Marshall Islands Liveaboard: Explore the ship graveyard
Experience some of the Marshall Islands' finest diving in the surreal environment of Bikini Atoll, known globally as a former American atomic test area. Post-WWII, the region also served as a ship graveyard. Despite its history, the atoll's lagoon is teeming with a wealth of marine life.
In October 2011, the Marshall Islands announced the establishment of a Shark Sanctuary, becoming only the sixth nation globally to take such a step. Covering an expanse of 1,990,530 square kilometers of ocean, it's the world's largest sanctuary of its kind and has effectively halted commercial shark fishing in its waters.
About Marshall Islands Liveaboard Diving
Explore the untouched underwater worlds of the Marshall Islands with liveaboard diving, where history and marine life come together in breathtaking harmony.
Taking a bit out of the history book, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is notorious for the nuclear testing on its Bikini Atoll. Bikini's name derived not from the bathing suit, but from the Marshallese language. It means surface of coconuts. Comprised of a ring of little islands, in 1946 Bikini had 167 inhabitants.
The Marshall Islands are home to a diverse range of marine life, including more than 50 types of sharks such as the blacktip reef, whitetip reef, grey reef, silky, tiger, lemon, whale, and scalloped hammerhead sharks. In addition to sharks, the waters boast over 1,000 different fish species, 728 varieties of crustaceans, 126 kinds of starfish, and 40 distinct sponges.
Kalalin Pass, located near Majuro Atoll—the islands' capital and biggest community—is brimming with aquatic life. Bikini Atoll in the northwest is renowned as a top-tier wreck diving site, its tranquil waters formerly serving as a ship graveyard following World War II. These fascinating locations are part of the Marshall Islands, an expansive archipelago of volcanic islands and coral atolls situated in the central Pacific Ocean, between the Philippines and Hawaii.
Divers who have had the chance to dive in the Marshall Islands, claim it was the best diving they have ever experienced, even better than Palau.
Standing out from all of the popular diving sites, we have to mention USS Saratoga. After World War II, an American aircraft carrier became excess and was included in Operation Crossroads, a U.S. initiative that conducted nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. The goal was to study the impact of nuclear blasts on naval vessels. The Baker test was carried out 90 feet underwater, sinking the Saratoga along with 11 other ships. Currently, the Saratoga wreck rests upright between depths of 12 and 50 meters and is in good shape, teeming with marine life. It has been acclaimed as one of the world's best wreck dive sites.
A couple of other great sites are Rongelap Atoll and Arno Atoll, recently reopened for diving where amazing drop-offs and stunning coral reefs can be found.
When To Go To Marshall Islands?
When it comes to liveaboard diving in the Marshall Islands, timing is crucial for the best experience. The prime diving season typically falls between May and October. During these months, you can expect relatively calm seas, ideal visibility, and agreeable weather conditions, enhancing your chances of witnessing the rich marine life in the most vivid and picturesque settings.
While it's possible to dive year-round in the Marshall Islands, it's advisable to avoid the months between November and April. This period is generally recognized as the cyclone season, where the weather can be unpredictable, and conditions can be challenging for divers and even dangerous.
Regarding water temperature, the Marshall Islands boast warm waters throughout the year. You'll find that the sea temperatures hardly ever go below 27°C (81°F), offering a comfortable environment for extended periods underwater. The water can get even warmer, reaching up to 30°C (86°F) between September and November.