Planning your dream dive trip? Whether you’re exploring the rich biodiversity of the Galapagos or braving the shark-infested waters of Guadalupe Island, you want this liveaboard trip to be perfect. We’ve prepared an overview of the best luxury liveaboard trips to help you find the one that’s right for you!
If you’ve decided to splash out for a luxury liveaboard, you’ll want to choose your boat wisely. Luxury liveaboards come with a price tag, but it’s worth it for the superior experience. You can expect a magnificent boat, exceptional dive facilities and attentive, experienced staff. Prepare to be treated like royalty!
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QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST LUXURY LIVEABOARD TRIPS
BEST LUXURY LIVEABOARD TRIP REVIEWS
MV GREAT ESCAPE – AUSTRALIA
Photo Credit: The MV Great Escape – Australia Liveaboard
It doesn’t get much cooler than a liveaboard with a private helicopter! The MV Great Escape will bring you aerial views of waterfalls, Aboriginal art sites and more on Australia’s Kimberley Coast and Rowley Shoals.
The varied shore trips include swimming in rock pools, mud crabbing and bush walks. You can also choose to just relax in the hot tub, or spend a quiet afternoon fishing and have the chef prepare your catch for dinner.
This boat features a stabilizing hull for a guaranteed smooth ride. Hotel or airport transfers are included and Wi-Fi and rental equipment are available for a fee.
FOUR SEASONS EXPLORER – MALDIVES
Photo Credit: The Four Seasons Explorer – Maldives Liveaboard
The Four Seasons brand is a point of reference in the five-star hotel world. Now you can experience their luxury standards and renowned customer service onboard a liveaboard dive trip in the stunning Maldives!
The Four Seasons Explorer has its own spa, massage area and Jacuzzi. There is a fully-fledged PADI Dive Centre on board as well as a marine biologist. Partake in fishing or an array of water sports, or explore the islands.
Cabins are so sumptuous you’ll think you’re actually in a Four Seasons hotel. Special meals are served on the islands’ white sandy beaches. The liveaboard has free Wi-Fi, nitrox and dive gear.
DAMAI I – RAJA AMPAT
Photo Credit: Damai I – Raja Ampat Liveaboard
Let the Damai I pamper you on a dive trip through the spectacular Coral Triangle in Raja Ampat. This beautiful wooden schooner is equipped with spacious and elegant cabins for up to 12 guests.
During downtime, guests can get a massage in the spa, try their hand at fishing or relax on the partially shaded sundeck. Shore trips include a chance to see an active volcano and Komodo dragons.
The Damai I has a camera room with workstations. Nitrox and rental equipment are available for a fee.
AVALON II – CUBA
Photo Credit: Avalon II – Cuba Liveaboard
Built in 2014, the Avalon II is a deluxe liveaboard that will take you through Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina, one of the best-preserved sites in the Caribbean.
Between dives, you can relax on the sundeck or in the 500-gallon Jacuzzi. Brave divers can go snorkeling with small crocodiles. Guests will make regular trips to the islands.
All cabins feature panoramic windows. The cuisine is a mix of Italian and Cuban, with an abundance of fresh seafood. Rental equipment and nitrox are available for a fee.
GALAPAGOS AGGRESSOR III – GALAPAGOS
Photo Credit: The Galapagos Aggressor III – Galapagos Liveaboard
The Galapagos Aggressor III has years of experience in providing top-notch liveaboard service in Galapagos. Guests will dive in small groups for a truly intimate experience.
Wildlife tours of the islands are included. Divers can also make use of the outdoor hot tub and sundeck. Cabins are bright and tastefully appointed. The delicious meals are complemented by free local beer and wine.
There is no Wi-Fi per se but the satellite system allows for sending and receiving emails and phone calls. Nitrox and rental equipment are available for a surcharge.
NAUTILUS EXPLORER – GUADALUPE/SOCORRO
Photo Credit: Nautilus Explorer – Guadalupe/Socorro Liveaboard
There’s no better way to cage-dive with great white sharks than from the comfort and safety of a high-class liveaboard. That’s exactly what you’ll have with the Nautilus Explorer, a stylish diver-designed liveaboard yacht that can hold up to 24 guests.
