The crew? were fantastic. They were engaging, fun, communicated well, and set excellent boundaries and expectations in professional and respectful ways. I can?t say enough about how great the trip was.

Crew was fantastic! Friendly, informative, helpful, interactive, low key! The briefings were great, fun learning sessions. Good mix of down time, diving and fun. Good variety of diving, great group of seasoned divers, excellent food!

What an amazing trip! The food was amazing, and I always leave feeling recharged and content. The crew is professional, but also makes me feel like family. Cannot wait until the next time I get to dive with you!

In the 20+ years I?ve been going on diving trips around Florida and the Caribbean?.. this by far was one of the best trips ever!

The crew is very down to earth, ?the dive sites are ?amazing, ?and the accommodations are just right. It is a trip I always enjoy!

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Hash Marine

DBA Juliet Sailing and Diving 25 SE 2nd Ave Suite 406 Miami, FL 33131

866-5JULIET (558-5438)

Copyright 2024 by Juliet Sailing and Diving.

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DIVE Magazine

DIVE Magazine

Scuba Diving Luxury Travel Magazine

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: best scuba diving liveaboards

1 November 2021 15 minutes

dive travel awards 2021 best scuba diving liveaboards

During the 2021 DIVE Travel Awards, 245 different vessels were voted by readers as the best scuba diving liveaboards to sail away with in 2022. Here’s a closer look at the Top 10, with some of the best comments made by readers during the vote

Coralia raja ampat, indonesia, bilikiki solomon islands, dewi nusantara raja ampat, indonesia, nai’a fiji, mermaid ii indonesia, mermaid i indonesia, nautilus explorer mexico, sea hunter costa rica/cocos island, spoilsport queensland, australia, wunderpus komodo, indonesia, the rest of the top 25 liveaboards:, the complete list of entries to the 2021 dive travel awards, more dive travel awards.

DIVE Travel Awards: The Winners!

DIVE Travel Awards: The Winners!

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: best dive centres or resorts

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: best dive centres or resorts

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: best scuba diving destinations

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: best scuba diving destinations

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: Top 5 dive centres and resorts by region

DIVE Travel Awards 2021: Top 5 dive centres and resorts by region

Www.coralia-liveaboard.com.

DIVE Travel Awards 2021 Coralia liveaboard

The Coralia, a traditional  Phinisi  build, is based in Raja Ampat and offers year-round trips around the islands and also to Komodo, Alor and the Banda Sea. She is 48m in length and caters to 16 guests in eight cabins. On the main and upper decks are four large master cabins, each with a double bed, wraparound picture windows and private balcony. On the lower deck are two double cabins and two twin cabins. All rooms are ensuite with air-conditioning and lots of storage.

On the main deck is a large indoor salon and dining area. There is an outdoor lounge, which also has tables set up for al-fresco dining, sun loungers and sofas for chilling out. On the top deck are several comfortable sun loungers and a massage area.

There is a spacious dive deck with personal storage space, free nitrox, two tenders for diving and an extremely large dedicated camera room with charging points.  Itineraries vary from seven to 11 nights and explore the Dampier Strait, Wayag, Misool, Batanta and Kawe around Raja Ampat and other locations including Komodo National Park, Alor, the Forgotten Islands, Maumere and the Banda Islands. Up to four dives a day are available, as well as other activities such as bird-watching, hiking and snorkelling.

Voter Comments:

Very comfortable, famous food (buffet), very good dive guides, excellent cruise directors (Debbie, Jerry, Ronan) – KW, Germany

This boat feels like my second home. No task is too big, and the doughnuts. My god, the doughnuts. – AM, India

Literally the most amazing people and life-changing dive trip! Best in class! – MM, USA

Great cabins, awesome routes and dive spots and the best cruise directors in the business! – CG, Singapore

Excellent location and staff. Caring management and excellent food and spacious rooms highly luxurious and affordable boat – SS, Australia

Beautiful vessel, utterly competent crew and same mission values as their land-based operation PAPEX – RK, Australia

Brilliant diving thanks to dive directors knowledge. Boat facilities, diving area, food, relaxation areas. Ambience altogether. – NP, UK 

www.bilikiki.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Bilikiki Cruises has been operating in the Solomon Islands for 28 years and has a well-deserved reputation for comfort, safety and service. Offering trips from seven to 14 nights around the Florida and Russell Islands, Marovo Lagoon and Mary Island, itineraries include five dives per day for up to 20 guests accommodated in ten air-conditioned ensuite cabins. All trips start and finish in Honiara, the capital of the Solomons and home of the international airport. Bilikiki operates in a way that benefits people in local communities by paying to dive on the ancestrally owned reefs and buying local produce from islanders.

The Solomon Islands are part of the Coral Triangle with a staggering diversity of marine species, coral and dive sites – yet they remain one of the least dived areas of the world. Consistently great visibility and year-round 28-30°C (80-86°F) water temperature plus a great variety of dive sites with huge drop-offs, coral gardens, caves, sandy critter dives, seamounts, points teeming with fish and numerous WWII wrecks. 

Bilikiki is just the right size and it travels through wonderful villages and supports the locals by buying fresh foods for the boat. It’s a wonderful, intimate experience, both with the locals, and the crew. Lovely people, great experience!!! – RN, USA

Best service, comfortable boat, great food and stunning diving in remote areas. Simply the best. – JZ, Australia

Been diving on the Bilikiki 5 x in the last 15 years and LOVE the boat, the crew! And mostly, the diversity of the Solomons Islands! My go-to place if I can get there! – NS, USA

Very stable comfortable boat. Authentic experiences with islander crew and visits. Service goes above and beyond. – ACS, UK

Love the style of diving the crew is great (local and managers) the floating markets and support of local communities. – LR, USA

Bilikiki is a world-class operation. The staff is attentive, the food delicious and everything is geared to your location. – DW, USA

Professional, friendly and go to the best sites in the Solomon Islands (e.g. Mary Island) otherwise inaccessible! The boat life is fun and staff are amazing – supportive and lovely. The food is amazing too! – MW, Australia 

www.dewi-nusantara.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Dewi Nusantara placed first in the 2018 DIVE Travel Awards, and ranks highly yet again for the fourth year in succession, having placed second in 2019 and sharing third spot with Nai’a in 2020. Named after the goddess of the Indonesian archipelago, Dewi Nusantara is a 57m, three-masted schooner launched in 2008, designed to cater to a maximum of 18 guests, accommodated in eight spacious en-suite, air-conditioned staterooms, including the aft ‘Master and Commander’s’ cabin, which is the size of a large hotel suite. Spacious decks, lounge and dining area afford plenty of room for relaxing in between dives.

Nitrox divers and underwater photographers are well catered for, and Dewi Nusantara has an extraordinary range of itineraries throughout the Coral Triangle, including Raja Ampat, Ambon, Banda Sea, The Forgotten Islands, Halmahera, Ternate, Triton Bay, Cendrawasih Bay, North Sulawesi and beyond.

I’ve been on many liveaboards in my 50 years of diving. In fact, I helped refit and manage, what most consider the first ‘luxury’ liveaboard, in the Solomon Islands. Dewi’s operation is a cut above all the vessels I’ve had the pleasure to dive from. The boat is always impeccably maintained. The divemasters are super knowledgeable. The food is stellar and the behind-the-scenes operation is next to none. – BJ, USA

Fabulous staff, fab food and service ranging from food prep to room maintenance to guiding underwater. – KA, Canada

The crew treats you so well. The accommodations are superb! You feel like family right away. – AS, USA

Have been on this beautiful schooner six times and can’t wait to return! The accommodations are great, the staff are all amazing, the food and service are incomparable and the diving and snorkelling spectacular no matter what itinerary! – KF, USA

Hands down the most beautiful liveaboard ever made. Spectacular and large accommodations, non-stop food and epic diving presented by the most customer-focused and safety-conscious crew. – EM, USA

The Dewi Nusantara is an outstanding boat with a dedicated staff to meet all your diving needs. Most wonderful way to dive. – LAA, USA 

  www.dewi-nusantara.com

Www.naia.com.fj.

sailboat diving liveaboard

NAI’A, one of the first liveaboards to operate around the islands of Fiji, is a name that many divers will recognise, having run her first charter in 1993. The luxurious 38m steel ship has been nominated in the Top 25 for the past five years in the DIVE Travel Awards, sharing a well-deserved third place with Dewi Nusantara in 2020, thanks in large part to enthusiastic campaigning by the Fijian Tourist Authority. 

Designed and built in Holland, NAI’A caters to 18 passengers in nine air-conditioned staterooms with ensuite bathrooms, with a sun deck, dive deck and spacious dining area, plus a camera room for photographers. Nitrox is available and rebreather divers can be catered to on request. 

Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the World’, one of the best places for shark encounters, and is home to five of the world’s seven turtle species. NAI’A’s itineraries cover the spectacular barrier reefs of the Bligh Water and the Koro Sea, and on longer charters head further out into the ocean to explore pristine reefs that are otherwise rarely visited. 

Wonderful experience, great food, exceptional crew, kava evenings, and incredible diving. – L, UK

Beautiful diving, wonderful food, Great crew and boat. One of my favourite things was the explanation of local customs and people. Our shore excursion was amazing! – BD, USA

We have dived worldwide and nobody come close to the Nai’a …place, crew, amenities. Perfect combination!!! – J&S, USA

Of all my liveaboard experiences, Nai’a is by far the best! Best diving, most wonderful crew and lovely ship and BBC accommodations! – SF, USA

The best liveaboard dive boat and crew. Luxurious, accommodating and all-round amazing – IC, Romania 

www.mermaid-liveaboards.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Mermaid II was built and started sailing in the year 2000, since when she has been continuously improved and hailed by her owners as ‘possibly the best in her class’, one of the most comfortable and diver-friendly liveaboards in Indonesia. She was a Top 25 finisher in 2020 and has jockeyed for position with her sister ship, Mermaid I, for some time, finally beating her for the first time since the DIVE Travel Awards began.

Mermaid II has eight deluxe cabins that offer all the comforts a diver needs, with a large panoramic window overlooking the ocean. Each cabin has a private en-suite bathroom with hot water showers and sink, plus camera-charging outlets, storage space, wardrobe and life jackets. Itineraries include Komodo, Raja Ampat, the Banda Sea, Alor and Ambon. 

I’ve done six trips with Mermaid 2 to Komodo, Raja Ampat and once from Raja Ampat to Ambon. All amazing trips which is why I keep going back to this boat. When I return it’s like going to see my family again. Truk Odyssey is a completely different experience, I’ve ticked it off my bucket list and am booked to go back again in 2022 after Covid ends. – JK, Australia

Wonderful fun crew, extremely knowledgeable, always felt my safety was their first concern. The boat was clean and very well maintained and food excellent. – JP, USA

Concierge diving with the most knowledgeable, professional, and experienced dive guides in Indonesia. – CH, USA

Perfect organization, comfortable boat, best team, fabulous route, incredible diving experience. – OB, USA

The best liveaboards: excellent service, routes, support and staff. – GC, UK 

  www.mermaid-liveaboards.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

The 28m, steel-hulled Mermaid I has eight cabins with air-conditioning,  TV & DVD players, single, twin or double beds, a large wardrobe, plenty of storage room and an ensuite bathroom with showers. With one single cabin, she takes 15 guests.

A range of itineraries to complement those of the MV Mermaid I are available.

The Mermaid 1 has become our favourite. We have had the opportunity to dive with them several times. Their service and boat is absolutely top-notch. We have been on @30 liveaboard trips with a dozen or so operators. – CR, USA

Absolutely luxurious liveaboard, best I’ve ever been on. Food delicious and amazing staff. – CP, Australia

I have been on the Mermaid 1 & 2 numerous times in Komodo and Raja Ampat. The diving, safety, food and most of all staff are the best we have experienced on over 15 liveaboards… which is why we keep going back to them. – LH, UK

Mermaid liveaboards offer a professional service both on land and onboard, the vessels themselves are really comfortable. For the Komodo trips they disembark and embark from Beno Bali, so the time we have we can use effectively to explore the nature and underwater world – SC, Indonesia

We have dived with Mermaid for 15 years in Komodo, Mergui, Raja Ampat and the Banda Sea. They have the perfect mix of personal touch, good food (Thai and Indonesian), safety and reliability. Even when they cannot bring to a promised location or provide a guaranteed sighting, the service recovery is excellent. -KKMA, Singapore 

www.nautilusexplorer.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Nautilus Explorer placed fifth in our 2017 Travel Awards, and have gone from strength-to-strength to once again place in the Top 10 this year. The Canadian-built steel-hulled Nautilus Explorer was launched in 2000 and has a total of 13 air-conditioned staterooms, including three superior and one premium suite – which features a full-size bathtub – on the upper decks.

Nautilus specialise in big animal encounters and offer itineraries around the islands of Socorro and Guadalupe. Socorro, part of the Revillagigedo archipelago, is famous for encounters with oceanic manta rays and up-close and very personal meetings with dolphins. Guadalupe is home to at least 228 recognised individual great white sharks, and are spotted on three out of every four cage dives conducted in the area.

Other large fish such as scalloped and giant hammerheads, Galápagos, whitetip reef, silver-tip, silky, tiger and oceanic whitetips are also regularly spotted, with dusky, whale and threshers putting in the occasional appearance.

Never have I been on a safer (fire safety, electrical charging, evacuation, drills & practice, and even shark safety) and roomy liveaboard. Even to the point of COVID safety! And the diving – note I have seen many shark operations and this was by far the most efficient shark wrangling for photography hands down! – RT, USA

Because I’ve been to Revillagigedo and Guadalupe on it and it’s the most comfortable boat ever. – AM, Mexico

Great service on a world-class boat with a great crew going to an amazing location; Socorro Islands. – TH, UK

Great hosts, good prices, good times! – JL, USA

Breathtaking service and excellent dive professionals – BI, UK 

www.underseahunter.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

A regular Top 10 finisher and 2017 Travel Awards Champion, Sea Hunter, is something of a gold standard for all other dive boats, combining the large-platform, functionality and powerful machinery of a working marine research boat with the comfortable and relaxed interior of a modern yacht.

Since 1995, the 35m-long vessel has hosted international celebrities and filmmakers – together of course, with thousands of regular divers and photographers –  many of whom make the long-range expedition to the remote Cocos Island, during which comfort and stability over the 36-hour journey are important. Ten guest cabins with private baths provide luxurious accommodations for up to 20 passengers, and the spacious vessel is dedicated to the most serious of photographers with individual gear storage and private camera/strobe storage shelves with 110 & 220-volt AC power.

Located in the eastern tropical Pacific 300 miles southwest of Costa Rica, Cocos Island was declared ‘the most beautiful island in the world’ by Jacques Cousteau. Volcanic in nature, the island is a giant seamount that attracts a huge array of pelagic visitors, including large schools of jacks and tuna, and the huge numbers of schooling hammerheads that are most synonymous with the island. Dolphins, mantas and marbled rays, giant moray eels, marlin and sailfish are commonly encountered, as are silky sharks, silvertips and tiger sharks. 

They provide excellent and safe service every time, at the best diving destination possible. The crew and boat itself are fantastic and always make sure you are comfortable and have a wonderful trip. – TM, Jamaica

The Undersea Hunter Group is skilled, professional, safe, knowledgeable, and friendly. – GS, USA

Seahunter and Argo set the bar for other liveaboards. – HF, USA

The absolute best crew and dives. – BM, USA

Love love love! – GMR, USA 

www.mikeball.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Spoilsport placed 8th overall in the 2020 DIVE Travel awards, the first Australian liveaboard to have ever been nominated by our readers, and cements her place among the best liveaboards in the world with another Top 10 ranking for 2021.

Spoilsport is the 30m-long, twin-hulled flagship of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, based in Cairns. Spoilsport has a total of 14 cabins, four premium doubles with ocean views, four standard cabins with twin beds and ocean views, and four club cabins with bunk beds, all of which have ensuite bathrooms. There are a further two budget cabins with bunk beds and shared toilet facilities. The huge dive platform has more than enough space to cater for a full guest complement, as has the lounge and dining area.

Spoilsport ranges across the northern Great Barrier Reef – including the legendary Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs – heading out into the Coral Sea to Osprey and Bougainville Reefs, depending on the itinerary. Dwarf minke whales put in regular appearances during dives at Ribbon Reef #10, and humpback whales can often be spotted alongside the boat. Sharks are everywhere. As an extra treat, special itineraries feature a low-level flight over the vast expanse of the Great Barrier Reef between Cairns and Lizard Island. 

