Nothing can ruin a day’s diving faster than a bout of motion sickness, but it needn’t stop you from joining a liveaboard safari. There are a variety of liveaboard diving destinations around the world with consistently calm waters and great dive sites. Here are four of our favorite dive destinations.
This Caribbean archipelago of over 40 islands, lying southeast of the Bahamas, is known for sheer coral walls and beautiful white-sand beaches. Dive there and you’ll be exploring pristine marine parks and reefs teeming with life, whilst cruising calm Caribbean waters.
Dive sites around Providenciales offer walls plunging down into the inky depths, with an assortment of corals, sponges and fish life. The diversity of black corals is the main attraction at the reefs; with bushy, feathery, curly and tree corals that create great structures for underwater photography.
The 14-mile long barrier reef at Grace Bay has deep canyons to explore, whilst West Caicos is the place to go for numerous pelagics.
You can dive with numerous relaxed nurse sharks at Turks and Caicos, either during the day or night. There are also abundant reef sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles, jacks and groupers to enjoy.
Tiger sharks, hammerheads, manta rays, bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales are also seen at this diverse destination.
With its calm waters and great visibility, Turks and Caicos diving is suitable for all experience levels. Operators typically require an Open Water certification with no minimum logged dives.
You can dive at Turks and Caicos all year, with the peak season from December to March. Migrating humpback whales can be seen there from January to March each year.
This large bay sits between northern Papua and West Papua and is a real hidden gem. An important area for Papua’s fishing industry, the local fishermen have developed a unique and fascinating relationship with whale sharks there.
Cenderawasih is remote and almost completely sheltered from the winds, making seasickness a thing of the past. It features one of the best whale shark encounters in Indonesia, thanks to the local fishermen. The fishermen give fish to the whale sharks to bring luck, and numerous whale sharks can be dived with year-round.
Cenderawasih Bay also has plenty of World War II wrecks, providing a great assortment of dive sites. Being inside the coral triangle, the reefs have abundant life and the wrecks are encrusted with corals.
You can also visit mangrove forests and seagrass beds to search for dugong.
Water visibility typically reaches up to 30 meters and the waters are very calm at Cenderawasih Bay. There can be strong currents when diving and divers should have intermediate dive skills to visit this area.
The Cenderawasih Bay dive season runs almost all year, with most diving taking place from July to September - thanks to Indonesian trade winds affecting other dive areas at that time of year.
Where Is It?
The Sea of Cortez, sometimes known as the Gulf of California, is one of Mexico’s best dive destinations and is sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by the Baja California Peninsula.
This sheltered gulf has thousands of islands and pinnacles, with calm waters and numerous dive highlights. Unlike most other dive destinations in this part of the Pacific Ocean, the reefs are flourishing and very colourful.
This is a popular dive destination for both small reef life and big pelagics. Both divers and snorkelers can get up close and personal with playful families of sea lions at La Paz, plus swim with whale sharks, schooling hammerheads and pods of dolphins in this calm area.
Cabo Pulmo is located in a sheltered bay and offers the chance to enjoy coral reef diving plus humpback whales, sharks, schooling mobula rays and plenty of macro life.
Visit in winter and you have the chance to see sperm whales, grey whales, humpback whales and maybe even orcas.
The Sea of Cortez is generally quite calm, though can have waves, and has a range of dive sites for new and experienced divers. The experience needed varies with liveaboard operators; from no minimum logged dives to 50 logged dives.
The dive season generally runs from August to November, but some Sea of Cortez liveaboards offer winter dive safaris to see whale sharks and whales.
This archipelago is dotted across the warm Caribbean Sea and is one of the top diving destinations in the world.
There are more than 350 dive sites to explore at the Cayman Islands, from historic wrecks to colourful coral gardens and dramatic walls plunging into the depths.
The coral reefs are in excellent condition, with huge sea fans, corals and sponges draped across the walls.
Bloody Bay Wall is one of the most scenic wall dives in the Caymans, with plenty of marine life including sharks, groupers, jacks and turtles. The iconic North Wall offers sheer drops and coral structures, plus nurse sharks and eagle rays.
The USS Kittiwake wreck is not to be missed and can be seen from the surface, thanks to the exceptionally clear water found there. This US Navy submarine rescue vessel has 5 decks, 2 bridges and a huge interior to explore.
Stingray City is also well worth visiting, to swim with numerous friendly stingrays.
There are dives for all experience levels at the Cayman Islands and liveaboard operators don’t usually require a minimum number of logged dives.
The Cayman Islands can be dived all year, though the months of May and June offer the best dive conditions.
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com