Gaia - komodo / raja ampat / banda sea / maumere / indonesia / sulawesi LiveaboardInquiry
Gaia Love is a modern 40 meters steel hull vessel purpose built to sail and explore the far reaches of Indonesia.
Gaia can accommodates up to 20 guest in 11 spacious ensuite rooms; six on the upper deck and five on the lower deck. Each room averages in size of approximately 20 square meters and has individual air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. The upper deck rooms will feature an additional private outdoor balcony.
Gaia Love has a total of 4 decks (lower, main, upper and top/sundeck).
The lounge, restaurant and camera room is located on the main deck. In the lounge is an entertainment center, pantry and all the facilities and creature comforts to make your stay more comfortable and photographers can use the dedicated camera room for the preparation and storage of their equipment.
At the rear is a large dive deck so there is lots of space for guest to move around. On the dive deck are also eleven large rinse tanks of various sizes, for camera setups of all sorts.
The top deck or sundeck features a bar for evening gatherings and relaxation under the stars or if you prefer to dine outdoors this will be the perfect area to enjoy your meal.
Gaia - galleryInquiry
Gaia - pricesInquiry
Prices are per person and in USD based on 2 persons sharing a cabin.
Exact pricing is available on the schedule here as prices vary dependant on the time year, destination and the length of the trip and sometimes special offers are available.
The price includes
Air-conditioned twin share accommodation with attached bathroom.
Any shore activities or excursions organized by Dive Gaia.
All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
Guided diving activities (up to 4 dives a day).
Use of aluminum 12L dive cylinders, weights and weight belts.
Same day land transfer to and from the nearest embarkation or disembarkation airport.
Airport transfer to and from port for embarkation or disembarkation.
Complimentary glass of wine per person at dinner.
Use of entertainment system in cabins and saloon where available.
Shared use of the camera room.
The price does not includes
Harbor clearance and national park fees between USD22 and USD25 per day depending on the destination; and fuel surcharge (where applicable).
Any international and domestic air, land, sea transportation, visas and any other taxes or fees associated.
Courses and certifications.
Accommodation and meals before and after the cruise.
Alcoholic drinks (unless otherwise stated).
Gear rental (subject to availability).
Enriched Air Nitrox (available for certified divers only).
Massages and Spa treatments (other than welcome massage).
Dive, travel or trip interruption insurance and dive insurance (It is mandatory to have dive insurance on all trips aboard Gaia Love, please contact us for short term insurance options).
On-board telecommunication and satellite broadband.
For single occupancy, not sharing a cabin, there will be a 70% surcharge. Please contact us for details and pricing.
If you are happy to share with a diver of the same sex in a twin cabin then the price is as quoted in the schedule
Full or half boat charter
A full boat charter is defined as a reservation made by an individual group leader or agent for eighteen (18) paying passengers and two (2) free of charge spaces. A total of 20 passengers on twin share basis (10 rooms).
A half boat charter is defined as a reservation made by an individual group leader or agent for nine (9) paying passengers and one (1) free of charge space. A total of 10 passengers on a twin share basis (5 rooms).
The full boat charter rate is calculated at the lowest published room rate per person and includes all cabins.
All scheduled cruises that are still available can be booked as full-boat charters.
Terms and conditions:
30% of booking is required within 7 days of booking - non refundable
70 % is due to 90 days prior to departure - non refundable.
Balance due 90 days before your trip departure date - non-refundable.
Individual booking made less than 90 days before the departured ate are payable in full at the time of booking.
Cancellation at any stage involves forfeit of monies already payed.
10% - within 7 days of booking - non-refundable
20% 180 days prior to departure - non-refundable
90 days before departure - non-refundable
|Diving Equipment Rentals (USD)||Per day|
|Full Set (regulator, octopus, BCD, wetsuit, mask, fins, dive computer)||$ 50|
|Regulator with octopus||$ 12|
|Wetsuit (shorty 3mm)||$ 8|
|Fins (+ booties as required)||$ 5|
|15L tank||$ 12|
Gaia - cabinsInquiry
Gaia can accommodates up to 20 guest in 11 spacious ensuite rooms; six on the upper deck and five on the lower deck.
