Asia is best known for there beautiful reefs and exciting marine life that you can encounter during your liveaboard cruise. Lesser-known on some dive destinations are the wrecks that have become artificial reefs throughout the years. Each wreck has its individual story what makes it a truly magnificent place to scuba dive.
A dream for any experienced wreck diver is to visit Chuuk lagoon, where a ghost fleet with over 40 world war ii wrecks are settled on the seafloor. Several of these wrecks in Truk lagoon are suitable for open water to technical divers.
On February 17-18 in 1944, the Us army placed a surprise air and surface attack called Operation Hailstone. This was the start of the US offense against the Japanese navy. After the attack, thousands of Japanese soldiers found their final resting place, and over 40 ships and numerous fighter planes were sunk.
As Japanese world war two memorial sites, vast historical artifacts are still in good condition. Experienced divers can penetrate some of the wrecks to look in the staterooms, galleys, and baths.
On September 24, 1944, a Japanese supply fleet was attacked by 24 Helldiver bombers escorted by 96 hellcat fighters. They only had a window o 15 minutes to sink as many vessels as possible before they had to return to their base.
They succeeded in sinking five vessels during their attack: the Akitsushima, Okikawa Maru, Olympia Maru, the Kogyo Maru, and Kyokuzan Maru.
Scuba divers of every level can dive into these wreck as they lay down in the bay’s shallow waters. During your dives, you can see all kinds of military material such as anti-aircraft guns, and when you look closely, you can find ammunition. The vessels have plenty of spaces to penetrate and explore the wheelhouse, galleys, cabins, and engine rooms.
These dive sites are excellent places for underwater photography are take your wreck diving to the next level. Philippines liveaboard itineraries usually combine the nearby Tubbataha National park or the Apo Reef.
in the waters around Palau were 60 Japanese navy vessels sunk during world war 2. The most popular among experienced scuba divers is the Japanese oil tanker Iro Maru.
During the attack, she got a straight hit to the engine room what made her sink with most of the ammunition intact. The ship has several interesting penetration routes you can follow, and on the deck, the guns are still in place.
In this area, you also find several planes that can be dived by all scuba divers levels. The most popular is the Jake airplane sitting on the seabed at 15 meters/50 feet.
During world war two, an estimated 200 vessels were sunk around the Solomen Islands. Many of these wrecks make excellent dive sites suitable for recreational divers as well as technical divers.
One of the most impressive shipwrecks is the USS Aaron Ward that sits upright on the sea bed. It has a length of 104 meters/341 foot with antiaircraft guns and torpedo tubes along the deck.
With some of the guns still raised, it appears ready for battle. Also, hundreds of shell casings and deployed munition is still found around the dive site.
This shipwreck is only accessible for technical divers.
Two shipwrecks that are open for recreational divers are Kinugawa Maru and Hirokawa Maru. There is plenty to see on these wreck in the deep end and the shallower parts of the dive. Snorkelers can even have a glance at these well-preserved vessels.
Nearby the Kinugawa Maru and Hirokawa Maru are several Mavis planes accessible for any level of diver and are in excellent condition.
As a former testing area for nuclear weapons, the Bikini Atoll store a large mock fleet of shipwrecks; this makes the Marshall islands a Mekka for wreck diver enthusiasts.
The two most famous wrecks you can visit during a Marshal Island liveaboard cruise are the USS Saratoga and the Nagato.
The USS Saratoga is an aircraft carrier where you need several days of diving to explore the entire wreck due to its massive size. You can dive this wreck within the recreational diving standards.
The Nagato partook in the attack on Pearl Harbor as a flagship of the Japanese navy. It was captured during the war, and eventually, it found its final resting position at the Bikini atoll. This wreck is beyond recreational diving limits and only accessible for technical divers.
A Papua New Guinea liveaboard has the opportunity to dive a large variety of wrecks. On the seafloor are the remains of several planes, fishing vessels, and world war two crafts.
Due to Papua New Guinea’s remoteness, most of these sites are still untouched by mass tourism.
One of the most famous shipwrecks around PNG is the Taiwanese fishing vessel, Der Yang. With a maximum depth of 30 meters/100 feet, this is a great dive site for wreck diver specialty training. A school of barracudas is often seen here as well as sharks that patrol midwater.
Another popular dive site is the Sanko Maru and Type C midget submarine. These two wrecks can be dived on a single dive as they are only separated by 50 meters.
The Type C midget submarine is still in mint condition. It was only stumbled upon in recent years when a recreational diver wanted to scan other debris off the Sanko Maru in the near surroundings.
Both wrecks give spectacular photo opportunities as there are plenty of corals attached to them.
Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia
Cenderawasih Bay liveaboard voyages are well known for the whale shark encounters, but Manokwari’s waters produce some excellent wreck diving opportunities.
The Japanese cargo ships still hold original WWII artifacts such as grenades, guns, and ammunition cases. Other artifacts are also found, including bicycles, household items, vintage chopsticks, and full bottles of sake.
Slowly coral reef starts to appear on the wrecked metal where you can see various nudibranchs and other macro life species. While you dive around one of the wrecks, you might get a surprise visit from larger pelagic marine life such as sharks and manta rays.
To get the most out of your Cenderawasih liveaboard cruise, an advanced level is recommended.