Join OTA Diving on The Best of Thailand Diving Safari aboard The Phinisi
April 1-11, 2022 (Aboard the Boat)
$500 deposit holds your spot and we will send you a credit card authorization form and payment plan right away.
Price: Liveaboard cost
Double Cabin (2 people): $2935
Quad Cabin (4 share): $2435
Price includes Nitrox for 10 days and Marine Park and Port Fees
The Phinisi is a traditional Indonesian-style sailing yacht offering liveaboard dive holidays in Thailand, comfortably accommodating 18 divers. She boasts a spacious dive deck with plenty of storage space for all of your dive gear. The outdoor dining area at the stern is covered and shaded so you can fully take in the breath-taking views of Thailand and Myanmar. Every day, our chef prepares plenty of dishes from the famous Thai cuisine with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Friendly and experienced, our boat and dive crew are there to meet your every need, making your diving holiday in Thailand unforgettable.
Liveaboards in Thailand are centered primarily around the Similan Islands, a chain of 9 small islands with white sandy beaches, located on the west coast of the Thai peninsula. Surrounded by the richest waters around Thailand, the diving in the Similans is without a doubt the best that Thailand has to offer. Diving here is all about the beautifully colourful reefs, sleepy leopard sharks, majestic mantas and frequent whaleshark encounters.
We recommend arriving by March 31st to acclimate and recover from travel. We invite you to stay on after the boat trip to celebrate Songkram- Thai New Year April 12-15.
10 Nights Itinerary
This itinerary is as follows:
Phuket to Phuket
Embarkation Point: Chalong Pier, Phuket at 18:00
Disembarkation Point: Chalong Pier, Khao Lak at 10:00
Transfer between Phuket Airport, or local hotels and The Phinisi on embarkation and disembarkation day are included in the liveaboard price for all departures.
Transfers from and to hotels and resorts outside of these areas can be arranged for an additional charge.
Marine & Port Fees: 115 USD per person
Marine park fees can be paid in advance, or on board.
Minimum dive certification and experience:
Diving conditions in and around the Andaman Sea are generally suitable for all levels of divers, although some of the dives offered may be challenging for inexperienced divers.
Divers wishing to join this itinerary are advised to have Advanced Open Water certification, or equivalent, with a minimum of 10 logged dives and experience in strong currents.
*Advanced Open Water Bundle can usually be completed on board with advance notice (pre-booking required).
Guests who do not fulfil the minimum certification and experience requirements may be denied participation in some or all dives.
It is a mandatory requirement for all divers to have insurance which covers scuba diving activities, including emergency evacuation and recompression chamber costs.
Participation in this liveaboard itinerary is subject to acceptance of our Terms & Conditions as outlined here: www.masterliveaboards.com/terms-conditions.
Number of scheduled dives: Up to 33
This itinerary involves some long distance travel and, while we attempt to ensure the number of planned dives is fulfilled, bad weather and sea conditions can affect the boat's ability to reach a specific dive site in good time and may impact on the number of dives that are possible.
Safety and dive briefings are conducted in English.
The following is an example of the day-to-day itinerary.
Day 1: Embarkation at 18:00 is followed by introductions, safety briefings and dinner.
Day 2-9: Your Cruise Director will schedule up to 4 dives per day; 3 day dives and a sunset or night dive. A typical diving day is scheduled as follows:
Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1
Full Breakfast, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 2
Lunch, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 3
Briefing for Dive
Day 10: Usually 2 morning* dives before The Phinisi commences the cruise to port.
Day 11: Following breakfast on board, disembarkation is scheduled for between 09:30 and
*We kindly request that guests check their flight departure times to ensure that they leave a minimum of 24 hours between their final dive and the departure of their flight.
While we wish to show you the very best diving possible, the safety of all on board remains paramount. In the unlikely event we are unable to reach a specified dive site; we always do our best in offering diving at alternative locations.
