Infiniti Liveaboard - Tubbataha reefs - Philippines

[Description below provided by Infiniti Liveabaord -]

The internationally acclaimed Infiniti is now operating scuba diving liveaboard trips in the pristine and rich blue waters of the Philippines. Come and dive those bucket list adventure trips in Tubbataha, Visayas and Malapascua with our expert onboard team of scuba instructors & dive masters.

One of the best ways to explore the world's oceans and seas is to venture out on a liveaboard cruise.
Together with other happy divers, you will be transferred directly from the airport to the comfortable boat that will be your home during a fantastic few days.

The Infiniti has a highly qualified onboard team with a diverse skill set. There are three operational verticals onboard: shipping, diving & hospitality.

Accordingly the crew is a team of captain, navigational officers, engineers; PADI dive masters; dedicated chef & assistant; and deck hands & boat boys.
We understand that you have travelled a long way to get to this corner of the world, and look forward to showing you the amazing Philippines & to help you relax & enjoy your onboard stay.

You will share a cabin which is fully equipped with sheets, towels, an en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. Delicious & nutritious meals are freshly prepared in the on-board kitchen by a dedicated chef, and are served in the dining area. There are relaxation areas such as a lounge with sofas and entertainment, sundecks with loungers and mattresses, and the dive deck provides ample space for you to kit up and dive from. Diving is also done from the boat's RIB's.


The Infiniti is a 39 meter (133 ft) all steel vessel with four decks.
All inside areas are air conditioned.
Newly renovated, spacious guest rooms all with en-suite bathrooms, flat screen TVs, safety boxes, picture windows and plenty storage have been designed to maximize guest comfort and to make you feel right at home during your stay.

Delicious & nutritious meals and refreshments are prepared in the onboard kitchen & served buffet style in the large dining room. Fresh fruits , snacks, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages ( no extra charge) available.

The Infiniti live-aboard was custom designed & specially constructed by divers for divers in Thailand (2013).

Reaching the Infiniti

In our case we flew to manila International airport, from there you’ll need to go to the Manila domestic airport (keep in mind that this could take up to several hours, due to the (default) traffic jams in Manila).

From the domestic airport you can pick a flight (in our case Cebu Pacific) towards Puerto Princessa (International Airport….). Yes, they state it’s an International airport, however it’s one of the smallest airports I’ve ever seen……

It will take you about an hour to fly from Manila to Puerto Princessa.

You will be transferred from the Puerto Princessa airport by the Infiniti crew towards a small harbor where the Infiniti resides. This trip will only take 20 minutes or so…


The arrival

The crew will take care of all your luggage. Once onboard you’ll get a warm welcome from the crew, and you’ll be invited in the main lounge for a welcome drink and the boat briefing.
After that you’ll be assigned to your cabin. The crew will make sure that all of your luggage is in your cabin.


The cabins
Our cabin resides on the upper deck, and was quite large! It contains 2 separate single beds, a small desk with a chair and a large closed with a safety box in it. It has one big window with a great view.

The en-suite bathroom contains your toilet, sink and a seperate shower cabin. The water is desalinated water, and not suitable for drinking, warm water is generated via a small (personal) boiler.

In the cabin there is 1 ceiling ventilator and an air-conditioning available.
In the room there are also a couple of electrical outlets available (220 volt, 2 pin fits EU standard).

Electricity was always available during our entire stay.

Housekeeping will take care of your cabin every day. This includes the cleaning, make your beds and changing the towels. All done very well!


Hover over picture to enlarge

The Infiniti facilities

The Infiniti has 11 cabins (5 lower, 4 main and 2 at the upper deck).

The main lounge located on the 2nd (main) deck.

There is one large indoor lounge, which is used as the dining room, briefing area and relax room. It has plenty of table’s chairs and sofas. There is also a (very) large TV screen, a library with magazines and books. It has several watercoolers and refrigerators filled with al kind of drinks.
All drinks are included on this trip!

Outdoor lounge area is located on the 3rd (upper) deck.

One the 3th deck you’ll find besides some cabins and the camera room, an outdoor lounge. This is an area with some tables and sofas with a nice view to the back of the ship.


The sundeck is located on the 4th deck.
It’s a large open area with at the back a small roof. This is also the (only) smoking area onboard.
It has loungers and a couple of hammocks, a great place to relax !!

The dive deck is located on the 2nd (main) deck, behind the main lounge.
This is also where your tanks will be filled via the compressor.
The deck is separated in 2 areas, one for each group. This is where you put on your gear in order to go (via the stairs) to the actual dive deck at the back of the ship. From there you will enter the dinghy (zodiac).


Main lounge Outdoor lounge Sundeck Dive Deck



Well, with regards to the connectivity we can be quite short; there isn’t any!
A couple of hours after you leave the harbor of Puerto Princessa, there will be radio silence….
There is no phone or data (WiFi) connectivity at all.
There is a satellite phone available on the bridge; however this is only for emergencies.


Chef Kim

The food

A very important topic!

Because you’re 180 KM away from shore, it’s quite hard to find a Mc Donald out there…
Well no worries on the Infiniti, Chef ‘Kim’ will take care of you!

