With an abundance of hard and soft corals, wildlife like whales, mantas, sharks, sea turtles, and friendly locals who happily welcome visitors to their beach-fringed islands, there’s no reason no to go on a liveaboard trip in the South Pacific. In this guide, we’ll cover the best liveaboard trips no matter what type of diving you’re into.

Why dive in the South Pacific?

Encompassing tropical continents, archipelagos and island countries below the equator, the South Pacific is the epitome of a flourishing display of life’s diversity as immense natural bounty can be both seen on land and underwater. For scuba divers, the South Pacific is a gigantic playground courtesy of miles and miles of coastline and offshore islands that house thousands of dive sites. And it’s not just about the number of dive sites, but it is also about quality where the South Pacific holds world-class dive sites considered to be some of the best in the world.

Since it is located in the tropics, expect crystal clear waters where visibility can reach over 30 meters (98 feet) and warm water temperature ranging from 28 to 33 C (82 to 91 F). However, take note that most of the pristine sites are located far away from each other while some of them are situated offshore. To maximize your South Pacific diving adventures, we highly suggest that you book with a liveaboard dive trip as these custom-built vessels will take you to the remotest sites that often holds the most abundant marine life.

The Best Liveaboard Trips in the South Pacific: At a Glance

Liveaboard# of RoomsNitroxWifiLengthCostPADI TravelLiveaboard
Truk Master8YesYes37m$$CheckCheck
French Polynesia Master14YesYes43m$$$CheckCheck
Ocean Quest23YesNo36m$CheckCheck
Solomons PNG Master12YesNo30m$$CheckCheck
Nai’a9YesYes37m$$$CheckCheck
Oceania8YesNo27m$$$CheckCheck
Thorfinn10YesYes58m$$CheckCheck
Bilikiki10YesNo38m$$$CheckCheck
Spirit of Freedom11YesNo37m$$CheckCheck
Palau Siren8YesYes40m$$$CheckNA

The Best Liveaboard Trips in the South Pacific: In depth

TRUK MASTER

Year of Commission: 1974 (renovated 2016)
Capacity: 16 guests 
Area of Operation: Micronesia
Dive Destination: Truk lagoon and Bikini Atoll

The Truk Master is a 37 meter (121 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that has 8 cabins and can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Classic Twin Share Cabins, the Premium Twin Share Cabins and the Superior Double Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the main saloon that is fitted with a plasma screen, a bar, a shaded sun deck and a large indoor dining area that serves International and Asian cuisine.

The Truk Master specializes in sailing the northern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8 or 11-day journey towards Micronesia. You will visit world-class dive sites like Truk Lagoon and Bikini Atoll. If you are into wreck diving, you will surely love this trip as you will be exploring over 60 shipwrecks from the Second World War. Among the popular shipwrecks that you can visit in Micronesia is the USS Saratoga. You will be amazed to explore this 270 meter (886 feet) long aircraft carrier resting underwater in an upright position where its flight deck is already colonized with marine life like corals, sponges and sea fans while being surrounded with a variety of tropical reef fish.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

FRENCH POLYNESIA MASTER

Year of Commission: 2016
Capacity: 25 guests 
Area of Operation: French Polynesia
Dive Destination: Rangiroa Reef, North Fakarava Island, and the Tuamotu Archipelago

The French Polynesia Master is a 43 meter (141 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that has 14 cabins and can accommodate up to 25 guests where your room choices include Classic Twin Share Cabin, Premium Twin Share Cabin, and the Premium Single Cabin. Its onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon fitted with a plasma screen, shaded outdoor lounge, a sun deck, a bar and a dining area that prepares International and French cuisine served in banquet style.

The French Polynesia Master offers dive safari adventures in the northern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8 or 11-day journey towards French Polynesia. You will visit world-class dive sites like Rangiroa Reef, North Fakarava Island, and the Tuamotu Archipelago. These sites are known for drift diving, reef diving and shark interaction where you can see and interact with hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, whitetip sharks, and tiger sharks. If you happen to book with the French Polynesia Master during October, then your dive sites will feature large animal attractions such as manta rays since they are attracted to its plankton-rich waters during this month.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

OCEAN QUEST

Year of Commission: 1998 (renovated 2017)
Capacity: 48 guests 
Area of Operation: Australia
Dive Destination: Great Barrier Reef

The Ocean Quest is a 36 meter (118 feet) long luxury catamaran that has 23 cabins and can accommodate up to 48 guests where your room choices include the Twin Cabins, Double Cabins, and Quad Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the large sun deck and a dining area that serves buffet foods.

The Ocean Quest specializes in sailing the western part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves a 2 or 7-day journey towards Australia. You will visit world-class dive sites like the Great Barrier Reef which is considered the largest reef system in the world. Aside from reef diving, you will also be doing their signature Fluoro Diving which is a night dive out at the open sea while being suspended in a descending line. If you happen to book with the Ocean Quest in July, your trip will disembark on a whale watching adventure as dwarf minke whales abound the Australian waters during this month.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

SOLOMONS PNG MASTER

Year of Commission: 2004 (renovated 2015)
Capacity: 20 guests 
Area of Operation: Solomon Islands
Dive Destination: Iron Bottom Sound

The Solomons PNG Master is a 30 meter (98 feet) long steel-hulled liveaboard vessel that has 12 cabins and can accommodate up to 20 guests where your room choices include Standard Single Cabin, Standard Twin Cabin, Classic Double Cabin, Classic Twin Cabin, and the Premium Double Cabin. Its onboard amenities include the huge saloon, sun deck fitted with loungers and a dining hall that serves Australian, Italian and International dishes.

