Offering liveaboard diving holidays to Komodo & Ambon, Indonesia, the luxury 33m Cheng Ho has 14 stylish cabins spread over three decks, each equipped with en suite bathrooms and air conditioning
Explore Indonesia aboard the beautiful twin-masted Mutiara Laut. Offering a high standard of service and diving adventures in Raja Ampat, Komodo, and the Banda Sea, the Mutiara Laut will deliver a vacation to remember.
The La Galigo is a traditional 2-masted Phinisi sailing boat built by traditional South Sulawesi craftsmen in 2012. With 7 air-conditioned en-suite cabins with private balcony she explores Raja AmpatLa Galigo
What To Expect On A Komodo Liveaboard
Liveaboards in Komodo are a very popular choice for divers visiting Indonesia and rightly so. Dive cruises will take adventurous divers to some very special dive areas in this region. The islands that make up the area of Komodo include a number of the Lesser Sunda Islands, a largely volcanic chain in the South East of Indonesia. The early significance of Komodo came from the infamous inhabitant the Komodo Dragon, which has been the subject of legends throughout the 20th Century. Liveaboard dive tours will often allow guests to take a land tour to see these amazing Jurassic creatures. Rumours of a fire breathing dragon living on these small Indonesian islands brought this area to international attention. A Dutch expedition even came to the area and captured and took specimens of the Komodos back to be examined.
Of course, the Komodo Dragons were soon discovered not to be the fire breathing monsters they were rumoured. Fortunately, though the lizards and the rich variety of flora and fauna were quickly recognised as being under threat and the islands were brought under the protection of the Komodo National Park.
The waters are also protected by the National Park due to the bounty of life on the reefs and the large pelagic fish which can be seen here. The numerous small islands that can be visited and dived give liveaboard divers here the advantage of being able to take in a hugely diverse number of sites on the different islands. These small islands are quite far flung and off the well-dived path making for some unique experiences.
There is something on offer for all kinds of diving passions on a Komodo liveaboard. Many of the sites are muck diving with so much going on macro photographers better bring as much camera memory as they can. The big fish are in attendance too with mantas being the staple pelagics, in some areas you can hope to see even three or four in one dive making a Komodo itinerary the perfect choice for critters big and small.
Underwater Komodo is what diver´s dreams are made of with visibility up to 30 meters/ 98 ft. and marine life of all shapes and sizes. Plankton rich water that comes in from the deep surrounding waters makes the area thick with life. Huge shoals of fish and pelagics are on offer all around the islands. The protection from the National Park also means that the waters and reefs are incredibly healthy and well stocked with fish of all shapes and sizes.
The topography of Komodo and the shallow waters in between the Lesser Sunda Islands make for some serious current. You can experience up to 8 knots while diving and also highly changeable meaning most dives are drift dives. These currents are what bring the big life to Komodo though, with mantas, hammerheads, dolphins and mola mola making the most of the plankton rich waters.
Macro lovers won´t be disappointed either, with pygmy seahorses wrapped around bright coloured gorgonian fans and a rainbow of different nudibranchs on offer. Photographers can hope to get some great shots in Komodo, whether it is dramatic videos of sharks and mantas or close-ups with the elusive ornate ghost pipefish.
Dive Sites Of Komodo
One of the best things about a Komodo liveaboard cruise is the sheer number of sites available on your dive trip so you never feel too overcrowded despite the popularity of the area.
MANTA ALLEY and MANTA POINT in the Komodo National park offer the chance to dive with manta rays that can number in the double digits and really shouldn’t be missed.
RINCA ISLAND - a trip here gives you the chance to see Komodo dragons on the beach but isn’t the only reason to go there either. The visibility can be slightly less but the sheer number of corals, nudibranch and critters makes this the perfect location for macro photographers.
BATU BALONG, or current city, sits at the top of the list of must see places on a Komodo liveaboard. The corals on the reef are healthy, colourful and teeming with fish life and reef sharks.
BIMA Most liveaboard itineraries also include several dives in Bima which is muck diving heaven with nudibranch and blue ringed octopus on the cards.
SANGEANG Something completely unique awaits visitors at this volcanic island, an active volcano which has erupted several times up until a few years ago. In the black sand here there are bubbles coming out of the volcanic sand at bubble reef, from underwater vents beneath.
Top Tips for Divers
- The official language is Indonesian and the predominant religion is Islam so dressing modestly during any land excursions is recommended.
