Komodo Liveaboard: What to Expect + Top Recommendations

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On a Komodo Liveaboard, you can experience scuba diving in an entirely unique way. In this article, we will walk you through our experience on a Liveaboard dive trip in Indonesia and suggest some of the best Komodo Liveaboards for every budget.

Komodo Liveaboard Dragon Dive Komodo

If you dream of scuba diving in remote sites where you can spot the big stuff—manta rays, reef sharks and dolphins—a Liveaboard trip in Komodo National Park should be near the top of your bucket list!

Not only will you be able to experience some of the top dive sites in Indonesia, but you’ll be able to sleep beneath the stars, relax in the sun and make friends from all over the world.

This is a trip of a lifetime whether you’re a scuba diving junkie or relatively new to the sport. And whether you’re hoping to do a Komodo Liveaboard on a budget or enjoy diving in luxury, there is a boat for every budget. 

You can easily add a Komodo dive trip onto your travels in Bali since it’s just a short flight away.

We have done two Liveaboard trips now, and can’t wait to do it again (and again!). If you like scuba diving and are up for an adventure, we couldn’t recommend a Komodo Liveaboard trip highly enough.

In this article, we’re going to share our experience on a Komodo Liveaboard in Indonesia, so you know exactly what to expect. Plus we’re listing our top recommendations for Komodo Liveaboards for you to book your own epic diving experience.  

Psst! Wondering what a Liveaboard is? Here is everything you need to know about Liveaboard diving trips.

Komodo Liveaboard Guide

Here’s what we cover in this guide. Click on any of the links below to jump down to that section, or keep scrolling to get all the juicy details.

Our Komodo Liveaboard experience

After doing a Liveaboard in Thailand’s Similan Islands, we were hooked. Being able to wake up in remote parts of the ocean and dive at sites with few others is an experience that is unmatched. 

Story time! I’d like to start by painting you a picture…

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia

As our boat neared the dive site, everyone on board was preparing their gear. Masks were defogged, weight belts fastened and air pressure triple-checked.

Then someone spotted them: “Dolphins!” 

Just beyond the boat, two fins peeked out of the water for just a moment before disappearing into the depths below.

The possibility of swimming beside dolphins in these remote waters made everyone hurry to get geared up and into the water. Truthfully, I thought we’d seen the last of the dolphins, but as I descended into the water, equalizing my ears every few meters, I spotted them again. And this time, I saw more than just their fins.

All of us were there, suspended in the water, as these two beautiful creatures danced before our eyes. They swam in playful circles just meters in front of us, and we looked on in disbelief. 

When they finally decided to swim off into the distance, it was now all of us divers who were dancing, regulators in our mouths, and pure joy radiating through our masks.

And this was just the beginning of the trip — 1 of 15 dives, that is. On just that one dive alone, we saw dolphins, manta rays, schools of barracuda and a reef shark.

The Liveaboard trips to Komodo seem to follow a pretty similar itinerary, with stops at the national park to see the notorious Komodo dragons and the epic viewpoint hike at Pulau Padar. 

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia

For those who don’t dive, there are Komodo boat trips that follow a similar route as the Liveaboards, but just don’t include diving. Being that we got to do 3 dives a day AND some sightseeing, I felt like doing a Liveaboard was actually a great value.

This trip was 5 days and with 3 dives a day, this was by far the most dives either of us had experienced in a row

The dive sites were all quite different: some wall dives, two night dives, many with strong currents, and our personal favorite — a manta ray cleaning station where we counted more than 30 giant mantas! (Ben’s obsession with them started here, and led us to swimming with them in Nusa Penida, Bali and night snorkeling with mantas in Kona, Hawaii!)

Check out our video below for a little recap of the diving on our Komodo Liveaboard:

Komodo was our second Liveaboard, but it certainly won’t be our last! We’ve got sights set on all sorts of places, but one of the top on our wishlist is Raja Ampat.

Typical daily schedule

People joke that life on a Liveaboard consists of only 4 things: Dive, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.

And it’s kind of true. While every day is slightly different depending on the dives you are doing that day, a typical day for us on our Komodo Liveaboard looked pretty much like this: 

  • 6 a.m. Wake up around sunrise
  • 6:15 a.m. Coffee and light bites
  • 7:30 a.m. 1st dive of the day
  • 9 a.m. Breakfast
  • 9:30 a.m. Hang out on the sun deck
  • 11 a.m. 2nd dive of the day
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1 p.m. Nap and hang out on the sun deck
  • 2:30 p.m. 3rd dive of the day
  • 4 p.m. Afternoon snacks
  • 4:30 p.m. Relax and read
  • 6:30 p.m. Dinner and chat
  • 9:30 p.m. Early to bed so you’re ready to do it all over again 

Note: We did two night dives on our Komodo Liveaboard trip, so the other dives on those days didn’t start quite so early in the morning!

