So you’ve heard that the best way to experience scuba diving in the Bahamas is on a dive liveaboard.
It’s true, there is honestly no better way to explore the underwater beauty of this colossal island nation.
But with so many dive liveaboards cruising the Bahamas, you’re really not sure which one to go with.
And that’s where ScubaOtter comes in.
After heavy research, we’ve compiled a list of the best dive liveaboards in the Bahamas.
Keep reading to learn more about these options. Plus we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about liveaboard diving in The Bahamas.
So let’s get started.
Why Go On A Bahamian Liveaboard?
Of course, you can go scuba diving in The Bahamas without embarking on a liveaboard.
But if you want to truly experience the diving splendor that the Bahamas has to offer then diving from a liveaboard is a must.
With over 2,000 islands, this breathtaking archipelago stretches across 5,382 square miles.
If you base yourself on just one of those islands you’re severely limiting the dive sites you can access. And moving from one island to another is time-consuming. And not very cost-effective.
On a liveaboard, you’ll be able to access more, and often much better, dive sites. Many of the most pristine and abundant reefs in The Bahamas can only be accessed on a dive liveaboard.
What’s more, is that you can dive sites at the most optimal time. This means you avoid the crowds of divers coming from resorts and cruise ships. Nothing is more disappointing than arriving at a beautiful reef to find more scuba divers than fish!
And if that’s not enough, for the number of dives on offer, a liveaboard provides better value for money than diving from an island base. Plus it’s much more comfortable!
Simply put, a liveaboard will make scuba diving in The Bahamas easier, cheaper and significantly more spectacular.
Best Liveaboards In The Bahamas
The best liveaboards in the Bahamas are:
We’ve carefully selected the very best liveaboards currently cruising The Bahamas.
So you can simply pick the boat that best suits your tastes and budget, knowing that you’ve booked one of the top liveaboards on offer.
Expect incredible diving and excellent customer service from all of the liveaboards listed below.
It’s important to note that most liveaboards in The Bahamas focus on activities over onboard luxuries. But, with so much to see and do, you won’t want to spend much time in your cabin anyway!
Our first pick is the Phoenix Liveaboard. This beautifully designed catamaran caters for a maximum of 8 guests so it’s ideal for families, small groups or those who crave a more intimate and personal experience.
The 4 cosy cabins are optimized for maximum comfort. Each cabin features 1 double bed, air conditioning and private, freshwater bathroom. Plus there’s plenty of space to relax in the shaded outdoor lounge area or on the front sun deck.
Enjoy a variety of local and international dishes, always served with fresh salads and fruits, in the indoor or Al-fresco dining areas. The crew will also happily cook any fish you catch or help you prepare it yourself if you prefer.
What’s more, is that the highly experienced crew are available 24/7 delivering unbeatable customer service. The crew will always go above and beyond to make sure you have a truly unforgettable trip.
The Phoenix offers you the opportunity to design your own personalized itinerary with the option to make 4 dives per day. Choose from over 250 different dive sites around The Bahamas including the famous Exuma and Eleuthera reefs, only accessible via liveaboard.
You can also add a variety of activities including sailing, snorkeling, bird watching and, of course, island exploring.
If you’re looking for a highly personalized experience at an affordable price then look no further than the Phoenix Liveaboard.
- Great customer service
- Beautiful outdoor lounge area
- Freshly prepared meals
- Intimate & personalised experience
- Suitable for non-divers
- Extra charge for Wi-Fi
- Small cabins
- Nitrox not available
The Aqua Cat is our top liveaboard in The Bahamas. This world-class 31-meter catamaran boasts outstanding facilities, excellent customer service and delicious food.
The Aqua Cat can accommodate up to 30 guests across 11 spacious cabins. Each cabin features a private bathroom, individually controlled AC and oversized beds for added comfort. Fold-down bunks in 4 of the cabins provide additional options for families.
The large, air-conditioned saloon area features an impressive entertainment system including an area for video editing. And for those who prefer lounging in the open air, the upper deck offers ample space for relaxing. Chill out in the shady hammocks or top up your tan on the sun deck.
Scuba divers can enjoy up to 26 dives per week across over 200 of The Bahamas’ most beautiful dive sites. The top-notch diving deck is well equipped with bathrooms, charging stations, camera storage, nitrox and more.
Aqua Cat’s onboard menu offers a wide variety of cuisine for everyone including vegetarians, vegans and those with dietary restrictions. There’s also an Al-fresco dining area equipped with a BBQ for the perfect end to a day of diving.
Plus, this catamaran liveaboard offers plenty of non-diving adventures including hiking, stand up paddleboarding, snorkelling, wildlife visits and more.