The most incredible diving experience with the minke whales – the liveaboard was well equipped, dives were supported by staff and marine biologist, fabulous food and the dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef were outstanding. – FG, Australia

First-class operation. Recommended to US friends. They loved it. – WO, Australia

Fabulous itinerary, crew, food, safety – PB, Australia

The best team I know! – GP, France

Great facilities. Excellent crew. – BM, UK 

www.wunderpusliveaboard.com

sailboat diving liveaboard

Wunderpus was a new entry to the 2020 DIVE Travel Awards when she placed second overall in the Top 10 liveaboards. Traditionally-built from ironwood and Indonesian teak, the 25m-long, 4.8m-wide vessel first set sail in 2014 and caters to just a small number of people with spacious, comfortable accommodation. There are just two double cabins with queen size beds, and two double-twin cabins with a queen-size bed and a single bunk, and all four cabins are equipped with AC and fan, ensuite bathrooms with hot water, 100 per cent biodegradable reef-safe shampoo and soap, and a hairdryer. She has two upper decks with comfortable sunbeds for relaxing – one shaded and one uncovered, for tanning and stargazing at night.

Wunderpus plies her trade throughout Komodo National Park in Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet with the possibility to encounter almost every form of marine life, from black sand macro to whale sharks and manta rays, among stunning coral reefs, often with strong currents and spectacular drifts. Combined with the small number of divers on board, the Wunderpus crew make a special effort to schedule dives away from busier reefs, making it a great option for divers who like to get away from the crowds. 

Wunderpus are an amazing operator and really have one of the best approaches to diving Komodo. With a strong emphasis on conservation, they truly are one of the best operators to dive within the national park! – JA, Malaysia

My liveaboard choice over the last eight years. Never disappoint. – AA, Indonesia

The world’s best diving from the most sumptuously luxurious liveaboard. – JB, UK

Awesome choice of dive sites, good food great guides – BD, Philippines

Great boat with a touch of luxury – MH, Malaysia 

  • Ambai, Indonesia
  • Emperor Elite, Red Sea
  • Febrina, PNG
  • Palau Siren
  • Damai I, Indonesia
  • Arenui, Indonesia
  • Calico Jack, Raja Ampat
  • Oceania, PNG
  • Pindito, Indonesia
  • Rocio del Mar, Mexico
  • Argo, Cocos Island
  • Okeanos Aggressor, Costa Rica
  • Blue Horizon, Egypt
  • Galapagos Aggressor
  • Pelagian, Indonesia

Aboya, Indonesia ● Adelaar, Indonesia ● Adishree, Indonesia ● ● Aelous, Red Sea ● Aldebaran, Egypt ● Alila Purnama, Indonesia ● Amalia, Indonesia ● Amba, Maldives ● Andromeda, Egypt/Sudan ● Aqua Galapagos ● AquaCat Bahamas ● Aquasport, Egypt ● Atlantis, Egypt/Sudan ● Avalon, Cuba ● Bahamas Aggressor ● Belize Aggressor ● Bella 1, Egypt ● Bella 2, Egypt ● Black Manta, Indonesia ● Black Pearl, Micronesia ● Blackbeards, Bahamas ● Blue Dragon, Komodo ● Blue Fin, Egypt ● Blue Force One, Maldives ● Blue Manta, Indonesia ● Blue Marlin, Komodo ● Blue Melody, Egypt ● Blue Planet 1, Egypt ● Blue Spirit, Maldives ● Blue Voyager, Maldives ● Blue, Egypt ● Blueshark One, Maldives ● Busy Girl, Indonesia ● Cahaya Mandiri, Raja Ampat ● Cajoma IV, Komodo ● Calepso, Tioman, Malaysia ● Captain Sparrow, Red Sea ● Caribbean Explorer 2 ● Carlton Queen, Egypt ● Carpe Diem, Maldives ● Carpe Novo, Maldives ● Carpe Vita, Maldives ● Cassiopeia, Egypt ● Cat Ppalu, Bahamas ● Cayman Aggressor ● Charlotte, Egypt ● Cheng Ho, Indonesia ● Chertan, PNG ● Clasina, UK ● Coral Queen, Egypt ● Current Junkies (Komodo, Indonesia) ● Damai II, Indonesia ● Deep Andaman Queen, Thailand ● Diamond Explorer, Egypt ● Discovery Palawan, Philippines ● Diva Andaman, Thailand ● Diva Marine, Thailand ● Dive One, Egypt ● Dolce Vita, Red Sea ● Dolphin Dream, Bahamas ● Donia, Red Sea ● Duke of York Maldives ● Dune Croisières Nord Egypte ● Eco Blue, Maldives ● El Alsson International School ● Embun Laut. Komodo ● Emperor Asmaa, Red Sea ● Emperor Atoll, Maldives ● Emperor Echo, Red Sea ● Emperor Explorer, Maldives ● Emperor Leo, Maldives ● Emperor Raja Laut ● Emperor Serenity, Maldives ● Emperor Superior, Red Sea ● Emperor Virgo, Maldives ● Emperor Voyager, Maldives ● Epica, Raja Ampat ● Eureka, Australia ● Four Seasons Explorer, Maldives ● Freedom I, Egypt ● Freedom III, Egypt ● Freedom VIII, Egypt ● Gaia Love, Indonesia ● Galapagos Master ● Galapagos Sky ● Galatea, Seychelles ● Giamani, Thailand ● Grand Sea Serpeant, Egypt ● Grandezza, Maldives ● Halleluijah, Thailand ● Hammerhead I, Red Sea ● Hammerhead II, Red Sea ● Honors Legacy, Maldives ● Horizon III, Maldives ● Humboldt Explorer, Galapagos ● Hurricane, Red Sea ● Ikan Biru, Indonesia ● Independence 2, Egypt ● Indo Aggressor ● Indo Siren ● Infiniti, Philippines ● Jakare, Indonesia ● Jardines Aggressor ● Jaya, Indonesia ● Juliet, Red Sea ● Keana, Maldives ● King Snefro, Egypt ● Komodo Dancer, Indonesia ● Kona Aggressor ● Kudanil Explorer, Indonesia ● Maldives Aggressor ● Manta Queen, Thailand ● Mariana, Maldives ● Marselia Star, Maldives ● Mata Ikan, Mersing, Malaysia ● Mimic, Komodo ● Mistral, Egypt ● Moana, Indonesia ● Mola Mola, Indonesia ● Moonimaa, Maldives ● Mutiara Laut, Indonesia ● Nautile Evo, Red Sea ● Nautilus Belle Amie, Mexico ● Nautilus Gallant Lady, Mexico ● Nautilus Undersea, Mexico ● Neomi, Indonesia ● Nouran, Red Sea ● Ocean Dream, Egypt ● Ocean Hunter, Palau ● Ocean One, Maldives ● Ocean Trek, Australia ● Ocean Window, Egypt ● Oceana Maria, Philippines ● OK Maldives, Maldives ● Oman Aggressor ● Ondina, Indonesia ● Orca Cruise Maldives ● Orion, Maldives ● Palau Aggressor ● Philippine Siren ● Polar Pioneer ● Quino El Guardian, Mexico ● Raja Ampat Aggressor ● Raja Ampat Explorer ● Rascal, Indonesia ● Red Sea Aggressor II ● Reef Prince, Australia ● Roatan Aggressor ● Rock Island Aggressor, Micronesia ● Royal Evolution, Red Sea ● Sachika Liveaboard, Maldives ● Samambaia, Indonesia ● Samara II, Indonesia ● Samata, Indonesia ● Sarah, Maldives ● Scubaspa, Maldives ● Sea Queen , Egypt ● Sea Safari 6, Indonesia ● Sea Serpent, Egypt ● Sea Spirit, Maldives ● Sea Star, Seychelles ● Seaduction, Red Sea ● Seahorse, Indonesia ● Seven7Seas, Red Sea ● Shakti, Indonesia ● Silversonic, Australia ● Sky Dancer, Galapagos ● Smiling Seahorse, Thailand ● Snefro Love, Red Sea ● Snefro Pearl, Red Sea ● Snefro Spirit, Red Sea ● Socorro Vortex, Mexico ● Sokharaja, Komodo ● Soleil 2, Maldives ● Solitude One, Micronesia ● Solmar V, Mexico ● Solomons PNG Master ● South Moon, Sharm El Sheikh ● Southern Image, Western Australia ● Spectre, California ● Spirit of Freedom, Cairns, Australia ● SS Thorfinn – Chuuk ● Sun Spy Northland Dive, New Zealand ● Sunshine, Egypt ● Swell, Alaska/British Columbia ● Taka, Solomon Islands ● Tala, Red Sea ● Tatawa, Komodo ● Tempest, Egypt ● The Junk, Thailand ● The Phinisi Cheng I São, Thailand ● The Seven Seas, Indonesia ● Theia Dune, Maldives ● Tiarè Liveaboard Indonesia ● Tibruon Explorer ● Tiger Blue, Indonesia ● Tradewinds Adventures, Raja Ampat ● True North, Australia ● Truk Master ● Truk Odyssey ● Tui Tai, Fiji ● Turks and Caicos Aggressor ● Turks and Caicos Explorer II ● Typhoon, Egypt ● Valentina, Mexico ● Valhalla, UK ● Valkyrie, UK ● Velocean, Indonesia ● VIP One, Egypt ● VIP Shrouk, Egypt ● Waow, Indonesia ● Wellenreng, Indonesia ● Whirlwind, Egypt ● White Manta, Indonesia ● Wind Dancer, Cocos Island

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5 Best LiveAboard Sailboats – Plus 8 Important Buying Considerations

CATALINA 30

CATALINA 30

NORDIC 40

Taking the plunge to live on a sailboat is usually a huge decision, especially as living aboard a boat is an exciting lifestyle choice. However, there are lots of things to consider before buying a boat that will suit your needs and also be nearly as comfortable as a traditional home on land.

Whether this is your first time choosing a liveaboard sailboat, or you want to upgrade to a better option, you will find useful information in this article. But before we get into the best liveaboard sailboats and how to choose one, let’s see why living aboard a boat is a great lifestyle choice.

We’ve reviewed some of the best liveaboard sailboats and listed them here to help you choose one that will suit you most.

5 Best LiveAboard Sailboats

Islander 36.

ISLANDER 36

The Islander 36 is the boat for you if you want a well-rounded sailboat with impressive cruising abilities. With close to a thousand of these boats built between 1973 and 1986, the model is one of the successful and best-selling boats of the company.

These sailboats are renowned for their well-adorned cabins, with many featuring exquisite wooden interior trim. Typically, the interiors are spacious and feature a long port and starboard settee. The settee is designed to fold out into a double berth for sleeping. There is also a nav station to port with a quarter berth at the back that forms an extra seat. The boat also has a spacious master berth with an enclosed shower, making this boat one of the best liveaboard sailboats for cruising.

The interior also features plenty of drawers, plus many caned and louvered lockers. The L-shaped galley is to starboard and equipped with an icebox (that can be upgraded to a refrigerator). It also comes with a three burner LPG stove and a double sink.

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature of the interior is the companionway steps that are easy to maneuver. This is by far better than having ladders, as the steps can serve as additional separate seats when you have guests onboard.

The amount of fuel the boat’s tank can take is ideal for coastal cruising. Although Islander 36s can embark on extended trips, you will need to get additional jerry cans for that purpose.

You can check here for pricing and listings .

  • LOA:   36 ft
  • Beam:   11 ft 2 in
  • Ballast:  5450 lbs
  • Displacement:  13,450 lbs
  • Sail Area:  612 sq ft
  • Fuel Tank:  30 gallons
  • Water Tank: 56 gallons

 Boats  →

If you are looking for a boat that is tough to beat feature-for-feature and size-for-size, perhaps this model will be of interest to you. Designed for comfort and performance, the Catalina 30 is arguably the most common production cruising sailboat to ever grace the open waters. Despite coming into the market as far back as 1972, their popularity to date is a glaring proof of high performance.

You can expect to find spacious accommodation in this 30-foot sailboat with modern features such as a fully equipped galley and electric pumps that supply running water. The layout features a “suite” style with a V-berth master bedroom that is closed off from the rest of the cabin.

The Catalina 30 also features a dinette that can also serve as a workspace or chart table. The boat also includes an enclosed shower and head, which makes living aboard a comfortable experience.

Check out listings for Catalina 30 here .

  • LOA:   29 ft 11 in
  • Beam:   10 ft 10 in
  • Ballast:  100 lbs
  • Displacement:  10,200 lbs
  • Sail Area:  446 sq ft
  • Shoal Draft: 4 ft 4 in
  • Head Room: 6 ft 3 in

 Yachtworld  →

Weatherly, comfortable, spacious, and fast – these are what readily comes to mind when you think of the Nordic 40 .

This large sailboat is perfect for long-distance voyages, so if you intend to buy a boat that will offer excellent accommodation for offshore cruising, you know where to look. Thanks to its large structure, the interior is extremely spacious, making it the perfect choice for couples who want to spend more time aboard a boat.

The standard Nordic comes with top-notch equipment, including a Navtec hydraulic vang and Navtec rod rigging, plus full hull insulation in the entire interior. There is standing headroom available throughout, along with a spacious master bedroom.

The galley is fully equipped with modern facilities and allows for comfortable living. With the standard Nordic 40, there is no worry about storage space. Remote living is a walk in the park with this boat, even if you intend to anchor out for a couple of months at a stretch with enough supplies and provisions.

Keep in mind that these boats are not very common, but if it is the type that appeals to you, it is worth searching out.

Check out listings for Nordic 40 here .

  • LOA: 39 ft 9 in
  • Beam: 12 ft 5 in
  • Ballast: 7,091 lbs
  • Displacement: 18,000 lbs
  • Sail Area: 756 sq ft
  • Water Tank: 120 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 56 gallons

Thinking about taking your entire family for a coastal cruise or even a near-offshore cruising experience? Consider the Hunter 33 , one of the best liveaboard sailboats equipped for such purposes.

One of the longest-lived boats in its category, the Hunter 33 came into the market in 1977 and is still in production to date. The mid-sized sailboat comes with great interior accommodations, with ample room for sleeping and sitting. It comes with two private cabins, which is great for a 33-foot sailboat.

It features a shower and toilet aft the master bedroom. Plus, there is a full dinette and standing headroom throughout the cabin.

In a nutshell, this the perfect sailboat for those moving up in size and want a great boat with modern conveniences for an extended cruising period.

Check here for detailed listing and pricing .

  • LOA: 33 ft 6 in
  • Beam: 11 ft 6 in
  • Ballast: 3,579 lbs
  • Displacement: 11,016 lbs
  • Sail Area: 625 sq ft
  • Water Tank: 50 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 25 gallons
  • Headroom: 6 ft 4 in

NOR’SEA 27

The Nor’Sea 27 is an excellent choice if you are single or searching for the best liveaboard sailboats for minimalists. This boat is arguably the best compact liveaboard cruiser available in the market today.

The compact boat has a surprisingly spacious interior for a 27-footer. Plus, it features almost every amenity you can find on a larger boat.

For comfort, the small sailboat feels more like a Catalina 30 and comes with a galley, shower, toilet, and two bunks below the cockpit. The forward berth also serves as a dinette.

The design of the sailboat is a huge success and has found a pretty strong following, which explains why it is still in production to date despite hitting the market long ago in 1976. As expected, the little sailboat costs less in slip fees. But the best part is that you can tow it on a trailer, and that’s all legal.

Don’t be fooled by its size, though. The Nor’Sea 27 isn’t cheap. Prices for new ones start from around $150K (with kits starting anywhere from $35K). You find used ones for as little as $15,500 or as much as $95,000 depending on age, quality of finish, and condition.

Find out current listings and prices here.

  • Ballast: 3,100 lbs
  • Displacement: 8,100 lbs
  • Water Tank: 20 gallons
  • Fuel Tank: 20 gallons

How to Choose the Best LiveAboard Sailboats – Buying Guide

There are several things to consider when choosing a liveaboard sailboat, but perhaps the most important factor is the level of accommodation that will suit your need. A boat with useful features such as a fully functional kitchen or electric toilets are well and fine, but many traditional sailors don’t really care about limited amenities. Any stripped-down sailboat with basic interior would do just fine.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Most sailors are generally okay with any standard live about sailboats constructed after 1970 since these types typically have adequate ventilation , a usable kitchen, head, and shower. But whatever your preferences, you can be sure you will find something that will provide the level of comfort you need in most modern sailboats.

Here are 8 important factors and requirements we think are crucial when choosing the best liveaboard sailboats.

1. Standing Headroom

There’s nothing wrong with spending a couple of days in a week aboard a boat without standing headroom. However, if living aboard a sailboat is a lifestyle choice for you, consider one with standing headroom. Your body is not meant to crouch or crawl for months or years on end. With time, your back and other muscles will start to take a hit. For your overall health and wellbeing, it is best to choose a sailboat with standing headroom. Our recommendation is 5-feet 10-inch standing headroom or something within that range.

2. Basic Kitchen Facilities

A liveaboard boat without a kitchen can only mean one thing: you will be eating out every single day! While this is okay for some people, others will prefer to cook their own meals at least once in a while, regardless of their culinary skills.

