Richelieu Rock

This beautiful rock offers spectacular diving experiences due to its richness in aquatic life, from Guitar Sharks all the way down to the little Sea Horses. Located some 20 kilometers to the southeast of the Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock can fulfill all your liveaboard diving dreams. This is by far the best dive site in these waters, including the rest of Thailand, though its reputation stretches even further to the entire globe. As a diver, you’re in for the sensation of a lifetime!

Richelieu Rock is covered with all kinds of thick layers of corals, so much so that in places its even hard to see the rock beneath them. As the limestone horse-shoe shaped pinnacle slopes abruptly down to the sandy bottom, the corals increase in size and colour formations. On the south side, the site slopes gently to deeper waters where the small caves created will give the more adventurous diver exciting swim-throughs. The center of the pinnacle provides beginners with shelter from any difficult conditions they have not yet been trained to manage.

Such difficulties may include currents, which can get quite strong as Richelieu Rock dive site is, for the most part, completely exposed. Nevertheless, the rich aquatic life and frequent, fascinating views of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays, bring live aboard divers back to this site time and time again.


Richelieu Rock Dive Site Details

Recommended live aboard diver certification: Beginner

Maximum depth: 35 meters

Visibility: 20+

Temperature: 27+

Divesite marine life: around the dive site one finds many kinds of Snappers and Trevallies, Blue Powered Surgeon Fish, Sea Horses, Cheveron Barracudas, Turtles, and many types of Moray Eels such as the Shy Dragon or the Giant Yellow Edged Moray and the Zebra and Honeycomb Morays, as well as Guitar Sharks. Here you can find nearly all kinds and colours of coral reef fish, like Butterfly Fish, Angel Fish and Groupers.


More Outer Similan Island Dive Sites

SY Ruby

SY Ruby Yacht Charter Sailing ThailandSY Ruby is a luxurious, fast charter catamaran with spacious areas both inside and outside the yacht. She boasts a large salon, seating 10 guests, sufficiently air-conditioned and two slick varnished tables where you can sit and enjoy your culinary adventures into the best Thai delights you can find in the country, with class. The salon leads to a u-shaped galley just opposite. From this area you reach the spacious double cabins within the hull of each side of the vessel.

Ruby’s three cabins with ensuite bathroom and shower are sure to provide you with all the comfort you need, with wide storage spaces for your personal items and maximum ventilation with fans and air-conditioning, including opening hatches letting in the fresh sea air and allowing comfortable sightings of the stunning environment around the waters and the sound of the sea first thing in the morning. She also has a double cabin with access to a communal bathroom and shower. Ruby was built with a view to offering you a sense of luxury during your liveaboard sailing.

Above deck and all around the cockpit area Ruby is complete with Sunbrella seat cushions and a large awning covering the entire area, providing much needed shelter from the sun, when your tanning mission is complete. Just then, simply walk to the cockpit fridge where you will find a variety of cooling drinks to quench your thirst and reclimatise; should you need to, you also have easy access to a washroom from this area. A stylish teak table further furnishes the cockpit and can be converted into a comfortable queen size bed, should you wish to lounge under the stars later in the evening.

Ruby‘s decks are spacious enough to provide comfort to all the vessel’s guests. She has a large flexible awning offering further shade when you have sat on the coach roof under the sun for too long. Welcoming large Ferrari nettings are also there for you to relax from your scuba diving adventures.

Complete with state of the art entertainment systems, SY Ruby has all the amenities necessary for fantastic live aboard dive trips and is crewed by warm and friendly staff, eager to please you and guide you around and down into the most spectacular dive sites in the world, meanwhile showing you the most stunning beaches in the islands surrounding them. SY Ruby is the perfect yacht for your luxurious liveaboard scuba diving adventures.

SY Ruby is built in such a way as to make diving as comfortable as diving can be and she does a good job accomplishing this. Stable, with lots of room for storing your diving gear, and the easiest access to and from the water with sea level steps, she boasts the best diving platform you can find in these waters. Furthermore, she has a silent built-in compressor, able to fill a bottle in just under 8 minutes.



SY Ruby sails in Thailand, the Andaman Islands, Malaysia and Myanmar (Burma).



