In the Philippines, you can find a diving experience to suit pretty much every taste and level of expertise. Over towards the east of the Visayas lies one of the last frontiers of the Philippines, wild, breathtakingly beautiful, and in some cases, almost entirely unexplored. North of Palawan, the main eastern landmass of the Philippines, you will find El Nido, Coron, Busuanga, and Calauit, to name a few. Islands formed of Karst limestone rise up from the ocean forming gorgeous inlets, bays, pools, and caves to marvel at and explore. This liveaboard trip on the Atlantis Azores will take you to some of the most exceptional wreck diving and also to one of the two most famous reefs in the Philippines, Apo Reef, only by liveaboard can you experience everything this trip has to offer.
The vessel for your cruise is the Atlantis Azores, one of the premier liveaboard vessels plying the Philippine waters and offers some of the most comprehensive diving itineraries of any other liveaboard operator. She is a 32.5 metre long, steel-hulled, twin-engined, bluewater yacht that promises luxury, safety and reliability. Accommodating a maximum of 16 passengers serviced by a highly experienced crew of 10 attending to all your needs, treat yourself to paradise underwater and comfort above. All cabins have private bathrooms, showers and climate controlled A/C. Seating for eating can be inside or out where the bar is always open, and the hot tub is bubbling. There is ample space to relax, watch a movie, lie back with a book or just take in the scenery. Diving is from two newly purchased purpose-built tenders captained by seasoned veterans who keep a watchful eye on you during your dive.
Announcing a new and exciting itinerary onboard the Atlantis Azores. You will embark on the dive trip of a lifetime exploring sunken World War 2 wrecks in Coron Bay and diving on the 34 mile long ‘Mini Tubbataha’ Apo Reef system. Your journey will begin with the UNESCO World Heritage site of Apo Reef, where you will explore some of the finest coral reefs in Asia. You will then sail south to Coron Bay and dive on the historical Japanese fleet which was sunk by the American Navy during the Second World War. Task Force 38 lead by Admiral William F. Halsey destroyed 24 ships, which were anchored in Coron Bay on the 24th of September 1944. Once your wreck adventure is complete, the boat will travel back to Apo Reef for some more breathtaking dives. You will have the opportunity to encounter many pelagic species, such as grey reef sharks, manta rays, and huge schools of Barracuda. With over 500 species of coral and 300 species of fish, Apo Reef will make your wildest diving dreams come true.
The destination for the first and second day will be the UNESCO heritage site of Apo Reef. Dive sites will include Shark Ridge and Binangaan Drop Off. Expect to encounter reef sharks and Manta, schools of Tuna and Bumphead Parrot fish, keep you fingers crossed for other commonly encountered pelagics.
At the end of the second day an optional visit to Coron’s hot springs will be offered.
Coron is a mecca for wreck divers. You will explore Japanese ship wrecks from the Second World War, including a 160 meter long ship the Okikawa Maru, which was sunk by a direct hit on the bow area. You will also dive the Olympia Maru, a massive 120 meter vessel , the East Tangat Gunboat, a shallow dive on this 140 meter long submarine hunter that is ideal for exploration. . You will also dive the Akitsusima, the wreck of the sea plane tender, and Irako, a refrigeration ship for the Japanese Imperial Navy.
Continue diving the wrecks of Coron.
The Nanshin Maru or Black Island Wreck, a small tanker which was converted to take fuels is approximately 50 meters long and sits upright on a sandy bottom. We then dive Dimipac Island, offering relaxed diving, with sandy slopes on which you may meet turtles, dendritic jawfish, leaf scorpionfish and maybe a Dugong! The water around the island is warm, with mild current, offering great photo opportunities!
Day six begins with two deep morning dives at Kyokuszan in Maricaban Bay off the island of Busuanga, Coron. Kyokuzan was an auxiliary supply ship of the Japanese Royal Navy sunk by US carrier-based aircraft. She is approximately 140 meters long, with beautiful corals having grown over car parts, tires and the body of the ship. We then cruise back to Puerto Galera.