SS Thorfinn
Scuba & Snorkelling • Gear Rentals
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
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SS Thorfinn
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3.5
11 reviews
Excellent
3
Very good
3
Average
1
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Mark S
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK2 contributions
Jun 2019 • Friends
The Thorfinn is the ideal location to stay at when diving at Truuk. The cabins are clean, crew are helpful, food is good and there is plenty of space to relax between dives. I rented my equipment for the week and had no issues with any of it. I opted for Air or Nitrox and the bottles were ready on my gear before each dive. The dive guides were informative and gave you some freedom to explore each wreck instead of sticking religiously to a pre-determined route - which was quite refreshing.

From the anchored Thorfinn, dive boats take you to the wreck sites which are 5 to 20 mins away. With a maximum of 5 dives per day ( one night dive) this can be quite intensive but well worth it. During the whole week, we pretty much had each dive site to ourselves. The skipper (Lance) has almost 40yrs of knowledge diving in the lagoon and his experience coupled with the history of the wrecks is beneficial to adding to the allure of the diving.

The diving itself is all about the wrecks (ships, planes, a submarine and tenders), these are undoubtedly the best wreck dives I have visited. Due to its remote location, many of the wrecks still have items contained within the holds and along the decks which are great for photo ops. Plenty of corals and fish have made the wrecks home.

Apart from the diving there is little else to see. Infrastructure in Truuk is poor, internet is hit and miss and their is very little to do ashore on an evening. Staying on the ship keeps you close to the dive sites which this vacay is all about.

An excellent week, great company.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nata0312
Alvito, Italy35 contributions
Jan 2019 • Couples
The dives were great, a lot of wrecks, only wrecks. You can really get into the story of the war, since it is all very well preserved. You can see bullets, tanks, skulls, massive engine rooms.
The Thorfinn is a very old boat, but fully functional. If you book there, stay in the lower cabins, as the cabins on main deck are very noisy (engine room). Staff on the boat was very helpful. We had difficulty getting wi fi, it kept being turned off, we had to ask to be turned on several times a day, which was a bit annoying. Same with Air conditioning. Food was of poor quality, more due to the lack of ingredients provided to the kitchen, than the efforts of the kitchen staff. Quite small portions. There is a big variety of movies and tv shows available on board, which was very nice, after diving 4-5 times a day.
Bring your own wine/beer, as it is expensive on board. few cockroaches on board, standard...hehehe
Written January 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

libby124
Fishersville, VA1 contribution
Nov 2015 • Friends
Diving in Truk Lagoon was awesome and was a bucket list trip for me and my buddy. However, our experience in the SS Thorfinn was definitely not up to par. If this is the standard for liveaboards at Truk, then something is very wrong. I will start with a description of the boat.
It was built in 1952 and is powered by a steam engine that seems to be unreliable. There were problems getting out of port and then it had to be shut down halfway to our anchorage.
The accommodations were just OK, if you don't mind having roaches share your meals.
The air conditioning periodically failed to work or was not turned on. The Wi-Fi was intermittent at best and was often not available for whole days at a time. The free Wi-Fi is only for the first 70 mb, with additional usage being charged to you at $1.50 per mb.
The food was nothing more than you'd get at your local diner and, in my opinion, sanitation was a concern. Beer, wine, and liquor are not free and your choice of beers is either Budweiser or Asahi at $5.00 a can.
The "hot tub" they advertise is just filled with sea water heated by the sun, but then I am not sure since it was not filled and wasn't working while we were there.
The winch used to raise the anchor is inoperable, thus once the anchor is down, the ship will not move again.
Now for our specific experience:
We arrived on Saturday and the ship should have sailed on Sunday, however, the boat had not been provisioned so we had to wait until the stores on shore opened on Monday. Then, we did not sail until Tuesday morning because the engine was not functioning until then. As I mentioned above, the engine had to be shut down halfway to the anchorage and the boat was left to drift for several hours. It was almost comical to see a skiff with a 40-hp outboard motor steering the ship while adrift.
Diving during the first four days meant 40-minute rides to the dive sites because the boat was not at anchorage yet and because the engines on the dive boats were not working well either. Our first dive on Saturday was cancelled due to contamination of the compressed air system. By the time this was resolved, we not only missed the first dive, but the next scheduled dive did not take place until after dark.
NITROX is available, but not from tanks labelled as such. In fact, the same tanks used for air were also used for NITROX. Divers who were not NITROX certified got NITROX anyway. The mix varied each day from 25% to 29%. There is a charge for NITROX in 100 cubic foot tanks.
The problems with the dive boats continued through the week causing us to not be able to make six of the 25 dives we planned to make.
The captain apologized for the problems and told us that he would refund one day of our cost. By Friday, he had changed his tune, saying he never said that, and only agreed to refund the $45 cost of each of three dives.
It is my opinion that the safety of the dive operation problematic. Unqualified divers were allowed to go into enclosed spaces. For example, I was encouraged by the dive manager to dive on the wreck of the San Francisco Maru which is a 175 foot dive, even though I am not trained for dives that deep. (I did not make the dive.)
As for safety in general, I noted to the crew that we did not receive a safety briefing upon arrival, thus we were not told about emergency procedures, life jackets, life boats, etc. They admitted this was an oversight. When asked about this the captain told us that they don't worry about life jackets with divers on board. As for first aid, he said that he was capable of sewing up any cuts that needed it.

The bottom line is that, were I to return to Chuuk, I would never consider sailing on the Thorfinn.
Written November 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tomasz G
Warsaw, Poland34 contributions
Dec 2013 • Couples
The wrecks are really awesome and really once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, organisation aboard ss Thorfinn leaves much to be desired. First, this is not a dive boat! She does not move around (she's moored permanently at a not very attractive site) and it's doubtful if she ever will sail again. Wish she would. The boat is not very tidy indeed and there is no bottled water available around. Nitrox is not available onboard and moving around with all your dive gear on may be problematic - there's no place onboard designed for diving and in fact everything is makeshift. And, first of all, safe diving procedures are not observed - there were no pre-dive briefings, which is really surprising, considering that dives are rather difficult and deep. Three deep dives daily (e.g. around 35 m each) is not necessarily a good choice! Underwater guiding is somewhat erratic, sometimes we felt as if we'd been left on out owns. If you intend to dive there (which is really recommended!), consider some other option. Truk Stop looked OK, but we had no time to test it.
Written April 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nicole N
10 contributions
Serious safety incident
Dec 2019 • Solo
I was groped twice by the dive guide Meno during deep dives inside the wrecks, a very scary experience! The whole thing was not handled well by captain Lance, he brushed me off at first but did admit to having this problem before with Meno. He made me keep diving with him too, even when I requested not to! I was ridiculed when I left, Lance and his old friend who was visiting at the time, made a joke that they couldn’t shake my hand to say goodbye in case I thought I was being assaulted.
As a woman and as a previous survivor of sexual assault I cannot stress the seriousness in not being able to focus on my diving and instead having to worry about fighting off the dive guides hands, if you panic at such depth inside a dark wreck you may never surface again. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS LIVEABOARD! Btw, it’s stationary, it doesn’t move.
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sue j
Roscommon4 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
From pick up at the airport the van would not start and the seat was broke
We rented equipment-it was in a coat closet that was a total disarray. There were 4 BC’s, I made due with one that was to big for me, no size fins to fit my husband, dive computers did not work, it took me some time to reset mine, the dive master (who later was called a dive “guide” did not take interest in proper functioning equipment).
During our stay we found out the ship does not move because the motor was “waiting for a part”.
There were 2 dive boats, one was on the bow and did not run, the second ran poorly. While out on a dive it broke down, as they floated towards a reef my husband got it running and on the way back it broke down only to wait until they could reach the ship to get a rescue boat. That was a small boat with a 40 horse motor. The crew could not problem solve the tow of the bigger boat, my husband interceded again.
During the tropical storm a second anchor was dropped, I felt safe on the boat at all times. We were sent to alternate dive sites that the captain thought would be good, neither site that the crew had been to routinely, once we were unable to set anchor and came back the second they used a “anchor” that was a piece of rerod shaped in an L to snag the wreck. The dive was in a canal, visibility less than 15 feet, I came up immediately due to poor visibility. My husband was down 40 feet and descending when the anchor broke loose and missed him by only feet as it drifted by.
The captain placed all blame on his crew and on several occasions called them “Jungle Monkeys”. He is an 80 year old man has been on this boat for close to 40 years. His knowledge of the area and dive sites was outstanding but it is obvious at this point this ship, that has obviously had great years is now quickly sinking.
At this point I do not know how he can continue much longer. One couple who were new divers came on Friday and within 4 hours they left. They felt uncomfortable from the beginning and after seeing the rental equipment, and to be honest being new divers this was an unsafe environment. The “dive guide” had 3 years experience and was not a certified dive master. The dive crew communicated "need to know" information and that was it. We usually develop a camaraderie with all staff but outside of one person
This is the short version. What I don’t understand is the reviews online. Now that I go back I did find others that were not on Facebook or Tripadvisor that were just as this one was that dates back as far as 2014 with similar statements as this review. It is obvious that when people asked where we stayed and we told them there was no further conversation, they must have known more than I did before I went.
The knowledge of Captian Lance was outstanding, briefings were great but he misrepresents what he currently has. The dive site itself is one of a kind and a must see to appreciate.
Written February 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pauladuke20
Bulahdelah, Australia1 contribution
Aug 2018 • Couples
a wonderful week spent diving Chuuk Lagoon. Captain Lance was a wealth of knowledge . picked great dives and the dive crew were very accommodating. must also mention the kitchen crew, the meals were really good and the desserts were yum. would like to thank you very much for making our holiday very enjoyable. highly recommended and will see you again as there is a lot more to see. thanking you. Graeme & Paula. from Forster. n s w.
Written September 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Passe_0711
Stuttgart, Germany5 contributions
Aug 2018 • Friends
Our diving week was just awesome. We did 30 dives at 27 different wrecks in 7 days. Captain Lance always chose the right ones based on the weather and visibility conditions.
The SS Thorfinn may be not the newest boat, but it was clean, the food was good, and the diving equipment (incl. Nitrox) was perfect. It was a very ‚exclusive‘ week since we went out with only 2-5 divers and a very experienced and caring dive guide. Daily night dives were possible - which I can highly recommend. The Thorfinn is strategically well positioned, i.e. the boat rides to the wrecks were quick and easy. Two 150 HP motors of the small diving boats gaves us a good feeling. Not comparable to the small 2 x 40 HP boats of landside-based operators which seemed overloaded with 8-10 divers.

