MV Chertan started operation as a liveaboard dive boat in Milne Bay in 1992. Milne Bay has an excellent reputation for world class dive spots on wrecks and reefs. This is Chertan's home turf. Rob Vanderloos calls this place home (for more than 25 years) and is one of the most knowledgable dive boat skippers in this region. Min. 6 divers are required to sail.
Accommodation & Facilities
MV Chertan got a major re-fit in 2014 and offers now a choice of cabin in different categories and more comfort for guests. The boat is furnished with elegant tropical timber and offers plenty of space for a maximum of only 10 guests. With state of the art navigation and communication aids it is perfectly suited for its purpose.
Standard Base Cabins (#1 & #2) These (6 sqm) air-conditioned cabins have two single bunk beds, no ensuite. Guest just use the shared bathroom facilities. There are 2 bathrooms and 2 showers for guests to share, and these are located on the main deck.
Middle Deluxe Cabins (#3 & #4): These cabins are a little bigger (8 sqm), also air-conditioned and have two single bunk beds. The Middle cabins are fitted with their own toilets, but no showers. There are 2 showers for guests to share, located on the main deck.
Double Executive Cabin (#5) – With 18 sqm this is the largest cabin on board.They made one cabin out of 2 cabins. It has has been outfitted with its own bathroom. Situated at the bow of the boat it has a very spacious atmosphere. With a queen size bed and a single bunk bed, this cabin is ideal for 3 family members, a couple or 1 or 2 single travellers. The cabin has individual adjustable air-conditioning.
Itineraries are flexible and will be adjusted ad hoc to provide for the special interest of the guests and the prevailing conditions at the time. 3-5 dives are offered daily. Scheduled dates throughout the year offer 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 night excursions. All extended trips start and end in Alotau (name of the airport is Gurney). Special interest charters can be arranged on request. The owner and skipper Rob Vanderloos operates this boat for more than 25 years and knows the area very well. Diving is mostly conducted directly from the Chertan.
Apart from the better known dive places in Milne Bay as described in popular dive guides, Rob Vanderloos steers Chertan to remote and unexplored parts of Milne Bay as well. Like with most cruises in Milne Bay, you should expect a mix of reef diving, "Muck" diving, wrecks and wall dives. Milne Bay offers excellent diving on reefs and wrecks. Scattered coral, reefs and sea grass beds grow right up to the shoreline and are home to some of the best small creature diving we have ever done.
We've encountered unusual critters like ghost pipefish, panda clownfish and mantis shrimps. Milne Bay is mostly known for "critters diving" which is really excellent. However, pelagics are seen here as well. Milne Bay offers fantastic diving all year round. Best time to visit is very likely May-June and September-November. However, the weather is unpredictable, but Milne Bay has no rainy season as such. It can rain at any time.
There are 2 compressors and 5 filling banks to fill up to 24 tanks. Nitrox is currently not available. Divers should bring their own dive gear, but hire gear is also available if needed (at extra cost).
Chertan is not one of the top modern luxurious boats, but has everything a dedicated diver needs. The main reason for an excursion with Chertan should be the expertise of the owner in the Milne Bay region. Especially macro photographers will enjoy excursions with the Chertan and appreciate Rob's knowledge in macro photography. That is Chertan's special reputation.