Dive gear

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia dive gear

As a guest on a Komodo Liveaboard, you will receive rental gear, though you are more than welcome to bring your own equipment if you have it. 

Generally included in your Liveaboard price is all equipment necessary for diving*:

  • 15 dives with an instructor
  • Diving equipment (excluding dive computers)
  • Excursions
    • hike to the viewpoint on Padar Island 
    • see the Komodo Dragons
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner for all days onboard
  • Coffee, tea, fresh drinking water, snacks
  • Private or shared room (depending on what you book)
  • Transport to and from Labuan Bajo

Not included: 

  • National Park fees
  • Dive computer
  • Alcohol (available for purchase)

*This may vary from boat to boat, depending on what you book. It’s a good idea to ask about diving gear before booking to make sure you understand all the necessary costs. 

Our Komodo Liveaboard boat

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia

Each Liveaboard boat is different depending on your destination and price point. The higher the price tag, the plusher you can expect the boat to be. But even the more affordable boats are still quite comfortable. 

Our Komodo Liveaboard boat was in the mid-range in terms of price. Let’s take you on a tour!


Our deluxe private room had a double bed, air conditioning, a few places to store our things, and a private bathroom. That was about it, but hey, what more do you need when you’re diving, eating and sunbathing most of the day?!

During our Komodo Liveaboard, the generator was shut off at night (aka no working AC), so sleeping on the top deck on a beanbag or hammock turned out to be much more comfortable. You get a nice breeze and a view of the night sky with no light pollution.


For some reason, I was more curious about the bathrooms than I was about the actual room itself when I was first looking into booking a Komodo Liveaboard. It totally depends on the boat you choose, but ours was quite nice.

We had a private bathroom inside our deluxe room with a flush toilet and— get this—a shower with WARM water (not hot, but I’ll take what I can get in the open ocean!). 

Toiletries, like shampoo and body wash, were not provided on this Liveaboard. This means it’s important for you to bring your own pH Neutral and biodegradable products because they will be washing into the ocean.

Common Spaces

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia common spaces

Every boat, whether luxury or budget, will have a couple of common areas to hang out and relax in. Our boat had a covered couch and table where we all sat at meals and in between dives. 

There was also a rooftop sun deck that had bean bags, a hammock and a mattress for lounging in the sun and chatting with other guests about your last dive.

You just gotta be careful that you don’t get too burned, because it’s not fun shimming into a wetsuit with sunburnt skin. I speak from experience!


Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia food

Considering our chef was cooking food for a large group (around 12 divers and 4 dive masters) while on a boat with limited space, we were pretty darn pleased with the meals that we were served family-style onboard.

We ate lots of local dishes like curries, seafood, grilled meat, noodles, rice and fruit.

In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, there was also an afternoon snack of smoothies and fried bananas to enjoy between dives.

Let’s just say, we had plenty to eat the whole trip!

Note: If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, let them know before your trip and they can accommodate you.

Other divers onboard

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia

Our particular boat was all men except me (Katie) and one other woman. We made fast friends and had a really wonderful time connecting with all the other guests on this boat! Most guests were in their twenties and early thirties, likely a reflection of the budget-friendly price point. Compared to the Liveaboard we did in the Similan Islands, this one was a bit more spacious and just a bit nicer

Why Komodo is a great Liveaboard destination

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia

Indonesia is home to some of the best diving in the world. And arguably one of the top (and relatively accessible) regions for diving in the country is in Komodo.

Komodo National Park is known for having somewhat strong currents, which make dives slightly more challenging than other places in the world, like Thailand, for example.

In Komodo, divers have the chance to see lots of big marine life such as manta rays, sharks and dolphins, just to name a few! And dive sites vary quite a bit: You’ll find pinnacles as well as sandy slopes, and there are plenty of drift dives as well as those where you’ll need to swim against the current.

Komodo dragons in Komodo National Park Indonesia

Another cool aspect of the Liveaboards in Komodo is many of the longer trips stop on land for a few excursions, like seeing the famous Komodo dragons and hiking to the stunning Padar Island Viewpoint (see that sweet sunset picture above?!).

