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Best Liveaboard Serving The Socorro Islands

Discussion in 'Liveaboards & Charter Boats' started by DeepSeaDan, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    1,023
    174
    Greetings,

    Am looking for recommendations for liveaboard operators going to the Socorro Islands. We are looking at March/April 2016.
    Your thoughts and comments are much appreciated.

    Regards,
    DeepSeaDan
     
  2. itempleton

    itempleton Registered

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    29
    6
    The following all seem to get consistently good reviews:

    Rocio Del Mar
    Solmar V
    Nautilus Explorer

    I've been on the Nautilus Explorer twice and would recommend them. They also have a new boat - the Belle Amie.
     
  3. Hintermann

    Hintermann Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, UK
    1,049
    317
    I just went on Rocio del Mar and it was superb. All of those 3 boats mentioned above get good reviews but these days the RdM seems very popular.
     
    Dora the Explorer likes this.
  4. jameseg

    jameseg Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Minnesota
    294
    85
    I second the Rocio del Mar recommendation. I was on the Sea of Cortez itinerary on this boat about a year ago. The boat, crew, and food were fantastic.

    I've heard good things about the other two operators mentioned as well, but no personal experience. All 3 of these boats seem to book up well in advance, so I'd recommend pulling the trigger sooner rather than later if your dates are set.

    James
     
    Dora the Explorer likes this.
  5. peeweediver

    peeweediver Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago area
    507
    389
    Agree that you probably can't go wrong with any of the three. I've been on the Solmar V and loved every minute of it. Our dive shop is headed back there in November for the 3rd time with Solmar V and for many of the group this is the 3rd trip and they would go back every year on Solmar V if they could.
    You can't go wrong. Read the boat specs and decide from there. The only variable will be weather and water temperature. Sharks aren't fond of warmer temps.

    Rob
     
  6. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    1,023
    174
    Thanks folks! Looks like I'm going to have to book soon as the more popular times are filling up. I have a group of about 7 of us interested, though no solid commitments yet from anyone. I may be booking on single if the others waffle too long. I've seen one thread in this forum where A fella was trying to unload his berth, so I may go that route.

    I've been reading about extra fees, has anyone had to pay the fuel surcharge? What about the cancellation insurance? One operator quoted $240.00 for their recommended insurance - is that what you bought, or are there better deals about?

    Again, thank you for your help!

    Regards,
    DSD
     
  7. ASA400

    ASA400 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Nevada
    219
    31
    For the price of the trip, 240 sounds about right. I'm on the RDM trip to Sea of Cortez which is about $1000 less than the Socorro trip and my trip insurance was about 145. That was through DAN.

    As for fuel surcharge, earlier this year, the RDM people said there would be a $40 surcharge due to the petrol price going over 14 peso/ltr, but I haven't heard anything since about it.

    Don't forget that when you go on these boats, they "suggest" a 10-15% tip at the end of the trip, preferably paid in cash so the crew can split it up on the spot. That will incur an additional $300-500 for your trip price. There's also possible extra fees for park permits, chamber fees and nitrox should you want it. Plan accordingly.
     
  8. Hintermann

    Hintermann Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, UK
    1,049
    317
    While this is not a comparison of Captains of all the Socorro boats, I'd like to make a special comment about the excellent Captain of the Rocio del Mar. That was my 19th liveaboard in 16 of the previous 18 trips, we seldom saw the Captain once the boat set sail and they concentrated on running the boat and did not interact much with the guests. The RdM Captain on the other hand, was available every day, willing to consider requests and was part of the crew. He was always around to offer help and advice where required. Apart from other considerations (which were also excellent), the excellence of the crew and particularly the Captain on the RdM is a major plus point to go on the boat.

    By the way, the other two boats where I found the Captains doing their best for the guests are Captain Joji of Island Dancer (Fiji) and Amanda Smith of Turks & Caicos Aggressor.
     
  9. DeepSeaDan

    DeepSeaDan Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    1,023
    174
    Holy Crap!

    The Socorro Islands is indeed a POPULAR dive location! I've been struggling to get myself & a couple of mates a berth on one of the many boats heading there in March, 2016, yet all I see is SOLD OUT! Right into 2017 & 2018 for the prime seasons!

    Finally, I have a hold on 3 spots for the Southern Sport, and am awaiting direction to book. Whew! There is no way I can't wait till' 2019 to go there!!

    I've found but one review of the Southern Sport, does anyone know anything about her or the Operator?

    Thanks again to all those who provided assistance.

    Regards,
    DSD
     
  10. Bogdan

    Bogdan Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bethesda, MD, United States
    49
    3
    We were on the Nautilus Explorer recently (March/April 2015) based on past recommendations on ScubaBoard and friends who had been on the Solmar V and we were very disappointed. We had a large group and we had been on multiple liveaboards so I feel I can make an informed comparison to other boats. The easiest thing to complain about was the food, which was really subpar. Also, since they launched the Belle Amie it seems as if they split the experienced crew between the two boats and so what had been the selling point of the boat (crew experience) was at a minimum. Many of the crew were there for the first time and were still being trained. I noticed that our cabin which was located to the back of the boat had a constant smell of sewage which everyone on that floor noticed and found amusing (we however were not amused). Hopefully, that was a small problem that they fixed after our trip otherwise I feel sorry whoever
    s reserving our cabin :) Most importantly, when we tried to make constructive comments about our experience to the management after our trip (and in response to the requests for feedback) we were essentially discounted and told that what we said couldn't have been true. As we left towards the airport I spoke with several other people that were "regulars" on the boat and they felt the same way, that quality had really dropped off significantly. The Socorros are a magical place, but I would not recommend the Socorro Explorer. Incidentally, the Belle Amie has had nothing but problems since its launch earlier this year with several trips being cancelled. Even during our March/April trip, the Belle Amie excursion was delayed and they had to catch up to us on several occasions to take food, boat parts and our most experienced divemaster. I hope this helps.
     

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