Top Ten Short Liveaboard Diving Trips

From marine-packed overnight trips to three, four and five-day escapades, shorter liveaboard diving trips allow divers to sail to some of the most remote dive sites on earth without committing all their precious holiday days. So whether you have limited holiday allowance, don’t want to fully commit to an extended voyage (at least not yet, anyway) or are interested in combining land escapades with liveaboard diving, we have got the perfect trip for you.
1. Rascal Voyages, Indonesia

Rascal is not only one of the most luxurious liveaboards to ply the waters of Indonesia, but it also offers shorter voyages catering to both divers and non-divers, giving guests the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds. Whether you are embarking on a private charter or one of the cabin only cruises, guests can experience everything from four-day family adventures in Komodo to a week spent diving the highlights of Raja Ampat.


2. M/S Sula, Norway

Between November and March, the rugged M/S Sula ventures to the remote arctic waters of Northern Norway seeking out migrating herring. Why? Because where the herring go, huge pods of hungry orcas and humpback whales follow. Trips can last between three and six-nights and aside from swimming alongside the ocean's greatest predators, guests can spend their evenings sipping hot chocolate while marvelling at the northern lights dancing overhead.


3. Four Seasons Explorer, the Maldives

Hailed as a five-star hotel on water, the Four Seasons Explorer luxury catamaran spends its days cruising between the private island paradises of Kuda Huraa and Landaa Giraavaru. Guests can embark on three, four or seven-night itineraries that venture to the most remote sites in the central atolls, with sharks, shipwrecks, caves, whale sharks, manta rays and so much more to discover.


4. ScubaSpa, the Maldives

Another one from the Maldives, ScubaSpa is a great option for both divers and non-divers alike. Boasting the largest spa in the Maldives, indulge in spa and diving packages (or both!) all while voyaging across the turquoise atolls of the Maldives. Itinerary durations start at four nights with the option for longer stays.


5. Water&Wind, the Azores

The offshore sites of the Azores can be notoriously tricky to get to - often involving long, bumpy, rib rides departing early in the morning from the shores of Sao Miguel. For a more relaxed setting, Water&Wind offers overnight catamaran sailing trips to the Formigas, so divers can explore sites at their own leisure. The sites are regularly visited by the team at Nat Geo and have the best pelagic sightings in Europe (think - wahoos, sharks, mantas and mobulas).


6. Nautilus Belle Amie, Mexico

If diving with great white sharks tops your wish list, Nautilus Belle Amie is just the ticket. This liveaboard embarks on five-night trips to Guadalupe - located 150 miles off the coast of Baja California in Mexico, the area is one of the best places in the world to cage dive (and snorkel) with great white sharks in the deep blue.


7. Pelagic Safaris, Mexico

It's no secret that the waters off Baja California are some of the fishiest in the world, and Pelagic Safari offers a whole heap of expeditions with incredible marine encounters - from daily trips to swim alongside orcas to the mobula ray migration in May. If you head further south, intrepid travellers can embark on a five-day striped marlin expedition, Mexico's answer to South Africa's sardine run.


8. Alila Purnama, Indonesia

For those who don't want to commit all their holiday allowance towards liveaboard diving (at least, not on the first trip), luxury phinisi Alila Purnama offers three-night trips to Komodo and five-night trips to Raja Ampat; providing the perfect excuse to mix land and liveaboard, be it spotting orangutans in the jungles of Sumatra or eating your way through Bali.


9. Mantra, Indonesia

If you want to explore the enclaves of Indonesia at your own pace, the Mantra offers short private charters throughout the year. Ranging from three-nights in Komodo to five-nights diving around Alor, the itineraries are tailored to guests preferences, meaning no voyage is ever the same. There are also shared cabin voyages, and with a maximum of six divers on board, so divers are guaranteed a private and personalised experience.


10. Tiger Blue, Indonesia

A wonderful option for families, Tiger Blue offers shorter itineraries to both Komodo and Raja Ampat that are packed with adventure both above and below the waves. The traditionally built phinisi also runs expert-led trips throughout the year for those who are interested in a deeper cut of the region.

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Louisa is our 'Top Ten Short Liveaboard Diving Trips' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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