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Indonesian Liveaboards

© Oceans-Image/Photoshot Malcolm NobbsMalcolm NobbsMalcolm Nobbs
  • © Oceans-Image/Photoshot
  • Malcolm Nobbs
  • Malcolm Nobbs
  • Malcolm Nobbs

Liveaboard diving in Indonesia

A word from the wise… Diving in these areas is often undertaken in remote locations. Some of the dives can be quite challenging, suiting only more experienced divers in exciting, bizarre and unpredictable currents. Please do not forget your own SMB, plus other surface signalling devices.

Liveaboard diving does not get more adventurous than this....

Liveaboards diving to and from Bali

Eastwards from Bali, a string of picturesque islands stretch east towards Komodo, offering a wealth of different dive sites to choose from as you dive your way to or from Komodo National Park. Lombok, Gili Islands, Sumbawa, Moyo, Satonda and Sangeang are the main land masses, with numerous other islets.

This group of islands further east are surprisingly dry, looking more like parched grassland on steep volcanic formed slopes than the expected lush green tropics, unless visiting during the more rainy season (winter months), This area is truly a YEAR ROUND diving destination, with itineraries and dive sites tailored to the prevailing weather conditions. If the liveaboards operate there year round, you know it is good!

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Bali and Komodo National Park: Mermaid I, Mermaid II, Komodo Dancer, Indo Siren and Dewi Nusantara.

How do I get there?

The best gateway is via Bali’s Denpasar airport.

Boat and itinerary dependant, an internal flight from/to Bali from/to Bima (Sumbawa Island), Labuan Bajo or Maumere (Flores Island) may be required. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving in Komodo, Flores & Alors

Komodo: Officially declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, the Komodo National Park (Komodo, Rinca and Padar Islands) is the largest protected marine zone on the planet. The variety of islands within the park, combined with the current, wave and wind exposure have resulted in an incredible diversity of coastal and marine habitats.

Underwater, strong currents and deep upwelling’s transport nutrient-rich waters throughout the area, which supports a cornucopia of life. Mangrove forests, sea grass beds and pristine coral reefs define the main habitats within the borders of the park. Dive sites vary from walls and coral gardens to pinnacles, drop offs and quiet bays that are ideal for macro lovers seeking rarely seen species.

So far over 1000 fish species, 260 reef building coral species and 70 sponge species have been recorded in the Komodo National Park, with a particularly high number of organ pipe coral, which accounts for the famous pink sand beaches. Turtles and marine mammals frequent Komodo's waters along with whales and mantas that are occasionally seen migrating through the park.

The park is also home to many rare and endemic land species including a population of the world's largest lizard, the Komodo Dragons. Most of Regaldive’s cruises covering the park incorporate an island visit to see these interesting reptiles in their natural environment.

Flores and Alors: The currents that flow through the straits which connect the Banda and Savu seas create thrilling drift dives that attract large animals such as whales, tuna, sharks (including hammerheads), giant groupers, eagle and manta rays, napoleon wrasse, schools of big eye jacks, mola-mola, and other pelagic fish. In the Pantar strait between Alor and Pantar pilot-whales and dolphins are common as they pass between the islands during their seasonal migration to the Pacific Ocean.

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Komodo National Park, Flores & Alors: Mermaid I, Mermaid II, Komodo Dancer, Indo Siren and Dewi Nusantara.

How do I get there?

The best gateway is via Bali’s Denpasar airport.

Boat and itinerary dependant, an internal flight from/to Bali from/to Bima (Sumbawa Island), Labuan Bajo (West Flores) or Maumere (East Flores) may be required. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving Ambon and Raja Ampat

Twenty percent of West Papua’s land (formerly Irian Jaya) and marine parks are designated conservation areas. With over 3000 fish and 400 coral and sponge species recorded, as well as dolphins, dugongs, green, hawksbill and leatherback turtles, this area will not fail to amaze. Above water, exotic creatures such as the Venus Fly trap inhabit the region.

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Ambon, Muluku Islands: Mermaid I

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Raja Ampat, West Papua: Mermaid I, Indo Siren and Dewi Nusantara.

How do I get there?

The best gateway can be via Jakarta airport, Bali’s Denpasar airport or Manado airport.

Internal flights to/from either Ambon, Sorong and Maumere, boat itinerary dependant. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving in Manado, Sulawesi

Manado lies at the Northern tip of Sulawesi, located in a bay and surrounded by a dramatic volcanic landscape. Manado is host to some of the finest diving in South East Asia.

Divers will experience everything from the smallest pygmy seahorses and nudibranchs, to eagle rays, orcas and pilot whales. Manado is an idyllic, tranquil diving destination with an outstanding and celebrated bio-diversity.

There is said to be a greater variety of marine life in the seas off North Sulawesi than anywhere else on the planet and outstanding diving is available year round. The area is a centre of marine bio diversity and is home to many unusual species, ranging from prehistoric fish like coelacanth through to some recognised household names like reef sharks and the eagle ray.

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Manado, Sulawesi - Lembeh Straits, Bunaken and Sangihe Islands: Dewi Nusantara.

How do I get there?

The best gateway is Manado Airport (Sulawesi) via Singapore on Singapore Airlines. Other international flights may be arranged into Jakarta, with a separate ticket on Garuda or Lion Air to Manado. Overnights in Jakarta may be required.

Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving in Timor-Leste (East Timor)*

This remote island southeast of Indonesia is surrounded by the Timor and Banda Seas. Timor-Leste offers divers many different sites with diverse topography and an array of marine life in this little explored area. Pristine corals, sandy muck diving slopes and off shore pinnacles await the adventurous diver.

Timor-Leste, once governed by Indonesia, has a tumultuous history with a strong influence from the Portuguese, which remains one of this small nation's official languages. The young nation is made up of the eastern half of Timor island, Atauro island to the north and the tiny island of Jako, yet despite being an island nation does not have a strong fishing background.

*Timor Leste is an independent state and not part of Indonesia. However, for sake of geographic proximity and ease of operation, Regaldive currently incorporate the country under this area as the region slowly grows its diving potential.

Liveaboards with itineraries encompassing Timor Leste (East Timor): Coming Soon.

How do I get there?

The best gateway is via Bali’s Denpasar airport.

An internal flight from/to Bali into Dili, Timor-Leste is required, with daily flights available. There is also a flight from Singapore on an Air Timor charter, but we recommend the route via Bali.

Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboards diving to and from Bali - How do I get there?

The best gateway is via Bali’s Denpasar airport.

Boat and itinerary dependant, an internal flight from/to Bali from/to Bima (Sumbawa Island), Labuan Bajo or Maumere (Flores Island) may be required. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving in Komodo, Flores & Alors - How do I get there?

The best gateway is via Bali’s Denpasar airport.

Boat and itinerary dependant, an internal flight from/to Bali from/to Bima (Sumbawa Island), Labuan Bajo (West Flores) or Maumere (East Flores) may be required. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving Ambon and Raja Ampat - How do I get there?

The best gateway can be via Jakarta airport, Bali’s Denpasar airport or Manado airport.

Internal flights to/from either Ambon , Sorong and Maumere, boat itinerary dependant. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Liveaboard diving in Manado, Sulawesi - How do I get there?

The best gateway is Manado Airport (Sulawesi) via Singapore on Singapore Airlines four times a week.

Other international flights may be arranged into Jakarta, with a separate ticket on Garuda or Lion Air to Manado. Overnights in Jakarta may be required. Overnights prior and after the boat are usually required due to flight schedules, plus Regaldive always advise to have some slack in an itinerary in case of internal flight delays.

Flight Information

Flights are available on multiple airlines serving this region, for example: Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Thai Airways, Emirates, Etiyad, Qatar Airways.

Flight duration:

Approx. 15 - 17 hours including flight change.

Departure tax:

Domestic travel: 25,000 Rupiah

International departures: 150,000 Rupiah

Passports & Visas

Passengers travelling to Indonesia and Timor-Leste should have minimum six months valid on their passport from the date of return to the UK, plus one full page free. Hotel receptions may be required to take a photocopy of your passport for registration purposes.

Visitors to Indonesia and Timor-Leste require a visa, which British passport holders can purchase on arrival at the airport. It is your responsibility to check that your passport complies with Indonesian and Timor-Leste entry requirements.

Indonesia

A 30 day visa costs US $35
A 7 day visa costs US $15

Timor-Leste

30 day tourist visa, single entry: US $30

Vaccinations

There are no compulsory vaccinations for travel, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and polio. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure with your GP or local travel clinic.

Advice on Malaria, Dengue Fever and Japanese Encephalitus should be sought before travelling specific to the area of your boat's itinerary.

Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk, from your local healthcare provider or from a specialist travel clinic.