The following is a description of the dive sites that we may visit during your liveaboard.
Koh Phi Phi National Park
Lying in Phang-Nga Bay, about 45km east of Phuket and 30km south west of Krabi, two breathtaking limestone islands make up the greater part of Moo Koh Phi Phi, an archipelago of 6 islands, with the largest island of Phi Phi Don being a few kilometres north of Phi Phi Lae. Limestone cliffs rise vertically into the sky, where the trees take over. There are many beaches, coves, and bays which make for dramatic scenery to enjoy during surface intervals.
There are many, many dive sites around the Phi Phi island group, many consisting of wall dives, the limestone dropping to depth ranges between 10m and 25m. The walls can have gorgonian fans, soft corals and coral bushes and interesting rock formations and swim throughs. At the base of these walls there are often hard coral gardens to explore. You can expect a great amount of fish life, including lionfish, wrasse, moorish idols, angelfish, rays, trevallies. Also keep an eye out for leopard and nurse sharks sleeping on the sandy bottoms or blacktip reef sharks cruising the reefs. Turtles are also commonly seen here. Lastly, check the fans and bushes for tigertail seahorses and harlequin ghost pipefish.
The King Cruiser was a car ferry that used to travel between Phi Phi and Phuket until, in 1997, ‘The Cruiser’ hit Anemone Reef on her crossing and sank a short distance away. No lives were lost, but divers were left with a great wreck dive! Although now largely broken up, she is covered with soft corals and hides some wonderful gems, as well as being home to several large schools of snapper. While currents can be strong and visibility sometimes challenging, this is a great site to dive as part of an Advanced Open Water Course.
Shark Point and Anemone Reef
These pinnacles are part of the same reef system and are only a very short distance apart from each other. Both sites are covered with colourful soft corals and anemones with a variety of fish to suit all divers. From barracuda to seahorses and, for the lucky ones, the iconic leopard shark!
Koh Haa National Park
Possibly some of the most underrated diving in the whole of Thailand, Moo Koh Haa (meaning Five Islands) sits almost halfway between Hin Daeng and Phi Phi and is part of the Ko Lanta National Marine Park. While they may not be much to look at above water, these amazing islands offer a variety of pinnacles, walls, boulders, caverns, and swim-throughs beneath the surface. There are several dive sites around Ko Haa but the highlights are Ko Haa Lagoon, Ko Haa Neua, and Ko Haa Yai.
Ko Haa lagoon is ideal for night dives, courses, and snorkelling, while The Chimney and The Cathedral offer things that you cannot see on other Thailand liveaboard itineraries with caverns, swim-throughs and chambers littering the sites. Ko Haa has varied marine life too, with ornate ghost pipefish, morays eels, octopus, hawksbill turtles, sea horses, marble rays, and sometimes even leopard sharks.
Translating as Red Rock and Purple Rock, with their names derived from the colour of the corals they host, these two sites are pinnacles in the open ocean, reaching down to over 70m, and are best known for manta ray and whale shark encounters. Whether these are sighted or not, the sites also offer giant moray eels, pharaoh cuttlefish, schooling rainbow runners and snappers, barracudas, groupers, fusiliers, and bluefin trevally. On the pinnacles, there are fields of Magnificent Anemones, walls of Hemprics soft corals, and huge gorgonian sea fans.
Almost perpetual good visibility and dramatic topography combined with huge fish numbers makes for excellent liveaboard diving.
Similan Islands National Park
The above water scenery will provide stunningly beautiful white sandy beaches with small forested areas. Dive some of the following sites; Boulder City, Sharkfin Reef, Anita's Reef and Three Trees. Under the surface you may see: Leopard (zebra) shark, blue spotted stingrays, clown triggerfish, rabbit fish, scorpion fish, snappers, emperor fish, giant trevally and angelfish. The coral gardens, bommies and boulder formations are wonderful to dive.