Each room averages in size of approximately 20 square meters and has individual air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water.
The upper deck rooms will feature an additional private outdoor balcony.
For single occupancy, not sharing a cabin, there will be a 70% surcharge. Please contact us for details and pricing.
If you are happy to share with a diver of the same sex in a twin cabin then the price is as quoted in the schedule
Gaia - itineraryInquiry
Sample itinerary Raja Ampat
Located within the Indonesian archipelago off the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula in West Papua (Irian Jaya). Comprising hundreds of jungle-covered islands, the area is known for it’s beaches and coral reefs rich with marine life. Raja Ampat, translated directly as “four kings” was named for the 4 main islands in the area – Weigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool.
Diving Raja Ampat, will take your breath away with the marine life thriving from the sea floor to the surface and the colorful reef teeming with activity. There are sites that are so pristine and packed with growth, that a photographer is hard-pressed to find a spot to place a steadying finger. Exotic sea life and macro critters will overwhelm any marco photography enthusiast. The only problem with diving here is that you’ll be so spoiled by the near-perfect conditions that you may never want to leave or dive anywhere else again!
Dive Gaia trips offer divers the opportunity to explore the entire region.
West of Sorong, Batanta Island offers incredible critter sites for the macro enthusiast.
In the south of Raja Ampat is the island of Misool. Be wow-ed by the profusion of colorful soft corals and sea fans beautifully draping the reefs. Expect to encounter both the oceanic and reef mantas. Towards the western tip of Misool, be intrigued by one of the world’s most stunning mangroves.
Located in central Raja Ampat is Dampier Strait (which flows between Waigeo and Batanta), where nutrient-rich ocean currents create an incredible underwater environment. Everything which makes for a wonderful dive can be found here. Home to iconic dive sites Cape Kri and Blue Magic, be surrounded by schools of fish and the unique thrill of “fish thunder” – the loud booming sound made when a large number of fish move rapidly through open water. Further west is the island of Arborek, known for it’s jetty dive and it’s cleanliness. Travelling north west of Dampier Strait is the Penemu Islands famous of it’s hard coral gardens and stunning lagoon view.
Northern Raja Ampat covers the islands of Weigeo, Kawe and Wayag. Visit the pearl farm of Aljui Bay in between exploring the pearl farm’s jetties famous for it’s unique critters and sleeping woobegongs. West of Waigeo, the rocks and seamounts in the Kawe area are truly singular as they actually sit on the equator. Kawe is one of the few places in the world where you can travel between the northern and southern hemispheres while diving! Yet, this is not the only reason to be excited about this dive. A combination of currents and feeding stations in this area combine to draw in a profuse amount of fish life, as well as huge mantas. Cruising even further to the north, we visit the Wayag area. This isolated, uninhabited area sprinkled with verdant limestone islands, bordered by slivers of white sandy beaches and palm trees, represents what people usually have in mind when they think of paradise. The only thing to rival the landscape here is the diving. It is truly spectacular, with extensive and untouched hard coral reefs. As the majority of Wayag’s islands have yet to be explored, it is very likely that many more dive sites will be found in this still remote area.
Other attractions includes ancient rock paintings and caves off the island of Misool and the rare crimson bird of paradise on Waigeo,
Luxury liveaboard diving with Dive Gaia offers charters out of Sorong that enables you to explore this area extensively while pampering yourself with the hospitality and comfort we provide. Shorter Raja Ampat dive itinerary is also offered in our Ambon (Ceram) to Sorong (West Papua) trip. Click here (website link) for our Raja Ampat itineraries and (website link) for route map.
Sample Itinerary – Komodo
This region features an extremely rich biodiversity born of a land of contrasts: from warm waters and tropical species, to cooler currents with temperate ocean life. Offering such a diverse range of dive sites and special features, it’s no surprise the Komodo National Park was awarded ‘New 7 Wonder of Nature’ status in 2011.
