Celebes Explorer, Malaysia


The 29m liveaboard, M/V Celebes Explorer, is the only vessel who schedules year round diving cruises to the best sites in Sipadan, Malaysia. Sipadan is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, many of which are found exclusively here. Celebes Explorer offers 8 basic cabins equipped with private bathroom and spacious wardrobe. Guests may relax in the lounge with mini bar and the spacious, partially covered sun deck with wooden chairs, tables and a beach mattress.

The food served onboard is a mix of Malay and Chinese influences, served buffet style. The MV Celebes Explorer offers guests up to 4 dives per day. Dives are typically relaxing drift dives and remarkable wall dives. A Celebes Explorer sea safari in Malaysia’s Sipadan takes you to places that are best visited via liveaboard. Regarded as one of the world's best dive areas with hundreds of coral gardens, sloping reefs, and unforgettable underwater landscapes, divers are guaranteed to see thousands of vibrant fish and corals.

A Celebes Explorer Malaysia liveaboard diving holiday is a fantastic adventure. Reserve yours today.

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Included: VAT

Excluded: Dive and snorkel equiptment rental (full set approx RM 200 per day), Nitrox (USD 17 per fill), Semporna jetty fee (MYR 10.60 per person), Sipadan permit fee - MYR 42.40 per dive day (from August 2018 this will increase to RM 148.40 per dive day), International and Domestic Air tickets, Alcoholic and canned beverages Transfer outside recommended flights (approx USD 150 - car for 5 guests)

Book now, pay later: You can easily place your booking online. We will then hold the spaces for you and you can confirm with a payment later.

* Extra fees are shown per person.

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Boat features

  • Camera Station
  • Aircon Cabins
  • Sun Deck
  • Indoor Saloon
  • Non-Diver (Snorkeler) Friendly
  • Warm Water Showers
  • Outdoor Dining
  • En-Suite bathrooms

Food & Drinks

  • Local Food
  • Buffet style
  • Beer available
  • Snacks All Day

If you have any specific dietary requirements whilst on-board your cruise, you can add this to your special requests on step 2 of the booking form. We advise limiting these requests to religious beliefs or food allergies.


  • DIN Adaptors
  • Nitrox available
  • Rinse Hoses
  • Dive deck
  • Tenders for diving

The crew speaks English.

Gear Rental

There is diving gear available on this boat. Please provide your rental needs on the booking form. See below for further details on inclusions and pricing. Show prices.

Drawings & Vessel Layouts

Celebes Explorer floorplan

Boat Specifications

  • Year built 2001
  • Length 29 meters
  • Beam 7.2 meters
  • Cruising speed 9 knots
  • Engines 2 x 500HP Cummins
  • Max guests 16
  • Number of cabins 8
  • Number of bathrooms 8
  • Tenders dive dinghy
  • Water capacity 20'000 liters
  • Fuel capacity 6'000 liters

Boat Navigation and Safety

  • Radar
  • Depth Sounder
  • GPS
  • Life Vests
  • Fishfinder

Celebes Explorer Reviews

  • 7.2 Good
  • 21 Verified Reviews
  1. Vessel
  2. Crew
  3. Food
  4. Diving
  5. Value
  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Angela W
  • China China
A great week of Sipadan daily

The boat is currently under maintenance, so we've been arranged into hotel accommodation with daily dive trip to Sipadan. Overall it's still convenient and comfort. A week of 3 dives daily in Sipadan has been gorgeous.

Recommended for
big school of Bumphead parrotfishes, barracuda shoal, nudibranchs
  • 6.4 Review score
  • Siu Fun C
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong
celebes explorer under repair

1) the experience in south point is magnificent where v see a school of giant humphead fish passed by, high visibiliy, no other divers 2) in my 4 days daily trip to sipadan, 3 days are grouped with other day trip divers which limits our dives to 3 only. in view of the charge, we are expecting 4 dives each on the 2nd and 3rd day

Recommended for
because celebes explorer under repair, therefore accepted the alternate arrangement of daily trip to sipadan and stay in hotel in semporna
  • 7.6 Good
  • Vincent C
  • France France
Unique façon de découvrir réellement Sipadan

Barracuda point

Recommended for
Faune sous marine, guide expérimenté et flexible, convivialite du groupe
  • 7.2 Good
  • Dmitrii E
  • Russia Russia
If you want to see almost everything you wont - Sipadan is the best place for it.

