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Komodo, Indonesia 2017

Join us at our favorite dive destination in the world, on one of our favorite liveaboards — the Arenui!

This trip will give new meaning to the term "bucket list."

When: May 22 - May 30, 2017

 
Komodo National Park (KNP) has been listed as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature,” and this trip gives you a front-row seat to this world-class destination, which appears on almost every diver’s bucket list. It also gives you first-class accommodation, as the Arenui is reknowned in the diving community as one of the most luxurious liveaboards operating today.
 
This is a great itinerary for all kinds of muck diving, as the KNP dive sites are packed full of unbelievable critters such as ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, rare clown frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, pipefish, leaf scorpionfish, coleman shrimp, boxer crabs, zebra crabs and of course the weird and wonderful nudibranchs. If you’re lucky,  you might even spot the ridiculously cute Pikachu nudi.
 
Divers keen on coral reefs will also be amazed at the range of corals that Komodo has to offer — from soft to hard and in warm to temperate waters — while those seeking out schooling fish need look no further than the thrilling current dives of Gili Lawa Laut. If you’re also hoping for some pelagics and ocean giants then bring your wide-angle lens along too for the resident mantas and sharks, but keep a watch for passing dolphins, whales and the elusive mola-mola (sunfish).

 

 

Price: From $4,720 USD

Watch Our Video on Komodo!

Key Information:

What's Included?
  • Full-board accommodation in twin/double cabin
  • Shore activities/excursions according to the program
  • Five meals per day
  • Soft drinks, tea, American and Balinese coffee 
  • Diving activities including tanks, weights and weight belt (generally four dives per day)
  • Transfer from/to embarkation/disembarkation airport
  • Administration/port-clearance fee 
  • National parks entrance fee 
  • Fuel surcharge 
  • Government taxes
What's Not Included?
  • International and domestic airfare
  • Hotels and meals before and after the cruise
  • Alcoholic drinks, espresso, cappuccino
  • Nitrox refills
  • Dive equipment rental (other than tanks, weights and weight belt)
  • Massages and spa treatments
  • Travel insurance
  • Onboard purchases
  • Private tours
  • Laundry
  • On-board telecommunications
  • Crew gratuities
Itinerary
SAMPLE CRUISE ITINERARY "KOMODO FOCUS"
9 Day/8 Night Labuanbajo-Labuanbajo Cruise

 

Day 1: Embarkation in Labuanbajo

Day 2: Komodo-Flores Channel (four dives)

 

Currents in this area can be quite strong and we must dive according to the tides. There are many dive sites and the sites chosen will be dependent on the currents. Finish the day with a great night dive at Wainilo. Komodo is an excellent place for spotting macro critters and the reefs and corals are spectacular too. 

Takat Makassar

This is an exhilarating drift dive along the shallow flat bottom, interspersed with patches of coral reef teeming with life. There are chances to see manta rays, turtles, eagle rays and whitetip and blacktip reef sharks.

Batu Bolong

Underwater, this rock is covered in a huge amount of soft and hard corals and full of fish life. In the shallows watch anemonefish and look out for turtles munching on the corals. Giant trevally, whitetip reef sharks, snappers and emperor angelfish tend to congregate here. This site presents particularly good opportunities for both macro and wide-angle photography.

Tatawa Besar

This is a thrilling drift dive that starts off from the northwestern tip of Tatawa and continues down the western side toward 15 to 65 feet (15 to 20 m). The surrounding fish life is profuse and you will see an endless field of stunning orange soft corals as you glide along. Swim past coral heads inhabited by schools of sweetlips and batfish and look out for turtles feeding on the reef. Mantas have been encountered here as well.

Tatawa Kecil

The west side of this small, rocky outcrop presents a fantastic underwater terrain with enormous slabs of rock that have been worn down to form channels, canyons, caves and swim-throughs. On the north plateau, crocodilefish lie on the scenic reef among a whole host of reef fish and schooling fusiliers.

Batu Tengah

This dive site is located in the middle of Komodo National Park, 12 nautical miles to the north and 12 nautical miles to the south; "Batu" means rock; "tengah" means middle. With a slope to the east of the site and a coral garden to the west, Batu Tangah is a beautiful spot where we often get to see turtles, cuttlefish and juvenile whitetip reef sharks that hide under the table corals among the hard-coral garden. Napoleon wrasse and big groups of snapper swimming on the slope with all the colorful decoration of the soft coral make Batu Tengah one of our favorites.

