Indonesian island-hopping on a luxury live-aboard

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

Imagine sailing the blue waters of Indonesia on a luxury cruise, stopping off at various islands to swim with majestic manta rays, curious dolphins, assertive reef sharks, and bravely roaming the earth with beastly Komodo dragons. Well, now you can with the Nyaman Luxury Komodo Cruise. Curious to learn more about the vessel and its jam-packed itinerary? Keep reading...

The Nyaman Luxury Komodo Cruise

Launched in 2016, the Nyaman Luxury Komodo Cruise is the most lavish, comfortable, and professionally run charter boat that offers ocean expeditions navigating the marine-rich waters of the UNESCO World Heritage Komodo National Park in Indonesia.

With a choice of five-day and seven-day cruises, the luxury vessel offers an action-packed itinerary of activities, guaranteeing an adventure to remember.

Spanning 32 metres, the Nyaman Boat teams modern luxury furnishings with Indonesian tradition, treating guests to a five-star sailing experience like no other.

The cruise is a favourite of divers, as there are many jaw-dropping diving spots to stop off at. However, non-divers will fall in love with the trip too, as long as they’re comfortable snorkelling in open water.

Seven cosy cabins feature ensuite bathrooms that sleep up to 14 people, all of which are available to couples, families, or groups.

In addition to the cabins, two large and airy decks open out to the ocean. That means guests can gaze out to the horizon to soak up the natural beauty of Komodo National Park as the charter cruises past lush green islands and looming mountain peaks. There are also living areas onboard that are crafted to provide maximum comfort to guests.

Of course, there will always be a discreet, efficient, and professional crew onboard to make sure the experience is nothing short of amazing.

Sounds pretty great, right? It gets better. Let’s look at the highlights of the itinerary. 

Observe Over 5,000 Flying Foxes Leaving Their Cave to Hunt

On day one, you’ll meet locals on Lesa Island, home to a charming fishermen’s village to choose a lobster for supper. Then you’ll cruise to Sebayur Kecil, an island famous for its tropical beach and perfect sunsets. Dip into the sparkling turquoise waters and explore the vibrant underwater world beneath the surface that’s thriving with colourful coral reefs. Keep an eye out for the iconic clownfish and other bright species of fish.

However, the highlight of day one isn’t until the evening. As sunset begins to draw in, await on Kalong Island to watch in wonder as more than 5,000 flying foxes – the world’s largest bat - swoop from their nests, dispersing from one another to hunt for fruit for the night as a sole ranger. The dark figures contrast beautifully against the pinky hue of the sunset as they flap against the sky.

Walk Side-By-Side With Komodo Dragons

On day three, you’ll share the earth with the ancient Komodo Dragons, the largest lizards that roam the planet – if you dare that is. Endemic to Komodo National Park, these giant creatures instil fear into locals and visitors alike, and for a good reason.

Not only are Komodo dragons sharp hunters, but their saliva is extremely venomous. Even if a victim manages to escape their deadly jaws, the venom slowly and painfully paralyzes and kills them, usually within a day.

Did we mention that they’re cannibalistic too? Yikes.

The good news is that you’ll be seeking out the creatures with knowledgeable rangers that know the park – and the dragons – like the back of their hand. Follow the ranger’s strict instructions and you should be able to survive another day. 

Swim With Manta Rays, Sharks, Dolphins, and Turtles

Throughout your luxury cruise, you’ll stop off at different islands and swimming spots that are renowned for snorkelling and diving.

On day two, you’ll sail to Gili Lawa Darat, a famous diving spot where you have the chance of sharing the waters with huge fish, schools of jack, and many species of bright and beautiful tropical fish.

Day four brings another highlight of the trip and you’ll stop off at the aptly named Manta Point to seek the majestic creatures that drift peacefully through the waters. Seeing the gentle beasts up close is a remarkable experience, and you may even spot several cruising the waters simultaneously.

Ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins in the wild? Of course you have. On day five you can do exactly that, as you stop off at Gili Lawa Darat’s lake-like bay which is a playground for pods of dolphins and slow-moving sea turtles.

On the same day, brave the waters to swim with reef sharks that frequent the waters of the famed Crystal Rock. If you’re lucky, you may even swim side-by-side with an enormous manatee, affectionately known as the ‘sea cow’ of the ocean.

Lie on the Sands of Pink Beach

Don’t worry, there’s some beach time too. Not just any beach time either.

Day three will see the Nyaman Cruise reach the dazzling pink beach where, as you guessed, the soft sand is a dreamy hue of pale pink. Take the time to relax from all that swimming and exploring, or if you want to continue your streak of adventure, head into the aquamarine waters for more snorkelling.

Become a member to join the conversation!

Become part of the world's leading travel & lifestyle community!