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Dive Review of Atlantis Azores in
Philippines/Cebu/Malapascua

Atlantis Azores: "Thresher shark heaven, but not for us", Jan, 2015,

by Jeanne Downey, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 44 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 8120 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The first week of our two week Cebu adventure was on board the Azores, diving around the island of Malapascua, with the goal of seeing thresher sharks. The second week we headed South for a Kasai Village Resort return visit, in another review.

Now, every one of the four times we’ve been to the Philippines, we’ve run into either a typhoon or tropical storm, and this was no exception. This time it was the category 1 storm that messed with the Pope’s visit. We weren’t allowed to board the boat, so we spent a night at the Waterfront Airport Hotel, literally across the street from the Cebu City airport. We didn’t mind too much as the hotel was comfortable, there were festival dancers in the lobby, the pool was enjoyable, the food was good (especially our two-hour breakfast buffet), and we had an included cocktail hour.

Jess, one of the boat’s guides, handled the hotel and travel arrangements. We headed through the heavy festival traffic for a three hour journey to the dock in Bogo. The Azores is the old Truk Agressor; it certainly has been improved since then! The downstairs cabins are upgraded but still quite cozy; Bill & I were upgraded to the owner’s much roomier suite. The crew was great and the meals excellent; the chef was very good at meeting special requests.

Unfortunately, the typhoon messed up the visibility, which plagued us the entire trip. We did see plenty of small things, including Spanish dancers, frog fish, various crabs, dragonets, ghost pipefish, tiny cuttlefish, sea kraits, and mantis shrimps. At Gato Island, starred in my log book, our guide spotted a frog fish with eggs—a first in my diving career. Another neat dive was the Mandarin fish dive; several did their rise for 4 or 5 seconds straight.

The dive deck was roomy. All diving was done from skiffs, with back roll-in entries and ladder exits, after handing up tanks and fins. Five dives were offered each day, but no one was interested in night diving, except after the Mandarin dive.

The thresher sharks were elusive. Three different times we sat at 100 feet, shortly after sunrise, in dark, murky water waiting for them to appear. We could see the cleaner fish waiting for them; there may have been threshers just beyond that we could not see. We did see a couple tails, and once a thresher swam slowly by us all; I was the only one in our group not too mesmerized to get the shot. One diver didn’t notice the rest of us swimming to another location and ended up by himself—he said he had close encounters with two or three thresher sharks. They’re probably like hammerheads—the fewer bubbles, the better.

We had fun on the trip, saw lots of neat small stuff, and didn’t get bored, but the threshers were lacking and the weather uncooperative. When we asked when the best time was to avoid typhoons, the answer was “there are over 200 typhoons a year in the Philippines”, so it’s pretty much potluck.
Websites Atlantis Azores   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Caribbean, Australia, Micronesia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cocos, Socorro, Guadalupe, Palau, Fiji, Galapagos, etc.
Closest Airport Cebu City Getting There Easy on United through Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific from SFO or LAX.

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 79-79°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minutes. No decompression. Try to stay above 100 feet.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Place in bottom of skiff for diving. One rinse tank on boat. Large camera table. Charging station in dining area.
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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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