Wainilo

This night dive is situated off the north of Rinca Island. In the shallows, the hard-coral reef is home to many different critters, including juvenile harlequin sweetlips and batfish. Away from the reef, the sandy slope is scattered with pulsing soft corals that hide demon stingers and starry night octopus, plus a moray eel that has not yet been classified by scientists and is only found here in Wainilo.

Day 3: Walk with dragons/Padar Island (two dives)

Loh Buaya (walk with dragons)

Your day will begin with an exciting visit to Komodo National Park, where you will be able to take a stroll with the famous dragons. As you walk along the paths, also stay on the lookout for deer, wild boar and birds in addition to the giant lizards. After the walk we move to Padar Island for two dives.

The water temperature here and at the southern dive sites over the next few days can be a little cooler, dropping from the normal 28/29 degrees Celsius (82-84 Fahrenheit) to a possible 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit). Also due to the infinite nutrients in the water, creating the amazing biodiversity in this area, the visibility can sometimes be a bit greener. Neither one of these factors can spoil the amazing diving to be had in these areas.

After the second dive we visit one of the most incredible beaches in Komodo National Park. A short walk brings us to the pink, sandy beach. During this walk we also have the opportunity to enjoy incredible views of the sunset.

Three Sisters

This site is full of beautiful features, such as massive steps and huge towers of stone, all wrapped in hard and soft corals and dotted with nudibranchs, small caves and overhangs. Reef sharks and humphead parrotfish are among the bigger creatures we see in this area. There is also a towering coral spire with a small cave at the bottom, where huge lobsters are often found hiding. Look for the tiny ladybugs on the soft corals and the resident frogfish sitting in the sponges.

Secret Garden

This is one of the top dive sites at Padar Island. As the name of the dive site suggests, it has a beautiful garden of black coral along a mini-wall, covered with soft corals. There is a resident school of mobula rays that seem to like swimming through the dive site, offering good opportunities for photography. Nudibranchs, leaf fish, frogfish and the incredible sea apples can be seen here too.

Day 4 and 5: Rinca Island (eight dives)

Horseshoe Bay is in the south of Rinca Island and we spend the whole day here. Here we dive the famous Cannibal Rock, one of the top 10 dives sites in the world according to some diving publications. Watch dragons, wild pigs, deer and monkeys roam the beach and take a tender ride or kayak to get a closer look.

Cannibal Rock

This outstanding dive site covers a large area with sandy slopes in the north, deep mini-walls in the east, a plateau full of life in the south and rocky areas in the west. The nutrient-rich bay creates the most spectacular congregation of hard and soft corals in all parts of the dive site. Sponges, ascidians, sea squirts and tube anemones are abundant. A great diversity of nudibranchs can be seen here, along with frogfish, turtles, cuttlefish and other reef fish too.

Yellow Wall of Texas

As the name suggests, this wall at the southern entrance to Horseshoe Bay is covered in yellow and orange soft corals. A tiny critter, the ladybug, appears in multitudes here. Nudbranchs decorate the wall that usually has a slight current, enabling you to slowly drift along and enjoy the view.

Crinoid Canyon

Another wall on the opposite side of Horseshoe Bay, Crinoid Canyon has deep bommies covered in soft corals and huge gorgonian sea fans. Here ribbon eels and giant frogfish have been spotted alongside the hundreds of crinoids that give this dive site its name.

The Boulders

Inside the bay and opposite Yellow Wall of Texas, there are large rocks that continue underwater to create places for large rays to rest and even sometimes for nurse sharks to hide. The boulders are covered in corals, becoming a paradise for marine life. The elusive Rhinopias have been found here before.

Rhino Rocks

Here is a group of rocks that break the surface at low tide, which we call Rhino Rocks as we've found the elusive Rhinopias here. It is a shallow dive site, with a sloping reef, ending at the rocks, which are covered in corals of all kinds. The reef is an excellent place to look for nudibranchs, frogfish, juvenile batfish, zebra crabs, turtles and cuttlefish. This dive site also makes an excellent night dive, when you should look out for coral catsharks.

Banana Island

Another incredible dive site named for the shape of the small Island, Banana Island is close to Nusa Kode Island, and makes for a great dive site for a third dive. Banana Island has beautiful hard-coral formations in the shallows and at 45 feet (15 m) we can see some boulders covered with soft corals. Giant frogfish, broad cuttlefish, reef octopus and some special nudibrachs have been seen here. Keep a watch on the blue for schools of mobula rays; we have seen them here once in a while.

