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Similan Liveaboard Diving Boats Based in Phuket

Phuket is the main holiday destination for many of Thailand’s diving tourists. Although Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand is where many new divers are certified, most of the best diving in Thailand takes place on the west coast, and Phuket is the centre of all of this. Some of our Similan Islands liveaboard diving boats are based in Phuket, even if they don’t sail from there. However, one or two do sail from several locations in Phuket directly to The Similan Islands.

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Even though most diving liveaboards to the Similan Islands sail from Khao Lak, in Phang Nga, most diving centres on the west coast of Thailand are based in or near Phuket. However, the majority of Phuket diving centres either only have local day trip diving boats or no boats at all. They act as agents and send their Similan liveaboard customers onto boats owned and operated by other companies. There are a few of our Similan boats which are either owned and run by Phuket-based dive centres or actually sail from Phuket, and sometimes both. For you, the diving customer, it makes very little difference where the company’s office is located, or where the boat sails from and returns to, but it is good to know in advance how things will work on your departure and return day. Below is some information that you may find interesting regarding the logistics of Similan liveaboard boats that are owned and/or based in Phuket.

How boats sailing from or returning to Phuket affect the customer

Sailing times: Nearly all of our liveaboard diving trips depart in the evening, and sail slowly through the night to arrive at the dive sites ready for an early-morning first dive. Even though sailing from Phuket to the Similan Islands takes several hours more than sailing from Phuket, it doesn’t really affect the diving guests on board. The dive boats can depart in the evening and still have time to get to The Similans for sunrise. Only the captain and crew are inconvenienced, and they can sleep during the day.

As for the return journey from the Similan Islands to Phuket, this sometimes makes a difference to the diving customers’ itinerary or dives. Normally, Khao Lak boats offer 2 or 3 morning dives at the Similans and then return to port, arriving in the afternoon. However, boats which need to return to Phuket need a lot more sailing time. Therefore, guests either don’t get as many dives on the final day, or they do get those dives (plus more) and the boat sails back to Phuket during the night, with guests disembarking the following morning. Marco Polo is one boat that manages to offer two morning dives at The Similans, before the 7-hour journey back to Chalong Pier in Phuket, arriving around 6pm.

Customers coming from, or returning to, Khao Lak hotels: Because Khao Lak is a growing seaside resort town an hour or two north of Phuket, and a popular base for divers and non-diving tourists alike, many Similan diving guests choose to stay in a hotel or resort in Khao Lak before or after their Similan diving safari. They may know what they’re doing and purposely book a Khao Lak hotel, or they may be under the impression that all Similan diving trips sail from Khao Lak, when in fact they don’t. Similan diving boats that sail from or back to Phuket usually offer a transfer from or back to hotels in Khao Lak, but not always, and usually not for free. It’s best to check with us about the itinerary of your proposed trip and which transfers are included. From Khao Lak to the piers in Phuket is about a two-hour journey.
Boats run by Phuket companies that sail from Khao Lak

How about airport & hotel transfers?: Most of our boats which are owned and run by Phuket-based companies actually sail from Khao Lak and return to Khao Lak at the end of each trip. These boats’ head offices are normally just offices, and not retail stores or dive centres that customers can visit. This may sound strange, but it works very well, and some of our favourite and most-popular mid-range and luxury Similan liveaboard boats work like this. Customers normally book online, and many choose to stay in a Phuket hotel before the cruise or get picked up from Phuket airport. This is no problem, and the system works very well. Starting in mid-late afternoon on departure day, minivans go around Phuket collecting guests from their hotels and resorts. The pickups are at set times, depending on the location of each hotel. Phuket airport is in the north of Phuket Island, so it’s the last pickup point. Guests staying in Khao Lak are collected around 7.00-7.30pm because they are already very near the departure pier. At the end of the trip, guests are then transferred back to hotels and resorts in and around Phuket and Khao Lak. Again, the further the distance from Tab Lamu Pier, the later the guests will be dropped off.