Our Komodo Liveaboard experience was a great time for us to log dives, gain a ton of scuba experience and confidence, see all sorts of marine life, make friends, and explore seldom-visited parts of Indonesia.

Best Komodo Liveaboards

Diving in Komodo National Park is a very popular route for Liveaboards with options ranging from budget to luxury. You can also find voyages as short as 3 days and as long as 11 days.

Whatever your preferences for your Komodo Liveaboard experience, we have recommendations for every budget level. 


Sokaraja Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia
Image source: Liveaboard
  • Length of voyage: 4 and 5 days
  • Ship size: Up to 10 guests
  • Cost: starting at $155 USD / day
  • Destinations: Central/North Komodo

Explore Komodo National Park on this excellent budget Liveabaord experience. You’ll have the opportunity to be diving with giant manta rays, reef sharks, and turtles, and discover fascinating critters like flamboyant cuttlefish, seahorses, and frogfish during macro night dives. 

Onboard the Sokaraja, accommodations cater to every budget; from a 6-bunk dorm room to two private double-bed cabins. All guests share two toilets and three showers with running freshwater. 

Freshly prepared Indonesian cuisine is served buffet-style in the open-air dining area, offering stunning views of Komodo’s dramatic landscapes. The top deck features a large open sundeck with comfortable sunbeds, perfect for relaxing between dives or stargazing at night.

Ikan Biru 

Ikan Biru Liveaboard Indonesia
Image source: Liveaboard
  • Length of voyage: 4-13 days (hop-on-hop-off)
  • Ship size: Up to 8 guests
  • Cost: starting at $186 USD / day
  • Destinations: Komodo National Park

This unique Komodo Liveaboard offers a “hop-on, hop-off” concept allowing guests to stay on the Ikan Biru for 3 to 12 nights, exploring Komodo National Park at their own pace. When you’re ready to disembark, you can hop on a dinghy to take you to shore. 

The Ikan Biru accommodates up to 8 guests, sleeping under the stars on the top deck. Guests will share two bathrooms with hot freshwater showers below deck. Every morning, the onboard chef bakes fresh bread and can cater to specific dietary needs upon request. 

The spacious upper deck is ideal for relaxing between daytime dives and transforms into a comfortable dining area before it becomes your sleeping area at night. 

Good to know: The Ikan Biru is exclusively for Advanced Open Water divers, but you can also obtain your AOW certification and other diving courses on board. 

Amalia Komodo

Amalia Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia
Image source: Liveaboard
  • Length of voyage: 4, 5 and 6 days
  • Ship size: Up to 11 guests
  • Cost: starting at $218 USD / day
  • Destinations: Komodo National Park 

This 29-meter (95-feet) phinisi-style Komodo Liveaboard offers seasonal diving itineraries in both North and South Komodo. 

The boat features 5 naturally ventilated cabins: 2 en-suite double cabins, 2 twin bunk rooms, and 1 family cabin, with shared bathroom facilities for the twin and family cabins.

Itineraries onboard the Amalia Komodo include 11 dives (with a night dive!) and trekking adventures on land to see Komodo Dragons, Pink Beach, and the Padar Island hike. There are also opportunities for snorkeling, paddleboarding, and relaxing on the spacious sun deck.


Adelaar Liveaboard Indonesia
Image source: Liveaboard
  • Length of voyage: 7 and 12 days
  • Ship size: Up to 8 guests
  • Cost: starting at $454 USD / day
  • Destinations: Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat and the Banda Sea

Let experienced dive guides show you the best dive sites and colorful marine life aboard this beautifully crafted 39m Dutch Schooner. The relaxed atmosphere, luxurious ship and quality of diving when combined make Adelaar Liveaboard the best luxury Liveaboards in Indonesia.

Each of the onboard staterooms feature air conditioning, en-suite marble bathrooms and flat screen televisions. The trained chefs onboard will prepare delicious Indonesia and western cuisine to keep your bellies full in between dives.

Looking for a Liveaboard elsewhere in Indonesia? We’ve put together a guide to Liveaboards in Indonesia, including our top Liveaboard recommendations for every budget.

Best time to do a Komodo Liveaboard

Komodo National Park Indonesia

The amazing thing about doing a Komodo Liveaboard is that the national park is accessible all year round and the diving is good in every season

The best time for diving is during the peak season in Komodo from April to November when the weather is dry and visibility is highest (often exceeding 30m/100 ft!). However, your chances of spotting mantas increase from December through February when plankton blooms and large numbers of mantas are abundant. 

The months of September and October are also good choices if you want the opportunity to witness the impressive underwater phenomena of the annual coral spawning.

