Scuba diving is becoming more and more popular. The offer global offer of diving holidays and diving trips is getting wider everyday but the best diving destinations are sometimes very touristy. The best diving sites on earth can only be accessed on a liveaboard. This is the case, for example of Socorro Islands in Mexico, the Bay of Cendrawasih in Indonesia or Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines. To book a liveaboard offers many advantages. First and foremost, traveling on a diving cruise means that you can often access places that cannot be reached otherwise. As a result, it is unlikely that you would meet other divers underwater. In addition, during a liveaboard dive cruise, you can do almost 5 dives a day, while in a normal dive center you can only do 3 dives per day at best. Be aware, however, that you may decide not to do all the proposed dives. There are many different liveaboard from luxury liveaboard in Maldives to cheap liveaboard in Egypt. So no excuses and book your ultimate diving trip.
Best Liveaboard Diving Trips In The World
DIVING CRUISE IN THE CARIBBEAN
From the Bahamas to the Cayman Islands and Cuba, the Caribbean hosts plenty of extraordinary diving sites. As the Caribbean has many different small islands, the area is particularly suitable for liveaboards and diving cruises.
GARDENS OF THE REINA, CUBA
Jardines de la Reina, in Cuba is a mangrove labyrinth located 80 kilometres west of Jucaro. This amazing diving site is only accessible with a liveaboard trip in Cuba. The beautiful reef is one of the best diving sites in the Caribbean to dive with sharks. We advise to dive in Cuba between December and May in order to avoid the hurricane season but you can dive all year round in the Caribbean.
LIVEABOARD IN BAHAMAS AT TIGER BEACH
Often considered as one of the best diving sites to discover the powerful tiger sharks, tiger Beach Island is located one hour boat from Grand Bahamas Island. Between October and January you can cross up to 40 different tiger sharks on each dive. You can also cross smaller sharks, such as lemon sharks or reef sharks. You can dive in the Bahamas all year round.
LIVEABOARD IN COCOS ISLAND, COSTA RICA
Located 550 kilometres off Costa Rica’s west coast, Cocos Island is one of the best diving destinations in the world and a must to dive with pelagic. Only accessible from a liveaboard, the Cocos Island are probably one of the best places in the world to dive with sharks. They are all there; Hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, reef sharks, whale sharks and so on. You can also dive with mobula rays and manta rays.
Dirty Rock is a dive site well known for its large shoals of hammerhead sharks. This is a relatively easy dive site, suitable for beginners. You can also dive with marbled torpedoes and large benches of trevally.
Bajo Alcyone is a legendary pinnacle. It is simply one of the best dive sites in the world, notably thanks to the incredible concentration of hammerhead sharks, reefs, mobula, manta and marbled eagle rays. You can also dive with whale sharks, dolphins, turtles and large schools of tuna. The best time to go to Cocos Island is between June and December, which corresponds to the rainy season but it is also the moment when the concentration of large pelagic is the highest. But you can book a trip to the Cocos Islands all year round.
DIVING TRIP TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR
The Galápagos Islands have become the mecca for divers for a few years now and are particularly suitable for a liveaboard trip since some of the best sites in the world such as Wolf and Darwin Islands are only accessible with a liveaboard diving cruise. Here you will find sharks from Galapagos, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and many others. The best time to go to the Galapagos Islands is between June and December, as the water is slightly colder and attracts larger fish but you can dive in the Galapagos all year round.
DISCOVERING INDONESIA ON A DIVING BOAT
Indonesia is clearly one of our favourite dive destinations. Indeed, the country with 13 0000 islands is particularly suitable for scuba diving since the best sites are often only accessible on a liveaboard diving cruise.
First of all, Raja Ampat is simply the region with the richest biodiversity on the planet. Raja consists of four main islands and nearly 1,500 small independent islands. The cruises are usually 5 to 10 days long with magnificent drift dives. Many cave diving are also to be discovered. The best of the year for diving in Raja Ampat is from October to April. However you can dive in Raja Ampat all year round.
The beautiful Komodo National Park offers some of the most beautiful diving sites in Indonesia. A liveaboard in the komodo allows you to visit beautiful sites often inhabited by manta rays and gray sharks. Remember to dive the amazing Makassar Reef dive site which is rarely visited because it is exclusively accessible by with a liveaboard dive cruise. The best time to go to Komodo is between April and November but you can dive into the Komodo National Park all year round.
The liveaboard that passes Raja Ampat sometimes comes to Cendrawasih bay. It is one of the best places in the world to do a liveaboard with whale sharks. The region is also full of magnificent wrecks from the Second World War. The best time to discover Cenderawasih Bay is from June to October but you can dive in Cenderwasih Bay all year round.
The banda sea is only accessible by on a liveaboard in Indonesia. This magnificent region extends from Nusa Tengarra to the south and Raja Ampat to the north. Beautiful diving sites, far from the tourist crowd are full of underwater life. The small islands of Lucipara, Banda Neira, Gungung Api, Nila and Manuk are waiting for you to reveal their underwater mysteries.
ALOR, PANTAR, FLORES
The sea of Flores lies to the west of the sea of Banda. The interest of a Liveaboard in Flores is to be able to discover all the small islands and dive sites actually impossible to access otherwise. The area is particularly known for its macro ecosystem with a multitude of phantom and nudibranch fish antennas. But you can also meet there big Mola Mola, reef sharks and fox sharks, large barracudas, groupers, turtles and even eagle rays. In addition, the liveaboards of the sea of Flores often offer dives in Raja Ampat.
DIVING CRUISE IN THE MALDIVES
This country is composed of 26 atolls, all inhabited by an extraordinarily varied and dense underwater fauna. Liveaboard in the Maldives are often considered as the most beautiful diving cruises in the world. On one hand, the country, which is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean is visited by many pelagics who enjoy a little break, in their long underwater wanderings. Moreover, the many atolls are difficult to visit independently and sometimes lie far from each other. The Maldives Liveaboards are therefore, by far, the best way to visit the most beautiful diving sites in the Maldives.
ARI ATOLL, MALE ATOLL
Most of the diving cruises in the Maldives are luxury liveaboard. Indeed, paradise is visited by high end and luxury dive cruise which often offer 5 to 10 days diving trips. You will be able to swim with manta rays, whale sharks and a multitude of reef and pelagic sharks from all sides. The atolls also offer exciting drift dives. The seas are calmer between December and March but you can dive there all year.
These are often considered as the best liveaboards of the Maldives. The diving cruise using the Deep South itinerary offers to divers to discover the unknown Maldives. These islands, located at the end of the known world, shelter much more manta rays and whale sharks than the waters of the north. We would advise you to book your diving travel from the months of December to March but diving in Maldives is an extraordinary experience throughout the year.
DIVING CRUISE IN MEXICO
When it comes to diving in Mexico, most divers automatically think of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the Yucatan Cenotes or the Sea of Cortez. However, liveaboards in Mexico offers a very different experience from traditional seaside resorts and seaside towns. The islands on the pacific side represent a den, a sanctuary for the largest pelagics in the world.
The Socorro Islands, or Revillagigedo Islands, have recently been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks, in particular, to the high density and variety of its underwater fauna. The four large islands that make up the Socorros attract huge humpback whales, magnificent hammerhead sharks and majestic manta rays. The only way to enjoy these magnificent dives is of course to book a liveaboard diving cruise in Mexico. The beat usually leaves the shores for a 8 to 10 days diving trip. We would advise to dive on the Soccorro Islands between November and May as diving conditions are more pleasant but you can go there all year.
Guadalupe is one of the best destinations, with Australia, South Africa and California for cage diving with a white shark. This small volcanic island has about 170 white sharks. Most of the liveaboard of Guadalupe offers cage diving with white sharks. You should definitely get there between August and October because white sharks do not stay in Guadalupe Island all year around.