Check in and equipment fitting: You may ask that if there is no dive centre retail store, or guests are being taken straight from a Phuket or Khao Lak hotel directly to the boat, how can the diving equipment be fitted and credit card payments made. This is no problem. Only our larger and better-organised boats operate like this, and everything is taken care of in advance. Full payment for the trips is usually already made, and that only leaves smaller amounts to pay, such as equipment hire, national park fees and bar bills on board. These are most-commonly paid in cash, but credit card payments are usually accepted. The dive staff can check diving certification online from the boat if divers don’t have their actual cards to show. As for diving equipment, the sizes are pre-booked and prepared ready for guests, and these boats are large enough to have storerooms on board where spare equipment is kept. Similan liveaboard boats that are owned and run by Phuket-based companies but sail from Khao Lak are extremely well organised and everything can be taken care of on board. Guests are picked up, taken directly to the boat, and sail away happily into the night.

Boats that start in Phuket and return to Khao Lak, or vice versa

How about customer transfers?: A few of our Similan Islands liveaboard diving boats start a cruise in Khao Lak and end it in Phuket, or vice versa. This is no problem for logistics, as long as clear communication is made prior to departure. Guests coming from Phuket for a Khao Lak departure are collected from hotels or the airport in the afternoon and driven to the boat, and Khao Lak guests are sometimes offered a transfer down to Phuket for departure. It is not possible to wait in Khao Lak and jump on the boat as it passes by, because boats sailing from Phuket do not come near to the mainland on their way to the Similan diving sites. At the end of the trip, transfers are usually offered for free or a small fee back to hotels far from the disembarkation pier. Boats that start a trip in a different place to where they will end are large enough to take all of the guests’ luggage, so there is no need to leave luggage at a dive centre or hotel in Khao Lak or Phuket during the cruise.

Is the itinerary affected?: As already mentioned, the itineraries are sometimes affected, but not much or always. Boats that sail from Phuket in the evening can easily reach the dive sites in The Similans in time for an early-morning dive the following day. As long as the boat sails before 11pm from Chalong in Phuket, it will arrive for sunrise at the Similans. Guests on board get to know one another over dinner and a few drinks, then sleep in cabins as the boat sails through the night. For most of our boats, on the final day of the trip it is normal for divers to get 2 or 3 dives in the morning and maybe at lunchtime before the boat sails back to Tab Lamu Pier in Khao Lak. However, boats which need to return to Phuket at the end of a Similan diving safari have several more hours’ journey before docking and disembarkation. That means that the final day’s dives are affected, or the boat sails through the night. Option #1 is for the final day’s dives to be at the southernmost islands of The Similans, allowing for a shorter distance back to Phuket and an early evening arrival. This works very well, because these southern dive sites are rarely visited by Khao Lak based boats, and there’s plenty of time for guests to wash & dry their own diving equipment and really chill out for the final hours of the cruise. Option #2 allows for 4 full dives on the final day, and then the boat sails back to Phuket through the night, with guests disembarking the following morning. Therefore, compared to a four-day, four-night 14-dive cruise that returns to Khao Lak, these trips are four days & five nights in length and have 16 dives. The prices are little higher, but they give two extra dives and an extra night’s accommodation with an evening meal and usually breakfast before disembarkation.

Filter: Phuket Similan Liveaboards
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Free Nitrox for certified divers
Highly-Recommended Boat
Wi-Fi On-board
Free Diving Insurance
Affordable Luxury
Pawara scuba diving boat
Special offers available

MV Pawara is one of the most popular and respected Similan Islands liveaboard diving boats. At 35 metres in length, run by a very professional team and offering insurance, Nitrox & wifi for free, the great value becomes even better for a luxurious cruise around Thailand’s best diving sites. 

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Khao Lak
No. of Divers: 24
Liveaboard trips from: 25,700 THB per diver
9/10 Based on 8 diver reviews
Destinations Duration Budget Cabin Standard Cabin Deluxe Cabin Master Cabin
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(14 dives)
4D / 4N Budget Cabin 25,700 THB Standard Cabin 30,700 THB Deluxe Cabin 32,700 THB Master Cabin 35,700 THB
Free Nitrox for certified divers
Large, Safe & Stable
New (Highly-Experienced) Owners
Total Refit November 2016
Best Luxury & Value
Sawasdee Liveaboard dive boat
Special offers available

Sawasdee Fasai is one of the best Similan liveaboard boats available. 2016 refit. 37m. long. 26-guest capacity. Air conditioned lounge. Enjoy scuba diving in Thailand at its best.