During the opposite of high season in Komodo, it is a good time to do a Liveaboard in Raja Ampat, Indonesia’s other diving hot spot. 

Best Komodo Liveaboard dive sites

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia scuba diving with manta

There are all different lengths of Komodo Liveaboards, the most popular being 3-day, 4-day and 5-day trips. The longer the trip, the more remote the sites you’ll visit.

Each Komodo Liveaboard has a rough itinerary, but the sites will change depending on the tides and weather. They will try their best to get you to the top sites if the currents and other factors are working in your favor. 

Here are some of the best dive sites we visited on our Komodo Liveaboard:

  • Manta Alley: This is one of the most famous sites in Komodo, and for good reason. You are almost guaranteed to see manta rays as they hang out in a cleaning station. This was one of our most memorable dives in Komodo!
  • Manta Point: While the dive site itself isn’t anything too special — sandy spots and broken corals — you have the opportunity to see tons of manta rays. Our guide counted 33 when we were there! This is also a popular site for day trips and snorkelers.
  • Batu Bolong: One of the favorite sites in Komodo, Batu Bolong means “hole in the rock”, and gets its name from an arch in the pinnacle that sticks out of the water. Visibility is typically excellent and you’ll see tons of life on this dive.
  • Yellow Wall: This sloping wall is somewhat yellow in color from the corals, sea cucumbers and other marine life that calls this place home. It is teeming with smaller marine life, like nudibranchs, but is also a good place to spot schools of fish.
  • Siaba Besar: Perhaps not as famous as those mentioned above, but this site was one of our favorites, as the visibility was great, coral was healthy and we saw tons of big sea turtles.

Looking for more diving in Indonesia? Why not check out Amed, Bali, the off-the-beaten-path slice of paradise on Bali’s east coast, known for excellent scuba diving.

How to get to Komodo, Indonesia

Komodo Island Indonesia

All Komodo Liveaboards will start their voyage from the seaside town of Labuan Bajo, located on the west side of Flores island.

The easiest way to get to Flores is to fly into Bali (Denpasar airport – DPS) and then catch a domestic flight to Labuan Bajo (LBJ). 

Looking to get more out of your travels? Read our recommendations for unique things to do in Flores, Indonesia that go beyond Komodo National Park.

What to pack for a Liveaboard

Figuring out what to pack for a scuba Liveaboard can be tricky… you want to be prepared, but you definitely don’t want to overpack when you’re going to be living in tight quarters. There are some definite musts that you don’t want to forget, and even more things that you should just leave on land.

We’ve taken all the guesswork out of packing for you and compiled a complete Liveaboard packing list so you don’t forget any essentials on shore. Oh, and it’s totally FREE!

Liveaboard Packing List | Two Wandering Soles

Don’t forget about travel insurance!

World Nomads provides coverage for adventure activities like scuba diving that aren’t usually covered (read the fine print!) in typical travel insurance policies. We recommend getting their short-term trip coverage (on top of your regular travel insurance plan) if you plan on doing a Liveaboard diving trip. 

Get an instant quote on World Nomads right now, it’s that simple! It’ll take less than 3 minutes. 

Are you interested in Liveaboard diving and want help planning your trip?

We have some great resources for you!

Komodo Liveaboard Indonesia boat

Planning a Liveaboard Diving Trip

From the diving equipment to the bathroom situation, here’s everything you need to know about planning a Liveaboard diving trip. We’ll walk you through a typical daily schedule and clue you in on what to expect for the onboard experience. Plus we’ll include some expert tips and insider advice we wish we would have known before our first Liveaboard. 

Indonesia Travel Guide

Be sure to look over our Indonesia travel guide to get quick advice on everything from the local currency to key words and phrases you should know. Browse our extensive article library for tips and advice on traveling to destinations all over the country. 

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Komodo Liveaboard Diving Guide
Komodo Liveaboard Diving Guide

We want to hear from you!

Are you interested in doing a Komodo Liveaboard and still have questions? Leave your comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (9) on “Komodo Liveaboard: What to Expect + Top Recommendations

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Demi! Diving in Komodo was incredible! And going on a liveaboard is, in our opinion, the best way to do it!

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Yana, liveaboard diving in Komodo is great because you not only get to go diving, but you’ll get to explore the land as well. I think we saw liveaboard for 3 days, but we would recommend at least 4 days/3 nights so you could get in as many dives as you can.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Diving in Komodo National Park was a dream come true, Renuka! It was fantastic and we would highly recommend it!

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