We think a kitchen is a must-have for the best liveaboard sailboats, even if it doesn’t have all the modern facilities. Basic kitchen facilities should include a refrigerator or icebox, a sink, and a stove. If you find one with an oven, that’s a plus, too!

3. Toilet with Plumbing

The fastest way to spread diseases when you liveaboard a boat is to have improper human waste storage and disposal system. Sanitation facilities are among the top considerations when choosing the best liveaboard sailboats.

Using a porta-potty all year long is definitely out of the question. Besides, no one would like to live on a stinky boat or have guests come over a smelly abode. When you choose a liveaboard sailboat, look for one with a built-in and properly outfitted toilet. It should also have a safe sewage storage tank with a proper disposal system.

Many liveaboards prefer to use gym or marina facilities instead of their onboard showers. This is okay, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for bathing facilities on board. Choose a sailboat with a shower for convenience’s sake, even if you don’t use it all the time.

It is important to make sure that your bilge pump is always in good working condition, especially if you have a boat shower that drains directly into the bilge. Keep in mind that whatever goes into the drain will find its way below your floor.

5. Electric Lighting

Having kerosene lamps is okay. In fact, many sailors love to have them because it adds a certain feel and beauty to their boats. But you definitely want to consider the convenience and safety offered by electric lighting. If you plan on living aboard a boat for a long time, you will need some form of reliable electric lighting.

6. Availability of 120V AC

The best liveaboard sailboats come with 120V AC outlets for standard house electricity connections. The availability of electricity is a definite requirement for living aboard a boat. You want to have a way to charge your cell phones, computers, and use other electronic gadgets. A boat with only a 12V outlet is not good enough. It is best to choose a sailboat with 120V AC outlets if you want to enjoy electricity living aboard a boat full-time.

7. Seating Spaces

Apart from the main bed, the best liveaboard sailboats should have additional seating spaces. There should be separate spaces for sitting, working, navigating, and eating, especially if you plan on living aboard for a long time.  You don’t want to be bored with the monotony of using only one space (the main bed) for all your daily activities. Having separate seating spaces has the added advantage of making your day-to-day activities more agreeable.

8. Ventilation

Perhaps the simplest requirement for liveaboard sailboats is ventilation. But it is equally essential, regardless. An opening porthole or a passive solar roof vent should suffice. The important thing to consider when it comes to proper ventilation is a boat that provides a way to let in fresh air without needing to open the main hatch.

Coastal Vs. Offshore Accommodations

And now, here’s one final factor to consider before choosing a liveaboard sailboat. How do you plan to use your boat? Do you want a sailboat that will serve primarily as a long-distance cruiser, or do you intend to use it mainly for coastal cruising?

Your intended use significantly affects the style of interior design that will be suitable for your purpose. Sailboat accommodations are greatly impacted by their cruising purposes. Coastal cruisers are likely to feature more plush layouts, complex interiors, and larger sofas. Also, these boats generally have several amenities, so it is common to have smaller storage spaces in these sailboats.

On the other hand, offshore or long-distance cruisers feature cabins that are designed and arranged to make the journey as comfortable as possible. These sailboats generally don’t have unnecessary furniture and other extras below deck to make room for increased sleeping and storage spaces.

It is easy to get carried away during the physical inspection of a sailboat, especially if the boat is equipped with modern facilities and fanciful, eye-catching amenities. But don’t get swayed by those, even though they are important for improved convenience. Your top priority should be how you intend to use the boat – for coastal cruising or offshore cruising. This should inform your choice of accommodation.

Benefits of Living on a Sailboat

Okay, why should you want to give up living on land and opt for an unstable address somewhere in the middle of the ocean? Is it even safe to do so?

Living aboard a sailboat is an exciting lifestyle that offers several benefits and challenges, too! Thousands of people across the world choose this lifestyle, and because these boats are constructed from high-quality, durable materials, you can be sure it is safe to liveaboard one.

This lifestyle offers liveaboards a cheaper alternative than living in a traditional house. This is particularly the case in waterfront cities where rental apartments and houses in the marina areas are even more expensive.

It is a lot cheaper to live in a boat if you enjoy traveling around the world on the water. And if you enjoy the marina lifestyle, you could take it a step further by owning and living in one of the several best liveaboard sailboats available.

And come to think of it, these boats require some serious investments. What’s the point of buying a “house” on the water without living in it, right? To many people, it makes more economic sense to live in their expensive boats, instead of paying extra rent for a house on the land when there is one idling away on the water.

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About Chris

Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.

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Guide to Night Diving

How to Get Certified to Scuba Dive

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What to Know About Liveaboard Trips

Everything to Know About Liveaboard Dive Trips

sailboat diving liveaboard

  • What to Expect
  • How Do They Compare to Dive Resorts?
  • How Much Do They Cost?

What Are the Best Destinations for Liveaboard Trips?

How to book a liveaboard trip.

If you love scuba diving trips, maybe it’s time to take the next step and try a liveaboard trip. Rather than sleeping in a hotel and taking a boat ride each morning to your dive sites, your hotel is the boat. You’ll sleep, eat, dine, and socialize on your boat while traveling around to various dive sites (and yes, liveaboard ships are much larger than your average dive boat.) 

Liveaboards can be a great way to meet other avid divers, reach destinations that would be too far for a day trip, and maximize the number of dives you’ll do in a single trip. 

What to Expect on Your Liveaboard Trip

A “liveaboard” is a scuba diving trip where you’ll on the boat the whole time—hence the name “liveaboard.” You’ll have all your meals on the boat, usually in a communal setting with your fellow divers. Liveaboard boats can range in length from a few days to two weeks or longer.

Some liveaboards offer extra experiences like snorkeling, kayaking, or even an onboard masseuse, but the focus is always on scuba diving. You’ll usually be able to fit more dives a day in on a liveaboard trip than on a land-based trip. An aggressive schedule can include five dives a day, plus opportunities for night diving . 

Even “luxurious” liveaboards are informal. Divers will often spend all day in a swimsuit and liveaboards rarely require shoes. Because liveaboards usually cater to more experienced (or at least enthusiastic) divers, it’s common to have presentations in the evenings on niche diving topics like rare local species, photography tips, or marine conservation. Diving isn’t a part of the trip—it’s the whole trip. 

Remember that liveaboards are also social experiences. Even the largest liveaboards will have no more than 40 or so guests. In addition to diving with the fellow travelers on your boat, you’ll also be sharing all meals and, likely, a relatively small common space (it is a boat, after all.) If you’re the type of person who likes to have your own space and keep to yourself on vacation, a liveaboard may not be the best fit for you. If you'd like to give it a try, book a shorter liveaboard as a part of a longer vacation.

How Do Liveaboards Compare to Dive Resorts?

You may have stayed at some hotels billed as “dive resorts,” which usually include unlimited tanks for shore diving or several boat dives built into the cost of your stay. A liveaboard is the same concept: the price includes all your dives (sometimes unlimited dives) in addition to the cost of your room, food, and any additional costs. You may sometimes pay extra for alcoholic drinks.

On a liveaboard, you’ll be able to access dive sites too far from land for a day trip. You may be doing more blue-water diving in deeper oceans. That means you may not be able to see the bottom, and there may not be a fixed point of reference, like a reef. There’s usually a better chance of spotting sharks and whales during blue-water dives. Of course, many of your dives will likely be on reefs, and dive boats should always be able to share the sites they visit, as well as the recommended certification levels, before you book. Liveaboards almost always have multiple dive guides to accommodate divers of different levels. 

You’ll also be able to do more dives on a liveaboard, including night dives. You’ll either dive directly off your liveaboard, or you’ll load into a smaller zodiac boat to take a quick trip to the site. Either way, it’s quick and easy to get in the water. You don’t need to be an advanced diver to go on a liveaboard trip, but you do need to be willing to take a vacation totally focused on diving. You also may be spending a lot of time sitting around your boat if the weather or ocean conditions aren't conducive to diving on a certain day.

How Much Do Liveaboards Cost?

The cost of a liveaboard scuba diving boat depends primarily on two factors: where in the world you are, and what level of luxury you want. In countries where diving is more expensive, like the Maldives and Costa Rica, so too are the liveaboard trips. Countries like Egypt and Indonesia where diving is generally cheaper will have more affordable options.

Liveaboards also range in levels of luxury. Boats like California’s Pacific Star run extremely laid-back two- and three-day trips to Catalina Island in which divers stay in shared bunk-style rooms for around $300 per person. Conversely, in Egypt, $100 a day will get each diver a private room with air-conditioning and gourmet meals.

Budget trips will likely have shared accommodations and shower facilities, while more luxurious options will have rooms more akin to cruise ships, along with amenities like pools, spas, and cinema rooms, or other non-water entertainment options. 

The best places to do liveaboard trips are areas where either access from the shore is difficult or impossible (like the Red Sea) or where the best dive sites are too far to reach on a day trip (near Komodo, in Indonesia.) Most popular scuba diving destinations will have various liveaboard options, but here are some of the most popular:

  • Sea of Cortez, Mexico:  For a chance to see super rare giant squids, sea lions, and huge manta rays, book a boat in the Sea of Cortez. The body of water is a protected marine area and has the potential to see a huge range of marine life on a relatively short five-day trip. Try the Nautilus or the Rocio Del Mar .
  • Komodo, Indonesia: The islands around Komodo like Raja Ampat have some of the healthiest reefs and the most amazing marine species in the world. Come here for rare creatures, adventurous drift diving , and great opportunities for shark sightings. The various dive sites are practically inaccessible by other means—and you won’t find Komodo dragons anywhere else, of course. The Mermaid II is a modern, luxurious option while the Samambaia has more of a traditional sailboat feel.
  • The Maldives: In a country of 1,200 islands, it's no surprise that liveaboards are a great way to get around. Since there are so many small island resorts dotted among the atolls, you may be able to spend an afternoon on land at a luxurious island spa or enjoying a resort restaurant. Being able to spend so much time on land is a rarity with most liveaboards. Try the Emperor Explorer or the more budget-friendly (and smaller) Maldives Aggressor II .
  • Red Sea, Egypt: Most boats on the Red Sea start from Sharm-el-Sheikh, one of the few relatively safe places for Westerners to currently visit along the waterway. Short three- or four-day trips are available in the north part of the sea, though taking a longer seven- or eight-day trip will bring you to some of the clearest water in the world in the southern Red Sea. Liveaboards here are also some of the world’s most affordable. Both the Sunlight and Emperor Echo start at under $100 a day.
  • Cocos Islands, Costa Rica: Love hammerhead sharks? Head to Costa Rica’s Cocos Islands, far off the coast of Costa Rica. The islands are so far, in fact, that there’s no other way to reach them and once you’re there, you’ll want to do dozens of dives. It’s a reliable spot for huge schools of hammerhead sharks. Consider the Undersea Hunter if you're keen to maximize your time with sharks.
  • Fiji: It’s not cheap, but a Fijian liveaboard will take you to uninhabited islands completely unreachable by other means. You can encounter a variety of different types of dives in Fiji, from dives with feeding bull sharks to dives in coral gardens and reefs where giant mantas feed. Liveaboards are a fairly new concept in Fiji so expect more routes and options to develop in the next few years. The Nai'a is a posh ship worth the splurge.
  • Galapagos Islands: Another destination known for shark diving, the Galapagos Islands are where Darwin first discovered how species evolve in isolation. Just like how Darwin saw some of the world’s rarest species here, so too can liveaboard divers. From whale sharks to penguins, you’ll see it all underwater in the Galapagos. Dives here tend to be for more advanced divers as currents can be unpredictable and you’ll likely need a thick wetsuit or a dry suit. It's not the cheapest place to do a liveaboard, but the Archipel is fairly reasonable with a starting rate of around $250 per person per day.

Booking a liveaboard is akin to booking a hotel, though you may be limited on your dates as most boats have set schedules. You can do an online search for the destination you want to visit plus “liveboard,” or check out dive-specific booking sites like PADI Travel or Liveaboard.com . Liveaboard boats have small groups and welcome questions in advance, so feel free to ask about everything from the room selection to dive sites and crew-to-guest ratio before you book. Many liveaboards for expert divers can accommodate beginners with a little notice, so if you’re considering a more “advanced” destination, reach out to your boat of choice before you rule it out.  As with any scuba diving destination, remember to tip your guides, especially if they help you get a once-in-a-lifetime view of schooling hammerheads or baby whale sharks. 

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The Ultimate Guide To Liveaboards

Alex Lowe

Written and Reviewed By

  • Divemaster Alex Lowe
  • Last Updated: September 13, 2023

Liveaboard Australia

Going on a scuba diving liveaboard is something every scuba diver should check off of their bucket lists.

They provide divers a way to dive multiple times a day, at some of the worlds most pristine, exclusive, and remote dive sites, for days on end, all from the comfort of a yacht.

To help you find your dream liveaboard, we researched the entire liveaboard market, creating lists of the best liveaboards in each country.

We’ve also personally reviewed a handful of liveaboards based on first hand experience.

Where Do You want to Liveaboard?

Aqua Cat Liveaboard

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5 Best Palau Liveaboards (2023 Update)

sailboat diving liveaboard

3 Best Solomon Islands Liveaboards of 2023

Safari Explorer

Best Hawaii Liveaboards (2023 Update)

Belize Aggressor IV

3 Best Liveaboards in Belize (2023 Edition)

Humboldt Explorer luxury Galapagos liveaboard on the ocean

5 Best Galapagos Liveaboards

Sokarja Komodo Liveaboard on the water

5 Best Liveaboards In Komodo National Park

Nautilus Belle Amie liveaboard boat on the ocean around Socorro

5 Best Liveaboards In Mexico

liveaboard boat on the water

5 Best Liveaboards In The Philippines (2023 Guide)

Coral Sea Dreaming Australian Liveaboard boat surrounded by divers

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Aquacat Liveaboard in the Bahamas floating on calm waters

5 Best Liveaboards In Bahamas

sailboat diving liveaboard

Best Liveaboards In Costa Rica

sailboat diving liveaboard

5 Best Egypt & Red Sea Liveaboards (2023 Update)

Tiare Cruise Indonesian Liveaboard with sails open

5 Best Liveaboards In Indonesia (2023 Update)

Raja Ampat Aggressor floating on the ocean

Best Liveaboards In Raja Ampat In 2023

Quino el gaurdian liveaboard boat on the ocean around Socorro

Best Liveaboards In Socorro

Belize Aggressor liveaboard boat on the ocean in the Caribbean

5 Best Caribbean Liveaboards Compared (New Discounts) – 2023

Ari Queen liveaboard boat on the ocean in the Maldives

5 Best Maldives Liveaboards Of 2023

Pawara budget liveaboard boat on the ocean in Thailand

Top 5 Best Liveaboards In Thailand

What is a scuba diving liveaboard.

sailboat diving liveaboard

A liveaboard vessel is a boat designed for living and for scuba diving .

The boats come equipped with dive decks, dive tenders, and plenty of places to store scuba diving gear , these trips are specifically catered to scuba diving.

Not all scuba diving liveaboards are created equally.

Typical liveaboard itineraries last around 7 nights but vessels can be found offering much shorter and much longer trips.

Often, all food and drinks are included as well, making this a very stress free option.

Prices can vary widely depending on how luxurious they are, and in what part of the world they operate in.

For example, a budget egypt liveaboard can go for $800 a week, whereas a luxury Galapagos liveaboard can sell at $8000.

What Type of Diver is a Liveaboard For?

Any comfortable and certified scuba diver can go on a liveaboard. If you’re just getting the hang of diving, it may not be the best option for you yet.

Depending on the liveaboards itenirary, divers can get by with an entry level certification such as the PADI Open Water certification, that will let you dive to 60ft/18m. 

If a liveaboard has certain sites that are only accessible past that depth, I’d highly recommend getting further certification such as advanced (100ft/30m) or even a deep dive certification (130ft/40m).

I’d also recommend having a Nitrox certification, as this will help you absorb less nitrogen on your dives, giving you longer no-decompress limits.

Alexa from OtterAquatics on a Liveaboard

Can Solo Divers Go on a Liveaboard?

Absolutely!

In fact, my first liveaboard I went solo, and nearly the entire boat was solo divers. 

As the price of a liveaboard increases, you’ll likely see more groups and couples.

The staff on a liveaboard will pair you up with a diver of a similar skill level if you’re not able to meet a diver of similar skill level.

Worst case, one of the crew members will escort you on one of your dives.

Blackbeards Crew Selfie

Why are Liveaboard Experiences Unique?

Access remote sites.

sailboat diving liveaboard

When you dive on a liveaboard, you get the opportunity to dive better and more remote dive sites, as opposed to the crowded sites you sometimes encounter on day trips in popular scuba diving destinations .

Trips to remote dive sites that aren’t feasible via day trip can be taken while you sleep, leaving you ready to explore the most off the beaten track dive sites after your morning coffee.

