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 earth can visitors experience such a range of spectacular diving - from encounters with huge whale sharks and oceanic manta rays, to muck dives with beautiful Rhinopias and the exceedingly rare psychedelic frogfish.
Gaia Love is a luxurious motor yacht, purpose-built for exploring Indonesia’s remotest regions including Raja Ampat, Komodo, and the Banda Sea. The exceptional amenities on board include massage services and a first-class dive deck equipped with superb camera facilities – allowing guests to enjoy world-class diving in total comfort and style.
- Luxurious motor yacht with impressive facilities
- Dive in total comfort from the large, well-designed dive deck
- Dedicated camera room and compartmentalised rinse tanks
Gaia Love is a 40-meter steel motor yacht purpose-built for exploring the remotest regions of Indonesia including Raja Ampat, komodo, the Forgotten Islands, the Banda Sea, Maumere, and Alor. Up to 20 guests can be accommodated in 11 spacious ensuite cabins, including upper deck options with private balconies which offer stunning views of the surroundings. When not diving, guests can enjoy multiple lounge areas, including a luxurious saloon with entertainment centre and a sumptuous sun deck, as well as onboard massage services.
Specifically designed for comfortable diving, Gaia Love’s dive deck provides ample space for every guest, as well as easy access to the dive tenders. Underwater photographers are well catered to with a dedicated camera room and 11 large compartmentalised camera rinse tanks to suit a variety of setups. Boasting modern style and superb facilities, this vessel is perfectly equipped to embark on even the most adventurous journeys in luxurious comfort.
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.
BANDA SEA AND FORGOTTEN ISLANDS
The Banda Sea lies just south of the equator in Eastern Indonesia and is bounded by the islands of Buru, Ambon and Seram in Maluku to the north, Sulawesi to the west, curving arcs of volcanoes and reefs to the east, distant islands of Nusa Tenggara and Timor to the south. Within the basin itself are two chains of islands - an inner arc of rugged volcanoes that rise from the deep waters of the central area and an outer arc of low, limestone islands that mark the eastern boundary of the sea. These remote islands of the ‘Ring of Fire’ have escaped much of the development of the modern world and remain pristine outposts of Asia’s extraordinary marine environment, offering untouched reefs, prolific marine life and plenty of bigger species.
This remote area once lay at the heart of the lucrative spice trade - in fact, Banda and its neighbour, Run, were the original ‘Spice Islands’ sought after by explorers and fought over by nations. Today the islands of the Banda Sea attract a different type of adventurer - drawn by the opportunity to dive remote, pristine reefs, visit islands rich in history and culture, and explore a part of Asia that, despite its previous fame and fortune, has become a pristine backwater.
The Alor region consists of two large islands, Alor and Pantar, as well as 14 smaller islands lying due east of Flores. They are amongst the least developed in Indonesia but offer incredible experiences both above and below the surface of the sea. On land, steep mountains and dry savannahs blend into lush forests that hide waterfalls, hot springs and even an active volcano.
The islands are part of the Lesser Sundas and along with Flores to the west, help to define the northern boundary of the Savu Sea. The famous Indonesian Throughflow is at its strongest in this part of the archipelago and an extraordinary volume of water passes through this region, funnelled through the channels that separate each of the islands. These huge currents bring with them a constant supply of nutrient-rich water, providing the perfect conditions for the marine life that so obviously flourishes around the islands of Alor. These pristine blue waters and swirling currents, along with beautiful reefs, drop-offs, caves and sheltered bays, are home to thousands of marine species in one of the richest biodiverse regions in the world.
Gaia Love is a 40-meter steel-hulled vessel, designed with modern style and an emphasis on comfortable diving. The boat can accommodate 20 guests in 11 elegant ensuite cabins, located on both the lower and upper decks, with the upper deck rooms boasting large windows and private balconies. The main deck is home to the lounge and entertainment centre equipped with TV, movies, and a comfortable seating area. The restaurant is also located here, or if guests prefer to dine al-fresco, meals can be taken on the sun deck which features an outdoor bar and plenty of relaxation space. Additional leisure activities onboard Gaia Love include massage services, kayaking, and snorkelling.
