The Best Liveaboard Trips to go Diving in Myanmar

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Thinking of going scuba diving in the waters off of Myanmar? We take a look at the best scuba liveaboard trips to consider.

Why go diving in Myanmar?

Opened only in 1997 for international tourism promotion, Myanmar (also called Burma), may not be in your bucket list of destinations for a diving vacation since this country is relatively new in the diving community. But as tourists started to explore the beauty hidden beneath its waters, Myanmar is slowly gaining the attention of diving enthusiasts.

Today, it has established dive sites mostly concentrated in the Mergui Archipelago that faces the Andaman Sea. Each of these dive sites features different underwater topography and unique marine inhabitants that you can interact with. While there are over 15 dive sites in the Mergui Archipelago, there are a few that stand out and frequently visited by tourists. One of the most popular dive sites in Myanmar is Shark Cave. Located at the center of 3 islets, this 20 meter (66 feet) long tunnel is filled with grey reef sharks and nurse sharks. Black Rock is another world-class dive site in Myanmar where it features vertical ledges filled with corals and is known for its 1.5 meter long resident barracuda. Burma Banks is popular with deep divers where you can go deep diving up to 30 meters (98 feet) deep following a coral-laden reef slope. And what’s good with exploring all the mentioned dive sites is that you can comfortably enjoy diving and clearly see all its reef residents as Myanmar’s water has visibility averaging at 30 meters (98 feet) and water temperature ranging from 28 – 31OC (82 – 88OF).

In order to visit all, if not most, of Myanmar’s popular dive sites, diving from a liveaboard is highly recommended. But you have to take note that most of these liveaboards are operating from its neighboring country – Thailand. Usually, the first part of your itinerary will explore some of Thailand’s famous diving spots (particular Similan Island, Koh Bon and Phuket) and the later part of the cruise will be concentrated in Myanmar’s top dive sites. In other words, booking with a liveaboard in this part of the world is like seeing two whales on one dive. So what are you waiting for? Take your pick and choose your liveaboard trip.

The Best Liveaboard Trips in Myanmar: At a Glance

Liveaboard# of RoomsNitroxWifiLengthCostPADI TravelLiveaboard
Deep Andaman Queen11YesYes30m$CheckCheck
Miss Moon5NoNo18m$CheckCheck
Phinisi7YesNo34m$$CheckCheck
Bavaria12YesYes28m$CheckCheck
Smiling Seahorse8YesNo25m$$CheckCheck
Dolphin Queen8YesNo24m$CheckCheck
Sea World I11YesNo22m$CheckCheck
Dallinghoo4YesNo30m$$$CheckCheck
Thai Sea6YesNo20m$CheckCheck
Diva Andaman7YesNo35m$$$CheckCheck

The Best Liveaboard Trips in Myanmar: In Depth

DEEP ANDAMAN QUEEN

Year of Commission: 2008 (renovated 2019)
Capacity: 25 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Deep Andaman Queen is a 30 meter (98 feet) luxury liveaboard that offers dive safari tours in the Mergui Archipelago. It has 11 cabins that accommodate up to 25 guests where your room choices include the Standard Quad Cabin, Standard Triple Cabin, Standard Twin Cabin, Deluxe Twin Cabins, Deluxe Double Cabins, and the Master Cabin. It has onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon fitted with full audio/video entertainment system, a sun deck with loungers and an outdoor dining area that serves mouth-watering dishes that is served in buffet style.

While the port of call of the Deep Andaman Queen is either at Ranong or Taplamu in Thailand, it will sail to the neighboring dive sites of Myanmar, particularly Mergui Archipelago, as part of its 5 or 8-day dive safari voyage.         

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

MISS MOON

Year of Commission: 2008 (renovated 2017)
Capacity: 10 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

Miss Moon is an 18 meter (59 feet) long liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari tours to the Mergui Archipelago. It has 5 cabins that can accommodate up to 10 guests where your room choices include the Standard Double Bed Cabins, Standard Bunk Bed Cabins, and the Master Cabin. Its onboard amenities include the spacious air-conditioned saloon that has an audio and video entertainment system, a shaded sun deck that is fitted with cushioned lounge chairs and an open-air dining area that serves Western and local dishes.

While the port of call for Miss Moon is located at Ranong in Thailand and offers combined cruises to Thailand and Myanmar, they have 2 special Burmese trip packages called the MY1 and MY2. While both packages will take you to the top diving spots of Myanmar, MY1 involves a 6-day journey and 18 to 19 dives while the MY2 is an 8-day journey and includes 26 to 27 dives.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

PHINISI

Year of Commission: 2007 (renovated 2018)
Capacity: 18 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Phinisi is a 34 meter (111 feet) custom-built yacht that uses 7 traditional sails and complimented by a 380hP inboard engine. It has 7 cabins that can accommodate up to 18 guests where your room choices include the Quadruple Share Cabins, Double Bed Cabins, and the Twin Bed Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the large saloon that is fitted with comfortable sofas, charging stations for your electronic gadgets, a media center for watching videos, a sun deck and an outdoor dining area that serves International and Asian cuisine served in buffet style.

While Khao Lak and Ranong in Thailand are the ports of call for the Phinisi, it has a special Burmese trip that involves an 8-day journey towards the top diving spots of Myanmar like Black Rock, Shark Cave and Captain’s Rock.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

BAVARIA

Year of Commission: 2016
Capacity: 24 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

Bavaria is a 28 meter (92 feet) long 4-star liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari adventures in the Mergui Archipelago. It has 12 cabins that can accommodate up to 24 guests where your room choices include the Standard Twin Cabins, the Comfort Double Cabins, and the Deluxe Double Bed Cabin. Its onboard amenities include the main saloon, a sundeck and a dining area that serves International and Thai foods.