Koh Tachai

A further 20 kilometers to the north of Koh Bon our luxury liveaboards will sail you to the island of Koh Tachai. This island boasts the paradise white sandy beaches you have been dreaming of and really is the place to visit, particularly if you are a fan of night diving.

The dive site is made up of a series of submerged pinnacles and many boulders, making for excellent swim-throughs. It is mostly famous for sightings of visiting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays but further for the vibrant life that dwells beneath the water.

Koh Tachai is divided into two different kinds of dive sites. The Koh Tachai reef and the Koh Tachai Plateau.

Koh Tachai reef is the sheltered part of the dive site and makes for easier diving when the currents are too powerful. Mild currents here make for a slow drifting dive experience for all diver certification levels. Diving in the later part of the afternoon provides you with the opportunity to see a vast armies of aquatic life rising out of its shelter and playing around the magnificently coloured and widely varied corals.

Koh Tachai Plateau, on the other hand, makes for a more exciting, but also more challenging scuba diving adventure due to its strong currents. The Plateau consists of many sizes of granite rocks and rich gardens of soft and hard corals. In fact the garden on the Plateau itself, with its many shades of coloured corals, is by far the most spectacular in the area.

Currents in this dive site can be quite strong in the Plateau, sometimes making it simply impossible to dive, and rather mild in the reef, where the currents run from south to north.


Koh Tachai Dive Site Details

Recommended live aboard diver certification: Beginner

Maximum depth: 35-40 meters

Visibility: 20+

Temperature: 27+

Divesite marine life: home to a variety of Sea Fans, Anemonies, Sea Sponges and Feather Stars, Huge Napoleon Wrasse and schools of Bannerfish and Fussiliers, Koh Tachai is often by Yellow Tail Baraccudas and Whale Sharks. One also finds Octupus, Cuttlefish and a myriad of corals all around.


More Outer Similan Island Dive Sites

SY Nakamal

SY Nakamal Thailand Charter YachtSailing Yacht Nakamal is a catamaran crewed charter, operating liveaboard cruises in Thailand, from Phuket. Nakamal is a fast yacht, most comfortable, well designed and equipped for tropical climates.

Accommodating up to 6 guests within 3 cabins, Nakamal and her experienced crew, will sail you to all your live aboard dream dive sites in the Phuket waters and surrounding islands, including the Similan Islands and the Surin Islands. She has wide decks where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of the Andaman sea, providing you with easy access to the water for your swimming and snorkeling expeditions. When you’ve had a good filling of the sun you can find shelter in the protected cockpit with a refreshing ice drink in your hands.

Below deck, the interior of Nakamal is as beautiful as the exterior. Light and breezy she is built with wooden trimmings and lots of white colours around. The 3 double cabins all come with fans and hatches that open to the world outside, so you can catch views of the sea and sky when you open your eyes in the morning. Nakamal was fully refitted in December 2005 with a view to providing an even more comfortable and pleasant cruise for its passengers. Up to 8 passengers can lounge in the salon, dine and relax into the night. It is also possible to convert the settee to 2 single berths. Just a few steps away from the salon, within the starboard hull, you will find our well equipped gallery. The salon further connects to the cockpit.

During your liveaboard trip, the captain and his crew will take good care of you, cooking delightful food to quench your appetite after your scuba diving adventures and making sure that you are comfortable, answering all your questions and giving you valuable information about the wonders that await you in the Andaman sea as you cruise along the islands. Liveaboard diving with Nakamal and its crew will be an experience you will always remember and will leave you feeling satisfied and refreshed, with a sense of warmth in your heart.

Discover the wonders of the underwater world sailing on our fully equipped live aboard yacht charter SY Nakamal.


SY Nakamal sails to the Similan Islands, the Surin Islands and the Islands around Phuket. Further south she visits the Butang group of islands. She also visits Myanmar and the Andaman and Nicobar islands belonging to India.


MV Discovery

Liveaboard Thailand MV Discovery MV Discovery is an original Thai Motor Vessel, built in 1996 and refitted in 2004 with all the necessary facilities and comfort features to make it a pleasurable dive boat. She can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests. MV Discovery sails out to the Andaman Sea´s richest dive sites, where you can live out your liveaboard diving dreams to your heart’s content. She also visits the Similan Islands, the outer Similan dive sites such as Richelieu Rock, the Southern Islands, Burma banks and Myanmar´s Mergui Archipelago.

