This is the fifty-second in a series that introduces and describes the various dive services and sites for worldwide liveaboard dive safaris. This one focuses on the best liveaboard dive boats for solo travelers. For other “Best” reviews of liveaboards and destinations, go to “Best Liveaboards & Destinations Lists” on the top menu.
Have you ever been diving on any of the locations described below? If so, I’d love to know about your experience. What liveaboard did you use? How was the diving? Were the services and accommodations good? Please post your response in the comments section at the bottom and we’ll all learn something we can use.
Best Liveaboard Dive Boats For Solo Travelers
You’re in the process of planning your next liveaboard to one of the world’s most intriguing dive sites and you realize you’ll be going by yourself, sans buddy. What are the best options?
Perhaps you would really be much more comfortable in a single non-sharing cabin with your own private area where you can spread out a little without infringing on anyone else’s space or vice versa. There are excellent liveaboards, some not too expensive, that can offer large single cabins. There are many that will allow you to occupy a double cabin as a single, but with a surcharge up to 100%, and a few that have low surcharges of 30% or less.
Maybe you are not so concerned about your own private space and look at sharing as a great social opportunity to get to more intimately know your diving companions. There are such opportunities where triple, quad, and bunk cabins are offered that can enhance the atmosphere greatly for those of that mind. Many are very low-priced, as well.
Below are lists with links of excellent and popular liveaboards to a range of destinations that fit into those 3 categories, followed by brief descriptions of 10 of the best examples.
Best Liveaboard Dive Boats List
Single Cabins Available
- French Polynesia Master – French Polynesia
- Adora – Maldives
- Panunee – Indonesia
- Genesis I – Thailand
- Amira – Indonesia
- Solomons PNG Master – Papua New Guinea
- MV Mermaid I – Indonesia
- Lady Denok – Indonesia
- Emperor Superior – Egypt
- Febrina – Papua New Guinea
- Damai I & II – Indonesia
Reasonable Single Supplement
Quad Cabins or Bunks
- Blackbeard’s Sea Explorer – Bahamas
- Ocean Quest – Australia
- Similan Explorer – Thailand
- Tortuga – Cuba
- MV Dolphin Queen – Burma
- Okeanos Aggressor I – Costa Rica
- Quino El Guardian – Mexico
- Bahamas Aggressor – Bahamas
- Spirit of Freedom – Australia
- Rum Runner – Australia
- Solitude One – Palau/Philippines
- MV Deep Andaman Queen – Thailand
- MV Manta Queen I – Thailand
Best Liveaboard Dive Boats For Solo Travellers
Single Cabins Available
French Polynesia Master – French Polynesia
This well equipped full-service yacht has 13 cabins for a maximum of 25 guests, with single cabins available. It makes 8-11 day cruises year-round on itineraries between Papeete, Rangiroa, and Fakarava.
There is very low traffic on the pristine biodiverse reefs with great macro, lots of fish, and highlight megafauna including 5 shark species, dolphins, humpback whales, mantas, and several wrecks like Les Trois Epaves, off of Tahiti.
You can’t find a more remote tropical paradise with such excellent accommodations.
For my review of diving in French Polynesia, please check out this article:
Panunee – Indonesia
This comfortable yacht changes locations throughout the year with 6—11 day itineraries to multiple locations including Raja Ampat with the world’s top biodiversity, Ambon, known for macro life forms, as well as Alor, the Banda Sea, and Komodo set on active volcanoes with the iconic dragons awaiting your visit on shore trips.
Moderately priced, Panunee can lodge 22 guests in 12 cabins, which includes singles.
For my reviews of diving in the areas of Indonesia relevant to the Panunee, please check out these articles
- Best Raja Ampat Indonesia Liveaboard Reviews
- Raja Ampat Diving
- Best Indonesia Liveaboard Diving – Alors and Flores
- Banda Sea Liveaboard Scuba Diving Indonesia
- Best Komodo Island Scuba Diving Liveaboard Reviews
Reasonable Single Supplement
From November through June when surface conditions are best, the Nautilus Belle Amie conducts 9-11 day cruises to the Socorro Islands 240 miles (390 kilometers) to the south of the tip of Baja California for perhaps the best available spot to take in mantas, sharks, dolphins and humpback whales. Then for a complete change of pace from July through November, they transition to Guadalupe Island off the northwest coast of Baja for 6-day itineraries of great white shark cage diving.
