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Best Komodo Liveaboard Reviews (2022 EDITION)

LAST UPDATED:

May 1, 2022

If you’re wondering which is the best komodo liveaboard of them all, the simple truth is it all depends on you!

How much money do you have, how long have you got, are you an experienced diver or a beginner?

These are all questions you should ask when choosing the most suitable Komodo liveaboard for yourself. 

The cheapest Komodo liveaboards are small vessels with less space and many of these run quite short dive safaris around Komodo.  

As the price goes up, Komodo liveaboards get bigger, have more onboard amenities, fancier cabins and longer dive trips. 

We’ve presented the Cheapest Komodo Liveaboard first and list the rest in order of ascending price:

  • The cheapest komodo liveaboard, Queenesia also offers superb value for money with 3 dives plus a night dive on most days. She offers 2 – 6 night long trips around the northern region of Komodo. 
  • Taking a maximum of 4 guests, Busy Girl may be small; but she has a great layout with two stylish outdoor chill out zones. Guests have the opportunity to complete scuba diving courses during trips. 
  • Putri Papua offers great dive itineraries nonetheless; exploring the central and northern regions of Komodo, with up to 4 night dives and a chance to come face to face with Komodo Dragons
  • Coralia is one of the only liveaboards in the world to offer a trip from which all proceeds go towards coral reef restoration! You even get to take part in one of the conservation projects whilst diving. 

Carpe Diem

  • With a maximum group size of 8, Carpe Diem is the perfect option for those seeking a more intimate setting. The best option for those who want to explore more of Indonesia.
  • The master cabins has  private balcony, personal lounge, HD TV, PS4, fridge and epic ocean views. This is a truly beautiful yacht with a charming indoor lounge.
BEST CABINS

Nataraja

  • Perhaps one of the most beautiful liveaboards in not just Komodo but the entire world, Nataraja has a gorgeous wooden interior with luxury cabin options and stunning common spaces. 
  • With Moanna you only need your open water cert & no logged dives. You can even pay for a private dive guide to take you to easier dive sites and train you with your advanced open water course!
  • Duyung Baru offers a special macro underwater photography itinerary! This liveaboard also provides the most intimate setting due to taking a maximum of just 6 guests. CHARTER ONLY
BEST CABINS

Mantra

  • Mantra is a beautiful traditional wooden phinisi with a stunning wooden interior with ambient lighting and luxury feel cabins. There’s several trip options including a special macro trip. 

Adelaar

  • Adelaar offers some of the most unique and varied trips of any komodo liveaboard; with special themes such as manta cruises, whale shark trips extra Indonesian destinations. 
  • Tiare Cruise offers an excellent variety of exciting routes; allowing you the opportunity to explore all of Komodo National Park, a specific region of it or to explore other parts of Indonesia alongside Koodo. 
  • An extremely modern and stylish liveaboard, Gaia Love has the best cabins of them all; with multiple options that feature private balconies and private tv’s

QUICK LOOK: Best Komodo Liveaboards - Listed in order of increasing price:

Name:  Great for:Max Guests:Trip Length:Read Review:
QueenesiaCHEAPEST Extra Dives, Single Travellers, Short Trips 82 – 6 nightsClick Here
Busy GirlSmall Groups, Couples, Scuba Courses, Wakeboarding45 nightsClick Here
Putri Papua, Singles, Komodo Dragons, Night Dives97 nightsClick Here
CoraliaMARINE CONSERVATION, Luxury Cabins, Best Trips167 – 10 nightsClick Here
Carpe DiemSmall Groups, Couples, Luxury Cabins, Extra Activities86 – 7 nightsClick Here
La GaligoEpic Cabin, Beautiful Boat, Social Vibes 145 – 7 nightsClick Here
NatarajaSuperb Itineraries, Extra Activities, Small Groups, Beginners9 6 – 8 nightsClick Here
MoanaBeginners, Healthy Cuisine, Land Missions105 nightsClick Here
Duyung BaruUnderwater Photographers, Themed Trips, Small Group, Experienced Divers66 – 8 nightsClick Here
MantraCouples, Cabins, Macro Trips, Small Groups105 – 7 nightsClick Here
AdeelarSpecial Trips, Varied Routes, Small Groups, Extra Activities810 nightsClick Here
Tiare CruiseCrew, Amenities, Family Cabins, Unique Routes, Extra Activities145 – 11 nightsClick Here

KOMODO DIVING INFO:

For a comprehensive look at what it’s like diving at Komodo, check out this Diving in Komodo Guide!

Komodo Liveaboard Routes:

There’s a considerable variety of potential routes offered by Komodo liveaboards. This is due to the three distinct regions of Komodo: north, central and south as well as the national park’s proximity to dive sites around various other Indonesian islands, which are sometimes also visited by “Komodo” liveaboards, despite being technically outside of komodo. 

Most liveaboards offer a variety of routes, which usually visit a combination of:

  • North Komodo: This area is known for having the most dramatic underwater landscapes in the entire national park; with towering pinnacles, underwater caves and rocky drop offs. There is some splendid hard coral covering said underwater landscapes and due to the strong currents, many pelagics are attracted here, including manta rays, reef sharks and various large fish. `

  • Central Komodo: This is the main region of the National Park and also the most varied. You’ll encounter small macro critters, many manta rays and countless turtles. Sometimes, dolphins and whales (seasonal), can be spotted here to. The absolute best variety of hard coral is found around the central region. Although most dives are drift dives, a few areas experience more gentle currents, making several dive sites beginner friendly.

  • South Komodo: The least visited region, south Komodo is a great place for drift diving, with everything from whale sharks to mola mola / sunfish and even the occasional dugong. Although there is some hard coral in the southern region, here the reefs are mostly comprised of soft coral and sponges.

You can find out much more information about the regions of Komodo by checking out this page all about Komodo
National Park.

Liveaboards that explore just Komodo or only a few nearby extra areas (Banta and Sangeang, which you can read about below), tend to depart and finish at Labuan Bajo, a coastal town on the western side of Flores island, in East Nusa Tenggara province. 
 

Areas outside of Komodo:

Whilst most liveaboards only explore the Komodo region; some of the routes offered by a few, also include visits to additional dive sites outside the national park. A liveaboard route can spend anywhere from 10 – 50% of the time in these other regions. More info is provided in the reviews section.

 To the West of Komodo:

  • Banta – Consisting of deserted beaches and rugged mountains, Banta island (aka Gili Banta) is found some 10km northwest of Komodo. The island itself can be trekked and offers stunning views of Komodo and Sangeang. The waters around Banta are famous for big creatures like Mobula Rays, Eagle Rays and many types of sharks, with most dives being of the drift variety. Because of Banta being close to Komodo National Park, it’s the most commonly visited extra area and only takes a day to include in a liveaboard’s itinerary.

  • Sangeang – The next most frequently visited extra area and lying 25km northwest of Banta, is Sangeang island; home to the visually stunning volcano of Mt. Sangeang; which it’s worth visiting for the epic views alone. The waters around Sangeang mainly give way to muck diving; with all manner of weird and wonderful species including wasp fish, octopus and devilfish; amid blazes of red and green coral and hydrothermal vents.

    A fair few liveaboard visit Sangeang and/or Banta, before turning back, to Komodo. In this case, these liveaboards start and finish at nearby Labuan Bajo. However, others liveaboards offer routes that visit Banta and Sangeang, before continuing on to start or finish the itinerary at either:

  • Bima – Bima is a city located on Sumbawa island, in West Nusa Tenggara Province. It’s the departure or end destination on some liveaboard routes. There’s a variety of great dives around Sumbawa island, including Moyo island and Santonda island, both of which offer great muck diving.

  • Lombok – Situated between Bima and Bali, Lombok is the starting or finishing point of some liveabords. There’s a variety of dive sites around here, including drift, muck and wall dives.

  • Bali – Bali is probably the most well known part of Indonesia right now and is legendary amongst digital nomads, fitness freaks and online entrepreneurs.

To the East of Komodo:

  • Maumere – A beautiful bay on far east Flores, Maumere offers some great macro dives. There’s also a variety of diving areas between it and Komdo, along the north side of Flores, with a variety of great drift dives. The main advantage of staring or finishing at Maumere is it allows you to explore the rest of Flores, with a variety of tribal homestay experiences and treks being close by. 

Diving Season in Komodo

It’s possible to dive at Komodo National Park all year round! That said, different parts of the year do offer different experiences: 

  • May-September: Prime diving season. This is generally the driest and hottest portion of the year for a sizeable chunk of Indonesia, including the north and central regions of Komodo and is therefore, one of the best times to dive as water conditions are very clear and calm. In the southern region however, water conditions are more choppy, with less visibility during these months. You have the best chance of spotting Mola Mola (Sunfish) on August. 

     

  • November – April: Monsoon season. This marks a period of rainy and volatile weather in the north and central region. However, at this time water visibility is actually at it’s best in the southern region. The increase in rain can reduce visibility but that doesn’t stop many divers from visiting during these months! Your liveaboard will adjust the route accordingly to take you to the best dive sites for the time of year and the weather on each particular day.

  • December – February: During these months, plankton blooms attract many manta rays from far and wide, making this the best time to witness mantas in abundance. This is also the best period for spotting whale sharks. 

For a much more detailed look at the Komodo National Park diving season, take a look at this komodo diving guide!

How to Get There:

This will depend on whether your liveaboard departs from Labuan Bajo, Bali, Bima, Lombok or Maumere. Many liveaboards offer a variety of routes and depart from several of these destinations at different times of the year. This information is easily broken down on each liveaboards individual review page. 

All these destinations have a nearby airport. Generally, some of your liveabaord’s crew will pick you up from here and transfer you to your liveaboard, which makes the whole scenario of getting there extremely straight forward. Once you’ve made a booking, further instructions will be provided so never fear. It’s a totally hassle free experience!

When booking my flights, I usually use this website. 

Diving Squad Debriefing

Bada’ bing bada’ splash. You made it. You finished the article! Presuming you’ve made it down this far you have been reading up on the information section of Komodo liveaboards – you can find a far more comprehensive page on what it’s like to dive in Komodo here!

Don’t forget to check out the actual reviews of Komodo liveaboards as well. This page links out to numerous other comprehensive pages, reviewing each of the best Komodo liveaboards. 

Now: leap forth and get your Indonesia diving adventure rolling! Have fun and stay safe, eh? 

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Written by:

Alex

Alex

Scuba diving fanatic, nature geek and Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad