5 Best Palau Liveaboards (2023 Update)

Written and Reviewed By

Palau Siren Liveaboard

Palau is at the top of everyone’s bucket list of dive sites and countries to visit.

This is for good reason with all of the pelagics that you could see ranging from all different types of sharks and mantas to macro like leaffish to frogfish.

This is not to mention the hospitable people that live on these islands and the rich cultural history that is there as well.

While you could dive with a resort and most of the reefs are just offshore of the different islands you would have to travel around a lot and also this could lead to long boat trips.

To fully experience all the sites comfortably and cheaper (island hopping adds up) you will need to hop on a liveaboard. There are quite a few liveaboards and options to choose from.

Here at OtterAquatics, we have done all of the research for you and narrowed the list down to 5, allowing you to choose the boat that best fits your budget, style of diving, and dive level.

You can rest easy knowing you’ve picked one of the top liveaboards on offer.

  • Different liveaboards and the options they offer
  • What sea creatures you could see on your dives
  • The top dive sites
  • What time of the year to take a liveaboard in the
  • Other activities you can do on shore

Table of Contents

At OtterAquatics, our ultimate goal is to help you book your dream liveaboard. We’ve assembled a team of PADI, SSI, and Molchanovs instructors, as well as liveaboard cruise directors to research all available options.

How We Pick

In order to create our best liveaboard lists, the OtterAquatics team starts off by researching the liveaboard landscape for a particular region of world, listing out all of the highest-rated choices.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to go on every single liveaboard, but we go on the ones we can.

Next, we identify 3-5 liveaboards per region that are distinct best choices for different scenarios. For example, on a list, we may suggest budget options, luxury options, or a liveaboard that exclusively hits a certain dive site.

How We Review

The OtterAquatics team reviews the liveaboards on our lists by researching information on liveaboard booking websites, review websites, and our social media communities of divers.

We also contact each liveaboard mentioned on our lists ensuring the information is accurate.

Our Team of Writers

Want to learn more about who our writers are? Head over to the OtterAquatics About Page.

At OtterAquatics, our ultimate goal is to help you book your dream liveaboard. We’ve assembled a team of PADI, SSI, and Molchanovs instructors, as well as liveaboard cruise directors to research all available options.

How We Pick

In order to create our best liveaboard lists, the OtterAquatics team starts off by researching the liveaboard landscape for a particular region of world, listing out all of the highest-rated choices.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to go on every single liveaboard, but we go on the ones we can.

Next, we identify 3-5 liveaboards per region that are distinct best choices for different scenarios. For example, on a list, we may suggest budget options, luxury options, or a liveaboard that exclusively hits a certain dive site.

How We Review

The OtterAquatics team reviews the liveaboards on our lists by researching information on liveaboard booking websites, review websites, and our social media communities of divers.

We also contact each liveaboard mentioned on our lists ensuring the information is accurate.

Our Team of Writers

Want to learn more about who our writers are? Head over to the OtterAquatics About Page.

Best Liveaboards in Palau

Best Overall

Black Pearl

4.3
From $432/d
Pros:
  • Free nitrox
  • Free use of non-motorized water toys (kayaks, SUP)
  • Dedicated area for underwater camera maintenance
  • Spacious lounges and chilling outdoor areas with sundeck and jacuzzi
Cons:
  • No wifi
  • Leaves and returns mid-week
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The Black Pearl Liveaboard is a fantastic option for those looking to explore the underwater world of Micronesia.

With over 25 years of experience in the industry, the Black Pearl has established itself as one of the most reliable and high-quality liveaboards in the region. The boat has state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable staff, and comfortable accommodations (who wouldn’t want to sleep on 00x210cm latex mattresses with 300-thread count Egyptian cotton).

There is no dive minimum and is an excellent choice for both experienced and novice divers. One of the main reasons to choose the Black Pearl is the incredible diving opportunities it offers.

Micronesia is home to some of the most biodiverse and unique marine ecosystems in the world, and the Black Pearl takes you to some of the best dive sites in the region.

With multiple dives per day, you have the chance to see everything from colorful coral reefs to large schools of fish and even sharks.