In the (early) morning you can enjoy a light breakfast, before your first dive. After the first dive a full (continental) breakfast will be served. Around noon lunch will be served, this is also a great variety of Asian and Western food, the same goes for the dinner.
The quality of the food is very good, and all freshly made by the chef Kim and his team!

If you are a diabetic and / or have any type of food allergy or if you have a preference or disapprove for a certain type of food it will be taken into account.

The only thing you should worry about is not to gain too much weight during your trip…


The dive location: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Tubbataha was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 130,028 hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Palawan, including the North and South Reefs.
It is located 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City in the middle of the Sulu Sea, at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity

Therefore it can only be visited on a liveaboard boat.

It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the centre of the Sulu Sea, and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs.
It protects the marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea.
The property is home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. Scientists have been visiting these reefs since the 1980s, and their research has shown that Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than:

- 600 species of fish
- 360 species of corals (about half of all coral species in the world)
- 13 species of sharks
- 13 species of dolphins & whales
- 100 species of birds
- And also nesting Hawksbill & Green sea turtles.

The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.
Marine Park Rangers

The ranger station perched on the southernmost tip of Tubbataha’s North Atoll is home to a combined team of 10-12 men from the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Municipality of Cagayancillo and the TMO. Stationed for two months at a time, 130 kilometres from the nearest inhabited islands, their job is to protect the park from illegal activities including fishing and collection of other marine life such as top shells (Trochus niloticus).

Their work includes:

- Regular patrols around the park
- Conducting scientific research and monitoring
- Briefing visitors during the dive season

- Surface and underwater cleanups
- Reporting and responding to unusual incidents, like crown-of-thorns starfish infestations.



As a visiting diver you play a key role in Tubbataha's future, as your conservation fees provide the funds we need to protect the park from illegal exploitation.

For more information or donations please visit:

The diving

Diving, what else do you do on a live aboard?….

Before I continue I have to mention that during our trip the weather conditions were far from optimal. We encountered strong winds, which caused large waves. Due to these waves, lots of sand were washed from the top of the reef, which caused a terrible visibility.
Also because of these strong winds we were not able to dive most of the dive locations located at the Westside of the reef.

Besides that, I always mention in our reviews that we are very ‘spoiled’ divers… we’ve been diving all over the world on all kind of top locations. Therefore the interpretation of our dive experience might differ from less ‘spoiled’ divers….


We made 17 dives during our trip on the Infiniti.

The dive operation is very well organized by the crew; you dive in fixed groups with a fixed dive guide. Every dive you’ll be transferred from the Infiniti towards the reef with a dinghy (zodiac) and vice versa.

After the first dive of the day you receive a towel, which will be changes every day.
The guides are experienced and very helpful.


The dives
Let’s start with one of the most important criteria; the visibility.
We encountered often a poor visibility, due to the reasons we’ve mentioned earlier, only on a couple of dives the visibility was ‘acceptable’.
Sometimes we experienced a visibility of max. 10 meter, due to that we probably ‘missed’ a lot of the ‘big stuff’. (Only one small whale shark was spotted by another diver during our entire trip)

That said, we’ll continue to the water temperatures, these fluctuate from 26 till 29 Celsius, which is a very comfortable temperature!

Marine life:
The biodiversity on the reef is great, you can see that all the corals are healthy and it’s overwhelmed with small (and young) fish. The colors are outrages! From that you can see that this is an extremely healthy reef.

Also the manta’s, which are common here, were probably hiding for us as well….
So, with the exception of 2 dives on the Delsan Wreck, we didn’t encounter a lot of action and big fish.


That doesn’t mean that it was all bad…. We made some great dives on Tubbataha!
As mentioned before we are ‘spoiled’ divers, and maybe our expectations where a little bit too high.
We had quite some ‘less’ experienced divers onboard for them every dive was a fairytale coming true.

On Tubbataha, it’s more or less ‘normal’ that you’ll see at least one or more (small) whitetip, nurse or grey sharks on every dive, that also counts for turtles, trevallies, barracudas and Tunas. And as mentioned it’s an true oasis of colors with all the small fish on top of the reefs.

For us the highlights of this trip were 2 dives on the Delsan wreck, on this dive location we saw the action where we were looking for. Surrounded by big schools of jacks and at least 20 sharks these were the dives we expected to see more often on Tubbataha.
Our evaluation

Our ratings below are based on our personal experiences. They are also adapted to our needs as divers. Meaning that we’re less focused on additional features.
Therefore you should only pay attention to our ratings if you’re planning a diving holiday.

Where we base our score on:

Accommodation: Room size, beds, cleaning, bathroom, location, environmentally friendly, etc.
Facilities: Pool, sport activities, organized trips, TV, Internet, phone, etc. (If applicable)
Dive operations: Quality of equipment, boats, crew, dive guides, location, service, marine conservation, etc.

Scoring matrix


First of all; the Infiniti and its crew are fantastic!

During our stay we encountered quite some bad weather with lots of wind, which unfortunately had a bad influence on the diving conditions. But that’s one of these things that nobody can change. (Note that our ratings are not based on the dive locations and dive conditions.)

Never the less, it still was a great trip! We had a great accommodation, a fantastic crew and lots of very nice fellow divers!

And so now and then we had a great dive as well….

Based on all arguments we can highly recommend the trip towards Tubbataha with the Infiniti!

Our verdict
Dive operations:
Total score: