Most people who make the decision to come to Indonesia, to do a liveaboard at the epicentre of the world marine biodiversity, have a specific destination in mind. Some come for Komodo, others Raja Ampat or the Banda Islands. Many of the liveaboard cruises that focus on these areas deliver a stunning experience and are undoubtedly the best way to see the whole of that region. However, there are other options…
When seasonal changes make it wise for a liveaboard to relocate between 2 of the bigger regions, unique ‘transit trips’ arise. The port of departure and the port of arrival may be in completely different parts of Indonesia. This means that the line-up of dive sites in between promises a very unusual and interesting combination of scuba diving. This may include some sites that are seldom, or possibly never before, dived. For example, between Raja Ampat and Komodo seasons, you might find an unusual itinerary like Raja Ampat, Banda Sea & Alor or Banda Islands & Flores.
Some liveaboards prefer to move around the archipelago more than others. These boats do not stay put in any given region for months on end. Instead their schedule is full of interesting trips that sample the delights of several different sub-destinations and cover a huge area of water between ports. A few of the more eye-catching routes out there include Ambon, Banda Islands, The Forgotten Islands & Alor; Ternate, Lembeh & Manado, Raja Ampat & Halmahera; and even Raja Ampat & Lembeh Strait. [More details on these dive sites: Indonesia].
Transit Trips - The classic transit trips in Indonesia include trips that allow liveaboards to relocate between Raja Ampat and Komodo, such as Raja Ampat, Banda Sea & Alor. These trips can be found by looking at the liveaboard schedules during the change of seasons. In April and May several boats relocate from Raja Ampat to Komodo, and they relocate again in the opposite direction in November and December.
Another common route between top spots is Raja Ampat to Ambon. These liveaboard trips can take place any time during the main Raja Ampat season. For some boats this means all year long, for others it means November to April. Other more unusual trips undertaken by Indonesian liveaboards that have a varied and far-reaching span of destinations can be found by browsing through the schedules, looking for the most exciting combination of regions.
Transit trips tend to be favoured by experienced and adventurous divers looking for something a little bit different. They often cover large areas so can be longer in terms of duration. It is not unusual for a transit trip to last anywhere between 9 and 14 nights.
Note that transit diving safaris are represented by boats within both our Komodo and Raja Ampat liveaboards sections.
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Special discounted trips highlighted in yellow
Indonesia's climate is quite even throughout the year. Much of the country is covered in tropical rainforest so unsurprisingly heat, high humidity and rainfall are all likely to be experienced. Dry season is May to September and wet season October to April. Around the coastal areas you can expect even temperatures of around 28°C or 29°C.
You can find more specific regional conditions and seasonal information throughout our website on destination-specific pages.
Ports of Departure and How to Get There
Transit trips between the seasons for Raja Ampat and Komodo normally depart from Sorong in West Papua. You can fly to Sorong direct from Bali, Jakarta, or via Ujung Pandang or Manado. These trips normally arrive in the port of Maumere on Flores. You can fly to Maumere direct from Surabaya, Bali and Kupang.
Transit trips involving Raja Ampat, Ambon & the Banda Islands use the ports of Sorong and Ambon. You can reach Ambon from Jakarta, Bali (often via Ujung Pandang) and Manado.
You can view which ports the various boats use on their trips in the 'Departures & Prices' section of each boat's webpage. We will send you full departure details during the booking process. Whichever ports your boat uses, normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand).
Most people fly into Indonesia to Jakarta (Java), Manado (Sulawesi) or Denpasar (Bali). More information on: how to get to Indonesia.
We recommend you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation:
Places to Stay
If you plan on staying in Indonesia before or after your diving safari, you can find a large range of accommodation options at hotelscombined.com, our affiliated hotel reservation specialists. Browse their website, use their on-line chat to ask questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:
All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.