MV BilikikiSolomon Islands liveaboard
The 38m MV Bilikiki is a robust, steel vessel accommodating a maximum of 20 guests. The MV Bilikiki is long established in the Solomons, first offering dive cruises back in 1989, and has won many dive awards over the years for the excellent dive service it has delivered.
The MV Biliki offers 7 and 10 night itineraries combining the very best dive sites in the Solomons. Typically 4 dives per day are planned and trips also include a chance to go ashore to visit a local village to see custom singing and dancing and the traditional way of life.
The MV Biliki does not have set routings for trips, instead they they aim to go to the best sites according to the weather and the interests of the guests on board. The Solomons offers excellent diving, from drop-offs and sea mounts to critter diving and World war II wrecks.
To find out more about this area, visit our Solomons page.
There are many ways to get to the Solomon Islands, but the most popular route is through Australia. Flights to Honiara, in the Solomons, operate from either Brisbane and Sydney, depending on the day of the week, and flight time is approximately 3.5hrs.
All MV Bilikiki cruises start and end in Honiara and boarding time on the first day is usually at 4pm, with disembarkation on the last day at around 8am. Transfers to and from the airport to the vessel are included in the cruise price. Flights out of Honiara are usually in the afternoon, so many people opt to do a morning World War II history tour around Honiara, which we can easily arrange for you.
Guide price: 7 nights from GBP £3250 per person / 10 nights from GBP £4640 per person*.
Includes: Return transfers from airport to the vessel on days of embarkation and disembarkation, full board meal plan , tea, coffee, drinking water, up to 4 dives daily, 12ltr cylinder with air fills, weights, weight belt.
Not Included: International flights, overnight hotel stays, USD $25 per person/per night tax, bar drinks, on board merchandise, crew and dive guide gratuities. Nitrox is available at USD $20 per dive day.
*Price shown is for guide purposes only and is based on low season travel and for twin share accommodation. Any length of stay is possible, please contact us for a confirmed cost based on your preferred duration and time of travel.
Accommodation & Facilities
The MV Biliki has 10 Deluxe cabins accommodating a maximum of 20 guests. Eight of these cabins each have one large double bed and one overhead single bunk and can be configured as either twin occupancy or double. At the rear of the boat are two cabins that have twin beds, side by side. All cabins are located on the lower deck and have private en-suite bathrooms and are air-conditioned.
Built for open ocean crossings, the MV Bilikiki is a very large and stable vessel, so offering a huge amount of space. There is a large sundeck with loungers, a comfortable lounge to relax in, and a dedicated camera room for preparing and charging your photographic equipment. Meals are taken at the front of the vessel, in a large covered dining area.
At the rear of the vessel there is a large dive deck with ample space for kitting up and storing your equipment. There are separate rinse bins for camera equipment and the crew on board are experienced and careful when handling guests camera gear.
Most of the dives are conducted from one of the two tenders (called Tinnies in the Solomons), which are easy to get in and out of. The MV Bilikiki offers up to 5 dives per day, with dive times often exceeding 60 minutes, plus night dives are also scheduled into the itineraries.
During a 7 night trip, MV Bilikiki visits the Russell Islands, Mary Island and the Florida Islands to dive the stunning reefs of these areas. They also visit a village to see custom singing and dancing and to see traditional life.
On a 10 night or longer trip they also visit the Marovo Lagoon area of the Western Province. On the longer trips the Bilikiki will stop at other villages to see the famous wood carvings of the area. Here you will have to chance to see and buy hand made carvings and other amazing traditionally made items.
Village visits are arranged during the surface intervals so as not to effect the number of dives offered per day.
MV Bilikiki offers 4 day dives and a night dive and below is an example of some of the dive sites which they normally do if the conditions allow.
Russell Islands –
A channel back into Leru Island forms a breathtakingly beautiful reef formation which when dived at the right time of day has amazing beams of light and fantastic photo opportunities. Surface at the end and see the vine covered cliffs and jungle before descending and exiting onto a sheer wall of fans and soft coral.
The site of an American WWII base where trucks, bombs and ammunition was dumped into the sea. Both a fascinating historical dive and a fantastic macro site in an unusual mangrove location.
A stunning pond reflecting the jungle overhead. Outside on the reef is a sheer wall where snappers and travelly hunt and pygmy seahorses hide in gorgeous gorgonian fans. The shallows host a stunning coral garden where crocodile fish, cuttlefish and anemone fish live.
The chief of Karumolun Island has banned all fishing and collecting on this dive site for five years creating a local marine protected area. This point has great soft coral, a big school of jacks, barracudas and lots of sharks, often eagle rays are seen here too. The macro side of this dive site is fantastic as well with disco clams (electric file shells), nudis, cuttlefish, crocodile fish and ghost pipefish among the things seen.
Divers often refer to Mary Island as the “best” dive of a trip. It is an uninhabited island with a stunning amount of hard corals and fish life. The schools of fish are amazing here especially when joined by sharks, turtles and bumphead parrot fish. We usually stay here for the whole day.
Florida Islands –
This large sea mount, in the middle of the channel between Guadalcanal and the Florida Islands, has two tunnels which drop vertically straight down from 12m and exit in a cave at 35m. Swimming out of the cave to the sheer wall there are schools of fusiliers with grey reef sharks cruising by. It is also home to some amazing coral, cuttlefish, octopus and mantis shrimp plus schools of snapper, tropical fish and an amazing array of anemone fish.
The best place in the Solomons to dive with manta rays. A channel between two islands funnels water to form a strong currents and an adrenaline filled dive. Drift along the reef top, duck under the reef wall and watch as up to a dozen mantas swim close by in formation to feed. They are often joined by sweetlips, jacks and bumphead parrotfish.
A macro divers delight! A calm protected bay offering all sorts of great macro subjects such as nudis, demon stinger, scorpion fish, cockatoo wasp fish, various pipefish, cuttlefish, juvenile batfish, various anemone fish, shrimps and crabs. Plus a few of giant clams and a small wreck packed with batfish and bream.
Japanese Mavis Seaplane
A Japanese seaplane sunk during WW2 which sits upright on the bottom at 30m, it is an impressively large, mostly intact plane. This site is also excellent for macro subjects with reef top pipefish, twin spot gobies and spine check anemone fish.
Marovo Lagoon Area –
Not only is this dive site a truly stunning example of hard corals and sea fans, it is teeming with fish life. Friendly batfish follow divers around, schools of jacks and barracuda circle around the point while giant bumphead parrotfish chomp on coral. All this amazing colour and beauty passes by to a sound track provided by the underwater volcano Kavachi which is only 15 miles away.
A series of interconnecting caves and swim throughs with beautiful sun beams and a magical atmosphere. There is also staggering hard coral and tropical fish on the reef out side.
There are a lot of amazing dive sites around this island. It has something for everyone with soft coral points, huge sea fans, sharks and rays. Plus great places to look for the small stuff such as pygmy seahorses, cuttlefish, crocodile fish, snake eels and many different species of anemone fish.
Japanese Maru #2
A Japanese cargo vessel sunk by American bombers in WW2 this is a a stunning photogenic wreck covered in black corals. A deck gun lies hanging over the side of the ship and trevally and groupers hunt the decks.
Ready for your next adventure?
Great Escapes Diving Holidays Ltd
Office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10.00am - 12.00pm
Tel: 01473 921888