While Tablamu and Ranong are the ports of call for Bavaria, it has a special Burmese trip called the “Trip M” cruise. This trip involves a 7-day voyage and you will be doing 20 to 22 dives during the entire duration.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

SMILING SEAHORSE

Year of Commission: 2018 (renovated 2019)
Capacity: 16 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Smiling Seahorse is a 25 meter (82 feet) long liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari trips to the Mergui Archipelago. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Standard Cabin, Deluxe Cabin, and the Master Cabin. It has onboard amenities that include an open-air saloon, a huge sun deck with hammocks, a sundowner bar and a dining area that serves freshly cooked foods.

While the port of call of the Smiling Seahorse is based in Ranong in Thailand, they have 3 special Burmese trip packages, namely: “Black Rock in a Week” which is a 7-day voyage and involves 20 to 21 dives, the “Undiscovered Mergui Archipelago” which is an 8-day trip and involves 24 to 25 dives and the “Explore Mergui Archipelago” which is a 6-day journey and involves 17 days.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

DOLPHIN QUEEN

Year of Commission: 1999 (renovated 2008)
Capacity: 22 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Dolphin Queen is a 24 meter (79 feet) budget-friendly liveaboard that offers dive safari adventures in the Mergui Archipelago. It has 8 cabins that can accommodate up to 22 guests where your room choices include the Quad Cabin, Twin Cabin, and the Double Bed Cabin. Its onboard amenities include the open-air lounge located on the upper deck, a sundeck that is fitted with chairs and hammocks and a dining area that serves freshly prepared foods served in buffet style.

While Taplamu, Khao Lak and Khura Buri are the ports of call for the Dolphin Queen, it has a special 8-day Burmese trip where you will be doing 21 to 22 dives in Black Rock and Burma Banks of Mergui Archipelago.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

SEA WORLD I

Year of Commission: 2004 (renovated 2017)
Capacity: 18 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Sea World I is a 22 meter (72 feet) long custom-built liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari adventures in the Mergui Archipelago. It has 11 cabins that can accommodate up to 18 guests where your room choices include the Double Cabins, Bunk Bed Cabins, and the VIP Cabin. It has onboard amenities like an indoor saloon that is fitted with LCD, TV, DVD and stereo system, a sun deck and an open-air dining area that serves Thai, Burmese, Indian and Chinese foods.

While the port of call for the Sea World I is in Ranong in Thailand, it offers 2 special Burmese trips, namely: “Trip M1” which is a 6-day voyage and involves 18 dives at Western Rocks and Shark Cave and the “Trip M2” which is 7-day voyage and involves 20 dives at Black Rock, Western Rocks and Shark Cave.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

DALLINGHOO

Year of Commission: 1990 (renovated 2016)
Capacity: 8 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

Dallinghoo is a 30 meter (98 feet) sailboat that offers liveaboard dive safari adventures to the Mergui Archipelago. It has 4 cabins that can accommodate up to 8 guests where your room choices include the Double Cabins and the Twin Cabins. Its onboard amenities include the air-conditioned saloon that is fitted with audio-video entertainment system, a sun deck and an Alfresco dining area that serves freshly cooked foods.

The Dallinghoo is one of the few liveaboard vessels where its port of call is at Kawthaung which is located in the Tanintharyi Region of Myanmar. Its dive safari tour package is called the “Sail and Dive Mergui Safari” which is an 8-day voyage that will take you to the top diving spots of Myanmar like Black Rock and Shark Cave.        

Check prices and trip dates: Liveaboard

THAI SEA

Year of Commission: 2018
Capacity: 12 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Thai Sea is a 30 meter (98 feet) long custom-built liveaboard vessel that offers dive safari adventures in the Mergui Archipelago. It has 6 cabins that can accommodate up to 12 guests where your room choices include the Standard Cabins and the Master Cabin. It has onboard amenities like an indoor saloon that is fitted with an audio/video entertainment system, a large sun deck with mattresses and a dining area that serves freshly cooked foods.

While the port of call for the Thai Sea is at Ranong in Thailand, it has several trips to Myanmar, namely: the “Burma Tour 2 – Discover the Mergui Archipelago” which is a 6-day trip and includes 17 dives, the “Burma Tour 3 – Farther into Burma” which is a 7-day trip and includes 21 dives, the “Burma Tour 4 – Explore Burma” which is an 8-day trip and includes 25 dives.             

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

DIVA ANDAMAN

Year of Commission: 2008 (renovated 2012)
Capacity: 14 guests 
Dive Destination: Mergui Archipelago

The Diva Andaman is a 35 meter (115 feet) long 20th-century sailing schooner that offers dive safari adventures to the Mergui Archipelago. It has 7 cabins that can accommodate up to 14 guests where your room choices include the Twin Cabins and the Triple Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon that is fitted with a full audio-video entertainment system, a sun deck and an outdoor dining area that serves Ala carte meals prepared by their in-house Chef.

While Taplamu and Ranong in Thailand are the ports of call for the Diva Andaman, it has a special Burmese trip called the Mergui Dive Cruise which is a 7-day voyage and involves 17 to 18 dives.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

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