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Liveaboard Diving in Hawaii
Plunge in to the nutrient rich waters of the Pacific Ocean and dive sunken volcanoes, see an underwater Turtle cleaning station, or dive with gentle Giant Manta Rays at night. Hawaii has excellent dive cruises for unique underwater adventures.
Liveaboard diving in Hawaii may not be the hot topic in the dive world, but ask many people around the world what their ultimate bucket list vacation destination is, and you will often hear Hawaii as their response. The Hawaiian Islands are a volcanic archipelago located in the central Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiian islands have it all—beaches, mountains, rainforests, temperate forests, waterfalls, volcanos, and the biggest attraction for divers, world-class scuba diving. A limited number of dive liveaboards currently operate in Hawaii, making it an even more exclusive dive destination.
Embarking on a dive trip via a Hawaii liveaboard dive trip is the best way to fully experience the islands’ phenomenal dive sites. Hawaii is a U.S state and is over 2000 miles from any continental mainland. This extreme remote location plays a vital role in the pristine conditions of reefs and surrounding waters. Few, if any, areas in the entire world offer beauty that is similar to what Hawaii diving has to offer. Underwater lava formations, magical Manta Rays, and over 25% of endemic fish species uniquely specific to this area are just a few of the reasons why diving in Hawaii is so fantastic.
Dive off the Big Island’s west coast, where many of Hawaii’s jewel dive sites are located. Here Mauna Loa, the world’s largest volcano, protects the coast from wind and weather, resulting in a serene ocean calmness. Opting for a Hawaii liveaboard dive cruise will award certified divers of any experience level a specialized trip geared toward what they love most—diving! Enthralling dive sites are plentiful and readily available in Hawaii. In order to effectively manage your time and make sure to get the most out of your dive holiday, setting sail on a liveaboard dive cruise is truly a solid option. Explore far off sites aboard a dive cruise that most land based dive operators won’t go the distance to.
Book a liveaboard dive trip and set sail to Hawaii’s one of a kind dive sites. 7 night/8 day tours depart from the Big Island year around. Your home for the week, a 24m MV liveaboard catamaran yacht will hold on average 14 people plus a 6-member crew.
It is not uncommon to log up to 5 dives per day, including night dives. Filled tanks, weights, and weight belts are provided at no charge. Adequate storage lockers are available for the diver traveling with their own gear, or equipment rental is available for an additional charge for divers who are not traveling with their own gear. An open water certification is necessary, yet there is no minimum requirement for the number of logged dives in order to embark on a liveaboard. Certification beyond open water may be available, including some specialties such as Nitrox and Underwater Photography.
All meals and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are included in the tour price while on board. Meals range from buffet to table side service, and consist of American and local Polynesian fare. Special dietary restrictions should be communicated and arranged for ahead of time.
The liveaboard crew will make every attempt to provide and follow through with an itinerary, however, itineraries may be subject to change due to wind and weather conditions. Safety is always the first priority. The itinerary will be at the captain’s discretion, and the overall safety of the group will be take precedence over visiting a dive site with unfavorable conditions.
DIVE SITES & AREAS OF HAWAII
BIG ISLAND The west coast of this island is the location of some of the area’s top dive sites. Conveniently, it is also the location of the port of departure for Hawaii liveaboard dive cruises. Explore such dive sites as Paradise Pinnacle, Turtle Pinnacle, Tubastrea Tunnel, Rob’s Reef and The Hive.
PARADISE PINNACLE Just as the name suggests, the highlight of this site is a tall pinnacle protruding from the ocean floor.
TUBASTREA TUNNEL Appropriately named, this oversized swim-through tunnel covered in tubastrea coral is a main highlight of this dramatic dive site.
TURTLE PINNACLE See these docile creatures in their element here at their natural cleaning station.
WHEN TO GO
Hawaii’s tropical climate makes it a fine place to visit any time of year. The vast geographical diversity means that weather varies greatly from location to location. On the Big Island, the west coast (where many of the fantastic dive sites are located) has mostly sunny days and low average rainfall. The Hawaiian Islands draw large populations of humpback whales every year from December to May. These baleen whales prefer the warm, shallow waters for mating and nursing young, and they migrate by the thousands from Alaska for reproduction purposes. During these months, divers may be able to hear the whales serenading during their bottom time. If luck is on your side, you may even spot one swimming by.
Average air temperatures range from highs of 81˚F - 88˚F to lows of 66˚F - 73˚F. Average water temperatures range from a high of 82˚F to a low of 72˚F.
TIPS FOR TRAVELERS
Presentation of current certification card is required upon diving. Don’t forget to bring along your dive log as well so as to track dive specs and record amazing sights seen.
Hawaii is the 50th state of the U.S., therefore the U.S. dollar (usd) is the national currency and English is the primary language.
HOW TO GET THERE AND PORTS OF DEPARTURE
The easiest travel option is to fly into Kona International Airport (KOA). KOA is conveniently located a short 20-minute drive from the port of departure, Kailua Pier. Airlines that operate out of KOA are Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, US Airways, and WestJet. Island Air and GO! Mokulele also operate there, offering interisland service and connecting international flights. Nonstop service is offered between Kona and the cities of Vancouver, Canada, Seattle WA, San Jose CA, Oakland CA, Portland OR, Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA, Denver CO, Chicago IL, and Phoenix AZ.
If flying in from a country other than the continental U.S., it is possible to fly into the international airport at Honolulu. Flights from Honolulu to Kona are a mere 30-minute ride.
Hawaii liveaboard dive tours are luxury trips offered on a moderate budget, with prices ranging from approximately $250-$330 per person/day.
Travel insurance and diver insurance is excluded from all tours. Investing in insurance is highly recommended. Also excluded from the price of the tour are airport transfers, rental equipment, nitrox, and gratuities.
U.S. citizens are not required to travel with a passport, but must show an acceptable form of photo identification. Those traveling from locations other than the U.S., a passport valid for a minimum of six months is required for entry into Hawaii. It is recommended to confirm that your travel documentation is in compliance with these regulations. Doing so early will allow ample time to renew your passport, should the need arise. The expiration date must be within six months or beyond of the date of departure from the travel destination.
Hawaii Diving Reviews
- 9.5 Exceptional
- 9 Verified Reviews
I truly enjoyed my experience. Although the marine life is probably not as abundant and versatile as in many other places I dived and the reefs showed signs of bleaching at some locations, it was a very special diving experience due to the volcanic origin of the seascape. The crew went out of their way to show us the best that the Big Island marine scene had to offer.
Diving Hawaii in January on the Kona Aggressor II
These were some of the best diving I have done to date. Truly amazed by the diversity. Saw some of my "firsts" on this trip as well.
Diving Hawaii in August on the Kona Aggressor II
Interesting and I did see things I hadn’t seen before. A lot of moray eels but also some tiger sharks and angel fish.
Diving Hawaii in March on the Kona Aggressor II
Excellent. I love the rock formations and the night dives were truly memorable on the Big Island. I dove Kauai the week before and got to see tons of turtles and Dolphins, as well. Hawaii is awesome.
Diving Hawaii in September on the Kona Aggressor II
Not comparable to previous trip in terms of diving but also more conveniently located and cheaper.
Diving Hawaii in April on the Kona Aggressor II
Great manta dive, but water a little too cold for my liking
Diving Hawaii in April on the Kona Aggressor II