The boat has spacious cabins with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and plenty of storage space for your dive gear. Onboard facilities include a large sundeck, a shaded outdoor dining area, and a comfortable indoor lounge with a library and entertainment system. The boat’s chef prepares delicious meals using locally sourced ingredients, and special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice.

Route/ Itinerary: Blue Corner, Blue Holes, Chandelier Cave, German Channel, the Ngemelis Wall, Ulong Channel (Ngerumekaol pass), Helmet Wreck, Siaes Corner/ Tunnel, Pelelius Wall/ Express.

Liveaboard Specs:

  • Max number of Guests/ Divers: 22
  • # Dives: Around 22
  • # of Cabins: 11
  • Length: 8 days
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Port: Malakal Port 
  • Onshore Excursions: Yes
  • Wifi: No
Mid Range Option

Solitude One

4.6
From $366/d
Pros:
  • Highly experienced crew
  • Very spacious & comfortable
  • Top-quality dive facilities
  • Onboard Jacuzzi
  • Small diving groups
  • Beautiful cabins
Cons:
  • Extra charge for Wi-Fi
  • Snorkel gear not included
  • Expensive
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If you’re looking for a luxurious liveaboard experience in Micronesia, the Solitude One should definitely be on your list. This beautiful vessel was just for diving and with comfort, convenience, and adventure in mind. This boat has a full range of features and amenities to make your diving trip unforgettable.

The boat itinerary takes you to some of the most incredible dive sites in Micronesia, including some that are only accessible by liveaboard.

The dive sites are chosen based on what you and the others want and the weather and diving conditions.

Whether you’re interested in exploring hard and soft coral gardens, encountering schools of barracudas, or seeing large pelagic species like sharks and rays, the Solitude One has something for everyone.

The boat’s features and amenities are also top-notch. The Solitude One has spacious cabins with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and plenty of private/ lockable storage space for your dive gear. The onboard facilities include a large sundeck, a shaded outdoor dining area, and a comfortable indoor lounge with a library and entertainment system.

The onboard chef makes your meals using fresh and locally sourced ingredients, they boat also the options for wine and beer. If you have special dietary requirements let them know ahead of time and you can be accommodated.

Route/Itinerary: Each day you will choose as a group or weather conditions pending. The boat goes to all popular areas from the North to the South.

Liveaboard Specs:

  • Max number of Guests/ Divers: 22
  • # Dives: Around 21 dives
  • # of Cabins: 10
  • Length: 8 days
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Port: Palau, Malakal
  • Onshore Excursions: Yes, Included
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
Best for Wreck Diving

Palau Aggressor II

4.5
From $290/d
Pros:
  • Explore WWII wrecks
  • Nitrox Avabile
  • Low Diver/ Guest number
Cons:
  • Smaller Boat
  • No WiFi
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The Palau Aggressor II is a premier liveaboard in Micronesia that offers an exceptional diving experience and focuses on one area.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, the Palau Aggressor II has established itself as one of the most reliable and high-quality liveaboards in the region. The boat features state-of-the-art equipment, knowledgeable staff, and comfortable accommodations, making it an excellent choice for both experienced and novice divers.

Palau is home to some of the most diverse and unique marine ecosystems in the world, and the Palau Aggressor II takes you to some of the best dive sites in the region.

With multiple dives per day, you have the chance to see everything they dreamed of including wrecks, pelagic, and macro.

The Palau Aggressor II also boasts a range of features and amenities to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The boat has spacious cabins with private bathrooms, air-conditioning hammocks, deck chairs, a bar, and music.

Meals and snacks are available throughout the day at your convenience and you can enjoy them either in the dining room or outdoor lounging areas. The quince of American options and local cuisine are served fresh and local by the onboard chef.

Overall, the Palau Aggressor II is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a top-quality diving experience in Micronesia. With its expert guides, speedy skiffs, and comfortable accommodations, this liveaboard offers everything you need for an unforgettable underwater adventure.

Route/ Itinerary: Big Drop-Off, Blue Corner, Blue Holes, Chandelier Caves, Denges Passage, German Channel, New Drop-Off, Ngedebus Coral Gardens, Ngerchong, Peleliu, Short Drop-Off, Siaes Tunnel, Ulong Channel, Wreck of the Iro Maru.