20-27 Apr 2018. Yes, the boat was as junk heap, as as coffin-ship. Yes, sometimes the smells were unpleasant. Yes, you will often see staff (not dive guides) lying on the sofas in thу living room. Yes, you will eat as much rice as you have not not eaten it before. But ... I will definitely come back here again. Because the underwater world of Sipadan perhaps is the best place for diving. 4 dives every day (except the first and last day). 4 dives, you will not have time to be bored. NO night dive. Tom, he knows all the best places for diving. You should request Nitrox BEFORE the trip, because the boat does not have device to do Nitrox. I recommend to buy a sim card of Celcom to have reliable access to 4G Internet.The cabin: warm shower, air conditioner. So, you should ask yourself: what is more important for yout: high cuisine and five stars boat or really cool dives ? If the second, Sipadan is for you. And the good news: as I realized, the owner is going to change the boat.

Recommended for
giant schools of fish; beautiful corals; dive guide Tom
  • 8.4 Very good
  • Vicroe G
  • Russia Russia
Fantastic diving experience justifies average accomodation.

Dosens of turtles, schools of jackfish and barracuda. Celebes Explorer looks worn out and operates on a 24/7 basis - new guests arrive the same time as previous group disembarks, allowing no time for making up the boat. The only option to come for a week and actually dive at Sipadan every day.

Recommended for
1. Number of dives at Sipadan (23 of 25); 2. Great weather despite low season (just one night rain); 3. Crew hospitality.
  • 7.2 Good
  • adria G
  • Spain Spain
Amazing Sipadan!

One of the best ways to dive in Sipadan!

Recommended for
Divemaster guide - Area - value for money
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • carolyn P
  • United States United States
Wonderful diving and superb crew with friendly, uplifting attitude

The food was plentiful and delicious with lots of seafood. The guide was good at spotting critters in the ocean and was a good photographer when he took pictures of me while diving. All the staff were very friendly and most learned your name. The head person, Tom, was a delight with a funny personality and wonderful attitude. He made everything such fun! Cabin 3 still has some funny smells however. Grab one of the others instead!

Recommended for
Diving, food and crew members
  • 6.4 Review score
  • Don C
  • Australia Australia
Celebes headed for Hades

The happy helpful and plentiful crew helped with this trip. The Celebes Explorer is a tired and sad boat. Cabins are in poor condition but clean enough... if one ignores the mould and water soaked woodwork. Warm water in shower adequate. Power failure in cabins a daily reality.. A new boat is currently being built with an expected delivery date of late this year. Good home style cooking for meals but this is not your soup, selection of mains and dessert liveaboard. Three mains a greens and fruit (melon or watermelon) dishes on offer each meal. Plenty of it and toast and jam on permanent offer. I drink my tea and coffee black which was just as well. Dive guide knew the sites well and good weather and mild currents made for easy diving. No real need to dive deep as most of the interesting stuff is 15m up.

Recommended for
Loads of turtles, reasonable viz, nice schools of Barra and bumpheads
  • 6.0 Review score
  • Lee K
  • Canada Canada
Do your research, Know what you are getting into, be very cautious and speak up if you feel unsafe.

I would add one more highlight: and that, is of course the people you meet on board, we had a nice time. I chose to take a main deck room, with single occupancy and paid the 50% surcharge. At 63 I prefer not to share. Now, I had read all of the reviews and they are quite correct; I was in room 1, top deck with a 2 ft by 3 ft window not quite a double bed. The house keeping staff did a great job on getting the room ready for me. Absolutely no complaints or concerns with the staff. (actually, not at any time during the trip). My toilet did not work without filling a bucket of water and using this as your flush. My shower did not work when others were using the showers below. But none of this mattered, I knew what I was buying and chose to do it and a happy that I did. Others, below my deck, experienced similar issues that you have already read in past reviews. Now: here are my real concerns. 1) This is one of the very worst places in the world to dive! The coral is mostly dead; Which means that the fish and aquatic animals are disappearing. This, very large reef is dying and someone is selling it as if it was pristine. The waters are so polluted that you can see debris, over every surface, all of the time. There are so many other majestic places in the world to dive, I suggest you look else where. 2) Should you choose to book with the Celebes Explorer, and you are given Raf as your dive master, my advise to you is to immediately ask for a replacement. I have been diving since 2009 and have logged over 100 dives and his behavior is unsafe. He does not look to ensure you are all accounted for at all times. In fact he, in a 45 minute dive will look to see who is there 2 to, maybe, 3 times. He does not ask what your O2 level is. He dives erratically both vertically and horizontally, meaning, if you do not have a dive computer you can not dive with any level of comfort. He constantly plays with shells, small fish and then moves off. There was one time when the three of us, divers, had to work our tails off, against the current to try to get to him as he was oblivious to us and how the current was pulling us away as he had his silver rod in the ground and was not "currenting" along with us. He said to stay together and he was useless. I chose not to dive 2 dives as I felt he was unsafe. We spoke of this to each other and agreed that we would look out for each other as he was not. Ok, Ok, Ok! Some of you are saying, "then why did you not say something to someone?" and rightly so. I guess we felt we could cope. I do regret not getting two of my dives in, but this was a risk I could not take. Lee Koran

