The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are considered some of the best liveaboard diving in Thailand, but the islands belong to India! Indeed, the Nicobar and Andaman Islands form the limit between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. They are geographically closer to the coast of Thailand, but still they and Indian Islands. The latter is considered by many as standing among the best scuba diving destination in the world. The far away Nicobar Islands are less visited that the Similan Islands, for example, and thus more pristine.
Beside these amazing islands, India has much more to offer in term of scuba diving. Most indian scuba diving is away from the coast and will require a cruise, or a journey on a faraway tropical island. Let’s find out more below.
The Infiniti dives the Andaman Islands
India Liveaboard Diving
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are reached by some liveaboard that usually dive the other islands on the Andaman Sea. The Nicobar and Andaman are a chain of over 300 islands, which requires a special permit in order to travel and dive there.
Until recently, it was very difficult to obtain that permission. Now, permission to visit the main island can be done upon arrival. Some of the island are still closed to visitors. North Sentinel Island is the home of a tribe of people with almost no contact with the outside world. The islanders want no part of the outside world and are known to attack and even kill those who come too close. Boats may not approach within 3 nautical miles of the island.
India has a great potential as a dive destination and in the last two years the government has taken steps to start establishing itself as a dive destination. It is also starting to promote scuba diving domestically. This potential bloom of divers, is getting the attention of international divers as they look to explore before the sites are well established. The Indian liveaboard industry also has a great potential and it is slowly starting to grow.
Budget Indian Liveaboards
When you start looking at a liveaboard to dive the Andaman Sea, you will often find a number of options. However, those options are generally from Thailand and seldom are diving the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. They may be near some of the outlying islands but spend most of the time in other portions of the Andaman Sea.
So far there’s only one liveaboard officially operating trips to the Nicobar and Andaman Islands of India that we know of: the Infinity. We will add relevant boats as we become aware of any. Thank you!
Luxury Indian Liveaboards
When it comes to true India based liveaboards, there is really just one and that is the MV Infiniti. It is also the only liveaboard currently own by an Indian. The MV Infiniti has recently been listed among top 25 luxury experiences of India – Uber-posh holidays and indulgences of body & mind. It also listed as one of the top 20 ways of seeing India by Conde Nash Traveller.
The Infiniti liveaboard was launched in the Andaman Islands in April 2013 by diver /entrepreneur Sunil Bakshi with a mission to put the Andaman Islands on the world’s scuba diving map. The Infiniti is a 39 meter (133 ft) all steel vessel with four decks that was designed and custom built for diving the Andaman Sea. She is certified for unrestricted open water sailing. Few dive liveaboard boats are designed to this standard.
MV Infiniti Layout
The Infinity was designed for 12 divers, housed in 6 comfortable cabins. Four of these are on the main deck while two are on the upper deck. The ship is laid out so every cabin has a large picture windows for outstanding ocean views. Each the large guest rooms are air conditioned and nicely furnished with supersized twin beds and plenty of storage. The guest rooms have ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers.
You will find all the details about this liveaboard on it’s page ⇒ MV Infinity
Indian Liveaboards Itineraries
The liveaboard schedules a number of voyages during the dive season. These are mostly 6 and 7 night sailings. The week long adventure includes stops in several remote and uninhabited islands including The South Andaman Island (chidia tapu), North Cinque Island, South Cinque Island, Passage Island, Havelock Island, and the Neil Island.
Furthermore, some of the best diving in the Andaman & Nicobar takes place at the volcanic islands Barren (active volcano) and Narcondam (remote volcano).
Best time to dive in India
The MV Infiniti sails from Port Blair from October to May. The very best times are from late December until early May. The water temperature is fairly steady from December to May staying between 27-30 C.
The weather during this period is generally good with day time temperatures around 25-30 C with slightly cooler nights. The sea conditions are also excellent with calm clear days and great visibility. This time period is also when mantas and whale sharks are most likely to be seen.
Indian Liveaboard last minute
If you are looking for a last minute diving trip option, check our last minute scuba diving deals page. If there’s an indian liveaboard offering a great discount on a scuba trip, you’ll find it there!