‪The Smiling Seahorse‬
‪09:00 ص - 08:00 م‬
الاثنين
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
الثلاثاء
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
الأربعاء
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
الخميس
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
الجمعة
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
السبت
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
الأحد
09:00 ص - 08:00 م
نبذة
‪‪Ranong‬، تايلاند‬
تستوفي إرشادات رعاية الحيوان

الجوائز
جائزة Travellers' Choice
2024

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‪The Smiling Seahorse‬
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5.0
5.0 من 5 دوائر195 تعليق
ممتاز
‪170‬
جيد جدًا
‪12‬
متوسط
‪8‬
سيئ
‪2‬
سيئ جدًا
‪3‬

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thuffman7
سنغافورة, سنغافورة9 مساهمات
5.0 من 5 دوائر
الأصدقاء • ‪أبريل 2024‬
‪My buddy and I have just returned from a terrific 9d/8n manta ray expedition with the Smiling Seahorse. Per usual (this is my 3rd trip with them) we saw a ton of reef fish, pelagics, hard and soft corals, sharks, rays and plenty of the macro stuff my old eyes are having trouble finding on my own these days. What we did NOT see were other divers (or mantas, sadly). For the most part, we were completely alone. This made diving some of the best sites in Southeast Asia even better, sites like Shark Cave, Black Rock and the incredible Burma Banks. Definitely a perk of choosing one of the more remote itineraries.

Franck and his crew were, as always, professional, attentive and dedicated to making the trip safe and enjoyable. James was a superb trip leader - personable, fun, knowledgeable and quick on his feet when plans have to change. Our DM Simon was great: found things we'd have never seen, kept a good pace, kept us on good routes through the dive sites, and just generally made the trip better for everyone on his team (4 divers). This was challenging for him I suspect as two of us were photographers and two were not. Never had any trouble with this though, Simon kept us all heading in generally the right direction.

Our specific trip included the welcome contribution of Jamie Piyada, a marine biologist who heads up the Manta Project in Thailand and environs. Her presentations were informative and interesting and a little sad having to discuss candidly the existential threats to mantas worldwide, the most deadly of which are of course caused by humans. Our failure to find any mantas on this trip underlined that point a little too effectively, if unintentionally.

To end on a happier note, this trip also included an evening (or two!) of black water diving. A very different perspective than the one we normally have diving. I am now much more aware of the complexity and beauty of all that "stuff" floating around in the water, stuff I previously ignored. Do it if you get the chance.

Things you will probably see mentioned favorably in other reviews include the trip BBQ, friendliness and professionalism of the whole crew, nice rooms, nice boat, good food, excellent organization overall. These comments are accurate. It's a class outfit and from what I understand the only operator currently allowed in Burma. I would highly recommend them to anyone, on any of their multi-day itineraries. All in all, a great trip with a great company.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 9 مايو 2024
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Rob C
مدينة الكويت, الكويت11 مساهمة
5.0 من 5 دوائر
زوجان • ‪أبريل 2024‬
‪Smiling Seahorse
This was our first liveaboard diving trip so we have nothing to compare this with, however, I can honestly say that our expectations were more than exceeded in every respect.
The Smiling Seahorse operation is superbly run and managed by its owner Franck, an extremely personable individual and diving enthusiast, who goes to great lengths to ensure that no detail of your stay onboard is overlooked.
After being swiftly administered on arrival, Franck then delivered a welcome address to all passengers to explain how the boat functions, where everything was and then introduced all of his staff, from the captain and diving instructors to the chefs and general assistants. This was a great touch and showed how invested he is in his crew and for us to meet each and every one of the staff onboard.
We were assigned our diving instructor (Mici) and dived with another couple of similar experience for the duration of the trip. Mici went to great lengths to put us at ease and explained every step of each dive we undertook but made absolutely clear that safety was her primary concern throughout. We undertook our PADI AOW qualification whilst diving and this was seamlessly integrated in to our diving programme. Some of the dives were quite challenging due to varying currents and invariably plans had to be changed underwater to reflect the conditions but at all times she had the whole group’s welfare and safety in mind. On all of the dives, the pace at which we covered the terrain was excellent and she was always attentive and keen to point out the abundant wildlife.
The diving itself was varied, with Richelieu Rock providing the most spectacular array of sea life, from huge shoals of Trevally and Barracuda to amazing fan corals to name but a few. Visibility wasn’t always great and at times the currents were strong but we viewed this as positive learning and we always managed to see some incredible sights.
The food onboard was simply outstanding! We are vegetarians and the chefs went to great lengths to ensure that we had an appropriate choice for each meal - the food was largely Thai inspired and was truly delicious. On one evening they even prepared a BBQ on the sun deck and this was preceded by some delicious rum cocktails, which went down very well!
At various intervals Franck would make announcements to ensure all were informed or (as a keen underwater photographer) brief us on other aspects of diving (black water diving), which was offered as an additional activity. Despite the broad international makeup of the guests onboard, all were made to feel part of the ‘family’ and we made some great acquaintances during our trip.
Overall, Franck’s outstanding leadership of the Smiling Seahorse and attention to detail is what made this trip so successful and enjoyable for all concerned. We would thoroughly recommend to anyone considering a live aboard and will undoubtedly be back again.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 13 أبريل 2024
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Young-eum L
سيول, كوريا الجنوبيةمساهمتيْن
5.0 من 5 دوائر
العائلة • ‪أبريل 2024‬
‪The best diving experience ever!! They go to the best dive sites in the area - from the southern 8 mile rock(Hin Paad) to the northern Richelieu Rock. And they offer the most number of dives - 25 compared to other liveaboards that offer 18 or 19 during the same period. Do not say you know the Similan area until you have experienced The Smiling Seahorse Liveaboard!!‬
كُتب بتاريخ 5 أبريل 2024
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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us such a sweet review and for your lovely company onboard! We look forward to welcoming you again soon!
كُتب بتاريخ 8 أبريل 2024
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NAC88
سنغافورة, سنغافورة81 مساهمة
5.0 من 5 دوائر
العائلة • ‪مارس 2024‬
‪I am a fairly experienced diver with hundreds of dives over 25 years in 10 different countries so I am pretty familiar with the dive industry.

I am pleased to say that the Smiling Seahorse is absolutely excellent, a very well run organization operating a very clean and comfortable boat and offering great diving trips in the Andaman Sea:

Pros:
- Management: Main man Frank is very French, but which I mean he can be quite direct, but also runs a very tight, well organized ship, balancing the safety and health of his customers with creating a fun, friendly and welcoming environment for all. The Thai crew is great, always friendly, very professional, rooms were kept clean, the dive crew was always attentive and helpful. Anybody familiar with Thailand will know that keeping a group of 8 Thai crew happy and consistently focussed is no small task... The fact that so many of the crew have been with the boat for years tells you something. Very professional organization.

-Boat: Probably 5 or 6 years old, but you would not really know if, the boat is really in great shape. The cabin and bathroom was simple (I stayed in a deluxe with its own bathroom), but very clean and comfortable enough. Some people commented that they found the mattresses a bit thin but I found it very comfortable. Also, the AC worked really well. I did not see a single ant or roach on this boat... and I have been on enough boats in Thailand to know that is not always or even usually the case. This boat is clean, comfortable and fit for purpose.

The main deck has dining tables and some day beds to chill out and the beer fridge and food counter. This is the main living area, where the dive briefings happen. It is easily big enough for the 16 customers on the boat and is comfortable, with open sides so you can enjoy looking out at the water while chilling out.

The upper deck is quite large with a long day bed couch and some mattresses for laying out in the sun. Mostly the area is used for smoking and sunbathing. I feel like they could do more with this area, maybe put some hammocks up there or something, as there is plenty of room.

Dive deck is well organized, nitrox available, staff is very friendly and helpful, dive masters/ instructors are absolutely on top of their game. Whole thing was very professional. They fill your tank directly from the compressors after every dive so no need to change tanks. There is a camera room for gear which is a nice touch.

Food: Food was pretty good, nothing exceptional but there was lots of it... no complaints.

-Diving: We did a 4 day trip and hit Richelieu Rock, Koh Bon and a few other sites around there. Andaman has some of the best diving in Thailand and was pretty great, particularly Richelieu Rock. With 4 dives a day, you get to see quite a bit in a short trip. Most of the diving is done off a dingy, which adds a bit of complexity, but you get used to it pretty fast and the boatman is a super cool guy with a great sense of humor. Some of the sites had pretty strong current so after a a day or two, it can get pretty tiring if you are not used to it.

Cons:
- No wifi on the boat! For a 4 day trip over the weekend, this was not fatal, but I probably would not be able to take a longer trip during the week without being able to check email and send out messages. In fact, I found 4 days unplugged sort of nice, but not exactly convenient if you have something urgent to deal with.

-Transfers: Boat went out of Ranong, which is sort of out of the way... need to fly directly into Ranong as it is 4 or 5 hours by car from Phuket. The boat returns to Thap Lamu Pier in Khao Lak. It is about a 2 hour ride down to Phuket and the transfer arranged through the company is pretty expensive. Next time, I would just book a car myself on InDrive for 600 baht.

-Very French! This is not really a "con," it is what it is, French owner, a lot of French customers. Personally, I would rather spend 4 days with a group of French people than a bunch of loud obnoxious Americans and I am from New York City. But on our trip, half the customers were French and most of the rest were Swiss, German or Dutch. So if you want to spend your trip swapping dive stories with a bunch of Aussies, Americans or British folks, might not happen on this boat. Who knows, could be a good thing! ;D‬
كُتب بتاريخ 17 مارس 2024
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Thank you for your lovely and well detailed review! Seeing how experienced you are and comparing us to number of other boats you've been on was very insightful. We are so happy you enjoyed your time with us and appreciated the professionalism of all our team. We are a big family, all working towards our guests' happiness! Our guests come from all sides of the world, while mostly westerners, it is not uncommon to have only English speaking guests onboard but glad you enjoyed the company of the group we had onboard this week :)
كُتب بتاريخ 8 أبريل 2024
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Patricia L
مساهمتيْن
5.0 من 5 دوائر
زوجان • ‪مارس 2024‬
‪5th time on The Smiling Sea Horse, and 3rd cruise in Burmese waters. The cruise was great, the staff took great care of us and what can we say about the chef.... We had a great time 4 times a day!! For the dives, the captain drops us off exactly where we need to. In short, everything was perfect. To complete, there is always a good atmosphere on board. We will come back a 6th time, that's for sure.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 16 مارس 2024
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Toujours un plaisir de vous recevoir année après année. Merci de nous avoir laisse ce petit mot qui nous fait chaud au coeur!
كُتب بتاريخ 8 أبريل 2024
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Cadon D
مساهمة
5.0 من 5 دوائر
الأصدقاء • ‪مارس 2024‬
‪For the third time we embarked on "The smiling Seahorse" for a week's cruise, this time with the Mergui archipelago. Franck, Camille and their team gave us a week of pure happiness. The abundant and quality food, the small crew to facilitate our dives, and our guides Simon, James, Mici and Camille showed us wonderful sites.
We are already looking forward to seeing each other again in April 2025!
Thanks again.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 16 مارس 2024
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Jamais trois sans quatre! On vous attend l'hiver prochain. Merci de nous confier vos vacances année après année.
كُتب بتاريخ 8 أبريل 2024
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Savitar J
دُبي, الإمارات العربية المتحدة19 مساهمة
5.0 من 5 دوائر
الأصدقاء • ‪فبراير 2024‬
‪I set sail with The Smiling Seahorse on a 5 day / 4 night North Andaman Trip from February 28 to March 3rd, 2024. For context, I am an Advanced PADI diver with 30 lifetime dives before I boarded the boat. This was my first liveaboard experience and I was accompanied by four friends who I had dived with previously in Dubai and four other divers. My only understanding of what to expect was from watching a few nice YouTube videos from The Smiling Seahorse’s channel, but that was theoretical. It was time to finally experience the live-aboard life in person.

Let’s start with the boat - The Smiling Seahorse (TSS) is 25m long, custom-built craft with 8 rooms that divers can either share or occupy individually. There are three levels - a lower deck with rooms, chef’s kitchen and dive equipment where divers can jump on a Zodiac and head to their drop off points; a main deck with the captain’s quarters at the help, more rooms, a main gathering area where all meals are had and briefings delivered, and finally, a sundeck to relax and enjoy the incredible views of the Andaman Sea, many islands and more.

TSS is owned by a French couple Frank and Camille Fogarolo who have run this live-aboard for 12 years. While Camille was present to greet us when we arrived and ensure that we settled in smoothly, Frank was with us for the entire trip. Tall and lean, Frank is a veteran diver who runs a professional operation. His first briefing was the main one. It was both comprehensive and detailed and covered our plan plus do’s and don’t on the boats and in the water. Frank then introduced us to his team of dive pros — Velika (from Switzerland), James (England), Min (Thailand) and Mici (Hungary) — each with 2,000+ dives. We were divided into smaller groups with one of these pros as our group leads. The rest of the staff, all Thai, included the captain, chef and crew who looked after us and the boat from end to end.

Unfortunately for me, I caught a bad throat infection a day after arriving in Thailand, so I could only make 7 out of 14 total dives on this trip, but all said and done, those dives were great. The visibility was amazing on almost every dive, with understandably the least on the sunset dive at Richelieu Rock. They really save the best for last because the marine life at Richelieu Rock was extraordinary. While going in and out of chilly thermoclines, I swam through tornados of barracuda, swarms of tiny sliversides, countless fusiliers, waves of long, slim cornetfish, mixed hordes of trevally and Smalltooth Emperors. It was stunning.

I am so grateful for Velika who led me through my first three dives at the amazing Similan Islands and then for James who I dived with at the brilliant Richelieu Rock. Velika was kind, patient and caring. James gave me tips on how to better equalize the pressure in my ears as I was having trouble with that. Both had a deep understanding of our dive locations. On our last day, I sat with James for an hour and he helped me identify all the marine life we saw - ghost pipefish, box fish, trevally, cornetfish and many more. I feel a lot more educated now. I gained both knowledge and experience from Velika and James and really glad that our paths crossed.

The food on board included breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. The cuisine included Thai and Italian with a barbecue surprise on our last night. There were more options for non-vegetarians (including chicken, pork and lamb) than for vegetarians, but enough to get by. Meals were mostly stir-fried or deep-fried and served with rice. Spice levels varied from spice-free to really hot, so we definitely had range. Breakfast cereals, tea, coffee, soy-milk as the alternative for regular milk, beers, wine, crisps, juice and soft drinks were all on board and fueled us from dive to dive.

This was such a great trip. The TSS experience and team were wonderful and I would happily recommend them to anyone considering a liveaboard in Thailand. I could not make the second trip to Myanmar with them but I look forward to that the next time.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 3 مارس 2024
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We are so glad you enjoyed your holidays with us and we look forward to welcoming you onboard again for Myanmar or Thailand. There are still.many nice dive sites to explore with us :) Thanks for your "vegetarian" review of our cuisine. It is always nice to know that our efforts to cater to all diets is appreciated.
كُتب بتاريخ 8 أبريل 2024
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Craig F
8 مساهمات
5.0 من 5 دوائر
الأصدقاء • ‪فبراير 2024‬
‪I’m a liveaboard newbie, and my introduction to dive holidays was wonderful. The staff and crew of The Smiling Seahorse were attentive, but not cloyingly so - attending to your gear and filling tanks seamlessly. They lended a hand when yours couldn’t find the shoulder straps or you need a zip up. They were careful with photo gear, and the varying needs of all guests. Between dives one could rest in clean, comfortable air-conditioned cabins, or on covered decks with cool ocean breezes. Cabin lavatories feature on-demand water heaters. Meals and snacks were quite good: from nearly a full English, to yogurts, fresh fruits, damn fine cups of coffee, and mostly Thai-influenced and delicious lunches and dinners. Some items were mildly spicy, which I quite liked. I loved the banana fritters and ice cream snacks we had exactly twice on our 9-day voyage to the south and north Andaman seas. The beer/wine fridge featured a running tab that was settled at the end of the trip. The dedicated photo cubby was popular and crowded but a nice place to prep your cameras. Compressed air was a nice touch. What would I do differently? Bring a 5 mm suit if you’re easily chilled. Consider an air mattress if you’re not a fan of very firm mattresses. Lastly, I should have booked with The Smiling Seahorse much sooner. I would venture that their company is very hard to top.‬
كُتب بتاريخ 26 فبراير 2024
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Hard to top! Wow! Thanks you!!! Glad you enjoyed your time with us and we hope we will have the pleasure to host you again very soon. This year has been particularly cold with a severe Indian ocean dipole bringing cold water at the beginning of the year. We do have some 5mm wetsuits for rent if you feel chilly next time but a 3mm is usually sufficient for most with water at 27-28 degrees in average.
كُتب بتاريخ 9 أبريل 2024
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Roger S
مساهمة
5.0 من 5 دوائر
بمفردك • ‪فبراير 2024‬
‪My third liveaboard trip in Thailand, the second with the Smiling Seahorse. Perfect tour guide by James, great guides, great boat and very tasty food. Everything was GREAT!!‬
كُتب بتاريخ 26 فبراير 2024
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We were so glad to have you back onboard this season and look forward to many returns. Thanks for the lovely review!!!
كُتب بتاريخ 9 أبريل 2024
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mhagege
5 مساهمات
5.0 من 5 دوائر
بمفردك • ‪فبراير 2024‬
‪TOP boat and team!
I did 2 weeks of special photo cruise, including a week with Black Water every evening. Great experience!
The boat is very comfortable and well appointed (the beds would benefit from thicker mattresses), the cuisine is delicious and the Dive Masters and Instructors are very competent and friendly.
I'll go back as soon as I can ;-)‬
كُتب بتاريخ 17 فبراير 2024
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Merci pour ce super avis. Nous sommes très heureux que tu ai apprécié la plongée blackwater en notre compagnie ainsi que le confort et la cuisine à bord. Merci de nous avoir choisi et à bientôt !
كُتب بتاريخ 9 أبريل 2024
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