When thinking of scuba diving anywhere in the world, the best to do it is with a luxury liveaboard. Either you are thinking of diving in Indonesia, Galapagos, Philippines or anywhere else, a luxury liveaboard can take you to dive sites that otherwise are difficult to reach.
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What to Expect on a Luxurious Liveaboard
Compared to other liveaboard trips, a luxury liveaboard can cater to the specific needs and preferences of all the guests. These trips offer flexibility in terms of the itinerary, dive sites, but especially for the onboard facilities and services. Luxury liveaboard trips can accommodate groups of different sizes, from couples to families to large groups of friends. Guests can choose the length of their trip, the diving locations they want to visit, and the type of diving they want to do.
The onboard facilities can also be tailored to suit the guests’ preferences, such as special dietary requirements, spa treatments, or additional activities. With a luxury liveaboard diving trip, guests can have a personalized and unforgettable experience.
Attention to Detail
Diving with a liveaboard is basically visiting a floating hotel. The attention to detail depends on the liveaboard operator but when choosing a luxurious liveaboard for your diving trip, that’s when the attention to detail is at its best and with very little compromises.
The details that are mainly covered with great attention are related to restaurant and bar and the actual diving operations. Safety is strongly considered and handled by certified professionals with significant experience.
A Low Ratio of Dive Guides to Divers
Choosing your diving liveaboard operator should have some very particular reasons and without a doubt one of them ought to be the ratio of divers to dive guides. Depend on the location where you will be traveling for the liveaboard trip, the guest to dive guide ratio may differ but on general it should not be higher than 5 on 1.
5 on 1 means 5 divers of equal experience and certification for 1 dive guide. However, with a luxury liveaboard you will observe that often the ratios are either 3 on 1 or 4 on 1 for added safety and comfort.
A Full-Service Dive Routine
Joining a liveaboard is mainly for diving. Snorkelers and non-divers often join simply for the enjoyment of spending time on a beautiful boat but liveaboards focus on catering for divers.
There are many differences between liveaboard boats but a luxury liveaboard will stand out with a focus on full service dive routine. All needs taken care of such as equipment setup, tank filling, equipment service, dive briefing, underwater photos and videos and more.
It’s this type of full-service dive routine that makes the majority of divers to choose a luxury liveaboard
A Crew That Outnumbers the Guests
It’s custom for any liveaboard to have sufficient crew to properly operate and sail the boat but there is a big difference when comparing to a luxurious liveaboard because such luxury comes with the understanding that crew must equal or outnumber the number of guests onboard.
As an example on a liveaboard 36 meters long (118 feet), a liveaboard would require an 16-18 crew member for a capacity of 16 passengers.
This is particularly related to safety but also a lot with the quality of service as a good number of crew can focus on guests at a personal level.
Liveaboards pack many features and they’re basically floating hotels. The cabins are an important part of any diver’s stay on a liveaboard. Most of the cabins on a liveaboard are small, and the lower deck cabins are generally limited in natural light.
However, a luxury liveaboard will bring additional features in the cabin such as en-suite bathroom, toiletries and beautiful cabin decorations that will make your stay highly comfortable and pleasant.
On a liveaboard you can choose the preferred cabins based on lower deck or upper deck. The upper deck cabins are always more expensive compared to the lower deck mainly because the upper deck cabins are more luxurious, with sea view and of course featuring natural light.
Food is everything and especially when you find yourself on a liveaboard in the middle of the ocean without any other options for restaurants. Luxury liveaboards spend significant amount of time perfecting their cuisine and depending on where you are you can find either international or local dishes prepared by the chef on-board.
With a luxury liveaboard you can customise your cuisine experience up to the smallest of the details: dietary restrictions, specific preferences such as vegetarian or even controlling the amount of spices used.
Take this in consideration and communicate with the liveaboard during the booking process to better elevate your experience onboard.
The Top 6 Luxurious Liveaboard Dive Boats in the World
1. Neptune One (Neptune Liveaboards)
Founded by the people behind the famous dive center in Bali, Neptune Scuba Diving, Neptune One is a 36 meters long traditional boat also known as “kapal phinisi” cruising through the entire Indonesian archipelago for diving trips in the popular Komodo, Raja Ampat and Banda Sea.
Neptune One is a luxury liveaboard featuring 8 total cabins accommodating maximum 16 passengers. With 4 lower deck cabins, 4 upper deck cabins, guests have the freedom to chose their type of accommodation and even customise the bed setup.
The main features of Neptune One are:
- Spacious dive deck
- Luxurious restaurant lounge
- Spacious main deck outdoor lounge
- Upper deck outdoor lounge
- State of the art facilities
- Free Unlimited Satellite Internet
- Free Unlimited 4G HotSpot Internet
- NITROX available
2. Komodo Sea Dragon
Komodo Sea Dragon is the most luxury liveaboard in Komodo. It primarily sails throughout the Komodo National Park with itineraries varying between 3 and 7 days, ideal for divers and snorkelers alike.
It was constructed by the famous Komodo Resort located in Komodo and it’s serving as a floating hotel during the months of January and February.
