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5 Best Liveaboards In Komodo National Park

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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.

With pristine coral reefs, exhilarating drift dives, and cruising pelagics, it’s easy to understand why Komodo National Park is one is the top diving destinations in the world 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.

We’ve pulled together all the essential information on liveaboards in Komodo including the best liveaboards for budget, midrange, and luxury trips.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST KOMODO LIVEABOARDS

Want to review these boats and some other options in more detail?

Keep reading…

FREE Liveaboard Packing Checklist

All the essentials PLUS things you need to pack that you might not have considered! Created by dive professionals working in the industry.

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Why Do A Liveaboard In Komodo National Park?

You might be thinking, “Can’t I just dive Komodo on a day trip?” and you can.  But trust us, a liveaboard in Komodo is well worth the extra expense for the ease of it and what you can see. 

There are a few reasons why Komodo National Park is approximately 1.5 hours from Labuan Bajo. This is 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. Some liveaboards have up to four or even five dives a day depending on which liveaboard you choose. This means you get more diving for your money and can do night and morning dives which you would not be able to do on a day trip.

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. This lets you see more wildlife as that many divers just scare away some wildlife, even if they don’t mean to. It is also safer as less boats means that less chance of an accident happening. 

Dive At Night In Komodo National Park

A liveaboard is the only way to experience the magic of diving in Komodo via a night dive. This could mean a dusk or dawn dive. Early morning dives are quite special as you usually get in the water when it is dark and the sunrises as you are getting out of the water.  They do not do night dives on day trips. 

Reach More Dive Sites

It is a huge area that and some sites are just too far from Labuan Bajo to be accessed on a day trip. A liveaboard is the only way to get to all the different dive sites. Liveaboards often have one or two zodiacs to get the even harder to reach sites. While you are sleeping the boat can travel to your next destination and when you arise you are already there. 

Dive Sites At The Optimal Time

As with all dive sites, diving in Komodo is dictated by the currents and tides. Certain sites can only be dived on a specific tide. These currents can change rapidly and they can get going extremely fast so you want to have the option to change locations for your enjoyment and safety. 

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. While other places will be quite pricey Komodo is affordable in comparison and still is one of the most sought after diving destinations in the world.

This goes for he cost of the liveaboard itself, getting there and getting around Indonesia. With several short flights a day from Bali direct to Labuan Bajo, it is quick and relatively cheap to access. Indonesia is also very cheap by western standards and you can live comfortably on a little as $40 a day. 

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.

  • AC: Yes
  • # Divers: 10
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Yes
  • Price: Low

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.

You can 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. Don’t worry all the rooms have air conditioners and the deck is partly covered and you can hop into the jacuzzi.

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. A bonus is also that this boat offers  sustainability and conservation in areas where it operates.

What we love

  • Delicious food
  • Great value for money
  • Highly attentive & friendly crew
  • Air-conditioned cabins
  • Comfortable communal areas

Downsides

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Small cabins

Leader in Liveaboard Sales

  • AC: Yes
  • # Divers: 10
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Extra
  • Drinks: Yes
  • Price: Average

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. You can choose from 50 sites to dive at and have areas for every level of experience from your open water to professional. 

We highly recommend Moana for those looking to experience the best of Komodo National Park both above and below the surface.

What we love

  •  Luxury at an affordable price
  • Exceptionally comfortable cabins
  • Delicious freshly prepared & locally sourced food
  • Beautiful designed & spacious interiors
  • Non-diving activities

Downsides

  • Nitrox not available

Leader in Liveaboard Sales

  • AC: Yes
  • # of Divers: 16
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Yes
  • Price: Average

The Indo Aggressor is a luxury yacht equipped to meet all your needs whilst exploring Komodo’s underwater world. There is at least 14 crew so it is almost a 1 to 1 ratio and they can help you with anything you may need. 

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 an all inclusive and optimal diving, dining, and relaxing experience then the Indo Aggressor is the perfect liveaboard for you.

What we love

  • Comfortable & spacious
  • Excellent food & service
  • Highly professional crew

Downsides

  • No WiFi

with Worldwide Shipping

  • AC: Yes
  • # of Divers: 8
  • Wifi: No
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Yes
  • Price: High

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 and the 10 person staff will ensure 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, wine or beer from a local  or imported or go out for a night dive and have that drink later. 

With world-class service, opulent lounging areas, and exquisite fine dining, the Adelaar is the ultimate luxury liveaboard experience.

What we love

  • Unrivaled facilities & hospitality
  • Fine dining
  • Elegantly designed & spacious cabins
  • Small groups
  • Highly attentive staff

Downsides

  • Quite pricey

Leader in Liveaboard Sales

  • AC: Yes
  • # of Divers: 22
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Nitrox: Yes
  • Drinks: Yes
  • Price: High

If you’re looking for the comfort of a purpose-built luxury dive vessel, the Blue Manta is the liveaboard for you, especially if you are a photographer. 

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 3 chefs and 5 mouth-watering meals per day with an array of delicious snacks available 24/7 you’ll never go hungry on board the Blue Manta. 

Any of the 22+ crew of the Blue Manta will go 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.

What we love

  • Largest cabins of all the Komodo liveaboards
  • Dedicated camera room
  • Incredibly comfortable & spacious
  • Onboard spa
  • Pay for WiFi available

Downsides

  • Expensive
  • Bigger groups

Leader in Liveaboard Sales

When Is The Best Time For A Liveaboard In Komodo?

Liveaboard trips in Komodo National Park run all year round. There are two main seasons though, wet and dry seasons. But no matter the time of the year each offers 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, well you could go, but it would not be enjoyable. 

July and August are considered peak seasons in Komodo, offering the best weather. But, it will be the most people and the 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 its finest. The only downside is that 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 the manta season which is a big draw for most people. Just make sure to bring your seasick medication. The best time for you to plan a liveaboard in Komodo really depends on what you want to see and your budget. 

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, so don’t go during that month. This is also the time that many liveaboards head to other areas of Indonesia or are in dry dock for their annual service.

Best liveaboards in Komodo

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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:

DIVE GEAR

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.

NITROX

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. I would say it is about 100USD normally and some boats will just charge that amount even if the fee would be less if you paid it yourself. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

UNDERWATER CAMERA

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 COMPUTER

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.

REEF HOOK

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

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 dive insurance to ensure you’re covered in case of any diving emergencies.

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.

Conclusion

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!

  • Welcome

    My name’s Austin Tuwiner, a PADI Divemaster based in South Florida. With nearly 10 years of diving under my belt, I’ve accumulated the knowledge to help readers become better divers, buy their next piece of gear, and plan their dream dive vacation!

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