Recommended for
1) Swimming with the schools of fish off of Barracuda reef and with the schools of Barracuda at the end of this dive. The number of sharks and green turtles.2) The, on-board, staff were amazing.
  • 8.4 Very good
  • GuangHui C
  • Australia Australia
Great liveaboard Experience, made possible with the great crew

For me this was my first ever liveaboard experience, and I must say I'm hungry for the next one. The Celebes Explorer, although a bit old and run down, is more than certainly made up for by the liveliness and hospitality of both the boat crew and Divemaster Basher. He was knowledgeable about the dive spots we visited everyday and made sure we were able to best experience the various sights around Sipadan island. Three square meals a day were provided, no complaints and it was a nice touch having fresh cut fruit provided with every meal. Be prepared to ratchet down your plates when eating during choppy seas! Also, bring your hard drive with movies on it to share with the crew, as they have a penchant for good old action movies whilst eating meals. Other than that, a very good experience aboard the boat and would love to return again. Also, email communication with the Dive operator was superb, Tania was able to respond in a timely matter to whatever queries I had about the trip. Highly recommended!

Recommended for
Dive Master, Food, Adherence to schedule
  • 8.0 Very good
  • Aimee K
  • South Korea South Korea
Everthings are good


Recommended for
Cabin, Guides, Service
  • 5.6 Review score
  • gary P
  • Australia Australia
If you want to dive Sipadan every day book this boat, dont expect luxury or anything else

If you don't mind ruffing it a lot, don't book this boat. The boat is old and worn, it smelt in the cabins and a lot of diesel fumes around the boat. My aircon died after 2 days, then one of the gen sets died. The toilets flushed sometimes and the shower had its own mind if it wanted to work. The food was plentiful and was similar every day.. now for the good news, the boat is due to be replaced later this year. The crew and DM's were good and the diving was great. By booking this boat I got to dive Sipadan every day, not like those in resorts at Mabul who had to go into a raffle to see who goes diving at Sipadan

Recommended for
Best things about the boat were access to Sipadan
  • 5.2 Review score
  • Asle Ivar K
  • Norway Norway
OK diving. Smelly cabin.

The "luxury" boat was old and the cabin had a very foul smell. As long as we could leave the door open it was livable, but when some of the crew members where smoking in a cabin next door during the night we were left with only poor choices. We appreciated the armed guards on board (due to earlier kidnappings on Borneo, we learned). We would have have appreciated it even more, though, if we had been informed by this risk assessment in advance of our booking. Sipadan is a great place to dive! We had poor visibility, but that was not under anyone's control. The dive master was very skilled, and he certainly knew his way around the reef. We missed a little more enthusiasm between dives. But all in all a nice diving experience.

Recommended for
Diving, diving and diving
  • 5.2 Review score
  • Christoffer W
  • Norway Norway
Great diving, old and smelly cabins

The diving was great, and the dive staff knew the dive sites very well. The boat is however getting old and the term "luxury" is no longer applicable. The boat in it self is OK, however the cabins a very smelly from mold or water damage. Live aboard is however recommended over staying at Mabul as you are guaranteed to go diving everyday, something the resorts can´t due to limited number of passes to the national park. The food is OK, there is a buffet for all meals with a variety of Malaysian dishes, but you get a bit sick of deep fried food everyday for all three meals.

Recommended for
Great dive site, local dive masters and beautiful island
  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • YuenMee W
  • Netherlands Netherlands
Great fun with a good crew and some great divings.

Dive @ sipadan ;-), @ baraccuda point, awesome dive when seeing a group of sharks (more than 6) swimming arround. Also the jackfishes and baraccuda group in circle was pretty amazing.

Recommended for
Friendly crew, dive sites, people
  • 6.0 Review score
  • Wing Lok K
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong
Good diving but the cabins are uncomfortable

Considering the cheap price, I would rate this trip 8 points out of ten

Recommended for
Diving, sunny skies, buffet
  • 7.6 Good
  • Kenneth M
  • United States United States
Celebes Live Aboard

Trip was a good value, you get to dive Sipadan four times most every day. Resorts in the area will likely let you go every third day or so. The boat needed some maintenance work, though, the generator cut out several times during the week I was on board. Boat crew and divemasters did a good job. One thing to note, though, is that night diving is not permitted at present due to curfew. (The itinerary I received said night dives at Mabul would be included, but this is not the case at the moment...)

Recommended for
Daily Sipadan Diving
  • 8.0 Very good
  • robert S
  • United States United States
AWESOME dive guide but the livaboard boat the celebes was falling apart!

we were SO dissappointed to find out that there was to be NO NIGHT DIVES allowed AT ALL in the last two years, you would think that they would say something about this on ANY website, but i guess because of the kidnappings, then it would just scare tourists off. but if you are into ANY night diving, we wish we could get a comp trip because of THAT idssappointtment. alone as the site still promises night dives. even though the boat was belching rust chunks out of the smokestack, and it was puking gobs of oil which caused oil slicks larger than the exxon valdez spill which we had to keep outrunning, we were told that there was a new one being built. ready in two years! the generators were turned off about 3 times a day and you had to re start the air con every time. the dive runabout boat was in the same condition of being ready to take a dive. or a dump....but the guides were awesome and the boatman was great and professional. the condition and maintenance was deplorable. we had to walk in a pool of piss water everytime we went to the bathroom because the ship was overweighted on one side where it did not drain. but if you want to dive dive dive the sipadan sites, you are in for a treat we went every morning to pick up the flag that announces we HAVE A PERMIT TO DIVE 3-4 DIVES PER DAY!!! the food!!! it always smelled really great, but then they added too much sauce to drown out the garlic flavor that you could smell in the beginning stages... the cleavered chicken left a lot to be desired. the chicken ALWAYS almost was cleavered and then battered or put in the soup and if the back ribs excite you then you got no bones to pick! they end up in your mouth and throat. if they coul dONLY stop cooking the food until it is burned to non recognition we would have been happier. but we love to dive so all the rest is piddly. this is NOT a comfort boat! but the staff is very freindly and obliging! and raf , the dive guide was super at finding all sorts of

Recommended for
RAF the dive guide was great, the boatman was super and the food was the same but cooked different and disguised with lots of sauce.
  • 8.0 Very good
  • Neil W
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom
Multiple schools of many kinds, hundreds of green turtles & pelagics

Very enjoyable, we only had 4 diving customers on the boat. Tom our dive guide was brilliant, through his wealth of knowledge we saw plenty of what Sipadan had to offer. Also he knew exactly how to run a dive at a sensible speed & not rushing the dive. My only two faults are, 1. Liveaboard.com are still advertising night dives on this trip, which was one of the factors for me booking this trip. This has not been possible for all of 2015, possibly longer, as there is a 19.00 hrS curfew in the area, due to security problems. We had four reasonably heavily armed police onboard for the whole trip, this was not mentioned also. 2. I had requested Nitrox for the trip, but didn't get as the boat had no request from Liveaboard.com. The crew mix their own Nitrox from medical oxygen cylinders so there is a limited supply on the boat, so no formal request, no Nitrox, bit disappointed & had to be watchful of my deco times on third dive.

Recommended for
twenty one dives on sipadan , diving through huge schools of barracuda & jacks. Numerous green turtles on every five
  • 5.6 Review score
  • Brian N
  • United States United States
You get to dive Sipadan everyday, everything else is the cost for doing that

The reason you chose this boat is you want to dive Sipadan everyday. If you stay other places you only get to dive there occasionally, but you would also be staying in a much nicer place. The boat is ok, but needs maintenance in some places. The crew generally acts like there is no competition, which there is not. The military on board watch movies and fish all day and the food, while good, is pretty much the same everyday. The boat also never left Mabul island, so you are taking the same small boats to Sipadan and eating on the island the same as every other resort. Basically any advantage of a livaboard has been negated by either the limitations or policies of the boat. If you are looking to dive Sipadan everyday chose this boat, just know the price is a substandard boat with crew that occasionally appears to care about you as a customer.

Recommended for
The diving, the fish while diving, and the dive guides
Origin: US