Why Scuba Dive in Indonesia?
Indonesia is one of the most diverse dive destinations in the world with thriving coral reefs spread among over 3,000 islands. In one area, you might find quirky macro life tucked behind a Gregorian Fan. In others, you might swim alongside manta rays, sharks, and elusive mola molas. Since the region is so unique and varied, it’s no doubt best seen from the comforts of a liveaboard trip. In this guide, we’ll cover the best scuba diving liveaboards in Indonesia.
At a glance: The Best Indonesia Liveaboard Trips
|KLM MASTRO ALDO||5||No||Yes||23 m||$|
|KLM MARI||7||No||No||32 m||$|
|INDO SIREN||8||Yes||No||40 m||$$|
|DAMAI I||7||Yes||No||40 m||$$$|
|S/Y ADELAAR||4||Yes||No||38 m||$$|
|MERMAID I||8||Yes||Yes||28 m||$$|
|KLM MOANA||5||No||No||30 m||$$|
|MUTIARA LAUT||7||Yes||Yes||46 m||$$$|
|MSY SEAHORSE||8||Yes||Yes||33 m||$$|
In Depth: The Best Indonesia Liveaboard Trips
Imagine exploring the marine rich waters of Indonesia from the comforts of an ultra luxurious floating hotel. If you find it hard to believe, just step on the 52 m long liveaboard MSV Amira and dive some of the premium sites around Komodo, Cendrawasih or Raja Ampat.
Commissioned in 2010, MSV Amira can take a maximum of 19 guests in the nine double and one single high class cabins located both on the upper and lower decks, all with attached washrooms. After you are done with the four daily dives on offer, there are plenty of areas for relaxation either in the spacious lounge or on the sundeck.
Food occupies the pride of place on the MSV Amira with divers having the choice of a large selection of fresh Indonesian and Western cuisine during breakfast, lunch, dinner and day-long snacks.
Built in 2012, the 23 m liveaboard KLM Mastro Aldo, though small in size is easily one of the most stable boats that can comfortably carry it’s 10 guests in five basic cabins to explore the marine diversity of Komodo National Park and Rinca island. The liveaboard is a boon for divers seeking a budgeted option in a limited period of time. Small boat, small budget, but a lot of fun!
Time spent on the vessel between dives can be staggered by enjoying the tasty fusion of local, Asian and Western Cuisine onboard or relishing some signature BBQ delicacies especially laid out on the beautiful beaches of Flores. Other than this, guests can go trekking on the island or go for night dives at no additional cost.
Find trip dates and prices: PADI Travel
3. KLM MARI
Constructed entirely from iron and teak, the stylish KLM Mari was overhauled in 2016. This 32 m long traditionally built boat can accommodate up to 14 passengers — including families and non divers — in its seven spacious cabins. Trips typically cruise the waters between Papua and Sumatra.
By keeping the guest numbers low, there is enough space available on the KLM Mari for multiple purposes like filming and research operations in remote regions. The time after and between dives can be well spent resting in the large aft deck lounge and bar, all serving excellent panoramic views.
The meals served onboard need special mention here as they are primarily aimed at keeping everybody fuelled up to satisfy the pre- and post-dive cravings. The chef takes great pains in providing mouth-watering delicacies at both meal and snack time. Soft drinks, beer and liquor are available for an extra charge.
Find trip dates and prices: PADI Travel
4. INDO SIREN
Feel the sea breeze and enjoy the ever-changing views, far away from the mobile and internet, but in company of some great like minded individuals. This is what a diving liveaboard holiday onboard the sleek Indo Siren is all about. Built in 2010 and renovated in 2015, the 40 m long luxurious sailing ship is perfect for divers hoping to hone in on the marine wonderland of the Indonesian archipelago.
The Indo Siren is designed to sleep 16 guests in the eight deluxe cabins, each having basic amenities. In between dives, guests can unwind in the air-conditioned bar lounge or opt for a massage at the spa. A large TV and library are other entertainment options, apart from boutique shopping or going snorkeling or kayaking at no extra charge.
