“When guests leave La Galigo, it’s like saying goodbye to loved ones” – that’s a quote from the social media of La Galigo Liveaboard, and there is no better way that I could sum up the experience.
Let’s face it, we all go on vacations and dive to get away from certain mundane parts of our daily reality, like the 9 to 5 grind, washing the dog, driving the kids to soccer practice… But the best dive vacay is when you feel like you have those things you value from home with you, in a carefree beautiful environment. Well that’s where La Galigo really strikes its mark. As soon as you step aboard it feels like you are diving with close friends and family, regardless of if you have made the trip to Indonesia solo, in a couple or with a group.
There’s something special about spending a week or two within the confines of a warm and homey wooden hull floating on the sea. It becomes your own little slice of the world for that period of time, as you bond close together with your new tribe. There’s a reason why La Galigo has such a high return guest rate, and that’s because people discover an experience with the crew and guests that cannot be replicated on many other Liveaboard’s.
I don’t think there’s any customer that has walked away from a charter without becoming besties with a crew member, followed by a long-lasting Facebook relationship of likes and lol’s. it’s the positive attitude, character and spirit of the crew that wins guests hearts and minds over and over again. Raja Lima – dancing away with his infectious bright white smile and always ready to serve at the drop of a hat in the restaurant. Young Arby strumming his guitar and singing hotel California out on the deck to the setting sun. Mr Fendy guiding you safely through the wonders of Raja Ampat to find the most microscopic and bizarre macro life, always happy to mentor budding photographers with his award-winning skills. Mr Kumis (Indonesian for Mr Moustache) the big grinning face the first thing you see when you break the surface after a dive, always on the spot to grab your gear and give you a hand back into the tender.
The locations La Galigo take you across the Indonesian Archipelago are also truly stunning. Raja Ampat, Komodo, Wakatobi and more. The best marine life the coral triangle has to offer combined with beautiful beaches and tropical balmy nights make Indonesia a divers paradise.
Tick one of the wonders of the world off your bucket list by visiting the giant Komodo dragons. Eat fresh BBQ cuisine straight from the glowing coals on the beach as you look up and marvel at the millions of stars in the sky.
Diving the Komodo Islands offers a scuba diver just about every type of tropical scuba diving imaginable – from warm, calm and colorful shallow reefs teeming with hundreds of reef fishes and crammed with Nudibranchs, Lion Fish, Scorpion Fish, Frog Fish and so much more, to current-swept deep cool water seamounts, walls and pinnacles patrolled by sharks, tuna and other big fish.
The diversity of marine life that you can see while diving Komodo rivals some of the best diving destinations in the world. Komodo is close to the world’s epicenter for marine diversity and you’ll see so much, that your underwater camera will be working overtime, just to keep up. La Galigo will take you to sites such as Shotgun, Golden Passage, Crystal Rock and many more.
While diving Raja Ampat North you will be amazed by the graceful oceanic Manta rays gliding effortlessly through the warm clear water, above – the lush green islands rise from the sea like giant mushrooms. Children smile and dance as the sun sets over tranquil villages, the perfect Segway into a stunning night dive under the islands jetty, with an astonishing abundance of nocturnal marine life.
These are the hall marks of diving Raja Ampat north. The north is as much an amazing cultural experience, as it is a diving phenomenon. Take a trip to the outpost of Wayag ranger station. Here you will meet the local men who patrol the area down to Kawe. They make their home in the jungle behind a picture perfect white sand beach. Here you can sit and watch swarms of Black Tip Reef Sharks circle your feet. On the other side of Wayag, Mt Pindito stands watch over the manta nursery lagoon below.
Diving Raja Ampat South brings booming currents washing over colossal seamounts rising from the ocean floor. Kaleidoscopic blooms of purple and orange soft corals. Schools of massive bump headed parrot fish, effortlessly devouring chunks of the reef. These are the sights while diving Raja Ampat South.
Here you get a real sense of the remoteness and untouched nature of West Papua. The diving hotspots of south east Misool have few resorts or villages nearby. Highlights of the area are some epic swim through caves, and fully submerged reefs that attract manta’s and sharks. Both species testament to the positive effects of conservation patrols provided by the local Misool rangers.
Southern Raja Ampat dive sites such as Magic Mountain, No Contest and Boo Windows, have given the region as much of a reputation for amazing epic underwater landscapes, as it has for amazing biodiversity of marine life.
Wakatobi is designated as an UNESCO Marine Biosphere Reserve. This means that while diving Wakatobi, you can see the greatest variety and diversity of marine life. You’ll not only see beautiful vistas or pristine coral reefs, but also abundant colorful reef fish and rare and unusual cryptic ‘critters’. New and undocumented species continue to be discovered regularly when diving Wakatobi.
Also known as the Tukang Besi Archipelago, the Wakatobi Marine National Park is the second largest Marine Park in Indonesia. Its four main islands are Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia and Binongko. Fast attracting a reputation as one of the top dive spots in the world, it’s hardly surprising as the islands enjoy some of the healthiest coral reefs you are likely to dive. Wakatobi has the largest atoll in the world (Kaledupa), which is home to some of the planets most bio-diverse marine life.
All trips include some non-diving activities too such as trekking, beach BBQ’s, village visits and just chilling out on the beaches.
As for the boat itself, she’s a 33-meter traditional wooden ‘Phinisi’ – an Indonesian design very similar to the Dutch schooners of their colonial past. Two masts with striking red sails proudly glide her along the waters, contrasting against her sturdy black Ironwood hull. The inside of the vessel is finished with warm tropical teak, creating a brightened and inviting interior.
You’ll find your relaxing ensuited and air-conditioned room below deck if you are in a Deluxe room, or up on the first deck if you are in a Master room or the Suite. All rooms have comfortable deep American spring mattresses and ample space to store your luggage. Room configurations vary from twins to doubles to cater for all guests. The Suite boasts the additional facilities of a 48” TV, bar fridge, lounge room and a private balcony with sun couch.
Between these two decks, you will find the floor deck with the Saloon for enjoying meals and relaxing with a book or some television. Also on this floor is the spacious dive deck, where you will find the ever-watching crew have all your gear ready to go for your next dive, before you even know it. The boat has its own Nitrox compressor onboard also, to ensure you a steady supply of Nitrox on any dives you wish.
Our head chef is a local from Manado that has been internationally trained and produces mouthwatering creations in local, Asian and Western style cuisines. There is a selection of beers and wines onboard, and all guests are encouraged to BYO as many spirits as they wish from the duty-free store… the crew are all pirates at heart and love rum 😉
La Galigo Liveaboard really is an amazing wholistic diving and cultural experience in Indonesia. The feeling you have walking away as a part of the La Galigo family at the end of the trip is hard to describe in a few words on this page. It’s a combination of the friends you make, the crew you love, the stunning landscapes and dive sites, and the beautiful Phinisi boat that makes La Galigo Liveaboard friends keep coming back time and time again.