Liveaboard Specs:

  • Max number of Guests/ Divers: 18
  • # Dives: Around 22
  • # of Cabins: 9
  • Length: 8 days
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Port: Koror-Palau
  • Onshore Excursions: Yes
Best Customer Service
Palau Siren
From $425/d
Pros:
  • Black water diving (Unique Dive Expeditions)
  • Custom-built for diving
  • Almost 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio
Cons:
  • Minimum 50 dives
  • National Park Fees and Port Fees
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The Palau Siren is an elegant liveaboard yacht that sails all of the beautiful islands. The yacht is a world-renowned dive boat, that provides an exceptional diving experience. It has a professional crew that will the all of your needs, ensuring that you have an unforgettable experience. The Palau Siren is the perfect way to explore crystal-clear waters.

Divers joining the Palau Siren on The Palau Siren can have a chance to witness two of the most spectacular natural events on earth.

The first is the spawning of the Bumphead parrotfish which occurs at the new moon and the second is the red snapper at the full moon lunar cycles. Micronesia is known for its incredible underwater world, with diverse marine life and unique dive sites. You will also have a chance to dive with giant manta rays, and sharks, and explore World War II wrecks.

The Palau Siren will take you to the best dive sites, ensuring that they have an unforgettable experience. If you choose the trip for the spawning adventure during two special UDE days of your trip the UDE representatives will give a number of presentations about these unique dives and sites.

The Palau Siren is also known for its luxurious amenities, making it a perfect retreat after a day of diving. The yacht has spacious air-conditioned cabins, with en-suite bathrooms, and a 42-inch tv for watching shows or pictures of the day’s creatures. You will also have a chance to relax in the indoor salon, and get a massage as well The yacht also has a stunning outdoor deck where you can take in the breathtaking views of Micronesia and relax under the sun.

Route/ Itinerary: Blue Corner, Blue Holes, German Channel, Ulong Channel (Ngerumekaol pass), Jelly Fish Lake, Pelelius Wall/ Express.

Liveaboard Specs: 

  • Max number of Guests/ Divers: 16
  • # Dives: around 18 to 27
  • # of Cabins: 8
  • Length: 8 to 11 days
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Port: Koror
  • Onshore Excursions: No
Most Diving

Ocean Hunter 3

5.0
From $317/d
Pros:
  • The highest amount of dives
  • A small number of divers
  • Custom dive itineraries
Cons:
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The Ocean Hunter 3 is a sleek and modern liveaboard that provides an exceptional diving experience in Micronesia. This vessel offers a range of features and amenities designed to provide maximum comfort and convenience.

Besides the amazing crew/ staff, the main reason to choose the Ocean Hunter 3 is the diving opportunities it provides. The boat can take you to some of the most stunning dive sites in Micronesia, including wrecks, drop-offs, and coral gardens. With up to 5 dives per day, you have the chance to see everything from small critters to large pelagic species such as sharks and rays.

The Ocean Hunter 3 also boasts a range of features and amenities to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The boat has spacious cabins with private bathrooms, and air conditioning.

You could also relax in one of the two jacuzzis on the sun deck or hang out in the shaded outdoor dining area. The Ocean Hunter III provides professional underwater photographer areas to clean and takes care of your gear, including over 60 electrical outlets.

The boat has a knowledgeable and experienced crew who are dedicated to making your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. From the moment you step onboard, you’ll be well taken care of, with attentive service and expert guidance both above and below the water.

Route/Itinerary: Southern and Northern Yasawa & Mamanuca Islands

Product Specs:

  • Max number of Guests/ Divers: 16
  • # Dives: Around 30- 40
  • # of Cabins: 8
  • Length: 8-11 days
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Port: Koror
  • Onshore Excursions: Limited

Why go on a Palauan liveaboard diving holiday?

Palau Liveaboard

Palau is a beautiful island nation in the western Pacific Ocean known for its stunning coral reefs and diverse marine life.

Going on a Palauan liveaboard diving holiday is a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of this tropical paradise.

Here are some reasons why you might consider going on a Palauan liveaboard diving holiday:

Diving opportunities: Palau is known for its rich underwater environment, with clear waters, healthy coral reefs, and abundant marine life. Going on a liveaboard diving holiday in Palau gives you access to the best dive sites.

