- Why Do A Liveaboard in Komodo National Park?
- Best Liveaboards in
- Budget Komodo Liveaboards
- Midrange Komodo
- Luxury Liveaboards in
- Frequently Asked
Whether you’re relatively new to diving or a seasoned scuba junkie, a Komodo liveaboard is a right of passage for all divers visiting Indonesia.
Due to its geography, Indonesia is a country best explored by liveaboard.
And a liveaboard is hands down the best way to dive Komodo.
Think panoramic ocean views, sleeping under the stars and rolling straight out of bed and into some of the world’s most breathtaking dive sites.
Diving doesn’t get much better than this.
If you’d like the quick answer for the top and best liveaboards in Komodo, they are:
We’ve pulled together all the essential information on liveaboards in Komodo including the best liveaboards for budget, midrange, and luxury trips.
Why Do A Liveaboard in Komodo National Park?
You might be thinking:
“Can’t I just dive Komodo on a day trip?”
You can. But trust us, a liveaboard in Komodo is well worth the extra expense.
Komodo National Park is approximately 1.5hrs from Labuan Bajo, the starting point for most boats heading out into the park. On a liveaboard, you do not need to travel back and forth every day.
This means that you:
Beat the crowds
You’re already in the water long before the day trip boats arrive with hundreds of divers. During high season, this can really make a difference.
Dive at night in Komodo National Park
A liveaboard is the only way to experience the magic of diving in Komodo at night.
Reach more dive sites
Some sites are just too far from Labuan Bajo to be accessed on a day trip.
Dive sites at the optimal time
Diving in Komodo is dictated by the currents and tides. Certain sites can only be dived on a specific tide.
A liveaboard can be much more flexible to hit all the best sites at exactly the right time. Whereas a day boat may have to skip these sites as it’s time schedule is more fixed.
A Komodo Liveaboard is easily accessible
A liveaboard in Komodo is a much more affordable option to Raja Ampat and some of the world’s other top diving spots.
Both in the cost of the liveaboard itself and of getting there. With several short flights a day from Bali direct to Labuan Bajo, it is quick and relatively cheap to access.
Best Liveaboards in Komodo
Whether you’re on a super tight budget or looking to treat yourself to some luxury cruising, there’s a Komodo liveaboard for you.
Budget Komodo Liveaboards
These liveaboards provide outstanding diving, high safety standards, and good food with an affordable price tag.
If a budget Komodo liveaboard is your target, then look no further than Sokaraja.
This traditional phinisi boat consistently offers more affordable excursions that nevertheless deliver stunning diving.
Choose a single bunk in a spacious 6-bed dorm, each with individual lights and power sockets, or one of the 2 private double-bed cabins. Two toilets and 3 freshwater showers are shared by all guests.
Enjoy stunning views of the dramatic Indonesian landscape as you refuel with freshly prepared Indonesian cuisine, served buffet style in an open-air dining area. The top deck offers plenty of sunny and shady spots, perfect for snoozing in-between dives or star-gazing in the evening.
Sokaraja offers an intimate experience at a superb value. Their 4 or 5-day trips are one of our favorites for those wanting to cruise Komodo at an affordable price.
- Dedicated camera room
- Somewhat pricey
Yoshi does an excellent job of combining a no-frills approach for a budget liveaboard with very comfortable rooms and
Catering to just 8 guests, this traditional wooden phinisi boat features 3 double cabins and 1 double suite with a private balcony. Each cabin offers air conditioning and a private en-suite bathroom.
As well as spacious cabins, there’s ample space for relaxation between dives. Top up your tan on the sundeck or chill out in the comfortable lounge area.
A variety of delicious Indonesian and international dishes are served al-fresco with stunning ocean vistas. After dinner, head up to the top deck for an evening of stargazing on the hammocks with only the sounds of the sea to soothe you.
All trips include trekking on Rinca Island to see the Komodo dragons and sunset hikes.
With spectacular diving, adventurous excursions, and ultimate comfort in between, Yoshi is the perfect Komodo liveaboard for budget-conscious divers who enjoy a little luxury.
Internet – No Nitrox – No AC – Yes Max divers – 8 From $215 per day
If you’re an experienced current junkie on a budget then look no further than Busy Girl.
With space for only 4 divers, Busy Girl offers a very personal experience. The 5 days, 5-night itineraries focus on visiting unique sites at the most optimal time so you can experience the full force of Komodo’s currents.
This ex-Australian fishing boat offers 2 cozy cabins, 1 double with an en-suite bathroom or 1 twin with a shared bathroom. When you’re not cruising the currents, enjoy excellent food served in the inside dining area or chill out in a beanbag as you soak up those epic views on deck.
Busy Girl is all about showing you the best diving can be. Dropping you in the water at the perfect moment to watch all the action unfold. This unique focus makes it one of our top picks for adventurous divers who don’t want to break the bank.
Internet – No Nitrox – No AC – No Max divers – 4 From $180 per day
Midrange Komodo Liveaboards
If you’re looking to spend a little extra for that added comfort on board then check out these mid-range liveaboards:
Moana effortlessly combines the beauty of a traditional Indonesian sailing vessel with the safety features, modern conveniences, and comforts that divers look for on a Komodo liveaboard.