Why spend long boat journeys on an uncomfortable day boat when you could be socializing, reading, or sunbathing on a yacht?

Lots Of Diving!

This one is pretty obvious – you get to dive… A lot! There are usually up to 4 dives a day with options for night dives too. If you love diving, you will certainly get to your fill on a liveaboard.

Build Confidence

sailboat diving liveaboard

While most divers on a liveaboard have a bit of experience, it is an excellent way for newer divers to build up dive hours and experience.

Often new divers wait a year or more between diving trips, spending the first few dives back refreshing skills.

Doing upwards of 20 dives in a week will really embed those skills, leaving you feeling like a much more confident diver.

Meet New Friends

Meeting other divers from around the world is one of the joys of liveaboard diving.

Not only do you get to dive with new friends, but you will also really get to know them through socializing between dives and in the evenings.

They say that nothing inspires friendship like proximity and there is plenty of that on a liveaboard!

Alexa from OtterAquatics in a wetsuit with students

Every Day Is A School Day

Scuba divers doing a Gear Check

Other divers are not just potential new friends, but also a treasure trove of diving knowledge. Whether you’re discussing the best fins you’ve dived with or which diving destination to head to next, you’re sure to learn a whole lot!

Get On My Level

Most liveaboards impose minimum qualifications (no matter the organization) and a minimum number of dives. This ensures that you will be diving with divers at a similar level to yourself. For many, this leads to a much calmer and more trusting atmosphere as you are not having to contend with brand-new divers.

Captain Safety

On a liveaboard, you are constantly surrounded by dive professionals. All dives are undertaken under the supervision of divemasters or dive instructors who are trained in safety procedures and emergency scenarios, meaning that you can rest assured that you are diving as safely as possible.

No Worries Man

One of the key benefits of a liveaboard is the lack of concerns for everyday logistics. Without worrying about day-to-day logistics like getting to the dive shop in the morning, remembering to rinse your gear or even what to have for dinner, you can concentrate on the important things – like scuba diving and relaxing as much as possible!

Stepping onboard a boat and setting sail into the ocean wilderness is the stuff of daydreams. Feeling the wind in your hair, spending your days exploring the underwater world, and being rocked to sleep by gentle waves beneath starry skies will leave you feeling more alive than ever.

Slowing the pace of life down, spending your days without phone reception (ok, ok, full disclosure that many boats have wifi), and chatting to fellow divers is good for the soul.

What to Consider Before Buying Liveaboard?

Next, I’ll walk you through the process more divers take when searching for their next liveaboard.

Where In The World

A sole person on a small island in the Maldives

Ah, the big question, you want to go on a liveaboard – but where to go?! With liveaboard locations in the Arctic, the Antarctic, and nearly everywhere in between, deciding where to go can seem like an impossible decision.

Some locations lack liveaboards, either due to a small local diving industry or, like South Africa, due to the tempestuous ocean conditions which might make for a slightly nauseating experience. The location will often dictate the number of options available to you.

For example, Indonesian liveaboards are well established so there are many options, as opposed to the more remote Cocos Island which has fewer boats available.

Cost is a major consideration for most people. There is a wide variety of liveaboards for all budgets. More cost-effective options include bunk bed dorm-style cabins, like this Australian liveaboard, with fewer amenities.

At the other end of the scale are the boats that rival high-end hotels in their luxuriousness.

This list of the most luxurious liveaboards in the world gives a good representation of what you can enjoy if money is no object! Fortunately for the masses, the majority of liveaboards available tread a solid middle ground between the two.

It’s customary and polite in most places to tip the crew at the end of your trip. After all, they are at your beck and call for almost 24 hours a day. The amount you tip is very much at your discretion.

In my experience, at least a 15% tip is customary.

When you book can have an impact on cost. Like most industries, days like Black Friday can bring big savings. Last-minute deals can also offer savings, as can group discounts if you’re booking with a large number of friends.

Caribbean mantas

Is the place you’re looking at good all year round or is it only good to dive in certain months? Alternatively, check where’s good to dive in the months that you can travel!

In addition, if you’re looking for a particular experience, such as a specific wildlife encounter, it might only be present at certain times of the year.

What Do You Want To See?

If you’re looking for a particular experience, whether that is ice diving, coral reefs or manta rays, it may narrow down your search for a location. Think specifically about what you wish to see on your trip and work from there.

How Long Do You Want to Go For?

The duration of your trip will dictate how long you are at sea. It may be advisable to start shorter and work up to longer trips, especially if you are a newer diver or you’re unsure about your seasickness tendencies… There are trips starting from one night, with some itineraries spanning up to a month.

There is the option of large liveaboard companies like the Aggressor Fleet which has the benefit of homogeneity across the fleet – if you dived with them and loved it in the Maldives, chances are that your experience with them in the Caribbean will be similar.

The other option is smaller companies which only have one or two boats. Though it can be slightly more difficult to find information for some of these companies, they often offer a more authentic experience.

Types Of Boat

The Phinisi Liveaboard

Though irrelevant to many people, it may be worth considering your preference for boat style when booking.

There are sailing ships like catamarans, yachts built specifically for scuba diving liveaboards, traditional ships like Indonesian Phinisi yachts which have character and charm as well as even ex-scientific research vessels.

Skill Level

Certain places require a high level of diving experience, ability or confidence in order to enjoy it fully. An example of this is Komodo.

While there are many beginner level sites, those wishing to enjoy the wild currents of Komodo National Park may feel more comfortable if they have a few gnarly drift dives under their belts already.

If a location also involves a lot of swimming against the current, be sure to take into account your fitness level.

Liveaboard Packing Checklist

Besides the obvious travel and dive essentials, we wanted to share with you some advice on what to bring based on our own experience on dive liveaboards, both as guests and as dive professionals working on them!

Make a pile of all the clothes you plan to take, and then only pack half of that pile – or even a quarter if you’re feeling especially ruthless. Everyone brings too many clothes for a dive liveaboard. Trust us you’ll wear way less than you think.

You’ll end up rotating the same few items and almost certainly won’t wear that fancy evening outfit you brought along.

You’ll want something quick and easy to slip on during your surface intervals to protect you from the elements in between dives and a few casual outfits for when you’ve finished diving for the day. That’s literally it!

Extra swimwear doesn’t take up much space, and you’ll be thankful to have that dry set to change into between dives.

Great for warming up after a dive, acting as a windbreak or getting quickly changed underneath.

Own Dive Gear

Dive gear at socorro

Having a full set of equipment that fits your body and needs will make a big difference to your overall comfort and enjoyment underwater.

However, we understand that not everyone is ready or able to invest in a full set. And almost all liveaboards will offer rental gear, although it is usually at an additional cost and won’t always be your perfect fit.

At a bare minimum, we recommend bringing your own dive computer, mask, and fins. A poorly fitting rental mask or uncomfortable fins can make it hard to fully enjoy your dives, and a computer will allow you to have control over your safety.

Microfiber Towel

Depending on the service level of your liveaboard, you may be provided with towels for both activities and your cabin. But it’s still handy to have a microfiber towel, it drys super quickly and takes up hardly any space.

Packing Cubes + Hangable Toiletry Bag

Space is usually very limited on liveaboards. Having packing cubes helps you keep your stuff organized and having a toiletry bag with a hook is super useful when the bathrooms often have little to no shelf space.

Pegs / Travel Clothes Line

Many divers like to have pegs so they can hang items out to dry without the fear of them flying away. A travel clothes line can also be helpful if space is limited.

Headphones + Downloaded Content

You’ll be spending spend most of your time underwater, asleep, or enjoying getting to know your fellow divers.

However, after spending 24/7 with people, you’ll probably want a little alone time which isn’t always easy on a liveaboard. Plus if you’re unlucky, you may not get on so well with all the guests.

This is where headphones come in! It’s the perfect way to let others know you don’t want to socialize right now and can save you from getting sucked into a conversation with someone you’re trying to avoid.

Not all boats or locations will have a WiFi connection, so it’s best to download enough music, podcasts and/or auido books to last you for your trip.

Power sockets and charging stations are sometimes limited on liveaboards as they can pose a fire risk. Having your own power bank means you can easily top up your devices whenever you need.

Pocket Sized Games

Games are a great way to pass the time during surface intervals or to help break the ice in the evenings. Most liveaboards will have a small selection of games on board, but not all of them do. It’s worth bringing a pack of cards or another pocket-sized game. Your fellow divers will be grateful you did!

Try to bring something that isn’t language dependent, i.e. anyone can play even if they don’t speak english that well. Most trips will have mixed nationalities and it’s great to be able to invite the crew to join in too!

Kindle / E-Reader

Having an almost unlimited library at your finger tips is awesome if you love to read.

Polarized Sunglasses + Lanyard

When you’re on a boat for several days the glare from the ocean is strong! Protect your eyes with a high-quality pair of polarized sunglasses. Get yourself a lanyard for your glasses as well, so you won’t lose those high-quality sunnies when you’re leaning overboard looking at the wildlife!

Your Favorite Hot Beverage

Most liveaboards will have a good selection, especially the more high-end options, but if you’ve got a specific tea, coffee, or other hot beverage that you love, bring a few portions with you. There is nothing better to warm you up after your 3rd or even 4th dive of the day than sipping on your favorite hot beverage.

Refillable Water Bottle

Help minimize waste by bringing your own refillable water bottle. Useful for bringing out on the tender boat and to your cabin at night so you can stay hydrated without the risk of spillages. An insulated bottle is even better so you can use it for cold or hot beverages!

Medical Supplies

The boat will have a basic medical kit but they may not have everything you need or want. As with any travel, a small first aid kit could come in handy. Stock up on your preferred seasickness tablets, painkillers, and decongestants, and back-ups of any prescription medication you may need.

High-Quality Waterproof Band-Aids

The boat will have a medical kit, but it’s worth bringing your own high-quality Band- Aids that will definitely stay in place when you’re in the water. If your gear is new, or you’re just not used to diving 3 to 4 times a day then you can end up with blisters.

Ocean-Friendly / Natural Toiletries

When you’re on a boat all the water that goes down the drain will be emptied out into the ocean. This means that any products you use in the bathroom will also end up in the ocean. Help minimize your impact by packing ocean-friendly, all-natural toiletries for your liveaboard trip.

The majority of sunscreens available contain several chemicals that are harmful for coral reefs. Make sure you’re choosing a reef-safe option.

All that sun and salt is a recipe for chapped lips! A chapstick with UV protection is a lifesaver on a liveaboard.

Alex Lowe

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The ultimate guide to liveaboard diving in 2024.

January 5, 2024

Many of the world’s best diving destinations are remote islands or atolls scattered across the ocean, far from the reaches of diving day trips, making them ideally-suited to liveaboard diving. Renowned sites including Raja Ampat and Komodo in Indonesia, Fuvahmulah in the Maldives, and the isolated outposts of Socorro in Mexico and Colombia’s Malpelo Island, are all a long way from civilisation, making access difficult at best, and often utterly impossible.

The long travel times required to reach these extraordinary dive destinations means that the best way to explore them is by booking a liveaboard diving holiday. From traditional Indonesian phinisi schooners, to sleek safari boats with every convenience, and sturdy expedition vessels equipped with submarines and research labs, today’s scuba divers are spoilt for choice. Thankfully, ZuBlu is here to help you find your perfect liveaboard and itinerary.

But, how exactly do you book a liveaboard dive trip, and where are the best places to go? We’ve put together a guide covering how to book a trip, the best dive safari destination in the world, and everything you’ll need to know about liveaboard dive boats!

Dive right in, or find exactly what you're looking for in the menu below:

Booking a liveaboard dive holiday

  • The best liveaboard destinations in the world

What is a liveaboard dive boat?

  • Who should join a liveaboard trip?
  • What to expect onboard a liveaboard?

2023-dive-guide

Need some inspiration for your next diving holiday? Download this FREE month-by-month guide to ZuBlu's top diving destinations in 2023.

If you’re a seasoned diver, then you probably already know exactly what you want from your next liveaboard holiday, and where you want to go. In which case,  ZuBlu’s search makes it easy to book your ideal trip – there are hundreds of liveaboards to choose from !

But if you’re new to liveaboard diving it's worth doing a little research about what you should consider when booking a liveaboard dive trip . Like any dive experience or holiday you book, you’ll want to make sure it’s perfect, so it’s important to figure out exactly what you’re looking for.

Working out your budget can be a great place to start when searching for the ideal dive safari. Liveaboards trips are more accessible than ever and divers of every type can find their dream itinerary – whether it’s a no-frills, budget-friendly liveaboard option, an adventurous expedition, or an extravagant ultra-luxurious dive cruise. You should also be realistic about your dive experience, choosing an itinerary that is well-suited to your abilities and ensuring the vessel is equipped with the appropriate facilities. Find out more about choosing the right liveaboard trip here.

Before we dive into the best liveaboard destinations, it’s worth mentioning that the fleet you choose can be just as important as the destination itself. Each company has its own focus and philosophy, and a different set of priorities during each voyage. So, once you've found a fleet that fits your travel style and budget, selecting the best boat becomes a lot simpler. And, if you need a little extra help to find your perfect match, our detailed write-up of the world’s best liveaboard fleets is sure to help you choose.

Ready to start planning your ultimate liveaboard diving experience?

Contact one of our dive travel experts today!

zublu_team_photo_2022

The best liveaboard diving destinations in the world

With so many spectacular dive destinations around the planet, how do you find the right one for your next liveaboard dive holiday? Read on to explore the best dive destinations for liveaboard boats in the world.

If your looking something unique, then why not consider a trip-of-a-lifetime liveaboard itinerary to one of the hottest dive destinations on the planet.

Liveaboards in Indonesia

Indonesia’s 17,000 islands offer some of the best tropical diving on the planet. From the spectacular reefs and diversity of Raja Ampat, to the manta rays of Bali and Komodo, you’ll find exceptional diving – whatever floats your boat! The huge size of the country means that Indonesia is ideal for liveaboard dive trips and you’ll find a comprehensive selection of beautiful traditional phinisi liveaboards to choose from, as well as luxury modern vessels with every creature comfort.

Bali to Komodo

This classic itinerary can include diving in the Gilis, Satonda and Moyo Islands in Lombok, Sangeang and Banta Islands in Sumbawa, before heading to the famed sites of Komodo and ending in Labuan Bajo. Some adventurous liveaboards also include a whale shark hotspot in Saleh Bay along the way.

Komodo north and south

Komodo liveaboard diving combines spectacular islands and exhilarating, current-fuelled dive sites! Dive beautiful reefs, and enjoy exciting drift dives at sites such as The Shotgun. Encounter manta rays at Karang Makassar and Manta Alley, trek in search of Komodo dragons on Rinca and catch the sunset from Padar Island.

Alor and Pantar

Dive spectacular reefs and off-the-beaten-track islands in Alor , perfect for an exploratory liveaboard trip. The Pantar Strait is home to pristine reefs and abundant marine life, as well as powerful currents that attract hammerhead sharks and more, plus exceptional muck diving at Beang and Kalabahi.

The Banda Sea

Join a liveaboard 'crossing' dive trip and explore the original 'Spice Islands' of Banda, Run and others, home to everything from schooling hammerhead sharks at Nusa Laut, pristine corals and sea snakes at Manuk and Gunung Api, and exceptional reefs and fish life in the Forgotten Islands.

Raja Ampat 

Home to the best tropical reef diving on the planet. The combination of spectacular dive sites, abundant marine life including both reef and oceanic manta rays, and stunning karst landscapes with hidden lagoons and white-sand beaches, ensures  Raja Ampat is the ultimate liveaboard holiday destination .

Triton Bay and Cenderawasih Bay

Triton Bay is the site of unique reefs festooned with glowing black coral bushes and soft corals. Whilst over on the eastern side of the Bird’s Head Peninsula, Cenderawasih Bay offers exploratory liveaboard diving and wrecks. Both are also famous for their populations of whale sharks that gather around floating fishing platforms known as bagans.

Sangalaki and Maratua

Beyond Indonesia’s more popular liveaboard diving areas, these islands off the coast of Kalimantan offer an enticing mix of diving . Expect thriving reefs and exciting drift diving alongside plenty of marine life – including whale sharks, manta rays, sharks, vast schools of fish, and a unique jellyfish lake.

Search, compare and book from the top liveaboards in Indonesia

Discover your next diving holiday

Liveaboards in the Maldives

Stretching over 800 kilometres across the equator in the Indian Ocean, the atolls of the Maldives are home to some of the most spectacular diving in the world, with rich reefs and coral channels to explore, and reliable encounters with whale sharks, manta rays and other shark species. The islands and luxurious resorts offer the perfect tropical backdrop for a spectacular holiday experience, but the size of the country and diversity of dive sites means the Maldives is also uniquely suited to liveaboard diving trips.

