If you have searched for luxury liveaboard diving in the Caribbean, you may accept that the term “luxury” means different things to different people. With this in mind, I begin this article with a guide on how to choose a luxury liveaboard boat, which includes seven considerations. I then applied these seven luxury considerations to this full list of Caribbean liveaboards.
With that said, for any of these Caribbean liveaboards to be included on this list of luxury boats, they had to have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioned cabins as a must. Plus the “Luxury Rating” score includes only those liveaboards that scored 40 and above. If you want to see all the available Caribbean liveaboards, take a look at this article that includes a Caribbean liveaboard dive boat comparison chart.
7 considerations when choosing a luxury Caribbean diving liveaboard:
- Liveaboard boat size.
- Boat design considerations for scuba divers.
- Onboard entertainment and other activities.
- Connectivity onboard the liveaboard.
- Cabin luxury and amenity.
- Food and drink.
- Other onboard amenities.
If you would like to read more about each of these seven luxury aspects of these Caribbean liveaboards, which may help you to choose the right luxury Caribbean diving liveaboard for you, please jump towards the second half of this article after the following table.
Luxury Liveaboard Diving Caribbean Comparison Table
|Caribbean Liveaboard Dive Boat||Enquire||Luxury Rating||Caribbean Island||Review Rating Out of 10||Cost Per Day (From Price)||Review||Flexible Booking||Nitrox||Dive Courses||Diet||Vegan||Vegetarian||Max Guests|
|Ensuites||Air Con Cabins||Seaview Cabins||Min Trip Nights||Max Trip Nights||Internet||Liveaboard Length||Family Friendly||Non-Diver Friendly||Other Activites||Sidemount Diving||Rebreather Friendly||Tech Diver Friendly||Min Experience||Min Logged Dives||Available For Charter|
|Aqua Cat Liveaboard||Enquire||51||Bahamas||9.2||£170/$231/€190||Review||Yes||Paid||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||30/11/13||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||31m/102f||Yes||Yes||Kayaks||Yes||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard||Enquire||51||Cuba||0.0||£271/$369/€304||Not yet||No||Paid||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||30/15/16||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||55m/180f||No||Yes||Stand Up Paddleboard, Kayaks, Fishing||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Jardines Avalon Fleet I Liveaboard||Enquire||48||Cuba||0.0||£271/$369/€304||Review||No||Paid||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||20/10/12||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||34m/110f||No||Yes||Stand Up Paddleboard||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Jardines Avalon Fleet II Liveaboard||Enquire||48||Cuba||0.0||£271/$369/€304||Review||No||Paid||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||24/12/14||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||43m/140f||No||Yes||Stand Up Paddleboard||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Cuan Law Liveaboard||Enquire||44||Virgin Islands||10.0||£328/$446/€367||Not yet||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||20/10/10||Yes||Yes||Yes||6||6||Free||32m/105f||No||Yes||Kayaks||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Sea Hunter Liveaboard||Enquire||44||Dominican Republic||9.2||£353/$480/€395||Not yet||No||Free||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||20/10/10||Yes||Yes||Yes||10||11||No||35m/115f||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||AOW||50||Yes|
|Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard||Enquire||41||Cayman Islands||9.0||£269/$366/€301||Not yet||Yes||Paid||Yes||Yes||No||No||20/10/10||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||37m/120f||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
|Bahamas Master Liveaboard||Enquire||40||Bahamas||9.0||£270/$367/€302||Review||Yes||Paid||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||16/08/08||Yes||Yes||Yes||5||14||No||35m/115f||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||AOW||50||Yes|
|Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard||Enquire||40||Turks and Caicos||9.0||£205/$279/€230||Not yet||Yes||Paid||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||20/10/10||Yes||Yes||Yes||7||7||No||38m/124f||No||Yes||Land excursions||No||No||No||OW||Enquire||Yes|
1. The exchange rate used for GBP to USD 1.36 and GBP to Euro 1.12.
2. If you love one of these Luxury Caribbeanan liveaboard dive boats, but the price is above your budget, please always check the most up to date cost of the trip by clicking on the "Enquire" link, as there may be special offers or a significant price change for a specific Caribbean liveaboard dive boats not yet reflected in the above table.
3. The 'Cost per day' column will make it easy to sort these luxury Caribbean liveaboard dive boats by cost, but these prices may vary when you visit to book. The prices listed are a cost guide and were correct at the time of compiling this table.
4. Under review rating '0.0' means no rating received at the time of compiling the table.
5. To scroll on desktop select table and use arrow keys. On touch screen including mobile devices scroll the table using the screen.
6. Min dive certification: OW = Open Water Diver. AOW = Advanced Open Water Diver.
7. When the minimum logged dives has "enquire" this usually means the number of minimum dives varies by trip. Or can mean the liveaboard doesn't have a minimum, but to be certified which is a requirement, you will have dived.
Luxury ratings for Caribbean liveaboards
More information about how the above luxury Caribbean diving liveaboards were scored using the seven aspects.
In each category of features, I have listed the above luxury Caribbean diving liveaboards in the same order and given their scores by category. In each luxury aspect I have highlighted the highest scoring liveaboard in bold. Where more than one dive boat has scored the highest, these have all been highlighted together. If you add together each of these individual scores by category, you would end up with the total luxury rating in the above table.
1. Liveaboard boat size
The size of the boat might seem like an obvious suggestion, but it is perhaps one of the most important factors when choosing a luxury boat. For the purposes of scoring these Caribbean liveaboards, I also took account of the maximum number of guests on board too. For example, you could get a very large liveaboard, which has large numbers of customers, and visa versa.
So for the purposes of the “Luxury Rating“, the rating takes account of the size of the liveaboard versus how many guests. The best rated liveaboard using this scale is the Bahamas Master Liveaboard, which scored 2.19, as the length of this liveaboard is 35 metres (115 feet) for just 16 guests. This compares to the lowest score, which is the Aqua Cat Liveaboard, which scored 1.03. This is because the Aqua Cat liveaboard is 31 metres (102 feet), but can accommodated up to 30 guests.
You may not consider a liveaboard packed with scuba divers as a luxury, so in this case you would more likely choose the Bahamas Master Liveaboard. But then again you may love the idea of sharing the experience with many likeminded divers and choose the Aqua Cat Liveaboard, as it shares the highest “Luxury Rating” score out of all the Caribbean liveaboards.
But when it comes to size, one factor to take account of is not just length, but also width. Catamaran liveaboards tend to be wider and more stable, so you may prefer this type of dive boat. For example, the Virgin Islands Cuan Law Liveaboard is a trimaran boat, which is very wide and will be extremely stable on the water. The width aspect of the Cuan Law is captured in the following image.
This is important for those of you who don’t have brilliant sea-legs and sometimes suffer from seasickness.
Caribbean liveaboard size scores
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 1.03 (catamaran liveaboard) – (31m/102f and 30 guests).
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 1.83 – (55m/180f and 30 guests).
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 1.7 – (34m/110f and 20 guests).
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 1.79 – (43m/140f and 24 guests).
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 1.6 – (32m/105f and 20 guests).
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 1.75 – (35m/115f and 20 guests).
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 1.85 – (37m/115f and 20 guests).
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 2.19 – (35m/115f and 16 guests).
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 1.9 – (38m/124f and 20 guests).
2. Boat design considerations for scuba divers
Boat design is a very important consideration when choosing a luxury liveaboard. But in this case ‘design’ is weighted towards scuba diving. This means that the more scuba diving features the liveaboard has, the higher it scored. For example, if the liveaboard has nitrox onboard, warm and outside showers, whether the boat is custom-built for scuba divers with a shaded dive area and rinse hoses etc.
But you may decide that nitrox is important for you. It may be that nitrox is a deal-breaker. If it is, the only one of these luxury Caribbean diving liveaboards that doesn’t have nitrox onboard is the Cuan Law Liveaboard. The rest offer nitrox, but they all charge extra for nitrox except for the Sea Hunter Liveaboard where nitrox is free.
Boat design scores by Caribbean liveaboard
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 14.
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 12.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 8.
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 17.
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 11.
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
3. Onboard entertainment and other activities
The main activity on a dive liveaboard is diving of course. However, it might be you prefer to have other options for your personal entertainment and enjoyment of the dive trip. Some people get bore easily and some don’t like to sunbathe all day. Which is why it’s important to check what other means of entertainment are available on board the luxury boat too.
Also, it may be your partner doesn’t dive and needs other features for their enjoyment of the trip whilst you’re off diving.
The “Luxury Rating” score for this purposes included looking at other activities the liveaboard offers, which includes and audio entertainment system, a sun deck, a hot tub/Jacuzzi, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, wakeboarding, fishing, land excursions and a naturalist guide, an onboard library and so on. This score also included other luxuries like complementary towels and toiletries
Onboard entertainment and other activities scores
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 15.
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 12.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 8.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 8.
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 12.
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 8.
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 8.
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 6.
Connectivity onboard the liveaboard
Connectivity may be important to you, so you may only want to book a Caribbean liveaboard if it has internet and WIFI onboard. You may on the other hand want to get away from any connection with the internet on your diving holiday. But if internet and WIFI is important to you, out of these nine luxury Caribbean diving liveaboards, only one has internet. This is the Cuan Law Liveaboard, which has a “Luxury Rating” of 44.
Cabin luxury and amenity
As already mentioned, for any Caribbean liveaboard to be included in this list the cabins must have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning. Otherwise they would not be luxury. Other factors to score highly for cabins include; daily housekeeping, Seaview cabins, balconies, TV’s and non-smoking cabins.
