The new MV Smiling Seahorse Liveaboard commenced operations in October 2018. With itineraries in Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand, an experienced and knowledgeable crew, the MV Smiling Seahorse liveaboard presents the best opportunity to dive some of the region’s least explored dive sites in air-conditioned comfort.
Dive Thailand’s Richelieu Rock, considered one of the Top Ten Best Dive sites in the world, or visit the Torres Islands or the Burma Banks for some exploratory diving to sites that have rarely been dived before. The Smiling Seahorse can also take you to Western Rocky in Myanmar, highlight of which is a tunnel/cave at 20m that goes right through the island, plus a dive in a volcano the very next day with some very rare marine species.
The new MV Smiling Seahorse Liveaboard is more spacious yet retains its friendly atmosphere and service with just 16 divers on board in 4 groups of 4 divers.
With four levels the liveaboard is very spacious with a bigger room dedicated to Photographers, a nice lounge area with couches and bar, and a huge sundeck on top.
A steel boat with two powerful engines, the MV Smiling Seahorse can explore further, faster and more safely.
We think …
The best option to dive some of the least dive sites in the Mergui Archipelago.
All departures are from Ranong in northern Thailand. The Smiling Seahorse can arrange pickup and drop-off by car or minivan from Phuket, Surat Thani, Chumphon – or any other place on the peninsula that you might arrive from.
There are 2 standard cabins on the upper floor, 4 deluxe cabins and 2 master cabins on main floor. All cabins are Air-Con’ed but also the doors opened outwards so you can enjoy the ocean breeze and the sea view! The Standard and Deluxe can be set up with a double bed or two bunk beds.
Master cabins have a double bed only and a panoramic window with a fantastic forward view.
The Deluxe and Master cabins come with private bathrooms with hot shower and toilet, Standard cabins have shared facilities.
The Five Different Trips
The MV Smiling Seahorse has five trips in total, with the shortest – the best of Thailand being interspersed between most of the Myanmar trips. This means you can dive the best of both worlds, dive Thailand and Burma: combine any two cruises and get a THB 2000 per person discount.
Trip 1: Best of Thailand Dive Cruise4 Days | 3 Nights | 11 dives: Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai.
This trip takes in a couple of drift dives in the Surin Islands, as well as a night dive in the Surin Islands with the chance to see the Jenkins Stingray, plenty of Napoleon fish, Sweetlips, Barracudas, Humphead Parrotfish, and Manta and Eagle Rays. At Koh Bon (see dive sites below) there are dives at the island and the Pinnacle – both sites teeming with reef fish. The nearby Koh Tachai is also always a great ‘fishy’ dive. And finally, Richelieu Rock considered (rightly by us) as one of the Top Ten Dive Sites in the world.
Trip 2: South of Myanmar – Best Value Liveaboard Trip6 days | 5 night | 17 dives: High Rock, Macleod Island, Seafan Forrest and Western Rocky.
High Rock is predominantly a macro site, though there is a cave where grey nurse sharks are often to be found; and the night dive is in a coral garden. Mcleod Island also presents marco opportunities – including the elusive Ghost Pipefish – combined with colourful soft corals. Seafan Forrest and Rocky North switch to the big stuff with plenty of reef sharks, eagle and manta rays and even the possibility of a whale shark. Western Rocky delivers 4 dives, the highlight of which is a tunnel/cave at 20m that goes right through the island. The final day includes a dive in a volcano with some very rare species.
Trip 3: Explore Burma – Around Mergui Archipelago
6 days | 5 night | 17 dives: High Rock, Shark Cave, North Twin, Seafan Forrest, Western Rocky
In addition to the dives sites of Trip 2, this trip includes a visit to Shark Cave – named for obvious reasons, plus North Twin which being so far out into the Andaman Sea offers both the best visibility and the best opportunity to see pelagics such as manta rays and whale sharks.
Trip 4: The ‘Undiscovered’ Mergui Archipelago
8 days | 7 nights, | 25 dives: High Rock, Shark Cave, Black Rock, North Twin, Macleod Island, Western Rocky, Seafan Forrest.
The big allure of Black Rock dive sites is the obvious pelagic encounters. When these happen it is hard to re-focus back on the small and rare finds such as the blotched sting rays, frog fishes, leaf fish, Spearing Mantis Shrimp all amongst very colourful coral.
Trip 5: One Step Further North (‘all the way to the top’)
8 days | 7 nights | 25 dives: Explore the most remote locations: High Rock, Shark Cave, Black Rock, Torres Island, Pricep, Tower Rock, The Sisters, North Twin, Macleod Island.
Exclusive to this trip is the visit to Torres Islands or the Burma Banks for some exploratory diving to sites that have rarely been dived before.
Live Availability and Pricing
MV Smiling Seahorse Extras Payable Locally 2020/21
|Optional Extras Payable locally||AUD||THB|
|Full set of dive gear rental (per day)||500||THB||500|
|Dive computer rental (per day)||300||THB||300|
|15 litre cylinder rental (per day)||250||THB||250|
|Nitrox (per 12 ltr tank)||250||THB||250|
|Nitrox Full Trip (varies by trip): POA|
|Nitrox Course: POA|
|Other PADI Continuing Education Courses: POA|
|This liveaboard's prices are in THB. The AUD prices shown are based on the current exchange rate. The price paid in AUD will be based on the actual exchange rate at the time any payments are made.|
|Please use the [Enquire Now] tab to give us your exact requirements in terms of Trip#, dates, number of divers/snorkelers, and we'll give you the best deal we can.|