The Best Liveaboards for Single Travellers

2nd May 2017   |   Sarah Morlock

Whether you have a non-diving partner or just like to travel solo, being a single diver can be both an intimidating and rewarding experience. That’s especially true when it comes to liveaboard diving.

First, we should clarify the difference between being a single diver and diving alone. A single diver is someone who takes a scuba diving vacation by themselves. Diving alone means you go diving by yourself - something you should only do if you are properly certified to do so!

So how does a single diver avoid diving alone? The answer is easy. On an organized scuba diving holiday like a liveaboard. You’ll be able to find a new dive buddy on the boat, thus ensuring you always have someone by your side under the water.

While going on a liveaboard holiday alone may seem a little strange to some, this type of travel actually has enormous benefits. As a single diver, you’ll be more open to making new friends during your trip. In many cases, you’ll meet dive buddies that you will keep in contact with for years to come.

Have we convinced you to take your first solo trip? If you’re ready to start looking for your next liveaboard vacation, check out our tips below. When discussing single divers, not all boats are created equal.


What You Should Look for If You Travel Solo

Traveling solo is a great way to meet other divers and expand your personal comfort zone. However some boats better cater to single divers than others. Look for features like these when booking a solo dive safari.

  • Single Rooms: For single divers who value their privacy and don’t need the space of a double room, single rooms offer a good balance. These rooms can be booked on their own without a single supplement and have just one twin bed.
  • Low Single Supplement: For single divers who like to have their own room and need a bit of space, the single supplement allows you to book a double room with a surcharge. Many boats require 65 to 100% more compared to the double occupancy price for the privilege of traveling alone. However, more and more boats are lowering these costs to 30% or below.
  • Quad Rooms: If you don’t mind sharing a room, quad rooms on boats are often utilized by single travelers. These allow you to book a bed without paying the single supplement. However, you’ll have to share your space with up to 3 other divers. 99% of the time everyone in a room is the same gender, but some boats may have a different policy. So it’s important that you check with the boat before making any assumption about who your roommates may be.
  • Bunk Beds: Similar to a hostel, these rooms are the most informal single traveler accommodation available on liveaboards. Everyone pays per bed, and there is no need to pay a single supplement. 6 to 8 divers usually share one bunk bed room.

The Best Dive Boats for Single Divers by Country

We’ve selected the dive safari boats that are most suited to people traveling on their own and divided them by country.

Indonesia

From the spectacular manta encounters of Komodo to the extreme biodiversity of Raja Ampat and all the lesser traveled destinations in between, Indonesia is ripe with liveaboard destinations. Here you’ll find more than 500 species of fish and 1000 species of coral to explore.

Liveaboards With Single Rooms

Liveaboards With A Low Single Supplement

  • Blue Manta: With a low single supplement of just 10% and frequent discounts on top of that, the Blue Manta is a sturdy choice for single travelers in Indonesia. Check Prices & Availability

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • Queenesia: A smaller liveaboard with just 3 cabins, the Queenesia is a traditional wooden sailing vessel helping divers discover Komodo. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in Indonesia


Red Sea

From Egypt to Sudan and even Djibouti, the Red Sea offers excellent shark encounters and some of the best wreck dives in the world. The very best dive sites are only reachable by liveaboard with dozens of dive boats plying these waters from north to south.

Liveaboards With A Low Single Supplement

  • MY Andromeda: The single supplement on the MY Andromeda is just 30%. This well-appointed liveaboard offers free WiFi and personal EPIRB. Check Prices & Availability
  • MY Cassiopeia: Also boasting a single supplement of 30%, the MY Cassiopeia is almost identical to its motoryacht sister, the MY Andromeda. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in the Red Sea


Philippines

With more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines offers a diversity of dive sites rarely found. Discover WWII wrecks, see thresher sharks, swim alongside whale sharks and comb coral reefs for amazing macro creatures. This is a liveaboard paradise!

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • MV Solitude One: Known for its high degree of hospitality, the MV Solitude One can help you discover the dive sites of the Philippines and South Pacific Palau. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in the Philippines


Thailand

One of the most popular scuba diving destinations in the world, Thailand offers exciting liveaboard locales such as the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea. You can expect to see beautiful corals, whale sharks and manta rays during your time in the Land of Smiles.