The Solomons PNG Master offers dive safari adventures in the northwestern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8 or 11-day journey towards the Solomon Islands. You will visit world-class dive sites like the Iron Bottom Sound. Aside from diving in pristine reefs with crystal clear waters, you will be exploring an array of shipwrecks predominantly coming from the Second World War and exploring their remains is like having a front-row visit at a massive underwater museum.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

NAI’A

Year of Commission: 1979 (renovated 2010)
Capacity: 16 guests 
Area of Operation: Fiji
Dive Destination: Bligh Water

The Nai’a is a 37 meter (121 feet) long custom-built liveaboard vessel that has 9 cabins and can accommodate up to 16 guests where all their rooms are classified as Staterooms that can be configured with a King Bed (ideal for couples), King Bed with Bunk Bed, Single Beds and Bunk Beds.

The Nai’a specializes in sailing the northern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8 or 11-day journey towards Fiji. You will visit world-class dive sites like Bligh Water which is known as the soft coral capital of the world. If you happen to book with Nai’a in November where Fijan waters are loaded up microscopic plankton during this month, then expect to see and interact with large filter feeders like giant manta rays and whale sharks.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

OCEANIA

Year of Commission: 2001 (renovated 2018)
Capacity: 16 guests 
Area of Operation: Papua New Guinea
Dive Destination: Kimbe Bay, Witu Island and Fathers Reef

Oceania is a 27 meter (86 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that has 8 cabins and can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Twin Share Cabins and the Queen Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon, a sun deck and dining area that serves Western and Asian cuisine.

Oceania offers dive safari adventures in the northwestern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves a 9 or 11-day journey towards Papua New Guinea. You will visit world-class dive sites like Kimbe Bay, Witu Island and Fathers Reef. These sites are known for their vibrant reefs and dramatic seamounts with a thriving shark population. If you are into macro-photography, you will love this trip as most of their sites are filled with small marine critters like shrimps, crabs, and nudibranch.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

THORFINN

Year of Commission: 1954 (renovated 2008)
Capacity: 20 guests 
Area of Operation: Micronesia
Dive Destination: Chuuk Island and Truk Lagoon

The Thorfinn is a 58 meter (190 feet) long liveaboard vessel that has 10 cabins and can accommodate up to 20 guests where your room choices include the Lower Deck Cabins, the Main Deck Double Cabins, and the Luxury Suite named Thor’s Lair. It has onboard amenities like the main saloon that is fitted with a 50-inch LED TV, a bar, a spa deck and a dining area that serves full-board meals prepared by their 2 in-house chefs.

The Thorfinn offers dive safari adventures in the northern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8-day journey towards Micronesia. You will visit world-class dive sites like Chuuk Island and Truk Lagoon. Most of the dive sites that you will explore with the Thorfinn are shipwrecks from World War II where most of the remaining structures lies near a pristine reef with a high diversity of tropical reef fish.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

BILIKIKI

Year of Commission: 1989
Capacity: 20 guests 
Area of Operation: Solomon Islands
Dive Destination: Florida Island, Russell Island and Marovo Lagoon

The Bilikiki is a 38 meter (125 feet) long steel-hulled vessel that has 10 cabins and can accommodate up to 20 guests where your room choices includes the Deluxe Cabin with a double bed and a single bunk bed and Deluxe Cabin with single beds. Its onboard amenities includes an air-conditioned saloon that is fitted with a large LCD television, a bar, a sun deck and a dining area that serves freshly-cooked foods.

The Bilikiki specializes in sailing the northern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8 or 11-day journey towards the Solomon Islands. You will visit world-class dive sites like Florida Island, Russell Island and Marovo Lagoon which are known for shipwrecks, vertical walls, reef sharks, manta rays and sea turtles.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

SPIRIT OF FREEDOM

Year of Commission: 1992 (renovated 2008)
Capacity: 26 guests 
Area of Operation: Australia
Dive Destination: Great Barrier Reef

Voted as Australia’s Best Liveaboard, the Spirit of Freedom is a 37 meter (121 feet) long luxury liveaboard vessel that has 11 cabins and can accommodate up to 26 guests where your room choices includes the Standard Double Cabins, Quad Cabins, and the Ocean View Deluxe Cabins. It has onboard amenities like the air-conditioned saloon that is equipped with a large television and a coffee machine, a library, a sun deck and a dining area that serves International cuisine.

The Spirit of Freedom offers dive safari adventures in the western part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves a 4 or 8-day journey towards Australia. Your primary dive site is the largest reef system in the world – the Great Barrier Reef.

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel | Liveaboard

PALAU SIREN

Year of Commission: 2012 (renovated 2014)
Capacity: 16 guests 
Area of Operation: Palau
Dive Destination: Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel, and Peleliu Wall

The Palau Siren is a 40 meter (131 feet) long liveaboard sailboat that has 8 cabins and can accommodate up to 16 guests where your room choices include the Twin Cabins and the Double Cabins. Its onboard amenities includes the air-conditioned lounge, a bar, a sun deck and a dining area that serves International and local dishes.

The Palau Siren specializes in sailing the northwestern part of the South Pacific Ocean and its itinerary involves an 8- or 11-day journey towards Palau. You will visit world-class dive sites like Blue Corner, German Channel, Ulong Channel and Peleliu Wall where all these sites are known for large reef inhabitants like the napoleon wrasse.   

Check prices and trip dates: PADI Travel

Check out more liveaboard trips around the world


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