The Phinisi

“Cheng I Sao” Thailand liveaboard

The Phinisi Similan liveaboardNew in 2018. The Phinisi was build in Indonesia in 2007 and has dived Indo, Thailand and the Maldives. She’s now back in Thailand cruising the best of the Andaman Sea and further north into Myanmar’s Mergui archipelago.

7 plush cabins with private bathrooms. Each cabin has individually controlled AC and fans.

There are two double bed cabins, three twin bed cabins and two quad share cabins for a total of 18 guests.

Communal areas include an indoor lounge where you can find the charging stations for your electronics and the media center for listening to music or watching a video of your day’s diving.

There is a shaded outdoor area for relaxing and dining. There is also a sundeck with cushioned loungers.

The food served on board is plentiful and delicious. It’s a mix of international and Asian cuisine served buffet style.

The atmosphere on board is relaxed. The dress code is casual, shorts, t-shirts and bare feet.



  • Built in 2007. Relaunched in Thailand in 2018
  • Length 34m, breadth 8m, draft 2.4m
  • Max 18 guests in 7 air conditioned cabins.
  • Hull material: Wood
  • Engines: 1 x 380 hp
  • Generators: 2 x 50x
  • Compressors: 2
  • Nitrox available upto 32% (extra charge applies)
  • Tanks are 12 litre aluminium. 1 litre tanks are available for an extra charge.
  • Tank valves are DIN and INT fitting.
  • Safety equipment: 2 x life rafts, EPIRB, VHF radio, EFR trained crew, First aid kit, emergency oxygen, sat nav, depth sounder, satellite phone, smoke detectors.
  • Cruising speed: 8 knots
  • Crew: 12
  • PADI dive courses available.
  • 2 x inflatable dinghy tenders for quick pick ups after the dives and for taking guests on beach excursions.
  • 1 general equipment rinse tank and 1 camera rinse tank.
  • Camera table.
  • Deck towels provided.
  • Electricity: 24 hrs. 220v. 2 pin round sockets.

The Phinisi lower deck layout The Phinisi main deck layout


The Phinisi price

Prices for March and April 2019

6 nights – Similan Islands and Surin Islands

  • Twin bed cabin with private en-suite bathroom:  ฿ 48,138 (USD 1,900) per diver
  • Double bed cabin with private en-suite bathroom:  ฿ 48,138 (USD 1,900) per diver
  • Quad (four share) cabin with private en-suite bathroom: ฿ 38,004 (USD 1,500) per diver

4 nights – South Andaman

  • Twin bed cabin with private en-suite bathroom: ฿ 39,270 (USD 1,550) per diver
  • Double bed cabin with private en-suite bathroom: ฿ 39,270 (USD 1,550) per diver
  • Quad (four share) cabin with private en-suite bathroom: ฿ 30,403 (USD 1,200) per diver

10% discount for non diving partners

Price includes: Dive guide, tanks, weights & belt, all meals, soft drinks, fresh coffee, towels, round trip transfers from Phuket main beach hotels, Khao Lak hotels and Phuket international airport.

Price excludes: Equipment rental, dive computer rental (diving with a computer is compulsory), alcoholic drinks (beer and wine can be purchased on board), marine national park fees, dive insurance (mandatory).


The Phinisi schedule

DatesItineraryStart / Finish
23 Mar-2 Apr 2019FULL
2-12 Apr 2019FULL
13-19 Apr 20196 nights Similan/Surin6 nights Similan/Surin
19-23 Apr 20194 nights South AndamanPhuket / Phuket
24-28 Apr 20194 nights South AndamanPhuket / Phuket
28 Apr-4 May 20196 nights Similan/SurinPhuket / Khao Lak
4-10 May 2019*
6 nights Similan/SurinKhao Lak / Phuket
10-14 May 2019*
4 nights South AndamanPhuket / Phuket


The Phinisi itinerary

6 Nights Similan / Surin Islands itinerary

Nearest airport: Phuket International Airport (HKT)
Embarkation: Chalong pier Phuket @1800 hrs
Disembarkation: Thap Lamu pier Phuket @1000 hrs or vise versa.