Diving this famous dive destination, which is located within the Coral Triangle, the area boasts the world’s highest marine biodiversity. Under the jurisdiction of the park rangers over 1,000 species of fish and hundreds of different corals are protected. Dive sites stretch from the warm waters of the Flores Sea (Pacific Ocean) in the north to the chillier waters down south in the Indian Ocean. The underwater terrain presents many contrasts, with sheer cliff walls, pinnacles, sandy flat bottoms, underwater plateaus, slopes, caves, swim-throughs and channels – all with differing colors, sizes and types of both hard and soft corals. Expect encounters with pelagics and we promise no dull moment any macro enthusiast with a wide range of critters.
Get your macro lens ready for unusual critters and critters that are only special to this area.
Komodo National Park boast countless deserted beaches, hiking trails, great wildlife, lagoons and home to a large species of lizard world known as the Komodo dragons.
Although there is diving year-round in Komodo, the best period is considered to be April through November. Currents in parts of Komodo can be strong – so we dive according to the tides … but with so many great sites to choose from we can always adapt the schedule for the best diving.
Dive Gaia offers Komodo National Park trip itineraries on it’s own and in our Bali-Labuan Bajo (Flores), Bima (Sumbawa) to Labuan Bajo (Flores) and Labuan Bajo (Flores) to Maumere (Flores) itineraries.
Sample Itinerary – Forgotten Islands
Indonesia’s “Forgotten Islands”, also known as the Southeast Moluccas (Maluku Tenggara), are not a single destination, but rather a 1,000 km long chain of archipelagos stretching from Timor to West Papua on the island of New Guinea. Undeveloped, distant from population centers and far off any beaten path, these “Forgotten Islands” have been largely isolated from the rest of Indonesia and the world.
The terrain of these islands varies from forested mountainous peaks in the Inner Banda Arc of islands (Wetar, Damar, Nila), with peaks that goes as high as 868 meters / 2,848 feet to essentially flat islands of the easternmost Aru and Kei island groups, dominated by savannah, mangroves and broadleaf forests. The Inner Arc islands are volcanic, while the island groups in the Outer Banda Arc (Leti, Luang, Sermata, Babar and Tanimbar islands) are mostly up thrust coralline limestone, often characterized by terracing resulting from periodic uplift and changes in sea level.
Diving the Forgotten Islands, one can expect long walls with extremely healthy coral life and immaculate, untouched seamounts. Look for the giant barrel sponges and immense sea fans. In the shallows the hard coral gardens are decorated with colorful anthias. ‘Big stuff’ can include schooling hammerheads, silver, white and black tip reef sharks, napoleon wrasse, mobula rays, bumphead parrotfish, eagle rays, turtles, thresher sharks along with schooling jacks, barracuda, surgeonfish and fusiliers. ‘Small stuff’ includes pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, octopus, triggerfish, lionfish, moray eels, scorpionfish and dragon shrimps.
Indonesia is not greatly affected by seasons that prohibit diving, so instead it is more important to factor in the weather and the calmness of the seas in terms of enjoying the crossings, when planning a trip to this remote archipelago.
The Forgotten Islands on board Dive Gaia offers divers the opportunity to cruise around this chain of remote beautiful islands while enjoying the casual comfort, amenities and unique service that we offer. Itinerary embarks in Maumere (Flores) and disembarks in Tual (Kei Islands). Click here for trip dates (weblink) and route map (weblink). Smaller dive itinerary coverage is also offered in our Banda Sea itinerary.
Sample Itinerary – Banda Sea
Diving in the Banda Sea offers some of the most unique diving adventures to be found in Indonesia. Once sought by Columbus and Marco Polo, the Banda Islands were the original Spice Islands and the most coveted destination on earth, particularly by the Dutch and Portuguese, who colonized the islands and exported the indigenous nutmeg and cloves. History tells of a violent past under colonial rule.