Choose one of 5 spacious cabins, 3 doubles and 2 twins, each with private hot-water bathrooms, individually controlled air-conditioning and plenty of storage space. If you’d prefer to sleep out on the sundeck under the stars, the crew will happily provide you with mattresses and blankets for that ultimate liveaboard experience.
Moana’s chefs pride themselves on sourcing and preparing the freshest cuisine.
With organic produce from the foothills of Labuan Bajo, fresh fish from the local market, and fine quality meat flown in from Bali, you know you’re perfectly fueled for your diving escapades.
Moana also provides plenty of non-diving adventures with a choice of kayaking, snorkeling, and land trips.
We highly recommend Moana for those looking to experience the best of Komodo National Park both above and below the surface.
Internet – Yes Nitrox – No AC – Yes Max. divers – 10 From $310 per day
The Indo Aggressor is a luxury yacht equipped to meet all your needs whilst exploring Komodo’s underwater world.
With the option to do 4 to 5 dives per day, the Indo Aggressor enables you to make the most of your time onboard.
This traditional wooden boat offers 7 elegantly furnished en-suite staterooms. A decadent indoor saloon and spacious sundeck provide the ideal locations to relax and admire the incredible sea views in-between dives.
The onboard chefs go above and beyond to deliver a spectacular menu of international meals to give you energy for your diving adventures.
If you’re looking for optimal diving, dining, and relaxing then the Indo Aggressor is the perfect liveaboard for you.
Internet – Yes Nitrox – Yes AC – Yes Max. divers – 16 From $305 per day
Luxury Liveaboards in Komodo
And for those of you who are ready to splurge, there are some exceptionally decadent boats with high-end service for you to truly indulge yourself.
Experience breathtaking diving without sacrificing any of the comforts of a 5-star hotel on this magnificently crafted Dutch Schooner.
The Adelaar offers 4 decadent double staterooms furnished with Javanese teak, intricate Persian rugs, and marble en-suite bathrooms.
Every single aspect of your trip is finely tuned to perfection, ensuring your comfort and satisfaction from the moment you are greeted onboard to the second of your departure.
Sit back, relax and indulge in a mix of local specialties and global cuisine lovingly prepared by Balinese chefs. After watching another mesmerizing Komodo sunset from the upper deck, you can choose a cocktail hour or night dive?
With world-class service, opulent lounging areas, and exquisite fine dining, the Adelaar is the ultimate luxury liveaboard experience.
Internet – Yes Nitrox – Yes AC – Yes Max. divers – 8 From $430 per day
If you’re looking for the comfort of a purpose-built luxury dive vessel, the Blue Manta is the liveaboard for you.
Blue Manta offers 14 of the roomiest cabins you’ll find on a liveaboard in Indonesia and a dedicated camera room. Rest in the comfort of the air-conditioned lounge, hang out at the bar, or recline on deck as you sail past jaw-dropping landscapes.
Soothe tired muscles with an end of the day massage by the onboard therapists, or stretch out on deck to enjoy the tropical breeze and jaw-dropping landscapes of Komodo National Park.
With 5 mouth-watering meals per day and an array of delicious snacks available 24/7 you’ll never go hungry on board the Blue Manta.
The crew of the Blue Manta goes that extra mile to create the feeling of being in a fine hotel whilst experiencing the beauty and freedom of being on the open seas.
Stable, spacious, and modern, the Blue Manta provides an unrivaled liveaboard experience.
Internet – Yes Nitrox – Yes AC – Yes Max. divers – 22 From $385 per day
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time for a liveaboard in Komodo?
Liveaboard trips in Komodo National Park run all year round. The two main seasons, wet and dry, offer the opportunity to visit different areas of the park:
Dry season in Komodo: April to October
During the dry season, liveaboards will visit the north of Komodo National Park, famous for raging currents and passing pelagics. Over the wet season, this area is exposed to strong wind and waves making it unsuitable for liveaboard trips.
July and August are considered peak season in Komodo, offering the best weather. But, prices and the number of liveaboards will also peak during these months.
Wet season in Komodo: November to March
Liveaboard trips will head to the south of Komodo National Park during the wet season. The southern sites are particularly famous for their wide array of macro critters.
Opposite to the north, this area is best visited between November and March when the seas are calm and visibility is at it’s best.
The weather can be unpredictable during these months but the park is much less crowded. Plus you can find some amazing deals on liveaboards.
The wet season also coincides with manta season.
The best time for you to plan a liveaboard in Komodo really depends on what you want to see.
If you’re a keen macro lover, then you may prefer a trip down south during the wet season.
If it’s the excitement of Komodo’s currents that you’re craving then plan a trip that heads up to the northern sites between May and September.
February is generally considered the worst time to visit as rough sea conditions often mean that many sites are inaccessible.
This is also the time that many liveaboards head to other areas of Indonesia or are in dry dock for their annual service.
For more information on the diving and seasons in Komodo check out our location guide.
