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The Scuba Diver’s guide to:

10 BEST AGGRESSOR LIVEABOARD EXPERIENCES

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The author:

Anastasia

Summer Worsley

PADI Instructor & Writer
Summer has been teaching scuba for the last 10 years.

With more than 20 vessels operating in 20 countries, it’s safe to say that the Aggressor fleet is one of the world’s favorite ways to go liveaboard diving in almost any sea.

Since the Cayman Aggressor was first launched in 1984, the adventure company has gone from strength to strength, and if you’re choosing a liveaboard dive trip, you’ve probably seen the Aggressor name come up time and time again.

But with so many dive-soaked adventures in the sun to choose from, which Aggressor liveaboard should you pick? Each ship is different, sailing in different oceans.

Fear not, underwater adventurer, DIVEIN.com is here to help you. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Aggressor liveaboard trips for your consideration, and gone over why we love them so much. For each vessel there’s a link to an in-depth review if you’re interested in knowing more about them.

Let’s kick things off with our number one choice, a liveaboard trip we’re excited to take and one that is well off the beaten track…

Areas where you’ll find Aggressor Liveaboard experiences

Location


  1. all
  2. Caribbean
  3. Central & South America
  4. Indian Ocean
  5. Red Sea
  6. South East Asia

1. Arabian Aggressor, Sudan and Djibouti

Okay, a small confession here: we haven’t actually been on this trip yet as it’s brand-spanking new in 2021. However, any liveaboard trip that will take up to the far southern reaches of the Red Sea is high on our to-do lists. Fancy exploring pristine dive sites with unparalleled biodiversity? Or drifting on warm, sweeping currents around unique topographical features? How about diving with oceanic white tip sharks and their pilot fish passengers?

The waters around southern Sudan and Djibouti are rarely dived, and there’s a strong chance these sites will offer us the kind of big-fish energy we get from Red Sea sites such as Brothers and Daedalus reef.

Arabian Aggressor trips from Sudan were scheduled to kick off in February 2021 and run until June. Djibouti trips, meanwhile, were scheduled to run from November to February. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has changed this planning, but stay tuned for updates.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 7 and 10-day options available in Sudan and Djibouti
  • Home ports: Port Ghalib, Egypt and Port of Djibouti, Djibouti
  • Passengers: 20
  • Number of cabins: 10
  • Boat length: 120 feet
  • Must-dive site: Seven Brothers Islands
  • Good chance of seeing hammerheads, oceanics, giant trevally, and mantas
  • Excellent soft corals and general reef biodiversity
  • Currents may be strong

all Red Sea

2. Galapagos Aggressor, The Galapagos Islands

It’s rare to find a round-up of the best liveaboard experiences without a mention of the Galapagos, and we’re not going to make an exception here either. When you combine some of the world’s most unique diving with the Aggressor fleet’s level of service, it’s a winning combination.

Dive with seals, marine iguana, schooling hammerheads, and much more. All equatorial islands offer exceptional dives, and that’s what you should expect on this trip in Galapagos Aggressor. Plus, you’ll get to spend a little time on land and see what inspired Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist, and Origin of the Species author, on his journey to these lands.

This is a trip of a lifetime and not one to be missed.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 7-day trips
  • Home port: Baltra, Galapagos
  • Passengers: 16
  • Number of cabins: 8
  • Boat length: 100 feet
  • Must-dive site: Wolf Island
  • Warm, 7 mm wetsuits or drysuits are essential
  • Tidal changes and weather conditions may affect the planned route
  • Life on land is almost as exciting as life underwater!

all Central & South America

3. Raja Ampat Aggressor, Indonesia

Located right in the middle of the Coral Triangle, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat is recognized as having one of the richest coral reef ecosystems worldwide. As a result, the diving here is nothing short of fantastic. The Raja Ampat Aggressor covers the Four Kings area, which is home to 1500 islands, meaning there’s plenty to discover and explore.

