Top Liveaboards for Advanced Divers - Part 1

Liveaboard diving is the best way to reach the most sought-after and remote dive destinations in the world. As an advanced diver, you can choose from numerous liveaboards that idyllic dive spots that others only dream of. Read on for our round-up of the best liveaboard destinations to add to your wish list now.

Why choose liveaboard diving.

  • Spend more of your day underwater and less time traveling to dive sites.
  • Explore remote dive sites you otherwise cannot reach.
  • Enjoy hassle-free diving with no need to carry your dive gear.
  • Visit some of the best dive destinations in the world.
  • Scuba dive with incredible marine life from dawn to dusk and do it all again the next day!
  • Enjoy a laid-back holiday cruising the ocean.
  • Make new friends.
  • Go diving by day and enjoy delicious chef-prepared food each night.

Great liveaboard diving destinations.

1. Indonesia.

Why go there: Indonesia diving is perfect for advanced divers who are confident and want to get some more challenging dives under their belt. With more than 17,000 idyllic islands and over 54,000 km of coastline, this diverse country has numerous island hopping and dive cruises to choose from. Where to dive: Komodo National Park and diving in Raja Ampat offer some of the richest coral reefs on Earth and host numerous whale sharks and manta rays. The remote Spice Islands are ideal for peaceful diving over coral-encrusted lava flows, whilst the laid-back Gili Islands are Indonesia’s center for sea turtle conservation. Go liveaboard diving in Wakatobi to enjoy some of the best reef snorkeling and largest sponges in Indonesia, or try muck diving in the shadow of North Sulawesi’s verdant national park forests. If that is not enough to tempt you, Nusa Penida is one of the only places in the world where you can swim with sunfish. These strange-looking fish, the heaviest bony fish in the world, can weigh up to 1000 kg and span over 3 meters. When to go:
  • Indonesia can be dived year-round.
  • May to September is peak dive season.
  • Seasonal conditions vary at each location.
  • Check with your preferred Indonesia SSI Center.
Liveaboards in Indonesia: Indonesia has almost countless vessels and safari lengths to choose from. Take your pick from 3 to 10+ night safaris aboard traditional Phinisi sailing boats or modern motorboats. LOVE INDONESIA? HERE ARE 11 MUST-DIVE INDONESIA DESTINATIONS.  

2. Egypt’s Southern Red Sea.

Why go there: Egypt’s Southern Red Sea is a classic and affordable liveaboard destination for advanced divers. If you are comfortable with strong currents and diving in the big blue, you will be richly rewarded with flourishing reefs and shark action. Where to dive: The Brothers, Elphinstoneand Daedalus are the best-known liveaboard destinations in the area and have spectacular drop-offs, plunging walls and thriving reefs. All of which are surrounded by diverse Red Sea marine life. People flock to Egypt to dive with oceanic whitetip sharks, silvertips, hammerheads, and mating grey reef sharks every year. As well as hosting plenty of these iconic predators, Egypt’s Southern Red Sea dive sites are busy with numerous pelagic fish and rainbow-hued reef species. When to go:
  • Diving is possible all year in Egypt.
  • Visit Elphinstone from May to July for sharks, mantas, and turtles.
  • Visit Egypt’s Southern Red Sea in winter for thresher shark encounters.
Liveaboards in Egypt: With numerous vessels to choose from, you can easily create a liveaboard diving trip in Egypt that meets your dive preferences, available time, and budget. LEARN ALL YOU NEED TO ENJOY LIVEABOARDS - JOIN SSI BOAT DIVING  

3. Fiji.

Why go there: Fiji is a classic far-flung destination that has something for every dive experience level. With few liveaboard vessels, it is the perfect place to try liveaboard diving and experience Fiji’s famously vibrant reefs. Where to dive: The idyllic Yasawa Islands enjoy year-long sunshine and offer cave diving, coral-covered walls, numerous manta rays and some of the best coral gardens in Fiji. Gau Island, also known as the Amazon of the Seas, has fringing and barrier reefs to dive, as well as calm lagoons waters. Together, Gau’s dive sites host plentiful fish, eagle rays, sharks, and healthy corals. If you love current diving, Nigali Passage is fantastic. This thrilling passage has just a 3-hour dive window, outside of which the currents rip through at over 4 knots! Drop into the current at the right time and you will ride through a 20-meter long coral-encrusted passage with barracuda, whitetips, and grey reef sharks. For more shark action, but without the currents, make sure you go shark diving at Beqa Lagoon in Pacific Harbour. There you can dive with numerous bull sharks, reef sharks, and occasional tiger sharks – all during one enthralling multi-level dive. For the ultimate soft coral dives, go diving in Somosomo Strait. This strait is famous for its deep vertical walls covered in bright purple and white soft corals. When to go:
  • Fiji can be dived year-round.
  • Visit in summer for big pelagics such as mantas and whale sharks.
  • Visit in winter (July to December) for water visibility up to 40 meters.
Liveaboards in Fiji: There is a small selection of liveaboards in Fiji and they are extremely popular, so book early. There are also idyllic diving resorts and dive centers in Fiji that offer boat and shore diving. EXPLORE THE 20 BEST CORAL TRIANGLE DIVING SPOTS.  

4. The Philippines.

Why go there: Sitting in the heart of the Coral Triangle and boasting more than 7000 pristine islands, the Philippines diving is on a par with Indonesia when it comes to liveaboard opportunities. Home to a WWII wreck diving mecca, a UNESCO-listed reef system, a famed sardine run, whale sharks, and the world’s only reliable thresher shark dive, this destination is hard to beat. Where to dive: Coron has world-class wreck diving with numerous accessible WWII wrecks in the shallows and at depth. Highlights include diving the 112-meter-long Olympia Maru and the enormous 144-meter-long Irako. The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is sought-after for liveaboard diving in the Philippines. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it offers stunning reef dives. The rich clear waters of this special marine park host hundreds of fish and coral species, plus whales, sharks, mantas, eagle rays and charming sea turtles. Puerto Galera diving offers excellent wreck and muck diving opportunities, whilst Verde Island is considered the most biodiverse area in the entire Coral Triangle. Go diving in Moalboal to experience the Philippines’ world-famous sardine run or visit Donsol for numerous whale sharks. For a unique experience, join a liveaboard safari that includes diving at Monad Shoal in Malapascua. Monad Shoal is the only place in the world where you can reliably dive with these elusive sharks. When to go:
  • You can dive the Philippines all year.
  • December to April is peak dive season.
  • Tubbataha can be dived from March until June.
  • Whale sharks can be seen at Donsol from November to May.
Liveaboards in the Philippines: There are plenty of liveaboards to choose from in the Philippines, offering a range of dive routes and safari lengths.