Diving from an oil rig
Welcome to Seaventures Dive Rig, a unique accommodation in Malaysia that serves as a dive resort. This former oil rig offers divers comfortable rooms and the opportunity to dive directly under the rig or at more distant dive sites. The resort is a decommissioned oil platform in the middle of the Celeb Sea, overlooking the island of Mabul and just a 30-minute boat ride from famous Sipadan.
During your stay, you can enjoy unlimited diving on the house reef of the rig and diving at Mabul, Kapalai and the world-famous Sipadan Island. The diving at Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai is extraordinary for its abundant marine life and unique underwater landscapes.
What makes this diving destination so diverse and special?
The island of Sipadan is an impressive volcanic pinnacle, covered in coral and with a steep 600-meter descent to the sea floor. Sipadan is known for its huge schools of fish, barracudas, turtles and reef sharks.
The diving around Mabul and Kapalai is also world-class and offers a completely different experience from Sipadan.
Mabul is known for its fantastic muck diving and diverse macro life, including flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, anglerfish and moray eels. Kapalai is a great spot for critter lovers and offers relaxed diving with abundant life in the warm, shallow waters.
On the Seaventures Dive Rig, you can enjoy this unique diving experience in a special location.
Best travel time: Diving in Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai is great year-round, but conditions vary by season. From April to October, the water is calm, warm and clear with visibility up to 30 meters. During the rainy season (November-March), currents may increase and visibility decrease, but the diving remains great with possibility of extraordinary encounters with marine life.
Good to know about diving on Sipadan: Diving on Sipadan is heavily restricted. When staying a minimum of 4 days, each diver is allowed only 1 day, 2 dives at Sipadan itself. There are only a limited number of permits available so if we want to dive on Sipadan for several days, we will have to apply in advance. So the number of days of diving allowed at Sipadan depends on how long you stay there.
Sipadan Island is officially closed to all tourists and divers during the month of November each year. This is designed to protect marine life around Sipadan in an effort to ensure that Sipadan remains one of the best dive sites in the world.
Wetsuit advice for MalaysiaA shorty or full 3mm wetsuit is perfect since the water is around 28/29 C.
What will you experience on this trip?
View itinerary here
Day 1 & 2 - The journey to Malaysia
Your journey from Europe to Tawau begins with a flight to Kuala Lumpur, often with a transfer, which takes between 15 and 18 hours. Sometimes it is possible to fly direct and then the flight time is about 13 hrs.
Upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, you have two options. If times permit, you can choose to fly directly on to Tawau, your final destination. This is an additional flight of about three hours that takes you deep into the heart of Borneo, where Tawau is located.
However, if you arrive in Kuala Lumpur late or just feel the need to rest after a long flight, it is possible to take a hotel near the airport.
Day 3 - On the road to Mabul
As soon as you set foot in Tawau, your diving adventure begins. Whether you arrive directly from the airport or are picked up at your hotel, you will be taken to the city of Semporna. Here is the Seaventures office, where you formally check in and, among other things, show your diving certification, etc.
After the administrative formalities, you will be escorted to the boat that will take you to the rig. This boat ride, an adventure in itself, takes about 45 minutes.
Upon arrival at your destination, it’s time to check into your room. Then you will receive a dive briefing from the experienced crew, who will initiate you into the secrets of the underwater world you will explore.
Depending on your arrival time and weather conditions, you may still be able to enjoy an orientation dive under the rig.
Day 4 to 9 - Diving around Mabul, Sipadan and Kapalai
Over the next 6 days, you will make 3 boat dives daily at Mabul, Kapalai or Sipadan. In addition, you can do unlimited house reef diving (mandatory with buddy). Certified night divers may do night dives on the house reef, with a buddy. Unfortunately, no night boat dives are allowed, but not to worry, under the oil platform you will also see your eyes in the dark.
One of the highlights of diving in the Sipadan Marine Park, Kapalai and Mabul is the chance to see whale sharks. These giant fish are not only iconic, but also on the bucket list of most divers. To have the best chance of seeing whale sharks, come during whale shark season, which runs from late March to early June, with early March and late June as shoulder periods. There is also a second season around September to October as whale sharks migrate.
One of the main reasons to dive in the Sipadan Marine Park is the large population of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). These turtles flourish around Sipadan and rest on the ridges of the reef tops and walls. Moreover, in the park you can also discover the turtle cave, a special diving experience!
Seaventures Dive Rig is a PADI 5-Star Dive Centre and offers diving courses for both beginners and professionals…. For the PADI divers who want to expand their specialties, it is interesting to take PADI Cavern Diver course here that takes you to Sipadan Turtle Tomb.
This location also provides the ideal environment for various specialties and courses, such as the Cavern Diver Specialty, Sidemount Diver course, TEC 40, TEC 45, TEC 50, TEC Deep Diver and PADI Rig Diver Specialty.
After diving, it’s time to relax with BBQ nights and live music, among other activities.
Day 10 & 11 - Return home
On the day of your departure from this diving paradise, it is important to note that check-out time is no later than 12:00 noon. At 2 p.m. sharp, the boat that will take you back to Semporna departs. It is important to be on board on time, as the boat leaves punctually. As you sail back, you can reminisce about your diving experiences and the breathtaking landscapes of Borneo.
In the late afternoon, your flight to Kuala Lumpur is scheduled. This trip marks the beginning of your return trip to Europe. In Kuala Lumpur you will have the opportunity to relax for a while, have something to eat and prepare for the night flight ahead.
Depending on available flights and your personal preference, you will fly back home on an overnight flight. Although night flights can be long, they also provide an opportunity to rest and sleep so that you arrive at your final destination refreshed.
The stay and surroundings
Seaventures Dive Rig
Seaventures Dive Rig is without a doubt the most unique dive resort ever! Built on a converted oil platform, this boutique hotel is surrounded by the sea off Sabah’s northeast coast. It may not sound comfortable, but Seaventures has pulled out all the stops to turn this piece of metal into a cozy hotel. Accommodation is stylish and well appointed, and there are game and meeting rooms and a striking sundeck on the disused helicopter pad.
But what makes the resort truly unique is the hydraulic elevator that takes divers to the water whenever they want. With three daily boat dives to both Sipadan and the iconic local sites of Mabul and Kapalai, you are guaranteed a remarkable diving vacation. The food is buffet style and consists mainly of Asian dishes with fruits and salads. No ala-carte menu.
The rooms on the rig are simple but purposeful. They are designed with functionality and comfort in mind, allowing divers to relax and recharge after a long day underwater. These rooms are clean and comfortable, with soft beds and all the basic amenities you need.
In terms of room options, there is something for everyone. For those traveling with a friend or family member, the twin room is the perfect choice. This room features two twin beds, so that each guest has their own space. For couples or those who prefer a little more space, there is the standard double room.
But for those looking for a little extra luxury during their diving adventure, three Deluxe King Bed Rooms are now available. These rooms (photo 4) are more spacious and feature a large, comfortable king-size bed. Although these rooms still follow the simple and functional design of the other rooms, they offer an extra level of comfort and luxury.
What is included
This travel package is €1499 per person based on two people in one room. The trip can be extended as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.
Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.
Want to know more about the possibilities? Get in touch with us!
Included in this trip, from €1499 p.p.
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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation
You can dive from the oil rig without a boat, using a hydraulic elevator to enter the water from the platform. In addition, you will make boat dive dives at various sites in Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai.
Sipadan is about a 25-minute boat ride away and the other dive sites are even closer.
Up to 3 boat dives per day and unlimited on the house reef. From early morning to 7 p.m. you may dive on the house reef.
Yes, you may night dive on the house reef, however you must be qualified and out of the water by 19:00 at the latest.
Qualified means that during your AOW training you did the night dive as one of 5 dives or separately the first dive of the night dive specialty. Don’t you have one? Then you can do those on the 1st night dive for approx. €35 and then you can do all other night dives with your buddies.
Yes definitely! On this you are allowed unlimited diving from early morning to 7 p.m.
Several interesting diving courses are offered such as the Cavern Diver Specialty, Sidemount Diver-Course, TEC 40, TEC 45, TEC 50, TEC Deep Diver and PADI Rig Diver Specialty.
The Dive Rig is both accommodation and dive shop in one.
Both are present.
Yes definitely, filled with air there is no additional cost. Nitrox is at an additional charge.
Nitrox is available for approx. €5 per tank.
Yes, the cost is €27 per day. Includes computer. Diving with a computer is mandatory.