King Cruiser Wreck Dive
King Cruiser Wreck

The 4th of May 1997 King Cruiser, a 85m catamaran passenger and cargo ferry, strayed off course on it’s regular journey between Phuket Island and Phi Phi Islands. It hit Anemone Reef, ripping one of her twin hulls open. The King Cruiser sank within an hour just a short distance away. There was no loss of life, all passengers were collected by local dive and fishing boats. King Cruiser Wreck Dive Phuket

The wreck now sits upright on a flat sandy bottom at 32 metres deep. The shallowest part of the wreck is approximately 17 metres.

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At 85 metres long, 23 metres wide and with it’s multiple decks and long open passages there is a lot to explore on the King Cruiser. The ship was originally designed as a “roll on roll off” car ferry in Japan (it was previously named the Rock of Maru) but as there are no roads on Phi Phi Island there were no cars on the ferry when it sank. Still. the large car deck made a great place for penetration and exploration before wear and corrosion collapsed the upper decks. It is now too dangerous to explore deep into the wreck which can often be heard creaking ominously as the currents push and pull the superstructure.King Cruiser Wreck Phuket

The King Cruiser is a real fish magnet. It is so covered in fish that it is often impossible to see the wreck as you descend the mooring line, the schools od yellow snapper and other fish completely
carpet the wreck. The steel hull is completely encrusted with coral. Divers must be very careful where they put there hands as scorpion fish are numerous and very well camouflaged.

At the stern in 32 metres of water the twin propellers are visible, partly submerged in the sand. Look around in this area for bamboo sharks and even the occasional leopard shark. Lionfish abound near the anchor winches. Turtles and octopus can often be seen and small white eyed morays make their homes in broken railings. King Cruiser Wreck Phuket

The area around the wheelhouse makes a great photo opportunity, as does the row of toilets aft.

The King Cruiser wreck can be a challenging dive. It’s shallowest part is about 17 metres, it’s deepest 32m. Average depth is around 23 metres. Visibility can drop and currents can be strong.

This Phuket wreck dive is an ideal dive to complete the PADI Advanced Open Water Wreck Dive or to do the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Course.

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