Top 5 Stunning Liveaboards to Visit Now

If you are a diver, then you’ll know that a liveaboard is the ultimate way to make the most of a diving trip; villas and sunrise yoga are for the sedentary, time that could be spent spotting lobsters in crevices and zooming in colourful nudibranchs on coral. With some of the best diving spots in the world being in Asia, therefore some of the best liveaboards in the world are here too. These are our five favourites, sojourns that we will gladly go sailing (and diving) away with.

1. Amanikan, Indonesia

Anchored just off the Amanwana resort in Pulau Moyo, Amanikan is the Aman Resorts’ first foray into yachting. Built in 2009 as a 32m coastal cruiser, Amanikan placidly plies the waters across the Flores Sea between Sumbawa to Komodo National Park or Raja Ampat, where some of the most extraordinary diving experiences are to be found. Along the way, explore the origin of the spice trade and pay the prehistoric Komodo Dragons a visit. Onboard, Amanikan is for all intents and purposes a floating Aman resort, with teak furnishings, rattan weave walls and sumptuous quarters that are the best balm after a long day of diving. Amanikan can be chartered alongside its sister, Amandira, for the ultimate tandem live aboard experience.


2. Palau Siren, Palau

Out in the Pacific is a chain of islands known as Palau. Remote but rewarding, it is home to some of the most memorable dives on Earth: meditating with mantas at the German Channel, hooking into the reef and bobbing in the current as hundreds of trevallies and dozens of sharks flit around at Blue Corner, or descending into the deep blue of the Blue Holes. The sites are generally a ways from each other, so the optimal solution is to sail for days or weeks on end aboard the Palau Siren, a 40m luxury phinisi boat built in Sulawesi, Indonesia, that sails the islands all year round. And you won’t even need to gear up and dive for Palau’s grandest attraction: swimming with thousands upon thousands of jellyfish at Jellyfish Lake on Eil Malk island.

Palau Siren

3. Four Seasons Explorer, Maldives

The 26 atolls that form the Maldives cover a vast area, including hidden treasures far, far away from touristy eyes. Sailing between the Four Seasons Maldives resorts in Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru is the Four Seasons Explorer, a three-deck luxury catamaran that placidly makes the 90km journey over three or four days. The amenities onboard are fit for kings, with the itineraries catered to divers, who can explore pristine channels and wrecks unseen by most in the most exceptional diving destinations in the world. And, if luck would have it, a whale shark decides to swim by while you’re lounging on the deck with a Bellini, well, put the glass down and dive in.

Four Seasons Explorer

4. Arenui, Indonesia

The Coral Triangle covers almost all of South-East Asia and in the centre of this global marine biodiversity hotspot is Indonesia. Some of the greatest, most luxurious liveaboards in Asia make this area their home, including Arenui, which bills itself as the ultimate boutique luxury liveaboard experience. The traditional Indonesia phinisi with spacious cabins, a luxury restaurant and expansive sky lounge explores the corners of Komodo, Sulawesi, Wakatobi, Raja Ampat, Maluku, Flores, Alor and the Taka Bone Rate atolls in search of amazing dives on an amazing boat.


5. True North, Australia

Slightly further south but no less rewarding is Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef. True North may be larger than any of the other liveaboards on our list, but the service is still as impeccable. Holding up to 36 guests, True North not only visits some of the most spectacular coastlines and dive sites of Australia’s northern coast, up as far as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia’s West Papua, it also specialises in venturing into the Kimberley region, a coastal freshwater wilderness that promises wondrous sights. Diving isn’t allowed here though, since there are saltwater crocodiles present, but sometimes even on a diving liveaboard, it is good to stay dry for a while to soak up the bliss.

True North

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Published 22nd June 2016