What is a Discovery / Adventure cruise?
Discovery / Adventure cruise consist of live-aboard boat with island hopping, Mangrove tour, island trekking, Kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching and observation of native Salone or Moken sea gypsies. Meals are served on the boat with dedicated cook. You can discover the hidden and well protected beauty of Nature in its pristine condition.
What is liveaboard diving cruise?
Diving facilities and living accommodation for divers are provided or live aboard diving cruise. The boat becomes your home and you eat, sleep and dive from it! Liveaboard boats stay at sea for the duration of the cruise and therefore can explore more remote destinations. This type of diving opens up a whole of top class scuba opportunities that would simply not be available on a regular daytrip boat.
When is the best time to visit?
The Myanmar (Burma) dive season runs from end of October to April. The weather and Andaman Sea are at their calmest during the months of February to April and this is when visibility is at its best. This time of year is also manta ray and whale shark season.
What will the water temperature be like?
Beautiful, during the day time 26-29°C or 79-84°F! The water temperature will be about 26-29°C.
Will I need a visa for Myanmar?
Yes. Most travellers will get a visa-on-arrival in Myanmar and we will take care of the procedure when you enter the country while you relax or explore. It takes no time at all. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your cruise.
Is it safe to travel in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago?
Yes, it is! There are no violent conflicts in our sailing area, nor are there any pirates.
The archipelago is not home to crocodiles and, unless you swim around with cutlets tied to your hips, you are very unlikely to attract the attention of sharks. In fact, the number of sharks in the area has unfortunately dwindled due to shark fishing.
There is a mid-level malaria risk in southern Myanmar and you should take precautions by using mosquito-repellent and wearing long sleeves and trousers if onshore at night (which you are unlikely to be much).
All guests should get a suitable travel insurance before joining our cruises.
Is it ethically OK to travel to Myanmar?
We think so.
Until a couple of years ago, Myanmar was shunned by most international travellers. Visiting the country was seen as endorsement of the then military dictatorship, a view supported by Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader. Since then, things have fundamentally changed in Myanmar and Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest. She and her party now embrace individual and ethical tourism by travellers whose money does not go straight into the pockets of the generals. We are here to support just that.
How do I book?
Easy. Just send us an email stating your preferred cruise dates, number of guests and preferred cabin type. We will be in touch to confirm or answer your questions. Also do let us know if you preferred to charter the whole boat/ yacht for a private cruise.
We accept all major debit and credit cards via paypal, paypal payments and bank transfers. Card payments and paypal transfer incur a charge of 2%. In case of payments by bank transfers, clients need to ensure that the net amount is transferred and all transfer charges their bank may apply are debited from their account.
How far in advance do I need to book?
Due to the limited number of reliable boat operators running liveaboards in Burma, you must try to book 2-3 months in advance to ensure availability. You can always check with us by sending an email.
Where can you pick me up from?
We can arrange transfers to your liveaboard from your hotel in Kawthaung and Ranong, jetty in Ranong and also from the airports in Kawthaung and Ranong if you arrive just before the departure of your boat. Please make sure you check the departure and arrival time of the boat in Kawthaung for your trip before booking y our flights. Please advice us of your preferred transfer point before you arrive.
What about money, cash and the local currency?
The local currency is the Myanmar Kyat (MMK) with an exchange rate of 1 USD to about 1,000 MMK. Do bring cash as the newly installed ATMs in Kawthaung may not function and as credit cards are not always accepted. For any purchases in the region, you can also use Thai Bhat – the change you will receive will most likely be in Kyat.
What kind of food is served?
Chinese, Myanmar, Thai cusine for meals and European breakfast is served on board. The standard of cuisine is quite good throughout the industry here.
Can I request vegetarian food?
Yes, you can. You just need to tell us your dietary requirements at the time of your booking and we will cater as per your request.
Can I bring alcohol on board?
Yes, you can bring any food and drink you would like on board. If you have a favourite tipple or taste, feel free to bring it along.
Is there on-board power, fresh water and internet?
It is recommended to rechange your batteries while cruising current is stable during cruising as we can run large generator. Please check with the boat captain how to change your batteries. There is fresh water for showering and in the kitchen. Internet is not available on-board.
What else should I bring?
You don’t need much. Bring your bathers, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, your camera and you’re pretty much set! It’s best to also bring mosquito repellent and you may want to consider bringing anti-malarial tablets. Do remember to get a travel insurance before joining our cruise. On board, you won’t need shoes but you can bring flip-flops or reef shoes for beach outings if you want.
What should I bring on board?
All your personal equipment (expect tanks, weights and weight belts), barthers, beach towels, toiletries, T-shirts, shorts, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, prescription medicines if you take one, your camera and an underwater digital camera if you need one for diving or snorkelling. You may also want to bring something a little warmer for the evenings.
It would be great if you could bring soft luggage instead of a hard-case suitcase so that it can be stored away more easily after unpacking.
We provide full lodging, including bedding, towels, all meals, water and soft drinks. We also provide fishing and snorkelling equipment and first-aid, if necessary. We recommend you brin your personal first aid kits for your convenience.
Where can I leave my access baggage when I go on a cruise?
If your hotel can not help you store your baggage, then we are more than willing to help. You can store your bags at our office in Kawthaung for the duration of your liveaboard trip. Please don’t leave any valuables and money, take these with you.
Will I get sea sick?
All the liveaboards in the Mergui Archipelago use mooring points to over-night at the islands visited on the cruise. These mooring points are located in the island’s bays, sheltered away from any open sea swells. If you are particularly susceptible to motion sickness, then you should consider joining a cruise in February to April, when the seas are very calm. Do bring your own motion sickness medicine.
