We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful Boat Trip! ”
Review of Portofino Divers

Portofino Divers
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Portofino Divers is a dedicated dive center for those who seek the finest , it was set up in 2002 by Susanna and Bruno Borelli with the aim of offering a premier quality service to those who are interested in diving the best sites in the Portofino National Marine Reserve and the many wrecks off western coast of Liguria. It offers quality GUE and PADI training programs at any level.
Reviewed 15 August 2017 via mobile

We came from Australia to dive here and booked in advanced specifically requesting to do the wreck dive. I paid a deposit and provided our certifications it was confirmed in the email that we would be doing a wreck dive.

On the day when we arrived we were told they had already done the wreck dive that day so would be taking out group on a reef dive and the Christ of the Abyss. When I told the owner that we had booked for a wreck dive he said "if we wanted to see a bunk hunk of metal" then that is the dive we could do. Which is what we confirmed we wanted to do, even though he made us feel as though we were totally inconveniencing him.

While we were preparing to go out and getting geared up we found Bruno and his team to be super unfriendly (except for a nice young girl!). We actually felt really uncomfortable like we were putting Bruno out majorly.

We then went out onto the boat which was a really nice boat! New and big and spacious. The actual boat trip was lovely and it was a beautiful day! Seeing the coastline of Italy from the water made the day for me.

We dived the first site which was the Christ of the Abyss. It was cool to see the statue but nothing really special.

When we were headed to the second site they actually just decided not to go to the wreck and to go to the reef. I was never given an explanation about what happened to wreck dive we booked so decided I wouldn't be diving the second dive on the reef, it was not what I was there for and have been lucky enough to dive many beautiful reefs before.

My partner went on the dive and was disappointed, not seeing anything exciting. He was actually told by Bruno on the boat that the reason we couldn't do the wreck dive was because we didn't have a technical license. However this was never mentioned before we got onto the boat nor was it mentioned when I booked and paid a deposit.

When we got back and went to settle the bill it was astronomical and I was charged for a second dive even though I didn't do it, and that I only booked for the wreck dive which I was never taken on.

To be totally honest this was the worst experience I've ever had with a dive company anywhere in the world. They were not friendly, they deceived me on what I was booking and paying for, it was the most expensive dive experience I've ever seen and I left feeling totally ripped off.

If I could go back in time and cancel I would.

Date of experience: August 2017
1  Thank KylieMcDowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoBorelli, Direttore at Portofino Divers, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2017

Hi Kylie, your negative comments are a vary bad surprise for me because you didn't look disappointed here.

I invite you to read our email exchange more carefully, unfortunately I cannot publish here, TripAdvisor does not allow me to do. I have never said that we were going to dive a wreck, even if we always do our best to satisfy special requests of our guests. We have only one wreck in the marine park which is not the best place to dive, especially for OWD since it starts at 20 meters. We always try to provide the most professional service in terms of safety and fun to our guests. Unfortunately sometimes we fail or our intentions are not fully understood by the customer, like I guess in this case. We are aware of the fact our guests spend a lot of money to dive with us and we want to do the best to meet or to go over their expectations. Again, sometimes this is not fully understood, especially from divers with few experience, but on the other hand we have to accept the fact that we can not make everybody happy.

Our rates are very clear on the website and we ask the deposit by sending a detailed pro-forma invoice , so you should know how much you are going to spend before you the confirmation of your reservation. The bill should not be a surprise if you read the price list first and the offer afterwards.

Our cancellation policy is also very clear. You can find it in any email we sent you and in the offer you got for paying the deposit.
Moreover, If you order a pizza at the restaurant but you only eat half pizza do you expect to pay just for half of it ? We reserved a spot on board for you, which are very limited, this is what you pay for. If you decided to not make a second dive it is not for our fault in case.

I hope you will be able to explain your disappointment also directly to a person in the future and not just hided behind a screen where you can say whatever you want even if it is not completely true.

All the best,


Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (43)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"dive company"
in 3 reviews
"underwater life"
in 2 reviews
"great dive"
in 2 reviews
"advanced divers"
in 2 reviews
"whole team"
in 2 reviews
"professional diving center"
in 2 reviews
"dive spots"
in 2 reviews
in 5 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 22 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 6 reviews
in 4 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 4 reviews

8 - 12 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2017

I dove 6 times with Portofino Divers. In general you get what you paid for. Prices are a little higher than other diving centers, but:
- Boat if very good, well adapted and the groups are limited, which gives you a lot of space on the boat and during gearing up.
- Although I used my own gear, their gear is very professional and high quality.
- Facility is well equipped and really divers oriented
- Facility-boat-dive-after dive cycle is well organized
Accommodation they can provide is nice and clean, with shared kitchen and bathroom. It is quite noisy, but also the price is very reasonable considering the area.
The only unpleasant experience I had was the one with the owner Bruno. All the time I get the feeling he is rude and he cares only if I pay him for the service. Instead of explaining why we proceed like this, not like that he just gives dusty answers, do as you wish, its on your own responsibility etc. During departure time we had small argue, but at the end he offered free half day accommodation. I perfectly understand he is the owner and its his job to take care of business, but sometimes its more beneficial to cool down or simply delegate some tasks to others. It would be much better reception if I could remove Bruno’s attitude from the equation.
On another hand his crew is excellent! All of them are very nice, professional, helpful, informative and happy. And they are good divers.
Overall it is a good, professional diving center and I can recommend it

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank Andrew_0000000000000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrunoBorelli, Proprietario at Portofino Divers, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Hello Andrew,

thanks for your review.

I'm glad you find a very professional service at our facility.

Unfortunately I know I could look rude to whom does not know me or especially to whom is rude with me. I have to admit since the first minute you entered the dive shop I had quite some difficulties in dealing with you. You know some people does not like each other since the first approach and, like you said, I'm not good dealing with guests. Some people hates me, other loves me. For sure I'm not the kind of person who makes a lot of smiles and then treat the customer like he is always right. I need to improve on that aspect but I do not think will be never my best quality. My main responsabilty is to guarantee safety and fun to our customers. I'm aware of the fact they spend a lot of money to dive with us and I want to do the best to meet or to go over their expectations. Sometimes this is not fully understood but we can not make everybody happy.

About our small argue in the end ... you cancelled the last night accommodation at the last minute and you where pretending to leave the room in the evening ... No comments on this.


Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2017

In July I spent two days diving with Bruno and his team at the Area Protetta di Portofino. This is a very nice place with many dive spots to discover. Many thanks to Susi, she guides me very well, Bruno for the quick response and easy booking and also to Edo and Nico for help with the equipment. They all are really professionals and all time I felt to be in good hands. I am sure I will come back again, maybe next year.

Date of experience: July 2017
2  Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2017 via mobile

First time scuba diving and couldn't have asked for a better experience. Our instructors were thorough and patient, we felt very safe diving with them. The dive spots that we were taken to were excellent, the boat was lovely and there are shower facilities back at their office. Would definitely dive again and highly recommend to anyone who wants to dive in this area.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank Cheryl T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 22 May 2017 via mobile

We were all novices and were very well looked after by the whole team. Some of our group were very nervous but were not put under any pressure and the instructors were very patient and understanding.
We would highly recommend this company and we're thrilled to see Christ of the Abyss and the marine reserve

Date of experience: May 2017
1  Thank pytheen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Portofino Divers also viewed

Santa Margherita Ligure, Italian Riviera
Santa Margherita Ligure, Italian Riviera
Paraggi, Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure, Italian Riviera

Been to Portofino Divers? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing