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Trips

The Best of Thailand – Similan + Surin Islands: April 17-27, 2024

Description

This trip is live, and there are just two open spots in a triple share cabin.

Thailand liveaboard highlights

Liveaboards in Thailand are centered primarily around the Similan Islands, a chain of 9 small islands with white sandy beaches, located on the west coast of the Thai peninsula.  Surrounded by the richest waters around Thailand, the diving in the Similans is without a doubt the best that Thailand has to offer. Diving here is all about the beautifully colourful reefs, sleepy leopard sharks, majestic mantas and frequent whaleshark encounters.

Thailand offers some of the best diving in Southeast Asia.  Year-round tropical warm water, exceptional underwater visibility and a vast variety of marine and coral life are all ideal conditions for divers.

Thailand’s diving trade marks are many, including whale sharks and mantas during the season January through April.  Blacktip sharks, turtles and schools of barracudas.  Usual macro suspects include seahorses, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, octopus, and pipefish.  A great variety of underwater seascapes will tantalise even the most experienced diver.

Thailand borders 2 seas; the Andaman Sea on the west side and the Gulf of Thailand on the east coast.  Both seas offer fantastic diving, with the Similan and Surin Islands in the Andaman Sea being the most famous.

Richelieu Rock, an isolated seamount in the middle of the ocean, covered in gorgeous purple soft corals and magnificent sea anemones, is a signature dive of the Similan & Surin Islands itineraries.  Brimming with marine life of all sorts, this is a dive you can do over and over again.  Moray eels, ornate ghost pipefish, smashing mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimps, tiger-tail seahorses, Spanish mackerel, frogfish, many schooling snappers and for the lucky ones sightings of manta rays and whale sharks.

South of Phuket, dive into the beautiful seascapes of Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Koh Phi Phi.  Gorgeous caverns and swim-throughs where banded sea snakes, impressive schools of yellow snappers and, for the lucky ones, a whale shark or a manta ray may pass by.  No matter which itinerary you choose, a world-class diving experience awaits you in Thailand.

Best of Thailand 10 Night Itinerary

Join The Phinisi on this unique liveaboard itinerary exploring some of the very best scuba diving that Thailand and the Andaman Sea has to offer.  Over the course of 10 nights, the liveaboard diving itinerary combines highlights of our 6 nights Similan and Surin Islands itinerary with 4 nights Southern Thailand allowing you to experience the delights of Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Haa and Koh Phi Phi along with the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock and the Surin Islands; Truly the Best of Thailand.

Similan Islands National Park

Eastward sites – Sites on the eastern side of the Similan Islands tend to be sand covered fringing reefs predominantly made up of hard coral. The reef plateaus are around 5-10 metres deep with gentle slopes heading down to the reef edge at around 20-25m. Where present, currents on the eastward site tend to be relatively gentle.

Westward sites – The dive sites on the west side of the islands are a little different. Giant granite boulders tumble to the sea bed easily reaching depths of 40m. Being more exposed to the open ocean,  these sites can be prone to strong and often unpredictable currents. The currents have kept the boulders free from a build up of sand, leading dive sites consisting of a variety of canyons, tunnels, swim-throughs, archways and caverns. The diving can be challenging but the increased chance of larger pelagics makes up for that.

Surin Islands National Park

The topside scenery of Koh Surin, with evergreen forests, mangroves, and small beaches, surpasses even that of the picturesque Similan Islands. Under water the reefs of the Surin Islands have some of the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand.

Koh Phi Phi National Park

Located 45km to the east of Phuket, the Moo Koh Phi Phi Archipelago consists of 6 islands, the largest and only inhabited of which is Phi Phi Don. Above water scenery is dramatic with huge limestone cliffs and sheltered coves and bays with white sandy beaches. Many of the dive sites are walls with depths ranging between 10 and 25 metres, covered in coral bushes and sea fans.

Koh Haa National Park

With a name that translates as Five Islands, there several dive sites around these amazing islands where you can explore pinnacles, walls, boulders, caverns, and swim-throughs to discover the varied marine life that have made these islands their home.

