Diving Squad Rating:
9.3 / 10
Moana wins hands down when it comes to healthy and wholesome cuisine, whilst also being the most beginner friendly liveaboard in Komodo.
There is just one route available, which we’ll look at below. On this beautiful wooden phinsi vessel, the crew are extremely friendly and helpful – it can get sad to part ways.
Great for: Beginners, Healthy Cuisine, Land Excursions.
Trip Lengths: 6 days
Max Group Size: 10
Operates: All year
To date, Moana is the best Komodo liveaboard for beginners as you only need open water certification, without any logged dives! You still can’t participate in night dives – nor those with particularly strong currents, but otherwise you’ll be good to go.
For an extra fee you can even pay for a private dive guide, so that you’ll be able to explore alternate, beginner friendly dive sites and even take your dive courses! (Make inquiry first). Nataraja is the only other liveaboard to offer these beginner perks.
My only real grip with Moana is that there’s just one trip option available, although it’s a pretty cool one: It explores north Komodo; with it’s dramatic underwater scenery and manta ray feeding stations, in addition to the central region; the most varied part of the entire national park with many superb drift, muck and wall dives as well as stunning coral reefs and countless sharks and turtles.
However, you won’t get to explore the south region, which most other liveaboard options let you do.
There are also quite a few land excursions to be had on this route – including sunset hill walks, beach visits and a trek to rinca island’s ranger station to come face to face with komodo dragons.
Other things to look forward to are snorkelling, which can be done with a snorkelling guide, making use of the onboard kayaks and the welcome cocktails ceremony at the beginning of the adventure. That said, there’s more extra activities with Nataraja, Tanaka and Carpe Diem.
Besides being beginner friendly, another unique factor of Moana is the incredible and healthy food. The fruit and vegetables come from organic farmers around the hills of Flores whereas the fish is fresh from local markets.
Top quality meat is flown from Bali on departure days and the chefs pride themselves on all meals being free from MSG and all other additives.
There are 5 cabins, all with ensuite bathrooms and ac, although guests also have the option to sleep under the stars and if so will be provided with blankets.
Guests can relax on the partially shaded sundeck, which also includes an alfresco dining area, or retreat inside to the indoor saloon where audio and video entertainment awaits.
In summary, Moana is an amazing option for any beginner diver who doesn’t want to have to wait to take their advanced cert before experiencing Komodo (just remember you won’t be able to do night dives!) as well as for hard core foodies who want to eat healthily and deliciously.
It would be nice if there were more types of trip available and the option to go down south, but the komodo dragon walk and other treks do make up for this, along with the other unique factors of this liveaboard. 9.3 / 10!
“Mario and the crew were very friendly and knowledgeable on the dive sites in Komodo. Rudi the dive master was very experienced in the underwater topography of the dive sites, ensuring that we were safe when the currents got to strong to handle. Marsi always ensured we had food and drinks after we our dives.
Every meal was a culinary surprise thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of Chef Jemi. Satisfied belly = Happy diver! Moana is a clean and well managed boat with conscious effort to ensure minimal impact to the fragile ocean environment under the Mario’s wise management. Highly recommend this LOB to explore Komodo ◡̈”