Best Hawaii Liveaboard Reviews 2019

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean. Extending to some 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from the main island, the archipelago has a lot to offer. Surprisingly, there is only a small liveaboard industry in Hawaii, with most diving done on day trips. A liveaboard in Hawaii is the opportunity to visit the sites further away which are lively and pristine.

Hawaii Liveaboard Diving

budget Hawaii liveaboard scuba luxury

Scuba Dive Lava Tubes on Kona Aggressor

The Kona Aggressor II, a member of the international Aggressor Fleet, is the only major liveaboard currently sailing in Hawaii. As the name implies, the liveaboard sails from Kona which is on the Big Island Hawaii.

Diving around any of the Hawaiian Islands is outstanding, still, the west coast of the Island of Hawaii offers some of the best dive sites. You will often see Hawaiian names showed in different manners. Kailua-Kona is the largest population center on the west coast of the Big Island. The Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport provides international connections. You can see why Aggressor fleet has set a liveaboard here. In fact, the aggressor fleet has been sailing Hawaii since 1989.

Budget Hawaii Liveaboards

Given that the Hawaii liveaboard industry is very small, it is difficult to place liveaboards in different categories. In this case, we have only one liveaboard, the Kona Aggressor II. We placed it in the “budget category” as the other boats are smaller charter vessels and indeed, much pricier. Also, the classification is based on world wide averages and does not mean “poor quality”, especially not in this case! In fact, the Kona Aggressor offers an outstanding value for money ratio.

Liveaboard review : the Kona Aggressor II

The Kona Aggressor II is an 80 foot long yacht that has a beam of 28 feet. This is a comfortable size for the 14 passengers and 6 crew members aboard. Each cabin offers a private head and shower, hair dryer, a window, individual climate controls and monitor with media player. They open into the salon and dining areas. From the salon, you can go forward to the open bow, or aft to the dive deck.

The dive deck portion of the main deck has lockers for your gear and set up stations. There is a large camera table to assemble your camera equipment. At the stern a few steps down is the actual dive platform which has two fresh water showers for after your dives.

scuba hawaii budget liveaboard

Moreover, another outstanding service of the Kona Aggressor is the food offered on the cruise! We work up a real appetite when diving, and the Aggressor fleet is well known for the outstanding food it serves. Each meal is tailored to match local meals. Many of the menus bring a taste of Hawaii on board. You have a fleet with a reputation for great food, you have a chef with 25 years restaurant experience and a captain with 20 years as a chef himself, you can imagine how great the food will be.

kona aggressor hawaii scuba diving budget luxury liveabaord

Diving wise, the Kona Aggressor II takes you beyond the range of the land based dive centers. You’ll often be the only boat on sight! Plus, the Kona night dives are legendary. Divers come from all over the world to experience these. If you do a price comparison, a night dive from a Kona dive center cost about the same as a day aboard the Kona Aggressor II. On the Kona Aggressor II you have a night dive every day except for Friday.


You do have some other options if you want to dive overnight in Hawaii or take a liveaboard other than the Kona Aggressor II. However, they are not dedicated to scuba diving and are very pricey. To charter a yacht will cost you over $2,000 a day. To that you will need to add the provisions, for yourself and the crew as well as fuel. You be lucky to spend less than $4,000 a day. Still it can be done, and many of the boats are very comfortable.


scuba kona hawaii liveaboard budget

Kona Dive Sites by Aggressor Fleet

The Kona Aggressor II sails on the west coast of the Big Island. This coast is generally less impacted by weather. While some of the dive sites are seasonal or impacted by weather, there is many dive sites that are not. Overall the liveaboard has 22 primary dive sites. The majority of them are suitable for open water divers. That is not to say that more advance divers will not find something to their liking. Some of the sites have options that advance divers will enjoy that are not open to the open water diver.

Underwater you will see evidence of Hawaii’s sometimes violent volcanic nature, with lava tubes and caves and even a crater. You might also find that the glow from a lava flow will supplement your lighting as you get ready for a night dive.

Hawaii Liveaboard last minute

At times select sailing may show on our liveaboards last minute page


2 comments on “Best Hawaii Liveaboard Reviews 2019

  1. Hi Marisa!
    If you follow the link to the Kona Aggressor’s descriptive page, you will see that the liveaboard says to be offering a night dive every night during the itinerary, so perhaps you’d even get more than one opportunity for black water diving! I would recommend checking when booking with for more specific details on this.

    Wishing you the best diving, thanks for reading DiveZone!

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