Indonesia’s thousands of islands are a hotspot for liveaboard scuba safaris, with a fleet of vessels traversing across the country, delivering divers to the top sites at the perfect time.
But, if you’re considering a liveaboard trip in Indonesia, how do you decide which of the many boats will offer the best experience? We’ve selected and reviewed some of the top Indonesian liveaboards to help you out.
Indonesia’s best liveaboards reviewed
Ready to find and book your next liveaboard trip in Indonesia? Keep reading to discover our favourite Indonesian dive safaris based on popular preferences.
Best Indonesian liveaboard for space and style
Seven Seas is a gorgeous traditional phinisi with simple yet stylish furnishings throughout. Measuring an impressive 45-metres in length, this large liveaboard accommodates up to 16 guests in maximum comfort, allowing plenty of communal space for social interaction and relaxation. And, each of the double staterooms still has enough space for a king size bed, while the twin staterooms feature oversize singles. Of course, there’s always the option to venture beyond the confines of the boat, thanks to a total of six double kayaks provided for self-guided exploration. The spacious dive deck is also well-equipped for easy adventure, offering nitrox, camera rinse areas, rental equipment and three tenders to ferry guests to and from dive sites.
Top liveaboard for intimate Indonesian experiences
Be it diving, snorkelling or surfing you’re looking for, Wisesa is the liveaboard of choice for travellers who value intimacy and personal experiences. Catering to different watersports during dedicated voyages, and accommodating only eight guests, this vessel guarantees undivided attention for everybody on board. Multiple inviting lounge spaces turn surface intervals and periods of navigation into convivial communal moments that are sure to become cherished memories. Or, if you’d rather burn off steam, snorkelling equipment, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards are readily available. When it comes to diving, two dinghies are on hand to transport guests between sites, while rental equipment, camera rinse facilities and sidemount support ensure divers of all levels are catered for.
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Ideal Indonesian liveaboard for five-star comfort
The 36-metre Solitude Adventurer is as salubrious as dive safaris come. Spread over four decks, this refurbished catamaran is more like a modern hotel than a liveaboard. Casual yet stylish social areas have been decorated with sumptuous furnishings and a few first-class facilities such as massage chairs. The vessel’s cabins are also superb, offering plenty of space and an abundance of natural light. Meals are meticulously crafted in the glass-walled galley, while unlimited snacks such as biscuits and instant noodles are available throughout the day. Of course, Solitude Adventurer’s dive facilities are also five-star, incorporating optional nitrox upgrades and complimentary Nautilus Lifelines. Underwater photographers are exceptionally well cared for, thanks to a camera bench on the dive deck, as well as an editing room equipped with an air gun and camera towels.
Perfect Indonesian liveaboard for family trips
Carpe Diem is a well-appointed phinisi offering elegant liveaboard experiences in some of Indonesia’s most remote regions. Accommodating just ten guests, this traditional wooden vessel was specifically designed to deliver highly personalised service to small groups of like-minded travellers. And, Carpe Diem’s dedicated crew also welcomes children on board, making it a great choice for families in search of some quality time together. Facilities include well-appointed lounges, as well as free-to-use watersports equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards – and the area in front of the deckhouse makes for an unparalleled yoga studio. Carpe Diem also comes stocked with 12 sets of Mares scuba equipment which is free to use for all divers.
Best liveaboard in Indonesia for photographers
Measuring 45-metres long, the steel hulled Blue Manta is one of the largest and most spacious dive liveaboards in Indonesia, accommodating up to 22 guests in total comfort. But, space isn’t the only thing on offer here, guests will also benefit from exceptional standards of service, smooth sailing, and contemporary indoor and outdoor communal areas – including a luxurious lounge and comfortable sundeck with possible massage services. What’s more, Blue Manta is one of Indonesia’s best liveaboards for underwater photographers, boasting a spacious camera room, individual rinse tanks, an outdoor work table, and blow-dry stations. Plus, a maximum of four divers per guide, and groups split by experience level and air consumption, give photographers’ the best chance of capturing that perfect shot.