Sea Dragon is a 33 meters long wooden boat with 6 cabins accommodating a total of 12 passengers. The best of the Sea Dragon liveaboard is that the cabins extremely spacious, all with natural light and featuring private balconies. But at the same time, a great unique feature is that Sea Dragon is joined by a dedicated diving boat also called a Dony.
The main features of Komodo Sea Dragon are:
- Separated Dony diving boat
- Spacious cabins
- Natural light in all cabins
- Great experience in Komodo
- Exquisite international and local cuisine
3. Damai II Liveaboard
The Damai II Liveaboard is one of the most luxurious liveaboards in Indonesia. The boat is designed to offer the highest level of comfort and relaxation to its guests. With a spacious lounge area, a Jacuzzi on the top deck, and a dedicated camera room, the Damai II Liveaboard is perfect for underwater photographers and videographers.
The boat offers a range of dive itineraries that cover some of the best diving spots in Indonesia, including Raja Ampat, Komodo, and Alor.
The main features of Damai II are:
- Luxurious features such as jacuzzi
- Focused on underwater photography features such as camera station
- Dedicated camera room
- Spacious lounge area
4. Atlantis Azores
With 7 beautifully designed cabins equipped with en-suite bathrooms and hot showers, Atlantis Azores provides one of the best luxury liveaboard in Philippines.
Atlantis Azores is cuisine is Western and Asian served in their indoor air-conditioned dining area or on the outdoor deck.
Guests can also choose to dine on the outdoor deck while enjoying the beautiful views of the Philippine islands. The boat also features a dive deck, camera room, sun deck with loungers, hot tub, and bar, providing everything guests need to relax and unwind after a day of diving.
5. Scubaspa Yang
Scubaspa Yang is a luxurious liveaboard that combines world-class diving experiences with indulgent spa treatments in the breathtaking Maldives. This 50-meter long boat has 10 air-conditioned cabins, each with its own en-suite bathroom, flat-screen TV, and entertainment system. The cabins are spacious and elegantly designed, providing the perfect blend of comfort and luxury.
The dining area is located indoors and serves a variety of international cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and local Maldivian specialties. Guests can also choose to dine on the outdoor deck while enjoying the stunning views of the Maldives. The boat also features a spa, dive deck, indoor lounge with a bar, outdoor lounge, and sun deck with loungers, providing the perfect retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation.
6. Emperor Elite
The Emperor Elite is a luxury liveaboard diving vessel that operates in the Red Sea of Egypt. This boat is known for offering world-class diving experiences and exceptional service to its guests.
Built-in 2006, the Emperor Elite has undergone recent renovations to update its facilities and provide a more modern and comfortable experience. The boat is 38 meters long and can accommodate up to 26 guests in 11 cabins, all of which are air-conditioned and feature en-suite bathrooms.
On board, guests can enjoy a spacious lounge and dining area, as well as a large sun deck with comfortable loungers and shaded areas. There is also a jacuzzi on the upper deck, perfect for relaxing after a long day of diving.
The Emperor Elite offers a variety of itineraries for diving enthusiasts, ranging from 7 to 14 nights. These trips cover some of the most popular diving spots in the Red Sea, including the Brothers Islands, Daedalus, Elphinstone, and St. John’s.
Frequently Asked Questions for Luxury Liveaboard
What is a luxury liveaboard?
A luxury liveaboard is a high-end vessel designed for comfortable, extended stays at sea. It offers amenities such as fine dining, spa treatments, and top-of-the-line equipment.
What kind of activities can I do on a luxury liveaboard?
You can enjoy a wide range of activities, such as diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Some vessels also offer cultural excursions and island visits.
How many guests can a luxury liveaboard accommodate?
The capacity of a luxury liveaboard varies depending on the vessel, but typically ranges from 10 to 30 guests. Each guest room is designed with maximum comfort and privacy in mind.
What destinations can I visit on a luxury liveaboard?
Luxury liveaboards can take you to some of the world's most beautiful destinations, including the Maldives, the Caribbean, the Red Sea, and the Galapagos Islands.
Is a luxury liveaboard worth the cost?
If you're looking for a truly unique and luxurious experience, a luxury liveaboard is definitely worth the cost. You'll be pampered with excellent service, fine dining, and unforgettable experiences in some of the world's most stunning locations.
What is the difference between a luxury liveaboard and a regular liveaboard?
The main difference between a luxury liveaboard and a regular liveaboard is the level of comfort and luxury provided. Luxury liveaboards typically have larger and more luxurious cabins, gourmet cuisine, and personalized service, while regular liveaboards may have more basic amenities.
How many people are typically on a luxury liveaboard?
The number of people on a luxury liveaboard varies, but most boats can accommodate between 10 and 20 guests.
What is the food like on a luxury liveaboard?
The food on a luxury liveaboard is typically gourmet, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and a mix of international and local cuisine. Many luxury liveaboards also offer a range of beverages, including fine wines and cocktails.
What types of amenities are available on a luxury liveaboard?
Luxury liveaboards may offer a range of amenities, including a spa, gym, library, lounge, and entertainment system. Some may also have jacuzzis or other relaxation areas.
How do I choose a luxury liveaboard?
When choosing a luxury liveaboard, consider factors such as the itinerary, the size and type of boat, the amenities, the level of service, and the price. It's also a good idea to read reviews and ask for recommendations from other travelers or travel agents.