Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Top 10 Wreck Dives In The World


There are far too many incredible wreck dives all over the world and of course, top 10 lists are always subjective however, these amazing dive sites have to be some of the best throughout the world for recreational divers (i.e easy depths for those just diving on air or Nitrox without mixed gas or rebreathers). A GREAT wreck dive usually consists of an amazing resting place for a ship, vessel or even aircraft that, over time has attracted an abundance of marine wildlife.

Here are our Top 10 Wreck Dives In The World.

What do you think?  Are these the top Wreck Dives in the World?  Let us know in the comments below…

Thistlegorm – Red Sea

Thistlegorm is located in the Red Sea, just off the coast of Sharm El Sheikh, north of the nature reserve known as Ras Mohamad. Thistlegorm is actually a Gaelic word which means ‘Blue Thistle’ a British vessel which was attacked from the sky and sunk in 1941. When this cargo ship sunk, the explosion which caused her demise blew out most of her midship structure, creating the perfect environment for inquisitive divers. This cargo ship was full of military supplies which included; rifles, truck, motorbikes, wellington boots and so much more. Stretching across 131m / 430ft, this huge wreck will need more than one dive if you want to explore it fully. However, be aware of the strong currents which move in different directions around the wreck.

Bianca C, Grand Anse – Grenada

Known as ‘The Titanic of the Caribbean’ this incredible wreck draws in divers left, right and center. Sunk in 1961, due to a massive boiler room explosion, which caused a fire that did not relent for several days, this luxury liner met her maker off the coast of Grenada. This huger liner stretches to 180m / 591ft, making it the largest wreck available to divers in the whole of the Caribbean. If you have undertaken a wreck diving course, then this will open up many doors for you on this dive as you will be able to explore within the ships internal structure. Sitting upright, just under 30m / 100ft, this wreck provides you with not only a wreck dive, but also technical dives. Due to the currents surrounding this wreck, the Bianca C can also provide a great drift dive.

Fujikawa Maru – Truk Lagoon

This wreck is known as a ‘picture perfect’ shipwreck. Ranked as one of the top 10 dive site by the ‘The Times’, this site had to be mentioned on our top 10 list. Saturated with coral, marine wildlife and incredible sights, this wreck should be one for your bucket list. There are a number of striking features within this wreck, one of which is the large engine room which is located in the middle of the ship, which stretches for 3 floors. Other incredible sights are the disassembled Mitsubishi fighter aircraft’s which are found within the front holds of the ship.

SS Yongala – Australia

Classed as a 5 star PADI dive resort, the SS Yongala is certainly a wreck dive that you do not want to miss. Located at Alva Beach (Queensland) this is a dive for those divers out there looking for some adventure, excitement and adrenaline pumping moments. The SS Yongala was an Australian passenger ship which was sunk by a cyclone in 1911. Now, home to a litany of marine wildlife and beautiful corals, this 109m / 358ft long vessel is beaming with life. Only 30 minutes from the coast, it is easy to get to and believe me, once you have done it once, you will want to keep going back, to discover more.

Arashi Reef – Aruba

Aruba is renowned for its incredible beaches as well as being a number one spot as a honeymoon destination, however what most do not know is that Aruba is home to some of the best wreck dives in the world. Situated only 100 miles from Bonaire, unlike its sister island, Aruba is not known for its reefs, but its incredible dive sites which include;  ‘Jane Sea’ wreck which is over 60m / 197ft long located 10 to 30 metres below the surface, ‘Pedrenales’ and ‘Antilla’. The most well-known dive site in Aruba is ‘Antilla’ which is the wreck of 122m / 422ft long German supply ship. The Dutch endeavoured to take hold of the Antilla as revenge after the invasion of Holland however, the crew would not allow this and caused a huge explosion on the vessel, which blew out the centre of the ship which caused the ship to sink on its side. In addition to the Antilla, the airplane wreck that sits in Arashi Reef as well as the Sonesta airplane that was sunk purposefully in order to create a new dive site in 2008, provides an amazing experience where you can enter the cockpit and even sit in the pilots chair, however take care on this dive as marine life have made this unbelievable wreck their home, so don’t sit anywhere unless you have checked it first.

Zenobia, Larnaca Bay – Cyprus

Only 10 minutes away from the amazing holiday resort, Larnaca lays the resting place of the 10,000 ton ferry known as Zenobia, which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1980. Carrying more than 120 vehicles as well as Lorries, this dive site is an incredible wreck dive for any experienced and qualified wreck diver. Lying at a depth of 39m / 128ft, there are numerous dives to explore. Starting at 16m / 52ft, this is a great dive for any beginner wreck diver, however if you are looking for a more complex and technical dive then there are many diving tours which take you down to explore the lower car decks. With a huge variety of marine life that has made this wreck there home, this wreck will leave you wanting more.

Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow – Scotland

If cold water diving is your thing, then heading to Scotland and the infamous Scapa Flow is the perfect place for you to wreck dive. Lying upside down, the ‘Blockship Tabarka’ is pretty much intact, which means easy penetration. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, this shallow dive is perfect for any divers new to wreck diving as well as divers wanting to use nitrox, as it means for longer bottom time without high decompression consequences. Covered in phenomenal colored corals as well as interesting marine life, this wreck dive has to be on our top 10 list.