Do I need a travel insurance?
Yes. Before joining any of our tours in Mergui Archipelago, you need to get a suitable travel insurance that covers for your journey in Myanmar water and remote Mergui Archipelago and the activities you will be participating during the trip.
Is Malaria a problem?
The Myanmar liveaboard scuba destinations are free of Malaria. However, please do bring mosquito repellent and you may want to consider bringing anti-malarial tablets if you are concerned.
Can a non-driver go on a liveaboard?
Non-drives and snorkellers are welcome on all our liveaboard safaris. Most of the sites visited offer good snorkeling too.
Do I have to share a cabin?
As space is the ultimate premium on all liveaboards, single cabins are extremely rare and expensive. Unless we manage to book you a single cabin, you will be expected to share. It may be, if the boat is not full, that you can have your own cabin but this situation can not be guaranteed. The only way to guarantee a cabin for yourself is to pay for two beds!
Can I explore the beaches at the islands?
Our Discovery/ Adventure cruise will stop at each selected destination for you to discover the island, beach & under water beauty. Please do advise the tour leader before and each time you disembark from the boat. Note, make sure you bring sun-cover of some sort as it can be very hot.
What about tipping?
Tipping is entirely a matter of your choice. If your Myanmar (Burma) liveaboard charter met or exceeded your expectations, you may wish to leave a tip of up to 10% of your cruise price. Smaller tips are welcome too!
How many dives will I make per day?
Generally you can make three dives a day. A typical liveaboard cruise day in Myanmar starts at 07:00 hrs with the first dive, and the last being either a sunset or night dive. You have about three hours between dives at your leisure.
What scuba diving license do I need?
An open water diving license is acceptable for diving in Myanmar (Burma) provided that you have an intermediate level of experience. Although there are some deep and exposed divesite sites, there are also many easy dive sites and enough divemasters on board so that you will never need to dive beyond your limits.
To make the most of your Myanmar (Burma) liveaboard diving adventure you need PADI Advanced Open Water Diver license. We can also arrange dive training with PADI certified instructors.
Are there any strong currents?
Some of the Myanmar (Burma) dive sites visited by liveaboards can have strong currents. This depends on the site, time of the month and time of the day. Your divemaster will advise you in your dive briefings. Generally, there is never an occasion when you need to swim against a strong current.
I don’t have my diving license with me, can I still visit?
If you have a PADI certification, we can check your details direct with PADI. Please provide your name as it appears on your card and your date of birth. If you contact the dive centre where you were certified, they can help you obtain a new card before you travel.
Can I dive on my own?
Liveaboards in Myanmar are recreational diving boats, and as such follow recreational scuba diving guidelines. This means you’ll be expected to dive with a buddy to a maximum depth of 40 metres and observe safe diving time limits. If you prefer to dive without a guide, then this is not a problem provided you have the required level of skills and experience, all the equipment necessary to conduct dives unassisted i.e. dive computer or timing device, safety ballon, compass and dive knife.
Can I charge the battery of my electrical applicance?
It is recommended to rechange your batteries while cruising current is stable during cruising as we can run large generator. Please check with the boat captain how to change your batteries.
Can I rent an underwater camera?
You can buy a disposable single use underwater camera with film loaded. Please check with our crew for availability. We are not able to rent a digital underwater camera, we advise to bring it with you if you want a digital underwater camera.
Will I see sharks?
We certainly hope so! Leopard sharks and white-tip reef sharks are the most common and seen on all trips. Nurse sharks and silver-tip sharks can be seen quite commonly on Burma Banks liveaboards. Whale sharks sightings also occur every year – keep your fingers crossed!
Manta rays sightings have been very common in recent years, and you will always see blue-spotted sting rays, marble rays, and fantail rays.
DIVING EQUIPMENT RENTAL
Excellent quality and regularly serviced diving gear and equipment can be rented daily or for the duration of your live-aboard trip at a competitive prices. We will deliver your equipment to the dive boat of your choice and also collect the equipment from you upon completion of your trip for your convenience and peace of mind.
New Aqualung Wave BCD. Whilst still retaining their rugged, fade resistant materials, the new Wave BCDs have been refreshed with exciting new cosmetics and additional features.
- Made from tough, fade resisant 1000D Armourshield™ Cordura©, BCDs look still new after thousands of dives!
- A scooped octo-pocket on the top of the right lobe makes it easy to deploy and stow an octopus.
- A console pocket on the left side holds the console safely in place.
- Two large utility pockets are easy to access and will hold all your goodies.
- Pull dumps are with hi-viz orange colour to be seen and found easily.
- The waistband is adjustable over 3 and removable.
- Features two stainless steel flat D-rings.
- Includes cheat strap and lower rear pull dump.
- SureLock II wieght system
Aqualung CALYPSO Regulator. This simple design makes it a popular choice for divers. It is compact, lightweight, easy to service and it breathes like a regulator of other much more expensive brand. The high-visible orangle colour accents make it a logical choice to coordinate with the Wave BCD.
Mask & Fins
Aqualung Look masks, a longstanding favourite with all divers, and snorkel. Experience has taught us that fullfoot fins worn repetatively over several dives can cause blisters so all our rental fins are open-heel supplied with booty socks.
SMB & Dive
As the tools of extra safety measures, we hightly recommend you to always take a dive computer and surface marker buoy as extended parts of your standard rental equipment.
Please do let us know if you need to hire the wet suit and the details such as size, etc at the time of booking or by sending email.
In case you require more advanced equipment, we also offer limited amounts of Pro BCDs like the legendary AquaLung PRO QD and weight integrated wing type BCDs. Please contact us with your detail rental requirements.