MV Discovery has 8 twin bed cabins. Each cabin comes with air condition, reading lights, pillows, bed sheets, blankets and towels.

The crew on board includes experienced Dive Masters and Instructors who are eager to guide you through the best dive sites showing you all the wonders of the underwater world, both big and small, from nudibranches to whale sharks. A well organised briefing

will inform you of each dive’s details and divers are usually organised into teams of 4 for safe underwater exploration, guided by people who know the sites well. Towards your safety, weather conditions and strength of currents are always taken into account. MV Discovery is run by diving enthusiasts, who are committed to giving you the best liveaboard diving experience you can possibly find in Thailand. Toward this end, there are no time restrictions of 45 minutes per dive on this vessel; dive times start with a lower limit of 60 minutes. In addition to the standard 12lit tanks, for those enthusiastic about staying underwater longer, there are also 15lt tanks on board.

Dive to your heart’s content in the most stunning and rich dive sites of the globe when booking for the best liveaboard offers with Island Cruises in Thailand.



Island Cruises offers scuba diving liveaboard adventures with MV Discovery in Thailand, Burma Banks and the Mergui Archipelago.

MV Discovery sails to the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock.

The Southern Islands of Hin Daeng, Hin Muang and Koh Ha.

Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock

This cruise combines the “3/3” & “4/5” day/night cruises above and may, depending on your choice, include Sea Canoing in the time between the 2 cruises. That is, in the time when the boat returns to Patong Bay to pick up more guests, once the 3/3 cruise is finished.

This is a liveaboard diving trip to all the destinations above, including Burma Banks and the Mergui Archipelago (as well as Black Rock).



Elephant Head Rock

Located in between islands 7 and 8, Elephant Head Rock is distinguishable from afar due to three enormous boulders, which rise above the surface. With a bit of imagination, one can see the image of an elephant head forming out of those boulders.

Elephant Head Rock Map in the Similan Islands between 7 and 8These boulders sitting on more rocks, give an indication of what awaits below the surface. Masses of caverns, caves and tunnels to swim through at 24 meters depth await, all literally covered in tons of different kinds of fish; all the fish you can ever hope to see in a single dive. At the edge of the rocks you can swim down to 40 meters. Sail with our luxury liveaboard vessels to this amazing divesite, covered with thick layers of corals and massive sea fans. Then, just when you think you’ve seen enough, more swims your way!

Currents in this dive site tend to vary, flowing from the northeast to the southwest and vice versa, depending on the tide. As you approach the rocks the currents will drift you to different directions, making this a rather unpredictable and exciting dive, particularly if you are an experienced diver. If you need to, you can always hide between the boulders, to find shelter from the currents.

Sail with our liveaboard yacht charter to a divesite that will forever remain sketched in your memory for all the good reasons!


Elephant Head Rock Dive Site Details

Giant Turtle - Similan Islands Liveaboard Dive Site - Elephant Head Rock
Recommended live aboard diver certification: Advanced Diver or higher

Maximum depth: 40 meters

Visibility: 20+ meters

Temperature: 27+ degrees

Divesite marine life: You can find everything here; within the boulder cracks you can see small creatures like Boxer and Clearing Shrimps, Flabellinas and Nudibranches, as well as larger ones, such as Turtles, Oriental and Harlequin Sweetlips, Giant Groupers and Octopus. Great Barracudas, Fussiliers, Giant Travellies, Big Snappers and White and Black-Tip Reef Sharks can be seen all around the rocks.


