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 ...
Crafted by master boat-builders from Sulawesi, KLM Mari offers safe, comfortable, and reliable voyages throughout the archipelago, including Raja Ampat, Cenderawasih Bay, Banda Sea and Triton Bay. Featuring low guest numbers, remarkable communal areas, and a wonderfully diverse range of destinations, Mari offers fantastic liveaboard adventures at great value for money.
Built by traditional boat-builders in South Sulawesi, KLM Mari is a strong, elegant Phinisi, perfectly suited to navigating the Indonesian archipelago. After a year of complete modernisation in 2016, and under new German management, Mari set sail once again, featuring new, reliable technical equipment and added modern comforts. The concept of the vessel is simple – keep guest numbers low and provide extra space for creating unforgettable experiences – making Mari a perfect choice for divers travelling with non-divers or families.
Mari explores the very best diving in Indonesia, visiting Raja Ampat from October to June and navigating famous sites such as the Banda Sea, Cenderawasih Bay and Triton Bay throughout the rest of the year. The vessel features a superb al fresco dining and lounge area, delectable cuisine, and all you need for a relaxing day of diving, including a spacious dive deck, comfortable tenders and gear rental.
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 these 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 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.
Triton Bay is located in the far south of the Bird’s Head Seascape in West Papua, about as far from civilisation as it is possible to be in Indonesia. At the mouth of the bay lie a number of islands which funnel currents inwards and create the perfect conditions for the growth of soft corals in the nutrient-rich waters. To the east and west of Triton Bay are large estuarine areas that have effectively isolated Triton Bay’s marine creatures and helped to create the unique habitats and endemic species that are found today.
Triton Bay was first surveyed by scientists in 2006 who recommended the creation of the Kaimana Marine Protected Area that now extends along the coast either side of Triton Bay. The scientists’ attention was drawn to the large numbers of bigger reef fish such as grouper and snapper, the unusual soft corals and black corals that dominate the underwater landscape in Triton Bay and the many endemic species that they discovered. One of Triton Bay’s biggest draws are the whale sharks which congregate around fishing platforms known as ‘bagans’ to feed on anchovies and other baitfish caught in the nets.
Constructed by traditional boat builders in South Sulawesi, KLM Mari is a classic-looking Phinisi vessel with a signature blend of space, comfort and reliability. The 30-meter vessel accommodates a maximum of 14 guests in 3 deluxe and 4 superior cabins. All cabins are located on the main deck, offering plenty of natural light, as well as individually-controlled air-conditioning, storage space, and private bathrooms with hot and cold water. Cuisine on board Mari is prepared by a highly-trained chef using a variety of fresh, healthy and delicious produce. Meals are served al fresco in the lounge and dining area on the upper deck – providing wonderful views of the surrounding scenery. Guests will also find a sun deck located at the front of the boat as well as a large sun terrace on the sky deck. Between dives, Mari offers board games, books, free wifi and a sound system for guests’ entertainment.
Mari’s spacious dive deck is well equipped with gear storage, individual rinse tanks, and outdoor showers, and provides access to the two dive dinghies which transfer guests to the dive sites. Full equipment rental is available on board, including torches, reef hooks and dive computers, and nitrox is available to certified divers at an additional cost. The vessel is equipped with all the necessary safety equipment including liferafts, lifejackets, fire extinguishers, EPIRB, SART, and SAT-Phone.
An example itinerary for Mari’s Banda Neira & Triton Bay adventure lasts for 12-days and departs from Ambon. The voyage heads to Nusa Laut, an area known for its clean reefs that are protected by the local community. In Banda Neira, guests can explore yet more breathtakingly healthy coral reefs and search for hammerheads, before sailing west to Pulau Koon and Kurkap, to visit a dive site sometimes known as Fish Soup. The final destination, Triton Bay, is located in West Papua and is part of a special Marine Protected Area, ensuring plenty of diversity and healthy ecosystems.
An example itinerary for Mari’s Raja Ampat voyage lasts for 12-days and departs from Sorong, cruising a south west course to Misool. The vessel will then set sail north to visit the Fam Islands and the west coast of Waigeo. The small island of Arborek is up next followed by Mansuar Island and Kri Island. Finally, the vessel will cross the Damier Strait to Sorong before disembarking.
An example itinerary for Mari’s 12-day Raja Ampat & Banda Neira cruise departs from Sorong and heads south to Misool. The journey then continues to Koon Island, where, with the right current, the diving can be unforgettable, offering hundreds of fish, schooling jacks, barracudas, sharks. Banda Neira is up next, followed by Nusa Laut, two areas renowned for their healthy coral reefs. Ambon is the last stop, where guests can explore some fantastic WWII wrecks before disembarking.
Mari’s 12-day Triton Bay & Raja Ampat voyage starts in Kaimana, and spends several days exploring Triton Bay and Iris Strait. Some of the highlights include abundant marine diversity and a serene atmosphere away from the crowds. They vessel will then set sail northwest towards Misool where guests will spend the rest of their journey visiting some of Raja Ampat’s finest dive sites before cruising to Sorong to disembark.