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • MV Deep Andaman Queen: A newly built ship with an itinerary to meet every budget, the MV Deep Andaman Queen offers free WiFi and several bunk rooms. Check Prices & Availability
  • Similan Explorer: With 16 years of experience diving Thailand, the Similan Explorer has 8 cabins, most of which are quad rooms for single travelers. Check Prices & Availability
  • MV Manta Queen I: Offering standard 3 or 4-night trips to the Similan Islands, the MV Manta Queen I and its 5 sister ships are perfect for single divers. Check Prices & Availability
  • MV Dolphin Queen: Known as a budget liveaboard, the MV Dolphin Queen provides world-class diving and plenty of space to relax on deck. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in Thailand


Australia

Home to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is a veritable playground for scuba divers. Here you can swim along the largest coral reef in the world, see minke whales, interact with dolphins and even spot rare species like walking sharks and giant potato cod. If the Great Barrier Reef isn’t on your bucket list, you’re definitely in the minority of divers.

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • Spirit of Freedom: The World’s Operator of the Year for 2015, the Spirit of Freedom sails in complete luxury with free WiFi and low level flight excursions. Check Prices & Availability
  • Kangaroo Explorer: A stationary liveaboard anchored on the Great Barrier Reef, the Kangaroo Explorer provides flexible itineraries and welcomes snorkelers. Check Prices & Availability
  • Ocean Quest: This liveaboard is the most spacious diving vessel in Queensland. The Ocean Quest is also stationary, welcoming guests for as long as they desire. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in Australia


Cocos Island

Famous as one of the best places in the world for diving with hammerhead sharks, Cocos Island is a remote piece of rock in the Pacific. Its location guarantees a huge number of pelagic species including manta rays and even whales and dolphins. A challenging dive location, Cocos Island is only accessible by liveaboard from Costa Rica.

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • Okeanos Aggressor I: This stable and comfortable 121-foot liveaboard can easily traverse the sometimes rocky waters between Cocos and the mainland. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in Cocos Island


Bahamas

A favorite among single divers and shark enthusiasts alike, the Bahamas is one of the best liveaboard destinations in the Caribbean. You’ll find dive sites for tiger sharks, bull sharks and hammerhead sharks scattered around the hundreds of tiny islands and atolls. There are also great drift dives, wrecks and coral reefs for divers who prefer a little less adrenaline in their systems.

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

  • Bahamas Aggressor: For the perfect balance of space, comfort and affordability, the Bahamas Aggressor has roomy quad cabins with attached bathrooms. Check Prices & Availability

Liveaboards With Bunk Bed Cabins

  • Blackbeard Sea Explorer: Known as a bit of a party boat, the Sea Explorer only has bunk bed cabins. Book either a single bunk or a double bunk for 2 people. Check Prices & Availability
  • Blackbeard Morning Star: Like its sister ship, the budget liveaboard Morning Star offers bunk rooms only along with free alcoholic beverages. Check Prices & Availability

View All Liveaboards in the Bahamas


Mexico

Mexico, with its two coasts, is a land of plenty for scuba divers. Liveaboards tend to stick to the western side, running itineraries in the Sea of Cortez, to Guadalupe for Great White Shark cage diving and to the Revillagigedo Archipelago where giant oceanic manta rays greet divers on a daily basis. If you love diving with big animals, Mexico is the best destination for you.

Liveaboards With A Low Single Supplement

  • Nautilus Explorer: Part of the Nautilus Fleet, the Nautilus Explorer offers a minimal 25% surcharge. Enjoy the hot tub or have a drink at the bar post dive. Check Prices & Availability
  • Nautilus Belle Amie: Also featuring a 25% surcharge, this gorgeous ship is a modern vessel with stunning views from nearly every cabin. Check Prices & Availability
  • Nautilus Under Sea: The final liveaboard in Mexico with a 25% surcharge, the Nautilus Under Sea is a small yet powerful boat suited to special expeditions. Check Prices & Availability

Liveaboards With Quad Rooms

View All Liveaboards in Mexico


Are you a scuba diver who often travels solo? Have you tried any of these destinations or liveaboards? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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