TOP 10 Liveaboards for Beginner and Open Water Divers

by spotmydive

We know that often, for new divers, a liveaboard diving trip can be pretty intimidating. But, trust us, it doesn’t have to be a crazily challenging diving travel. Indeed, some of the best liveaboards itinerary are perfectly fitted for newly certified Open Water divers. Just feel free to contact us, we will be more than happy to help you find the best diving boat to make your first liveaboard trip. Furthermore, some of those destination are part of the best liveaboard destination in the world. From Belize to Egypt, you will find the best trip for your first liveaboard experience. Let’s introduce the best destinations for beginner divers.


One of the best liveaboard destination on the planet, Maldives is often considered as one of the best diving destination in the world with amazing tropical diving destinations and large pelagics. You will be able to dive with whale sharks and manta rays as they are very often spotted and sometimes, even hammerhead sharks make their way to the magnificent channels and pinnacles of this island country.

Most of the liveaboards in Maldives going to the northern and southern atolls ask for an advanced certification, the central atolls has great liveaboard itinerary for beginner divers. These clear water have much less current than anywhere else in the Maldives and most of the marine life can be found above 18meter depth. Some ships even offer to pass the Open Water on a liveaboard as an optional addition to the itinerary.

  • Featured Creatures: Manta Rays and Whale Sharks
  • When to Go: December to April


Probably one of the best place to find a cheap liveaboard but with great standards, Egypt and the Red Sea have a lot of amazing dive sites. Furthermore, the northern itinerary is definitely one of the best liveaboard for beginner divers as the dive sites are not very deep and the current is very low. You will be able to visit healthy coral reefs and some great wrecks, including the worldwide famous SS Thistlegorm, which is considered not only as one of the best wrecks in the world but also one of the best dive site in the world.

As explained, Egypt’s liveaboards are usually cheaper than others around the world and it is one of the best budget liveaboard destination. The two major ports of departure for northern routes are Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.

  • Featured Creatures: Sharks and Tropical Fish
  • When to Go: March to May and September to November


Belize is a small country located in the Caribean and has some of the best waters for diving, including the second biggest barrier reef in the world. You will probably be able to dive with manta rays, reef sharks or Turtle in Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Caye. You might also have the chance to dive with hammerhead sharks, manatees or dolphins on the Turneffe Atoll..

Furthermore, these destinations are easily accessed by liveaboard from Belize City, and nearly all the diving site are perfect for beginners. Keep in mind that many liveaboards ask at least 15 dives before to be able to book a liveaboard in Belize.

  • Featured Creatures: Manta Rays, Hammerhead sharks, Manatees, Dolphins, Turtles, Stingrays and Reef Sharks
  • When to Go: March to December


Australia is the perfect destination for divers who would like to pass their open water certification and directly book a liveaboard cruise on one of the best diving destination on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef spans 344,400 square kilometer. In this part of Australia, you’ll be able to dive with manta rays and many different spiecies of sharks such as silky sharks, grey reef sharks, tiger sharks and even the magnificient whale shark. Coral gardens, bommies, pinnacles and channels make up the majority of dive sites.

The inner reef of the Great Barrier can be explore on a day diving cruise from Queensland but the magnificient outer reef can only be discover on a liveaboard trip in Australia and it offers better biodiversity, healthier corals and has much less divers.

  • Featured Creatures: Manta Rays and Sharks
  • When to Go: June to November


Cuba is an extremely famous diving destination and some of its diving regions are extremely famous for shark diving. The most famous dive site of Cuba is definitely Jardines de la Rein, the region consists of 230 islets and is nearly 80 Kilometers 50 miles from Cuba’s south coast. The diving sites of Jardines de la Reina are usually pretty shallow and have no current but an amazing marine life and hundreds of sharks. You will even be able to snorkel with crocodiles. Most of the liveaboards in Cuba do not ask any particular number of logged dives.

  • Featured Creatures: Caribbean Reef Sharks and Crocodiles
  • When to Go: November to April


Three major islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, sit like emerald gems in sapphire seas. Here, you will be able to dive on magnificient dive sites such as Babylon Pinnacle or the Wilderness Wall, an impressive drop-off. Furthermore, the wrecks of the Captain Keith Tibbets and the Kittiwake host all types of tropical marine species and could be considered as some of the best wrecks on the planet.

Finally, you will definitely enjoys the dive on the Stingray City, pretty famous for its encounters with stingrays in shallow waters. This is a great liveaboard for open water divers as the boats usually don’t have any minimum dive requirements, because most sites are shallow with no current.

  • Featured Creatures: Stingrays and Tropical Fish
  • When to Go: June to November


Scuba diving in Thailand is definitely a must. Indeed, while some islands such as Koh Tao, that is the place with the most scuba diving certification on earth, other regions are only accessible on a liveaboard.

The Andaman seas are particularly famous for liveaboard diving trip in Thailand. The Similans islands, that are protected as a marine park since 1982, have some of the best dive sites in the world and are only accessible on a diving cruise from Thailand. You will be able to dive with large pelagics, such as whale sharks, in particular on the famous dive site called Richelieu Rock. Liveaboards ply the waters off Phuket, hitting the Similans or even Koh Bon. While some dive sites are not extremely easy, most of the diving site do not require specific experience. You just need an open water to book most of the liveaboards in Thailand.

  • Featured Creatures: Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
  • When to Go: November to May


The Bahamas, with more than 700 different island offer many amazing dive sites. The third largest barrier reef is found offshore, and there are deep walls, wrecks, blue holes has some of the best diving sites for sharks. On famous dive sites such as Tiger Beach, you are nearly 100% sure to dive with tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerhead sharks, silky sharks or oceanic whitetip sharks.

Liveaboards in Bahamas are the best way to get the most out of your diving trip. Furthermore, as most of the dive has shallow and clear waters with nearly no currents, you won’t need to be an experienced diver to book a diving cruise in the Bahamas.

  • Featured Creatures: Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks, Bull Sharks and Dolphins
  • When to Go: October to June


Offering an impressive barrier reef and amazing drop-offs, the country is composed of 40 islands located southeast of the Bahamas. In most of the diving area, you’ll make some drift dive past coral-lined walls that fall to the deep blue. You will also have the chance to dive with some amazing pelagic species such as hammerheads and eagle rays. In other places, you’ll find beds of soft corals that are part of a 14-mile barrier reef.

The large majority of the diving site of Turks and Caicos are protected from the strong currents by a the reef and offers a crystal clear water. Most parts of the country are uninhabited, and liveaboards in Turks and Caicos represent from far the best, if not the only, option to discover this scuba diving wonderland.

  • Featured Creatures: Hammerheads and Eagle Rays
  • When to Go: November to May


Last but not least, the Philippines, with their 7107 different islands is considered as one of the top diving destination worldwide. This large area regroup more than 1200 different species of marine life. While most of these are macro life, the Philippines is also known for its pelagics and is a great destination for shark lovers. You will be able to dive with whale sharks, thresher sharks and even manta rays.

Furthermore, most of the diving areas of the Philippines with the exception of Tubbataha and Malapascua are accessible to beginners. You will be able to find a lot of luxury liveaboards suited for beginners such as the liveaboard itineraries of Apo Reef, Anilao or the Visayas.

  • Featured Creatures: Hammerheads and Eagle Rays
  • When to Go: November to April

Please feel free to directly contact one of our scuba diving travel agents. We will be happy to help you find the best liveaboard destination for open water and beginner divers.