3 Best Solomon Islands Liveaboards of 2023

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The Solomon Islands are diverse and uncrowded. The Solomon Islands offer a lot of different diving options which include caverns, reefs, muck, large sea fans, steep walls, soft corals, and wrecks.

Some of the wrecks are actually quite deep and may require a sidemount or tech diving. Don’t worry though there is something for every level of diver to experience.

The biodiversity is world class and the WWII history here is second to none.

All of the wrecks leave divers to wonder and learn about the past from the wrecks and the present from the healthy reefs going on them. These combined make this a dive destination that is not to be missed.

Most of the reefs are just offshore and can be reached on a day trip but to fully experience all the sites you will need to hop on a liveaboard. There are a few liveaboards and options to choose from.

Here at OtterAquatics, we have done all of the research for you, allowing you to choose the boat that best fits your budget, 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 Solomon Islands
  • Other activities you can do on shore

Table of Contents

Best Solomon Islands Liveaboards

Best Luxury

Bilikiki

5.0
From $550/d
Pros:
  • High-level Service
  • Nearly 1:1 Crew-to-Guest Ratio
  • Fishing, kayaks, and land excursions included
Cons:
  • Price
  • No Wifi
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The Bilikiki is a liveaboard dive vessel that operates in the Solomon Islands, offering diving trips to some of the most remote and pristine dive sites in the area.

The Bilikiki is equipped with comfortable cabins, a spacious dining area, a lounge, and a sundeck. This makes it a great choice for divers looking for a comfortable and memorable diving experience in the Solomon Islands.

The M/V Bilikiki is the first full-service luxury liveaboard in the Solomon Islands and is rated as one of the top liveaboards in the area. This boat has 10 deluxe en-suite, air-conditioned cabins for your comfort.

The large sun decks and comfortably furnished lounge ensure you have space to relax with others or on your own. The Bilikiki was designed to be stable for the South Pacific and this is one of the many reasons guests constantly rate the MV Bilikiki as one of the most spacious and comfortable vessels they have traveled on.

This trip route goes to the main 3 island groups of Florida Island, Russel Island, and Marovo Lagoon. The fantastic MV Bilikiki Liveaboard only runs trips from March to December.

The experienced crew of 11 are highly trained, friendly, and attentive to all of your needs in an out of the water. For your dining, you have local and western cuisine with vegetarian, vegan, and anything else that you may need. If you do have any allergies or dietary restrictions reach out before you set sail and they can cater to you within reason.

The Solomon Islands offer diverse and abundant marine life, including schools of colorful tropical fish, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, and more. The Bilikiki liveaboard is a great way to experience the beauty of this region and to access remote dive sites that can’t be reached by day trips.

Liveaboard Specs:

  • # of Divers: 20
  • # Dives: 20 to 40 dives 
  • Length: 8 to 15 days 
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Onshore Excursions: Depends on the itinerary
  • Port: Honiara
  • Route: Russell Islands, Florida Islands, Marovo Lagoon Area, and Quebrada.
  • Camera Station: Yes, the liveaboard has a camera station available for use.
Budget Option

Solomons Master

4.5
From $301/d
Pros:
  • Dedicated camera station
  • Luxurious amenities
  • Spacious accommodations
  • Flexible booking
Cons:
  • WiFi internet (70-175 USD)
  • Advanced Open Water/ 50 dives required
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The Solomons Master liveaboard is a 121ft (37 meters) liveaboard that was custom-built for divers to give them a spacious liveaboard experience. The boat only has eight cabins and will only take on a maximum of 16 guests. The Solomons Master gives you a personal setting with plenty of space to relax between dives.

All three levels of cabins have air conditioning, hot showers, and private bathrooms.

This boat was specifically made to accommodate all levels of divers, from the recreational and fun diver all the way to the technical diver. For all of the photographers, the boat comes fully equipped with a camera station and multiple charging points, and a dedicated rinse bucket

The onboard chef will prepare you three full meals a day and snacks as well to keep your energy up. You will eat in the spacious indoor dining room and after you can hang out with the other guests in the lounge and bar area.