The cooks on the Indo Siren pride themselves in the three amazing meals served in the setting of a spectacular Indonesian landscape. Guests have unrestricted access to snacks and soft drinks all throughout the day. Alcohol is also available for purchase.
5. DAMAI I
Commissioned in 2009, by the best Indonesian builder Pak Hadji Baso, the Damai I is 40 m long and has seven staterooms with choice of single, twin or double occupancy, all with en-suite facilities.
Apart from an array of body treatments, there is ample space to relax on the three large decks. Diving stations with camera and charging points for individual photographers makes the whole experience all the more memorable.
The crew of Damai I are known for their exceptional service due to the high guest crew ratio of 4 to 1 which is a first of its kind for Indonesian liveaboards. The food is a heady mix of fresh local and Western cuisine, with both vegetarian and omnivore offerings.
6. S/Y ADELAAR
The SY Adelaar has been doing the exclusive maritime route to Komodo and the Alor archipelago from Bali for many years, as it was built in 1902 and renovated in 2009. The unique liveaboard experience on this sturdy and classic vessel attracts divers from every corner of the world to dive at an array of sites.
The SY Adelaar is 38 m and caters to a maximum of eight guests in its lavishly-furnished four staterooms. Guests can relax after a hard day of diving with a cocktail while taking in the sounds of the sea from the comforts of the cozy salon.The audio/video system is loaded with thousands of movies and songs to keep pace with the entertainment addicts.
As far as food is concerned, guests can be assured of getting pampered with true Indonesian hospitality. Balinese chefs cook Indonesian classics that are both traditional and fulfilling.
7. MERMAID I
The Mermaid I is a steel-hulled 28 m yacht crafted in 2000 and renovated in 2016. The eight deluxe cabins can comfortably accommodate 15 guests. Each room offers exclusive sea views and feature an ensuite bathroom, drawer space, and a fan.
The Mermaid I transports guests to the best dive spots in the high seas between Labuan Bajo and Bima, where one can look forward to shark encounters in a magnificent underwater setting. For relaxation, the main salon has TV/DVD entertainment system and and an extensive library.
Meal times on the Mermaid I are all special in their own way. The Thai, Indonesian and Western cuisine offered can leave the diners spoiled for choice. The large windows open up to excellent sea views. While Alcohol is available at a cost, day long snacks are provided free of cost to keep the divers tanked up.
8. KLM MOANA
Constructed of teak and ironwood, the traditional KLM Moana is a luxury liveaboard which is perfect for small groups of up to ten people in its five cabins. Built in 2004, this 30 m long schooner traverses the waters of the Komodo National Park and the pristine dive sites around it.
While individual attention is guaranteed due to the small group size, leisure time onboard the KLM Moana can be passed in the air-conditioned salon or the large deck area. The multi-lingual crew on the boat are friendly and attentive.
Starting with a healthy breakfast, the main course varies from Asian specialties to Western delicacies between lunch and dinner. The KLM Moana chefs pride themselves in the top quality food and fresh fruit which is provided everyday. Vegetarian and special diet options can be arranged on prior request.
9. MUTIARA LAUT
This classic double-mast 46 m long schooner was crafted in 2009 to cater to the exploration fantasies of sea-faring guests. The 14 guests in the seven tastefully done cabins are comfortable, quiet, and spacious (well, for a liveaboard of course).
The Mutiara Laut is the one and only vessels that offers activities like kayaking and paddle boarding in addition to the day’s dives. Social meeting places include a spacious dining room, a salon and a large sundeck to lounge in.
10. MSY SEAHORSE
MSY Seahorse, 33 m long, tends to visit deep water trenches, wrecks, and vertical sea walls on its trips around Indonesia. The six standard cabins and two deluxe cabins can house a maximum of 16 guests with all modern amenities. The MSY Seahorse welcomes both divers and non divers, with the twelve member crew on standby to attend to any requirement.
The time between meals and dives can be spent on the sundeck enjoying the magnificent sea views. The food and dive routine is maintained all day long to keep the energy levels high. The MSY Seahorse cooks are known for their home-cooked type meals, hailing from a traditional Spanish lineage. A glass of wine, under the stars just before bed is the ideal end to an exciting day of diving.
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