The island nation of Indonesia straddles the equator between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and lies at the heart of the ‘Coral Triangle’ - the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. Nowhere on ...
Carpe Diem is a well-appointed Phinisi offering year-round cruises exploring Raja Ampat, Komodo, Bali, and Lombok. Specifically designed and operated for small and intimate cruises, Carpe Diem is a perfect choice for guests looking for personalised service and bespoke itineraries at an affordable price.
Renovated in 2017, Carpe Diem is a 34-meter Phinisi offering year-round cruises around Raja Ampat, Komodo, Bali, and Lombok. Accommodating just 10 guests, this vessel that was specifically designed for small groups and individuals looking for a more personalised service. Facilities onboard include well-appointed and comfortable lounges, as well as free-to-use watersports equipment such as kayaks and paddleboards.
Carpe Diem’s dedicated crew also welcomes children onboard, making this intimate liveaboard a great choice for families wanting some quality time together. Offering both scheduled itineraries and charter booking opportunities, Carpe Diem creates bespoke cruises for a variety of guests, including relaxing expeditions which combine scuba diving, yoga, and meditation.
Komodo National Park is situated close to the coast of Flores, with Sumbawa and the Sape Strait to the west. Covering over 1,730 square kilometres, the park includes the three large islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, along with 26 smaller islands. The park’s rugged terrain is dominated by jagged peaks and mountain slopes covered in dry savannah and dense stands of deciduous forests. Erosion has carved the coastlines of the islands into deep bays, inlets, channels and isolated beaches, creating some of Indonesia’s most spectacular scenery. Locations such as Komodo’s ‘Pink Beach’ and the incredible view from Padar looking across back-to-back, circular bays, are worth the trip alone!
Komodo’s dramatic landscape continues beneath the waves and the waters are some of the richest marine environments in the world. The reefs, channels, seagrass beds and mangroves are home to over 1000 species of fish and 250 species of corals. The channel surrounding theses islands funnels huge volumes of water between the Flores Sea and the Indian Ocean, resulting in nutrient-rich upwellings and dramatic currents that sweep past the islands, creating the perfect conditions for an incredible diversity of marine life and superb diving. The national park was founded in 1980 to protect its infamous resident - the Komodo dragon. This extraordinary species is the world’s largest land-dwelling reptile and can still be observed in the wild on both Komodo and Rinca islands.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago of over 1,500 small islands and reefs surrounding the 4 main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo - the ‘Four Kings’ from which Raja Ampat takes its name. The area is part of the newly-created province of West Papua and, despite its allegiance to Indonesia, the islands of Raja Ampat feel very much like part of a different world. Although resorts are being developed throughout the archipelago and liveaboards run regular schedules around its famous sites, this string of beautiful islands still holds on to a lingering promise of exploration and discovery.
Papua is home to an incredible diversity of flora, fauna and cultures with the rugged terrain and relatively late development having helped to preserve the unique biological and cultural diversity. Much of the mainland is made inaccessible by rugged mountains and dense jungle and new endemic species are being discovered here every year. Below the surface of the sea, the rich reefs of Raja Ampat are a similar treasure trove of unique species; in fact, Cape Kri on Mansuar Island in the Dampier Strait holds the record for the most number of fish species recorded on a single dive. Raja Ampat is so species-rich and such a vital area for reef conservation that the entire area has been protected as part of the Bird’s Head Seascape.
The rocky limestone islands of Nusa Lembongan, Cenida and Penida are separated from Bali by the Badung Strait and lie at the edge of the deep Lombok Strait. All are far less developed than Bali’s south and offer a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. Diving around the Nusa islands is dominated by the currents that sweep past and support the prolific life that has made these islands so famous - from the schools of reef fish, sharks and turtles, to the giant mantas and extraordinary mola mola.
Lombok is Bali’s quieter cousin, offering a combination of currents which attract large pelagic such as mackerel, rays, and sharks. Lombok also offers plenty of land-based activities including bicycle trips to the Pengsong Temple or the Tiu Kelep Waterfall. The Gili islands are sheltered from the currents and upwellings that flow through the Lombok Strait and make the dive sites in eastern Bali so rich. Normally the water is warm and clear, meaning better conditions underwater, but less diversity of marine life. Rather than reefs and abundant fish life, it is the friendly turtles and cuttlefish, small reef sharks and, in the right season, close encounters with manta rays that make the islands special for many divers.
Built in 2014, and accommodating a maximum of 10 guests, Carpe Diem is a 24-meter traditional Phinisi vessel specifically designed and operated for intimate cruises. Each of the vessels 4 cabins offer a beautiful warm ambiance and are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, desk, and ample storage space. On the main deck, guests will find a well-appointed saloon featuring a 10-seater table and library. A large outdoor space on the main deck offers unparalleled views and can also be used as an al-fresco dining area, lounge, or yoga studio. Carpe Diem’s imaginative menu consists of fresh locally-sourced ingredients, and alcoholic beverages can be supplied on request. The sun deck is fitted with a large canopy and comfortable seating, creating an ideal spot to relax and watch the world go by. Other activities on offer include kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkelling, as well as a variety of land excursions.
Carpe Diem features a dive deck, shaded diving area, comfortable tenders, and rinse hoses, and is equipped with 12 sets of Mares scuba equipment which is free to use for all divers. Both DIN and Int connections are also available, as well as dive computers, torches, reef hooks, 15-litre tanks, and personal GPS locators. A relaxed schedule is offered with small dive groups, and both PADI and SSI courses can be arranged with prior agreement. All necessary safety equipment is also provided onboard, including life rafts, life jackets, first aid kits and oxygen.
An example itinerary for Carpe Diem’s Komodo itinerary departs from Labunabajo and sets sail four south Rinca, anchoring in the sheltered waters between Pulau Kode and Rinca overnight.
From here, guests can enjoy sites such as Cannibal Rock, Pulau Pisang, Crinoid Canyon and Yellow Wall, as well as visiting the famous komodo dragons. Apple Orchard, Kerita Tol, and Torpedo Point can then be explored.
Carpe Diem will then travel west to Nusa Duawaju – home of Manta Alley. Here guests can dive or snorkel with manta rays before moving on to Loh Sera and then Pulau Padar, visiting sites such as Three Sisters and Pillar Steen along the way. The following day guests can witness the famous Pink Beach on Komodo as well as enjoying some diving, snorkelling, or kayaking. Carpe Diem then makes the short crossing to Gili Lawa Darat, stopping at Batu Bolong or Batu Tiga to explore sites such as Golden Passage, Cauldron, and Shotgun. On the final day, the vessel returns to Labunabajo.
An example itinerary for Carpe Diem’s Raja Ampat itinerary departs from Waisai, making the 10-hour overnight crossing to Pianemo. Here guests can dive or snorkel in the crystal-clear lagoon, take part in watersports, or trek in the beautiful scenery. Carpe Diem will then travel overnight to Pulau Wayag, allowing guests to witness the beautiful karst islands and stunning seascapes. Another overnight voyage takes guests to The Passage for some world class snorkeling, and then on to Arborek to visit Arborek Village.
Manta Sandy is visited next, followed by Kri to dive and snorkel, explore the white sand beach, or visit the village of Mansuar. After Kri, Carpe Diem moves to Friwinbonda for an early morning search for the famous birds or paradise, before diving famous sites such as Mioskon Reef. Carpe Diem then embarks on its final trip back to Wasai.