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Dive Review of Viking Cruises in
Thailand/Similian Islands - Patong

Viking Cruises, Jan, 2004,

by Randy Howarth, CA, USA . Report 1155.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving California, Hawaii, Florida, Mexico, Cayman, Puerto Rico, Belize, Virgin Islands, Indonesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Great Dive Briefings and Profiles were provided and a dive master was assigned to up to 10 divers. 600 PSI
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate dunk tanks, cleaning tables and storage area

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 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The "Viking of the Orient" is a new beautiful custom boat designed and built by Scandinavian owner/operator, Einar Meling, a fun loving and enthusiastic personality who loves his boat and his clients. The "Viking of the Orient" has a large and well designed dive deck which your gear is maintained at your station throughout your trip. Cameras are stored apart on special camera shelves. Hot Showers are available on the deck. It is a short hop to the 10 double staterooms with your own bathroom and windows and doors to the outside. The air conditioning on this boat was fantastic - never an issue. On the next deck up are the Wheelhouse (with a padded platform in front for Thai massages) and the main saloon and outdoor area for lounging. Did I mention that the interior of this boat is beautiful crafted wood - it is amazing. 34" TV, DVD, CD VCR and White Board for the fun dive briefings complete the main saloon. On the huge upper deck are mattresses for sun tanning or lying out under the stars.
The Scandinavian and Thai crew is incredibly fun and helpful and make for a fantastic diving trip experience. Oh yes the diving - fantastic - start off with a light breakfast while getting a dive briefing then into the water. When you come out back on board to a buffet of eggs, omelets, bacon, fruit etc. Then off to another dive and then a great lunch then go ashore to the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world and perhaps a hike to a look-out point. Back in the water at a new site. A Great dinner then a night dive. During our five day trip we dove the great dive sites at the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock. So many Lion Fish you stop looking for them, leopard and black tip sharks, trevally, garden eels, moray eels, rays, frog fish, sea horses, cuttlefish and all the thousands of small tropical fish fill the water and coral. Great coral and sponges. Not quite as spectacular as Komondo but still incredible diving. The one drawback to this trip is that there is an abundance of liveaboards constantly diving these sites so you often see other divers in the water or anchored nearby at night. We did not see a whale shark or a manta but still it was a fantastic trip and 5-6 day trips are easier to fit into our schedule and reasonably priced.
Viking Cruises www.viking-liveaboards.com info@viking-liveaboards.com (66) 76 294227

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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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