What certification level do I need for a Komodo Liveaboard?
The currents that make diving in Komodo so incredible can also be challenging for new divers.
Therefore the majority of liveaboards in Komodo require you to have at least advanced open water certification. Some will also ask for a minimum number of logged dives (on average 50 logged dives are required).
There are liveaboard options for more novice divers, such as the Moana, who accept open water divers. Some boats will offer the opportunity to complete your Advanced certification onboard.
What’s included in a Komodo Liveaboard?
All liveaboards in Komodo will include the essentials; your diving, accommodation onboard, food, drinking water, tea, and coffee, etc. Alcohol will be available, often at an extra charge.
But there are some other additional costs to consider when planning your liveaboard trip:
A few liveaboards will include diving gear in the price, but most will offer you the opportunity to rent the full kit or individual items, such as a dive computer, at a daily rate. If you’re a scuba diving junkie, you can save yourself a lot of money long term by investing in your own dive equipment.
Some liveaboards will offer Nitrox for an additional cost. Diving with
enriched air is extremely beneficial for those multiple dives per day during a liveaboard trip. Check out our guide to Enriched Air Nitrox to find out why.
Marine Park Fees
There are daily fees for entering and diving in the Komodo National Park which is rarely included in the liveaboard price. For diving these are:
275,000 IDR per person per day 375,000 IDR per person per day on Sundays and national holidays.
*Prices correct as of January 2020.
Where can I join a Komodo liveaboard?
The majority of liveaboards visiting Komodo National Park will start and finish in Labuan Bajo, East Flores. Find out more about getting to and staying in Labuan Bajo in our Komodo location guide.
Some liveaboard trips will offer the opportunity to visit the untouched dive sites along the coast of Sumbawa, including Moyo and Satonda islands, before heading into Komodo National Park. These trips will depart from either Bali, the Gilis or Lombok.
How long are the liveaboard trips in Komodo?
Whether you only have 3 days to spare or have set aside 2 weeks to really enjoy everything Komodo has to offer, there’s a trip to suit your time frame. With most boats offering 3 or 4-day trips, 6 or 7 days trips, and extended voyages across 12 or 14 days.
What is the daily schedule on a Komodo Liveaboard?
Dive. Eat. Relax. Dive. Eat. Relax. Dive. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Sounds perfect to us!
After a little more insight than that?
So, the daily schedule on most liveaboards will run a little like this…
You’ll wake up already at your first dive site. There’ll be some light refreshments before you jump in for the first dive of the day. Upon surfacing, you’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast and some time to relax before dive 2.
After dive 2, it’s lunch followed by more relaxing ahead of dive 3.
If there’s an opportunity for a night dive, there’ll be snacks to keep the hunger at bay until dinner.
And if you have some energy left, it’s time to reminisce with your fellow divers on all the awesome creatures you encountered that day.
It’s a hard life on a Komodo liveaboard.
What else do Komodo Liveaboards offer?
Of course, we’re here for the diving.
But there’s no denying that Komodo National park is just mesmerizing above land as it is below the surface.
The majority of liveaboards will offer you the opportunity to visit the dragons, hike to the famous viewpoint on Padar Island and witness the flying foxes at sunset.
Don’t worry, these are not at the expense of diving and will be scheduled to ensure you get the most bottom time possible.
What should I pack for a Komodo Liveaboard?
As well as your swimwear, sunscreen and normal holiday essentials there are a few other items you’ll want to bring on your Komodo liveaboard:
You will definitely want a scuba diving camera to capture all
those once in a lifetime encounters! If you don’t have photographic proof, did you even really see it?
Dive computers are essential for tracking your depth and no stop times during multiple diving days to ensure you stay within your limits. As mentioned above, you can rent these but it’s much better to have your own dive computer that you are familiar with.
If you’re a more experienced diver then you may want to consider a reef hook. The currents can be challenging in Komodo, with a reef hook you can hook in and enjoy the view without drifting off the reef.
Dive insurance is extremely important to have. Although there is access to good medical care in Indonesia, Komodo is still relatively remote so it’s better to be prepared.
For peace of mind during your liveaboard, we recommend investing in
Are Komodo Liveaboards suitable for non-divers?
Some liveaboards offer reduced rates for non-divers accompanying divers on trips.
For the non-divers, there are some seriously impressive snorkeling opportunities, and of course, plenty of time to disconnect from the stress of life on land.
If you have a non-diver accompanying you, it’s best to look for liveaboards that offer a combination of activities in Komodo National park including snorkeling, trekking, and diving.
A liveaboard in Komodo is an unforgettable experience. And one you’ll no doubt want to repeat!
You’ve now got all the information you need to embark on your Komodo liveaboard adventure.
It’s time to get packing!
Alexa Worswick is a PADI and SSI scuba diving Instructor, recreational freediver and freelance copywriter. She first learnt to scuba dive in the UK aged 15 and has since travelled and dived in multiple locations across 3 different continents. After quitting her marketing job in London in 2016, Alexa is now based in Indonesia where she can pursue her passion for the ocean fulltime.