If you are eager to do make many dives (4-5 per day) and get a lot of background information on the history, then choose the Thorfinn. You will not regret it.
Written August 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kyle B
Nelson, Canada3 contributions
May 2018 • Friends
A week has come and gone already and we finally have the chance to look back on our time aboard Lance's SS Thorfinn. Moored in beautiful Chuuk Lagoon, we were spoiled with fantastic views and great people from the very begining. It's hard to believe that a battle as dramatic as operation Hailstone took place here as you're at peace when you look into the horizon to palm tree islands and open ocean. It becomes obvious that this wasn't always the case once you've geared up and decended into the unknown; the lagoon floor is where a fleet of imperial Japanese ships, planes and submarines lay to rest following the attack from the Allies in 1944. Diving into and around the wrecks was an experience of a lifetime which has given me a sense of what life aboard would have been more than 80 years ago. The wrecks are still in good condition considering there age and filled with WWII artifacts and marine life. Lance and his team made sure that we were comfortable, very well fed and educated on every wreck leading to the dives. His ship, the SS Thorfinn is an authentic whaler which has been repurposed as a liveaboard. Its construction and size made for a comfortable stay even in the worste of weather and it has interesting history of it's own that the captain is glad to share with you. A week was only enough to draw a small picture of the event that took place many years ago. It would take a few more to explore every corner of the lagoon but unfortunately, my time here has ran out and it's time for other divers to pick up where we've left off.
Written May 8, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SS Thorfinn (Chuuk) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go