Advantages Of Liveaboard Diving Indonesia & What To Expect

Why Travel On A Liveaboard Diving Boat In Indonesia?

There are several advantages to traveling on a liveaboard boat for diving and touring in Indonesia. Perhaps most importantly, liveaboard travel provides access to remote areas that you cannot reach any other way. In addition, sailing through spectacular island chains far from the tourist areas provides an experience that combines adventure with relaxation. You are always seeing something new, but you are never struggling, and you are never fighting a crowd.

Liveaboard diving Indonesia provide access, comfort, novelty, and tranquil solitude in paradise.  The liveaboard experience is not just about diving. Some of our passengers do not dive at all, preferring to use the Mantra for sight-seeing, cultural travel, access to wildlife, and snorkeling. Read for more details and what to expect when you travel on a liveaboard.

turtle swimming over reef

Indonesia – Thousands of Islands, Not So Many Roads

Indonesia spans 5,120 kilometres (3,181 mi). This sprawling archipelago includes over 17,000 islands. Many have no human inhabitants. Among the 6,000 islands where people do live, there are many that don’t have very good roads. This is particularly true in the far east of Indonesia in the islands of the Coral Triangle.  You will find some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world in this inaccessible region, but you won’t find many good roads or land based dive operations.

Liveaboard Boats: The Only Way To Access Some Remote Dive Sites In Indonesia

Many dive sites in Indonesia simply can’t be reached from existing shore based dive operations in reasonable day trip time. Populous Bali and Sulawesi have several shore based dive centers, and you can even find a few in Raja Ampat. Sites serviced by shore based operators in or near population centers can be spectacular, but they can also be crowded. To reach remote dives sites in Indonesia, a liveaboard may not only be your best choice; sometimes  it is your only choice. Raja Ampat, the Komodos, and Alor diving sites are far from population centers. Precisely because these sites are hard to reach, they provide the most pristine diving experience. No pollution, no crowds, just you and your friends floating through the amazing reefs teeming with exotic fish.

Liveaboard diving gives you the option to visit diverse sites in one day. You’ve got all the equipment and open seas between one spot and another. So you can have it all: drift dives, wall dives, muck dives, reef dives, wreck dives. Enormous pelagics glide gracefully and weird little critters burrow and peek from pockets in the reef or holes in the silt. Experience it all!

Sight-Seeing From A Liveaboard

Cruising along the coast of the islands of Indonesia gives travelers a spectacular perspective on the beautiful shorelines. You can see all the sites spread out before you across the sparking water, and you will never hear a car horn. And you won’t be breathing exhaust fumes and sitting in stalled traffic on a congested road.

You will have a great perspective on the dramatic geographic diversity of Indonesia from the water. Imagine white, black, and even pink sand beaches lined by green jungle stretching to turquoise lagoons merging into the deep blue of the open sea offset by the white spray off the bow. Towering white limestone cliffs, dark rivers of volcanic rock, and oddly shaped conical towers protrude from the water, undercut so that they appear to be floating.

Your captain will know where to take you ashore to enjoy a culture experience with friendly locals. Travelling by boat, you can reach the shore near isolated communities that few ordinary tourists ever encounter. You can visit villages untouched by time, where life proceeds much as it did hundreds of years ago.

Liveaboard Style In Indonesia

Many of the boatbuilders who craft liveaboards in Indonesia base their designs on the traditional wooden Phinisi Schooner. The hull shape sails smoothly and provides a roomy interior. The Mantra Yacht Liveaboard has both sail rigs and a powerful motor that you can rely on to keep you on schedule regardless of wind conditions. Find out more details about the Mantra Liveaboard Diving Yacht.
foredeck of liveaboard sailing towards island

Typical Day On A Liveaboard – What To Expect

Liveaboard daily schedules vary from one boat operator to the next. The Mantra Yacht crew focuses on serving our passengers rather than following a template.  Expect to do what you want, when you want, with our help. On the Mantra, you determine your schedule. Of course, we are happy to make suggestions.

Your day might look like this:

You awake to realize we are underway to our first dive site of the day
Small breakfast of fruit, coffee, and juice to get you going
First Shallow Profile Dive
Cooked Breakfast
Second Shallow Profile Dive at the same site
Underway to a new dive site as we prepare lunch
Lunch on deck with a spectacular view of an island
Third Dive with a deeper profile
Sail to a good spot to watch the sunset
Drinks and Card Games

On the other hand, your day might look like this:
Light ‘first breakfast’
Deep profile wall dive
Second Breakfast
Cruising a good area for whale watching
Kayak trip to beach with snorkeling or short walk to village for cultural experience
Komodo dragon watching
Kayak back to the Mantra

Typical Liveaboard Routes, Seasons, and Duration

Most travelers prefer trips of seven to twelve days, but we offer trips for as few as five days. There are three primary liveaboard destinations in Indonesia. Liveaboard travel provides the most comfortable access to the Komodo Islands and allow you to avoid the crowds. Trips to the Komodos depart from Labuan Bajo.  Conditions are ideal for Komodo liveaboard trips in July through September.

Weather conditions for trips to Raja Ampat and Alor are best in November through May. Raja Ampat liveaboard trips depart from Sorong in West Papua and Alor liveaboard trips depart from Maumere. You can check out a specific itinerary for a 7 day liveaboard trip to Raja Ampat here. Click on the photos for details about each day.

Whether you go to the Komodos, Alor, or Raja Ampat, you will experience world class diving and incredible biodiversity.

Getting on and Getting Off A Liveaboard In Indonesia

Here is some  travel info on how to access popular points of departure and return for liveaboard trips to various destinations in Indonesia. Most liveaboard operators will help you arrange hotel accommodations before and after your trip. If you sail on the Mantra, we will be happy to help. Whatever liveaboard you choose, you are welcome to take a look at our hotel recommendations for Indonesian island travel.

Liveaboard Equipment And Amenities For Guests

Equipment policies vary among liveaboard operators. Most at least have some back up equipment. All have tanks and compressors. Some include all gear in the price; others require that you bring your own equipment. The Mantra offers tanks for free with unlimited refills from our two Bauer compressors and weight belts for guest use. We also have equipment available for rent by special request, and we provide kayaks and snorkeling gear for free.

Liveaboards are, of course, equipped with showers and toilets. In some cases they are shared. The Mantra liveaboard yacht has en suite toilets and showers as well as individual A/C for all guest cabins. Mantra also offers Wi-Fi, a library, and board games to keep you entertained when we are under sail.

Liveaboard Safety and Emergencies

Liveaboards should be equipped with tender boats and life rafts to accommodate everyone on board as well as life jackets and flares. Responsible operators also provide oxygen supplies for diving emergencies, first aid kits, GPS, satellite phones and marine radios. The Mantra carries an EPIRB (electronic position indicating radio beacon) and an AIS-SART self contained emergency radio device for safety in emergencies.

More Questions About Liveaboards in Indonesia?

Now you have a basic idea of the advantages of traveling on liveaboard for diving, sight-seeing, and cultural tourism in Indonesia. You also have some ideas about where and when to go. You probably have some more questions. We’d be happy to help. Please send us an email and tell us what you want to know and we’ll be glad to answer.

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