Choose the Raja, Halmahera, and Lembeh route if you want to add a little muck and macro diving to your journey. Or take the lesser-dived Derawan Islands route to head to the Celebes Sea. Whichever of the three possible routes you choose, you’re assured to spot plenty of life, both big and small.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: Four different itineraries with 7, 10, and 12-night trips.
  • Home port: Raja Ampat
  • Passengers: 16
  • Number of cabins: 8
  • Boat length: 100 feet
  • Must-dive site: Lembeh Strait
  • A great mix of muck and reef diving
  • All dives are made from tenders, not the dive deck
  • Macro photography mecca

all South East Asia

4. Bahamas Aggressor, The Bahamas

The much-loved Bahamas Aggressor has been a diver favorite for years and offers three different itineraries.

Explore the Exuma Cays and Sea Park, a large protected area of 176 square miles featuring around 350 small islands or choose the West End Northern Adventure to get up close and personal with some of the most lively reefs in the Caribbean. Plus, one journey takes you to the aptly named Tiger Beach, where you can keep your mask pointed on the blue and look for tiger sharks.

The Bahamas have everything for everyone. When the dive trip is over, spend some time kicking back on their picture-perfect beaches, swim with pigs (yes, pigs), and sip on a cocktail or three.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: Three itineraries of 7 and 10 nights available
  • Home port: Nassau, Bahamas
  • Passengers: 14
  • Number of cabins: 6
  • Boat length: 100 feet
  • Must-dive site: Mount Olympus
  • No night dives on the Tiger Beach itinerary
  • Quad cabins available, great for groups
  • A good choice for divers with less experienc

all Caribbean

5. Palau Aggressor, Palau

When it comes to a diving trip out into the Pacific, you can’t beat the Palau Aggressor. Discover World war II wrecks, caves, reefs, and plenty of sharky channels and inlets. One thing we love about this destination is that it offers year-round diving, and every season is different — visit Palau once, twice, even three times and you’ll still want to go back for more.

If you love mantas, take a trip from December to March for mating season and dive with these gentle giants. And if getting amidst the fish is your thing, you’ll love the huge bait balls in the German Channel and on Blue Corner.

The average water temperature here is 82° Fahrenheit, 27° Celcius, so you’ll only need a thin, 3 mm wetsuit.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 7-night trips
  • Home port: Koror, Palau
  • Passengers: 18
  • Number of cabins: 9
  • Boat length: 106 feet
  • Must-dive site: Big Drop Off
  • Hammocks on the sun deck get nabbed quickly, be fast!
  • Opportunity to snorkel in Jellyfish Lake
  • New divers may find Palau’s currents challenging

all South East Asia

6. Okeanos Aggressor I, Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Another perennial favorite, the Okeanos Aggressor liveaboard takes you to the equatorial island of Cocos. Famed for its schooling sharks, this is the trip for die-hard shark lovers and blue water aficionados alike. Experience deep drop-offs, sweeping currents, and some of the best visibility you can imagine.

Your journey will take you 342 miles off Costa Rica's coast--toward Galapagos--to dive on the jagged pinnacles surrounding Cocos. Think big underwater creatures and big underwater action and you’re on track with what to expect. We love exploring the rainforest and waterfalls on the island itself, something guests on the Okeanos Aggressor can do if the weather is favorable, and it so very often is at this geographical point.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 10-night trips
  • Home port: Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Passengers: 22
  • Number of cabins: 10
  • Boat length: 100 feet
  • Must-dive site: Alcyone
  • One quad cabin aboard, great for a small group
  • Opportunity to explore the World Heritage island
  • This is a very remote destination, expect sailing time

all Central & South America

7. Maldives Aggressor, The Maldives

Few places in the world draw divers like the Maldives. Combine more than a thousand islands, hundreds of miles of coastline, and you get an archipelago that begs to be dived. Plus, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean mean you’ll be warm while you’re down there.

