The beautiful S/Y Diva Andaman Liveaboard is a stunning classic sailing yacht offering fantastic journeys diving the Similan Islands with 7 luxury AC, en-suite cabins she delivers personal attention
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The Deep Andaman Queen offers 9 en-suite, AC cabins, large dive platform with fresh water showers to rinse yourself after diving and camera rinse buckets. Explore the Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock
Explore the Andaman Sea aboard the world class Thailand Aggressor liveaboard. With up to 5 dives a day you are sure to see the best of Thailand & Burma in comfort with exceptional Aggressor serviceThailand Aggressor
What to expect on a Richelieu Rock Liveaboard
Liveaboard diving in Richelieu Rock ensures a trip to one of Thailand's best dive sites and a firm favourite amongst Thailand liveaboard itineraries. Approximately 45km off the Andaman coast, to the south east of the Surin Islands, this site somewhat resembles the form of a horse-shoe with a central limestone pinnacle and several smaller rock outcrops on either side. The topography of this site matched with its geographical remoteness attracts a great variety of marine life. Shifting tidal currents in this part of the Andaman Sea create upwellings of plankton, providing a feeding ground for small to large. Richelieu's remote location is not sheltered from the open water and recommended for the more advanced diver due to changing currents which can be mild to strong, but also mean that the best way to experience Richelieu Rock is via dive liveaboard.
Aboard a Richelieu Rock liveaboard divers can expect around 3 dives per day, with a choice of liveaboards ranging from simple low budget to luxury liveaboard. Most Richelieu Rock itineraries depart from Khao Lak and include a trip to the Similan Islands.
What You Can See
Sailing in Richelieu Rock offers divers the best chance to experience this iconic dive area. Richelieu was named by Jacques Cousteau after Cardinal Richelieu, of the Three Musketeers whose scarlet cape reminded him of the purple soft corals adorning the limestone rocks. Rising from the sandy bottom, the pinnacles are decorated with shelves and ledges, cracks, crevices and caves. The shallows are covered in sea anenomes and not far below an abundance of soft coral fields adorn the edges, surrounded by thousands of shimmering glassfish. The black coral bushes and gorgonians are found slightly deeper all providing shelter to the diverse marine life. This continuum of colour can be seen throughout the excellent multi-level diving that goes down to a maximum depth of 35m.
The biodiversity of the marine life and topography at Richelieu Rock is astounding. As you descend you can sometimes see the swirling blue masses of jacks, barracuda and fusiliers in a funnel like formation. Big schools of trevally, funneling barracuda and dogtooth tuna maraud the area in search of their next meal. The winter months of February to April bring with it more opportunity for whale shark sightings and other pelagics like the Manta Ray, feasting on plankton. Seeing these creatures gliding around you seemingly effortlessly is considered the ultimate experience for most divers and why most visit Richelieu. Although sightings can be rare, once they are spotted, they tend not to disappear quickly as it is their feeding ground. It is an exhilarating honour to share the waters with these gentle giants.
Do not be detracted by the larger marine life alone, as Richelieu is also home to a plethora of critters such as porcelain crabs, tiger tail sea horses, pipefish, robust ghost pipefish, mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimp, frogfish, leaf fish, nudibranch…the list goes on! Seahorses and harlequin shrimps can be found in the small caverns at the bottom of the rock. The larger marine life such as the cuttlefish, octopi and groupers can also be spotted going about their mating business, unaware of the peering scuba divers. For the photography inclined, it is worth having an interchangeable lens here as there is so much to capture or simply dive it a multitude of times, we can assure you it will never get boring.
The best way to get to Richelieu Rock is on a Thailand liveaboard trip which will depart from either Phuket or Khao Lak. Further from Phuket than from Khao Lak, (200 km north of Phuket and 80 km northwest of Khao Lak), it is worth checking what port you prefer to depart from. Please check your itinerary before purchasing flight tickets. There are international flights into Phuket and / or domestic flights from Bangkok to Phuket. Khao Lak is about 100km north of Phuket and can be reached overland.
Dive cruises may vary but you can expect at least a 4 night cruise to the Surin Islands which will undoubtedly include Richelieu Rock on the itinerary. Please note that it is prohibited to dive in this area outside of the high season that runs from October to May due to rough seas.
Richelieu Rock Diving Reviews
Nice dives with seahorses. Alot to see and nice taking pictures and filming. Got alot of nice pictures here.Diving Richelieu Rock in May on the MV Pawara
This is where the fish were! Tons of schools of fish! Beautiful corals! AmazingDiving Richelieu Rock in April on the The Junk
Fantastic! Awesome! Incredible! Breathtaking! Marvellous! A Place full of Wonders, and the best Buddies You could ask for. Could have stayed there for Werks. ..Diving Richelieu Rock in April on the The Junk
It was amazing.Diving Richelieu Rock in April on the MV Similan Explorer
visibility wasn't great, but the diversity and quantity of fish and other wildlife was incredibleDiving Richelieu Rock in April on the Deep Andaman Queen
The visibility was not so good - bit like a good day a Weymouth. Having said that the fish life was amazing and I have never seen so many giant trevally and barracuda at one spot - definitely fish soupDiving Richelieu Rock in March on the Deep Andaman Queen
Visibility was poor, but still teeming with marine life.Diving Richelieu Rock in April on the MV Similan Explorer
GreatDiving Richelieu Rock in March on the Deep Andaman Queen
No visibility at all - so we didn't see much from the highlight of the tripDiving Richelieu Rock in March on the The Junk
Site was great but two dives we had the Green monster where we had very low vis!Diving Richelieu Rock in March on the White Manta Thailand
Missed d/t weatherDiving Richelieu Rock in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
Awesome! MANTA MANTA :)))Diving Richelieu Rock in March on the MV DiveRACE Class E
Fabulous, though too many other liveaboards were there also.Diving Richelieu Rock in February on the Diva Andaman
AwesomeDiving Richelieu Rock in March on the White Manta Thailand
excellentDiving Richelieu Rock in March on the White Manta Thailand
One dive; high swells and challenging entry and exit, but dive site greatDiving Richelieu Rock in February on the Diva Andaman
very goodDiving Richelieu Rock in January on the Miss Moon
not very specialDiving Richelieu Rock in February on the Diva Andaman
Not great due to weather conditions. Medium current and really mediocre visibility really limited the experience quite a bit. Still good, but in our case not a spectacular experience.Diving Richelieu Rock in February on the White Manta Thailand
Unfortunately it was poor visibility, but enjoyable.Diving Richelieu Rock in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
Low visability, I will have to come back here.Diving Richelieu Rock in February on the Deep Andaman Queen
One of the best dives I've ever doneDiving Richelieu Rock in January on the Deep Andaman Queen
The Coral was amazing, the water was very clear, lots of different sea lifeDiving Richelieu Rock in January on the Thai Sea
Good, but visibility could have been better. Unfortunately, no whale sharks..Diving Richelieu Rock in December on the MV DiveRACE Class E
Strong current but the place looked goodDiving Richelieu Rock in December on the MV DiveRACE Class E
very beautifulDiving Richelieu Rock in January on the Thai Sea
This is the must see dive site, sadly a few too many people see it! We stayed for 3 dives, so for the last dive we had the site to ourselves and made it all worth while!Diving Richelieu Rock in January on the White Manta Thailand
excellent but very poor visibilityDiving Richelieu Rock in December on the Diva Andaman
Stunning coral and fish life - very busy, but to be expectedDiving Richelieu Rock in December on the Deep Andaman Queen
Splendid dive site, full of colour and great place to spot sea horses.Diving Richelieu Rock in December on the White Manta Thailand