Central Atolls

The central atolls of the Maldives are home to some of the best diving in the country, spurring the creation of some fantastic liveaboard routes as well as a network of private island resorts and guesthouses. Round trip dive safaris take in North Male, South Male and Vaavu Atoll, before heading to South Ari, North Ari and Rasdhoo. Guests can expect manta ray and whale shark encounters , as well as amazing channels, reefs and wrecks packed with marine life.

Southern Atolls

Currently the hottest dive destinations in the country, the Maldives’ southern atolls are the perfect choice for an adventurous liveaboard dive holiday with spectacular dive sites spread across different atolls. Typical itineraries from Male might include dives in Vaavu, Meemu and Laamu Atolls on the way south, before reaching Huvadhoo, Fuvahmulah and Addu. These remote sites offer encounters with plenty of sharks, including tiger sharks at Fuvahmulah , along with manta rays, pristine reefs and the largest wreck in the Maldives.

Northern Atolls

Heading north from Male Atoll, liveaboards explore a more peaceful side of the Maldives, with far less tourism and some spectacular island scenery. Typical itineraries in the northern atolls visit Baa, Raa and Lhaviyani Atolls – often combined with dives in North Ari and Rasdhoo on the way to Baa Atoll. The highlight of any northern atoll itinerary is the chance to visit Hanifaru Bay in Baa, home to the largest congregations of manta rays in the Maldives , as well as diving exciting wrecks, reefs and channels.

Search, compare and book from our top liveaboards in the Maldives

Discover your next underwater adventure

Liveaboards in Egypt and the Red Sea

Egypt's Red Sea offers an eclectic mix of scuba diving, with spectacular reefs and shipwrecks to explore, and stunning marine life that will amaze even seasoned divers. Set against a striking landscape of arid cliffs and lonely islands, and extending over two thousand kilometres from north to south,  the Red Sea is the perfect territory for liveaboard diving adventures – whether you’re looking for a quick safari or a dive expedition.

Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada and Dahab

Liveaboard dive safaris in the northern Red Sea typically depart from Hurghada and visit the spectacular reefs at Ras Mohammed National Park, the Straits of Tiran with its currents and sharks, and the wrecks of the Thistlegorm, Dunraven, Giannis D and Carnatic – amongst the most photogenic wrecks in the world.

Marsa Alam, Brothers Islands and Elphinstone

Liveaboard itineraries exploring Egypt’s central Red Sea region depart from Port Ghalib close to Marsa Alam, or Hurghada. Divers can explore coastal sites in search of dugongs and dolphins, then head offshore to the isolated sites of Elphinstone, the Brothers Islands, and Daedalus. All are known for beautiful reefs, dramatic underwater landscapes, and encounters with sharks including hammerheads, thresher sharks, and oceanic whitetips .

St Johns, Rocky Island and Zabargad

Departing from Port Ghalib, liveaboards explore Egypt’s most exhilarating diving. Week-long itineraries visit Fury Shoal, Zabargad, Rocky Island, and St. John’s Reef, diving pristine coral reefs and hidden wrecks. Add in the excellent visibility and extensive pelagic life, including oceanic whitetips and hammerhead sharks, and you have all you need for an exceptional liveaboard dive holiday.

Search, compare and book from our top Red Sea liveaboards

Discover your next ultimate diving experience

Liveaboards in Thailand

Thailand has long reigned supreme as a much-loved holiday destination and world-renowned diving hotspot. On the west coast, the Andaman Sea stretches from the border with Malaysia to Myanmar and beyond, and is peppered with islands, protected marine parks and isolated pinnacles – as well as Thailand's best diving.

Similans Islands and Richelieu Rock

The Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and the famous Richelieu Rock are world-renowned dive destinations that offer exceptional underwater adventures and the best liveaboard diving in Thailand . Liveaboards depart from Phuket or Khao Lak to the north and itineraries include spectacular reefs and isolated pinnacles – with the chance of encountering manta rays and whale sharks.

Search, compare and book from the top liveaboards in Thailand

Discover you next Andaman Sea adventure

Liveaboards in Mexico

Mexico’s impressive size is one of the main highlights of travelling in the country, and the reason why there is such a diversity of dive sites. Liveaboard safaris are the ultimate way to explore these sprawling coastlines, visiting all the top sites in a single trip and providing a true taste of Mexico’s diverse and dynamic diving.

Considered to offer the best diving in Mexico, Socorro and the Revillagigedo Islands are home to some of the ocean’s most spectacular marine life. Socorro liveaboard dive holidays  might have a long open-ocean crossing, but they're certainly worth the trip. Visitors should expect whale sharks, oceanic manta rays, dolphins, and massive shoals of tuna, along with both reef and pelagic shark species. And, thanks to its isolation and marine park protection, this spectacular environment remains pristine.

Located over 200-kilometres off Mexico’s Pacific coast, Guadalupe Island is a hotspot for great white sharks , with over 300 individuals migrating here during the four-month season. Visitors to this unique destination can get up close and personal with these incredible creatures from submerged cages, with no reef in sight, making for a truly thrilling experience.

Baja California

The huge Baja peninsula offers two distinct diving experiences, with the Pacific ocean to the west, and the Sea of Cortez - the “aquarium of the world” - to the east. Sea lions, shipwrecks and sizeable sharks are common highlights in Baja , as well as migratory whales, dolphins, orcas, and rays. With so many distinct dive destinations and world-class underwater experiences, Baja California is perfectly suited to liveaboard exploration.

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The Hammerhead Triangle - Galapagos, Cocos and Malpelo

The ‘ Hammerhead Triangle ’ may sound like the stuff of legend, but it’s very real. This triangular constellation of remote islands is located more than 500 kilometres from the mainland, in the middle of the eastern Pacific ocean, and is formed by Cocos Island, Malpelo Island, and the Galapagos Archipelago – all well known hammerhead hotspots. In fact, these destinations arguably offer the best hammerhead diving in the world .

Galapagos Islands

Renowned for their unparalleled endemism, the Galapagos Islands are also a unique dive destination offering exceptional underwater experiences. Visitors can dive alongside equatorial penguins and marine iguanas, as well as whale sharks, manta rays, sea lions, and more. But, at the far-flung Darwin and Wolf islands, only reached by liveaboard, divers will discover the archipelago’s marquee experience – regular rendezvous with some of the planet’s biggest schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks.

Cocos Island

Taking up to 36-hours to reach, this isolated island is reserved for the most intrepid of liveaboard divers. But, with a nickname like ‘Little Galapagos’, you can rest assured the diving will be worth it. About 20 dive sites have been documented around Cocos Island , including sheer walls, plunging pinnacles, dramatic drifts and beautiful blue-water dives – several of which are firm favourites for spotting huge schools of scalloped hammerheads. Tiger and whale sharks, manta and devil rays, and dolphins and humpback whales are just a few more of Cocos’ highlights.

Malpelo Island

Located 500-kilometres from the mainland, Malpelo is part of a 300-kilometre submarine ridge surrounded by a deep water basin. Malpelo is a hotspot for scalloped hammerhead sharks that gather in huge schools, sometimes hundreds strong. Incredibly, these schools are often overshadowed by a healthy population of silkies, numbering up to a thousand individual sharks on occasions. And, to top it off, Malpelo's marine park can only be explored by one liveaboard at a time , so you’ll have the entire place to yourselves.

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Liveaboards in The Bahamas

The Bahamas is an idyllic island nation renowned for its casual Caribbean vibes and exceptional adventures. The country’s 700 stunning islands and over 2,000 cays – all fringed by spectacular coral and surrounded by deep ocean trenches – are stretched over a distance of 800-kilometres, making The Bahamas ideally suited to liveaboard trips of all kinds. Fish for prized pelagics, sail in search of isolated islands, and dive alongside some of the most powerful creatures in the ocean including tiger sharks, hammerheads, bulls sharks, and billfish.

The Exumas, Nassau, and Eleuthera

Often referred to as the ‘best of the Bahamas’, this route visits the Exumas, Nassau, and Eleuthera – amongst the Bahamas' best diving areas. Expect to explore shipwrecks, take part in shark dives, and discover Nassau's Lost Blue Hole, as well as the region’s renowned wall dives that plummet towards the abyss. These voyages also make the most of the islands’ land-based attractions, including visiting the world-famous swimming pigs.

Grand Bahama, the Abacos, and Bimini

These islands are generally regarded to offer the Bahamas' best shark diving , with both baited and more natural encounters taking place, often in remarkably shallow water. Great hammerheads and tiger sharks are the stars of the show, but you’ll likely also encounter Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks and nurse sharks. Even wild dolphins make appearances. And, of course, there’s also plenty of reefs, wrecks, and walls to add to the fun.

Grand Bahama, Exumas, Nassau, Eleuthera, and Cat Island

This adventurous route is an extension of the classic ‘best of the Bahamas’ voyage, hitting all the top diving attractions, including the seasonal oceanic whitetip aggregation at Cat Island. Lasting up to 14-days, these cruises offer some 40 dives throughout the archipelago, visiting vibrant reefs, plunging walls, blue holes, shipwrecks, and sand flats full of sharks.

Search, compare and book from our top Bahamas liveaboards

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Liveaboards in the Caribbean

As the archetypal tropical destination, synonymous with laid-back, sun-soaked getaways, the Caribbean undoubtedly offers some of the best liveaboard diving in the world. The many different island groups, all surrounded by the warm, species-rich waters of the Caribbean Sea are a divers dream-come-true, and what better way to make the most of your time in the region than with a scuba safari.

Cayman Islands

Widely regarded as the birthplace of recreational scuba diving, this exceptional island escape delivers one dive site for every day of the year. But if you’re short on time, a liveaboard is a great way to make the most of your trip to the Caymans, exploring multiple sites every day, including seemingly-endless walls, tons of wrecks, and shallow sandbars packed with stingrays.

Turks and Caicos Islands

This archipelago is home to over 40 islands, divided into two groups that lie either side of the Turks Islands Passage. And, with so many islands waiting to be explored, liveaboard diving is by far the best way to tour the Turks and Caicos’ many underwater attractions. Expect beautiful coral gardens, ‘superhighways’ for pelagic species, mating nurse sharks, and the chance to snorkel with humpback whales.

Search, compare and book from our top Turks and Caicos liveaboards

Discover your next Caribbean cruise

What to know about liveaboards before you go

New to the world of liveaboard diving? Well, first of all, congratulations – you’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime! But, you’ve almost certainly got plenty of questions, so keep reading to find out everything you need to know before setting sail.

Put simply, a liveaboard dive boat is a boat that scuba divers live on for the duration of their trip. Much like a cruise, but with less people and more incredible diving.

Liveaboard dive boats offer multiple dives per day as part of an all-inclusive package with meals and additional activities. These vessels can be found in all shapes and sizes, hosting anywhere between two and 20+ guests, and with accommodations ranging from budget-friendly shared dorms to luxurious boutique experiences at sea.

Liveaboard diving – the pros and cons

One of the best parts of joining a scuba liveaboard is the chance to explore different diving destinations in just one holiday. And, unlike day diving, you won't have to endure lengthy boat journeys to and from each dive site. Instead, your boat will move along a preset itinerary or follow weather patterns from one spot to another in search of the best conditions. This type of dive holiday is also excellent for making new scuba buddies, enjoying mentorship from more experienced guests, and getting into the true spirit of diving! 

But, while diving some of the planet's most pristine diving destinations is a dream-come-true, there can be a few downsides.

Guests who get seasick might struggle during their voyage if they don't come prepared. It's essential that you bring everything from home to combat seasickness, just in case you start to feel ill during your trip. Also, most liveaboards aren't as family or non-diver friendly as a resort. If you are planning to travel with children or non-divers, carefully research all your options before booking. That way, everyone in your group can enjoy a fantastic holiday on the water!

Who should join a liveaboard dive trip?

We dive a little deeper into who should join a liveaboard dive trip in a separate article, but the short answer is, anyone. With dive safaris gaining in popularity, more and more trips are available, meaning there's a dream itinerary out there for everyone. And, while liveaboards might seem like the realm of pro divers, plenty of boats offer shorter trips visiting destinations with calmer conditions, making them ideal for less experienced divers. More advanced guests, including tech divers and underwater photographers, will want to choose a liveaboard boat with the right facilities to match their experience, such as guides with extensive knowledge of decompression diving and experts familiar with photography equipment.

Although most liveaboard itineraries cater to divers only, there are some that are suitable for mixed groups, with dedicated snorkel and dive guides and a wealth of extra activities. If you are travelling with family or friends, a chartered voyage might be the best choice, while shared-cabin liveaboards are great for solo travellers .

What to expect onboard a dive liveaboard

What will it be like during a liveaboard cruise? What should I bring with me and what happens if I get seasick? We answer all these questions, and more, in our separate article about what to expect on a dive liveaboard , but here are a few of the key considerations.

Packing for a liveaboard

Liveaboard dive boats have limited storage space, so pack light. If you are concerned about weight limits on flights, consider renting dive gear on board. Comfortable, layered clothing is a must, as are toiletries and medicines for the entire trip, including reef-safe sunscreen and insect repellent, basic first aid supplies and seasickness tablets.

Food and drink during liveaboard trips

Most liveaboards are full-board with three or four meals a day. Snacks, water, tea and coffee are almost always complimentary, while soft drinks and alcohol will sometimes require an extra charge.

Courses, equipment, and nitrox

Courses, rental equipment and nitrox are optional extras available on many liveaboards. Your vessel of choice may offer some, all, or none of these so be sure to check before booking.

Should you tip liveaboard crews

It’s common practice to tip the hard working crew at the end of your trip, although this is discretional of course. 

Eat, dive, sleep, repeat

After thorough briefings on safety procedures and the itinerary schedule, you’ll set sail towards your first destination, often stopping for a check-dive en route. From then onwards, you’ll be doing three to four dives a day until the last, which is often a non-diving day, allowing guests to ‘off gas’ before their flight.

Our team of travel experts can help you book your holiday with confidence, with the latest travel advice.

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Ultimate Liveaboard Packing List: What to Bring on a Liveaboard Dive Trip

ultimate liveaboard packing list

The links below may be affiliate links. If you shop through them, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For full information, please see my  disclaimer  here.

Are you going on your first scuba liveaboard trip and have no idea what to bring? In this post I will share with you my liveaboard packing list.

You’ve probably booked your first liveaboard and you’re just about ready to go to your dream dive destination. Everything is pretty much perfect until you realize you still have to do some packing!

In my experience, packing for a liveaboard trip might be a bit different than packing for a regular dive holiday. On a liveaboard trip, you’ll most likely spend days at a time at sea and in very confined spaces so this is something you should consider.

If you find the idea of packing for a liveaboard trip daunting, don’t worry, I’ve got you!

I’ve done a liveaboard in the Great Barrier Reef and a liveaboard in Tubbataha Reefs , so I know a thing or two on what you should bring and what you should just leave at home.

Continue reading for some tips and suggestions on what you should pack for a scuba diving liveaboard holiday. I will go through different travel essentials and recommendations so you don’t feel overwhelmed or you don’t overpack!

Dive and travel documents

What to wear on a liveaboard, what toiletries and personal care products to bring on a liveaboard, scuba diving gear to bring for a liveaboard dive trip, underwater camera and electronic devices, bags and travel must-haves.

Passport – If you are traveling internationally, check your passport’s validity. As a general rule, your passport must be valid for another six months before you depart for international travel. I know divers who completely forgot to check their passport’s expiration date and they had to cancel the trip.

Visas- Double-check what the rules of entry are for the country you are visiting. Depending on your nationality, some may require you to apply for a visa before arrival. In some countries, vaccination cards or covid-19 testing might still be a requirement before entry. Arrange for these prior to departure.

Cash and Credit Cards – Find out what is the best way to pay in the destination you are heading.

Cash is still king and still the best way to pay for basic needs while traveling. Avoid carrying too much though but also remember that you will be heading to remote areas and sometimes underdeveloped countries. ATMs and money changers might be scarce or far in between.

Many places do not have credit card facilities and you may be asked to pay in cash for most things. Visa and MasterCard are mostly accepted. But in some countries or businesses, they may add a 3-5 % surcharge to cover banking fees.

Inform your bank that you are traveling abroad and will be using your card there on specific dates. This is to avoid your card from getting blocked.

You might also want to bring cash on your liveaboard for any additional expenses like your liquor consumption or to buy souvenirs.

If you’re happy with the service and experience, you can also tip the crew in cash. Ask the liveaboard what their recommendation or policy is on tipping.

Dive and travel insurance – Make sure to get one so you’re covered while traveling and diving. Some travel insurance policies will not cover diving accidents and some diving insurance policies will not cover travel emergencies.

