Ocean Rover is one of Asia's most famous diving liveboards, which has just relocated from Thailand to Indonesia under new management. I joined a 10 day trip around Sulawesi's Sangihe archipelago to see how the Ocean Rover is taking to its new home.
Ocean Rover was built in 2000 in Thailand specifically for scuba diving and is widely considered as one of the best liveaboards in Asian waters. In 2008, ownership of the Ocean Rover passed to Roman Szalsay who relocated the Ocean Rover entirely to Indonesia, where it will offer trips in northern Sulawesi and Raja Ampat. Roman (originally from Austria) has spent a lot of time in Indonesia and has a real passion for diving. He was a great host during our Sulawesi trip, full of enthusiasm and clearly enjoying running the boat. You can read more about the Ocean Rover's history on the official Ocean Rover website.
On this page I'll give a rundown about the Ocean Rover liveaboard boat itself. For photos of the critters you can encounter while diving around north Sulawesi, see Parts 2 to 7 of this Trip Report.
The Ocean Rover is quite a unique looking ship - from the water it looks tall and boxy and lacks the romance of its wooden pinisi schooner peers, as it's built entirely from steel. However, once you get onto the boat, it's easy to see why this liveaboard has such a good reputation - what it lacks in romance it more than makes up with in practicality. This has to be the easiest liveaboard I have dived from, with the attention to detail on lots of little things making it a real pleasure to spend time on.
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