Monday, 16 September 2013

This blog has moved

You can now find us here:

Friday, 6 September 2013

Early Bird Special offer finishes 30 September

Our 10% early bird discount offer for Thailand liveaboards finishes on 30 September.

Book a Thailand liveaboard before 30 September and pay in full to receive 10% off the trip price.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands

Discover Scuba Diving Similan Islands.

You don't need to be certified to dive to enjoy diving at the Similan Islands. You can do a days diving at the Similan Islands departing from Khao Lak A one day 2 dive day trip by speedboat from Khao Lak is 6,400 baht.

Discover Scuba Diving on a Similan liveaboard

Most Similan diving liveaboards don't provide Discover Scuba Diving onboard, you should be certified before joining the boat. Most snorkeling liveaboards do not have scuba cylinders or PADI Dive Instructors on board who can teach diving.

MV Oktavia is a dive and snorkeling liveaboard that runs 2 day 2 night liveaboard trips to the Similan Islands. With Oktavia you can join the boat as a snorkeler and if you fancy trying diving a PADI Instructors can take you on a dive for 1,500 baht. Any further dives are just 1,000 baht each. This is the perfect boat for diver and snorkeler couples or groups with mixed interests.

Phuket Discover Scuba Diving options:

These are our DSD options available from Phuket:

  • Beach Dive. 2,900 baht. 
  • Boat dives. Full day with 2 or 3 dives. Group Instruction. 4,900 baht.
  • Boat dives. Full day with 2 or 3 dives. Private 1 to 1 diving. 5,500 baht.
  • Half day swimming pool then 1 day boat with 2 dives. Group Instruction 5,900 baht.
  • Half day swimming pool then 1 day boat with 2 dives. Private 1 to 1 diving. 6,500 baht. 
  • Snorkeling day trip to Racha Yai with 1 dive. 4,100 baht

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

August Thailand liveaboards

Two confirmed liveaboards for August

21-23 August. Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Phi Phi
3 days 2 nights 10 dives
18,900 baht per diver

26-27 August. Phi Phi overnight with diving at Phi Phi and Shark Point
2 days 1 night 7 dives
12,900 baht per diver

Prices include national park fees and transfers from Phuket hotels. Dive equipment is 800 baht per day if required.

PADI Advanced course available on board for 7,500 baht.

Boat details here:

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Learn to dive in the Similan Islands

Learn to dive in the Similan Islands
Learning to dive
In previous posts I've talked about the availability of continuing education courses on Thailand liveaboards, both PADI and SSI courses but I noted that most boats do not offer dive certification courses on board. It is more common for people to first learn to dive and then join a liveaboard as a certified diver. However if you want to do the PADI Open Water certification on a liveaboard we do have some boats that can teach you. 

You can do the full PADI Open Water course in the Similan Islands or you can do your theory and pool training at your local dive centre first, then complete the open water dives at the Similan Islands (this is called an Open Water referral).

Usually an Open Water course consists of training in a swimming pool first. But as there is no swimming pool in the Similan Islands you will instead do confined water training in a shallow bay in "swimming pool like conditions." The beauty of this is you have more space to practice and you'll even see fish on your confined water sessions.

Liveaboards that offer the PADI Open Water course in the Similan Islands are:

You can do the PADI Open Water course on Oktavia for just 10,000 baht on one of their 4 day or 5 day trips.

Not sure if you want to do the full dive certification? You can join Oktavia as a snorkeler and do a Discover Scuba Dive for 1,500 baht. A Discover Scuba Dive (DSD) is not a certification course, it's just a fun experience under PADI instructor supervision. If you enjoy it you can go on and get certified. Or you can just do more DSD's at 1,000 baht each. 

If you want to learn to dive in the Similan Islands but don't fancy a liveaboard you can do the PADI Open Water course in Khao Lak with day trip diving to the Similans.

Need more info? Please ask us

Monday, 5 August 2013

SSI Dive Courses on Thailand Liveaboards

SSI Scuba Schools International
Following on from last week's post about PADI Dive Courses on liveaboards I should also mention that there are a few liveaboards teaching SSI (Scuba Schools International) courses on liveaboards too.

Fewer people will have heard of SSI than PADI and while PADI is still the most popular dive certification agency to train with SSI they seem to be on the way up. They have been popular in Phi Phi and Koh Tao for a while and we are getting more requests now in Phuket and in Khao Lak for SSI training. 

One reason for this will be price. SSI courses are basically the same as PADI courses in terms of standards (you can cross over from one to the other) but the SSI courses have cheaper materials and cheaper certification costs. So for example, liveaboards with SSI instructors can offer the Advanced PADI or the Advanced SSI course to their divers with the SSI course being 1,000 baht cheaper than the PADI course. Which one would you choose?

We know of three boats that can currently offer SSI courses on board. They are MV Giamani, MV Saimai and MV Hallelujah. Giamani and Saimai can teach courses in English, German, Spanish, French and Italian. It is essential to book these courses in advance as there are far fewer available SSI instructors than PADI instructors.

Friday, 2 August 2013

PADI Dive Courses on Thailand liveaboards

Virtually all Thailand liveaboards have PADI Instructors on board to teach PADI dive courses. Most boats do not teach beginner divers as it's considered too disruptive to the schedule. (Some will teach the PADI Open Water Course and will even take non divers on Discover Scuba Dives. I'll post about these boats later).

The most common courses taught on the liveaboards are the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course and the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty. Both these courses can be integrated easily into the regular dive schedule. Both courses are very worthwhile taking for several reasons.

  • The courses are cheaper when integrated with the liveaboard.
  • If you are joining the liveaboard with limited experience of diving below 18 metres or if you haven't dived for a while you can gain confidence under instructor supervision.
  • Many liveaboards around the World require PADI Advanced cert as a minimum to join the trips.
  • Joining a boat with an Advanced cert card means you are buddied with other more experienced divers, not with the novices who could suck their air down quickly and shorten your dive time.
  • Being Nitrox certified allows you to stay down longer at greater depths.
  • Or diving your normal profile with nitrox adds an extra margin of safety. This is especially beneficial on multiple day dive trips or in remote areas where re-compression chambers are not with in easy reach. Older divers should also consider the safety benefits of absorbing less nitrogen.
  • Many divers find diving with nitrox less fatiguing than diving with air.
  • A Nitrox cert can lead on to more technical dive training.
Advanced and nitrox are not the only courses available on liveaboards in Thailand. Other popular courses are the PADI underwater digital photography specialty and the  PADI Deep Diver specialty. These and other specialty courses should be booked in advance to assure that a qualified instructor is aboard with all the necessary materials.

Please ask us about on board dive courses when you book your Thailand Liveaboard