DIVING CRUISE IN PALAU
Palau is located in Oceania, very far off the Philippines and New Guinea. Palau, thanks to its amazing geographical location, has many exceptional diving sites to explore. In addition to the numerous wrecks and the magnificent blue holes, scuba diving in Palau is wild and represents a true adventure. You will dive with green turtles from May to September, rays from December to February or whale sharks from March to May. However, the best time to dive on the wrecks of Palau is from June to July, when the water is the most transparent and visibility better. Although most divers stay on Koror, the most beautiful diving sites lie around the islands of Ngemelis and Peleliu at almost an hour’s boat ride and few centers make the trip. The ideal way to visit the best dive sites is to book a liveaboard in Palau for 7 to 10 nights.
DIVING CRUISES PHILIPPINES
Doing a liveaboard in the Philippines allows you to visit some of the most beautiful dive sites on the planet, sometimes inaccessible in classic diving. The 7000 different islands composing the country offer an extraordinary variety of dive site and underwater species. Most diving cruises take place within the Visayas. One of the most famous islands for scuba diving in the Philippines is Malapascua. Further west, the Tubbatha reef, which is only accessible from March to June, is the probably the best place for scuba diving in the Philippines.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Tubbataha Reef,located in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines, is home to nearly 600 species of fish and 300 species of corals, as well as many species of sharks, dolphins and turtles. You can only dive on Tubbataha Reef on a liveaboard. In general, the diving trip last only 6 to 7 days. Be careful, the park is only open from mid-March to mid-June and places are counted.
If you go dive in the Philippines, you have to visit Malapascua. It is probably one of the best islands of the Philippines diving. Everything is there. You can dive with hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, eagle rays, mobula and manta, barracudas, octopus. Macro lovers will not be outdone since nudibranchs, porcupine fish, toadfish and other microorganisms are hidden amidst the beautiful colourful coral. But the local star is undoubtedly the famous thresher shark. This rare species is magnificent and relatively common in Malapascua.
The Visayas are three of the largest groups of Philippine islands. The Eastern, Western and Central Visayas are distinguished. The majority of liveaboard of the Visayas operates in these three great regions known worldwide for their extraordinary dive sites. The region is as much famous for the richness of its flora and its amazingly colourful corals than for its amazing macro fauna and large pelagic such as whale sharks or thresher sharks.
Diving cruises of the Visayas often pass through Moalboal to observe immense schools of sardines, Apo Island, Bohol, Siquijor or Camiguin.
LIVEABOARD IN EGYPT
The Red Sea, located between Sudan and Egypt, has been, through history, a strategic and important passage. The many wrecks that line the seabed are the silent witnesses of an intense activity over the centuries. Theliveaboards of the Red Sea take you for a diving holyday, usually lasting 8 to 13 days, to let you discover these wrecks of another time but also the great sharks that inhabit the magnificent reefs. The Red Sea is the best place to book a cheap liveaboard. Of course, there is very luxurious liveaboard in Egypt but the diving cruise are cheap or at least cheaper there than in any other part of the world.
BROTHERS, DAEDALUS, ELPHINSTONE
Liveaboards in Egypt usually pass by the famous diving sites Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone. These dive cruises are generally for relatively experienced divers. Magnificent coral-covered slopes, populated by a multitude of colourful fish and magnificent wrecks, are on the program. We advise you to focus on the months of September to November or April to June for your diving travel but you can dive in the Red Sea throughout the year.
ST. THE JOHN ISLAND
On the outskirts of Elba, in the south of Egypt, the island of Saint John awaits you for an exceptional diving Holiday. The site is particularly known for its fabulous black corals and hammerhead sharks. Moreover, the island of John can only be explored with a liveaboard trip in Egypt. Generally diving boats also pass through Zabargad and Rocky Island. Ideally, we advise you to book your liveaboard from September to November or April to June but you can book your dive travel at any time of the year.
THE NORTHERN WILDLIFE
The red sea is lined with innumerable wrecks. Currents, storms, shallow waters and wars have condemned many boats to sleep underwater. One of the most famous wreck dives is the SS Thislegorm. This impressive ship carried a large cargo of motorcycles, vehicles, train wagons and much more while it sunk. But this diving wreck is not the only one and some liveaboards specialized in the exploration of the diving wreck of the north of the red sea. Most of the liveaboards last 7 days and depart from Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh.
DIVING IN THAILAND
Thailand is an exceptional scuba diving holyday destination. The scenery is magnificent, the islands and the karstic formations are splendid and wild, the food is excellent and the Thai are welcoming. In addition, Thailand is an exceptional destination for scuba diving. The islands of Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi, entirely dedicated to scuba diving are sometimes very touristy. But liveaboard in Thailand will take you to visit a different side of Thailand and some of the most famous dive sites, often away from classic tourist routes.
THE SIMILAN ISLANDS
The only way to discover the Similan Islands is either by booking a liveaboard to the Similan or, eventually from Khao Lak but the journey is long. The Similan are composed of nine islands which are located about 50 kilometres from Kao Lak, in the Adaman Sea. These islands are the kingdom of many pelagic, whale sharks and manta rays. Wonderful diving sites, such as Richelieu rock, await you under these tropical waters. Please note that the park is only accessible from November to May.
THE ANDAMAN ISLANDS
At the north of the Similan Islands, the Andaman Islands are just as wonderful and even wilder. Until 1993, they access to this paradise was prohibited in order to protect its coasts from mass tourism. They are now accessible and only responsible tourism is allowed. You can dive with manta rays, turtles and reef sharks. It is best to book your liveaboard in the Andaman Islands from November to April to avoid the monsoon season but you can dive on the Andaman Islands all year round.
DIVING IN FRENCH POLYNESIA
French Polynesia is definitely one of the best dive destinations. Lost in the deep Pacific Ocean, this paradise consists of magnificent islands such as Moorea, Bora Bora or Tahiti as well as hundreds of small atolls such as Fakarava or Rangiroa. Atolls often have passes whose current attracts hundreds of pelagic such as hammerhead sharks, grey sharks, reef sharks as well as manta rays or very friendly dolphins. Diving paradise, this group of small islands is full of exceptional diving sites that can only be access thanks to a liveaboard trip in the pacific. This is why the best way to dive on the diving spot is to book a Liveaboard in French Polynesia.
Rangiroa is a wonderful atoll of Polynesia. The dive sites of the Tiputa Pass are world famous and wonderful. Since this is a pass, the current can be relatively strong and it is recommended to have a level 2 to dive at the deepest dive sites. Note, however, that wonderful spots are accessible from level 1. Also, not far from the pass of Tiputa, the Avatoru pass, although less solicited, also has great dive sites full of sharks.
Fakarava, like Tiputa, has two particularly well-known passes. The first, the northern pass is more visited by divers and hundreds of sharks come here to enjoy the current. The second, the southern pass is just an absolute must do thanks to its wonderful walls of hammerhead sharks.
LIVEABOARD IN FIJI
Fiji is made of 333 heavenly islands. Jacques Cousteau has named Fiji the world’s capital of soft corals. But, beyond its exceptional flora, the Fiji offers a wide range of underwater fauna. You can dive there for the macro, nudibranchs, sea horses, shrimps, or you can come there for bigger fishes such as reef sharks, grey sharks or even manta rays and hammerhead sharks. There are about 1500 different species of fish. The Fiji offer relatively easy dives, but some of them sometimes have a relatively strong current.
A Liveaboard in Fiji would be perfect for a couple or a family of non-regular divers who has non-divers that would prefer to enjoy idyllic scenery. Most of the Fiji diving cruises explore the east of the island. Some concentrate on the northern area in the Blight Waters Strait and the Namena Marine Reserve. It is best to dive in Fiji from April to November but you can do a dive at the fiji all year round. The temperature of the water oscillates between 26° and 31°, just perfect.
The twenty Yasawa volcanic islands spread over 80 kilometres and generally offer relatively easy, pleasant and magnificent dives. In addition, from May to October, you can swim at manta rays.
Beqa Lagoon has a magnificent coral richness. Probably one of the best coral dives in the world. The island is also inhabited by a multitude of sharks. The diving sites of Caesar’s Rock, Frigate Pass, Carpet Cove, Blue Wall are worth a visit.