If comfort is a priority for you, then you simply can’t go wrong with the Aqua Cat liveaboard.
- Spacious cabins
- Outstanding customer service
- Large lounge area with entertainment system
- Vegetarian & vegan food options available
- Wide variety of non-diving activities
- Large sundeck with BBQ
- Wi-Fi not available
- Snorkel equipment not included
This spacious yacht provides absolutely everything you need for an incredible experience both above and below the water.
Catering to only 14 guests, each of the comfortable cabins is fitted with air conditioning, private hot-water bathrooms, individual entertainment systems and even a hairdryer. Communal areas include a roomy air-conditioned saloon and shaded outdoor lounge. Plus there’s a spacious sun deck equipped with jacuzzi, wet bar and grill.
Not only does the indoor lounge feature an impressive entertainment system but there’s also a dedicated area and software available for photo and video editing. Perfect for underwater photographers and videographers dying to review all te epic footage from each day.
The dedicated onboard chefs freshly prepare a delicious variety of American feasts, barbecues and local cuisine. If you have any dietary requirements rest assured you’ll be well taken care of on this liveaboard. Plus a variety of fresh fruit juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee and a selection of local beer and wine are all complimentary throughout the trip.
In between diving you can enjoy snorkelling, island excursions or simply relaxing onboard. And if you’ve still got energy left after your diving adventures, there’s a variety of nightly entertainment including diving and marine life presentations, movies, games and more.
An attentive and highly trained crew are always on hand to ensure your comfort and satisfaction, both onboard and underwater.
If you really want to make the most of your time in The Bahamas then The Bahamas Aggressor is the perfect liveaboard for you.
- Super comfortable & spacious
- Delicious food
- Jacuzzi on-board
- Variety of day and night entertainment
- Video & Photo editing suite
- Complimentary drinks
- Wi-Fi not included
- Snorkel equipment not included
- Cabins can feel a little cramped
Cat Ppalu is ideal for those looking to sail around the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas in laid back luxury. This super speedy catamaran will quickly whisk you away to the most secluded and peaceful spots in The Bahamas.
This outstanding liveaboard features 6 bright and comfortable cabins, 4 of which come with double beds, and two with twin beds. Each room has air-conditioning and a private bathroom with a freshwater shower. There’s a large dining area where guests can enjoy family-style meals featuring a variety of local and international dishes.
Cat Ppalu provides the ultimate diving and sailing adventure. Choose to maximise your bottom time with up to 19 dives per week. Or mix it up with an impressive array of watersports. Snorkelling, kayaking, fishing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, bird watching and secluded beach trips are all available from this liveaboard.
If you want to get away from the crowds and soak up the beautiful Bahamian scenery then the Cat Ppalu is the liveaboard for you.
- Delicious variety of food
- Vegetarian options available
- Fishing supported
- Watersports included
- Wi-Fi not available
- Nitrox not available
- Limited communal space
If you want to experience the best diving The Bahamas has to offer in the most comfortable way, then The Bahamas Master is the liveaboard for you.
The Bahamas Master can accommodate up to 16 guests across 8 beautifully designed and bright cabins. You can choose between 3 cabin types; a premium cabin on the forward upper deck, with a double bed and private en-suite bathroom, a classic cabin with en-suite or a standard cabin with a shared bathroom. All of the cabins boast panoramic ocean views, air conditioning, and hot freshwater showers.
On the main deck, you’ll find an air-conditioned indoor lounge with a designated camera area and entertainment system. Upstairs there’s a shaded outdoor bar and dining area. As well as a spacious sundeck for relaxing. All meals are served buffet style where you can choose between a variety of mouthwatering international and local dishes.
Scuba diving is a top priority on the Bahamas Master liveaboard. All itineraries focus purely on delivering the very best diving that The Bahamas has to offer.
Combining world-class diving with unbeatable comfort and customer service, this is a fantastic liveaboard for serious scuba junkies.
- Very comfortable & spacious
- Seaviews in every cabin
- Dedicated camera area
- Great food
- Wi-Fi not available
- Nitrox not included
- Limited non-diving activities
When to go on a dive liveaboard in The Bahamas?
Dive liveaboards operate year-round in The Bahamas. There are some fluctuations in the weather but these tend to have a minimal effect on scuba diving.
Dry Season in The Bahamas (November to May)
The dry season is often considered the best time for dive liveaboards in The Bahamas. The weather is dry, visibility is great and the risk of hurricanes is very low. This is the very best time to see sharks in The Bahamas as the water is a little cooler (minimum 25°C).
However, this is also peak season for tourism which means that prices tend to be higher and dive sites will be busier. It’s worth booking liveaboards far ahead to ensure availability and secure a good deal.
Wet Season in The Bahamas (June to October)
During the wet season, you can expect short spells of stormy weather. However, these are quickly followed by plenty of sunshine and have very little effect on the diving conditions.
Visibility is still spectacular even during the winter months and the water is warmer (29°C – 30°C). August tends to experience the most storms so is better avoided for a liveaboard trip.
As this is the low season you’ll find some amazing deals on liveaboard trips and dive sites will be far less crowded.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are liveaboard trips in the Bahamas?
The majority of liveaboard trips in The Bahamas are 7 days. These week-long trips focus mostly on the Exumas. But you can also find extended itineraries for up to 11 days which allow you to visit more remote regions including the Bimini islands.
It is also possible to charter a liveaboard to create a more personalised schedule to suit your desired timeframe.
What certification do I need for a dive liveaboard in the Bahamas?
Most of the dive sites around the Bahamas are suitable for beginners. There are plenty of beautiful reefs and spectacular shipwrecks in the shallows.
But if you want to explore the blue holes and deep walls that make The Bahamas one of the world’s top diving destinations then you will need at least an advanced certification. We also recommend diving with enriched air nitroxso you can really maximise your time underwater.
Some dive liveaboards do offer courses onboard, and the calm conditions in The Bahamas are ideal for learning.
What is diving on a liveaboard in The Bahamas like?
On a dive liveaboard in the Bahamas, you’ll get to experience a wide variety of dive sites and some seriously impressive marine life encounters.
From vibrant coral gardens to alluring caves, historical shipwrecks to mysterious blue holes and plunging walls, there’s a ton of unique underwater adventures on a liveaboard in The Bahamas.
During your liveaboard diving trip, you will encounter many species of reef fish, turtles, eagle rays, seahorses, macro life and dolphins.
And let’s not forget about the numerous species of sharks you’ll spot on a liveaboard in The Bahamas. You’re almost guaranteed to spot Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks and even the elusive hammerheads.
Most dive liveaboards spend a significant amount of time sailing around the beautifulExuma Cays. This marine protected area consists of 365 picturesque islands and is widely known for its fantastic coral, an abundance of marine life and a large shark population.
And with all of this possible to see in just 1 week! So it’s easy to understand why The Bahamas is one of the world’s best locations for a diving liveaboard!
Are liveaboards in The Bahamas suitable for non-divers?
The great thing about liveaboards in The Bahamas is that there is always a wide variety of non-diving activities available.
Almost every liveaboard offers snorkelling and island visits. Plus many liveaboards boast an impressive array of watersports including fishing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more.
And if that’s not enough there is usually plenty of space to relax onboard or entertainment options such as movies, books, and games.
Where can I join a Liveaboard in The Bahamas?
Most dive liveaboards in The Bahamas will depart from either Freeport on Grand Bahama or Nassau port on Nassau Island.
Both of the islands have international airports with direct flights from many destinations in the US and connecting flights from further afield.
The airports are only a 10-minute drive from the port. However, this transfer is not often included in liveaboard packages.
What should I pack for a liveaboard in the Bahamas?
Liveaboards in The Bahamas are very laid back. So you really don’t need to bring much other than your swimwear and a few casual outfit options. Although you’ll mostly be barefoot, it’s also worth bringing some sturdy sandals or light sneakers for island excursions.
When it comes to dive gear, most liveaboards offer you the option to rent a full set of equipment. However, this can be quite expensive. And the with limited options you might not find a comfortable fit.
If you dive often, it’s worth investing in your own scuba diving gear. The cost of renting numerous times can often exceed the cost of purchasing your own equipment.
And even if you aren’t ready to invest in a full set, we highly recommend bringing your own dive computer and mask. These essential items will make a big difference to your safety and comfort underwater.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring an underwater camera to capture all those once in a lifetime marine encounters!
Additional information About Liveaboard Diving In The Bahamas
Here are a few extra things you might want to know when planning a dive liveaboard in The Bahamas:
- The official language in the Bahamas is English. This makes conversations with locals very easy.
- The currency is the Bahamian Dollar. However, the US dollar is also widely accepted.
- As long as you have 6 months validity on your passport, an onward ticket and are staying for less than 30 days, you shouldn’t need a visa for the Bahamas. But it’s always best to check the latest entry requirements.
- No vaccinations are currently required to enter The Bahamas.
The Bahamas archipelago is a paradise playground for scuba divers. And one that is most definitely best explored on a liveaboard.
We have no doubt that the beauty of scuba diving in The Bahamas will keep luring you back for more!
You’ve now got all the information you need to embark on your very own Bahamian liveaboard adventure.
And if you pick one of our top liveaboards in The Bahamas, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip!