Is a dive liveaboard necessary to experience the best wreck diving in the world?
A Truk Lagoon diving liveaboard is possibly the best way to dive the deep wrecks in Truk Lagoon. There’s nowhere else in the world with so many wrecks in one location tightly packed into a coral reef lagoon. You also experience sharks, rays and turtles, plus corals and coral fish too.
Truk Lagoon diving liveaboards include Truk Master Liveaboard and permanently moored SS Thorfinn Liveaboard. The benefits of diving Truk Lagoon from either dive liveaboard include all-inclusive meals, spending time with like-minded divers and less travel time back and forth to the dive sites.
The best way to dive Truk Lagoon is by a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on Truk Lagoon liveaboards using the following window:
Truk Lagoon dive liveaboards table
This list of Truk Lagoon 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 (Max 10)||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Gear Rental|
|Review Link: SS Thorfinn; Booking Link: SS Thorfinn||8.8||88%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: MV Truk Master; Booking Link: MV Truk Master||7.9||65%||YES||NO||YES||YES||YES|
|Review Link: MV Pacific Master; Booking Link: MV Pacific Master||0||56%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
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.
Truk Lagoon diving liveaboards available for diving
More details about these two Truk Lagoon liveaboards. Both are available from Liveaboard.com and are are as follows:
The Truk Master liveaboard – overall rating 7.9 out of 10
Liveaboard dive boat Truk Master has the following characteristics:
- 37 metres (121 feet) in length.
- Operates year round diving trips to Truk Lagoon.
- The dive deck, which is located at the back of the middle deck, offers each diver an individual setup station.
- At each guest’s station there’s an under-bench for storing your personal gear.
- There’s a central camera station for setting up your gear with dedicated rinse tanks.
- The dive tanks on the Truk Master are 15 litre steel tanks.
- But they also have 12 litre dive tanks but need to be ordered in advance.
- You can twin two 12 litre tanks as a twin-set.
- Dive the deeper wrecks in Chuuk Lagoon use a rebreather as rebreather support is also offered. As is tech diver support.
- Paid for nitrox is available.
- The Truk Master liveaboard caters for up to a maximum of 16 guests.
- She has 8 cabins, each with individually controlled AC units and en-suite bathrooms.
- Some of the cabins are twins, whereas others have double beds with a single bed too.
- Relaxation areas consist of an indoor lounge & bar with comfortable seating.
- There’s a plasma screen with an entertainment system.
- Includes a spacious indoor dining area, and a shaded outdoor seating area with sundeck.
Truk Master reviews
The reviews of Truk Master rate her 7.9 stars out of 10. Mark from the United States rated his experience as 10 out of 10 – Exception:
‘Overall very good experience – Wrecks top notch, friendly crews.Mark from the USA rating the Truk Master
“A Diver’s Only WWI Museum. Only did the 7 day Truk Lagoon itinerary but still was able to truly appreciate the wreck diving. Each of these wrecks is essentially a divers-only museum of ships and their cargo leftover from WWII. You can find some pretty amazing artifacts from live torpedos, machine gun bullets, zero fighter parts, tanks, ship telegraphs, and medical kits scattered throughout these wrecks. You can also explore the engine rooms of many of these wrecks which itself is a unique aspect of diving here. The crew on board the Truk Master is quite friendly. The dive guides in particular are incredibly experienced and well-trained.
I don’t think I’ve ever had as many very experienced dive guides on a liveaboard before. These guides know all of the wrecks inside and out which is pretty important when you’re doing wreck penetration. The food could have been better but let’s be real, food isn’t the most important part of the liveaboard. The boat is a good size so you can avoid people when you want and find people in the common spaces when you do want to hang out.” Recommended for: Wreck Diving, Wreck Diving, Wreck Diving.Vincent L customer review of the Truk Master from United States.
To find the latest prices and to book the Truk Master please follow this link: Truk Master liveaboard.
SS Thorfinn Liveaboard – Overall rating 8.8 out of 10
Liveaboard dive boat SS Thorfinn has the following characteristics:
- 58 metres (190 feet) in length and a very comfortable boat to dive from.
- Diving liveaboard accommodates up to 22 divers.
- Crewed by 22, making it a 1:1 ratio of crew to guests. This level of service has to be paid for, so she’s not the cheapest liveaboard trip you can book. But Truk Lagoon is a once in a lifetime bucket list trip for most. So why not do it in style.