Known as a haven for whale sharks and manta rays, the Maldives also offers a kaleidoscope of reef fish, sharks of all varieties, and plenty of soft and hard corals. As the destination is so popular, the best way to explore underwater is always from a liveaboard. The Maldives Aggressor offers three different routes to varied areas, so if you’re hooked on this island nation after your first trip, there are two more exciting voyages waiting for you.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: Three itineraries and 7 and 10-night trips available
  • Home port: Male, Maldives
  • Passengers: 22
  • Number of cabins: 11
  • Boat length: 135 feet
  • Must-dive site: Lankan Beyru (aka Manta Point)
  • All dives are made from a palatial, 60-foot skiff
  • The Maldives’ dive sites can have heavy currents
  • Travel between May and November for peak manta times

all Indian Ocean

8. Thailand Aggressor, Thailand

Thailand is known as the land of smiles, and this moniker holds true for divers who have taken a journey on the Thailand Aggressor. Travel from the ship’s home port to the Andaman sea, which is located off Thailand’s West coast, and dive on the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock, and more.

Expect warm, clear waters, plenty of tropical reef fish, a leopard shark or two, and the odd manta and whale shark on this seven-night trip. Plus, macro photographers will find plenty to keep their cameras trained on — nudibranchs, pipefish, gobies, and hawkfish and other small critters can be found on these reefs. Fans of diverse topography will love the swim-throughs at Elephant Head Rock and Shark Fin Reef.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 7-night trips available
  • Home port: Taplamu Pier, Thailand
  • Passengers: 16
  • Number of cabins: 8
  • Boat length: 115 feet
  • Must-dive site: Elephant Head Rock
  • All dives are made from skiffs
  • The Thailand Aggressor features a jacuzzi on the sun deck
  • Master cabins are palatial and ideal for couples

all South East Asia

9. Cayman Aggressor, The Cayman Islands

No list of the best Aggressor dive adventures would be complete without the Cayman Aggressor, the company’s first liveaboard experience and still one of its most popular. The Cayman Islands are located a short flight away from Miami, making it an ideal destination for American travelers who don’t want to sit on a plane for hours on end.

Plus, there’s no need to limit your Cayman diving exploration by sticking to one island as the Cayman Aggressor visits sites across Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and, weather permitting, Cayman Brac. Expect big walls, cracking visibility, and balmy tropical waters, and as there are very few sites with a strong current, this trip is perfect for newer or inexperienced divers.

Popular sites include Stingray City and the Bloody Bay Wall, but there are also a few wrecks to match the reefs and keep wreck-heads happy.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 7-night trips available
  • Home port: George Town, Grand Cayman
  • Passengers: 25
  • Number of cabins: 10
  • Boat length: 120 feet
  • Must-dive site: Bloody Bay Wall
  • Ideal first liveaboard trip for new divers
  • Exceptional service onboard
  • Optional trips ashore via the liveaboard’s tender

all Caribbean

10. Socorro Aggressor, Mexico

Calling all pelagic lovers, pay attention because here’s the trip for you. The Revillagigedo Islands, commonly called Socorro, are three barren volcanic outcrops — Socorro, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida. Because these seamounts are so far offshore, they’re a beacon to large pelagic species, including giant manta rays who are quite happy to cruise along right beside divers.

It’s not only the mantas that are friendly either; bottlenose dolphins also seem content to swim with divers, and the whale sharks aren’t reticent. This trip is definitely one for the bucket list. Mexico has quite a few actually. But, it’s not higher on our list for one reason only: the strong currents and unpredictable waters mean Socorro is best reserved for experienced divers chasing some serious wet and wild action.

Need to Knows

  • Itineraries: 8-night trips available
  • Home port: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Passengers: 26
  • Number of cabins:13
  • Boat length: 135 feet
  • Must-dive site: The Boiler, San Benedicto
  • Night dives are not allowed on this trip
  • Bring a warm (5 or 7 mm) wetsuit as the waters here are temperate
  • Humpback whales can be spotted between November and June

all Caribbean

 

That completes our list of the best 10 Aggressor liveaboard trips. Click on the Aggressor yacht that interested you most and read the in-depth review that will outline more of what you can expect.

We’re working on getting someone onboard the Arabian Aggressor and will review it as soon as possible.

We hope you’re inspired for your next adventure! For further information on these trips and more, head to the Aggressor website here.

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