Welcome aboard the newly remodeled Marco Polo liveaboard. This 23m/75 feet beauty, complete with seven cabins, was built in 1998 and received a complete makeover in 2016. The Marco Polo offers a complete menu of diving services including; guided dives, partner dives, boat diving, and snorkeling. Your dive adventure is meticulously planned to meet your desires, as you tour the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, and Richelieu Rock.
Our Overall Review
Things we like:
Many people said the liveaboard is small and sets a mood of intimacy and privacy with you an the great big ocean.
Some people stated that the diving instructor brought all his expertise to the table to ensure the best diving locations are obtained.
Many people were happy with chance to get see bobtail squad, peacock mantis shrimp and many other macro marine life.
Some people stated that the food was flavorful and had a variety of spices performing dazzling tricks in your mouth.
Things we don't like:
- A few people claimed that there was a scarcity in marine life on some locations.
- Many people stated that the gas smell from the engine room hovered in the lower decks.
Diving on the MV Marco Polo liveaboard Thailand
Unlike most liveaboards in Similan Islands, guests of the MV Marco Polo leave directly from Phuket. The MV Marco Polo offers guests 6-night dive trips to the Andaman Sea between November and April every year. Being a rather small boat, the MV Marco Polo caters for just 14 people to ensure there is enough space for everyone. With seven cabins, passengers of this exceptional boat can book the entire cabin or share a twin bunk-bed cabin with another diver. The liveaboard also has a honeymoon cabin for newlyweds at the front, that offers better views than other cabins on board.
While there is a range of options and levels of comfort and price, everyone on the MV Marco Polo gets a good night’s rest. The Bauer tank-filling compressors on the MV Marco Polo are barely audible, and the air-conditioning can be controlled by the guests independently. There is enough space for just 14 guests to relax, socialize, or find somewhere to be alone. And there’s a large, covered diving deck for everyone to enter or exit the water safely.
Like most Similan diving boats, crew members at the MV Marco Polo ensure that each diving group is small and the levels of divers in each group are similar. Guests of the boat are served meals before, between and after diving sessions. The meals are a combination of local and international cuisine. The MV Marco Polo offers comforts such as audio and visual entertainments.
The length of the trip at the Marco Polo means you don’t have to rush. With six days and six nights of fun, there is enough time to ensure that you visit the best dive sites in the Similan Islands without you missing a thing. The trip includes stop-overs at Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, and Richelieu Rock.
A special feature of this unique boat is the number of dives involved. Twenty-two dives, which include four-night dives and several dives at the world-famous Richelieu Rock. It is more than enough for even the most enthusiastic scuba divers.
Worth noting is that Nitrox is available for certified divers. Non-divers are also welcome on board.
The MV Marco Polo departs Chalong, Phuket every Tuesday evening. Guests are usually picked from different locations earlier as the departure time is often 8 pm and the boat drives through the night.
The trip’s first dive occurs at an easier site, always referred to as the “check dive.” Decisions on who will dive and with whom are made by the divemasters after assessing the confidence and air consumption of each diver. Couples and friends often want to dive together, and this is usually discussed on the morning of the dive.
There are two-morning dives on the final day of the cruise before the Marco Polo returns to Phuket usually around 6 pm.
Best time to go
The best time to go on a cruise trip on the MV Marco Polo is usually between November and April as visibility, and other conditions are mostly perfect at that time of the year. But if you are interested in diving with whale sharks, the best time to go is between February and May.