Scuba Diving the RMS Rhone Wreck in the British Virgin Islands

Diver off the liveaboard Cuan Law on the Rhone wreck.

Dive the Wreck of the RMS Rhone aboard All Star BVI’s Cuan Law!

One of the most popular wreck dives in the Caribbean, the wreck of the RMS Rhone, laid to rest in the British Virgin Islands. Located just offshore from Black Point Rock near Salt Island, it’s easy to reach and a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.

We’re proud to offer the Rhone wreck dive site on our luxurious and relaxing Cuan Law vacation yacht charter! BVI diving is quite underrated, especially for wreck diving fanatics! Smooth sailing from dive to dive is an incredibly pleasant way to spend your dive vacation.

It’s been voted a “top dive” for its history and marine life many times over and is a frequent stop on the itinerary for the dive liveaboard All Star Cuan Law. As one of the best-preserved shipwrecks in the Caribbean, it’s no surprise that it’s a go-to dive site for dive operations in the British Virgin Islands.

The RMS Rhone was a royal mail ship that launched in 1865 and traveled between Southampton, Brazil and the Caribbean, carrying passengers, cargo and mail. This twin-masted iron hulled sail-steamer was 310 feet long with a 40 foot beam, and it billed itself as unsinkable.

That is until the storm. She sank as the result of a late season hurricane on October 29, 1867. As she and a sister ship were fueling off Peter Island, the storm approached. After believing they had survived the hurricane, the captain and crew were surprised by the back side of the storm and sank on their way to open ocean.

As the ship sunk, the bow drifted about 100 feet away from the stern and sits at an angle.  The bow is in 80 feet of water. You’ll find an open structure that is well lit and easy to swim through with multiple schools of fish and vibrant coral growth. The stern and mid-section sit in 35 feet of water.

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The wreck and the surrounding area were designated as the first National Marine Park in the BVI in 1980. Now lying in the crystal clear waters of the BVI in 35 – 80 feet of water, it offers an intact bow encrusted with healthy coral and marine life and a separate stern section that includes a 15 foot bronze prop and a “lucky” porthole that promises good fortune to those who rub it.

Legend has it the captain was enjoying a cup of tea topside when he fell overboard in heavy seas and was never seen again. More recently, the RMS Rhone served as the backdrop for the underwater scenes from the 1977 filming of Peter Benchley’s “The Deep” with Nick Nolte, Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw.

The crew of the Cuan Law offers a unique dive briefing for this spectacular dive that includes acting out the key players’ parts on that fateful day. Stories that include the sinking of the RMS Rhone and the survivors are shared as part of the pre dive to help set the stage to truly enjoy this dive to its fullest. 

Cuan Law passengers also get to enjoy a week of sailing, luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, and island-hopping when they aren’t diving amazing wrecks like the RMS Rhone, Chikuzen, or Kodiak Queen.

There is plenty to see while diving the RMS Rhone wreck; it’s easy to spend a day diving and exploring. We also offer it for a night dive where the wreck comes alive with a nocturnal community of marine life.

If you haven’t considered a dive trip in the British Virgin Islands, check out our sailing yacht charter! It’s perfect for a family vacation – even if you aren’t all divers! There’s plenty of other fun adventures to get into on the Cuan Law sailing liveaboard.

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