View Full Version : Similan Liveaboard - Black Manta
October 8th, 2010, 04:50 AM
I'm heading back to Thailand to dive the Similans, having done a trip about 6 years ago. Whilst the Daranee was great then, its time to upgrade.
I've read a lot of useful info on the mid-range boats. I'm trying to decide between Black Manta, Old White Manta or Pawara. (or a combo as i plan to do 2 back to back trips in Feb).
I'll be most likely travelling solo. I've read rave reviews on the Black Manta - in people's experience does this tend to be mainly couples? I'd prefer a mix is all in which case am thinking Pawara or White manta may suit better. Any feedback appreciated.
October 8th, 2010, 07:48 AM
I've been on the BM several times. Every time it has been mixed but with mostly singles vs. couples. I like the BM as it has a really wide back deck to kit up on and a great crew. Will dive again March 28 - April 1 :) Looking fwd to visiting Phuket as well.
October 8th, 2010, 11:10 PM
Between those 3 I would recommend Black Manta, you could also include Queen Scuba (http://www.thailand-scuba.com/similans-liveaboards-diving-C2.htm) in your shortlist, in many ways comparable to Black Manta.
For back to back trips, it may be more comfortable to stay on the same boat, but a different boat will visit more different divesites. So there is something to say for both. Have you considered doing a Similans trip in combination with a trip to the South Andaman, with places like Hin Daeng? Scuba Adventure (http://www.thailand-scuba.com/phuket-liveaboards-diving-B3.htm) is at the moment good value for money as is Discovery (http://www.thailand-scuba.com/phuket-liveaboards-diving-B1.htm). There are more options, but those two boats offer 3 days/3 nights trips, which makes the whole experience much more relaxing and worthwhile in comparison with 2 days.
October 9th, 2010, 12:59 AM
Thanks to both! I think Black Manta sounds perfect. I love the look of the dive deck - very important when you're there to dive. Except the time I'm there (early-mid feb) one BM trip is booked out. So i will mix the boats - although i would much prefer to go black manta for both. At least i'll be able to offer a good comparison for others!
Stevenl I'll look into the Hin Daeng option. Last time i dived there i didn't enjoy it that much, but i think it was a really rare off day. are three trips a bit over the top?
October 9th, 2010, 01:18 AM
I would love to sell you 3 trips, but I think it is a bit over the top.
Personally I would prefer 1 Similans trip, maybe 5 or 6 days in stead of the standard 4 days, followed by 1 Hin Daeng trip, preferably 3 days, in stead of 2 Similans trips for the standard 4 days.
October 9th, 2010, 02:48 AM
I agree with you. I was originally hoping for to head up to burma. But have been reading quite negative reports (for the most part). Next option was 5 or 6 day similan, but in feb didn't seem to be much available. So then i thought 2 trips. Last time i dived similan I wanted to go straight back out and do it all again, so why not just book that from the start. I like diving sites again, i find i see more the second/third time around as i'm not busy thinking about where the boat is! I will think strongly about the hin daeng option instead though.
October 10th, 2010, 09:16 PM
What about MV Mermaid II (http://www.divetheworldliveaboards.com/liveaboard-thailand-mermaid-ii-main.php)- she has trips with spaces in mid-February for both southern and northern trips.
You can take a regular 4 night Similan cruise or a 3 night cruise to the southern sites and islands of Hin Daeng, Hin Muang, Koh Ha and Phi Phi Islands. But the most popular aspect is that you can combine the 2 safaris into a 7-night Andaman Sea Safari and get the very best of Thailand diving in 1 magical trip.
She is definatley an up-grade from MV Daranee but you may find she attracts more couples than singles.
Here is a video of MV Mermaid II. (http://www.youtube.com/user/DiveTheWorldVids#p/u/6/WgQio3orwp8)