The MV Similan Explorer is a wooden mono-hulled boat specialising in 3 to 5 night Thailand diving safaris in the Similans National Park. Up to 20 guests can be accommodated onboard. Although not a 5-star luxury liveaboard option, the boat is bright and comfortable and you can expect a warm, friendly atmosphere.
There are 8 cabins in total; all have air-conditioning and windows that open, allowing plenty of natural light, fresh air and sea views. There are 4 twin bunk bed cabins and 2 4-share bunk bed cabins on the main deck, all fitted with curtains around each bunk for extra privacy. On the upper deck there are 2 double bed cabins with doors to the outside.
Also on the upper deck is the open-air dining area - the social centre of the liveaboard. This shaded area is open along each side so you can enjoy the beautiful island scenery as you dine. Snacks and refreshments are available 24 hours per day. Here you can relax with a movie or listen to music on the stereo. There is also a large collection of fish identification books in several languages.
The dive deck has plenty of room for gearing up and for storing your equipment. The experienced boat crew members are always there to help you with your scuba gear and with your entry and exit. The 3 bathrooms with hot water showers and toilets are located on the same deck and there are 2 more fresh water showers on the dive platform.
Between dives you can chill-out on the sundeck and either top up your tan or relax in a deck chair in the shaded area. Located on the top of the liveaboard, this is the perfect place from which to survey the islands and spot a dolphin or two.
Dive experience: Participants need to be at least Advanced Diver certified. Otherwise Adventure Deep Diver course is mandatory on board.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (4 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts, use of mask, wetsuit and fins, torch for night dives, towel, return transfers to the boat from Khao Lak hotels.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): 7% VAT on cruise price (to be paid in advance), Similan and Surin park fees at approximately US$ 6 per day (in cash and Thai Baht only) plus 7% VAT, with an entry fee of US$ 16 per park (in cash and Thai Baht only) plus 7% VAT, scuba equipment (BCD and regulator at US$ 9 per item, per day), dive insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).
Optional extras: Phuket transfers to/from the boat (approx. US$ 47 per person per way plus 7% VAT), soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (if available) (US$ 6 per tank), dive computer (approx. US$ 8 per day), torch rental day dives (approx. US$ 4 per day). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: MV Similan Explorer liveaboard trips to the Similan Islands depart in the evening from Khao Lak. A minibus service from Khao Lak hotels to and from the boat is provided. Return transfers from all hotels in Phuket or Phuket Airport to and from the boat can be arranged at extra cost. Guests may arrive at MV Dolphin Queen's dive center on the day of departure from 10 am to 2:30 pm for equipment fitting and check in. The departure time from the dive center to the liveaboard is approximately 4:00 pm. For more information see our Thailand travel information section. The last dive of the safari will be at around 11:00 hrs. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: 20% off the published price.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travellers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of 80% of the published price.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 9 guests and 1 extra person can join the cruise in a 4-bed cabin free of charge (total 10 guests). See whole boat charter rate below.
Enriched air nitrox - Motorised dinghy - 13m² dive deck with hot water showers & toilets - 9m² dive platform with ladders and rinse tanks - 20m² shaded social & dining area on upper deck with TV, DVD video, music system, movie library & fish ID/diving books - Satellite phone & cellphone - 27m² sun deck with matresses - Water dispenser
"The liveaboard was very nice, the staff and crew on the boat were excellent" - Stacey Kim, USA, 15 December 2017 ...
"Very attentive staff, helpful in kitting up and with equipment before and after every dive. Fun dive masters who kept briefings light hearted. Being a vegetarian, I found the food a bit limiting – esp breakfast as i ended up eating only hash browns every morning (for meals, it was veggies and Tofu most of the time) but i was expecting it and carried a few supplements. The Christmas dinner and the final lunch were great. The living quarters are a bit cramped with the beds too short for any one who is of regular height. Same with toilets where there was no leg space while sitting down! I knew it is a budget boat so not really complaining. All in all, a good trip." - Dipen Mehta, India, 02 January 2017 ...
"Friendly and extreme helpful staff, nice liveaboard boat with nice cabin and good, and enough food." - Michael Laurisch, Germany, 15 March 2014 ...
"Very friendly and professional staff on board but the cooking was very poor." - Fabien Dugue, Hong Kong, 6 January 2014 ...
Low Budget Options
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Special discounted trips highlighted in yellow