Far into the archipelagos of Indonesia lies a majestic vessel that offers its guests a top-notch experience worthy of 5 stars – the Dewi Nusantara or Goddess of the Archipelago.
This spacious topsail schooner promises a stunning experience for all, and at an impressive 57 metres long there’s plenty of space for everyone to have a great time. Boasting 3 masts, a large lounge space and an air of effortless grace, the Dewi Nusantara offers fantastic comfort and luxury and is an experience not to be missed.
Enjoy a relaxing meal of excellent quality in the schooner’s large on-board restaurant while your every need is attended to by a dedicated crew. These 18 helpful individuals really add to the experience and are sure to make your diving holiday a fun-filled and carefree one. An experienced cruise director and at least 4 dive masters will also accompany you on your trip on the Goddess of the Archipelago. Of course, being on board means that you are primarily interested in scuba diving, and even the fussiest of divers is unlikely to be disappointed with the fantastic equipment found on board the Dewi Nusantara. Built in Indonesia between 2007 and 2008, the Dewi Nusantara boasts state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, adding yet another 5-star element to the experience, not to mention the great and varied itineraries on offer.
ON BOARD ACCOMMODATION
Each of the 8 stunning staterooms is built for comfort and luxury. Easily adapted to suit either a double or twin requirement, each room also has an en-suite bathroom. The staterooms are located on the lower part of the deck with four rooms on the starboard end of the vessel and four rooms on the port side. Independently designed by a top-class interior designer from France, Bruno Helgen, each stateroom is sure to impress. As the vessel is known as the Goddess of the Archipelago, the room’s furniture and décor reflects the serene, classy and ladylike charm of the rest of the ship, with historic mysteries and fascinating stories to tell. For added comfort and convenience each room has a desk, 220V outlets, reading lights and good wardrobe storage, and at 20 square metres there’s still plenty of space to move around.
Running the entire width of the Dewi Nusantara is the vessel’s stunning signature room, an absolute masterpiece of a master suite offering unparalleled luxury and comfort. With a superb 180° ocean view and boasting an impressive room size of 46m2, this master suite is probably one of the largest suites on any liveaboard available anywhere. Complete with a massive and comfortable bed large enough for a king and an enormous amount of storage space, the room also features an en-suite bathroom with a shower and a bath that boasts a wonderful view of the ocean. Again, each furniture piece was designed and made by the highly acclaimed designer of French origin, Bruno Helgen. One of the key pieces is the stunning coffee table constructed from a solitary piece of naturally shaped teak.
Divers on Dewi Nusantara will dive up to 4 times per day in some of the world’s most popular diving destinations. The sites you visit will depend on your trip’s itinerary but can be altered based on weather conditions, sea conditions and of course diver preference. Everyone on Dewi Nusanatara is treated like a VIP which means that great effort is made to accommodate everyone’s preferences. Trip itineraries include sites around the areas of Komodo, Alor, Banda Sea, Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Ampat. Some sites are only suitable for advanced divers due to strong currents, however the experienced dive leaders have visited these sites many times and will make alternative arrangements should conditions not be suitable for diving.
All diving is done from the custom built tenders on Dewi Nusantara. Divers are responsible for planning their own diving profiles according to the training agencies they qualified with, however a detailed briefing is always given at the start of every dive by the knowledgeable and approachable dive guides.
Each diver must carry a mini strobe, a buoy to use as a surface marker and a dive alert for every dive. It is highly recommended that divers obtain these items before starting the voyage, although it is possible to rent or purchase these on board if necessary. The Dewi Nusantara is fully equipped with First Aid Kits and O2 units, however the nearest recompression chamber is at the hospital in Manado which is sometimes only accessibly by an emergency air rescue.
The Dewi Nusantara also has a number of fully- trained technicians that stay aboard the vessel to repair and maintain your personal dive equipment. The liveaboard has high quality US Diver equipment for hire as well as 6 sets of gear in sizes from small to x-large. The aluminium cylinders in use are 11.2 litres and can be used with regular air or nitrox 32. Expect to pay in the region of $200 for nitrox for the 11 diving days. The Dewi Nusantara also has a few 15 and 10 litre cylinders to suit each diver’s preference. All cylinders have valves capable of being adapted to DIN fittings. Underwater lights and other diving accessories are available for hire and/or purchase.
Underwater Photography Facilities
The Dewi Nusantara boasts a dedicated underwater photography room complete with camera benches, multiple charging stations (220V but transformers for 110V available), and a lounge with a TV and DVD player for reviewing your captured footage or still images. The vessel also has dedicated washing stations specifically for cameras and computers. Compact underwater cameras and housings are available to rent on board for those who would like to try their hand at underwater photography.