For a 25% supplementary fee, it is possible to stay in a stateroom converted to a single. Otherwise, a total of 32 guests are accommodated in 17 cabins in this moderately priced liveaboard yacht.
For my reviews of Socorro Islands and Guadalupe Island liveaboards, check out these articles:
- Socorro Islands Scuba Diving Liveaboards
- Guadalupe Island Shark Diving and Socorro Islands Liveaboards
Blackbeard’s Sea Explorer – Bahamas
This friendly bargain-priced liveaboard accommodates 18 guests in 3 bunk-style cabins with shared bathrooms, on year-round 7 day excursions.
Many of the iconic locations like the Lost Blue Hole and several of the more famous wrecks are on the itinerary which focuses mainly on the Exuma Cays. Marine life highlights to enjoy include a large number of and many species of sharks, to go with mantas, dolphins, and a lot of fish.
This cruise is also a good opportunity for diving classes including the Open Water Diver course.
For my reviews of Bahamas diving and liveaboards, please check out these articles:
Ocean Quest – Australia
The Ocean Quest runs year-round 2-6 day trips from Cairns to Outer Barrier Reef sites. Most of the time she sits on the sites and divers are escorted from Cairns to and from the mother vessel on speedboats.
Up to 48 guests are accommodated in 23 double and quad cabins. With the guests coming and going on different schedules, it is more like a floating hotel, so there is an excellent opportunity to mingle with and get to know a large number of divers.
A range of diving classes is available including specialty courses, the Open Water Diver course, and Discover Scuba Diving. The Ocean Quest is also famous for its night dives with sharks and bio fluorescent diving.
For my reviews of Great Barrier Reef diving and liveaboards, please check out these articles:
Okeanos Aggressor I – Costa Rica
The Okeanos Aggressor offers modestly priced year-round cruises to Cocos Island, a 26-hour journey from the Costa Rican shoreline. Often called “Mini Galapagos” for its diversity of wildlife, the volcanic subsea terrain plays host to massive schools of hammerheads, giant mantas, and Galapagos, tiger, bull, and whale sharks.
There are sites suitable for all levels of diver but with strong current possible, it is best for divers to come with at least an Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
11-day itineraries are offered year-round with 10 double and quad cabins available holding a maximum of 22 guests.
For my reviews of Cocos Island diving and liveaboards, please check out these articles:
Quino El Guardian – Mexico
Quino El Guardian is a moderately priced well equipped, cozy vessel with a maximum of 16 guests sharing 5 cabins.
From November through May she conducts 10-day itineraries to the Socorro Islands and the sharks, mantas, dolphins, and whales there, and then from May through October travels into the Sea of Cortez for its rich variety of marine life which also includes sea lions.
The vessel also has a research mission and offers the opportunity to participate in a citizen science itinerary.
For my reviews of Socorro Islands and Sea of Cortez scuba diving, please check out these articles:
- Socorro Islands Scuba Diving Liveaboards
- Scuba Diving the Sea of Cortez Midriff Islands Liveaboards
- Scuba Diving in Loreto Mexico
- Scuba Diving Cabo Pulmo Mexico
- Scuba Diving La Paz Mexico
- Scuba Diving Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Solitude One – Palau/Philippines
The Solitude One offers several different cruises to some of the best diving in Southeast Asia. From November through February Palau is the destination for 7-day itineraries to the fantastic drift diving, beautiful reefs, megafauna, wrecks, and jellyfish lake. Then from April through June, it’s westward to the remote short season at the best of the Philippines at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park for 7-day trips. From August through September it’s on to 8-11 day cruises hitting a number of excellent Philippines sites including Anilao for macro critters, Malapascua for thresher sharks, Verde Island for its iconic deep drop-off, and Romblon for a bit of everything.