Remember that for liveaboard destinations hospitals and emergency facilities may be scarce or hard to find. Getting dive and travel insurance can give you that extra peace of mind in case of an emergency. I personally use Divers Alert Network (DAN) .

sailboat diving liveaboard

You can also check SafetyWing . It is an international travel medical insurance that can cover you while you are outside your home. COVID-19 coverage is also included! Enter your details below to get a quotation.

Swimwear – Since you will be diving multiple for several days. I recommend packing at least two swimsuits. I hate wearing wet swimwear at the beginning of each day so I usually pack 3 to 4 sets of bikinis. This allows the suits to dry.

Between dives

Microfiber Poncho – I highly recommend wearing this to keep you warm after a dive. Ponchos are usually made with towel-like material so it will help dry off the salty water. It will also give you some protection from the wind chill.

Beach cover up or “sarong” – For ladies, a light cover-up can be useful to be worn between dives. The breathable and quick-drying material is perfect for tropical destinations. I like to bring a sarong as I find this versatile. It can be worn as a wrap around the torso, as a headcover from the sun or it can be used to lay down on while you’re working on a tan.

After diving

Regular clothes – If you are diving multiple times a day, you’ll most likely change into regular clothes only at the end of the day when all the dives are done.

I usually bring one change of clothes per day. But feel free to repeat outfits. I’ve seen divers wear the exact shirt for three days straight and no one really cares. As long as you have good hygiene and have terrible body odor, people won’t mind.

If you’re going on a 2-week liveaboard, it doesn’t make sense to take 14 different outfits so don’t worry about repeating outfits. Some liveaboard will also have laundry service.

Wearing shorts, shirts or tank tops is perfectly acceptable. Find out what the surface temperature is and dress appropriately.

I like to wear light beach dresses as I find them more comfortable. They do not take up much space compared to shirts and shorts.

Hoodie or light jacket – It gets a bit more chilly at night so you can wear a hoodie or jacket to stay warm. Cabins can also get too cold so this might come in handy.

Sleepwear- I bring one to two sets of sleepwear depending on the duration of the liveaboard.

Underwear- This is self-explanatory!

Flipflops/ slippers/ thongs- This is possibly the only footwear you’ll ever need while on a liveaboard.

Shoes/ Sandals – Once in a while I do pack a sturdier pair of sandals, rubber shoes, or sneakers depending on the itinerary.

Socks- If you bring closed shoes then bring extra socks as well. An extra pair is also handy for keeping your feet warm at night. When you are doing multiple dives, wearing socks can help protect your feet from getting blisters.

Accessories

Sunglasses- Bring eyewear with polarized lenses and UV protection. You will be staring out at sea most of the time and the glare from the sun can hurt your eyes.

Hat / Head scarf / neck buff- Useful to protect yourself from harmful rays of the sun. These breathable sun masks are great for your outdoor adventures.

Jewelry – Leave your expensive jewelry at home. I know some couples even leave their wedding rings and wear a silicon ring band instead.

Towels – Confirm with your liveaboard if they provide towels. If they don’t provide them, bring quick dry towels for saltwater and another for freshwater use. You can also take this cool microfiber dive map towel so you and your new liveaboard dive buddies can plan for your next dives.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Please consider getting toiletries made of sustainable materials to reduce plastic and the diminishing of our resources.

Read: 11 Tips for Sustainable Travel in the Philippines

Shampoo and Conditioner – most liveaboards provide this but if you’re particular I suggest taking your favorite hair product in smaller travel-sized bottles to save on space. I’m sure you will not need 1 Liter of shampoo for your 3-week trip.

I love taking my shampoo and conditioner bars. If you need some recommendations, here is a list of the best zero waste shampoos and conditioners .

Body soap – You will be living in close quarters with a lot of people so good hygiene is important.

Deodorant – You will be sweating a lot with all the physical activity so wear deodorant to avoid bad body odor.

Dental Care Kit – Pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, and even your floss and mouthwash if you want. Nobody wants bad breath and you gotta keep those smiles sparkling as you take selfies of your vacation!

Facial Skin Care Products – Whether it’s a two-step or ten-step regimen taking care of your skin should not go on vacation too. You’ll be exposed to the harmful rays of the sun so take your cleansers and moisturizers.

Lotion – exposure to sun and salt may leave your skin feeling dry so you need this to keep your skin moisturized. I personally like using coconut oil as it helps with my tan and it smells good!

Reef-safe sunscreen – To avoid damaging your skin and the reef, bring your own reef-safe sunscreen .

Hairbrush or comb + hair ties – Messy hair, don’t care? Remember that salt water can leave your hair damaged and in a tangled mess. Here are some tips on how to care for your hair when spending a day diving or on the beach.

Leave in Conditioner – Many divers recommend wearing leave-in conditioner to avoid hair damage. If you are looking for a product that cares for your hair and the ocean, you can check out Stream2Sea reef-safe leave-in conditioner .

Lip Balm – Did you know that you can get lip sun burn too? Bring lip balm with SPF protection to avoid sun damage on your lips

After-sun lotion- If you are prone to sunburn, bring some aloe to soothe your skin after extreme sun exposure.

Birth Control or Contraception – be a responsible adult and bring your own supply. Especially if you’re traveling solo, it’s very easy to hook up with someone on board. I have seen it happen after a couple of drinks!

Medicines and First Aid- Pack a small medicine/ emergency kit in your bag that has your preferred/ familiar brands of medicine.

Include in your first aid kit some waterproof bandaids and anti-bacterial creams in case you get cuts and scratches. Never expose open wounds to ocean water as it will get infected and make it worst. I once had to drink antibiotics and stay out of the water for a few days just to let an open wound heal.

Some people might have more sensitive stomachs than others so bring antimotility medicine for diarrhea or food poisoning. Allergy medicine and pain relievers are also good to bring.

Pack some motion sickness pills and other remedies that may help with seasickness .

Prescription medicine should be labeled properly. Bring extra just in case you have travel delays or you need to stay longer in the country.

While the liveaboard may have its own first aid kit, it might have a limited supply. They might also not have what you need and access to a pharmacy might be difficult when you are diving in remote areas.

Eyemasks and earplugs and sleeping pills – If you have trouble sleeping in new places, you will thank yourself for bringing these three things. These may also come in handy when you find yourself being roommates with a person who snores.

Sanitary napkins, tampons, or menstrual cup – I know we all hate it when our trip coincides with that time of the month but it shouldn’t stop us from having fun! You can still scuba dive while on your period .

Pack your own supply of tampons or pads even if it’s not that time of the month yet. You never know when your period decides to come early.

You might also consider switching to a menstrual cup as they’re more eco-friendly! I also find that they’re comfier to use than a pad or tampon especially while traveling.

For more feminine product recommendations, check out my post on eco-friendly menstrual products for a zero waste period .

For more eco-friendly travels, check out this article on what essentials to include in your Zero Waste Travel Kit .

sailboat diving liveaboard

Most liveaboards will have gear rental on board but so but if you will be bringing your own scuba diving kit here are some of the things you might want to bring with you for your liveaboard trip.

Exposure Suit – Ask your liveaboard what exposure suit they recommend you wear for the destination you will be visiting. I usually wear a 3mm suit for tropical weather diving.

Dive skins/ dive leggings / rash guards – when waters are a bit warmer I sometimes skip the wetsuit but still wear leggings and a rash guard to avoid any dangerous marine animals that may sting me. Many liveaboard locations are in remote areas and the last thing you’d want is to have a medical emergency from an animal sting.

This can also be good for sun protection if you don’t like wearing sunscreen.

Dive leggings and rash guards can serve as an extra layer of insulation. The silky fabric can help you get in and out of your wetsuit.

Check these posts: Best Scuba Diving Rash Guards for Women of Different Styles, Shapes, and Sizes Best Scuba Leggings: 10 Brands To Help You Look Good While Diving 9 Best Whale Shark Leggings For Your Active Lifestyle

Dive Computer – you will be doing multiple dives and having your own dive computer will help make sure you are diving within your limits. make sure batteries will last you for the entire dive.

BCD (Buoyancy Control Device)

Regulator Set

Fins (with boots)

Snorkel – Some destinations may require you to have snorkel attached to your mask during dives, so bring it. Some surface entry and exit might be difficult too so this can be useful in some situation.

Compass – I’ve done a self-guided dive on a liveaboard before and you’ll definitely need to know how to use one.

Weight Belt or Integrated Weight Pockets – liveaboards will provide you with the weights so just bring your weight belt or pockets.

Emergency Signal Devices – Anything can happen at sea. For instance, you can lose your dive buddy or need to do an emergency ascent. You can be swept away by a current and drift away from your dive boat. If you’re in remote locations, having your own safety signal devices might be the only thing that saves you during an emergency.

I usually carry a Delayed Surface Marker Buoys (DSMB) and a whistle . While others also carry a mirror that can bounce sunlight and be used as a signaling device. Some divers also bring a Nautilus Lifeline Marine GPS as an extra precaution.

Reef hook – Some destinations where currents are strong will allow you to use a reef hook. This dive accessory will allow you to hook yourself on a rock and tether yourself to avoid getting swept away. Some places may not allow this as it can damage a reef if used incorrectly.

Gloves – If you are diving in temperate waters, they might allow wearing gloves but in many areas, especially if it is a marine protected area, wearing gloves is prohibited. This is to discourage divers from touching the reef or holding marine life. Check with the liveaboard what the local policy is when it comes to wearing gloves.

Dive socks – these comfortable socks can be worn with your dive boots or full-foot fins to eliminate chafing and blisters especially if you are doing multiple dives a day. Check out these colorful dive socks that will make your dives more fun and enjoyable.

Dive hood – this can help keep you warm especially if you’re doing multiple dives.

Dive Light – If you have one take it and experience a night dive while on a liveaboard. If you do not have one, you should be able to rent one. If you need to purchase one before your trip, here are the 10 best dive lights for recreational divers .

Save-a-dive Kit – If you are not familiar with this, it is basically your bag of spare gear or parts. Some people suggest bringing extra fin straps, extra masks, extra o-rings, bungie cords, tie wraps and anything that may fix or “save a dive” when something goes wrong with your dive gear. I personally don’t carry one since I don’t mind renting.

Mask defog – You can bring your own but you can also just ask from the dive shop. They usually use liquid soap to defog masks. You can check out this Reef-safe defogger from Stream2Sea for an eco-friendly anti-fog solution.

Dive Knife or Line Cutter – Occasionally you might see fishing nets and lines underwater. These will come in handy when you need to rescue an animal from a ghost net. I carry an Aqualung Stainless Steel Blunt Tip Dive Knife.

Log book – Don’t forget to record your liveaboards experience in your logbook. In case you need to buy a logbook before your trip, here’s a list of the best dive log books .

Dry Bag – I recommend getting one as you will be going on a lot of boat rides and possibly some island hopping. This will keep your valuables dry and protected while in transit.

Here is the scuba equipment and dive gear I bring on my dive trip

My Scuba Diving Gear Regulator: Scubapro MK25 Evo , C300 and C200 2nd Stage BCD: Aqualung Axiom Mask: TUSA M-212 Freedom Ceos Snorkel: TUSA SP-170 Platina Hyperdry II Booties: Poseidon Pink Dive Boots Wetsuit: Seavenger Scuba Leggings: Ocean Spirit by Aurora Wetsuits (For a 10% discount, use Coupon Code: DIVERBLISS) Vest Hoodie: Scubapro Hybrid Hooded Vest Dive Watch: Suunto D4i Novo Dive Knife: Aqualung Blunt Tip Knife My Underwater Camera Gear Underwater Camera: Canon G7X Mark II Underwater Camera Housing: Fantasea FG7XII Video Lights: Big Blue AL1200XP Dive Insurance Divers Alert Network (DAN)

sailboat diving liveaboard

Mobile phone – While you might want to go on a digital detox, having your mobile phone will still come in handy for taking photos and staying connected with the resort of the world, even in the most remote areas. Make sure that your plan covers roaming or get a local SIM card if you need to.

Invest in a protective and waterproof case too.

Underwater camera- With the beautiful reefs and marine life you’ll encounter, you’re going to wish you had a camera underwater!

If you’re just starting out and not sure what camera to bring, here are my top recommendations for the best scuba diving camera for beginners . Make sure the camera you get can go down at a depth that matches the level of diving you are doing.

I personally bring my Canon G7X Mark II for my travels and diving. I highly recommend this underwater camera since it’s compact and affordable. I’ve written a Canon G7X Mark II review for you to check out if you’re looking to buy a camera before your trip.

I also use a GoPro Hero9 and GoPro underwater housing .

Don’t forget to include your underwater camera accessories:

  • camera lenses
  • camera tray
  • arms and clamps
  • video lights

Charger and Extra Batteries – You’d be surprised by the number of people who have actually forgotten these and left them charging at home! Consider getting extra batteries cause you never know how much time you have to recharge them.

Memory Cards- Don’t put all your photos on one card. I take several memory cards as I have experienced losing some and even having the card corrupted… Bye-bye photos of your best vacation ever!

Laptop or smart pad- If you’re bringing your camera, a laptop or smart pad can be used to back up your files and review images you had taken. You can also fill it with your favorite music, ebooks, and games to keep you entertained.

Headphones – If you like some alone time, these will come very useful, especially in a diver-filled boat! Find a noise canceling headphones to block out any disturbance. This is perfect for anyone who doesn’t feel like socializing 24/7.

Drone – These are great to capture aerial shots of your dream destination. It will give you and others a rare glimpse of where you went diving. Some places might require you to get a permit for this ahead of time, so check with your liveaboard if this is allowed and if there are fees involved.

Power bank – While your liveaboard will have outlets, power banks can come in handy while you’re in transit. You can be traveling several hours just from one place to another and it’s always a good idea to have a portable charger with you.

Power Strip- If you have a lot of gadgets that need re-charging, bring a power strip for convenience.

Travel Adaptor/ Converter – Ask the liveaboard what outlets they have on board. You might need to bring a travel adapter or a converter for your gadgets.

sailboat diving liveaboard

Dive Luggage – Bag choice really depends on what kind of travel you are doing and the difficulty of accessing the destination. Remember that you might need to ride tiny boats, buses, trikes, and jeeps to get to the port where your liveaboard is docked, and having wheeled luggage might actually be more difficult to transport.

Also, consider that there might not be enough space on your liveaboard vessel and in this case a dive duffle bag works best. When I went on a liveaboard in the Great Barrier Reef , they asked us to leave our big suitcases in their dive shop and only bring what we need for 3 days of diving.

Packing cubes – these will help you keep your things organized

Entertainment – If you don’t intend to bring gadgets with you, bring a book to read or something to keep you entertained during downtime.

Refillable Water Bottle – You need to stay hydrated while you’re diving and having a refillable water bottle can help you keep track of the amount of water you are consuming. I bring mine wherever I go. These insulated flasks from Waterlust even have a cute ocean-inspired design that divers will love.

Snacks – While you will be well fed on your liveaboard, it’s still good to bring your own favorite snack or candy to munch on. This is great especially if you tend to get homesick and just want something that is not just yummy but also comforting. Snacks from your home country can also be great to be shared with everyone divers and crew included.

Positive mindset – Leave your stress and worries behind and don’t bring your negative vibes on board. You are most likely to have a good time if you bring an open mind and heart along with you. Have fun, create memories and make new friends.

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what to pack for your liveaboard dive trip

Are there items that I forgot to include but should be on this liveaboard packing list? Leave a comment below!

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  • 9.6   Exceptional
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Carpe Novo

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Carpe Vita

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Liveaboard Diving in Maldives

Liveaboard SCUBA diving in the Maldives offers some of the world's most pristine and colourful reefs along with luxury dive boats that satisfy the choosiest of vacationers.

Diving in the Maldives by liveaboard offers the best in many must-have tropical SCUBA experiences. Deserted, white sand islands peep out of the ocean by only two meters, stretching seamlessly into an underwater paradise of wildlife nourished by the Indian Monsoon current. The Maldives' crystal clear waters are home to mantas, whale sharks, and reef sharks, not to mention the brilliant flatworms and ghost pipefish who hide among its wrecks, coral gardens, channels, and pinnacles. Maldives liveaboards offer itineraries encompassing the world-class dive sites of North Male Atoll , Ari Atoll, Baa Atoll, Hanifaru Bay, Rasdhoo, and many more, including remote atolls in the far north and south where you'd be hard-pressed to see another liveaboard.

Liveaboards in Ari Atoll come for their submerged, volcano-shaped pinnacles, which attract immense amounts of big marine life. Diving in and near Ari Atoll can bring you face to face with manta rays, pelagic fish, and even hammerhead sharks at Rasdhoo Atoll to the northeast. Within Ari Atoll's 40 km length and 105 small islands, dive sites like the premier Maaya Thila, overflowing with reef life, or Donkalo Thila, one of multiple manta cleaning stations, are only accessible to liveaboards. The most dependable Maldives dive sites for whale sharks and manta rays are located in this area. Experienced divers will be best able to navigate the strong currents that bring the giants to Ari Atoll. Maldivian liveaboards to Ari Atoll are mostly MV luxury yachts.

The length of most liveaboard itineraries to Ari Atoll ranges from 7 to 12 nights. The best time to dive in Aril Atoll is the calm-sea season of December to May. The water temperature usually remains between 26-29 C, and visibility is at 15-20 meters. Budgets for liveaboards in Ari Atoll range between 200 to 400 euros per. day. Ari Atoll liveaboards depart from Male, reachable by short flights from nearby Singapore, Dubai, and Colombo, as well as longer flights worldwide. Places to dive in and around Ari Atoll are North and South Male Atolls, Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll. Ari Atoll's liveaboard itineraries will often include a combination of the above.

Baa Atoll , in the Maldives' Northern Atolls area, offers an array of famously beautiful underwater landscapes and plentiful marine life. At Maavaru Kandu, you can dive below huge rocky overhangs festooned with luminous pastel gardens of blue, yellow, and green soft corals. Dhonfanu Thila and Dhigali Haa dive sites are underwater pinnacles known for their scenic whip corals, bushy black corals, and sea fans, as well as schools of snapper and regular manta rays. Hanifaru Bay even enjoys world-famous manta and whale shark aggregations during the plankton-rich months from August through November. Some diving in Baa Atoll is suitable for beginners with moderate currents. Liveaboards in Baa Atoll are mostly MV yachts and luxury yachts.

Nilandhe Atoll , on the western border of the Maldives' Southern Atolls, is a great destination for liveaboard diving. It comprises two atolls - the northern atoll is known for its big schools of fish, sharks, Napoleon wrasse, and eagle rays. The southern atoll is home to an abundance of protected areas teeming with marine life, including grey reef sharks, schools of fusiliers, snappers, sweetlips, and even tuna, turtles, and mantas. No matter your interests, Nilandhe Atoll will surely have something for you.

Fuvahmulah , in the southernmost atoll of the Maldives, offers an unparalleled diving experience. Diving into the crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant coral reefs, exotic marine life, and the chance to spot elusive species like tiger sharks and oceanic manta rays. Fuvahmulah's most popular dive sites include Gahaa Kandu and Thoondu Point; divers are often surrounded by schools of colorful fish and vibrant coral formations. 

The length of most liveaboard dive cruise itineraries to Baa Atoll ranges from 7 to 10 nights. Baa Atoll dive sites can be visited year-round, though the southwest monsoon from May to November can make the seas a bit choppy. The water temperature stays stable at 27-30 C. Budgets for Baa Atoll liveaboards range from 200 to 400 euros per day. Many liveaboards bound for Baa Atoll depart from Male. However, some depart from Hanimadhoo in the north and spend their whole itinerary in that area. Hanimadhoo can be reached by domestic seaplane from Male. Some itineraries on a Baa Atoll-bound liveaboard include North Male and Ari Atoll. Other itineraries may spend more time among Baa's uncrowded neighbors in the north: Lhaviyani, Noonu, and Raa Atolls.

Longer dive safaris include Lhaviyani, Felidhoo , Vaavu , and Meemu atolls, whilst, during January-March, several Maldives dive liveaboards focus their attention on Huvadhoo Atoll in the Deep South close to the Equator. No matter which dive trip you choose, you can be sure to see healthy corals surrounded by colorful reef fish and plenty of pelagic fish action on every dive.

More about the Atolls of Maldives

  • Jump off the plane and hop on a boat for a classic Maldives dive trip in the Central Atolls.
  • Grab your bunk on an exclusive Far North Atolls liveaboard for untouched, pristine diving.
  • Drift dive the Southern Atolls in serenity and witness Maldives' marine life with exceptional visibility.
  • Crack the Maldives' best-kept secret- tiger sharks and oceanic whitetips in the Deep South.

Tips for Travellers

The best time to dive in the Maldives is all year. However, some people prefer to avoid monsoon season, which hits the area in April and continues to rain through October. The water temperature typically ranges between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius (80 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), with visibility from 20 meters (65 feet) to as far as the eye can see. Water depths include shallow reefs, deep walls, and everything in between, ensuring every diver can find their perfect dive. For the more intrepid diver, there are slow currents in many areas, and extremely strong currents jetting through the atoll pass for the more experienced thrill seeker. Whatever your tastes, Maldives has the diving suited just for you, which can be enjoyed in mild outside weather ranging from 24 to 33 degrees Celsius (75 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit).

In the Maldives, additional liveaboards fees usually include gear rental (not covered by your trip price), which can be in the vicinity of 40 USD per person per night. Every diver must also independently purchase dive insurance before getting in the water. Some other fees like extra alcoholic drinks and special gear such as torches may incur additional charges. In the Maldives, a new Green Tax of 6 USD per person per night applies for every tourist in the country. Some islands and marine parks have national park fees that are not included in liveaboard packages, like Hanifaru Bay's park entrance fee of 20 USD per person. Nitrox is offered on virtually every Maldives liveaboard- some as a complimentary service, and some for a fee. Depending on the route, a fuel surcharge per person per night may be added. This surcharge usually ranges from 10 to 15 USD per night. If you have any questions about extra fees in the Maldives, don't hesitate to contact us directly. We are here for you.

Minimum logged dives are required by many Maldives diving liveaboards, Scubaspa Yang and Ying being the exceptions. Ocean Divine requires 20, MV Orion and Amba require 50, and Carpe Vita requires 100. Safety briefings on boats like Scubaspa Yang and Ying are conducted on day one. Check dives on Maldives liveaboards are often held in Male on the first day.

The official language of the Maldives is Maldivian or Dhivehi.

A free 30 day visa is issued on arrival to all tourists in the Maldives. However, tourists must possess a valid passport, a valid outbound ticket and either a reservation confirmation in a hotel or enough funds to cover expenses for the duration of their stay (30 USD per. day).

There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel to the Maldives unless you have been in a country with increased yellow fever risk sometime in the nine days previous to arrival. In such cases, you must have proof of a yellow fever vaccination. We recommend standard protection against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, influenza, typhoid and hepatitis A. There is no endemic malaria risk in the Maldives. However, the rainy season (May through September) elevates the risk of dengue fever. For advice on Malaria and Dengue, seek professional medical advice before travelling.

Electricity voltage runs at 220-240 volts ; the standard socket is UK-style three-pin, but many resorts have universal sockets to accommodate non-UK tourists.

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country by land area (300 square kilometres) and population, but its underwater offerings are comparatively huge- 90,000 square kilometres of ocean . Fewer than 300 of its roughly 2000 islands are inhabited, leaving the rest of the white-sand paradises to sharks and corals, and the lucky divers who visit them. At a maximum height of about 2.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives is at incredibly high risk from global warming, which contributes to its activism for carbon-pollution reduction worldwide. Thirty one protected areas exist in the country, and incredible coral restoration projects are common.

Ports of Departure and how to get there

Male is the main liveaboard departure location in the Maldives, and the country's capital city, located on the southern edge of North Male Atoll (also called Kaafu Atoll). The main Male departure port is Hulhule, next to the Male airport. Liveaboards diving in the Central Atolls set out from here. North Male Atoll is the best known and explored dive area in the Maldives, long recognized as a world-class manta and reef shark destination with many longstanding, beloved dive sites of pinnacles, wrecks, coral gardens, and cleaning stations. Entry level divers can find offerings around Male, even though currents can be strong. Standard liveaboards departing from Male may visit North Male Atoll, Ari Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll, and sometimes Baa Atoll as well. Other liveaboards may head south of Male Atoll to include Meemu (Malaku), Vaavu (Felidhu), and Thaa (Kolhumadulu) atolls.

Travellers bound for Male can take direct flights from Dubai, Singapore, and Colombo. Longer international flights from Europe, America, China, India, and Australia are all readily available, often connecting through the airports mentioned above. Flights to the Maldives are available on multiple airlines, such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, among others. From the UK, expect at least a 13 hour trip. From Germany or Australia, the flight duration is at least 12 hours. Divers arriving from the USA can fly first to Singapore, with a flight duration of 20 hours from Los Angeles.

Maldives Diving Reviews

  • 898 Verified Reviews
  • 8.8 Fabulous

Loved seeing whale shark at back of boat. Disappointed we didn’t see any Mantas which the Maldives is famous for

Diving Maldives in February on the Emperor Serenity

Our favourite sites were the most southern ones. We lucked out with tigers and hammerheads.

Diving Maldives in March on the Carpe Novo

Enjoyed most of my dives, and we were able to see a lot, despite the weather not always cooperating. The staff always had an alternative plan if the current was to strong or doing in the opposite direction

Diving Maldives in April on the Sachika

Very good! Some dives with a lot of current

Diving Maldives in October on the Blue Voyager

  • 10.0 Exceptional

Loved it. Was some of my best dive experiences. Loved the variety of life. Good place to see mega fauna. Currents are present and might be something to consider

Diving Maldives in October on the Princess Sara

  • 9.6 Exceptional

I loved the diversity of the diving. We were lucky to get whale shark interactions one day. The mantas were beautiful and abundant. Reef life is very healthy. Loved the shark wall dive, even with the very strong current! DM did a fantastic job briefing it for real expectations.

Diving Maldives in December on the Carpe Novo

  • 6.0 Review score

We love diving in Maldives, but it has changed due to climate change. Less fish and corals bleached

Diving Maldives in November on the Amba Liveaboard

Very beautiful country, we enjoyed our time in the Maldives.

Diving Maldives in May on the Carpe Novo

Overall, scuba diving in the Maldives is an incredible experience that offers divers the opportunity to explore a breathtaking underwater world. With its warm waters, abundant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, it's no wonder the Maldives is considered one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world.

Diving Maldives in August on the Maldives Aggressor II

  • 8.4 Very good

Die Sicht war so das einzige, was meinen Erwartungen nicht entsprach. Da hatt ich tatsächlich klarere Verhälnisse erwartet, wie man es aus dem fernsehen kennt. Aber das kann man eben nicht ändern. Alles andere fand ich super interessant und hat mich begeistert. Tauchtechnisch auch wieder einiges dazugelernt.

Diving Maldives in January on the Emperor Virgo

We enjoy current diving to see bigger life underwater and more sharks. There was a lot of swimming to get to these spots and some divers ran out of air, ending our dives early so maybe drop us on the spots or switch divers around so people with more experience and better air consumption are together. But all in all we really enjoyed it

Diving Maldives in January on the Princess Dhonkamana

Time of year seemed to be important as water clarity was variable. As it happened a couple of weeks later may have made things better.

Diving Maldives in January on the Amba Liveaboard

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Alejandro G

Dives where great although water was a little bit murky hence visibility was reduced

Diving Maldives in January on the Emperor Leo

Much better deep south then central atolls

Half our dives were below average, the other half were good dives - we expected more from the Maldives. Visibility was ok, reefs weren't pristine, pelagic life was average.

Diving Maldives in January on the Emperor Explorer

Incredible by its diversity !

Sometimes challenging but impressive

Diving Maldives in February on the Princess Sara

  • Christina I

Nice especially with current

Diving Maldives in February on the Emperor Leo

We dived from Malé & 7 days South. We saw & experienced more than we could ever imagine. The only thing we didn't come for & see much were the large sharks, but we saw schools of 100-200 smaller sharks, whaleshark, mantas & SO much more.

Diving Maldives in February on the Sachika

  • 6.8 Review score

Very nice, although some coral reef bleaching going on sadly

Diving Maldives in February on the Soleil 2

There was something interesting to see on EVERY dive!

Diving Maldives in February on the Sunseeker

Very nice. Lots of small fishes or several big ones depending on the dive. Not the most colorful coral gardens I have seen but most dives were great. Only a few were of little interest.

Diving Maldives in February on the Emperor Virgo

Maldives is the best. Simple as that... you get to see everything possible in 1 single trip. Amazing.

Diving Maldives in March on the Sachika

About half the dives were great. disappointed that we did not get more variety or some of the other locations originally listed in the itinerary. Enjoyed the new friends and the good dives.

Diving Maldives in March on the Orca M7

Maldives offers a lot of amazing diving but timing is everything and flexible dive plans will make it a wonderful experience

Diving Maldives in March on the Duke of York

All diving in the maldives was a real treat. Lucky with big fish as well! Highlight was a big bull shark on the very last dive. Amazing experience overall with sometimes very strong currents though!

Great beach time on beautiful sand banks and small islands.

Diving Maldives in March on the Scubaspa Ying

Excellent overall. Some of the channel dives can be tricky with the currents but the guides really do their best to find the best routes and keep you relaxed and safe. Vis was great for the majority of sites. But sometimes some extra plankton can be worth it when the mantas make an appearance. The second boat (dhoni) is a god send.

Amazing diving and great variety

Diving Maldives in March on the Scubaspa Yang

Excellent. Water temps great and mostly good visibility. Plenty of varied fish species.

Diving Maldives in March on the Blue Force One

Good marine life, not a lot of healthy corals, need some experience diving with current

Diving Maldives in April on the Carpe Vita

  • luis fernando R

Overall, Maldives is a place to visit at least 1once. Unique opportunity to see big mantas, medium whale shark and grey sharks. Reefs are not as well preserved nor impresive as in other areas. Diving in kandus is exciting and rewarding, but many people will feel stressed. Diving out of kandus is quite crowded and not worth the travel in my opinion

Diving Maldives in April on the Blue Force One

Overall good, just worse visibility Expected more coral gardens on top of tila

Diving Maldives in April on the Emperor Explorer

Overall diving experience as outstanding. Some of the best diving we have ever done!

Diving Maldives in April on the Emperor Serenity

Varied diving with a wide range of marine encounters

Incredible! Best we’ve done. Perfect visibility! And the wildlife all had great personalities!

Diving Maldives in April on the Scubaspa Yang

There was at least a soft to medium current on every dive, and several dives involved swimming into a strong current for a time which was quite tiring. But worth it to see the sights we experienced

Diving Maldives in April on the Blue Voyager

Nice drifting experience. White tips black tips Nurse Sharks. Manta Rays. Dolphins. Whale shark. String Rays. Eagle Rays.

Diving Maldives in April on the Emperor Leo

very good. Some challenging dives, as expected, but our dive guides and boat crews helped prepare us for them and made sure the dives were excellent all around.

Excellent, great mix of relaxed diving with some tougher current to spice it up

Great / but underwater world is a little bit damaged and needs lots of care

Of all the places I have been diving, Maldives rates in the top 2, with Komodo National Park being the other. The team on this boat this week made this trip an especially wonderful week.

Diving Maldives in May on the Emperor Leo

Good experience. First time close counter of whale shark, many manta ray at cleaning station, big hammer head shark, 4 guitar shark circle around. Also hundred of stingray circle around.

Diving Maldives in May on the Carpe Diem

Exciting and one of a kind! Learned a lot of new things! on board, as well as, off board!

We loved the trip and the diving. You get to see all of the maldives classics.

Diving Maldives in June on the Scubaspa Yang

Little to no current

Diving Maldives in June on the Horizon 3

Easy diving, some fun currents, unbelievably diverse and always something new to see

Diving Maldives in June on the Scubaspa Ying

The weather is great on the first day and the last when we departure, however the rest days are raining unfortunately. It somehow affect the visibility under water. Coral is quite stunning at FIVE ROCKS, that's the most vast and beautiful corals that I have seen in my life.

I really enjoyed my time in the Maldives. The abundance of different fish, the sharks, rays, shrimp, and nudibranch. Also the different types of coral. Diving with the use of a Dhoni makes the experience so much easier and better.

Diving Maldives in July on the Emperor Voyager

Snorkeling was great but the reefs were all dead but one here. There was no information about the reasons. When asked the crew said it’s due to humans touching the reef and not warmer waters. The weather here is the same year round. Global warming is not the reason but over doing human contact is the reason. Team leaders said it’s due to global warming. More information should be provided to build awareness on the health of marine life with credible resources. This is far more important!!!!

Diving Maldives in July on the Princess Dhonkamana

Decent. Unfortunately we didn't get the best visibility and some feedback that our diveguide took really poorly soured the last dives.

Diving Maldives in July on the Horizon 3

The diving is done from the Dhony, so no dive equipment on the main boat, which makes diving very comfortable and easy. The only small downside is the 45 mins maximum dive time.

Diving Maldives in August on the Sachika

Zur richtigen Zeit an den richtigen Orten. Mantas ohne Ende

Diving Maldives in August on the Carpe Novo

good, though not extraordinary - dive spots were the most famous ones, maybe there woukd have been better ones off the beaten track

Diving Maldives in August on the Sunseeker

Snorkeling was nice! Choppy waters probably due to the season but who doesnt love the Maldives!!

Diving Maldives in August on the Scubaspa Ying

Excellent whale sharks, mantas and other sharks. Nice warm water 😊

Diving Maldives in September on the Blue Force One

First time in this period of year (out of the peak season) and again really good and enjoyable.

