Indonesia Liveaboards

There is no better way to discover Indonesia than on a liveaboard trip. This huge country has a large number of islands, and is an epicenter of marine biodiversity. Within this one country, you will find the most diverse destinations that differ from one another like nowhere in the world. With over 3,000 different species of fish, new ones keep being discovered here, so if your life’s mission is to search for something different, Indonesia is definitely the right place to go

Reviews about Indonesia Liveaboards

9.5101The MatahariKu MatahariKuSunshine Cruise, 1 review

Fantastic dive experience

We both enjoyed our time on the MatahariKu, the diving was excellent with very skilled dms at interesting and varied dive sites. The crew were warm and extremly accommodating. Every dinner was a full 3 course meal, with exceptional tastes ( easily the best dining we have experienced on a live-aboard) . We also enjoyed the brief excursions off the boat on the volcanic islands to watch spectacular sun sets, seeing the Komodo dragons was a once in a lifetime experience , finally ending with our last night drinking cocktails on the boat anchored off a small island watching thousands of giant fruit bats soaring high over our heads.
9.8108DAMAI II IIDive Damai, 8 reviews

Enjoyed Damai's signature service

Enjoyed diving on the Damai 2! Comfortable dive tenders, attentive dive guides, and all wetsuits were washed and hung to dry after every dive by the crew. Cameras were handled with care. If there was anything you needed you only had to ask about it and it was done! Will definitely be coming back to the Damai 2.

Questions and Answers

Why go diving on liveaboard in Indonesia?

Indonesia is an archipelago located between the South China Sea, Pacific Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Tourists and local dive guides call it a Mecca for marine biodiversity. Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, consisting of 17,000 islands and 54,716 km/34,000 mi of coastline. Indonesia's coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass meadows are home to thousands of fish species and hundreds of types of corals. Indonesia is one of the most famous spots to dive in the world. Here you will find destinations for all diver levels, from beginner sites with calm seas and shallow depths to sites appropriate for technical diving with strong currents and complicated underwater terrain. There are also lots of activities suitable for non-divers.

Liveaboard diving in Indonesia

Indonesia has many islands, so it is impossible to cover all of its best destinations from the shore. This is precisely why liveaboard diving in Indonesia is so popular with divers from around the world. On a liveaboard with a professional crew, you can have some unforgettable underwater experiences.

Liveaboards offer great shallow reef diving for those who have only started diving, as well as deep wreck, wall, and drift diving for experienced divers. Because of the great visibility (30 m/98 ft on average, up to 80 m/262 ft in some sites), you can see gigantic fish and mammals and also take incredible pictures of them. No matter what your budget is, Indonesia safari diving is available at all price levels.

How to choose an itinerary and when to go

Diving season

Diving is available in Indonesia all year round, which is why it is such an attractive destination for those who love marine life. Most liveaboards in Indonesia operate in various parts of the country throughout the year. The country is vast and geographically diverse, which is why we only offer general guidelines and insist on the necessity of checking the tips for your specific destination before booking the dates. In general, your choice should depend on your diving level and your preferences on what type of marine life you would like to see.

Water temperatures here are mostly between 25-27°C/77-84°F. However, while diving from a liveaboard in Indonesia, you may encounter strong, cold currents where the temperature may drop as low as 19°C/66°F, so make sure you have an appropriate suit and appropriate gear. The air temperature is constant all year round (25-30°C/77-86°F) and only varies based on altitude, so be sure to stay warm throughout the trip.

Tips for choosing liveaboard itineraries in Indonesia

There are more than 600 dive sites that you can visit on Indonesian liveaboards, so you definitely need to consider all the information below before choosing your itinerary. Some of the best dive sites include Komodo National Park, Triton Bay, Liberty Wreck, Coral Garden, and “frontier diving” spots in Raja Ampat. We prepared the five best destinations for Indonesian safari diving below, to help you choose your route.

Raja Ampat

Best time to visit: May-September

It’s advisable to visit Raja Ampat between May and September because this period has the least rain and less chance of choppy seas. This is a marine sanctuary and one of the most biodiverse marine regions in the world. Raja Ampat has many unique coral and sponge species (some scientists believe that corals from Raja Ampat are the ancestors of corals all over the world), dugongs, green turtles, leatherback turtles, hawksbill turtles, blue-ringed octopi, scorpionfish, manta rays, and hundreds of dolphins. Come here and make every dive unique feel like a pioneer in this remote location.

When coming to Raja Ampat, make sure to bring your reef hook and be ready for currents and drift diving.

Komodo and Flores

Best time to visit: April-November

Komodo and Flores are year-round dive destinations, but it is best to visit specifically between April and November, because this time has the best weather conditions. In August in particular, this area is famous for mola mola. Besides mola mola, this is also the best destination for seeing mantas, because while the plankton blooms and reduces visibility, it also attracts hundreds of manta rays. The manta season here lasts from December to February.

Triton Bay

Best time to visit: May-September

This dive site is southeast of Raja Ampat. It is a marvelous dive region with fabulous soft coral coverage and vast forests of black corals that never fail to impress. It has topside scenery with huge vaulting cliffs and ancient cave paintings. In terms of marine life, you can see turtles and huge schools of fish, including jacks, fusiliers, giant grouper, and epaulette sharks. Not many Indonesia liveaboard charters visit Triton Bay, so you can feel a true pioneering spirit from being here. The pilot whales that can also be seen here will leave you with unforgettable memories after your dive.

Cenderawasih Bay

Best time to visit: May-September

As you can see from the picture above, Cenderawasih Bay is famous for having large numbers of whale sharks. This is one of the richest places for biodiversity. Dolphins and dugongs are common here, and you can also find four types of turtles: green, hawksbill, Pacific Ridley, and leatherback. There are also several World War II wrecks to investigate and some top-class muck diving locations with creatures galore.

Banda Sea

Best time to visit: March-April, September-December

The Banda Sea is located between Komodo and Raja Ampat. Scuba diving in the Banda Sea is famous for its amazing hard corals, dogtooth tuna, and mobula rays. At most dive sites here you will see large schools of fusiliers and red-toothed triggerfish. There are also prolific mandarinfish and native Ambon scorpionfish. This is also a great destination to see cetaceans, such as melon-headed whales, pilot whales, blue whales, humpback whales, orcas, and spinner dolphins. Diving in the Banda Sea is varied, colorful, and fascinating.

Best liveaboards in Indonesia for photographers and non-divers

Indonesia is a unique place for any kind of diving activities, including underwater photography. Above you can find specifically designed set of offers to help you find the best photography suggestions out of all Indonesian safari boats. Local guides advise choosing Komodo and Flores or Raja Ampat if you are looking for great walls and nature. The  wrecks in Cenderawasih Bay can also add some spice to your pictures. If you love macro photography, then nothing is better than Triton Bay, with the tiniest seahorses you will ever find. Check the available deals in our selection above.

If you are a non-diver, you will never get bored on an Indonesian liveaboard. Along with diving tours, you can find boats offering trips to the local islands and excursions overland. So if you are not a diver or have non-divers traveling with you, Indonesia is a great destination for both diving and non-diving activities. Look for available tours in our selection at the top of this page. 

Indonesia liveaboards: read before you go

Of course, the main thing to remember is to check visa regulations for your country before leaving your homeland. Make sure to verify whether you need to get a visa and the cost. We strongly recommend taking extra money with you because some liveaboard trips include visiting national parks where additional fees are required. You will also need money in the local currency,  because on-board payments are often only accepted in Indonesian rupiah. Local regulations about cigarettes and alcohol are standard: 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco, and 1 liter of alcohol per person over 18 years of age.

In terms of equipment, we strongly recommend bringing a 3-5 mm wetsuit with a hood and a reef hook, which is essential for some dive sites. Don’t forget to take your certification with you on board, because you might not be allowed to dive if you didn’t bring it. Also make sure to bring lights for night diving.

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