Top liveaboard for discerning divers visiting Indonesia
Tiare is an elegant wooden liveaboard born out of five passions – the ocean, diving, photography, cuisine, and the country of Indonesia. This refined phinisi now offers luxurious liveaboard voyages throughout the archipelago, enthusiastically welcoming both divers and non-divers and happily caters to their differing needs. Designed to feel like home, with an added dose of luxury, Tiare comes with comfortable, chic communal spaces and a bar stocking imported wines and a selection of cigars for connoisseurs. The vessel’s sophisticated style of hospitality continues throughout the diving operations, with ample space for every diver, easy access to warm showers, and a ‘wash and dry’ wetsuit service. An indoor camera area is also available, as is nitrox for certified guests.
Best Indonesian liveaboard for divers on a budget
Nusantara is a fun and social vessel setting new standards for affordable liveaboard diving. This lively liveaboard is perfect for budget-savvy travellers of all kinds, offering casual dorm-style sleeping arrangements below deck or beneath the stars. Cruising Komodo National Park year-round, Nusantara offers a choice of concise itineraries lasting between two to four nights. And, no matter which trip you select, you'll enjoy a carefully-considered combination of underwater exploration and topside adventure. This recently-refurbished liveaboard has been well-designed for divers, featuring a spacious shaded dive deck, as well as a small swim platform and easy-to-use ladder providing access to the water.
Ideal Indonesian liveaboard for unique and extended itineraries
Custom-designed for liveaboard diving, Ambai offers some of the most interesting itineraries in Indonesia. This vessel’s unique voyages last between nine-nights and two-weeks at sea, often visiting off-the-beaten-path dive destinations such as Halmahera and the Togian Islands. Ambai’s dive deck is well-prepared for exploration in such remote areas, offering easy access to a spacious dive platform and the ability to receive all three tenders at the same time. Up to four dives are offered each day, nitrox is free for certified guests, and a dedicated camera room is available for maintenance and preparation. And, despite the adventurous nature of these trips, Ambai’s indoor and outdoor social spaces, and onboard massage services, make it easy to relax during surface intervals.
Ultimate liveaboard for sustainable trips in Indonesia
Coralia is owned and operated by Papua Explorers, one of Raja Ampat’s finest eco resorts, and collaborates closely with the resort’s Raja Ampat SEA Centre. Thankfully, a commitment to conservation doesn’t mean a lack of comfort, and guests aboard this sizable 48-metre phinisi will find themselves enveloped in exclusive service and first-class facilities. This vessel’s eight cabins include four spacious master suites with private open-air terraces, while social spaces are furnished with daybeds, canopy-covered sofas, and audio/visual entertainment. Built specifically for divers, Coralia’s dive deck comes equipped with warm showers, a changing room, equipment storage, and two tenders. Nitrox is free to certified divers and a dedicated, air-conditioned camera room can be found on the main deck.
Best Indonesian liveaboard for boutique luxury
Blending traditional charm with modern comforts, Jakare is one of Indonesia’s most Instagram-worthy liveaboards. This vessel’s inspired design features stunning wooden interiors that have been expertly finished in gorgeous tones of chocolate and gold. Each of Jakare’s charming cabins and multi-level social spaces has been tastefully styled with chic decor, such as indigenous art and locally produced crafts. Surrounded by such a stunning aesthetic, guests will immediately slip into a state of complete relaxation, making full use of the comfortable day beds, bean bags, and breezy mattresses on the sundeck. Alongside the beautiful design of this vessel, guests will find an array of dedicated dive facilities, including an oversized dive deck, devoted briefing area, modern camera facilities, and nitrox.
Top liveaboard for group trips in Indonesia
Sea Safari VI
Sea Safari VI is a spacious and stable wooden phinisi built exclusively for liveaboard diving. Accommodating up to 20 guests in ten comfortable cabins, this vessel is ideal for larger dive groups and offers additional complementary spaces to bookings of 12 or more guests. Multiple indoor and outdoor lounges allow divers to spread out during surface intervals and come furnished with contemporary couches and cushioned loungers – as well as an on-deck Jacuzzi and a well-stocked bar. Sea Safari VI offers all that you'll need to enjoy a week or more of easy diving, including high-quality rental equipment and nitrox fills. All scuba diving operations are conducted from accompanying tenders with generous shaded dive decks.
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