MV Smiling Seahorse Overview
MV Smiling Seahorse was brand-new in November 2018. It was purpose designed & built for comfortable & enjoyable scuba diving liveaboard cruises at the best dive sites of Thailand and into Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago. MV Smiling Seahorse is is larger than its predecessor, but takes the same number of guests. Therefore there’s more space for everyone. In addition, all the cabins on the new boat are air conditioned, and most have private bathrooms. At 25 metres in length and with a width of 6.5 metres, MV Smiling Seahorse is easily big enough for up to 16 lucky guests to relax on. Also, the purpose-built design means that everything is in the right place for scuba diving liveaboard cruises. This is not a converted fishing boat, like some other liveaboards.
Starting at the top deck, MV Smiling Seahorse has a large sundeck that is partially covered and partially shaded. This makes it perfect for enjoying the view without getting sunburnt, or for topping up your tan. It’s also the best place to star gaze at night or enjoy the romantic atmosphere.
On the boat’s upper deck there are three guest cabins and the main dining & socialising area. The three guest cabins are Standard Cabins which have air conditioning, and doors which open out onto deck, meaning that you are welcomed by a wonderful view in the morning. These cabins can be set up as a double bed or two single beds, meaning that they’re ideal for couples, for friends or two solo guests. At the rear of this upper deck is where delicious meals are enjoyed and dive briefings held. There are several tables with plenty of seating, and there’s a bar area and large flat-screen TV. This is a sheltered outdoor area, but its walls can be fully covered if the weather gets bad.
The main deck of MV Smiling Seahorse has four Deluxe Cabins & two Master Cabins. All of these have air-conditioning and private en suite bathrooms. The Master Cabins are larger and located at the front of the boat. They have large double beds. The Deluxe Cabins have double/single beds like the Standard Cabins. All of them have doors which open out onto the deck, which gives more privacy, convenience and a better view. Behind the cabins is the kitchen, where the team make plenty of delicious food. The food served on MV Smiling Seahorse is a blend of local Asian food and Western meals, such as their very popular barbecue nights. If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or have any other special dietary needs, the team will ensure that you don’t miss out on great food, but please let us know in advance. Next to the kitchen is the photography room. This is becoming more important on scuba diving liveaboards, and this was an important design feature. Here, diving photographers can charge, clean or service cameras and other photo or video equipment. The owner and trip leader is a pro photographer and joins nearly every trip. The team also offer tips and advice, as well as special trips designed for photographers. Underwater photography is a huge part of the boat's experience, and it's set up for this better than any other boat in the region.
Also on the main deck are two communal bathrooms used by Standard Cabin guests, and there's a large and well-designed dive deck with plenty of space for all the tanks & equipment. The compressor and other machinery are new and located to ensure the best performance and least inconvenience.
There are several trip itineraries to choose from on MV Smiling Seahorse, but you need to book early because they sell out quickly. All trips used to leave from and return to Ranong, in southern Thailand near the Myanmar border. But for the 2023-24 season, the Smiling Seahorse sails from Ranong, from Phuket and from Khao Lak, depending on the itinerary. There are several trips to choose from and the longer ones go to all the best dive sites in Thailand's Andaman Sea.
This boat is owned and operated by a small French team who are extremely passionate about diving, and providing safe and fun trips, but especially about caring for the environment. You will really enjoy any trip you join on the SMILING Seahorse!
MV Smiling Seahorse Facilities, Layout & Specifications
|MV Smiling Seahorse Layout|
|MV Smiling Seahorse Specifications|
|Engines:||2 x 260 HP Hino Marine.|
|Generators:||2 x 20 kw Isuzu.|
|Cruising speed:||7 Knots.|
|Max Speed:||10 Knots.|
|Compressors:||Bauer Mariner Compressors.|
|Instrumentation:||GPS Plotter, Fishfinder, Depth Sounder, Cellular Phone, VHF / DSC / SSB radio and sonar.|
|Fresh Water:||16,000 Litres.|
|Guests:||Max. 16 Guests.|
|Cabins:||8 Double or Twin cabins with air-conditioning.|
|Bathrooms:||8 bathrooms (6 privates, 2 shared).|
|Sundeck:||Yes sundeck area available.|
|Safety:||Life Rafts, life vests, first aid kits, oxygen and trained oxygen providers, Engine room video surveillance, fire extinguishers, Fire alarm and fire extinguishers, Location beacon.|
MV Smiling Seahorse Courses
A range of PADI courses are available on The Smiling Seahorse.
The PADI AOWC (Advanced Open Water Course) and Nitrox Enriched Air are the most-popular courses on this boat.
Please book your course in advance, because sometimes it's not possible to plan at the last minute.
MV Smiling Seahorse Itinerary
There are several different itineraries for MV Smiling Seahorse, so please check carefully. Trips depart from & return to Ranong, Khao Lak and Phuket. Please check on the schedule AND ask us before confirming your travel plans.
The itineraries below are the most-common for each trip, but these can sometimes be changed for a number of reasons. Small changes are made due to weather & sea conditions, special marine life sightings, overcrowded dive sites, local-authorities' instructions, and the needs & requests of the paying guests. The safety & comfort of all guests is most important at all times.