- It’s important to note that the SS Thorfinn liveaboard is permanently moored within a sheltered central wreck anchorage. Which means divers are able to dive the wrecks immediately around the SS Thorfinn. But to reach the other Chuuk Lagoon wrecks, this is done using twin engine 150hp 9.75 metre (32 feet) launches.
- The SS Thorfinn has 10 air-conditioned cabins on-board.
- Each cabin has ensuite bathroom facilities.
- Each cabin is equipped with in-room facilities, TV and DVD player and a full length closet.
- She has five decks, so there’s plenty of room for relaxation aboard the SS Thorfinn Liveaboard.
- On the ‘C’ deck there’s a comfortable and spacious saloon.
- In the saloon divers can enjoy a 50” multi-system LED TV and DVD player, a CD player with iPod connection and 6 speaker surround sound system.
- There’s a library on-board, which includes a range of Fish ID reference books.
- There’s a comfortable seating area and fully stocked bar make this a popular guest area.
- For further relaxation there’s also a sun deck for those sun-worshipers among you.
- But even better, there’s also a Spa deck, which has a 12 person Jacuzzi.
- The dining lounge is on deck ‘D’ where you’ll be served a varied menu throughout the day chosen by the two on-board chefs.
SS Thorfinn reviews
Reviews of the SS Thorfinn rate this 8.8 out of 10 which is an overall ‘Superb’.
James from the United Kingdom rated his experience as 9.2 out of 10 – Superb:
‘The place to go for wreck diving – I stayed on the boat for 8 days diving 4 wrecks every day, and when I left there were still many we had not seen, I was Tech diving but other diver where mostly recreational level, the wreck are at all depth so OK for all diver but some of the deeper ones were 60+ m so having deco cylinder helped reduce the deco times.
The boat was moored while we were on it, which worked well as she is mored close to the main wreck and has fast Dive boat to take you to the dive site, we were comfortably doing 4 dived per day with meals or snack waiting between dives. The captin Lance was a working history book of the area which added to the interest.’James from the UK reviewing SS Thorfinn
To find out the latest prices and to book the SS Thorfinn Liveaboard please follow this link: SS Thorfinn Liveaboard.
Truk Lagoon – the history
Truk Lagoon’s name was changed to Chuuk Lagoon in 1990. However, many scuba divers and resort operators still refer to it as Truk Lagoon. This is the name that is synonymous with what created this Mecca for wreck divers.
If you want to find out more about what happened at Truk Lagoon in World War II in 1944, please read this article – What happened at Truk Lagoon in 1944.
What happened at Truk Lagoon in brief
But in brief, the reason why there are so many World War II wrecks in Chuuk Lagoon is because they were sunk by the Americans during Operation Hailstone in 1944. Chuuk Lagoon, or Truk Lagoon at the time, was being used by the Japanese Navy.
During World War II Operation Hailstone targeted these Japanese ships. Of all the wrecks, only three of them were actually battle ships. Two were destroyers and one was a submarine, the I-169 Submarine.
The rest of these ships were mostly troop and cargo carriers. Many of which still have their cargos inside their holds for divers to explore. The artefacts include ammunition and various wartime equipment and vehicles.
This includes battle tanks and lorries, all of which can be seen by divers of Chuuk Lagoon.
These wrecks were first explored by Jacques Cousteau and his crew in 1969. Cousteau and his team created a documentary about the ghost ships of Truk Lagoon. They documented and filmed the human remains they found, which can still be seen today.
To read more about what happened at Truk Lagoon, please read this article what happened at Truk Lagoon in 1944. The article includes a useful list of the wrecks and depths too.
Truk Lagoon diving liveaboard
There are mixed views as to whether you need to dive Truk Lagoon on a liveaboard or not.
To understand the arguments of resort diving Truk Lagoon vs a Truk Lagoon diving liveaboard, let’s take a look at the usual liveaboard diving vs resort diving pros and cons and apply them to Truk Lagoon.
Truk Lagoon, or it’s current name Chuuk Lagoon, is certainly not a dive liveaboard-only dive destination.
You can certainly get to most if not all the Truk Lagoon wrecks from the land-based resorts. This can be done almost as easily as you can from a liveaboard boat.
The reason why Chuuk Lagoon is so popular for divers who love wreck diving is because of the many wrecks there. But not only that, it’s loved even more because of the close proximity of these wrecks.
The close proximity of this ghost fleet is as a result of how many Japanese ships were sunk in such a short space of time by the American Forces. Most wrecks were sunk over a 36 hour window. Many of them were still at anchor at the time.
It’s this close proximity of the wrecks and how close they are to the Chuuk Islands where dive resorts are based, that make it possible to scuba dive the wrecks from land-based dive boats with ease.