The Dewi Nusantara regularly creates custom DVDs for each trip and these are available for purchase at the end of the journey. The DVD will include footage from above and below deck and is formatted into an entertaining memento ideal as a souvenir of your time aboard.
The Dewi Nusantara does not offer a full course for open water participants, however it is possible to do the open water completion dives on board if you have received a referral from a registered instructor.
Divers with existing qualifications are able to do an enriched air (nitrox) course where they can learn about the different breathing gasses and the effects these will have on your body. The course will follow TDI, SDI or PADI teaching guidelines and requires two final nitrox dives to qualify.
Dewi Nusantara travels to some of the most fascinating and diverse diving spots in the world. Known and loved by divers all over the globe, the area known as the Coral Triangle stretches an incredible six million km2 that includes portions of a number of destinations such as the Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Dewi Nusantara focuses on the Indonesian side of this fascinating area. Marine biodiversity is unmatched here in the Coral Triangle and the area is renowned by scientists as one of the global epicentres for diversity and coral evolution. In fact, more coral and marine life species can be found here than anywhere else on the planet with a phenomenal 76% of the world’s known species of coral and 37% of the world’s reef fish found in this area. The reefs in the area are teeming with life and are popular with breeding dolphins, whales and turtles who come to the area to reproduce.
As an honourable and valued guest of the Dewi Nusantara you will have the chance to see and be amazed by the wonderful underwater world in this corner of the globe. The Dewi Nusantara’s routes will deliver you to the famous Komodo National Park, the highly acclaimed Raja Ampat, as well as Wakatobi, Cenderawasih Bay, Triton Bay, Ambon, Banda Sea and Halmahera which is a new addition to the world’s diving map but is already a bucket list destination.
Raja Ampat, the Four Kings
Raja Ampat is a collection of hundreds of islands within a 50 000km2 region right in the heart of the magnificent Coral Triangle. When an itinerary includes Raja Ampat, you know that you’ve hit the scuba diving jackpot as there is simply an abundance of sites to experience, each one as unique as the next. In fact, some exploration is still on-going in the area, with regular new discoveries and thousands of potential dive sites just waiting to be named and explored.
Raja Ampat is all about diversity, boasting muck diving opportunities, drift dives with great pelagic sightings and even clear water mangroves featuring corals that grow right alongside. Expect to see an abundance of exciting underwater scenes including sea grass beds, hard and soft corals, drop offs, caves, shallow reefs and black and white sandy areas too. Regarded as the most biodiverse region in the world, Raja Ampat boasts marine life in every shape, size and colour imaginable. It’s also interesting to note that the food chain is very well represented here, with everything from tiny pygmy seahorses to large predators on display in their natural habitats. Whether you are a novice diver, scientist, experienced diver or underwater photography enthusiast, Raja Ampat is unlikely to disappoint.
There are only a few liveaboards that hold a licence to dive the Indonesian area of Raja Ampat, and the Dewi Nusantara is one of them. Raja Ampat also boasts a multitude of above-water activities with stunning scenery too. Just imagine tropical rainforests in pristine condition set atop sheer limestone cliffs with deep gorges just on the other side.
Kayaking is a popular activity here as it is possible to kayak along the beautiful coastline, in and out of calm bays and hidden caves. The caves can also be explored via exciting underground tunnels and there are even some sunken bomber planes and abandoned forts to be explored. The wildlife thrives in this sparsely populated area and the white sandy beaches, gorgeous bays and deep gorges are simply not to be missed.
Birdwatching is another popular activity, especially on Gam Island where you might see a number of colourful birds of paradise amongst the lush trees of the rainforest. Also keep an eye out for delicate orchids growing where ever they are able to, sometimes even in the cracks of large rocks.
Raja Ampat is a friendly and welcoming area with a fascinating history that locals will be only too happy to share with you. The community regularly celebrates events together with dancing, music and other forms of fun, and tourists are welcome to observe, take part and enjoy.
Komodo National Park
Often called ‘the Land that Time Forgot’, Komodo National Park is somewhat like a real-life Jurassic Park complete with ferocious-looking prehistoric komodo dragons. The area is both a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve, indicating just how fantastic and interesting a place it is. Not only does the National Park serve as the natural habitat for the fierce-looking komodo dragon, but a number of other land based animals also call this area home including the Timor deer, an endemic rat and the orange-footed scrubfowl. Since it was established in 1980, the park has expanded its area of protection to include the habitats of all these terrestrial species as well as the thriving marine habitats found beneath the surface of the seas.
