Which one is better to fully enjoy scuba diving this beautiful destination? Komodo liveaboard or day trips?
Both options are great for different reasons, unlike certain dive destinations where the dive sites are very well spread and often too far to reach on a day trip, there are almost no dive sites that you can’t visit with a day trip on Komodo.
So, in order to be able to determine which one is the best way to dive Komodo for you, we are going to go through some of the key aspects that you should consider.
Day trips are always cheaper than liveaboards. Let’s take our dive packages for instance. Let’s say you are going to stay 2 nights and dive 3 days.
Komodo Day Trips Cost for 3 Days/2 Nights:
Komodo Liveaboard Cost for 3 Days/2 Nights:
As you can see, there is an IDR 1.985.000 (USD 145) price difference between the two options. It is important to note though, doing a liveaboard also opens an opportunity to do night dives (4th dives), depending on the itinerary, so you will likely end up doing more dives with a liveaboard.
However, our liveaboard is very budget-friendly compared to many other boats that dive and cruise around Komodo National Park, so the price gap can be much higher!
Dive liveaboards are known to the boats where you sleep, eat and dive, and repeat. Food on a liveaboard is almost as important as the diving as you’re going to stay several days on a boat and do multiple dives a day, you want to be well fed and have a good variety of meals.
With liveaboards, you have your meals freshly cooked on the boat. Also, most operators tend to pay more attention to the menu as they know you won’t want to eat the same things every day!
This doesn’t mean that all the food on day trip boats is not good. In our case, we provide a lunch menu to our guests, so if you dive with us for several days you will still have a good selection of food.
However, you might hear from time to time, people complaining about how the food on day trip boats are very plain, or always the same every day. That won’t be coming from us for sure!
In the end, it comes down to how you select your dive tour operator as well. Bad food does exist on liveaboards too. So, choose carefully and don’t forget to check out other people’s reviews on how the food is with the tour operator you choose.
Obviously doing day trips provide more flexibility with your schedule. Perhaps, you don’t want to dive every day. Maybe you are happy with only 2 dives per day or would like to dive only certain area. Day trips might suit you better.
Liveaboards have more fixed schedules, with 3-4/dives already included in the schedule & rates, so this option definitely suits more avid divers who would like to do some intense diving.
Really, what is great about liveaboards is that you don’t lose time to travel to the dive sites, which means you can dive more often and relax on the boat afterward.
If you find diving (or snorkeling) all the time rather daunting than pleasant than you should ask yourself, what it is that you really expect from doing a liveaboard.
Our newly constructed day trip boat the Lumba Lumba is huge – about the same size as our liveaboard boat
Liveaboard boats are generally more comfortable than day trip boats because they are more spacious and are designed to receive guests for several days, so you will have more room to relax, etc.
Day trip boats can be comfortable too if you choose wisely. In our case, our day trip boat is huge–about the same size as our 21-meter liveaboard boat, so you won’t have an issue. But this isn’t the case with all day trip boats. For instance, we also offer day trips on speedboats which are perfect to get you to certain places faster and to explore smaller islands. But you won’t have as much space to relax.
Also, with day trips you will need to add a few extra hours to navigate from/to Labuan Bajo, while with liveaboards everytime you finish a dive you can just hit the sun deck and take a nap!
Komodo dive sites. Click on the image to enlarge.
For obvious reasons, it is easier to travel to dive sites that are located further away from Labuan Bajo with a liveaboard.
Yes, dive site options are not only about the distance but also about the weather, sea conditions, etc. But in any case, a liveaboard can get you to any dive site faster and easier than any day trip boat ever could.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR BEGINNERS: Some of Komodo’s best dive sites are known for the strong currents. Of course, it’s not always the case all the time, but there is a chance that if you’re a beginner and you’re joining a liveaboard, you won’t be able to dive all the sites — or at least not in the same group with more experienced divers. So any beginner must consult first with the tour operator if they’d agree to take you on their liveaboard trip and that you will be properly facilitated to dive Komodo safely (whether you choose to do a Komodo liveaboard or day trips, safety should be your priority anyway!).
It’s much easier to make friends on a liveaboard, as you will be spending several days and nights in a row with fellow divers
When it comes to being social, liveaboard wins hands down! On a liveaboard boat, you will be spending time for a few days straight with the same group of people. Diving, eating and relaxing together at night before bed.
With day trips, you only spend time until the evening, and you normally will just head back to your own accommodations. It’s also common that you will spend time with different groups of people every day, so bonding and making friends will be a bit tougher on a day trip than on a liveaboard. It all depends on your social skills too though!
The best option for you really depends on your budget, and what you expect to experience during your travel to Komodo Island. If sleeping, eating, diving 3-4 times/day and just relaxing is your thing and you can afford it, go for a liveaboard trip!
If you are a beginner diver, and perhaps a little bit nervous about diving in strong currents, it might be a better idea to take your time and plan your dives with day trips instead.
In the end, whether you choose to do a Komodo liveaboard or day trips, make sure you choose a good and experienced dive tour operator that puts your safety first, and would carefully select only the dive sites that are suitable for you!