Now, the seas around these tropical paradise islands are coveted for their spectacular diving and snorkeling on some of the world’s richest reefs, unspoiled corals, and large pelagic fish. Steep drop offs, impressive hard coral and some fast currents make this area absolutely breathtaking. Schools of jacks are a familiar sight, as are large tuna, many turtles, Napoleon wrasse, groupers, rays, sharks, large lobsters and sea snakes. There are also special critter sites for the macro enthusiast including the chance to dive with unusual critters at sites around Ambon Bay. Along the crossing, it is possible to revel in the spectacle of thousands of seabirds, including the comical yet attractive frigate birds and boobies.
Enjoy a land excursion that covers the historical Banda Neira and surrounding islands. Visit the local museum and enjoy the art work and many antiquities from the Portuguese and Dutch. Learn about the land trade of the island of Run and Manhattan between the Dutch and the British. 150 steps or so up a hill and you will be intrigued by the old fort building design. Next, we head to the nutmeg and spice farm. Enjoy Tante’s homemade cinnamon tea accompanied with her secret recipe snacks and nutmeg jam . Fresh nutmeg jam, nutmeg and yours to order cinnamon sticks are for sale. On your walk back to the pier visit the old Dutch governor’s mansion “House of VOC”, which was recently converted to a hotel. Original master pieces including the 6 old tiles were restored and kept in it’s original location within the property.
Dive Gaia offers trip itinerary that embarks in Maumere (Flores) and disembarks in Ambon (Ceram). Click here for trip dates (enter weblink) and (weblink) for route map. Part of the Banda Sea itinerary is also covered in our Tual (Kei Islands) to Ambon (Ceram) itinerary and in our Ambon (Ceram) to Sorong(West Papua) itinerary.
Gaia - specsInquiry
Hull Type: Marine Steel
Engine: 2 Yanmar 829 bhp
Generator: 2 Kohler 80kw Power System (Shielded)
Fresh Water: 52,000 L
Desalination: 2 Spectra 2,800 Gallons/day system
Vetus Bow thruster
Cruising Speed: 10 knots
Max Speed: 12 knots
Fuel Oil Capacity: 66,000L
Range: 6,570 Nm
Furuno Open Array Radar
Icom Marine VHF Radios
HF SSB GMDSS Radios
Icom GMDSS Air Band Radios
ENC Marine Charts
Garmin GPS Chart Plotter
Intellian Satellite Broadband
Simrad Global Positioning System Compass
1,000 kgs Lift Crane
6 Upper Deck En-suite Rooms with balcony (approx. 20 sq.m)
5 Lower Deck En-suite Rooms (approx. 20 sq.m)
Independently Controlled Air-conditioning System
Modern Contemporary Design Saloon
Network Entertainment System
Top/Sun Deck and Bar
3 Bauer PE250 Compressors
1 550L 15kw Nitrox Membrane System
45 Scuba Tank: 12L & 15L Aluminium Tanks
11 Large compartmentalize camera rinse tanks
3 5.5m Aluminium Diving Tenders with 85hp OB
Large compartmentalize camera rinse tanks
Multiple rinse area on boat deck
Emergency DAN Oxygen Kits
First Aid Kits
4 Life Raft
Fire Detection System
Fire Fighting Equipment
GMDSS Air Band Radios
Gaia - divingInquiry
Raja Ampat diving
All our boats run fantastic Raja Ampat liveaboards of varying length visiting all the best places each with their own unique itinerary and features.
They are all different prices dependant on the length of the trip and standard of the liveaboard.
All our boats are liveaboards for people enthusiastic or serious about their diving but also welcome snorkellers and non-divers who will have their own separate itinerary." author: "Raja Ampat liveaboard
Raja Ampat (or the Four Kings) is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Misoool, Salawati, Batanta, and Wiageo which are surrounded by over 1,500 small islands and cays. Formerly known as Irian Jaya, this area is now part of the newly named West Papua province of Indonesia and is located on the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, on the island of New Guinea.
Put simply, Raja Ampat could quite possibly be the best diving in the world. It certainly is the world’s most bio diverse marine region with more recorded fish, coral and mollusc species than anywhere else on Earth. The variety of marine life can be staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs. In Mansuar, you may encounter large groups of manta rays and turtles. From the boat and often close to shore you may get the chance to don your snorkelling gear for some unforgettable interaction with resident pods of dolphins or even some passing whales. Other highlights include the innumerable war wrecks, both ships and planes (with new wrecks being discovered constantly).
The reefs of Raja Ampat are just as varied as the marine life. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, sea mounts, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles. The reefs are in pristine condition with miles of perfect hard corals and many varied colourful species of soft corals. The diving is predominantly drift dives due to the moderate prevalent currents in the area which provide nutrients for the myriad fish and coral. Currents are average to moderate and vary from none to very strong. Visibility is normally very good but can vary and is normally at its best earlier in the day so your pre-breakfast dives are not to be slept through!
This is truly “Frontier Diving”. Topside the beautiful islands stretch as far as you can see and are largely uninhabited. At night the lights of local fishing boats twinkle in the dark along the few inhabited shorelines while in more remote areas you may only see a distant spec of light over the entire horizon.
Not many liveaboards dive the Raja Ampat area, making this adventure even more unique and special.
Raja Ampat has a high season from October to May and weirdly enough it is during their rainy season due to the winds in the dry season making parts of the park inaccessable. The rainy season should not be mis-construed though. It is generally mostly a shower in the late afternoon and evening and most of the time the days are nice, wind is minimal and the skys are generally clear or slightly over cast. The seas are calmer at this time of the year as the oppposite season has winds that kick up waves and make it very difficult to dive the more exposed sites in the Southern part of Raja Ampat. The water temperature stays around the 27-30 degrees celcius mark all year round.
Recently due to the popularity of Raja Ampat a lot of boats have been running trips in the so called low season but this is also the dry season and so promotes nicer weather and better visibility but the trade of is that only the northern more sheltered part of the park is accessable but as the area is so vast and there are so many quality dive sites the reports from these northern trips have been glowing so far.
Diving in Komodo is not a new idea but recently it’s being recognised as a premier destination due to the awesome variety of diving to be had. Crystal clear water and dive sites where you never see another diver provide a little something for everyone whether it’s macro or massive you love. One day you can be crawling along the bottom looking at pygmy seahorses, frogfish and unusual nudibranch and the next you are in the big blue on an open water pinnacle as the mantas fly by, the sharks circle and the dolphins hunt and the next day diving a live volcano!! For sheer variety there is no better place on earth.
Komodo is one of the few places left in the world where sharks are not rare and down south is one of the places where manta rays have their legendary aggregations, meaning they are here in the area in their hundreds!!!
One of the highlights of these trips is the rare opportunity to walk with the lengendary Komodo dragons. These truly awesome beasts can reach 3 metres plus and can reportedly run at 20km an hour chasing their prey. It’s the icing on the cake, Stunning diving and one of the world’s last surviving dinosaur descendants all one amazing package.
Covering the best of both worlds, from up close and personal with aggragating mantas to shy pygmy seahorses and rare nudibranches Komodo diving has it all. The beauty of Komodo liveaboard diving is in the balance between the large and small animals. One day you will be in the blue swimming with mantas and sharks and the next swimming along a bubbling volcanic reef covered with venting submerged fumeroles blowing bubbles into the water and hiding one of the worlds best kept secret macro dive sites.
In North Komodo the water temperature is normally 27-29°C. Around Southern Komodo and Rinca Islands the water temperature drops can drop a bit to 22-26°C. A 5mm long suit is advised and hood and booties are strongly recommended for the southern area.
These are some of the top sites that most liveaboards visit.
Angel reef, Moyo, Sumbawa diving
We start our Komodo liveaboard with the first dive of the trip and the check out dive. This dive site doesn’t disappoint. A beautiful wall stretching down to 50 metres covered in hard and soft corals very reminiscent of Bunaken in North Sulawesi. Schools of bannerfish and trevally patrol the walls with the occasional reef sharks making an appearance. Ribbon eels hide in crevices and many different nudibranchs crawl over the vast elephant ear sponges that hang from the beautiful soft coral infested wall.
