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[Saipan] How to go wreck diving in Saipan?

In 2023, I visited Saipan twice due to connections.

Once to investigate the underwater cultural heritage of Saipan's shipwrecks, and once to visit nearby Rota Island on a private tour, the relaxing atmosphere, wonderful nature and scenery are a must-see for everyone. I hope you can taste it.

If you are traveling to Saipan, what should you do to go wreck diving? I hope I can show that here.

Land battle site near the airport on Saipan Island
Land battle site near the airport on Saipan Island

First of all, there are tours to famous battle sites on land such as the Last Command Post and Banzai Cliff, but unfortunately there are no "specialized" tours to underwater battle sites. Do you know how many "battle ruins" there are underwater in Saipan?

◉Table of Contents

List of underwater battle sites in Saipan

 The wreck points shown here are “Underwater Cultural Heritage of Saipan Island It is a part of the ``Trail'' and is a point where I have dived at least once. Regarding the contents of the survey carried out along the Saipan Underwater Cultural Heritage Trail, please refer to here's blog.

Saipan Island/Type 2 large boat
Saipan Island/Type 2 large boat

・Type 0 three-seat reconnaissance aircraft

・Type 2 flying boat (Emily)

・3 Sherman tanks (M4 medium tank)

・3 large launch boats


・LVT (Amtrak) 2 cars

・PB2Y Coronado

・PBM Mariner

・TBF/TBM Avenger

・Steamer (a ship called)

・Sub chaser

I heard that there are other sunken ships and aircraft in addition to the ones listed above, but this is a personal investigation and as of 2023, I have not been able to dive. So I will omit it here. (If anyone knows anything other than this, please contact us and provide information.) If you are an ordinary diver, when visiting Saipan for leisure, you may say, ``I want to dive into war-related shipwrecks!'' The current situation is that it is not possible to dive even if you want to. If you just want to dive around shipwrecks, the quickest way is to go to areas that specialize in shipwreck diving, such as Chuuk in Micronesia. However, the reasons for choosing Saipan may be due to financial issues, scheduling issues, or people who have roots in Saipan or have a favorite rec trip.

​Saipan diving style

Saipan Island/Entry scenery

 If you use a Japanese shop, the main type of diving in Saipan is fish watching, and you may go on an expedition not only to Saipan but also to Tinian. Depending on the season, there is a wonderful ocean where you can see famous sights such as schools of spotted eagle rays and trevally, but here we will talk about the wreck, so we will omit the creatures. There are also many spots to enjoy the topography, such as the spotlight and the famous Grotto.

Since most shops do not have their own boats, they basically "share the boat." Therefore, ``I can't choose the points.'' This is the biggest problem for wreck divers. You may be told, ``I won't know until the day of the event because there are other people involved,'' or you may be told, ``That's difficult,'' without even thinking about it. Among them, the "Type 2 flying boat (Emily)" and "Shoyasu Maru" are used as leisure points to some extent, so there is a high possibility of diving, but the probability of diving is higher. In order to do this, as I will tell you in the next section, you need to choose the season.

As for the type of gas, if we were to dive into the shipwrecks of Saipan, it would be shallow overall, and I think air would be sufficient without using nitrox. On Saipan, nitrox requires an additional fee, so it is a burden on the cost side. However, considering that it is gentle on the body, nitrox is recommended regardless of the depth of the water.

If you are a beginner in diving, there are many points where you can dive at the open water level provided by the instruction group, but it is better to get used to diving and hone your skills before diving into it carefully. Since you will be able to do this, it is desirable to have it up to Advanced level. I would like you to confirm this thoroughly when contacting the dive shop.

​Saipan shipwreck season

Saipan Island/Shoya Maru
Saipan Island/Shoya Maru

Basically, the best season for Saipan's shipwreck area (in-reef) is the exact opposite of the best season for fish watching.

・Rainy season (summer in Japan)

The occurrence of squalls and typhoons is a constant worry. Although the visibility is low during this period, the seasonal winds weaken and the weather becomes calm, making it the best season for fish watching.

・Dry season (Japanese winter)

When the seasonal winds begin to blow, the visibility increases and the shipwreck season gradually begins.

The best season for wreck diving is said to be January to March.

How to choose a diving shop

Selecting a shop (guide) is quite important. It's common for guides to say that they don't know where the shipwreck is, so be sure to check when making inquiries to make sure they can get to the point you want to go to. If it is Saipan, the wreck is being investigated independently MASA DIVE has his own boat and is well known in the area, but unfortunately I haven't had the chance to meet him during my stay so far. If you are interested, please contact me directly. Conducting an individual investigation is expensive and time consuming, and deserves respect.

Also, Saipan has NMDOA (Northern Mariana Diving Operators Association) There is an organization called the Northern Mariana Islands Diving Operators Association. Mr. Toshi of MSC Saipan, with whom I have been friends for some time, is the top of the organization ( As of 2023), I think you can see what other shops there are by following the links for the main diving shops.

How to dive only shipwrecks in Saipan?

Saipan Island Type 0 water reconnaissance aircraft
Saipan Island Type 0 water reconnaissance aircraft

 I want to go on a rec trip freely without worrying about the season! If you think so, there is a method called "boat charter". In the case of Saipan, you may be able to rent a small boat for around $600 a day (as of 2023), depending on the size of the boat. However, when chartering a boat, there are problems with points, safety, and tanks (cylinders) for diving, so it is essential to go through a diving shop, and there is no guide available. These conditions are necessary, and it must not be forgotten that guide fees will also be added. First, try contacting various shops. As a last resort, it may be a good idea to consider chartering.

If you really want to dive, please contact me rather than contact me. It is also possible for me to plan and accompany you. If you want to go cheaper, one option is to join a Saipan rec tour that I organize myself, although it doesn't happen often.

For confirmation of seasonality etc., please contact Tomo from BIG EYE, who is a close friend of mine. Thank you for your cooperation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them. I hope that this content will be of some help to you in your wreck diving.


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