Your Cruise Director will schedule up to 4 dives per day; 3 day dives and either a
sunset or a night dive. The diving day has a typical schedule as follows:

  • Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1
  • Full Breakfast, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 2
  • Lunch, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 3
  • Snack, relaxation, followed by briefing & Dive 4
  • Dinner (if Night Dive, it will be after dinner)

Day 1 and Day 7 are reserved for embarkation and disembarkation; there will be no diving on these days. For the final day aboard we schedule 3 dives to allow plenty of time for off-gassing before disembarkation and your flight home. The Cruise Director is happy to listen to requests from guests to visit or remain at certain sites and
providing it is possible and the schedule allows, then guest’s requests are respected.

Similan Islands
The above water scenery will provide stunningly beautiful white sandy beaches with small forested areas. Dive some of the following sites; Boulder City, Sharkfin Reef, and Honeymoon Bay. Under the surface you may see Leopard (zebra) shark, blue spotted stingrays, clown trigger fish, rabbit fish, scorpion fish, snappers, emperor fish, giant trevally and angelfish. The coral gardens, bommies and boulder formations are wonderful to dive.

Elephant Head Rock
Visible from the surface, this is the biggest pinnacle in the Similans and has some fantastic swimthroughs. If lucky, you might see some white tip reef sharks, batfish; trevally and barracuda can often be seen on the perimeter of the boulders. If you look closely in the cracks and in the rubble you can see smashing mantis shrimp, porcelain crab, moray eels and cleaner shrimp.

Koh Bon
Koh Bon is a dive site where manta rays may be seen. You are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, sweetlips, octopus, blue fin trevally, giant moray eels, great barracudas, fire dart goby, popcorn shrimp, spiny lobster and nudibranchs of many types. The dive sites vary from wall diving to gently sloping reefs and from submerged boulders to coral gardens.

Koh Tachai
Koh Tachai is famous for its pinnacle dive site and more relaxed reef diving. Normally, leopard sharks, marbled whip rays, turtles, barracuda, pipe fish, and nudibranchs can be found here. There is also a chance to see bigger species in this area like manta rays and whale sharks, especially by late January till April.

Richelieu Rock
This limestone pinnacle was named by Jacques Cousteau after General Richelieu, who was an important Danish officer in the Thai Navy. There are gorgeous purple dendronepthya soft corals covering most of the pinnacle and other areas covered in magnificent sea anemones as well.
Barely breaking the surface at low tide, this horseshoe-shaped outcropping, slopes steeply to a sandy bottom at 18 to 35 meters (60-120 Ft). This site offers great diversity for such a small and isolated spot. It also offers excellent multi-level diving and, because it is a high-profile reef, there are always sheltered areas to hide from current.The marine life is prolific and includes amongst, many other things; Pharaoh cuttlefish, large octopi, all 5 varieties of anemone fish of the Andaman Sea, variety of moray eels, ornate ghost pipefish, smashing mantis shrimps, harlequin shrimps, tiger tail sea horses, Spanish mackerel, frog fish, many schooling snapper and
occasional sightings of manta rays and whale sharks.

Surin Islands
Topside scenery of Koh Surin with evergreen forests, mangroves and small beaches, surpasses even that of the picturesque Similan Islands. Under water the reefs of Surin have the greatest hard coral diversity in Thailand.
You are likely to see Napoleon wrasse, yellow-masked angelfish, bumphead parrotfish, tomato anemonefish and barramundi, as well as lots of turtles that still come ashore in this area to lay their eggs. Because of the
remoteness not many liveaboard boats visit these islands and you will be able to enjoy the dive sites without sharing it with tourist hordes.

Khao Lak Wrecks
There is a choice of easily diveable wrecks between The Similan Islands and Khao Lak. The Boonsung and the Premchai are old tin miners that were sank 25 or so years ago and are a treat for underwater photographers as well as lovers of life of all kinds!! Only in 18m of water they are covered in nudibranchs and shrimps as well as large numbers of the unusual honeycomb moray. There are also huge numbers of schooling fish as well as rays that can occasionally be seen. Sea Chart 1 is a slightly more challenging dive and lies between 40 and 25 metres. Sunk during a storm in 2009 with a full load of teak, she is relatively new but already hosts an abundance of schooling fish.

4 Nights South Andaman Itinerary

Nearest airport: Phuket International Airport (HKT)
Embarkation: Chalong pier Phuket @1800 hrs
Disembarkation: Chalong pier Phuket @1400 hrs

Your Cruise Director will schedule up to 4 dives per day; 3 day dives and either a sunset or night dive. The diving
day has a typical schedule as follows:

  • Light Breakfast followed by a briefing & Dive 1
  • Full Breakfast, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 2
  • Lunch, relaxation followed by briefing & Dive 3
  • Snack, relaxation, followed by briefing & Dive 4
  • Dinner (if Night Dive, it will be after dinner)

For your final day aboard, we schedule 2 morning dives and a single dive after lunch to allow plenty of time for off-gassing before disembarkation.

