MV Celebes Explorer Liveaboard

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MV Celebes Explorer is the best option if you really want to enjoy the Sipadan area, being not only the single Malaysian liveaboard operating in the place, but also the best choice when you want to maximize your time and efforts.

Celebes Explorer

The MV Celebes Explorer Liveaboard

The Celebes Explorer liveaboard takes the tourist on a trip into one of the top 10 dive sites this planet offers to humans, with clear blue waters and outstanding underwater wildlife that embraces even the ships resting on the bottom, making them a beautiful part of the scenery and leaving divers with the desire to come back.

MV Celebes Explorer Liveaboard Video

The best way to make the most of your experience is choosing the proper way to dive, especially when there is a limit for dives per day, such as is the case of the Sipadan Island, whose inhabitants are concerned with the protection of their ecosystem, thus, giving only 120 dive permits per day ever since the year 2000.

To that, we add the impossibility of resting on the Sipadan itself, giving that it is considered a wildlife and marine sanctuary and people are obliged to seek accommodation as close-by as they can.

This is how the idea of the Sipadan liveaboard came to life. Created as an answer to the question of how to please tourists, the MV Celebes Explorer appeared in 2001, under the form of a wooden monohull motor, with three decks, accommodating up to 16 divers, while giving them the opportunity of doing quite a number of dives around the Sipadan Island.

And that is not all: one can also enjoy air-conditioned cabins and a saloon/restaurant while watching TV or listening to some good music, whereas sun-lovers have the possibility of sun bathing on the deck prepared especially for them. After a good day of diving, the best way to completely be happy is to relax and enjoy a massage in the sun.

The MV Celebes Explorer is just the beginning of a great idea, which balances perfectly people’s desires to have the best conditions while enjoying as much as possible of nature’s wonders g with the need to protect the ecosystem.


  • 8 Guest rooms with private ensuite and air-conditioning
  • Comfortable Sofa Lounge with TV, Audio System and Mini Bar
  • Asian local Buffet Meals
  • Spacious Sun Deck for relaxation
  • Dive Deck with convenience of showers and equipment storage
  • Cruising speed of 8-10 knots
  • Overall lenght of 29 metres (99 feet)
  • Beam of 7.2 metres (24 feet)
  • Draft of 2 metres (6.6 feet)
  • Nitrox
  • Internet USB


The Celebes Explorer is able to accommodate 18 guests over its 8 air-conditioned cabins. There are 2 double occupancy cabins found on the ship’s main deck and 6 twin/double occupancy cabins on the ship’s lower deck. All 8 cabins feature the following:

  • En-suite bathroom facilities
  • Toiletries, towels and a hairdryer
  • Shelves, wardrobe space and a mirror
  • Safe
  • In-room air-conditioning
  • Reading lights
  • Bed linens
  • Fire detectors and lifejackets
  • 240V power supply available 24 hours a day

Details of the different cabins available can be found below:

2 Double Cabins (Main deck):

Each of these cabins features a queen size bed and feature windows.

6 Twin/Double Cabins (Lower deck):

Each of these cabins features a queen bed with a single bed above it (bunk bed style). There are also portholes in these lower deck cabins.

Sample Itinerary (4D/4N)

Day 1

  • Meet upon arrival at Tawau Airport
  • land transfer to Semporna
  • Embark on to Celebes Explorer
  • Buffet Lunch
  • Buffet Dinner

Days 2 – 3

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Liveaboard Diving
  • Buffet Lunch
  • Liveaboard Diving
  • Buffet Dinner

Day 4

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Disembark from CE and depart for Semporna
  • land transfer to Tawau Airport

Prices include

  • Round Trip Tawau airport / Semporna jetty transfer
  • Twin/Double Share Accommodation in a private ensuite and air-conditioning cabin
  • 04 – 05 Daily Dives (inclusive of evening dive for qualified diver except for arrival departure day). For 7D7N Sunday to Sunday cruise, Celebes Explore will cruise back to Semporna for replenishment around 1400hrs on Saturday with 3dives to be conducted before cruising back.
  • All meals and beverages (excluding alcoholic and canned/bottled drinks, which could be purchased on board)
  • Use of tanks, weight weight belt.

Prices Exclude

  • Sipadan Entry Permit (RM40 per day)
  • Anything not stated above
  • Semporna Jetty Fee (RM2 Malayisan or RM10 International)


Jess August 31, 2017

We have a diving trip schedule on Aug, 2018 to MV Celebes Explorer.
Here some questions.
We are 3, so triple use available?
We may arrive Tawau on 24, Aug, by Air Asia.
Can we start the 4D4N package on Sunday, 25, Aug?
If we can, how do we come back to Semporna?


Martin, Indonesia September 15, 2017

We spent 7 nights on board the Celebes Explorer and got to see plenty of Malaysian diving at its best during that time.

Being able to dive at Sipadan up to 4 times a day was a real treat as many of the local resorts have diving restrictions only allowing you to dive this area every couple of days.

I was highly impressed with the underwater life and the stunning scenes of Sipadan and would highly recommend it.

Recommended for: The ability to dive at Sipadan multiple times per day


Chloe, United States September 15, 2017

The Celebes Explorer was an enjoyable experience with great access to Sipadan and a helpful, knowledgeable crew.

Unfortunately we were unable to have a night dive but perhaps this will change in the future when the curfew changes.

Aside from a few issues with the boat’s generator, the whole experience was pleasant and is highly worth it to be able to dive in Sipadan more than once every few days.

Recommended for: Sipadan experiences


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