Diving Maldives in September on the Felicity

Lot‘s of stuff to see, great fish life and corals. Highly recommend to do a dive safari rather than diving in resorts as you can see much more different dive sites and it‘s a better value for money deal.

Diving Maldives in September on the Carpe Novo

Can not wait for the next trip in Maldives for more sharks in different season and areas.

Diving Maldives in September on the Carpe Diem

Whether you are diving or snorkeling, the Maldives is an incredible place to experience the beauty of the ocean.

Diving Maldives in October on the Princess Dhonkamana

One of the top spots in the world. Always plenty of life around and a huge variety of sea creatures.

Diving Maldives in October on the Blue Force One

Exactly what I was expecting

Diving Maldives in October on the Sachika

Ok just not as colourful as i thought it may be

Diving Maldives in October on the Emperor Leo

It was excellent. Already planning my next trip here (still on the islands as I type this). The visibility varies quite a bit across dive sites (generally, I’d say a little shorter than in the Caribbean), but the temperature is consistently high (85-86F) — good enough to not need a wetsuit, even with 3 dives a day.

Diving Maldives in October on the Princess Haseena

All sites where up to my expectations, with special emphasis to the ones we dove with Whale Sharks Vaavu Atoll and Manta S.Ari Atoll

Diving Maldives in October on the EcoPro Moonima

Amazing for pelagic life!

Diving Maldives in October on the Carpe Novo

Some of the best diving of my life! Incredible encounters with sharks and manta rays.

Diving Maldives in November on the Blue Voyager

  • Christian F

Sehr sehr gut, viele "Großfische", viele unterschiedliche Haie, Mantas, Schildkröten, aber auch Schnecken, Clownfische und schöne Korallen

Diving Maldives in November on the Princess Sara

Diving the Maldives was excellent. The visibility was good, water was warm and sea life incredible

Diving Maldives in November on the Emperor Serenity

Lovely experience, except for all the plastic trash in the ocean around some populated islands and specifically Male.

Diving Maldives in November on the Carpe Novo

Every trip to Maldives has something new to offer

Diving Maldives in December on the EcoPro Mariana

Plentiful sharks, Mantas, Eagle Ray's, Whalesharks. Mostly strong currents with the need to descend quickly. Sometimes not so good visibility.

Diving Maldives in December on the Ocean One

Diving in the Maldives is world-class for the amount of life and the variety of dives. Should be on the bucket list for all serious divers. If you love sharks, come to the Maldives.

Diving Maldives in December on the Princess Sara

Great. Lots of sharks on most dives, Mantas, whalesharks fun current.

Diving Maldives in December on the Princess Dhonkamana

The best diving so far. Great for Pelagic as well as reefs.

Diving Maldives in December on the Ocean Divine

Small current, different species of sharks and rays That's awesome to see whale shark!

Tne water was nice and warm. Visibility could be hit or miss. On a bad day you are looking at about 40ft and on the best day we probably had 150+ft. But we saw almost everything there is to see. Mantas, whalesharks, eagle and sting rays, big fish, small fish, turtles incl. a giant one that was easily 6ft long from head to tail and much more. Ofc some of the rare species like leopard sharks, tiger sharks, hammerheads etc. are just pure luck and very rare to see. Don’t count on it.

Really nice! A place to came back!

Diving Maldives in December on the Blue Force One

Very poor visibility, South Ari was boring

Diving Maldives in December on the Emperor Virgo

Incredible amount of fish and pelagic

Diving Maldives in December on the Blue Voyager

Overall, amazing! Some dives the visibility was questionable and we couldn’t see far into the blue.

Diving Maldives in December on the Carpe Vita

10 out of 10 for its amazing sightings, abundance fishes. Highly recommend to have 40-50 dives before coming to Maldives, for your own safety sake.

Diving Maldives in December on the Theia

Very good. Variety of fish. Large fish: mantas, sharks, turtles,

As expected with strong currents and many pelagic animals. Visibility in late Dec was not as ideal as imagined.

Diving Maldives in December on the Sachika

Great trip - even with pretty crappy weather

Diving Maldives in December on the Amba Liveaboard

wonderful, unforgettable, amazing

Surprised to see trash floating whenever we were sailing or anchored

Diving Maldives in January on the Blue Force One

At least half of the dives had at least some current, with a couple having some strong currents that I was not used to. Recommend bringing a reef hook (but you can rent them). The reefs are gorgeous and have a lot of life. You'll see at least one pelagic on every dive <3. Also, it rained on nearly half the days, even during the "dry" season.

Diving Maldives in January on the Princess Sara

Great experience! Currents were more than expected but quite tolerable. Would have liked to have visited more reefs with micro but that's being picky.

5 star still one of the best places to dive and see the big ones (W/shars / Mantas / Sharks

Diving Maldives in January on the Emperor Serenity

Overall it was great! Great dive masters also. Expected better visibility. Lots of new fish to see.

Amazing for shark and manta lovers. Challenging for less experienced divers.

Sea temperature is warm. Around 29 degrees in January so no wetsuit was needed certainly for divers from the UK. Visibility in generally very good although there was some murkiness is the mouth of the channels. Some beautiful corals were seen on a couple of the dives. Some pretty fish life around too. The sea needs extra respect in the Maldives. Currents can be very strong and unpredictable in direction

Diving Maldives in January on the White Pearl

Overall the experience was very good but must note the following: I found many dives with different current grades. Few were probably not appropriate for beginners. The development didn't go always as planned. Visibility was another issue. I was expecting greater visibility in this part of the world and came back a bit disappointed.

Visibility was bad but the marine life was amazing

Diving Maldives in February on the Top Class Cruising - Sunseeker

It was disappointing tbh - the outgoing currents meant the vis was bad.

Diving Maldives in February on the Infinity X

Good diving, good visibility, nice corals & decent fish life. Sharks, Mantas and a few whale sharks (at night by the boat)

Diving Maldives in February on the Horizon 3

Did not expect such poor visibility n poor coral conditions. Mantas, whale sharks and sharks were impressive.

Diving Maldives in February on the Ocean One

The overall diving was at a satisfactory level. I thought there were more diving sites suitable for advanced dives than beginners because there were some places with some current.

Dive sites are very good to excellent. Currents are medium to strong most of the dives. Use of reef hooks is highly recommended. Water temperature is stable at about 29C most of the time.

Diving Maldives in February on the Emperor Explorer

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A World of Diving Adventures

Call us today 954.734.7111 or 800.327.9600.

  • Blackbeard's

Blackbeard’s

The whole dive trip was something special ... only downside was heading home., alec anonson, $1,095 per week - up to 19 dives, blackbeard’s cruises dive liveaboards low frills - high fun, affordable dive trips.

Blackbeard’s Cruises has 2 Bahamas dive liveaboard sailboats. Our Bahamas diving trips are geared towards all levels of divers including new divers, experienced divers, singles, couples, dive groups, scouts, mother/father-son/daughter outings, explorers and fun-loving people. Basically, anyone adventurous who loves to dive!

Camaraderie

Make new friends fast. There’s nowhere to hide and by the end of day one, everyone knows your name and you are sharing dive stories, tips, jokes and a rum punch together under a star filled sky.  We have 2 identical dive liveaboard sailboats, the Sea Explorer & the Morning Star .

$1,095.00 per person

  • Trips depart Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) on Saturdays to the Exuma Cays
  • 6 nights all inclusive
  • Up to 19 dives
  • Dormitory-style accommodations with shared baths and shower
  • Great for single divers

If you’re looking to be pampered and to sleep in a private, spacious cabin, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Blackbeard’s Cruises dive liveaboards are all about:

  • Jumping into the best dive spots
  • Making new friends
  • Camping on water, but we do all the work
  • Disconnecting from the world
  • Doing things you never thought possible
  • Going down the unbeaten path

This is Why our trips are so Popular

Divers on a shark feed in Eleuthera, Bahamas

Reefs, Wrecks & More

The water’s crystal clear. The Bahamas is one huge fish tank filled with amazing corals and marine life. The Exumas have a great variety of diving sites visited only by diving liveaboards.  Discover:

  • Reefs – Periwinkle, Amberjack, Jeep
  • Wrecks – Austin Smith with sharks and a resident Goliath grouper
  • Walls – Pillar, Whale Tail, Hole in the Wall
  • Drifts – Washing Machine
  • Blue Holes – Lost Blue Hole, Jakes, Lost
  • Nights – Hammerhead Gulch, Ray’s Reef

Adventure Above & Below

We know you’re coming for the diving, but we take every opportunity to make sure your non-diving and above the waterline time is just as memorable.

  • Hands-on activities
  • Sailing when the wind is right
  • Halyard swinging
  • Circling the Blue Hole
  • Fish feeding at Periwinkle Reef

Fuel for the Fun: You'll Eat Well with Us

Our galley is small, but it’s big on prepping food that gives our divers energy to power through the day.

You’ll get three solid meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks. A fruit hammock hangs in the salon so you can dig into it any time. Our coffee is strong to get you amped up for the day, and there are plenty of other choices to keep you hydrated.

Once your diving is done, you can enjoy a cold beer or some of our famous rum punch.

We’ll throw the lines out when we can and if the fish are biting – wahoo, mahi and tuna are most common catches – we’ll gladly cook it up for everyone to taste. … It’s better than trying to take it home in your luggage.

If you have special dietary needs, note it on the Trip Application . With notice, chef can prepare special foods, such as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, etc.

Sharks, Sharks and More Sharks

It’s not a matter of IF you’ll see sharks but, rather, how many and how many different kinds.

We’ll explain why the Bahamas is one of the best places to dive with the sharks. Then sit back and enjoy the show during a special shark feeding.

Enjoying a morning cup of coffee as the sun comes up in the Exumas, Bahamas on a Blackbeard's Cruises sailboat

Place You'll Call Home

Blackbeard’s Cruises take place on one of two 65′ dive liveaboard sailboats, the Sea Explorer & the Morning Star . Think summer camp for scuba divers! 

  • Dorm-style bunks with AC below deck
  • Shared baths and shower
  • Buffet meals with picnic-style dining
  • Pirate antics with fun and games
  • Memories that last a lifetime

One of the Blackbeard dive liveaboard off beach in Exumas, Bahamas

Our salty liveaboard crew is aboard to assure you have a trip of a lifetime.

  • Captains plan your trip and keep you safe
  • Cooks fuel you up for all that diving
  • Dive Instructors assist and instruct and watch out for you 
  • Engineers keep everything running smoothly

It takes some very special and dedicated souls to spend their lives working in close quarters. They love the ocean. They love the expressions of wonder and exhilaration they see!

Experience The Blackbeard Adventure

Divers on the airplane wreck in the Exumas, Bahamas

Can I rent dive gear on Blackbeard’s?

If you do not have your own equipment, we have “top of the line” dive gear available for rent. For rates, click here. Please request these items on your Trip Application . We do not store our gear at the dock so last minute requests may not be available. We also have cyalumes available for sale at $3.00 each.

How do I get to the Blackbeard’s dock?

Blackbeard’s sailboats dock at the Nassau Harbour Club Marina on East Bay Street, right across from the Starbucks. The ride is approximately 30-40 minutes from the airport to the dock. It is not that far but slow down, Mon! You are on island time now. If you need ground transfers while in Nassau, we can assist. You can make the ground transfer arrangements online or call our office at least 3 days prior to your departure. For each pick-up, the cost is $18.00 per person one-way. If you prefer to take a taxi or miss the cut-off date, taxis are readily available at the airport.

What time can we board Blackbeard’s?

For flight planning purposes boarding is 12:00pm on Saturday and shove off by 3:00pm. Please be on board by 1:00pm at the latest. The latest we recommend landing is 12:00pm so that you have time to clear Bahamas Customs and Immigration and transfer to the dock. Once on board lunch is served; you will some have time to get settled in and then attend a mandatory safety briefing before we depart Nassau.

What time do we disembark Blackbeard’s?

Blackbeard’s returns to Nassau on the following Thursday afternoon. Dinner is served on board at the dock and then you can spend the last evening exploring Nassau with your new friends! All passengers must disembark by 9:00am on Friday morning. If you have a flight later in the day, you may leave your luggage in the lobby while you sightsee. Your last dive is complete by early afternoon on Thursday. Plan your flight home according to your “NO FLY” standard from your certifying agency.

Will I see sharks while diving on Blackbeard’s?

Yes, Caribbean reef sharks and nurse sharks frequent many of our sites. We normally offer 1 shark feed on each trip. This is the perfect time to see sharks up close and in action!

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Things to Do in Elektrostal, Russia - Elektrostal Attractions

Things to do in elektrostal.

  • Good for Kids
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Good for Couples
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Hidden Gems
  • Adventurous
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

sailboat diving liveaboard

1. Electrostal History and Art Museum

sailboat diving liveaboard

2. Statue of Lenin

sailboat diving liveaboard

3. Park of Culture and Leisure

4. museum and exhibition center.

sailboat diving liveaboard

5. Museum of Labor Glory

sailboat diving liveaboard

7. Galereya Kino

8. viki cinema, 9. smokygrove.

sailboat diving liveaboard

10. Gandikap

11. papa lounge bar, 12. karaoke bar.

  • Statue of Lenin
  • Electrostal History and Art Museum
  • Park of Culture and Leisure
  • Museum and Exhibition Center
  • Museum of Labor Glory

Elektrostal Attractions Information

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  1. Juliet Sailing and Diving Scuba Liveaboard Dive boat

    Diving and Sailing in the Bahamas Juliet is a charming 100′ Liveaboard Schooner primarily based in Miami running week-long diving trips to the Bahamas every spring, summer, and fall. In the winter look for us in Puerto Rico for our semi-annual Mona Island trips, or in St. Croix where we are based December through early March. Liveaboard Diving

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  5. Liveaboard Diving

    A liveaboard is a scuba diving purposely-build boat, or an adapted existing vessel that offers diving trips that usually last longer than one night. The average duration is 7 nights but you can find both shorter and longer trips. Usually the dive boats host between 12 and 30 divers but event here you can find both smaller and larger vessel.

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    Taking the plunge to live on a sailboat is usually a huge decision, especially as living aboard a boat is an exciting lifestyle choice. However, there are lots of things to consider before buying a boat that will suit your needs and also be nearly as comfortable as a traditional home on land.

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    In a growing world of scuba divers and scuba diving sites, liveaboard diving trips are becoming increasingly popular. Whether your aim is to reach remote destinations or take in as many dive sites as possible, liveaboard holidays offer an unparalleled advantage.

  8. Luxury liveaboard dive boats: 5 of the world's best

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  9. Explorer Ventures Fleet®

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  10. Liveaboard Diving: The Ultimate Guide on Planning a Diving Holiday

    The dive sites that liveaboard boats visit are incredibly special and provide divers with views and experiences that will last a lifetime. There's a liveaboard trip catered to everyone's interests and desires. Depending on the location and your interests, you could have the chance to dive to ancient ruins buried underwater or swim among ...

  11. Everything to Know About Liveaboard Dive Trips

    A "liveaboard" is a scuba diving trip where you'll on the boat the whole time—hence the name "liveaboard." You'll have all your meals on the boat, usually in a communal setting with your fellow divers.

  12. The Ultimate Guide To Liveaboards

    A liveaboard vessel is a boat designed for living and for scuba diving. The boats come equipped with dive decks, dive tenders, and plenty of places to store scuba diving gear, these trips are specifically catered to scuba diving. Not all scuba diving liveaboards are created equally.

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    What is a Liveaboard for Scuba Diving? Before jumping into the top questions about liveaboard diving, let's explain what it means. It can be called a liveaboard, dive safari, or dive charter, but what is it exactly? A liveaboard is a purposely built boat for scuba diving or an adapted existing vessel that offers diving trips.

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    MV Manta Queen I: Offering standard 3 or 4-night trips to the Similan Islands, the MV Manta Queen I and its 5 sister ships are perfect for single divers. Check Prices & Availability. MV Dolphin Queen: Known as a budget liveaboard, the MV Dolphin Queen provides world-class diving and plenty of space to relax on deck.

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    Blackbeard's Cruises take place on one of two 65′ dive liveaboard sailboats, the Sea Explorer & the Morning Star. Think summer camp for scuba divers! Dorm-style bunks with AC below deck. Shared baths and shower. Buffet meals with picnic-style dining. Sailing. Pirate antics with fun and games.

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    Hotels near Epiphany Cathedral Hotels near Patriarch Pimen Monument Hotels near Tikhvin Temple Hotels near Noginsk Museum and Exhibition Center Hotels near Monument to Catherine the Great Hotels near Monument to Yuriy Stoskov Hotels near Summery House A.I. Morozova Hotels near Temple of St. Martyr Konstantin Bogorodskiy Hotels near Fly Factory Hotels near Volkhonka Park

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