• Max. Depth: Thirty metres
• Level of difficulty: Advanced upwards.
• Visibility: Five metres to Twenty-five metres
• Current: Weak to strong.
• Recommended season: All year round
• Special training required for wreck penetration.
• Special features: Car deck, bridge, heads, passenger deck, all now not accessible can be dangerous.
• Quick tip: Use buoy lines for ascent /descent. Be careful of sharp shells on the entrances of the ship and scorpion fish.
On May 4th, 1997, when I myself was scratching around at the bottom of a lake in the UK learning to dive and not freeze to death, the now infamous King Cruiser ferry was having problems of its own.
As it cruised from Phi Phi to Phuket it hit Anemone reef, as this dive site is just a few meters below the surface it caught the hull and ripped a hole in it causing it to list heavily to port and ultimately sinking where it now rests at thirty meters.
The dive is now one of, if not, the most famous dive sites in the South of Thailand and is regularly visited both by day boats from Phuket and Phi Phi or as part of a Southern Liveaboard from Phuket trip.
Very little damage was done to the top of the reef and everybody was quickly rescued from the stricken ship –many dive boats, luckily were in the area and soon came to the rescue.
The King Cruiser sank slowly over a couple of hours and as it hit the bottom settled upright making the absolute perfect Wreck Dive. This makes navigating it easier especially compared to other wrecks that have sunk at awkward angles.
King Cruiser is 86m in length and 26m wide and sits in 30m of water, there are usually several buoy lines attached, the shallowest point is around 14m.
Now an artificial reef it attracts a huge variety of marine life including:
Yellow Tail Barracudas, several species of Snapper, Trevallies love to hunt here as there is lots of juvenile fish to eat. Bearded and Raggy Scorpion Fish, Lionfish, Black and White Coral Banded Sea Snakes, Boxfish fish all call the King Cruiser home.
The whole dive site is a perfect breeding ground for many species, and with that in mind, there are many predators, so you will see some hunting action here.