This vessel’s large dive deck accommodates up to 28 divers, providing plenty of room for each guest, and is equipped with 11 compartmentalised rinse tanks for camera set-ups of varying sizes. The dive deck is at the very back of the boat, and offers easy access to Gaia Love’s 2 dive tenders. On the main deck, guests will find a dedicated camera room for preparation and maintenance of photography and videography equipment. Full rental equipment is possible on board and Nitrox is provided at an additional cost. 12-litre aluminium tanks are used with both DIN and Int connections and 15-litre tanks are provided at an additional cost. Sidemount diving can also be catered to.
Gaia Love offers multi-day trips around Raja Ampat, allowing divers to explore particular areas or even the entire region. Travelling to the west, Gaia Love will visit Batanta Island which offers incredible critter sites for the macro enthusiast, while to the south, the vessel will explore the incredible corals, abundance of manta rays, and stunning mangroves of Misool. In the central area of Raja Ampat, guests can explore the Dampier Strait’s famous dive sites such as Cape Kri and Blue Magic. To the west, Gaia Love will visit Arborek, known for is clear waters and fantastic jetty dive, as well as the beautiful hard coral gardens and stunning lagoon view of Penemu in the northwest.
North Raja Ampat encompasses the islands of Weigeo, Kawe, and Wayag, where guests can visit the pearl farm of Aljui Bay as well as exploring beneath its jetties for unique critters. Kawe is located to the west of Waigo, and is one of the few places in the world where guests can travel between the northern and southern hemispheres while diving. A combination of currents and feeding stations in this area attracts large numbers of fish as well as huge manta rays. Cruising even further to the north, Gaia Love will visit the Wayag area, with its truly spectacular hard coral reefs.
Gaia Love offers multiple trips to Komodo National Park, either on its own, or as part of a larger cruise such as those sailing from Bali to Labuanbajo, Bima to Labuanbajo, or Labuanbajo to Maumere. Currents around Komodo can be strong and Gaia Love’s itineraries are likely to change with the tides – adapting the schedule for the best possible diving. In the north of Komodo, guests can visit famous adrenaline-fuelled sites such as Crystal Rock, Castle Rock and Cauldron, as well as Tatawa Besar and Siaba Besar to the east. The southern region also offers its share of interesting sites including Cannibal Rock, Yellow Wall, and Banana Reef. Other sites on the agenda include Pink Beach, Golden Passage, Three Sisters, and more.
The Forgotten Islands itinerary departs from Maumere and travels to Tual, offering divers the opportunity to explore this remote and beautiful chain of islands in total comfort. On an example itinerary, guests might explore the beautiful walls and seamounts of Dawera and Daweloor, witness schools of barracuda, jacks, and trevallies at Pulau Dai, or search for hammerhead sharks around Dusborgh atoll and Nil Desperandum.
Gaia Love’s Banda Sea itinerary embarks in Maumere and disembarks in Ambon. Guests can expect spectacular diving and snorkelling on some of the world’s richest reefs, filled with unspoiled corals and large pelagic fish. Common sightings included schools of jacks and tuna, as well as turtles, Napoleon wrasse, groupers, rays, sharks, large lobsters, and sea snakes. Macro enthusiasts will also have the chance to explore the special critter sites around Ambon Bay. A land excursion to the historical Banda Neira and surrounding islands is also on the agenda including visits to a local museum and a spice farm.
MAUMERE & ALOR
This vessel offers a range of trips around Alor to ensure guests get the most out of this superb destination, visiting a variety of dive sites covering eastern Flores, Adunara, Solor, Lembata, Pantar, Alor, Pura Reta and Ternate. Divers can expect to see rhinopias, pygmy seahorses, manta rays, schooling dolphins, pilot whales, and even the occasional migrating blue whale. Guests can also meet the charming freediving children of North Pura and the master weavers of Pulau Ternate.