Bilikiki – space and comfort in a diver’s paradise
Bilikiki Cruises is the premier dive liveaboard in the Solomon Islands offering a wide variety of dive sites. The Bilikiki Liveaboard has a variety of itineraries from 7 to 14 nights, which can include the best dives sites in the Florida Islands, Russell Islands, Mary Island and Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Island Group.
Accommodation & Facilities
The MV Bilikiki Liveaboard is 40m (125ft) long and 24 ft. wide, making it a very large and stable ship, designed for South Pacific conditions. The Bilikiki is only one of only two liveaboards that offer trips in the Solomon Island waters. It offers a large sundeck, plenty of covered areas and air-conditioned cabins, as well as spacious dive decks, charging stations and plenty of camera areas.
Bilikiki’s 10 deluxe cabins with a full double bed and a single above, all have private showers and toilets, though none of the cabins has windows. The cuisine is superb, blending western recipes with Pacific island flavours and fresh fruits and vegetables are purchased daily from friendly villagers en route.
You’ll find the crew are very experienced and really enthusiastic.
Bilikiki itineraries depart from Honiara. Their 7 night trips generally visit 3 main island groups within the Florida Islands and Russell Islands. Each of these island groups consists of dozens of islands and a great variety of dive sites. They also include dives at the isolated island known as Mary Island. The longer trips may also include Marovo Lagoon in the New Georgia Island Group.
What to expect
A well-trained crew of eleven plus two managers will load tanks and prepare all gear for the next dive. Diving is conducted from Bilikiki’s two 6m (21ft) aluminium dive tenders which drop divers exactly on the dive site and pick them up wherever they may surface, so there is never a need for long swims or fighting currents.
The dive sites are suitable for beginners as well as well as advanced divers, who can team up in buddy pairs or enjoy guided dives. There is plenty of space on board to store camera gear safely. Large tables are ideal photo workbenches. TV’s and DVD’s allow for quick viewing of your ‘harvest’. Power throughout the ships is 240V, using Australia style 3-prong outlets. There are also plenty of American style 110V 60 cycle outlets for charging cameras, strobes, dive lights, etc. Nitrox is available.
What makes Bilikiki’s itineraries unique are the variety of the seascapes you’ll encounter. Brilliant soft and hard corals, huge sea fans, and plenty of caverns and swim-throughs into and outside of island lagoons – some surfacing in freshwater pools.
If you want a first hand account of what a trip on the Bilikiki is like read our guest bloggers post. It’s brilliant!
The walls, reefs, pinnacles and coral gardens of Solomon Islands support an amazing variety of marine life. Within a small space, anemone fish, angel fish, butterfly fish, bumphead parrotfish and other reef dwellers can be seen individually or in schools, in in the nearby blue water, schools of barracuda, big-eye trevally and other pelagics cruise by. Bilikiki also dives the ‘Devil’s Highway’ which is great diving for manta lovers.
Though the Solomon Islands were the location of some of the most violent fighting during WWII and the wrecks of warships, freighters and planes literally litter its seabed, Bilikiki does not offer deep or penetration wreck diving, and visits just a few of the WWII wrecks in shallow waters. Most are now an artificial reef and offer something more akin to muck diving.
The 28-30°C (82-85°F) water temperatures, along with stable weather patterns contribute to excellent diving all year round.
On all its itineraries, Bilikiki visits local villages which offer the change to see a cultural performance, or the opportunity to purchase some of the beautiful handmade carvings (all without missing any diving).
Bilikiki’s very comfortable boat provides excellent service, a great cross-section of the different dive regions of the Solomon Islands and a fascinating introduction to the island cultures and their people. This cruise is well suited for beginner divers and anyone who enjoys traveling and diving in the South Pacific.
Trip dates & Availability
Bilikiki Honiara Extras Payable Locally (as of August 2018)
|Nitrox fills (per dive day)||AUD||20||USD|
|Note: Bilikiki has no special price for non-divers; they are offered snorkelling and village visits.|
|Special payment and cancellation terms apply for this operator.|