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Tanaka Review

Diving Squad Rating:


9.8 / 10

Tanaka is a very special komodo liveaboard. Despite being one of the all time cheapest options, she feels like a truly luxurious vessel that ought to be far more expensive than it is.

She offers a superb range of awesome dive trips and has many cool benefits and facilities that will appeal to a wide range of different types of diver / traveller. 

Great for: Value for Money, Unique Dive Routes, Families, Groups of Friends, Couples

Trip Lengths: 4 – 10 days

Max Group Size: 14

Operates: March – October


As well as some next level scuba diving trips (more on these in just a bit!), Tanaka offers loads of cool activities like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, beach bbq’s and massage services as well as treks to see komodo dragon and sunrise viewpoints. 

The only other mid-price liveaboards to hold as many extra events are Nataraja and Carpe Diem

At 35 meters long, this is a very large vessel; combined with the fact she takes only 14 guests, this liveaboard feels very spacious and roomy onboard. 

The al-fresco dining area has splendid panoramic views and partial shading, whereas the sundeck is equipped with plush loungers and beanbags. 

There’s also an air conditioned indoor dining area with video & audio entertainment. 

The master suite has excellent ocean views and a private balcony as well as three beds (2 singles, 1 double); making Tanaka one of the view liveaboards to have an accommodation option that specifically caters to families / groups of friends. 

The other cabins are double rooms and they all have have ensuite bathrooms and tasteful wooden decor interiors, although for ocean views these double cabins do only have one small porthole. 

There are many different routes available throughout the year. For example, the 4 day trips cover Komodo’s famous central region and are the next shortest dive safari around Komodo, after the 3 day routes offered by Yoshi

Slightly longer trips explore the rarely visited southern region or the stunning underwater landscapes of the north region…or all three, as with the 10 day “all around” route. 

Guests are required to have their open water cert plus ten logged dives to embark on most trips. 

Personally, my favourite route is the “Komodo’s Central, North & Gili Banta” option. In this itinerary, as well as exploring some of the very best dive sites of Komodo, you’ll also get to visit the volcanic island of Gili Banta; a small volcanic island that lies some 10km to the northeast of Komodo National Park. 

Gili Banta is only visited by a very few other liveaboards, and you’re highly unlikely to see another dive boat upon the horizon whilst here. 

There some truly pristine fringing coral reefs here as well as excellent muck diving, with many quirky macro critters. 

Tanaka is something quite special. She feels, looks and offers the dive trips of a luxury komodo liveaboard, yet is at a very reasonable mid-price range, in fact at the lower end of it. Plus she offers a great variety of itineraries than any other option. 

This is one of the best value for money options I’ve ever seen! 

Shutterstock / Rich Carey

Guest Reviews:

Peter WAustralia
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"Manta rays, turtles, nudebranches, sharks, stunning lion fish, frog fish - you name it! The sunsets were amazing. The dragons were definitely worth seeing but next time I will do more than a 4 day trip so I can see them on Komodo instead of Rinca, and also do even more diving"!
Sunny DUnited States
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"We had an amazing time on board the Tanaka! Alain and Arnaud were wonderful hosts. We had many incredible experiences in just 4 short days. Our favorites were the visit to Rinca Island to see Komodo Dragons, diving with awesome sea life and coral, sunrise trek on Padar Island and sunset with the flying foxes. Thank you Tanaka crew, we’ll be back"!!
Blair RCanada
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"Fantastic 3 night trip on Tanaka! Great diving, highlighted by seeing a group of about 15 mantas on the last dive of our second day. Very cool sunrise hike and Komodo trek on third day. Alain, Arnoud and crew were very accommodating and knowledgeable. Komodo national park is truly a treasure".

Other Features:

  • Nearly 1:1 crew to guest ratio

  • Bar

  • Snorkeling Equipment

  • Camera Station

  • Separate Rinse for U/W Camera

  • Paid Internet

  • Observation Deck

  • Non-smoking Rooms

  • Custom Built for Diving

Vlatka A from the United Kingdom said:

“I don’t even know where to start as everything was just perfect. It’s usually the people that make the holiday and Tanaka did just that. Yes the boat is beautiful, the food was great, the dive sites were beautiful and the National Park itself is breathtaking but the highlight of my trip were the crew.

 Alain and Ineke (the owners) bring their positive energy to the boat and you can feel it among the crew. There is a real family vibe on the boat as the crew mingles and socialises with the guests and I liked that a lot. The boat itself is beautiful and super comfortable with both indoor and outdoor spaces. 

You can always find a corner and have a quiet time alone or you can hang out with other guests and the crew. I loved it so much I will definitely be booking it again. Thank you guys for an amazing week”.

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Written by:

Picture of Alex


Scuba fanatic, travel ecstatic and loveable rogue. A rootless divemaster and perpetual adrenaline-junky, Alex holds the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad; a title he most nobly awarded to himself. A scuba-junky since 2014, he's dived much of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. It's hard to say where he'll pop up next for he never settles; forever a leaf on the wind... or perhaps a lone bubble blasted along on the current.