Dive Site: King Cruiser Wreck

 

The King Cruiser Wreck is a dive site located in the Andaman Sea, close to Phuket in Thailand. It’s a pretty decent wreck dive and I was actually very impressed by it. The MS King Cruiser was a large passenger ferry with a capacity of 1200 people that sank when it hit Anemone reef back on the 4th of May 1997….interestingly when I dived it it was around the about the 7th of May, almost on the anniversary of it’s sinking!

The conditions and weather were pretty much perfect still, and it seems you can dive these Andaman Sea dive sites comfortably right into mid May, despite the fact that most guides say that the weather starts changing in April. The Wreck itself has lots of cool overhangs and little swim throughs and corners to peer around. The wreck was teaming with huge schools of fish and the water was a very warm 31C. You get to the wreck by descending on a shot line to a depth of around 15 meters and from there you explore the wreck which sites on an ocean floor  about 30 meters deep. It was great going down the line and suddenly seeing the wreck below teaming with huge walls of colorful fish in every direction and then experiencing the wonderful still,spooky atmosphere of the wreck itself, if you listen carefully you can hear it creaking and groaning slowly under the water adding to the atmosphere, which I found to be very enjoyable with the clear warm water. There are also a few toilets on the deck which are clearly visible and well preserved adding all sorts of funny photo opportunity moments.  It was fantastic to dive a big wreck in these conditions as before this all of my diving experience of wrecks like this had been on the cold water wrecks in Cape Town, South Africa.

The King Cruiser Wreck is a dive site located in the Andaman Sea, close to Phuket in Thailand. It’s a pretty decent wreck dive and I was actually very impressed by it.

The MS King Cruiser was a large passenger ferry with a capacity of 1200 people that sank when it hit Anemone reef back on the 4th of May 1997….interestingly when I dived it it was around the about the 7th of May, almost on the anniversary of it’s sinking!

The conditions and weather were pretty much perfect still, and it seems you can dive these Andaman Sea dive sites comfortably right into mid May, despite the fact that most guides say that the weather starts changing in April. The Wreck itself has lots of cool overhangs and little swim throughs and corners to peer around. The wreck was teaming with huge schools of fish and the water was a very warm 31C. You get to the wreck by descending on a shot line to a depth of around 15 meters and from there you explore the wreck which sites on an ocean floor  about 30 meters deep. It was great going down the line and suddenly seeing the wreck below teaming with huge walls of colorful fish in every direction and then experiencing the wonderful still,spooky atmosphere of the wreck itself, if you listen carefully you can hear it creaking and groaning slowly under the water adding to the atmosphere, which I found to be very enjoyable with the clear warm water. There are also a few toilets on the deck which are clearly visible and well preserved adding all sorts of funny photo opportunity moments.  It was fantastic to dive a big wreck in these conditions as before this all of my diving experience of wrecks like this had been on the cold water wrecks in Cape Town, South Africa.

It is considered an advanced dive and there can be currents although I didn’t notice a current when I was there. Maybe I just got lucky that day. I went diving with the company ,”Andaman Divers“, they seem to specialize in Similan Islands live aboard trips and the Instructor/Divemaster was a very experienced lady called Etsu and she was very professional and helpful, our group was happy with the level of service .The price for the 3 dive day trip was about 3700 Thai Baht and included breakfast and  Lunch. The Andaman divers boat is also big and comfortable with plenty of space and  professional staff.

King Cruiser is a popular dive site , due to it been extremely easy and convenient to get to from Phuket and trips also leave to here from Phi Phi and Krabi. Usually the dive is bundled on a 3 dive day trip with sites like Shark Point,Koh Doc Mai and Anemone Reef which are all great dives. How “good” is the King Cruiser Wreck? This is the question I’ve been asking myself recently….well, as I heard one old diver say, “King Cruiser, ok it’s not the Thistlegorm, but it’s defiantly up there with some of the best wrecks I’ve dived”.

Where:

Chalong Bay, Andaman Sea, Phuket, Thailand

Located close to Phuket and about Halfway to Phi Phi Island, the King Cruiser is reached by any number of dive boats that leave from the Chalong Pier in Phuket.

When to Dive:

Best dived from Mid November until early May

Water Temperature: 

27- 31C

 

 

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