Cabin luxury and amenity liveaboard scoring
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 6.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 7.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 7.
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 6.
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 5.
Luxury food and drink
Food and drink is a very important aspect of any liveaboard diving holiday. For this scoring I took into account the variety of food on offer, for example, western food, local food, vegan and vegetarian options and a BBQ option too. With regards to drinks, the scoring was based on factors like fine wine selections, the availability of beer, soft drinks and whether welcome cocktails are offered, as this sets the trip off to a great luxury beginning.
Food and drink scoring
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 15.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 14.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 14.
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 13.
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 11.
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 9.
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 10.
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 11.
Other onboard luxury amenities
The other onboard amenities includes features like charging stations on the boat, an air conditioned saloon and a laundry service.
Other onboard luxury amenities scoring
- Aqua Cat Liveaboard – luxury score 3.
- Jardines Avalon III Liveaboard – luxury score 4.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 1 Liveaboard – luxury score 4.
- Jardines Avalon Fleet 2 Liveaboard – luxury score 4.
- Cuan Law Liveaboard – luxury score 3.
- Sea Hunter Liveaboard – luxury score 4.
- Cayman Aggressor IV Liveaboard – luxury score 3.
- Bahamas Master Liveaboard – luxury score 4.
- Turks and Caicos Explorer Liveaboard – luxury score 3.
Final thoughts on choosing your luxury Caribbean diving liveaboard
Of course you may be looking to dive in a specific region or island of the Caribbean. If the Caribbean Island is not listed in this article of luxury liveaboards, please take a look at this article that lists all Caribbean diving liveaboards in a handy comparison table. But on the other hand it might be about the type of diving you are looking for. For example, if you love the idea of scuba diving with tiger sharks, you should choose a Bahamas liveaboard to scuba dive Tiger Beach.
The truth is that in my opinion none of these Caribbean liveaboards offer true luxury, but the term luxury like love is in the eye of the beholder, which means you may disagreed with me. Which is why I went about producing this article in the way I have. I always try to be as helpful as I can, and I hope I have achieved this. If I have (or perhaps if I haven’t) please let me have your comments below). Please let me know how this article could be improved, as I welcome all constructive feedback.
If you want real luxury, you should take a look a this page which includes all Maldives diving liveaboards – sort the comparison table by “Rating Out of 10” and you won’t go far wrong if you book any of these Maldives liveaboards with a score of 9 and over out of 10.
Finally, if you want to really enjoy luxury liveaboard diving in the Caribbean, why not charter the liveaboard. All the above Caribbean liveaboards are available for charter, which means you, your family and friends can have the liveaboard to yourselves.
If you charter a Caribbean liveaboard, you can choose how many guests you have onboard (subject to the maximum number in the above table). This will effectively give you your own personal dive crew, dive guides, chefs and captain to enjoy which ever Caribbean Island you choose.
Table of Caribbean liveaboards
This list of Caribbean liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.
|Liveaboard main photo||Discover Liveaboard||Customer Review Rating Out of 10||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Country|
|Review Link: All Star Cuan Law; Booking Link: All Star Cuan Law||10||79||YES||YES||YES||NO||Bahamas|
|Review Link: Cat Ppalu; Booking Link: Cat Ppalu||9.9||50||YES||YES||YES||NO||Bahamas|
|Review Link: MY Aqua Cat; Booking Link: MY Aqua Cat||9.3||81||YES||YES||YES||YES||Bahamas|
|Review Link: MV Cayman Aggressor IV; Booking Link: MV Cayman Aggressor IV||9.3||71||NO||YES||YES||YES||Cayman Islands|
|Review Link: Blackbeards Sea Explorer; Booking Link: Blackbeards Sea Explorer||9.3||48||YES||NO||YES||NO||Bahamas|
|Review Link: MV Bahamas Master; Booking Link: MV Bahamas Master||9.2||73||YES||YES||YES||YES||Bahamas|
|Review Link: MV Belize Aggressor III; Booking Link: MV Belize Aggressor III||9.1||67||NO||YES||YES||YES||Belize|
|Review Link: Blackbeards Morning Star; Booking Link: Blackbeards Morning Star||9.1||52||YES||YES||YES||NO||Bahamas|
|Review Link: MY Belize Aggressor IV; Booking Link: MY Belize Aggressor IV||9||65||NO||YES||YES||YES||Belize|
|Review Link: MV Bahamas Aggressor; Booking Link: MV Bahamas Aggressor||8.6||67||NO||YES||YES||YES||Bahamas|
The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.
Think about it like using Booking.com when searching for the best hotel. Booking.com also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on Booking.com, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10.
I hope you enjoyed this article about luxury liveaboard diving Caribbean
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof Gopro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about luxury liveaboard diving Caribbean), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba diving (and snorkeling) for you to read and learn about these fabulous sports.
Have fun and be safe!