 

Dewi Nusantara

Raja Ampat trip xmas and new year 2012/13

"This is really a trip of a lifetime. Raja Ampat is at the centre of the coral triangle and as such provides more bio diversity than any other dive location on the planet.

As a destination R4 is a mission to get to. I used the Jakarta gateway and flew Etihad from LHR to Abu Dhabi then Jakarta. This was followed by domestic flights outbound Jakarta,Ambon,Sorong and inbound Sorong, Manado Surabaya,Jakarta.Be aware of the limited baggage allowances of 15 or 20kg on domestic flights but excess baggage charges are very reasonable.You will also need Indonesian currency for departure taxes both domestic and international.I had transit stopovers on both legs at the Jakarta Airport Hotel(please see trip adviser report on this).

I might suggest that there may be a less protracted route for your trip so speak to the guys at Regal.

We were picked up at Sorong Airport and them the Royal Membaramo Hotel and taken to the boat.

I have been on a lot of liveaboards but this boat is impressive! Dewi(pronounced Darewee) has beautiful lines and plenty of space. Rooms are spacious and kept impeccably clean. The food is very good considering that they get their supplies from Sorong. The beer and one glass of wine with your evening meal are included as are coffee and all soft drinks. If you like a sundowner I would advise taking your own bottle of Duty Free spirits as alcohol is a little expensive on board.

The scenery above the water is amazing very reminiscent of the islands in the movie King Kong and also slightly other worldly.

The diving operation is slick,Wendy the English cruise director runs the boat like clockwork.You will not have to lift a finger with your gear,the crew do everything and all diving is from tenders.There is a camera room with spacious stations for each photographer.

Expect to do 4 dives each day,you will be offered hot showers,hot towels and neck massages after each dive and hot baileys coffee after the night dives.

Water temp in R4 is a constant 28-30 degrees, a 3mm suit is plenty but some wore 5mm and some nothing.I had a 3mm full suit and a hooded 2.5mm vest which was perfect and provided some flexibility if I felt colder.I did a lot of the dives in just the vest and a pair of boardies but there are some nasty stinging hydroids to be careful of.

The first thing that strikes you about the dives are the colours and the abundance of fish, the reefs are pristine with amazing hard and soft corals.Expect to see all the critters on your wish list but we also saw lots of Manta including a giant oceanic manta and species od shark including Black Tip,White Tip,Grey Reef, Tasseled Wobbegong and Epaulette.

The crew are the ones that will make your trip,they are special and will do anything for you. I had my birthday on the boat and the entire crew sang to me(in tune and in harmony!)which made me feel special too.

You will therefore wish to leave a tip, the guideline is about 10% of the cruise price but from talking to other guests the amounts given ranged from $100 to $600 per person and are split equally between the crew and dive guides.

Raja Ampat gets the tag frontier diving,however, repeat guests said they had sometimes not seen another dive boat for days on prior trips.We saw one two sometimes three boats a day so my advice is to make the trip sooner rather than later.

Thanks to all the crew on this luxurious boat and for Regaldive for arranging it. It seems like a lot of money but it is well worth it!

I would be pleased to answer any other questions by email.
"

Paul Cavanagh - Bournemouth uk | 14 January 2013

10
Guest rating: 10/10 (1 vote)

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Indonesia Facts

  • Area: 1,904,569 sq. km
  • Population: 237,424,363
  • Language: Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Time: GMT + 5-8 hours
  • Electricity: 230v, 50Hz, 2 pin plug

Indonesian Liveaboard Vessels

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Dewi Nusantara

This majestic 57-metre, triple masted schooner offers superb comfort.

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S/Y Indo Siren

Launched in April 2011, this stunning seven sailed Indonesian ‘Phinisi’ styled motor sail yacht provides the optimum in on-board diving services.

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Komodo Dancer

Komodo Dancer is a very comfortable liveaboard for up to 16 divers, offering a high standard of service and superb diving facilities.

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MV Mermaid II

Mermaid II is a very comfortable, well run vessel sleeping a maximum of 16 guests in 8 en-suite deluxe cabins and 2 ‘semi’ en-suite budget cabins, all air-conditioned. The deluxe cabins are all on main deck level with windows and the budget cabins are situated on the lower deck. Bed configuration is small double under, with single bed over.

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MV Mermaid I

Mermaid I is an exceptionally comfortable vessel sleeping a maximum of 15 guests in 8 en-suite, air-conditioned cabins. Cabins benefit from TV, DVD player, towels and bathrobes and refrigerator (deluxe only).

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