Elephant Head Rock, visible from the surface, is the biggest pinnacle in the Similans and has some fantastic swim-throughs. White tip reef sharks, batfish, trevally and barracuda can often be seen on the perimeter of the boulders. If you look closely in the cracks and in the rubble you can see smashing mantis shrimp, porcelain crab, moray eels and cleaner shrimp.
There are also sites dominated by huge granite boulders such as Deep Six, Christmas Point, and North Point where you can see white tip reef sharks, schooling giant trevally, and schools of neon fusiliers.
This is generally the most likely place to see manta rays on this itinerary. You are also likely to see Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips, octopus, bluefin trevally, giant moray eels, great barracudas, fire dart goby, spiny lobster and nudibranchs of many types. The dive sites vary from wall diving to gently sloping reefs and from submerged boulders to coral gardens.
Diving on the West Ridge can be an adrenaline filled drift, with amazing views, while the North Reef is a gentler experience over a hard coral garden.
This island is famous for its pinnacle dive site, known by many as Twin Peaks as well as more relaxed reef diving on the North Reef and South Reef. Normally, turtles, barracuda, pipefish, and nudibranchs can be found here. There is also a chance to see bigger species in this area like manta rays and whale sharks, especially by late January until April.
This limestone pinnacle was named by Jacques Cousteau after Cardinal Richelieu due to the similarity to the colour of his gown as there are gorgeous purple dendronephthya soft corals covering most of the pinnacle. There are other areas covered in magnificent sea anemones as well. Barely breaking the surface at low tide, this horseshoe-shaped outcropping slopes steeply to a sandy bottom at 18 to 35 meters (60-120 Ft). This site offers great diversity for such a small and isolated spot. It also offers excellent multi-level diving and, because it’s a high-profile reef, there’s always sheltered areas to hide from current.
The marine life is prolific and includes amongst, many other things; pharaoh cuttlefish, large octopi, all 5 varieties of anemone fish of the Andaman Sea, variety of moray eels, ornate ghost pipefish, smashing mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimps, tiger tail seahorses, spanish mackerel, frog fish, many schooling snapper and occasional sightings of manta rays and whale sharks.
Surin Islands National Park
The topside scenery of Koh Surin, with evergreen forests, mangroves, and small beaches, surpasses even that of the picturesque Similan Islands. Under water the reefs of Surin have some of the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand. Across sites like Torinla Pinnacle, Hin Kong, and Turtle Ledges you are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish and barramundi, as well as lots of turtles that still come ashore in this area to lay their eggs. Because of the remoteness not many liveaboard boats visit these islands and you will be able to enjoy the dive sites without sharing it with tourist hordes.
Khao Lak Wrecks
Before disembarking in Khao Lak, if conditions and timing are favourable there is a choice of easily diveable wrecks between the Similan Islands and the port of Tap Lamu. The Boonsung and The Premchai are old tin miners that were sunk in the 1990’s and are a treat for underwater photographers as well as lovers of life of all kinds!
Only in 18m of water they are covered in nudibranchs and various kinds of shrimps. Many quite unusual honeycomb morays also made these wrecks home. There are also huge numbers of schooling fish as well as rays and sharks that can occasionally be seen. Sea Chart 1 is a slightly more challenging dive and lies between 40 and 25 metres. Sunk during a storm in 2009 with a full load of teak, she is relatively new but already hosts an abundance of schooling fish.
Along the route there are some incredible views from the boat including verdant forests, deserted beaches, and limestone karsts climbing vertically from the ocean. There will be several opportunities to leave the boat and take a walk on the islands. A walk up the trail to Sail Rock is definitely time well spent! You can even be entertained by marine life while relaxing on board The Phinisi as dolphins cruising along with the boat are not an unusual sight.
Should you have any questions or queries concerning the dive sites or whether this itinerary is suitable for your experience level, please contact our reservations team email@example.com who will be pleased to assist and advise you. You can also call us at 855-682-3483.