From the stunning scenes on land to the magical underwater world, and Komodo certainly does not disappoint in this regard. In fact, just the underwater seascape is something to write home about. With stunning coral reefs, sea grass beds, mangroves, seamounts and semi-enclosed bays to explore, it’s no wonder that divers flock to this area to experience all that it has to offer. An impressive ecosystem also lies beneath the water’s surface with plenty of interesting inhabitants including 70 species of sea sponges, 260 species of coral and over 1000 species of fish. As if that wasn’t enough variety, 14 species of whale have been spotted in the area as well as dolphins, dugongs, manta rays, sharks and sea turtles.
The Komodo National Park is actually made up of 3 large islands – Komodo, Padar and Rinca – and a number of smaller islands totalling 1817 kilometers of protected space. The area is certainly one of the richest marine spaces this world has to offer, and the Dewi Nusantara provides its guests with the perfect way to visit this stunning location. Prepare to have the dive of a lifetime in the Komodo National Park!
The sites within Cenderawasih Bay are relatively recent additions to the diving map, but that doesn’t mean they are any less impressive than Raja Ampat or Triton Bay, the other locations in the Bird’s Head Seascape. In fact, it’s the differences in these sites that make Cenderawasih such an underwater wonder.
Until recently, the bay of Cenderawasih was isolated geographically which has impacted the environment significantly and has led to a number of fascinating discoveries. This unique area has a much smaller marine larvae count than Raja Ampat thanks to less current flowing through the waters and is also home to a number of interesting endemic species. The relatively shallow waters are also home to a number of fish species that are usually only found in much deeper waters. It’s almost as if the ‘normal’ reef system has been turned on its head in Cenderawasih. The reefs are also unlike the surrounding reefs of Raja Ampat or Triton Bay. Whilst these areas have colourful reefs teeming with reef fish and soft corals, Cenderawasih’s reefs have immense hard coral gardens in pristine condition. The underwater landscape also features dramatic walls, reef ridges surrounded by schooling fish and a large concentration of sea sponges on the outlying atolls.
The majority of dive sites in the area can be found within the Cenderwasih Bay National Park, the largest national park in Indonesia. There are also fantastic WWII wrecks to explore at Manokwari, and divers are blessed with the opportunity to spot the world’s largest fish, the whale shark, in any of these locations. With so many interesting species and seascapes to be seen, it’s no wonder Dr Gerald Allen refers to Cenderwasih as “ the Galapagos of Indonesia’s Reefs”.
The Banda Islands are a group of isolated volcanic islands with a great deal of historical significance. Located in the heart of Indonesia, these islands greatly contributed to Holland’s wealth as they served as harvesting sites for a number of exotic spices. The rich variety these islands once possessed in spices is now reflected in its underwater life – the reefs are teeming with vibrant, colourful species in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to their isolation, the Banda Islands are not highly populated and so have not had their fishing populations impacted by overfishing or illegal fishing practices.
The underwater scene boasts a pristine reef system in the prime of health with giant seafans, sponges and hard corals too. Large fish and pelagics can be expected in the waters of the Banda Islands such as mobula rays and dogtooth tunas as well as an immense variety of other marine species. The islands are also home to a number of extra special sightings such as orcas, whales and spinner dolphins. Triggerfish and schools of fusiliers are prevalent at the Banda Island dive sites together with the native Ambon scorpion fish and the vibrant mandarin fish.
The area is known for great visibility, mild currents and calm, pleasant waters, making a dive at the Banda Islands a carefree and comfortable experience.
In the heart of the magnificent and extremely biodiverse Coral Triangle lies a group of islands commonly known as Wakatobi, an acronym created from the names of the 4 largest islands in the archipelago – Wangi Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binogko. The cluster of islands lies on the Wallace line in the sea that borders the seas of Banda and Flores. The nutrient-rich waters in this area are ideal for scientific studies and this area has been the site for a number of famous marine expeditions. One such expedition occurred in the early 1990s when a group of UK scientists established a research centre at Hoga Island nearby the island of Kaledupa.
The islands boast fantastic beaches and crystal clear waters, with Wangi Wangi being the biggest and most advanced island of the 4, with plenty of accommodation options and good travel connections. Turtles are often seen in the waters surrounding Wangi Wangi.
The island of Kaledupa features an interesting small village that reflects traditional architecture as well as a fascinating mangrove forest. Equally interesting is the area of the island where the Bajo tribe live in lovely floating houses.
The island of Tomia is well-known for its pinnacle site at Ali Reef complete with soft and hard corals as well as staghorn corals. Turtles, cuttlefish and bumphead parrotfish are often seen around the island of Tomia.
