TOP 5 SUPERYACHT DIVE SPOTS
The most beautiful and remote diving spots on the planet
A superyacht allows access to the most beautiful and remote marine destinations on the planet. And beneath the turquoise waters that lap at the pristine beaches and surround verdant tropical islands you will find a whole other world. Astonishing coral reefs, dramatic underwater cliffs and deep water passes all overflowing with extraordinary marine life. These are five of the world’s best dive sites to visit by superyacht.
North east of the main island of Tahiti, you will find the Tuamotus, 77 picture-perfect islands and atolls that make up a stunning archipelago, dotted over an immense stretch of deep blue ocean. For those looking for world-class diving and large, open-ocean marine life, it would be difficult to find anywhere better. Famous for exhilarating drift dives through epic passes, the Tuamotus are teeming with ocean icons. Look out for grey reef sharks, whitetip sharks and blacktip sharks, as well as dolphins. Spot eagle rays, turtles, and schools of barracuda, bigeye jacks and tuna on the hunt for smaller schooling fish like fusiliers and snappers. If you go between September and December, there is a good chance of seeing manta rays. Rangiroa and Fakarava, part of a UNESCO protected biosphere, are two of the most unmissable sites of the area. For expert diving guides who know the best places to go, get in touch with Tahiti Private Expeditions, whose professional team have a wealth of experience with organising superyacht dive expeditions.
For those in search of a place almost entirely untouched by humans, and still relatively unexplored, the Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat is well worth the trip. Located in the Coral Triangle, this is the world’s most biodiverse marine habitat; a pristine haven offering some of the best diving experiences on earth. With more than 1,500 islets surrounding 4 main islands, Raja Ampat is home to many species that are wholly indigenous, as well as three quarters of the world’s coral varieties. While there are many ‘bucket list’ dives in this area, the waters around the southern island of Misool are a highlight. Here, the gin clear sea means that you theoretically don’t even need to leave the yacht to see what is below the surface – but it would be a shame not to. Exploring Misool’s many caves, tunnels and channels you’ll see colourful corals and a dizzying array of sparkling reef fish as well as whale sharks, reef sharks, mobula rays, Napoleon wrasse and pygmy seahorses.
HALF MOON CAYE WALL
Belize boasts an incredible list of extraordinary dive sites. While the Great Blue Hole is arguably Belize’s most famous scuba draw, it is Half Moon Caye Wall that is the real star. Located at the south west corner of Lighthouse Reef Atolla, this protected national park is a spectacular wall dive, beginning at 10m and dropping almost vertically to indigo blue infinity. Magnificent coral gardens on one side teem with life – angelfish, nudibranchs, moray eels, lobsters, shrimps – and in the deep, look for turtles, eagle rays, nurse sharks and grouper. Lucky visitors may even spot hammerhead sharks, manta rays, reef sharks and bottlenose dolphins.
As a superyacht destination, with secret coves, powder-white beaches, Robinson Crusoe islands and swaying palms, the Maldives is in a league of its own whilst also being a renowned dive destination. A protected marine reserve, the Maaya Thila is one of its stand-out dive sites. A pinnacle, distinguished by the vibrant coral formations that reach towards the surface, this Thila goes down to beyond 30m and offers breath-taking macro-diving opportunities as well as the chance become immersed in swirls of schooling reef fish, follow turtles and marvel at white-tip sharks. For the more adventurous, Maaya Thila is also a stunning night dive site. Make your way around the pinnacle with your flashlight, where it is a privilege to witness the nocturnal activities of lobsters, sharks, squid and much more.
The SS Yongala is the ultimate adventure wreck dive. Located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, this 109m steamship tragically sank during a cyclone in 1911, with all 122 lives on board lost. It was discovered on the ocean floor in 1958 lying on its starboard side, reaching 28m deep, and has since earned a reputation as one of the world’s best wreck dives due to its excellent condition and variety of marine life. Expect big game here; giant groupers, large spotted eagle rays, marble rays, maori wrasse, mantas, sea turtles, huge schools of barracuda and giant trevally, bull sharks and even tiger sharks. Between June and September, humpback whales are often spotted in the water and can be seen breaching: a lucky few have even encountered them swimming around the wreck itself.