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Dive Review of Bilikiki in
Solomon Islands

Bilikiki, Jun, 2006,

by Brian Morrow, GA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 2844.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 86 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers were left to dive their own profiles.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is a separate padded table for camera equipment and also a separate rinse tank. Crew handled all photo equipment onto and off of the skiffs and treated it as they would their own.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Let me start with the fact that this was an outstanding trip and we are going back in 2008.

The weather for our 12 night trip was mostly cloudy although a couple on the previous charter indicated that the weather on that trip was sunny. Sun would have been nice for the photo ops but you cannot control the weather.

The Bilikiki is an outstanding operation with a long tenured and talented crew. We came back spoiled rotten from the service. Diving is mainly done off of the "tinnies" which take you right to the reef and the tinnie drivers come and get you wherever you surface. The numbers and types of fish are incredible and the variety of dive sites, wrecks, walls, slopes, channels is great.

The food is plentiful and good. The chocolate chip cookies brought out the "Cookie Monster" in many of us. Fresh fish and fruits and vegetables are purchased from the local villagers who visit by canoe.

The cabins are the largest we have seen on a liveaboard and the air conditioning worked well. Overall the ship is kept in good repair all around.

Getting to the Solomon Islands is a long haul from the east coast. We flew to LA and had a 3 hour layover, then 14 hours to Brisbane. We overnighted in Brisbane and then took the flight to Honiara the next morning. We were greeted by the Bilikiki staff and taken to a hotel lobby to wait for about an hour or two and then taken to the boat to board. On the return trip you depart the boat first thing in the morning and then have to kill six or seven hours before the flight to Australia leaves. Going back via Fiji saves a few hours because the plane leaves two or three hours earlier. As it was we went to Brisbane and on to Sydney for a couple of extra days since we had never been there before.

Bottom line, not cheap to get there but well worth the trip.
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Bilikiki Cruises is a long running, well regarded operator running superb live-aboard diving in the remote and beautiful Solomon Islands.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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