It also has a tv so you can watch movies or slides or videos of that day’s sightings. If you prefer privacy there is ample room around the boat to read your book as well.

The Solomons Master dive liveaboard staff is experienced and friendly, they are ready to make your dive trip dreams come true.

The personalized service on this boat is what sets it apart from the rest. Besides who doesn’t want to see, rays, white/ blacktip reef sharks, fusiliers, anthias, barracuda, trevally, unicornfish, nudibranchs, and rainbow runners?

Liveaboard Specs:

  • # of Divers: 16
  • # Dives: Around 21 dives
  • Length: 8 to 11 days
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Port: Honiara
  • Route: Russell Islands/ Northwest of Honiara and Mary/Mborokua Island
  • Camera Station: Yes, the liveaboard has a camera station available for use.
  • Onshore Excursions: Depends on the itinerary
Tech and Wreck Diving

Truk Master

5.0
From $376/d
Pros:
  • Best wreck diving in the world
  • Dive guides are incredibly experienced and well-trained
  • Dedicated camera setup area for photographers/videographers
Cons:
  • The itinerary is built around the United Airlines flight from Honolulu
  • Some trips Minimum of 100 dives and Tech diving at least 50 tech dives
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Truk Master is one of the most popular liveaboards that offers diving expeditions to the famous shipwreck diving destination of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia.

Truk Lagoon is considered one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world and attracts many divers from around the globe. The diving is exceptional, with a variety of wrecks to explore, each with its own unique history and characteristics.

The Truk Master is 122 feet (37m) long and offers year-round diving trips to the wrecks of Truk Lagoon. The dive deck is located towards the back of the middle deck and offers an individual setup station with storage for personal gear. For all those with cameras, don’t worry there is a camera station for gear set-up and dedicated rinse tanks. The tanks aboard the Truk Master are 15L steel tanks but if you want, let them know they can get you 12L tanks.

The Truk Master has a maximum of 16 guests in 8 cabins. All of those rooms are individually controlled AC units and personal bathrooms.

The relaxation areas consist of the indoor lounge with a bar and TV. It has an indoor dining area, and a shaded outdoor area with a sundeck to chill between dives.

The food on board is western and local food with vegetarian options if you message them ahead of time. You also have the option of beer and wine. They have a full board option if you fancy it as well.

As with any liveaboard, it is important to remember that the experience will depend on various factors, including the weather, the conditions of the wrecks, and the skill level of the divers. Bad weather can hinder the liveaboard’s ability to reach specified dive sites even in good weather. Safety comes first and they may alter the diving sites should they not be able to visit the specified route.

A note: the itinerary is built around the United Airlines flight from Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) and they recommend you book this flight to Kwajalein airport (KWA).

Liveaboard Specs:

  • # of Divers: 16
  • # Dives: Around 15 dives
  • Length: 8 to 12 Days
  • Wifi: Yes Paid
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Included
  • Onshore Excursions: Depends on the itinerary
  • Port: Kwajalein
  • Route: Bikini Atoll, Prinz Eugen – Kwajalein Atoll
  • Camera Station: Yes, the liveaboard has a camera station available for use.

Why go on a Solomon Islands liveaboard diving holiday?

Solomon ISlands

Solomon Island liveaboard diving holidays offer a number of benefits, including:

Remote dive sites: The Solomon Islands are located far from anywhere. Going on a liveaboard provides you access to remote and pristine dive sites that are not accessible from land-based operations.

Abundant marine life: The waters around the Solomon Islands are teeming with diverse and abundant marine life, including schools of colorful fish, sharks, rays, and turtles.

Convenient diving experience: Liveaboard diving holidays offer a convenient and hassle-free diving experience, with all meals, accommodation, and diving equipment provided on board.

Professional crew: The liveaboards are staffed by a professional crew, chefs, dive masters, and instructors. They are knowledgeable about the dive sites and are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable diving experience for all guests.

Comfortable accommodation: Liveaboards provide comfortable accommodation, with air-conditioned cabins and plenty of communal spaces for relaxing and socializing with fellow guests.

Meet new people: On liveaboards, you will meet other like-minded people that love the underwater world.

All Levels of diving: While there are some spots for tech divers and those wanting to go deeper most dive sites have options for all levels of divers.

Extended dive time: Liveaboard trips offer the opportunity to dive multiple times a day, allowing for more time underwater and a greater chance to explore the underwater world.

For these reasons, a Solomon Island liveaboard diving holiday is an excellent option for experienced divers seeking an adventurous and unique diving experience in a remote and stunning underwater environment.

What you will see diving in the Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands Wreck

The Solomon Islands is at the edge of the “Coral Triangle“, diving in the Solomon Islands offers a chance to see a diverse range of marine life and underwater environments.

Some of the highlights of diving in the Solomon Islands include:

Coral reefs: The Solomon Islands are home to a variety of healthy coral reefs including hard coral, sponges, fans, and soft coral. These support a rich diversity of marine life, including colorful reef fish, reef sharks, sea turtles, and more.

Wreck dives: The Solomon Islands are also known for a number of interesting shipwrecks, which provide habitat for a range of marine life, as well as opportunities for penetration dives for experienced divers.

Schools of fish: The waters around the Solomon Islands are home to large schools of colorful fish, huge schools of barracuda, mackerel, and of trevally. As well as more passive species like butterflyfish, angelfish, nudibranchs, and friendly cuttlefish.

Sharks: The Solomon Islands are known for their healthy populations of reef sharks, including blacktip, whitetip, hammerheads, and gray reef sharks.

Sea turtles: Sea turtles are also commonly seen on dives in the Solomon Islands, and are often encountered while exploring coral reefs or while resting on the seafloor.

These are just a few of the many wonders that can be experienced while diving in the Solomon Islands. With its remote and pristine underwater environment, the Solomon Islands offer a truly unique and exciting diving experience.

Top scuba Dive Sites in the Solomon Islands

Solomon Island Reef

Iron Bottom Sound: This site is located near Guadalcanal Island and is known for its numerous wrecks, which include several large World War II vessels.

Ghavutu Island: Ghavutu Island is located near Honiara and is known for its large schools of fish and healthy coral reefs.

Marovo Lagoon: Marovo Lagoon is the largest lagoon in the world and is home to a diverse range of marine life, including schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, and reef sharks.

Mary Island: Mary Island is known for its stunning coral gardens and abundance of marine life, including manta rays and sea snakes.

Russell Islands: The Russell Islands offer some of the best diving in the Solomon Islands, with healthy coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life.

Barracuda Point: This site is on Mary’s Island and you can find hundreds of jacks and barracuda in schools.

Devils’ Highway: This is a big drop-off where you can regularly see mantas by the dozen. This is a more advanced dive site due to the current.

Florida Islands: These islands are close to Honiara, and have two big lava tubes. You can go into either side of the and come out on a reef wall.

Munda: Only reached by liveaboard or flight it has fantastic walls, caverns, and coral gardens. This is not to mention a plethora of WWII plane wrecks and sharks.

Western Province: This site again is only reached by liveaboard or a flight. It has all the amazing things the other sites have and is also where John F. Kennedy and his crew were torpedoed by the Japanese aboard PT-109.

Wreck Diving in the Solomon Islands

Solomon ISland Wreck

Scuba diving is a popular activity in the Solomon Islands, and there are several dive sites located throughout the area that offer the opportunity to explore shipwrecks and sunken vessels. There are generally two types of wreck dives that can be experienced in the Solomon Islands:

Recreational Wreck Dives: These dives are typically aimed at recreational divers and are usually shallower and easier to navigate, with less penetration into the wreck. They offer a chance to see the exterior and interior of the shipwreck and view the marine life that has made it their home.

Technical Wreck Dives: These dives are more challenging and require advanced diving skills, as well as specialized equipment. They involve diving deeper into the wreck and exploring its innermost areas. Technical wreck dives offer a more immersive and intense diving experience for experienced divers.

Before you attempt a wreck dive, it is important for divers to undergo proper training and obtain the necessary certifications. This helps ensure their safety and the preservation of the wreck, its marine environment, and you.

When To Dive in the Solomon Islands

Solomon Island Beach

The best time to dive in the Solomon Islands depends on your preferences and what kind of diving you’re interested in. However, the season is broken down into the rainy season and the dry season.

Dry Season (May to October): The dry season is the most popular time to dive in the Solomon Islands, as visibility is at its best and the waters are calm. This is also the best time to see large schools of fish and other marine life.

Rainy Season (November to April): The wet season is generally less popular for diving, as the waters can be rough and visibility can be reduced. However, this is also the best time to see larger marine life, such as whales and sharks.

The Solomon Islands offer year-round diving opportunities, with each season offering its own unique benefits and attractions. Whether you are interested in experiencing the best visibility, seeing large schools of fish, or encountering larger marine life, the Solomon Islands have something to offer everyone.

How to Get to the Solomon Islands

Getting to the Solomon Islands involves flying into Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, and then making arrangements for transportation to your final destination, but luckily most liveaboards leave from here.

Here are a few steps to help you get to the Solomon Islands:

Book a flight: You can fly to Honiara International Airport from several international airports, including Brisbane, Port Moresby, and Nadi.

Arrange ground transportation: Once you arrive in Honiara, you can arrange ground transportation to your final destination. Options include taxis, rental cars, or shuttles. Talk to your liveaboard as many of them include free transport from the airport.

Travel to your liveaboard or resort: If you are planning a liveaboard diving holiday in the Solomon Islands, you may need to arrange transportation to the liveaboard or resort where you will be staying. This is often done through your liveaboard operator or resort.

Getting to the Solomon Islands can be a bit challenging, but with proper planning and preparation, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to this stunning and remote corner of the Pacific Ocean.

What Makes up the Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands are an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, near Papua New Guinea. The country consists of a chain of nine large islands and over 900 smaller islands, which are spread out over a large area. The total land area of the Solomon Islands is approximately 1,100 square miles (28,400 square kilometers).

The Solomon Islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, including lush tropical forests, rugged coastlines, and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. The country has a rich cultural heritage, with a mix of indigenous Melanesian and Polynesian influences, as well as a colonial history that includes influences from European explorers and traders.

In addition to its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the Solomon Islands are also a popular destination for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. The island’s unique and pristine environment offers abundant wildlife and world-class dive sites

On-Shore activities to do in the Solomon Islands

Solomon Island swimming

The Solomon Islands offer a variety of on-shore activities for visitors to enjoy between dives. Here are a few popular options:

Explore the capital city of Honiara: Honiara is the capital of the Solomon Islands and is home to a number of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. You can visit the National Museum, explore the city’s markets/ shops, or take a scenic drive through the nearby hills.

Visit the tribal villages: The Solomon Islands are home to a number of tribal villages, where visitors can learn about the local culture, history, and traditions. Many villages offer tours and cultural performances. You can also learn about traditional crafts and skills, such as pottery and basket weaving.

Enjoy the beaches: The Solomon Islands are home to a number of beautiful and pristine beaches, many of which are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and exploring the surrounding coral reefs.

Visit World War II sites: The Solomon Islands played an important role in World War II. You can learn about this history by visiting sites such as the Guadalcanal American Memorial, the Honiara War Museum, and several historic battlefields.

Go snorkeling or kayaking: The Solomon Islands offer some of the best snorkeling and kayaking opportunities in the world, with crystal-clear waters, healthy coral reefs, and abundant marine life.

You will likely need to take a plane to get to the departure point unless you are sailing around the world. We would recommend reading our tips on flying with dive gear and if you want an even easier trip think about getting a travel BCD for more ease on those flights and travels to your dive destinations.

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