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Khao Lak
No. of Divers: 26
Liveaboard trips from: 28,700 THB per diver
9/10 Based on 5 diver reviews
Destinations Duration Budget twin Standard Twin / Double Deluxe Twin Master Double
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(14 dives)
4D / 4N Budget twin 28,700 THB Standard Twin / Double 34,700 THB Deluxe Twin 37,700 THB Master Double 42,700 THB
20% off remaining spaces for Dec 16th - 22nd trip
20% off remaining spaces for Dec 22nd - 26th trip
Sails from Phuket / Khao Lak
Most-Professional organisation
Good range of cabins
Classic luxury
The Junk Liveaboard dive boat
Special offers available

The Junk is a traditional-looking sailing yacht that now hosts luxury scuba diving cruises to the best diving sites in South-East Asia. Although she looks hundreds of years old and incapable of such duties, at the end of the twentieth century she underwent an authentic renovation to transform her into a luxury liveaboard diving vessel. With a capacity of 18 passengers and a size of 33x8.5 metres, she offers space and comfort for all on board. The Junk's specifications and cruise prices are far more competitive than many would imagine, yet she offers s

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Khao Lak
Dive Boat Departs from: Phuket
No. of Divers: 18
Liveaboard trips from: 29,500 THB per diver
10/10 Based on 4 diver reviews
Destinations Duration Quad cabin 3 Bed cabin Double / Twin
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
(14 dives)
4D / 4N Quad cabin 29,500 THB 3 Bed cabin 36,000 THB Double / Twin 44,000 THB
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
(19 dives)
5D / 6N Quad cabin 39,000 THB 3 Bed cabin 44,000 THB Double / Twin 55,000 THB
The Junk Special Offers Coming Up
20% off of remaining spaces
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
(19 dives)
Departs: 16 Dec 2017
Returns: 22 Dec 2017
5D / 6N Quad cabin 39,000 THB 3 Bed cabin 44,000 THB Double / Twin 55,000 THB
20% off of remaining spaces
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck
(14 dives)
Departs: 22 Dec 2017
Returns: 26 Dec 2017
4D / 4N Quad cabin 29,500 THB 3 Bed cabin 36,000 THB Double / Twin 44,000 THB
Free rental equipment or Nitrox for trips booked more than 3 months before departure
10% off of selected December trips' remaining spaces... including New Year!
Big, Safe & Comfortable
Trips to Burma
All Cabins En Suite
Refitted in 2012
Deep Andaman Queen diving liveaboard
Special offers available

The recently-refurbished diving liveaboard known as Deep Andaman Queen is a large boat which offers its guests comfort and luxury comparable to much more expensive diving packages. With cabins to suit every budget and expectation, and facilities to entertain and relax everyone on board, you may feel that you're missing out by getting in the water. However, with its huge diving platform and helpful crew, diving in the Similan Islands has never been easier or more pleasant.

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Khao Lak
No. of Divers: 21
Liveaboard trips from: 30,000 THB per diver
9/10 Based on 4 diver reviews
Destinations Duration Quad Cabin Triple Cabin Twin Cabin Deluxe Double Cabin Deluxe Twin Master Cabin
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(14 dives)
4D / 4N Quad Cabin 30,000 THB Triple Cabin 32,000 THB Twin Cabin 35,000 THB Deluxe Double Cabin 40,000 THB Deluxe Twin 40,000 THB Master Cabin 46,000 THB
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(18 dives)
5D / 5N Quad Cabin 41,250 THB Triple Cabin 44,000 THB Twin Cabin 48,125 THB Deluxe Double Cabin 55,000 THB Deluxe Twin 55,000 THB Master Cabin 63,250 THB
Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck, High Rock, Rocky Island, Shark Cave, Black Rock, North Twin, Stewart Island, North Rock, Fan Forest, Western Rocky
(21 dives)
8D / 7N Quad Cabin 59,500 THB Triple Cabin 63,000 THB Twin Cabin 68,250 THB Deluxe Double Cabin 77,000 THB Deluxe Twin 77,000 THB Master Cabin 87,500 THB
Deep Andaman Queen Special Offers Coming Up
Ask about the final space special price.
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(18 dives)
Departs: 24 Dec 2017
Returns: 29 Dec 2017
5D / 5N Quad Cabin 41,250 THB Triple Cabin 44,000 THB Twin Cabin 48,125 THB Deluxe Double Cabin 55,000 THB Deluxe Twin 55,000 THB Master Cabin 63,250 THB
10% off remaining spaces
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(18 dives)
Departs: 30 Dec 2017
Returns: 03 Jan 2018
5D / 5N Quad Cabin
Special offer
41,250 THB
27,000 THB
Triple Cabin
Special offer
44,000 THB
28,800 THB
Twin Cabin 48,125 THB Deluxe Double Cabin
Special offer
55,000 THB
36,000 THB
Deluxe Twin
Special offer
55,000 THB
36,000 THB
Master Cabin 63,250 THB
All Cabins En Suite
Max. 10 Guests
All the best dive sites
Highly Respected
Giamani Liveaboard dive boat

MV Giamani is a 24 metre steel liveaboard diving boat. Accommodating just ten guests ensures there’s space and comfort for all on board. In 2014 Giamani underwent a luxury-orientated refit. The boat cruises to the best diving locations in the area. Depending on the time of the season, she sails to Hin Daeng, The Similans, Richelieu Rock, and even Burma. Her crew are experienced and her record of customer service and safety are excellent. Tech divers often choose Giamani due to the equipment and set up on offer.

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Phuket
No. of Divers: 10
Liveaboard trips from: 22,000 THB per diver
9/10 Based on 2 diver reviews
Destinations Duration Duluxe Double / Twin Master Cabin
Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa, Koh Phi Phi, Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai
(7 dives)
2D / 2N Duluxe Double / Twin 22,000 THB Master Cabin 25,000 THB
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck, Sea Chart Wreck, Naiyak Wreck
(14 dives)
4D / 4N Duluxe Double / Twin 44,000 THB Master Cabin 50,000 THB
Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa, Koh Phi Phi, Shark Point, Koh Doc Mai, Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck, Sea Chart Wreck, Naiyak Wreck
(21 dives)
6D / 6N Duluxe Double / Twin 66,000 THB Master Cabin 75,000 THB
Shark Cave, Black Rock, Western Rocky, Fan Forest, Northern Rocky, Similan Islands
(19 dives)
6D / 6N Duluxe Double / Twin 79,500 THB Master Cabin 88,500 THB
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Boonsung Wreck, Sea Chart Wreck, Naiyak Wreck
(22 dives)
6D / 6N Duluxe Double / Twin 79,500 THB Master Cabin 88,500 THB
Free Nitrox for certified divers
Free Nitrox
22 Dives
Sails from Phuket
German Management
Marco Polo Liveaboard dive boat similan islands
Special offers available

Diving The Similan Islands and up to Richelieu Rock on MV Marco Polo is great fun, yet comfortable and safe. This boat is one of the few which sails from directly Phuket and includes all the best dive sites on 6D/6N diving safaris. There is a variety of cabin sizes, depending on your needs and budget, and the whole crew are experienced, friendly and environmentally aware. 22 dives per trip almost guarantees that you will return with plenty to tell your friends and family.

Type: Liveaboard
Dive Boat Departs from: Phuket
No. of Divers: 14
Liveaboard trips from: 39,500 THB per diver
Destinations Duration Fan Cabin Air Con. Double/Twin Cabin Honeymoon Cabin
Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock
(22 dives)
6D / 6N Fan Cabin 39,500 THB Air Con. Double/Twin Cabin 45,000 THB Honeymoon Cabin 45,000 THB
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