Everything you need to know about this luxury liveaboard diving cruise including cabin details, marine park fee's and scuba diving options
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock for 4 days & 4 nights!
The MV Scuba Explorer is probably the most comfortable and luxurious liveaboard cruising the Similan Islands. With big sofas on the upper deck and a spacious sundeck there is plenty of room to fill out log books, chat with other guests or fall asleep in between dives. Don’t forget this season is also FEE Nitrox for the entire trip!
For this cruise the Scuba Explorer departs from Tablamu Pier (Phang-Nga Province). A transfer bus collects guests from either Phuket airport or a hotel in Phuket to take you to the boat where all crew and dive guides will be waiting to greet you and help you settle into our luxury liveaboard vessel and get you ready for the cruise of a lifetime. A light evening meal will be provided and a briefing about the vessel given once everyone has arrived. The Scuba Explorer sets sail at 8.30pm that evening to arrive in the Similans Islands, and your first dive sites, early the next morning. The first dive each day is done before breakfast but there are snacks, bread, tea, coffee, soft drinks and water available all day. There is food provided in between each dive, all the meals are cooked fresh on board by our excellent chefs. A mixture of Western, Japanese and Thai food is served.
Each evening of the cruise there is the option to do an extra night or sunset dive; this gives you the opportunity to do 4 dives each day instead of the normal schedule of 3, all dives are optional so do as many or as few as you want. After your last dive of the day you can relax and chat about your dives with a beer or glass of wine. The Scuba Explorer is geared towards comfort, on the second deck outside the saloon are sofas, enough for each guest to stretch out and take a nap. There is also a sundeck to top up your tan and get some photos of the beautiful islands.
The Scuba Explorer arrives back at pier pier on the 4th day where a transfer minivan or taxi will be waiting to take you back to your Phuket hotel or Phuket airport. For those of you who are not able to stay for the full duration of the trip, there is the option of getting a speed boat back after the 3rd dive on day 3 of the cruise, this takes you to Tablamu pier in Koh Lak where you then get a transfer back to the airport in time for an evening flight.
We recommend 24hrs after the last dive before flying, so please consider this when booking flights.
The Things You Can See There!
The Diving & The Dive Sites We Will Visit
This cruise is 3 full diving days in the Similan Islands with four dives per day plus each night an optional night dive, so potentially you can do 5 dives each day if you are up for the adventure. The cruise includes 3 – 4 dives at Richelieu Rock, and a mixture of dives at Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and the nine islands that make up the Similans.
The 4 day, 4 night trip on the MV Scuba visits the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. Koh Bon, a well-known Manta Ray cleaning station and a chance to see the magical creatures often has 30m visibility healthy corals and an abundance of life, it can also bring strong currents and the ‘Big green monster’, a cold thermocline bringing nutrients with it to feed the big fish. Manta Rays are not the only creatures to encounter here, watching the Emperor snapper and Trevally feed on the swarms of glass fish around the bombys is an impressive sight, producing some amazing visuals for photos and video. There is a lot of life on Koh Bon; we stay for 2 dives as one dive is just not enough, especially if you are lucky enough to see a Manta Ray.
Island hoping further North we also visit Koh Tachai, an imposing dive site with huge looming boulders and a beautiful coral garden featuring giant gorgonian fan corals, whip coral, harp coral and so much more. Here there is a chance to see circling Barracuda, Giant Trevally, Napoleon Wrasse, big schools of Fusilier and Snapper. Sightings of Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are also a regular occurrence on Koh Tachai. This dive site is often a favourite with the dive guides as it is so diverse, swim one way around the pinnacle through the boulders and you feel like you are swimming around ancient grounds, go the other way around and find hide gems in the amazing corals.
Further north and into the Surin National Marine park lies Richelieu Rock, the jewel of the Andaman Ocean, a fantastic dive site, one, two even three dives is not enough here, for that reason the Scuba Explorer stays the full day at Richelieu Rock, 5 dives are possible here including a night dive, not done by any other boat. The night dive here is definitely not to be missed. The whole site is crawling with life, big schools of Tuna, hunting Trevally, Barracuda tornadoes, Seahorses, Ornate Ghost pipefish, every type of shrimp and, if you are lucky, the magnificent Whale Shark. Each dive here offers something different. The stunning reds and purples of the soft corals covering the horse shoe shape pinnacle make fantastic photo opportunities during the light of the day. The marine life hunting in the evening dive where you find yourself just watching in wonder. The Whale Shark often seem above the pinnacle swimming back and forth feeding on the plankton rich waters makes for one spectacular safety stop, you will want to dive again and again here.
The last day of this trip is back in at the Similan Islands where visibility ranges from 20-40m in turquoise blue waters. Dive among the beautiful corals on the West of Eden; navigate through the swim-throughs of the boulders at Elephant Head Rock. On the beautiful Anita’s Reef the centre piece of this dive site is a magnificent bomby teaming with life, here you may find schools of glass fish, Long nosed Hawk fish, Robust pipefish and even Clarks Anemone fish living in a rare pink Anemone. The Dive sites in the Similan Islands offer such a diverse amount of wild life, each dive being unique from the next, every one as exciting as the last; you never know what you may encounter.
Marine Park Fee
All Scuba Explorer liveaboard trips include a marine park fee that goes exclusively to the conservation efforts for the marine park you are visiting, in this case the Similans Marine park benefits from your contribution and allows the Thailand government to police and regulate fishing activity in the area and keep an eye on Turtle populations.
The marine park fee is not included in the trip price, so please bring the correct amount with you on the cruise.
This trips marine park fee is:
- Park Fee: 1,800 THB divers
- Park Fee: 1,000 THB non divers
- 17:00 Pick up time from all areas on the departure date
- 19:30 Arrive at Tablamu Pier (Phang-Nga Province)
- 20:30 Welcome dinner onboard – underway to Similan Island
- Day 1 Diving at Similan Island-3 Day dives + 1 Sunset dive
- Day 2 Diving at Similan Island/Koh Bon -3 Day dives + 1 Night dive
- Day 3 Diving at Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock-3 Day dives + 1 Night dive
- Day 4 Diving at Koh Bon or Boon Soong Wreck -2 Day dives
- Underway to Tablamu Pier, transfer by mini bus back to Phuket approx.: 16:00
Liveaboards Pick up Time
- Patong Beach/ Kathu area: 17:00-17:30
- Chalong Bay/Kata/Karon Beach: 16:30-17:00
- Rassada Pier/ Phuket town/ Panwa Beach: 17:00-17:30
- Kamala/Surin/Cherng Talay/Talang/Ao Poh: 17:30-18:00
- Airport/ Nai Yang Beach/Mai Khao Beach: 18:00-18:30
- Khaolak/ Nang Thong Beach: 19:00-19:30
- Outside Khaolak center area: 19:00-19:30 ( 1,000 Baht per pax extra charge )
Free pickup on departure day from your hotel, if you are staying in Chalong, Kata, Karon or Patong.
Free drop-off on return day to your hotel, if you are staying in Chalong, Kata, Karon or Patong.
All standard and deluxe cabins are shared unless a private room is requested in advance or at the time of booking.
Private rooms are available for an additional 50% of that cabins trip price.
The National Park Fee will be collected before the boat departs on departure day.
Please bring tips for the guides/boat crew as it is not included in the trip price.
Any other fees will be charged upon return, before dis-embarkation.