Hin Daeng & Hin Muang

These two pinnacles (translating directly as Red Rock and Purple Rock) reach down to over 70m in open ocean, and are best known for manta ray and whale shark encounters. Almost perpetual good visibility and dramatic topography combined with huge fish numbers make for excellent liveaboard diving.

Typical Daily Itinerary:

Your cruise director will schedule up to four dives per day; 3 day dives and a sunset or night.  This totals approximately 32 dives over 11 days / 10 nights.

The diving day is scheduled as follows:

  • Light Breakfast followed by a briefing and Dive 1
  • Full Breakfast, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 2
  • Lunch, relaxation period, briefing and Dive 3
  • Snack relaxation period, briefing and Dive 4, where possible
  • Dinner

Richelieu Rock – Andaman Sea, Thailand

Tropical Thailand is famed for its rich diversity above and below the water.  From east to west, many destinations offer encounters with whale sharks, like Chumphon Pinnacle (Koh Tao) or Hin Daeng (Koh Lanta).  But Richelieu Rock is considered one of the best.  Here, whale sharks are joined by manta rays to feast in the Andaman Sea’s nutrient-rich waters.  Though it’s possible to reach the pinnacle in a day, a liveaboard trip is the best way to enjoy this remote destination.  The best time to go is, October to May.

All-inclusive Dive Package Includes:
  • 11 days, and 10 nights shared accommodations aboard The Phinisi dive liveaboard
  • Thailand return shared transfers between the local airport and the liveaboard on days of embarkation and disembarkation
    (transfers are at set times, transfers outside the set times will incur an extra cost)
  • Full board accommodation (based on shared occupancy)
  • Tea, coffee, fruit juice & soft drinks
  • Up to 4 dives daily
  • 11 litre (80 cu. ft.) cylinder with air fills
  • Weights, weight belt and SMB
Dive Package Does Not Include:
  • International flights Denver (DEN) to Phuket (HKT)
  • Hotels, meals enroute to Thailand  and return
  • On board merchandise
  • Alcoholic drinks, or soda/fizzy drinks
  • Scuba training
  • Equipment rental
  • Nitrox ($175 extra)
  • Crew and dive gratuities
Obligatory surcharges:
Complete Dive Package Pricing starting at $3250

Prices are per person in USD, based on double or triple or quad occupancy.

  • Quad Cabin – Four sharing – $3250, three sharing – $4333
  • Fixed Twin, or Double/Twin Cabin – $4350
PAYMENT SCHEDULE:

Deposit:  $1000 to reserve your space (deposit is non-refundable)

Final Payment:  Balance is due on January 25, 2024

Passport requirement – must have 6 months remaining until expiration date upon return to USA.

For all dive trips, consider purchasing travel insurance, and dive accident insurance.  Both are highly recommended, and are made available to purchase!

To purchase DAN dive accident insurance, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the DAN banner link, Join DAN Today!, then follow the prompts on DAN’s website.

To purchase travel insurance, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the DAN banner link, Purchase Travel Insurance?, then follow the prompts on DAN’s website.

REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN

Some sunscreen ingredients are not safe for corals; these include oxybenzone.  Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching of corals.  So that we can help protect our reefs, we encourage our guests to choose and use a sunscreen that is “coral safe”.

To purchase eco-friendly sunscreen products, please scroll to the bottom of this page, and click on the Stream2Sea banner link, use code, “cleanreef” for a 10% discount.

** AIRFARE SOLD SEPARATELY **

Price is per person and based on double occupancy and items specified. Space is subject to availability, price subject to change without notice and not guaranteed until deposit is received.  Cost for airfare cannot be guaranteed until paid and ticketed. Some restrictions may apply.

* Credit card or any payments made through the PayPal invoice will be charged an additional 3.5% (5% international payers).  This fee covers the cost of the PayPal fee. Venmo, Zelle, Send Money to Friends and Family, and checks are always welcome.

If interested, please contact Andy Skuntz, at Colorado Dive + Travel Adventures, email to askuntz@yahoo.com, or call at 719-322-6941.  This exciting trip will fill up fast.

Trip flyer, terms and conditions, and a trip application will be provided.  Once the application is complete, please return to Andy via fax or email, then an invoice for the designated deposit will be provided.

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