Phuket Wreck Diving
King Cruiser wreck was a car and passenger ferry servicing the Phuket to Phi Phi Islands route that sank on 4 May 1997 after hitting a submerged rock known as Anemone Reef diving on its way to Phi Phi Islands. Fortunately, no lives were lost during the incident. King cruiser become the wreck diving in Phuket by excellence.
Scuba diving in Phuket: If the Phuket dive scene had been previously lacking in anything it was a decent ship wreck for scuba divers to explore. This unplanned addition to Anemone Reef has become one of the most popular dive sites around Phuket. Not only is the wreck located near an already popular dive site but it is positioned almost perfectly at a depth between 18 (59 feet) and 35 meters (115 feet).
King Cruiser dive site
King Cruiser Wreck is 85 meters (280 feet) long by 25 meters (82 feet) wide, with four decks and larges passages that divers can use to gain easy access to explore the spacious interior. However some parts of King Cruiser wreck has noticeable deteriorated, and in mid – 2003 the top deck at the stern collapsed into the middle section, so the wreck is now considered unsafe for penetration.
Divers can explore the passenger deck level at a depth of 18 – 22 meters (59 – 72 feet), while others may be more interested in checking out the remains of the wheelhouse at the top level. There is usually at least one buoy tied to the north side of the wreck.
King Cruiser wreck marine life
For those interested in sharks – sightings, sometimes a leopard shark was has been seen near the remains of the propellers at the sandy bottom. and gray bamboo sharks has been spotted at the opening around the middle level at the stern. During the high season, scuba divers may spot the largest fish on earth – the Whale Shark.
The incredible variety of marine life of the King Cruiser wreck, make it one the most famous dive spot of Thailand – dozens of scorpionfish are usually camouflaged almost everywhere on the rusting steel of the wreck. Thus, divers are advised to be careful if they absolutely have to hold on the part of the wreck. Along the stern, hovering lionfish are common, and divers may find themselves surrounded by schools of trevally, snapper, rabbitfish, fusilier or a mixture of several thousands fishes at the top of the wreck.
Other creatures that can be spotted on the wreck are nudibranch, eels, crabs and a huge great barracuda.
King Cruiser Wreck diving recommendations
King Cruiser wreck can be intimidating for beginners or intermediate scuba divers because of the depth, the visibility and the strong currents. For this reason, the recommended level to dive here is Advanced Open Water diver with minimum 20 dives, or equivalent certification. We also recommend to dive with Nitrox.
To avoid injury, it is advisable to study the structure and participate to the briefing provided by the divemasters before the dive. If the current is strong, there is usually one side of the wreck that is protected and practicable. Although penetration of the wreck is highly hazardous, there are still large openings that divers can swim through – for your safety, follow the instruction provided by your divemaster. Also make a habit to constantly check your air and dive computer throughout the dive since the average depth of this dive site is quite deep and diving conditions are strenuous.