Pricing is moderate for the maximum of 22 guests staying in 10 cabins which include sharing suites with quad and family options.
For my reviews of diving and liveaboards in Palau and the relevant Philippines sites, please check out these articles:
- Best Scuba Diving Palau Liveaboards
- Best Scuba Diving Palau Micronesia
- Best Liveaboard Scuba Diving Philippines
- Best Tubbataha Reefs Liveaboards
- Best Diving Philippines – Anilao Diving
- Scuba Diving Romblon Philippines
MV Deep Andaman Queen – Thailand
Launched in 2009 and refurbished in 2019, the MV Deep Andaman Queen is a low-priced full-service option for 5-8 day itineraries to the best of Thailand at the Similans and Surins with some trips taking in Mergui Archipelago sites.
A maximum of 25 guests stay comfortably in 10 cabins which all have ensuite bathrooms. Room options include double cabins, and twin, triple, and quad bunk room options.
For my reviews of Thailand and Burma liveaboards, please check out these articles:
Tortuga – Cuba
Tortuga provides one of the very few options for diving on the virtually untouched natural marine habitat of the Jardines de la Reina Marine Park. Known for the richest reefs in the Caribbean with a variety of megafauna and even saltwater crocs, the popularity is increasing rapidly.
Offering 8-day itineraries year-round, it is moored and stationary with speedboats to accompany divers to the nearby sites making it more of a hotel than a liveaboard yacht.
Look forward to Cuban ambiance and food with 8 double, triple, and quad cabins for a maximum of 20 guests.
For further information, check out these posts:
Liveaboard Dive Boats For Solo Travelers Comparison Chart
|French Polynesia Master||French Polynesia||25 Guests|
|Nautilus Belle Amie||Socorro Islands|
Single Cabins-25% Supplement
|Blackbeard's Sea Explorer||Bahamas||18 Guests|
3 Bunk Style Cabins
|Ocean Quest||Australia||48 Guests|
23 Double & Quad Cabins
|Okeanos Aggressor||Cocos Island - Costa Rica||22 Guests|
|Quino El Guardian||Socorro Islands & Sea of Cortez, Mexico||16 Guests|
|Solitude One||Palau & the Philippines||22 Guests|
|MV Deep Andaman Queen||Thailand & Burma||25 Guests|
Finding a Dive Buddy
When traveling solo if you would like to try to line up a compatible buddy to go with you on your liveaboard adventure and not trust the pot luck match-up after you climb onboard, these websites may be worth checking out:
What goals do you have when going on a liveaboard? Are you interested in seeing megafauna, or macro critters? Maybe underwater photography is your passion. What is your skill level? Are you interested in more training? How much time and money do you have available? The below “Best” comparison reviews may help clarify for you which liveaboard most suits your needs.
- Best Liveaboard Destinations For Underwater Photography
- Best Liveaboard Destinations For Whale Sharks
- Best Liveaboard Destinations For Manta Rays
- Best Liveaboard Destinations For Macro Diving
- Best Liveaboard Destinations For Diving With Sharks
- Best Liveaboard Destinations for Advanced Divers
- Best Liveaboard Destinations for Beginners
- Best Liveaboard Dive Boats (Short Trips)
- Best Liveaboard Dive Boats (Low Budget)
- Best Liveaboard Dive Boats (Luxury)
Last Minute Liveaboard Deals & Special Offers
For greatly reduced pricing on special offers for a broad range of liveaboards in 17 countries around the world, please check out this post:
With the colorful coral reefs, a variety of fish, marine life, sharks, turtles, shipwrecks, and beautiful and historic onshore targets, as well, there are many excellent photo opportunities. For information and reviews of dive cameras, check out these articles:
A cushion for emergencies provides peace of mind when on vacation. I recommend this diving insurance as they have worldwide coverage and give scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.
Feedback and Comments
I hope you found this post on the best liveaboard dive boats for single divers interesting and useful. If you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to share them in the comments section. I’d love to know of any experience you have. If there is no comments section directly below, click here: >>comments<<