Superior Producer – Curaçao

Situated just off the coast of Otrobanda, Curacao this is an incredible wreck dive to experience. In 1977, the Superior Producer was bound for Isla Margarita, when it came into some issues after taking on fuel and supplies from the harbor in Curacao. After trying to leave the harbor, the Superior Producer ran into some issues with the weather conditions, which caused the cargo to shift. As a result, the ship began to take on water and met its resting place, after being towed. Sitting totally upright on a flat area of sand, the Superior Producer measures around 50m / 164ft in length. The shallowest part of the wreck is approximately 18m / 59ft deep, with the entrance to the cargo hold sitting at around 25m / 82ft. This formidable structure is definitely one to experience for any diver.

Hilma Hooker – Bonaire

An interesting wreck, with an even more exciting story. Situated near Kralendijk, this huge wreck is surrounded by sponges as well as large sea fans, this wreck has something to offer every diver. In 1984, customs officials discovered nearly 12 tons of marijuana on the Hilma Hooker. The captain and all of the crew were detained and the ship was moored at the docks. At the time, the Hilma Hooker was in a state of disrepair and the authorities feared that the ship would sink and therefore cause an issue with incoming and outbound ships. At this time, the divers of Bonaire petitioned for the Hilma Hooker to be sunk, creating a new dive site. The ship was then sunk between a two reef system, creating what is one of the best dive sites in the world.

Iro Maru – Palau

Iro Maru, is one of the most famous wrecks in Palau and is an unforgettable war wreck. Weighing over 14, 050 tons and 143m / 469ft long, this giant wreck was one of ten Shiretoko freighters with its sister ship ‘Sata’ laying only a couple of hundred yards from the Iro. Sitting on a bed of silt and sand, which can be disturbed by a flick of a fin, on a good day, you will be able to see the Iro’s top portion from the boat. Covered in zig zag clams, soft corals and incredible crustaceans, this wreck can provide incredible photo opportunities.

Jennifer Palmer
Jennifer Palmer
Diving since I was 13 years old, I am currently a rescue diver working towards my Dive Master qualification. As well as diving, I am also a freelance writer and a professional baker, with my own recipe blog Jennifer's Cakes.


  1. A difficult task – this is a list that will always be contested 🙂
    With the exception of Scapa Flow, every site is in warm water, but many of the die-hard wreck divers I know use a dry suit………… just saying.
    Would love to see some of the great WW2 wrecks off North Carolina on a longer list, and further up the US East coast there’s the likes of the Andrea Doria etc…
    Suggest a Recreational warm/ cold list and the same for Technical depths….?

  2. I would’ve put Aruba higher on the list, but I’m probably a little biased because my dad was raised there (my grandfather was an engineer for Esso Oil), and have been going down there every couple of years for most of my life. The Antilla is one of my favorite wrecks of all time.

  3. You’ve missed a few! Like the SS.Umbria on Wingate Reef in Port Sudan, the San Francisco Maru in Chuuk, the USS Saratoga in Bikini, the mv.Don Pedro in Ibiza, etc etc. Incidentally, I dived the Iro (no Maru!) in Palau with its original Chief Engineer, Tomimatzu Ishikawa, 60 years after it was sunk.

  4. The Umbria is spectacular ! ….Not to mention the Adlantic ocean convoy wrecks off North Donegal .. ? Def not warm water dives and below 50mtrs but then We still think of them as recreational. ?

  5. Not One Great Lakes wreck. 🙁
    What would I know. But this guy does know something about shipwrecks.

    “I cannot say too often, the Great Lakes possess the best shipwrecks in the world.”
    Gary Gentile

  6. Dived on a few of these wrecks. Hilma Hooker is pretty, but not in same class as the other wrecks listed. Fujikawa is a boat wreck dive, a coral reef dive and an aeroplane wreck dive all rolled into one. A friend of mine has raved for years about the President Coolidge in Vanuatu.

  7. Of all the amazing and historic shipwrecks in Scapa Flow – including three battleships, three cruisers and a minelayer from the German High Seas Fleet from WW1 – you chose the Tabarka? Seriously? It’s pretty yes but would barely make a top 100 of UK wreck dives.

  8. I’ve dived a few of these and think the SS President Coolidge in Vanuatu should definately be in there. Shore accessible 185m 1930s art deco ocean liner full of tanks and US army jeep. Top of the bow is at 21m with the stern down at 60m-85m. A truly magnificent wreck!

  9. Hello. Someone knows if it’s possible to dive to this wreck ships with the Open Water SSI certification? We have the possibility to go to the Yongala maybe….many thanks!

  10. I have dove some of these. If you really want to dive wrecks, dive in Malta. There are more shore dive wrecks than anywhere else in the world. And, I am talking some incredible wrecks.

  11. Tabarka, although shallow, is definitely not safe for newly qualified wreck divers. It is in a permanent strong current, and requires a negative entry as a shotline cannot be used and the wreck can easily be missed. It was spectacular when I first dived it in 2010 but has since collapsed. Some local dive boat operators won’t go there because it is easy to lose divers.

  12. Just dove it March, 2016 and will be returning in two weeks to do it again. Amazing wreck. Thanks to Viking Divers for the trips.

  13. I spent 2004 in Curacao, the island next to Bonaire. I was lucky enough to take a ride over and experience this dive. AMAZING!!!

  14. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.

    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
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