Torpedo Alley

This is a marvelous night dive named after the pancake-sized torpedo rays that can be found here. Coconut octopus, seahorses, colorful squid and the bizarre bobbit worm all live in the black, volcanic sand. A very shallow dive with a maximum depth of 30 feet (10 m), spend time looking for all the strange inhabitants among the rocks, soft corals and in the sand.

Day 6: Manta Alley/Pink Beach (four dives)

Manta Alley is located on the south end of Komodo Island. After two dives looking for manta rays, we head up to the middle of Komodo Island to the Pink Beach area.

Manta Alley

Manta Alley is located in Tora Langkoi Bay along the south coast of Komodo. The dive site, in fact, barely pierces the ocean’s surface at the end of a line of rock islets. As can be guessed from its name, many manta rays are known to frequent this site and it is the most popular one in Komodo for spotting them. The area can be described as a deep gully that works as a funnel when the tide changes, causing the water to rush through at speeds of up to three or four knots with the fall and rise of the tides, and up to one knot even during "slack-water" periods. Watch the mantas being cleaned on the north side or enter the ‘Alley’ to see them hover effortlessly in the current.

Pink Beach

The simple topography makes this site an ideal afternoon dive. A mini-wall can be found in the middle of the reef, where clouds of glassfish swarm in the cracks and crevices. An abundant amount of fish life and unusual critters make their home here, including leaf scorpionfish, crocodilefish, nudibranchs and frogfish. On one side of the wall is a sloping coral reef full of life. On the other is a sandy area with healthy staghorn corals growing and providing shelter for juvenile harlequin sweetlips and mandarinfish.

Loh Liang Bay

This white-sand muck dive is around the corner from Pink Beach, situated inside Loh Liang Bay on Komodo Island. Search for all sorts of critters here - bobtail squid, flamboyant cuttlefish, frogfish, nudibranchs, Ambon scorpionfish, cockatoo waspfish and large moray eels living in the shallow rocks.

Day 7: Gili Lawa Laut (four dives)

Two celebrated dive sites await you just north of Gili Lawa Laut Island. Crystal Rock and Castle Rock are both incredible locations, boasting the key elements for any impressive dive site: a wide variety of healthy corals covering the reef, plus tons of fish - both big and small and all sizes in between. There are two more exhilarating dives in this area, El Toro and Gili Lawalaut Lighthouse, along with good night dives on healthy hard-coral reefs off the island of Gili Lawa Darat. Between the dives there is a chance to visit Gili Lawa Laut Island and take a short trek to the top of the hill for a wonderful view over the Komodo-Flores channel.

Crystal Rock

The rock jutting out of the surrounding crystal-clear waters explains how this site got its name. But what is truly memorable here are the large schools of fusiliers and anthias flitting over the gorgeous soft corals and impressive table corals. In the deep blue, you can also see large tuna, mackerel and other fish schooling around a small mound to the northwest. A lone eagle ray is often spotted here cruising in the currents.

Castle Rock

Castle Rock is a submerged pinnacle situated a kilometer (.6 mile) further north from Crystal Rock. Its exposed location means strong currents, but experienced divers will love the thrills to be had on this dive. In fact, the main action comes from watching the staggering amount of marine life, such as batfish, groupers, midnight snappers and impressive schools of fusiliers and surgeons whipping past. Of course, divers aren’t the only ones interested in the huge amount of fish here, which explains the giant trevally as well as whitetips, blacktips and grey reef sharks hunt here for their next meal.

El Toro

The channel between Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Darat forms a dive site with interesting topography. The dive starts with a drift along a sloping reef and sandy bottom. Coral heads shelter crocodilefish and lionfish hunting in the small schools of glassfish. Frogfish, eagle rays and reef sharks have been seen here as well. The dive site then shallows out with the "bull-ring" circle opening out and ending in a flat rock plateau. There is also a chance to see manta rays playing in the surface currents.

Gili Lawa Laut Lighthouse

On the north of Gili Lawa Laut there is a lighthouse at the end of a long reef. When the tide is going down, the dive starts on the reef with a drift to the corner. At the corner there are big schools of batfish, snappers, surgeons with humphead wrasse and reef sharks also hanging around.

Day 8: Komodo Gili Lawa Laut (one or two dives)

On the last full day of the cruise there will be one or two dives, depending on the flight times out of Labuanbajo the next day. We will spend half the day around Gili Lawa Laut, with an opportunity to dive the fabulous Crystal and Castle Rock again. After the dives we will travel closer to Labuanbajo and spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach or take a kayak around the calm waters of the bay.

Day 9: Disembarkation in Labuanbajo

 

Total dives: 23-24 dives

Where is Komodo?

About the boat

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