Satonda island bay
A protected bay on Satonda island north of Sumbawa hosts a treasure trove of macro critters, the more we dive here the more we find. The rare Denise pygmy seahorse lives in fans here, frogfish hang out in big barrel sponges and ghost pipefish hide amongst the featherstars that cover the reef slope. In the sandy bottom you can find jawfish with their mouths full of eggs, myriads of anemonefish, mushroom coral pipefish and spearer mantis shrimps.
Sangeang island diving
Sangieng island is a perfectly round volcanic island jutting up from the sea bed. Still active and last blowing in 1996 this well kept secret is one of the world’s finest macro dive areas. With diving available all around the island there is not one specific spot but always new ones to be discovered. Bubbles of volcanic gas seep through the sand creating a surreal atmosphere and a warm black sand bottom hosting rare and unusual nudibranch. Pygmy seahorses, frogfish, Pegasus sea moths and carnivorous shells and all common here, this is my personal favourite dive site as every time we dive here there is a surprise in store of something new that is often not in the books - this site is why you go Komodo liveaboard diving.
Gps point - Gili Banta diving
Gps point is an open sea mount prone to strong currents at certain times of the day. This provides prolific hard and soft coral growth that is home to hundreds of different types of reef fish. Loved by sharks, white tip sharks cruise around the whole dive in amongst the hunting giant trevallies and schooling jacks and surgeon fish, an exciting dive.
Takat Toko, Gili Lawalaut diving
This is one of my favourite sites on the Komodo liveaboard itinerary and is very similar to Gps point this site takes it to the next level. Grey reef shark, white tip sharks, occassional dolphins and a literal fish soup created by jacks, surgeonfish, giant trevallies and bannerfish surround this large sea mount as you hang on to the reef edge and watch the action. Again this site is prone to strong currents but we time our dives to hit around slack tide and a little current brings in the big fish. Great pelagic action, my favourite blue water dive.
Lighthouse reef, Gili Lawalaut diving
An adrenalin pounding drift dive along the wall and around the corner under the lighthouse. Sharks, mantas, dolphins are all frequent visitors on the dive with some of the best coral reef top in the area around the corner out of the current at the end of the dive you can hunt for porcelain crabs, cuttlefish and unusual seahorses whilst waiting for the adrenalin to funnel out of your system and your heart rate to return to normal-this is what Komodo liveaboard diving is all about!.
Crystal rock, Gili Lawalaut diving
A stunning soft coral and sea fan covered pinnacle with crystal water clarity this is a great site for those magazine cover wide angle shots. With at least 5 different types of angelfish, 4 types of trigger and butterflyfish everywhere it is a excellent reef fish dive with frequent visits from eagle and manta rays and the resident sleepy hawksbill turtle.
Pink beach, Komodo diving
Colder water and lower vis here due to the huge amounts of organic matter in the water due to the southern currents but this is more than made up for by the astounding life available to see here due to this phenomenon. Normally done as a night dive it also makes a good day dive with everything from white tip sharks to pygmy seahorses; zebra crabs, Coleman shrimp, many coloured frogfish, xeno crabs, Spanish dancers, and unusual nudibranchs are hidden amongst the dense coral growth.
Cannibal rock, Rinca island diving
Colder water than the north but touted by many as one of the worlds best 10 sites, yes I know there seems to be way more than 10 “top 10 sites” but this one really is one if you like macro. Everything is here even the rarest of the rare, the Rhinopias scorpionfish. It’s nudi heaven with only the special and the rare getting to appear here, more species than I care to mention along with large and different frogfish mixed in with schools of fish and the resident dopy turtle we do 2 dives here and it’s still not enough!! You will love it, I personally adore this dive site.
Torpedo alley, Rinca island diving
Just next to cannibal rock and where the boat moors is a beach that has wild pigs, monkeys and Komodo dragons in the daytime and hosts a myriad of critters in the waters in front if it at night. Named for the large amount of torpedo rays found here, a member of the electric ray family- no touching! They cover the sandy bottom along with loads of nudis obvious on the black sand bottom along with bizarre crabs and octopus.
Manta alley, Komodo diving
In the cooler waters in the south of Komodo there is a bay in which there are a series of pinnacles that seem to be a magnet for aggregating mantas. They are here in their tens, often we come up having seen over 20 different individuals. Often a little shy, their evasive spins and pirouettes makes the watching of them that much more enjoyable.
Takat Makassar, Komodo diving
This is our other manta site. A little bit more of a risk to see them as it is a huge area and we drift along the bottom in about 10 metres but along the way we always run into loads of turtles, napoleon and humphead wrasse, white tip sharks and very very occasionally you will be incredibly lucky and run into the resident dugong that inhabits this area along with scores of mantas as they migrate north.
3 sisters, Padar island diving
A series of underwater pinnacles reaching nearly to the the surface off the coast of Padar island next to Komodo this site constantly springs surprises on you from silvertip sharks and mobular ray schools to marbled rays and rare nudibranchs.
How to get to Raja Ampat
Sorong is the harbour town in West Papua and the normal departure point to dive Raja Ampat.
If you are unsure of how to get to Sorong to start your trip it will depend on where your international flight into Indonesia is landing.
We recommend flying to Jakarta or Bali to make your entry point into Indonesia and each has it’s pros and cons as explained below.
From Jakarta to Sorong with Garuda air is an over night flight arriving in the morning perfect for a pick up by your liveaboard crew at the airport.
The downside of this is that you may be awake most of the night before your board the liveaboard depending on if you sleep on flights but most boats cruise only on the first day so you can catch up on your sleep during the day.
Garuda currenlty also offers a 23K sports bag allowance which includes diving equipment on top of the usual 20 Kilos and bearing in mind it is Indonesia’s most reliable airline this is the one we recommend as you can also purchase the tickets yourself (most other Indonesian airlines won’t let you purchase tickets without an Indonesia creit card). Garuda JAKARTA - SORONG GA682 etd 00.30am eta 06.35am direct.
Flights from Bali to Sorong are not quite so simple and cannot be done in one day, you will need to fly from DPS (Bali) to UPG (Makassar) the day before your liveaboard and stay over night in Makassar in a hotel or guesthouse and then continue on with the UPG (Makassar) to SOQ (Sorong) flight the following morning, arriving the day of your liveaboard departure.
This ends up being perfect timing to be picked up on your arrival in Sorong at the airport to then be taken to the boat.
This takes longer but you might arrive more refreshed than the Jakarta rooute and of course you could always factor in a stay in Bali before or after your trip, this flight is also by Garuda airlines.
DENPASAR - MAKASSAR Garuda Indonesia GA620 etd 1720 eta 1855
MAKASSAR - SORONG Garuda Indonesia GA698 etd 0330 eta 0645
Recently Garuda, our recommended airline, has made it possible to purchase their tickets online and we recommend you take this approach as it is often cheaper than the set price we have to charge using other airlines and Indonesian flight agents.
Other airlines are cheaper but are not so trustworthy or have such good luggage allowances.
Again, we highly recommend TRIP and BAGGAGE insurance as well as diving insurance just in case something were to go wrong with your flights or luggage.
It is also possible to come throught Kuala Lumpur (KUL) in Malaysia to Denpasar (DPS) in Bali or Jakarta (JKT) with Malaysian Airlines and then join one of the above 2 options above to get to Sorong, here are the flights from KUL to Jakarta and Bali
by Malaysia Airlines
KUALA LUMPUR - DENPASAR MH715 etd 0900 eta 1205
KUALA LUMPUR - DENPASAR MH851 etd 1225 eta 1530
KUALA LUMPUR - DENPASAR MH853 etd 1500 eta 1830
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH713 etd 0720 eta 0830
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH711 etd 0855 eta 1015
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH717 etd 1000 eta 1120
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH721 etd 1345 eta 1505
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH723 etd 1610 eta 1735
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH725 etd 1750 eta 1905
KUALA LUMPUR - JAKARTA MH727 etd 2150 eta 2305
Premier liveaboard diving and its local flight agent can purchase the tickets on your behalf, however, in doing so, Premier liveaboard diving is only acting as an agent for the airline and is not responsible for, and can accept no responsibility for, cancellations, delays, schedule changes, or problems caused by the air carrier.