In terms of general underwater life, the waters surrounding Wakatobi are rich and plentiful. Over 590 fish species can be found as well as an impressive 400 plus species of coral. Fantastic colours abound and can be seen as deep as 40 metres thanks to magnificent sunlight reaching these depths. Diving conditions are generally pleasant and calm, although there are some areas that experience strong currents at times.
Please note that these itinerary descriptions are meant to serve purely as a guideline. Plans and routes may need to be adjusted according to weather or sea conditions.
- Komodo National Park (Maumere/Bima route)
On this route, divers will have the chance to visit the famed Komodo Island, Rinca, Batu Monco, Gilli Lawa Laut, Nusa Kode, Lang Koi, Bima Bay and Horse Shoe Bay dive sites.
Day 1: Airport transfers to the boat’s docking location. Welcome aboard, introductory briefing and welcome dinner.
Days 2-10: Each diving day will be similar as you visit many of the above mentioned sites and more. The day will begin with a light breakfast, dive briefing and an early morning dive after which guests will enjoy a full breakfast and free time before another dive briefing and mid-morning dive. After lunch and more time for relaxation, there will be an afternoon dive followed by a snack and the briefing for the day’s sunset or night time dive. Please note that it is not always possible to do night dives within the Komodo National Park, but these will be done when it is possible. After a fantastic day of up to 4 dives, Dewi Nusantara guests will be treated to a delicious dinner where they will have the chance to discuss the wonders seen throughout the day.
Day 11: Divers can enjoy 2 final morning dives on their last day aboard the Dewi Nusantara, allowing plenty of time to pack up and get ready to disembark on day 12.
Day 12: After a final delicious breakfast, guests will disembark and be transferred to their local hotel of choice or to the airport.
- Komodo National Park, Satonda, North Bali (Bima-Bali)
Day 1: Airport transfers to the boat’s docking location. Welcome aboard, introductory briefing and welcome dinner.
Days 2-11: Visit each of the areas listed above aiming to complete up to 4 dives per day. The vessel will return to port every evening.
Day 12: After a final delicious breakfast, guests will disembark and receive a group transfer to the airport.
- Wakatobi & Alor: The Best of Both Worlds (Baubau-Maumere route)
Day 1: Welcome dinner on board as the Dewi Nusantara sets sail
Days 2-3: Wall and reef diving at Wakatobi Reef System
Day 4: Two morning dives at Binongko before departing to Alor
Day 5: Reef and wall dive sites at Pulau Ternate, Alor Pantar Strait and Buaya
Day 6: Muck diving at the famous Kalabahi Bay
Day 7: Pulau Pura , Pantar Strait, Anemone City and other sites
Day 8: Muck diving and jetty diving at Leba Leba Bay
Day 9: Reef and wall dives at Pulau Serbete and Tanjung Gedong
Day 10: Two morning dives on the eastern side of Tanjung Lewaling before departing for the active volcano site of Kumba
Day 11: Diving at Pomana
Day 12: Disembarkation in Maumere
- Alor -Wakatobi & Buton : Best of Two Worlds (Maumere-Bau Bau route)
Day 1: Welcome aboard the Dewi Nusantara at Maumere
Day 2: Reef and black sand dives at Tanjung Lewaling before anchoring near a smoking volcano
Day 3: Reef and wall dives at Alor and Pantar Strait
Day 4: Muck diving at Kalabahi Bay
Day 5: Reef dives at Pulau Pura, Pantar Strait, Anemone City and others
Day 6: Two morning dives on the eastern side of Tanjung Lewaling before heading to the active volcano at Kumba. Thereafter, the sea crossing to Wakatobi begins.
Day 7: Dive at Outer Wakatobi, Karang Koka and Binonko
Day 8-9: Wall and reef dives at Wakatobi Reef System
Day 10: Muck diving at Buton and Pasarwajo
Day 11: Enjoy two final morning dives in South Buton depending on departure flights
Day 12: Disembarkation day at Bau Bau Harbour
“The Dewi Nusantara team gave us an absolutely amazing honeymoon, we will never be able to thank them enough! Not only was the diving fantastic, the facilities were great, the food was delicious and the crew were really helpful too! The dive guides and cruise directors were excellent, we couldn’t have asked for more welcoming and knowledgeable guides to accompany us on our dives. All in all the Dewi Nusantara was an absolutely amazing experience that we cannot wait to repeat!”
“To the phenomenal crew of the Dewi Nusantara – thank you for everything! You were friendly, hospitable and hard-working and really seem to love your jobs which made all the difference while we were on board. This ‘rowdy bunch’ of travellers enjoyed every minute of our liveaboard vacation, and much of that was thanks to you. We had some amazing dives and shared some fantastic memories that will never be forgotten. Hope to dive with you again soon! “