Attention all scuba divers! Looking to take your underwater adventures to a new level? Sail away on a two- or three-week liveaboard dive cruise and explore all the creatures under the sea. Here are our top picks for the best liveaboard diving destinations in the world:
With over 13,000 islands, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. And it is one of the premier liveaboard diving destinations too. It will be impossible to cover the whole country in one single trip, but there are plenty of noteworthy spots that are sure to fulfil every diver’s dream. From wild adventures with manta rays, to searching for mola molas, or discovering the world-famous USAT Liberty wreck: there is something for everyone here. Raja Ampat archipelago is a great option for those looking to explore virtually untouched dive sites. The WWF has called it a “species factory” since its waters are home to ten times as many coral species as the Caribbean – and more are being discovered each year.
Over 2,000 tiny tropical islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean make up the nation of Micronesia. The country is divided into eight main island groups, all of which have a unique culture and history: Guam, the Marianas, Yap, the Marshalls, the Republic of Palau, Ponhpei, Truk Chuuk and Kosrae. Those looking to view a wealth of marine life should head to Palau, while divers seeking a history lesson can explore the WWII wrecks in Truk Chuuk.
Considered by many as one of the original liveaboard diving destinations (if not the original one), the Red Sea is filled with itineraries for liveaboard divers. The sheer abundance of liveaboard offers means prices are more affordable and there are a multitude of interests to explore. Spanning over more than 1,000 miles from the Sinai Peninsula to the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea is home to more than 1,000 fish species and 200 species of coral. It’s also a prime site for wreck diving, with some of the most intact wrecks found in the Gubal Straits.
Galapagos isn’t just the place where Darwin uncovered the theory of evolution. The archipelago is actually also one of the seven underwater wonders of the world and one of the top liveaboard destinations. And best of all – it’s still quite undiscovered even by diving aficionados. What the area lacks in coral reefs, it more than makes up for in its marine life. Different species of sharks are common sights to divers here, with some seeing a few hundred at a time!
Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica is one of the world’s last wild places. And it’s one of the best liveaboard diving destinations in the world. As you approach the wild jungle of Cocos Island, you will instantly feel like you’re traveling back to a prehistoric era – which is fitting, since the hammerhead sharks that swim under it have scarcely changed since then. But sharks aren’t the only item on the dive menu. Marbled rays, jacks, snapper, whale sharks are also frequent sights here.