- The temperature from North to South can vary enormously from 20 to 28 degrees so bringing two suits or multiple layers is wise.
- Photographers should bring as much storage space as possible, there really is so much going on.
Getting to Komodo
There are a number of ways to get to Komodo for diving, but by far the best is by diving an Indonesian liveaboard, which offers you a range of sites in the area and you will be in the water before any day boats arrive. The main two departure points for liveaboards are departing from Labuan Bajo or Bali. Labuan Bajo is where you will find the airport on Flores island. Numerous liveaboards pick up and drop off guests from the port here. Flights to Labuan Bajo are available from Bali International Airport (Ngurah Rai) or if you have plenty of time and an adventurous spirit you can take the several day long ferry ride from Bali.
The other option is to take a liveaboard directly from Bali with departures from Bima and Benoa and disembarking at Labuan Bajo. Some liveaboards also offer the other direction starting in Labuan Bajo and ending in Bali. The itineraries often take in sites around Lombok as well as Komodo National Park.
There are a few different kinds of dive liveaboard boats that visit Komodo, most of them very luxurious. There are a few motor vessels with comfortable cabins and rear dive decks. These are generally slightly more expensive than the sailing boats and so might be a better option if you are working on a budget. The huge Indonesian design sail boats are the height of the liveaboard experience in Komodo, these boats offer a smooth and luxurious sail to the islands.
Komodo Diving Reviews
The diving in Komodo was unlike any diving I have done as it was my first time to Indonesia. Learning to manage the currents was a steep learning curve which added a fun and challenging piece to many dives. The aquatic life was incredible and diverse in both inter- and intra-species realms.Diving Komodo in June on the La Galigo
excellent; so many coral and animal life!Diving Komodo in May on the Lady Denok
Great diving despite sometimes heavy currents. Saw lots of Manta Rays (it was the season), white tip sharks and lot of macro.Diving Komodo in June on the La Galigo
Excellent. generally 8 out of 10 and sometimes a 9.Diving Komodo in May on the Samambaia
Excellent visibility of 15-20 metres, healthy reefs teeming with aquatic life. In Komodo there are opportunities to see both macro and pelagic animals.Diving Komodo in May on the Moana
The diving was incredible, some of the best sites I have ever been.Diving Komodo in May on the Lady Denok
The diving was fantastic! Great variety from mantas to small things (e.g., anemone shrimp). I saw lots of new things. Moray eel and cleaning shrimp was amazing! The dive masters knew exactly where to go and what to point out.Diving Komodo in May on the Moana
Amazing, Amazing dive at Mawan & Manta Alley ! Spotted group of Mantas at the cleaning stationDiving Komodo in April on the Tanaka
Some of the dive sites are very nice with healthy corals!Diving Komodo in April on the Cheng Ho
A long way to travel but well worth the trip. Topography of islands very beautiful and clarity of water great. Varied marine life and in particular mantas are very special.Diving Komodo in April on the Mutiara Laut
Amazing visibility and plenty of wildlife. Strong currents on most dives however so not recommended for beginners.Diving Komodo in April on the Moana
Stunningly beautiful reefs, like a dream.Diving Komodo in September on the Empress II
A sensory overload. Too many colours, fish, and macro critters, I did not know where to look! This was a huge problem.Diving Komodo in September on the Indo Aggressor
The diving in Komodo was breathtaking! Just some of the most amazing species of aquatic life. We even saw some dolphins from the boat following us at times.Diving Komodo in September on the Kira Kira
Schön, überraschend viel Makro Kreaturen gesehenDiving Komodo in October on the Manta Mae
Great visibilty. Many creatures.Diving Komodo in September on the Empress II
The diving was great, healthy reef, plenty of big fish pelagic, turtles, shark and we spotted a couple of mantas in one site and did so both time we dived the site. Currents can be challenging so it would not be good for nervous beginners.Diving Komodo in September on the Kira Kira
We spent most of our time in North Komodo - the Cauldron and Castle Rock were some of the best dive spots I've dived. Manta Rays, Turtles and amazing drift/current diving.Diving Komodo in September on the Moana
Excellente énormément de grands bancs de poissons et corail incroyableDiving Komodo in August on the Kira Kira
Excellent - plenty of marine life diversityDiving Komodo in August on the Empress II
Fabulous dive. Beautiful corals and macro but also lot of sharks and manta guarantee.Diving Komodo in July on the Aurora
Very varied and distinct dives both on the corall and type of underwater landscapes, as well as to the richness and variety of fishes. From muck dives to coral reefs, to walls, and pinnacles. Amazing night dives. The currents are amazing, but you can get good protection from it, so not a problem. A funny experience at the shotgun dive (well earned name !)Diving Komodo in July on the Waow
Very good. Strong currents Sharks, turtles, mantas, eagle ray...Diving Komodo in July on the Calico Jack
Komodo is one of best boat trip for dive. But you need to like current with reef dive, otherwise most best of dive site you will missing.Diving Komodo in July on the Adelaar
Absolute magic. It is God's own garden!Diving Komodo in June on the Mermaid I
Fantastic and exciting! Sometimes strong currents which was an experience! Great biodiversity, healthy reefs, luminous colours I have never seen before. Diving an active volcanic island was a highlight seeing the bubbles from the ocean floor and the black sand created a new and unique dive experience. First time seeing hammerhead shark! Amazing experience!Diving Komodo in June on the Damai II
The diving pretty much has to be some of the best and most enjoyable I have done.Diving Komodo in December on the Indo Aggressor
Sites were assessed prior to each dive and we were fully briefed. The diving was less challenging than many British sites with warm fairly clear waters. Batu bolong dive site had an exceptionally rich and diverse marine life. Watching mantas at cleaning stations was awe inspiring.Diving Komodo in December on the Indo Aggressor
Sehr gut, schöne TauchplätzeDiving Komodo in October on the Moana Liveaboard
In general very good, weh expected more current dives, but it was okay the way it wasDiving Komodo in October on the Cheng Ho Liveaboard
Pretty reefs with a good variety of fish.Diving Komodo in July on the Mermaid I
Awesome, great marine life and a lot of spots to do current dives.Diving Komodo in August on the Calico Jack
Top! nice macrodive, couldn't get enough of nudibranches!Diving Komodo in May on the Duyung Baru
Great colorful coral life, crowds of small livingDiving Komodo in August on the Mermaid II
diving Komodo island was very good!Diving Komodo in August on the Indo Aggressor
Great experience, every time again!Diving Komodo in July on the La Galigo
The best I have ever experienced and that includes comparing against Egypt, Maldives and grand Cayman!Diving Komodo in July on the La Galigo
GREAT 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍Diving Komodo in July on the Mermaid I
The diving were mostly great. The crew tried to dive were no other boats are already there.Diving Komodo in June on the Mermaid I
excellent, a bit challenging - definitely a world-class unique dive areaDiving Komodo in May on the Moana Liveaboard
More chalenging than expected with the currentDiving Komodo in May on the Moana Liveaboard
Brilliant. I wish I could have stayed longerDiving Komodo in May on the Aurora Liveaboard
I have been diving for over 30 years all over the world and this was some of the best diving I have ever experienced. The coral and other species were innumerable.There is a tendency for unexpected and strong currents and the vis is not always like a swimming pool, so it is not always easy to find sites ideally suited to beginners, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. One amazing dive after another.Diving Komodo in December on the Adelaar Liveaboard
Awesome currents and drifts. Good sites for macro.. and dragons as well!Diving Komodo in September on the Ambai Liveaboard
Really good dive sites. The cruise instructor made great choices on where to diveDiving Komodo in August on the Komodo Dancer
I have dived better dive sites but Komodo does have a huge assortment of corals and sealife.Diving Komodo in September on the Mermaid II
The corals are very nice and there are a lot of fish schools. Every day we saw Manta rays and white-tip sharks. And we saw often dolphins swimming around the boat. Night dive was very interesting for me, lots of macro.Diving Komodo in August on the Mermaid II
Batu Bolong dive site is the best for me so far. Amazing visibility, an abundant marine life. But also chalenging due to the current around the site.Diving Komodo in August on the Panunee
Diving is great. 3 , 4 dives a day. Excellent experience. A lot of severity Mantas, Sharks, corals, a lot of different fishDiving Komodo in July on the Mermaid I
Great! Much more drifty than I am used to but felt very safe with the dive masters. Very good visibility, lots of sea life and healthy reefs.Diving Komodo in June on the Moana Liveaboard
First few days of diving, the viability was not so good. however, the last 4 dives we did were spectacular. We saw all sorts of tropical fish, cuddle fish, sharks, octopus. I could barely stay focused on one thing at a time because there was so much to look at.Diving Komodo in May on the Tiger Blue Liveaboard