By far the most popular length of Similan liveaboard trip is four days, four nights and fourteen dives. This is enough time to cruise around all of the area’s best diving sites. The trips usually start in the middle of the Similan Islands archipelago and work their way north to Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and then Richelieu Rock. On the way back, they may stop off at Koh Bon on their way to a wreck local to Khao Lak. It would be fair to say that the majority of the dive sites around the Similan Islands are less challenging than the ‘Northern Sites’ – Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock. Saying this, recently-certified and experienced divers can enjoy diving at both locations.
While most diving safaris try to include everything, this is only really possible in a four-day trip or more. Some stay out at sea for a week. Just a little research, or asking for advice, will quickly let divers understand where they would enjoy diving most.
At The Similan Islands there are more dive sites, and some are quite extreme, but there’s always somewhere for less-confident or inexperienced divers to enjoy. In fact, it’s common for divers of all levels to enjoy excellent underwater experiences there, just a few hundred meters apart and at different depths is no problem at all for the boat captain, crew and Divemaster guides. There are twenty or more great spots with colourful corals which are surrounded by healthy marine life, right up to the surface.
The Northern Sites, by contrast, offer new divers and snorkellers less. The diving is fantastic, and there are a few places where novice or recently-certified divers and snorkelling guests can enjoy the reefs, but generally it’s for more-experienced scuba divers. The depths, currents and open water can cause divers’ air consumption to increase and thus shorten dive times. But this is where the big stiff is to be seen. Manta Rays and Whale Sharks are commonly sighted at the Northern Sites, and divers look forward to these exciting experiences.
Manta Queen 2 & Manta Queen 5 do not sail to the Similan Islands at all. They go straight to Koh Bon, then Koh Tachai and onto Richelieu Rock during 3D/3N trips. In contrast, MV Nangnuan does not sail to Koh Tachai or Richelieu Rock, but stays at the Similans, then briefly visits Koh Bon on its final day. Then there are trips on MV Oktavia and MY Genesis 1. These two boats offer the choice of either diving area or both, and do so in slightly different ways.So, for those who don’t want to spend four or more days and nights on a Similan liveaboard diving boat, the choice needs to be made between the Similan Islands or the Northern Sites. All of our boats are extremely well run and each trip is well organized and planned.
Oktavia trips are usually 5D/5N but guests can leave early or join late. Those who leave early get to enjoy two days and two nights at the Similan Islands, while those who join late get the best of the Northern Sites and a wreck dive. A speedboat transfer can quickly transport diving guests to and from the ship, which stays out at sea for five days and five nights.
MY Genesis 1 is a smaller vessel, taking just 12 guests on 3D/2N trips from Khao Lak. The boat alternates between trips to The Similans and The Northern Sites. After setting sail in the morning, the boat offers 10 dives at areas which best suit the level and capability of the guests on board. Then returns late in the afternoon on the third day, spends the night in port, and the following morning sets off to the other area.
MV Andaman does something similar, but has quite a complicated schedule for those who would care to study it. In short, the boat sails to all of the best diving sites, including the Similans, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai & Richelieu Rock. It regularly returns to the pier to allow guests to embark or disembark. The choice of cruises is 3, 4 and 7 days and nights. Those wanting to join a 3D/3N diving trip can do so by selecting a time when MV Andaman is visiting the diving area of choice.
MV Camic offers one of the most flexible liveaboard diving experiences in the Similan Islands. The ship stays out at sea and guests are transported there every morning and back every afternoon. Guests can choose how long to stay on the boat, with 3D/2N the most popular option. Where Camic sails depends on the day of the week. On Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays she’s cruising the Northern Sites, and the rest of the week she can be found at the Similan Islands.Finally,