Overview of Apo Island in the Philippines

The Best Budget Liveaboard Trips Around the World

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A dive vacation without blowing your budget? It’s possible! When it comes to tallying up the costs of food, hotels, transportation, and single dives, land-based dive holidays can creep up in price. In this guide, we’ll share the best budget liveaboard trips around the world that’ll let you experience a liveaboard dive trip for great value.

The Best Budget Liveaboard Trips Around the World: At a Glance

Liveaboard# of RoomsNitroxWifiLengthCostPADI TravelLiveaboard
Elegante7NoNo25m$CheckCheck
Blackbeard’s Sea Explorer3NoNo20m$CheckCheck
Epica6NoNo24m$CheckCheck
Manta Queen 710YesNo27m$CheckCheck
Queen of Musandam6NoNo23m$CheckCheck
Blue Fin12YesYes39m$N/ACheck
The Junk6YesNo33m$CheckCheck
Caribbean Explorer II9YesNo35m$CheckCheck
Reef Endeavour62YesNo73m$CheckCheck
Azalea5YesNo22m$CheckCheck

The Best Budget Liveaboard Trips Around the World: In Depth

ELEGANTE

Year of Commission: 2009
Capacity: 14 guests  
Area of Operation: Djibouti and Sudan
Dive Destination: Sanganeb, Angarosh, and Sha’ab Rumi

The Elegante is a 25 meter (82 feet) long schooner-type yacht that specializes in sailing the neighboring waters of Djibouti and Sudan. It has 7 cabins that can accommodate upto 14 guests where your room choices includes the Double Cabins and the Matrimonial Cabins. Its onboard amenities includes the indoor lounge fitted with full entertainment system, a shaded outdoor lounge and a dining area that serves freshly prepared foods.

The itinerary of the Elegante involves a 7-day journey and do up to 16 dives at the top diving spots of Sudan and Djibouti like Sanganeb, Angarosh and Sha’ab Rumi where all these sites are known for interacting with the largest fish in the world – the whalesharks.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

BLACKBEARD’S SEA EXPLORER

Year of Commission: 1984 (renovated 2016)
Capacity: 18 guests  
Area of Operation: Bahamas
Dive Destination: Exuma Cays

The Blackbeard’s Sea Explorer is a 20 meter (66 feet) long sailboat that specializes in sailing the waters of Exuma Cays. It has 3 dormitory-type cabins that can accommodate up to 18 guests. Its onboard amenities include the air-conditioned saloon that is fitted with an audio/video entertainment system and an outdoor dining area that serves Western and local dishes all served in buffet style.

The itinerary of the Blackbeard’s Sea Explorer involves a 7-day trip where you will do 19 dives at the top diving spots of Exuma Cays, including their signature shark-feeding dives.   

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

EPICA

Year of Commission: 2016
Capacity: 12 guests  
Area of Operation: Indonesia
Dive Destination: Raja Ampat

The Epica is a 24 meter (79 feet) long budget-friendly liveaboard that specializes in sailing the waters of Raja Ampat in Indonesia. It has 6 Bunk Bed cabins that can accommodate up to 12 guests. While this vessel lacks the opulent features a luxury vessel has, it still has onboard amenities like the shaded and open-air sun deck located at the upper deck which also serves as the dining area where they serve International and Local cuisine.

The itinerary of the Epica involves a 6 or 10-day journey and includes up to 28 dives to the top diving spots of Raja Ampat that are known for its pristine reefs, good visibility and large marine vertebrates like manta rays and reef sharks.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

MANTA QUEEN 7

Year of Commission: 2010 (renovated 2015)
Capacity: 22 guests  
Area of Operation: Thailand
Dive Destination: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Koh Surin, Richelieu Rock

The Manta Queen 7 is a 27 meter (88 feet) long liveaboard dive vessel that specializes in sailing the waters of Thailand. It has 10 cabins that can accommodate up to 22 guests where your room choices include the Quad Cabins and the Double Cabins. Its onboard amenities include the main saloon that is fitted with a high definition TV, a bar, a large sundeck and an open-air dining area that serves Thai cuisine.

The itinerary of the Manta Queen 7 involves a 5 or 7-day journey that includes up to 19 dives at the top diving spots in Thailand like Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Koh Surin and Richelieu Rock that are known for whale sharks, manta rays, stingrays and reef sharks.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

QUEEN OF MUSANDAM

Year of Commission: 2006
Capacity: 12 guests  
Area of Operation: Oman
Dive Destination: Musandam Peninsula

The Queen of Musandam is a 23 meter (75 feet) long traditional arabic vessel that offers dive safari adventures in Oman. It has 6 en-suite cabins that are all air-conditioned and has its own private bathroom and can accommodate a total of 12 guests. It has onboard amenities like an indoor saloon, a huge sundeck and an open-air dining area that serves sumptuous meals.

The itinerary of the Queen of Musandam involves an 8-day voyage including 21 dives at the Musandam Peninsula where it is known for its vertical drop-offs and cold upwellings that attracts large marine animals like dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and whales.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

BLUE FIN

Year of Commission: 2005 (renovated 2015)
Capacity: 24 guests  
Area of Operation: Egypt
Dive Destination Tiran Strait, Daedalus, and St John’s Reef

The Blue Fin is a 39 meter (128 feet) long liveaboard vessel that sails the waters of Egypt and the rest of the Red Sea. It has 12 cabins that can accommodate up to 24 guests where your room choices include the Twin Cabins and the King Suite. It has onboard amenities like the main saloon fitted with a large plasma screen, a bar, a sundeck equipped with loungers and a dining area that serves sumptuous meals.

The itinerary of the Blue Fin involves a 7-day journey and includes up to 21 dives at the top diving spots of Egypt like Daedalus and St. John’s Reef which are both known for vertical drop-offs that house large pelagic species like hammerhead sharks and manta rays.

Check prices and trip dates: Liveaboard

THE JUNK

Year of Commission: 1962 (renovated 1998)
Capacity: 18 guests  
Area of Operation: Thailand and Myanmar
Dive Destination: Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Phi Phi Island, and the Mergui Archipelago

The Junk is a 33 meter (108 feet) long custom built liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari tours to Thailand and Myanmar, particularly in the Andaman Sea. This former merchant ship now has 6 air-conditioned cabins all equipped with en-suite bathrooms. It has onboard amenities like the large saloon that is fitted with an entertainment system, a shaded sun deck that offers a great panoramic view of the sea and dining area that serves mouth-watering Western and Asian dishes.

The itinerary of the Junk involves a 7-day journey and includes up to 19 dives at the top diving spots in Thailand like Similan Islands, Koh Bon, and Phi Phi Island or at the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

CARIBBEAN EXPLORER II

Year of Commission: 1978 (renovated 1999)
Capacity: 18 guests  
Area of Operation: Caribbean
Dive Destination: Saba Marine Park, St. Maarten and St. Kitts & Nevis

The Caribbean Explorer II is a 35 meter (115 feet) long liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari tours in the northeastern section of the Caribbean. It has 9 cabins that can accommodate up to 18 guests where your room choices include the Bunk Bed Cabins and the Staterooms. Its onboard amenities include the air-conditioned main saloon that is fitted with a large TV, video library and entertainment center, a sun deck and a dining area that serves freshly made foods.

The itinerary of the Caribbean Explorer II involves an 8-day journey and includes up to 27 dives at Saba Marine Park, St. Maarten and St. Kitts & Nevis.       

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

REEF ENDEAVOUR

Capacity: 100 guests  
Area of Operation: Fiji
Dive Destination: Yasawa Islands and the Great Sea Reef

The Reef Endeavour is a 73 meter (239 feet) long cruise ship that operates the waters of Fiji. It has a total of 62 cabins that can accommodate up to 100 guests where your room choices include the Porthole Cabins, Ocean Staterooms, Family Staterooms, and the Tabua Suite. Due to the immensity of its onboard space, it has lots of amenities like a swimming pool, a sun deck, a spa, gym, bars, lounges, and souvenir shops.

The itinerary of the Reef Endeavour involves a 3 to 7-day journey towards Yawasa Islands where you can do 2 dives per day and interact with juvenile manta rays or the fully grown tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

AZALEA

Year of Commission: 2018)
Capacity: 10 guests  
Area of Operation: Philippines
Dive Destination: Palawan and Mindoro

The Azalea is a 22 meter (72 feet) long traditional Filipino bangka that is customized to become a liveaboard diving vessel. It has 5 air-conditioned cabins that can accommodate upto 10 guests where your room choices are the Bunk Cabins and the Master Cabins. This wooden ship has 3 decks: lower deck where the cabins are found, the upper deck where the open-air sun deck can be found and the main deck where the dining area is located and serves freshly prepared local dishes.

The itinerary of the Azalea involves a 7-day journey and includes up to 18 dives either at Apo Reef of Mindoro which is considered the second largest reef system in the world or at the Tubbataha Reefs of Palawan which is considered the prime diving spot of the Philippines.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

Check out more liveaboard trips around the world


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