More Similan Island Dive Sites

MV Nautica Boat Specifications & Technical Information

General Information Diving
Boat type: Steel Motor Vessel Tanks/Nitrox: 26 x 12 l INT valves
Built in 2004 Nitrox fill station: Fischerblender Airmix
Length: 24 m Air compressors: Bauer 2 x Mariner 250 E
Width: 5 m Dinghy: 4,5 m Dingy with 30hp Yamaha Outboard
Engines: Hino 2 x 375 HP Ratio guide to divers: 6 divers / 1 guide
Max. Speed: 12 knots Cabins
Cruising speed: 8 -10 knots Max guests: 12
Diesel tank: 12,000 Litres 1 x Master Cabin
Fresh water tank: 12,000 Litres 4 x Twin / Double Cabin
Water maker: 2000 Litres / day 1 x Bunk Bed Cabin
Navigation & Communication Crew
Radar Captain
GPS Engineer
Depth Sounder, Cook Deckhand
Mobile- & Satellite Phone Hostess
SSB MF/HF Tour Leader / Cruise Director
VHF & CB Radio Dive Master / Instructor
NAVTEX receiver Other Special  Facilities
EPIRB Big sun deck area
Safety Comfortable sofa area
7 x 50 l Oxygen Library
MFA Kit CD / VCD Music system with music selection
25 x Life Jackets DVD Player with a library of films
2 Life Rafts max. 30 person Secure Safe Box
Fire Extinguisher Souvenirs
Electricity   Daily Room Service
Voltages: 220V, 380V, Nightly Turn-Down Service
Generator: 2 x 15kw , 1 x 5kw Customer Travel Accident Insurance by New Hampshire Insurance
Affiliated with the Hyperbaric Chamber in Phuket at the Bangkok Phuket Hospital 
Badalveda Insurance


1 – Scuba Diving platform
Boat Layout MV Nautica Liveaboard 2 – Cushioned relaxation area
3 – Dining area
4 – Stairs
5 – Service counter & T.V
6 – Toilet & shower
7 – Master cabin
8 – Wheelhouse
9 – Dive deck
10 – Storage room
11 – Twin / double bed cabins
12 – Stairs
13 – Salon
14 – Galley
15 – Steering room
16 – Compressor room
17 – Engine room
18 – Fuel tanks
19 – Cofferdam
20 – Water tanks
21 – Cruise director cabin
22 – Crew cabin
23 – Ballast tank



MV Nautica Schedule

SCHEDULE 2009-2010








NA 25 B

10Apr – 18 Apr

Thailand / Myanmar

8 / 8



NA 26 S

19 Apr – 23 Apr

Similan / Surin

4 / 4



NA 27 S

23 Apr – 27 Apr

Similan / Surin

4 / 4



NA 28 S

28 Apr – 04 May

Similan / Surin

6 / 6




NA 29 B

05 May – 13 May

Thailand / Myanmar

8 / 8





Similan Islands

The world famous Similan Islands Marine National Park, in the Andaman Sea of Thailand, consists of 9 stunning islands, all uninhabited. Besides the paradise found on the islands themselves, with amazing rock formations and beautiful white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, the marine life in the underwater world is astounding.

Map of the Similan Islands Dive Sites in ThailandA variety of corals, soft and hard, house the wealth of aquatic life whose reputation has reached across the world. Fully protected under National Law, Thailand’s Similan Islands offer the richest and most diverse coral reefs to be found in the entire globe.

The Similan Islands provide the best grounds for rich and exciting liveaboard dive trips. This is the best place for you to begin your scuba diving adventures or indeed, to further advance your diving skills and certifications on board one of our luxury liveaboard vessels. Divided into Western and Eastern dive sites, the Similan Islands offer opportunities for unique and diverse dive trips, depending on what you prefer to see and experience.

The Western area boasts grand granite boulders with rock formations all covered with soft corals, thereby creating a variety of holes and caves, perfect for swimming through. It has crystal clear visibility and the currents around the rock formations are sure to leave you feeling excited and exhilarated, willing and ready for more.
The Eastern area on the other hand, well protected from the monsoon coming from the south-west boasts white sandy beaches that stretch underwater to a wealth of hard and soft corals. The currents are never strong in this area, which makes diving and navigation quite simple and easy.

No matter which of these areas you find yourself in, all you have to do is feast your eyes on the stunning images that surround you and you will only hunger for more. At Island Cruises we offer Similan liveaboard cruises and dive packages to suit all budgets and preferences. Much like in the Surin Islands, the Similan Islands underwater world will take your breath away, so please remember scuba diving rule number one and keep breathing!


Similan Island Dive Sites