Convenience: Though Paluau does not have a ton of islands, it is not the easiest to get around. A liveaboard diving holiday eliminates the hassle of traveling to different dive sites each day. Instead, you can stay on the boat and enjoy several dives in a row, without worrying about the logistics of getting to each dive site.

Comfort: Liveaboards offer comfortable accommodation, and delicious food among other things, so you can relax and enjoy your diving experience.

Socializing: Staying on a liveaboard is a great way to meet new people and make new friends, as you’ll be sharing the dive boat with a small group of like-minded diving enthusiasts.

Unique experiences: Living and diving on a liveaboard is a unique and immersive experience, you not only get to dive but do onshore excursions, fish and enjoy all the amenities the ship has to offer.

What you Will See Diving in Palau

Palau is renowned for its rich and diverse marine life, and there are many amazing creatures you can see while diving in this tropical paradise.

Here are just a few of the many species you might encounter:

Manta rays: Palau is home to large populations of manta rays, and it’s common to see these magnificent creatures while diving in the area. They can grow up to 7 meters in width and are known for their graceful and gentle behavior.

Sharks: Palau is also known for its healthy shark populations, and you may see several species while diving, including reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and even the occasional hammerhead shark.

Turtles: Green turtles and hawksbill turtles are commonly seen in Palau’s waters, and they are always a delight to watch as they gracefully swim through the reefs.

Schools of fish: Palau is home to a wide variety of fish species, and it’s not uncommon to see massive schools of glittering reef fish, spawning bump heads/ red snappers, and others.

Giant clams: Palau is famous for its giant clams, and it’s not uncommon to see these magnificent creatures while diving. Some of the giant clams can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and can weigh hundreds of pounds (hundreds of kilograms)!

Soft corals: The reefs are healthy and vibrant, and you’ll see a wide variety of soft corals, including delicate sea fans, gorgonian corals, and sea whips.

Nudibranchs: For those interested in muck and macro photography, Palau is a great place to see a variety of nudibranchs, or sea slugs, in all shapes and sizes.

Top Scuba Dive Sites in Palau

Palau is known for its stunning coral reefs and abundant marine life, and there are many great scuba dive sites to explore.

Here are some of the top dive sites in Palau:

Blue Corner: The Blue Corner is the most famous dive site in Palau and is known for its drift diving in strong currents, and stunning coral formations. There is a large wall and sharp corners with lots of large pelagic fishes like Jacks, Big Eyes/Blue Fin Trevallies, Black Fin Barracudas, and Snappers.

Blue Holes: Blue Holes is a massive cavern on the north side of Ngemelis Island with multiple entrances and is accessible from the shallow reef top as well as deeper points on the wall. It is illuminated by shafts of sunlight from over your head which makes it a one of a kid dive.

German Channel: German Channel is a man-made channel Located on the northern side of Palau, this channel offers divers the chance to see large numbers of manta rays as they feed on plankton. The cleaning station is at 100 feet (18 meters) and the coral garden is at half that depth.

Chandelier Cave: Chandelier Cave is a unique and beautiful underwater cave system filled with crystal-clear waters and stunning formations. A good place to take a wide-angle photo with a diver, the crystalline formations hang from ceilings with the grace and beauty of the finest chandeliers

Peleliu Express: Peleliu Wall is a steep drop-off that descends into the depths of the ocean and is known for its strong currents and deep water. This gives rich marine life a chance to thrive including schools of reef fish, tuna, barracuda, and occasionally sharks. You could possibly see bull sharks, tiger sharks, hammerheads, or whales if you are lucky.

Jellyfish Lake: Jellyfish Lake is a unique and fascinating site that is home to millions of jellyfish that have evolved to be stingless. Divers can swim among the jellyfish and observe their graceful movements.

Ulong Channel: Ulong Channel is a shallow channel that has a gently sloping bottom and is covered in coral formations. This site is known for its beautiful coral gardens and diverse marine life. Divers can also explore the Ulong wreck, a sunken Japanese freighter.

The Ngemelis Wall: The Ngemelis Wall is a steep drop-off that descends to over 1,000 feet (300 meters) in depth. The wall is covered with a variety of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates. There are also numerous caves, overhangs, and crevices that divers can explore. is home to a diverse range of marine life, including reef sharks, turtles, barracudas, napoleon wrasse, and a variety of colorful reef fish.