If you are a family will impact your decision about liveaboard vs resort based for Truk Lagoon diving
If you have a family or if your partner is a non-diver, then diving Truk Lagoon from a diving liveaboard may not be the right option. There’s no problem in checking into a resort like the Blue Lagoon Resort and enjoying the wrecks of Chuuk on day boats.
The reviews on Trip Advisor about the Blue Lagoon resort are mixed. It’s certainly not Five Star. But if you’re looking for somewhere to relax between dives it is good for that.
But as the main attraction is the wreck diving, the fact that The Blue Lagoon resort is at best Three Star doesn’t seem to matter to veteran scuba divers who are there for the wreck diving.
There’s not too much to do on the Islands. There are also mixed messages about how safe they are too. Some recommend you don’t leave the safety of the resort. Whereas others say it’s safe.
There is a museum to visit. This Truk museum will help to provide extra background and history to what happened at Truk Lagoon back in February 1944.
Limited divers on dive sites visited by diving liveaboards
Whilst Chuuk Lagoon is known as the Mecca for wreck divers, it’s not a place where you’ll see an over-crowding of divers.
Unlike places like the Red Sea in Egypt where shore-based dive sites can get a bit overcrowded, this is not likely to happen with the wrecks at Truk Lagoon. This is even true with the wrecks that are easier to get to by day-boat.
This is because whilst Truk Lagoon is a bucket list dive destination for many scuba divers, it isn’t the easiest of places to get to. Its also more expensive to dive and reach than most dive destinations. These factors make Truk Lagoon less accessible to many. It also keeps the numbers of divers lower than other more visited dive locations.
The usual benefit of remote dive site accessibility for day boats doesn’t apply to Truk Lagoon.
Relaxation between dives
The luxury of relaxing between dives on a liveaboard is certainly true at Truk Lagoon. Whereas if you’re on a day-boat, you are either zooming back to your resort for lunch or you’ll be staying out on the water in a smaller boat than all the liveaboard boats.
With a Truk Lagoon liveaboard you’ll be able to get up early for your first dive before breakfast. This will be followed by breakfast served on the boat.
Whereas with a day boat, you’ll have your breakfast at the resort and then be taken to your first wreck of the day after this.
The option to dive more times on a dive liveaboard vs resort diving
This argument is debatable, as some choose to dive 3-4 times per day. I’ve even read some divers diving up to five dives per day in Truk Lagoon.
The Truk Lagoon diving depths are mostly very deep. The deepest wrecks are well over 50 metres (164 feet).
This means you are probably unlikely to be diving without going into decompression stop time on at least one dive per day. It’s therefore not recommended to dive more than twice in a day if this is the case. I certainly wouldn’t recommend doing more than two decompression stop dives per day.
Some may argue this point with me. But I certainly wouldn’t do more that two really deep dives per day, as I value my life!
All-inclusive meals on Truk Lagoon liveaboards
If your preference is to go all-inclusive, this is what you’ll get on the two Truk Lagoon liveaboards.
However, if you choose to stay at the Blue Lagoon Dive resort, meals are not included and are paid for separately.
This is what I love about liveaboard diving. You can get up early before breakfast and do your first dive. This is followed by a hearty breakfast. Then you get served lunch and dinner in between your other dives, relaxation and snorkeling time.
Mixing with like-minded divers on a Truk Lagoon liveaboard
There’s no doubt that diving from a liveaboard is the best way to go if you’re keen to mix with like-minded people. Whenever I’ve dived from a liveaboard there’s always been a great atmosphere on-board, as nearly everyone is a diver.
Whilst you get a certain amount of this in a dive resort, it’s not the same as it is on a liveaboard boat.
Diving liveaboards tend to be more expensive
Liveaboard dive boats tend to be more expensive than diving resorts. Although this will depend on the resort you stay at and the liveaboard you choose.
However, what you need to consider when looking at this extra cost is that all meals are included on a liveaboard. There’s also the convenience factor of being close to the wrecks. You won’t have the hassle of going back and forth to the resort each day.
Are these worth the extra cost? Only you’ll be able to answer that question.
How to get to Truk Lagoon and map of the wrecks
If you want to know how to get to Truk Lagoon, this article will help: How to get to Truk Lagoon. Plus to see the location of the Truk Lagoon Wrecks on a map. Please follow this link to: Truk Lagoon wreck map.
I hope you enjoyed this article about what is Truk Lagoon diving liveaboard
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Have fun and be safe!