King Cruiser sank on the 4th of May 1997 after a collision with Anemone Reef, a well chartered pinnacle. All passengers escaped on life rafts and picked up by nearby diving and fishing vessels.
The ship is a rebuilt, 85 meter long catamaran type, car ferry that was carrying passengers between Phuket and Phi Phi Islands and now stands completely upright at 32 meters of depth. During the years, she has rusted away and collapsed into a fantastic artificial reef, filled with gorgonians, soft coral and large schools of fish.
Access to the wreck is from a mooring line secured at the stern at around 18 meters. Due to the current, sometimes low visibility and the deep average depth, to really enjoy this dive you should be a comfortable advanced diver.
- Right below the mooring at the stern you can find several toilets, still intact. This calls for some very interesting underwater photo shoots.
- Following the stern towards the starboards side you will find a huge propeller, half buried in the sand. This is also one entrance to swim the whole length of the ship under the hull.
- In the bow of the ship you can still find paint on the inside of one of the hulls.
- Due to the depth, Nitrox is a great way to extend the bottom times. For double cylinder tec40 or sidemount divers, there are great rewards for having a deeper profile as you can stay away from the crowd and have time investigating these parts.
- The wreck has such an abundance of schooling fish, which in turn are hunted by larger predators. Here you have a great chance spotting huge trevallies as well as leopard sharks on the bottom and other passing pelagics.
To think about
- Currents can be very strong so the mooring line should be used during both descents and ascents. As King Cruiser has many visitors, the line gets crowded at times so here we make sure to be considerate.
- There are still many swim troughs along the wreck that calls for some caution, as the rusty edges of the wreck are extremely sharp.
- Keep a close eye on the computer and gas supply as the average depth is usually deeper than 18 meters.
depth: 18 – 32 meters
current: moderate – strong
visibility: 10 – 25 meters
You can dive King Cruiser from our dive centers in Phuket, Koh Lanta & Krabi
It’s time for another post from our adventure in Thailand. We forgot to introduce ourselves properly in the first post, so we will take the opportunity to do it now.
Our names are Marcus, Alexander and Erik, as we mentioned in the post before we are from Karlstad International TIME program which is an upper secondary school in Sweden. We have been educated in IT, media and entertainment enough said.
We have now spent one week here in Ao Nang, Thailand, with Kon-Tiki. We have been working from Monday till Friday where we have been helping Niclas and Martin with a web project. We have been designing buttons and working with menus for the website most of the time. One of the main goals with the webpage is to make it more accessible for mobiles as well. As I mentioned, we have been working a lot with the design.
Last week we hired scooters to make things easier for us here in Ao Nang. Our hotel is situated between the office and beach, in that way it takes some time to travel between the places. Using scooters make things much easier and cheaper. When we have finished work on the weekdays around 5 pm, we take our scooters down to the beach and get ourselves a swim. The weather has been most of the time great, so taking a swim is a great way to cool down and the beach is beautiful here in Ao Nang. Some of the days we have been on the streets of Ao Nang and checked out the local shops.
At Wednesday we were on Discover Scuba Diving trip with Kon-Tiki, you can read more about in our first post. Otherwise our days here Thailand have been kind of similar, working on the webpage in the office with Niclas and Martin. We had free time on the weekend. At Saturday it was raining a lot but we went down to the beach anyway. Near the beach at the southern side, there’s a national park where monkeys live. It’s a staircase that leads along the mountain and through the jungle. In here you will meet pack of monkeys and be careful because they might steal your belongings, especially if you bring food with you. Actually they tried to steal my bag with a pair of pants in it. We visit them both Saturday and Sunday to get some nice photos of them. At the weekend we have also tasted a bit of the night life here in Ao Nang.
In week number two we will be starting our PADI Open Water course and after work we will have lessons in diving at the office. On Thursday morning we will be in the pool to practice the important parts in Scuba diving and after that we will make our dives. But more of that later!
Our time in Thailand has so far been very good, the Kon-Tiki-staff have been very welcoming and they are taking good care of us. They help us a lot to make our staying in Thailand as good as possible.
See you around!
For a regular diver making an average dive on a single (12 litre) cylinder will usually be able to make an hour time underwater. This will decrease substantially when diving deeper or in a current, where you quickly will become restricted by your gas supply.
A way to accommodate for this build-up of air consumption is to increase your cylinder size. This by using a 15 litre cylinder or choosing to dive with doubles. However, finding this option on your dive travel or holiday is not always easy.
When we dive with sidemount configuration we usually dive with two cylinders. Not only will this double up your gas supply, but “normal” size cylinders are used everywhere, making it great way to make longer dives on your holiday.
However, diving longer and deeper dives on air is not always a healthy option. If you are making several dives during the day or spend great time at depth on a wreck dive, your nitrogen load might become an issue.
By switching gas in your cylinders to Nitrox or Enriched air we can almost double up the bottom time, due to the lesser nitrogen. Combine this with two cylinder sidemount, you have the perfect recipe for longer, deeper dives on your favourite spot.
After a few days of exploring the surrounding underwater caves of Krabi and building on the previous years experience of our Khao Sok tours, we have now launched the Cavern program in a new format.
The PADI Cavern Diver course covers the knowledge and techniques of cavern diving and describes the dangers involved with cave diving. The Cavern Diver course is conducted 3 days and 4 training dives, a thorough academic presentation, an equipment modification workshop and line practice land drills. There is no manual, so no boring reading followed by reviews or exams, just very informative and relaxing discussions and practical exercises.
We are proud to announce that our dive center in Krabi has received the prestigious PADI TecRec Centre authorization. This season the Ao Nang destination will add to our range of technical diving courses. If you are ready for a new challenge on your holiday and traveling to Koh Lanta or Krabi this season, tec diving might just be your new found activity.
Keep an eye out for our new Cavern, Sidemount, Self-Reliant and Tec courses that will be announced soon!