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Dive Review of MS Valentina in
Mexico (Western)/Sea of Cortez

MS Valentina: "Luxury 5 day liveaboard adventure so close to home", Aug, 2019,

by Eric Schindler, AZ, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 11092 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Sea of Cortez is such a unique environment that makes it a must on the bucket list. Highlights on this trip were the large schools of different fish on each dive - hundreds of mobula rays on one, barracuda on another. You thought you have seen morays but at "moray condominium" 13 four footers were all in the same large hole fighting for space and your photographs, while 20 more were in neighboring holes. And of course sea lions are always unique and fun to dive with, usually at the end of the dive while you and they play in the shallows.
Visibility varied significantly, and one must always be prepared for thermoclines. At times the temp dropped ten degrees in five feet, and the hazy blending zone is always intriguing. No sharks this trip, thought whale sharks and hammerheads are occasional treats according to the dive master.
What makes this trip stand out is the extraordinary service, camaraderie of the crew, excellent food, and large outside facing cabins. We were lucky that only 9 passengers were on our cruise (capacity is 20), and two were snorkelers (who had ample sites to explore), so lots of attention and space.
See the Feb 2017 Undercurrent issue for a full article, which was quite accurate.
Much better and more diverse than any Caribbean experience of late, and a place to go when an Indo-Pacific destination is not on the menu, for a change.
Websites MS Valentina   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Coral Triangle, Caribbean, Mexico, Pacific, etc.
Closest Airport La Paz Getting There Two choices: Tijuana airport to La Paz is fastest and cheapest, once you get to San Diego and walk across the Cross Border Express Bridge to TIJ. Or you can fly to Cabo and take a 3 hour shuttle to La Paz

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge, no currents
Water Temp 70-80°F / 21-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-90 Ft/ 9-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions All dives were guided, loosely. Normal expectations - no deco diving, if you run low on air before group dive ends, ascend early. Most dives were 50-55 minutes long to allow for four a day
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera table, big rinse tanks, perhaps with a large group competition for charging ports would be an issue.
Crew quite supportive of
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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