Koh Phi Phi
With mini-walls and shallow coral gardens predominating, there are a host of dive sites to choose from around the Phi Phi national Park. Hin Bida, Koh Bida Nok, Koh Bida Nai, Pilay Wall, Hin Dot and Ao Maya all offer something
special. Wildlife is hugely varied across the sites with black tip reef sharks common, tigertail seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, cornet fish, octopus, scorpion fish, blue fin trevally, barracudas and more.

King Cruiser
The King Cruiser was a car ferry that used to travel between Phi Phi and Phuket. In 1997, ‘the cruiser’ hit Anemone Reef on her crossing and sank a short distance away. No lives were lost, but divers were left with a great wreck dive! While she is largely broken up now, she is covered with soft corals and hides some wonderful gems, as well as being home to several large schools of snapper. While currents can be strong and visibility sometimes challenging, this is a great site to dive.

Shark Point and Anemone Reef
These pinnacles are part of the same reef system and are only a very short distance apart from each other. Both sites are covered with colourful soft corals and anemones with a variety of fish to suit all divers. From barracuda to seahorses and for the lucky ones of course, the iconic leopard shark!

Koh Doc Mai
‘Flower Island’ is a tiny piece of sheer rock sat between Shark point and Phuket but, although it is tiny, dives here can provide divers with amazing memories! From a spacious cavern to frog fish, ornate ghost pipe fish and even bamboo sharks, Koh Doc Mai never fails to surprise.

Racha Yai & Racha Noi
Racha Yai is an excellent trip for beginners and those that have not dived for a while. Indeed for any guests aboard carrying out Advanced Open Water courses on-board, Racha Yai offers the perfect opportunity for course dives, with sloping hard coral reefs, white sandy bottoms and a choice of wrecks on the west coast.

Racha Noi has some of the best visibility of all sites in the area. Often described as a ‘mini Similans’ the granite boulder topography is also unique compared to other sites. It offers a choice of hard coral reefs, boulders with large swim throughs and the beautiful pinnacle on the south point of this island. Strong currents can make the southern sites challenging, however, with a year round chance to see manta rays, it is worth the effort to dive here.

Koh Haa
Possibly some of the most underrated diving in the whole of Thailand, Moo Koh Haa (literally ‘five island group’) sits almost halfway between Hin Daeng and Phi Phi and is part of the Ko Lanta National Marine Park. There are actually several dive sites around Ko Haa but the highlights are Ko Haa Lagoon, Ko Haa Neua, and Ko Haa Yai. Around these amazing islands you can see pinnacles, walls, boulders, caverns, and swim-throughs.

Ko Haa lagoon is ideal for night dives, courses, and snorkeling, while The Chimney and The Cathedral offer things that you cannot see on other Thailand liveaboard itineraries with caverns, swim-throughs and chambers littering the sites. Ko Haa has varied marine life too, with ornate ghost pipefish, morays eels, octopus, hawksbill turtles, sea horses, marble rays, and sometimes even leopard sharks.

Hin Daeng & Hin Muang
These two sites are pinnacles (translating directly as Red Rock and Purple Rock) in open ocean, reaching down to
over 70m, and are best known for manta ray and whale shark encounters but, whether they are sighted or not, the sites also offer giant moray eels, pharaoh cuttlefish, schooling rainbow runners and snappers, barracudas, groupers, fusiliers and blue fin trevally. On the pinnacles, there are fields of magnificent anemones, walls of Hemprics soft corals, and huge gorgonian sea fans.

Top Side
Along the route there are some incredible views from the boat including Phi Phi’s famous beaches and limestone karsts climbing vertically form the ocean. There will be opportunities to leave the boat and take a sight-seeing trip on the dinghy.

*itineraries are subject to change.

Book / Enquiry

  1. Tell us the dates you are interested in. We’ll check available options and provide you with a clear breakdown of prices.
  2. When you are ready to go ahead and book we’ll reserve your place(s) and email you the secure online payment instructions.
  3. 30% deposit to confirm your booking. Payment is online by credit card or paypal (no booking fee or credit card fee), or by bank transfer.
  4. Balance payable 60 days before the trip departure date.

Payment method

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