Siaes Tunnel: The Siaes Tunnel is a large underwater tunnel that starts at a depth of 50 feet (15 meters) and descends to about 90 feet (27 meters). The tunnel is covered in beautiful corals and sponges and is home to a variety of reef fish, nudibranchs, and other invertebrates.

Helmet Wreck: The Helmet Wreck is a World War II-era Japanese freighter that was sunk during an air raid in 1944. The wreck is now home to a variety of marine life and is covered in beautiful corals and sponges. The ship lies at a depth of about 100 feet (30 meters), with the shallowest part of the wreck starting at around 60 feet (18 meters).

When To Dive in Palau

The best time to dive in Palau depends on several factors, including weather conditions, water temperature, and the desired types of marine life to see.

Here are some general guidelines for diving in Palau:

Dry Season: The dry season in Palau runs from December to April, and during this time, the weather is generally clear and sunny, with calm waters.

Wet Season: The wet season in Palau runs from May to November, and during this time, the weather is more humid, with more rain and cloud cover.

Water temperature: The water temperature in Palau ranges from 26-30°C (79-86°F) year-round, so a 3mm wetsuit is usually sufficient for most divers. However, some divers may prefer to dive with a 5mm wetsuit during the cooler months of December and January.

Currents: Palau is known for its strong currents, and certain dive sites are more challenging during certain times of the year. The best time to dive into the strong current sites is during the dry season when the currents are typically milder.

Overall the best time to dive in Palau is between December and April, when the weather is clear and sunny, the water is warm, and the visibility is excellent.

However, if you’re looking to see specific species of marine life, such as manta rays, you may want to consider diving during the wet season.

How to Get to Palau

Palau is a remote island nation located in the Western Pacific Ocean and can be accessed by air or sea.

Here’s how to get to Palau:

By Air: The easiest way to get to Palau is by air. The country’s main airport, Roman Tmetuchl International Airport (ROR), is located on the main island of Babelthuap and is served by a number of international airlines, including United Airlines and China Airlines. Direct flights to Palau are available from Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, and Manila.

Regardless of how you get to Palau, it’s important to plan ahead and book your trip in advance to ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable experience.

What Makes up Palauan Islands

Palau Rocks Islands

Palau is an island nation located in the Western Pacific Ocean and is made up of a group of over 500 islands, most of which are coral atolls and volcanic islands.

The country is divided into 16 states, each of which is comprised of several islands. Some of the largest and most well-known islands in Palau include Babelthuap, Koror, Peleliu, and Angaur.

The islands of Palau are characterized by their lush tropical vegetation, pristine white-sand beaches, and crystal-clear waters.

The surrounding waters are home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays, and a variety of shark species.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Palauan Islands are also known for their rich cultural heritage and history.

The country has a long and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years, and the local people still maintain many of their traditional customs and practices today.

On-Shore activities to do in Palau

Here are some on-shore activities that you can enjoy during your visit to Palau:

Kayaking and Snorkeling: Explore the crystal-clear waters of Palau and discover the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. You can rent a kayak and go on a guided tour or snorkel on your own.

Rock Island Tour: Take a boat tour to the Unesco world heritage of the Rock Islands, a group of over 400 small, uninhabited islands known for their unique rock formations, lush vegetation, and secluded beaches.

Visit the Jellyfish Lake: Take a hike to the famous Jellyfish Lake, where you can swim with thousands of non-stinging jellyfish.

Visit the Palau Cultural Village: Learn about the traditional way of life in Palau by visiting the Palau Cultural Village, where you can see demonstrations of traditional crafts, dances, and music.

Take a Bird-Watching Tour: Palau is home to a variety of bird species, including the Palau Fruit Dove, Palau Owl, and the Palau Swiftlet. Take a guided bird-watching tour to see these unique birds in their natural habitat.

Visit the War Memorial Park: Learn about Palau’s history and pay your respects to the victims of World War II by visiting the War Memorial Park in Koror.

Take a Hike: Palau offers many hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. Explore the lush jungles, discover hidden waterfalls, and take in the stunning views from the top of mount Ngerchelchuus.

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