Indonesia Liveaboards Dive Site

Scuba Diving Tips Been diving in Indonesia Liveaboards? Please Vote!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
It'd be great to hear about your experience!
Click here to share your recommendations Diver Smiley

Live-aboard Diving in Indonesia!

Indonesia offers unparalleled opportunities for live-aboard diving, with highly varied marine environments and some of the world’s richest reefs in terms of density and diversity of life. From true “muck dives” in search of weird and wonderful critters to reefs and pinnacles with clear water and big fish action, Indonesia has it all!

With easy connections from the west coast of the US through Australia, Guam (Continental), Hong Kong, Singapore and other major cities, or from Europe through most major Asian cities, one can fly directly to Bali, a safe tropical paradise and the perfect beginning point for your diving adventure.

Indonesia, the world’s most extensive archipelago, presents a sweeping arc of some 17,000 islands over 5,000 kilometers long and has more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline. Here we mention only a few of what we feel are the best among the many places to go diving in Indonesia.

Our favorite destination for live-aboard trips in Indonesia remains the Komodo National Park area, including Komodo, Rinca (pronounced “Rincha”), Banta, Sangeang (a volcano with great black-sand critter dives) and other nearby islands. One of the nice things about a Komodo trip, aside from the fantastic diving, stunning scenery and dragons, is that trips depart from and return to Bali. This means you avoid the hassle of domestic flights. You simply arrive at the Bali Marina directly from the airport or from your hotel and off you go!

Some other top spots for live-aboard diving include Alor, the Banda Sea and Irian Jaya (Papua). The Banda Sea and Irian Jaya, in remote Eastern Indonesia, represent the frontier of Indonesian live-aboard diving, and some exciting itineraries are being developed throughout these areas.

Komodo 

Lying just under 300 miles east of the lush splendor of Bali, the Komodo Islands are by contrast barren and unforgiving. Bone dry in the best of seasons, these islands are nevertheless an ecological treasure trove.

In 1980, the Indonesian government, recognizing the biological wealth in Komodo, declared these islands a national park. Eleven years later, to ensure the further protection of this remarkable ecosystem, the Komodo National Park was also designated a World Heritage Site.

The islands of Komodo are home to a host of endemic species which thrive on the tempestuous seasons that mark the region. More than 5,000 Komodo dragons live on Komodo and Rinca, its neighbor. Guests can also marvel at the prehistoric megapode bird, Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos, eagles and hawks, gigantic spiders, deer, wild hogs and other exotic species.

But it’s the incomparable marine life that draws divers, professional photographers, and biologists to these dynamic islands. The constant tug-of-war between the Java and Flores Seas to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south has created what is quite simply some of the most diverse diving on the planet. While Komodo has sharks, manta rays and schools of pelagic fishes at many locations, it’s the wealth and diversity of reef “critters” spread across a rich and strange tapestry of hard and soft corals, encrusting sponges, gorgonians, crinoids and more, that’s the signature of Komodo diving. The density and diversity, the lushness of the reef, is stunning.

Alor

Another current-swept location with lush underwater scenery and diving that ranges from high-voltage dives with big fish action to sites with muck and critters galore. In some ways similar to Komodo, though a much smaller area, Alor diving often marks the beginning or end to a trip that also includes the Banda Sea. Alor trips may also be combined with komodo trips to offer the “best of both worlds”. The gateway to Alor diving is Kupang, in West Timor, and there are regular flights from Bali.

Banda Sea

Several different routes can be taken through the vast Banda Sea. During the calmer months, trips often pass through the middle of the Banda Sea, between Alor, at one end, and Koon at the other. These trips may include Gunung Api, a lone volcanic island in the middle of nowhere infested with a wonderful population of sea snakes; the Lucipara group of islands and reefs; and the Banda Islands themselves. The Bandas are an exotic island group steeped in history. The original source of nutmeg and mace, these “Spice Islands” were first visited by Europeans in 1511 with the arrival of Portuguese explorers. Later, they were the scene of many bloody confrontations between the Dutch colonists, the British and the local population. Forts, cannons and other reminders of the past abound. Diving ranges from mandarin fish right at the pier to exciting reefs and walls. Many terrific sites offer themselves for the exploration, including many not yet discovered. At the other end of the Banda Sea route lies tiny Koon Island, with the very aptly named site “Too Many Fish.” Other routes through the Banda Sea may range east and then north from Alor, past Wetar, Romang, the Damar Islands and Manuk, another lone island with an amazing population of sea snakes, before reaching Koon with its “too many” fish. Trips may even pass the Sermata, Tanimbar or Kai Islands. Any route through the Banda Sea offers great diving, excitement, adventure and variety.

Irian Jaya (Papua)

Irian Jaya presents another vast area. Live-aboard diveboats visit two main local areas, the Raja Empat Islands and Misool. The port town of Sorong serves as the gateway for Irian Jaya, and trips here may be part of a combined trip including the Banda Sea or solely diving the waters of Irian Jaya from Sorong. Both the Raja Empat Islands and Misool offer exciting scenery, both underwater and above. Many of the islands have dramatic limestone karst formations offering picturesque backdrops and, for energetic climbers, terrific viewpoints. Again, diving includes everything from critters to exciting big fish action. Flights to Sorong are easily arranged from Bali via Makassar (Ujung Pandang). Some trips will run one way or the other between Sorong and Kupang, offering a selection of all these areas from Irian Jaya to the Banda Sea and including Alor. Talk about sensory overload!

All in all, this is some of the best live-aboard diving around, and it can be done comfortably—even luxuriously—with world-class diveboats, easy connections, and the warm friendly smiles of the Indonesian people. Use the navigation buttons below to view some itineraries, schedules, more general information and travel tips, and links to some other useful web-sites on Indonesia.

General Information & Travel Tips

The Indonesians

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world. The more than 200 million Indonesians, distributed throughout more than 17,000 islands, are a study in cultural diversity. Languages, lifestyles, and religions vary from island to island, and city to city. But one feature unites this country: the people, regardless of their origin, are among the friendliest and most accommodating in the world.

The Language

Although there are reportedly more than 250 distinct dialects spoken throughout the archipelago, nearly every Indonesian speaks “Bahasa Indonesia”, a staple that is taught from elementary school onward. Among the more cosmopolitan islands such as Bali, Java, and Sulawesi travelers will be surprised to find that many Indonesians speak a smattering of English, and will use every opportunity to practice a few phrases with you. Turn the tables, though, and practice some Bahasa with them!

Some Practical Bahasa

Morning greeting: “Selamat pagi” (Sell a maht Pah gee)
Mid-day greeting (1100-1400): “Selamat siang” (Sell a maht See ang)
Afternoon greeting (1400-1800): “Selamat sore” (Sell a maht So ray)
Evening / night greeting (1800-0200): “Selamat malam” (Sell a maht Mah lahm)
Thank you: “Terima kasih” (Te ree mah Kah see)
Good: “Bagus” (Baaah Goose)
Tasty: “Enak” (A Knock)

Getting There

The three major gateways into Indonesia are Jakarta, Bali, and Manado. Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is served by most major airlines, with flights originating in North America, Europe, or Asia. From the US west coast you can fly via Guam direct to Bali on Continental, via Singapore on Singapore Airlines or through Jakarta on Garuda. Other options include flying on Thai International via Bangkok, via Hong Kong on Cathay or, well, there are lots of other options too. From the east coast our favorite way is from New York on Singapore Airlines via Singapore. There are a number of flights from Europe to Bali so it’s only a matter of picking the one that suits your schedule and budget.

Water Temperature

If you have two wetsuits (3mm, 5mm), bring ’em both and a “skin” too. Water temperatures in Komodo can vary tremendously and often hit the extremes from 74 degrees to 84 degrees Fahrenheit from one dive to the next. You’ll even want a hood during the cooler months for night dives!

Climate

The rainy season begins in late December and runs through February. The driest months are April through September, with the most varied, best weather topside (not to mention greatest conditions below) during October and November

Visibility

Like water temperature, the visibility in Komodo varies dramatically. The best visibility, over 100 feet, is typically during the dry season. In the “nutrient rich” south, visibility is generally less.

Currents

Komodo diving is renowned the world over for powerful currents, the result of a relentless tug-of-war between the Java and Flores Sea’s (to the North) and the Indian Ocean (to the South). The crew will typically take into account guests’ skill levels and desires, the expected profile, and site knowledge to ensure the most optimum dive conditions.

Passport/Visa Regulations

No special visa is required for tourists from most countries looking to enter Indonesia. Passports must have a minimum of six months’ validity upon arrival, though, whereupon a 60-day temporary stay visa will be issued.

Money

Indonesia’s currency is the Rupiah, which fluctuates daily (current rate Rp. 8500/US$1). Travelers to Indonesia are advised to bring larger (US$100/$50), clean bills for the most favorable exchange in Bali, and cities beyond. For tips and sundry purchases smaller bills help in making change.

Electricity

Indonesia runs on 220 volt, 50 Hz electricity, as do the dive boats. However, most boats can also offer 110 volts for battery charging.

Shopping

Compared to the garish shopping districts of southern Bali, Komodo does not provide much in the way of “Retail Therapy.” There is one day, however, when guests, following the Komodo walk, will have the opportunity to choose from an array of small gifts ornately carved wooden dragons, locally cultured pearls, and gaudy t-shirts and postcards. Bargaining is expected, and enjoyed with good-natured joviality.

Land Tours

On Komodo trips, boats usually make a stop at the Komodo National Park ranger station to view the dragons. On this half-day morning trek (2 miles round trip), “sensible shoes” or sturdy sandals (Teva’s), comfortable pants, a light shirt, and a hat (to keep the sun off) are recommended. On other routes there may be opportunities to go ashore for village visits or hikes up to view points during the course of the trip.

Some Trip Schedules

The Pelagian is a comfortable world class live-aboard catering to a maximum of twelve guests. With a highly qualified crew and years of experience in these waters, Pelagian is the way to go if you want to experience the best of Indonesian live-aboard diving.

Pelagian offers ten-day, eleven-night trips from her home base in Bali visiting the Komodo National Park and surrounding waters.

Pelagian will offer an exciting new itinerary consisting of two week long trips on a series of itineraries including a Komodo and Alor combination trip running between Bali and Kupang (or in reverse), and a Banda Sea and Irian Jaya combination trip running between Kupang and Sorong (or in reverse).

All of these trips are winners… Here are the schedules:

The Schedule

TRIP #
DEPARTS
RETURNS
NIGHTS
PI 65/03
July 16, 2.00 PM
11
PI 66/03
July 31, 2.00 PM
11
PI 67/03
August 14, 2.00 PM
August 25, 9.00 AM
11
PI 68/03
August 28, 2.00 PM
Sept 08, 9.00 AM
11
PI 69/03
Sept 11, 2.00 PM
Sept 22, 9.00 AM
11
PI 70/03
Sept 25, 2.00 PM
Oct 06, 9.00 AM
11
PI 71/03
Oct 09,2.00 PM
Oct 20, 9.00 AM
11
PI 72/03
Oct 23, 2.00 PM
Nov 03, 9.00 AM
11
PI 73/03
Nov 06, 2.00 PM
Nov 17, 9.00 AM
11
PI 74/03
Nov 20, 2.00 PM
Dec 01, 9.00 AM
11
PI 75/03
Dec 04, 2.00 PM
Dec 15, 9.00 AM
11

The Itinerary

Departure Day:

Boarding from 12:00 to 12:30 at Benoa Harbor, Bali. Departure at 1:00 PM.

Day 1:

Diving around Satonda Island. Evening departure for Banta Island.

Day 2:

Diving around Banta Island, N.W. of Komodo..

Day 3:

Diving sites in the North & Central Komodo area.

Day 4:

Dragon walk on Komodo Island in morning. Departure for Rinca Island over lunch. Afternoon arrival & diving in Horseshoe Bay, South Rinca.

Day 5

Horseshoe Bay, South Rinca Island.

Day 6:

Morning dives at Horseshoe Bay, afternoon at South Komodo.

Day 7:

Central & North Komodo dive sites.

Day 8:

Banta Island diving.

Day 9:

Sangean for black sand critter dives. Evening departure for Satonda.

Day 10:

Satonda Island. Two morning dives, mid-day departure for Bali.

Return Day: Disembarkation around 9:00AM from Benoa Harbor (Bali).

The “day by day” routes actually taken by Pelagian on this itinerary will vary according to weather, discovery of new dive sites and guest preferences.

TRIP #
DEPARTS
ARRIVES
NIGHTS
P4-1A
“A”
P4-1B
“B”
March 11th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Sorong.
March 26th at 9:00 AM
At Sorong.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-1C
“C”
March 28th at 2:00 PM
From Sorong towards Kupang.
April 12th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-1D
“D”
April 13th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Bali.
April 28th at 9:00 AM
At Bali.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-2A
“A”
May 11th at 1:00 PM
From Bali towards Kupang.
May 26th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-2B
“B”
May 27th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Sorong.
June 11th at 9:00 AM
At Sorong.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-2C
“C”
June 13th at 2:00 PM
From Sorong towards Kupang.
June 28th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-2D
“D”
June 29th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Bali.
July 14th at 9:00 AM
At Bali.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-3A
“A”
July 27th at 1:00 PM
From Bali towards Kupang.
August 11th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-3B
“B”
August 12th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Sorong.
August 27th at 9:00 AM
At Sorong.
14 Days
15 Nights
P4-3C
“C”
August 29th at 2:00 PM
From Sorong towards Kupang.
September 13th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-3D
“D”
September 14th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Bali.
September 29th at 9:00 AM
At Bali.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-4A
“A”
October 12th at 1:00 PM
From Bali towards Kupang.
October 27th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-4D
“B”
October 28th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Sorong.
November 12th at 9:00 AM
At Sorong.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-4D
“C”
November 14th at 2:00 PM
From Sorong towards Kupang.
November 29th at 9:00 AM
At Kupang.

14 Days
15 Nights

P4-4D
“D”
November 30th at 2:00 PM
From Kupang towards Bali.
December 15th at 9:00 AM
At Bali.

14 Days
15 Nights

The Itineraries:

“A” Itineraries – Will take us from port in Bali to Satonda, North of Sumbawa, and then on to the Komodo National Park region. After several days there we carry on, spending a day off the coast of Flores and then several more days in the Alor area, before heading into port at Kupang.
“B” Itineraries – Will take us from port in Kupang to Alor for a few days before heading on to the Banda Sea. Here there are a number of routes we can follow but highlights may include Gunang Api, Lucipara, the Banda Islands, Manuk, and Koon Island. Alternatives include Wetar and the islands to the East, on up to the Kai Islands. As we leave the Banda Sea and approach the coast of Irian Jaya (Papua Barat) we come to the islands of Misool, where we spend several days before heading in to port at Sorong.
“C” Itineraries – Will follow the same possible routes as “B” itineraries, in reverse, but can be varied in case of “back to back” bookings.
“D” Itineraries – Will follow the same routes as “A” itineraries, in reverse.

The “day by day” routes taken by Pelagian on these itineraries will vary according to weather, discovery of new dive sites and guest preferences.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name

Email

Website

*

Share
Tweet
+1
Pin
Share