Liveaboard Diving in Semporna


Liveaboard diving from Semporna, Borneo will take divers to the world famous dive areas of Sipadan, Kapalai & Mabul. Semporna is located on the eastern coast of Sabah, Malaysia on the world's third largest island of Borneo. Resting on the tip of the Semporna Peninsula in the Celebes Sea, Semporna is known for the Regatta Lepa traditional boat races held annually in April, but mostly, visitors to Semporna to depart for some world-class scuba diving.

The islands off of the small seaside town of Semporna are famous for their white sandy beaches and lush tropical vegetation. Reef sharks patrol the lush coral walls. Dozens of turtles graze among the sweeping seascapes. Giant whirling schools of barracuda can be spotted throughout the waters.

Semporna is located just a few degrees above the equator. Most liveaboard dives in this region are between 20-40 meters and waters are some of the warmest on Earth ranging between 24-34 degrees Celsius. Sunshine is the forecast most days with a bit of rain at night, humid with light winds year round.


Semporna is situated just a short distance from many of the world's most pristine ecosystems, making it a perfect launch point for divers looking to maximize their holiday underwater time. Legendary diving in Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai are all within a short trip aboard the Celebes Explorer Malaysia Liveaboard.

Acclaimed by Jacques Cousteau as "an untouched piece of art", Sipadan diving has become so popular since the 1990s that Malaysian officials allow only 120 permits per day - but for good reason. The pristine ecosystem is teeming with turtles, eels, sharks, barracuda, huge schools of tropical fish, shrimp, lobsters, frogfish, nudibranchs and otherwise unparalleled marine diversity that is worth protecting for future generations.

Mabul and Kapalai have also become dive destinations in their own right in recent years as divers explore and experience muck diving, artificial reefs; an oil rig; small, sunken ship wrecks; and overhangs.

On the Semporna liveaboard, Celebes Explorer, divers will experience 4-5 dives per day exploring this fantastic area, subject to weather conditions, conducted through a chased boat which comfortably can sit 10 divers.

More than 3000 species living in the waters off the coasts of Semporna, Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai mean that even experienced divers will be checking critters off of the scuba bucket list.


To arrive at your liveaboard cruise on the Celebes Explorer, book a flight to Tawau from either Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur. Both Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia offer daily flights from Kuala Lumpur. Arrive at Tawau Airport and meet your fellow divers and be transferred by van or bus (1 hour) to Semporna. From Semporna you will embark on your Malaysian liveaboard adventure on the Celebes Explorer to Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai Islands.

Guests choosing to stay longer in Semporna may choose from about a dozen hotels around town ranging from 10 to 80RM (3-20USD) per night. Scuba Junkie Bar & Restaurant is a good place to meet other divers and is known for offering the best western food in Borneo, but there are several other local seafood restaurants in town. Getting around by taxi is common, although because of the size, Semporna is mostly a walking town.

Origin: US