The Best Liveaboards in Palau23rd March 2017 | Sarah Morlock
Palau in the South Pacific is often described in superlatives. It’s one of those places where you’ll likely see what you’re looking for. Heavy currents sweep in pelagic species from the Pacific Ocean. You may have the chance to swim with manta rays, reef sharks, leopard sharks as well as large schools of barracudas, jacks and other fish.
Like most destinations in the South Pacific, Palau features diverse underwater environments. Some common features include beds of soft coral, drop-offs, caves, channels and even blue holes. If you love wreck diving, Palau is also a great option. Several World War II wrecks are found surrounding these islands.
It’s important to note that Palau is a nation of 250 islands. Many of the country’s best dive sites, including the Blue Corner and the German Channel, are located far from the city center of Koror. While there are diving resorts scattered throughout the country, liveaboards are the best option for those who are serious about seeing Palau’s top sites.
Liveaboards in Palau generally depart from Koror, the country’s capital city and the location of the international airport. The typical length of liveaboard trips is 7 to 10 nights.
The best time to dive in Palau is from October to April although the area can be dived year-round. During the optimal months, you’ll find dry weather and calm surface conditions, ideal for liveaboard diving. In addition, warm waters mean you’ll only need to pack a 3mm wetsuit, and December to March is the best time for manta rays in the German Channel.
With strong currents, Palau is recommended for advanced divers only. Furthermore, reef hooks are necessary at dive sites on the outer walls of the barrier reef. Be sure to check with your chosen liveaboard for the number of logged dives required.
Best Luxury Liveaboard: Palau Siren
One of the most luxurious liveaboard dive boats in the world, the Palau Siren is a gaft-rigged Phinisi yacht built to bring divers in style to this remote underwater paradise.
While participating in underwater activities, divers can enjoy an expansive and shady dive deck, free Nitrox, free equipment rental and 2 high-powered tenders. The 3 dive pros onboard the Siren ensure the 16 guests have a memorable, small group diving experience. Generally each diving day is graced with 4 dives, including 1 night dive.
While topside, the covered, outdoor dining area, the rejuvenating sundeck and the air conditioned lounge with a cocktail bar are all perfect for soaking in the post-dive glow. Furthermore, kayaks are available for the free use of guests, and a massage service and laundry service are provided for some extra pampering.
If you’re used to luxury or looking for a splurge, you’ll truly want for nothing aboard the Palau Siren.
Best Mid-Range Liveaboard: Palau Rock Islands Aggressor
Part of the well-regarded Aggressor Fleet, the Palau Rock Islands Aggressor provides a balance between price and amenities.
This ship has been safely delivering divers around Palau for 23 years, so you can rest assured that the crew knows the best dive spots and schedules. There are 4 dive pros between 18 guests ensuring personalized diving, and diving is carried out from an 18-person skiff, which is kept safe and secure by a hydraulic cradle. On each 7-day itinerary, guests enjoy at least 5 and a half days of diving with 4 dives a day and 3 night dives throughout the week.
Back on the ship, guests will enjoy 9 spacious and air conditioned cabins along with a well-appointed lounge. The sundeck with its chaises and sunbeds is ideal for taking in the stunning scenery. Mealtimes are extra memorable with large amounts of BBQ, American classics and local favorites.
For a well-priced liveaboard trip with enough luxury to make you feel like you’ve spoiled yourself, the Palau Rock Islands Aggressor is an excellent choice.
Best Budget Liveaboard: Ocean Hunter I
A small, boutique ship, the Ocean Hunter I is ideal for small groups wishing to charter their own liveaboard.
First and foremost, the crew of the Ocean Hunter I promise unlimited diving and unlimited bottom time with a flexible and customizable itinerary. Furthermore, because of the ship’s small size, she is able to reach some dive sites other, larger liveaboards struggle to negotiate. And all diving takes place directly from the dive deck.
The yacht itself hosts only 6 divers in 3 stylish, air conditioned cabins. The 3 crew members are eager to please, and will go to great lengths to arrange kayak or land tours for their guests. Between dives, you might relax on the sundeck or watch some TV in the salon. Meals are served to make sure no diver goes hungry. The menu was designed by renowned chef Tova Har-el to include fresh local flavors along with hardy diver favorites.
For one of the most personalized liveaboard experiences available, there’s no better choice than the Ocean Hunter I.
The three liveaboards you’ve read about were hand-picked by our scuba diving experts, but there are a few more boats available. To see the full list of liveaboards in Palau, click the button below.