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Dive Review of Bilikiki Cruises in
Solomon Islands

Bilikiki Cruises, Nov, 2012,

by Steve Dussault, NH, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6783.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Central America, South America, Canada, USA, Philippines, Mexico, Micronesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dedicated space for charging in a dry room. Camera equipment was welcomed in the salon. Two large fresh water tanks on board and the crew did an excellent job of handling the cameras. Lots of different items to photograph - macro, regular, and wide.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Our 10 day trip on Bilikiki was very good. We were fortunate to have Rick Belmare (owner of Bilikiki) onboard for the trip and to be able hear stories about the history of Bilikiki. The Bilikiki is a spacious boat. There is lots of room for divers to spread out on the dive deck as well as the sun deck and outside areas under cover. There are two showers on deck with hot water to rinse off after a dive. The managers Kellie and Sam do an excellent job of tailoring the dive sites to the desires of the divers. There are many different kinds of dive sites in the Solomon Islands with something for everyone - deep dives, shallow dives, walls, wrecks, and muck diving. Either Sam or Kellie are always in the water to lead the dives, but you can dive your own profile with no deco diving. The Bilikiki operates two dive tender boats (tinnies). Having two tinnies at the dive sites means you do not have to wait long to be picked up or for the boat to be full before it goes back to the live aboard. During the trip we had a cultural visit to one village including some singing and dancing. We also visited two other villages to see displays of the local carvings and arts with chances to barter and purchase. Bilikiki has done an excellent job of working with Solomon Islands villages. Over the years they have provided vegetable seeds to villages and now Bilikiki is able to purchase fresh vegetables from the villages and provide them with money as they cruise among the islands.

To see the history of Bilikiki visit the following link: www.scubadviser.com/client_files/Bilikiki%20History.pdf
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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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