The Nautilus Explorer offers panoramic ocean views from the hot tub. Apart from diving, other activities include kayaking, snorkeling and browsing the onboard boutique. Wi-Fi, nitrox and rental equipment are all available for a fee.
PY ATLANTIS AZORES – PHILIPPINES
Photo Credit: PY Atlantis Azores – Philippines Liveaboard
The PY Atlantis Azores liveaboard is refined and modern, having been completely renovated in 2015. See Tubbataha Reef and the rest of the Philippines!
Meals are served in the indoor dining area with panoramic ocean views. A “social serving” of beer and wine is included. Wi-Fi is free, while nitrox and rental gear are available for a fee.
TRUK MASTER – TRUK LAGOON/MARSHALL ISLANDS
Photo Credit: Truk Master – Truk Lagoon/Marshall Islands Liveaboard
Fully refitted in 2016, this sturdy steel liveaboard is all about the diving. Specialized for wreck diving in Truk Lagoon and the Bikini Atoll, the Truk Master is fully equipped for tec and rebreather diving.
The Truk Master serves up five meals a day and has snacks available. The opulent cabins look like something straight out of a luxury catalog, with mahogany furnishings and Eastern accents.
The Truk Master provides Wi-Fi, rental gear and nitrox for an extra fee. There is also a camera station.
TIGER BLUE – KOMODO
Photo Credit: Tiger Blue – Komodo Liveaboard
This traditional Indonesian Phinisi vessel has just 5 cabins, for a maximum of 14 divers. It’s the ideal choice for groups who wish to charter the boat for themselves and tweak the itinerary to their liking.
After a day of diving in Komodo, enjoy a mouthwatering candlelit dinner served al fresco in the outdoor dining area. Later, go stargazing or snuggle up in the peaceful living room.
The crew of the Tiger Blue prides themselves on their customer service and will make sure your every whim is catered to. There’s no better way to discover the Coral Triangle! Rental gear is provided for a surcharge.
OCEAN HUNTER III – PALAU
Photo Credit: Ocean Hunter III – Palau Liveaboard
Palau’s Ocean Hunter III takes diving to heart. In fact, the owner was admitted to the Woman Diver’s Hall of Fame in honor of her efforts in shark preservation!
Roomy common areas and a sundeck with two Jacuzzis welcome divers out of the water. You can also participate in exciting shore excursions or indulge in a spa treatment. The cuisine showcases a variety of cultural specialties including fresh sushi.
Because of the small number of divers, itineraries are flexible and divers get unlimited diving and bottom time. Wi-Fi, nitrox and rental gear are available for a fee. The liveaboard is TRIMIX and rebreather-friendly. Airport or hotel transfers are included.
COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST LUXURY LIVEABOARD TRIPS
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A LUXURY LIVEABOARD
ABOVE-AVERAGE CUSTOMER SERVICE
The crew on your luxury liveaboard will be experienced and try to anticipate your every need. Dive guides will know the area through and through, and there will usually be a high ratio of crew members to guests. They will take pride in ensuring that customer service is of the highest quality possible!
If you need a specialty meal or anything out of the ordinary, a luxury liveaboard should be flexible and accommodating. Attention to detail is one of the things that sets a luxury liveaboard apart from the rest.
Any luxury liveaboard worth its salt will have en-suite bathrooms and individual climate control in all the cabins. Some liveaboards go above and beyond, providing laundry service, shower amenities, private mini-bars, etc. These extra touches can really make your trip much more pleasant.
It goes without saying that all of the liveaboards on this list are incredibly extravagant. Whether you pick a plush modern yacht or a traditional wooden schooner, you can rest assured you will be sailing in the lap of luxury.
Likewise, the onboard cuisine will be of the highest standard. Many liveaboards put a special emphasis on the food, as they know how hungry divers can get. Professional chefs, fresh ingredients and exotic specialties will make the food one of the highlights of your trip for sure!
It’s the small things in life – perhaps a spa, a Jacuzzi or simply a private helicopter. If you’re looking for a little extra flair, you won’t go wrong with a luxury liveaboard that boasts a little something extra.