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Dive Review of Kararu Voyager in
Indonesia/Komodo

Kararu Voyager, Aug, 2006,

by Bob & Doris Schaffer, CA, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports). Report 2744.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia; PNG; Solomons; Caribbean; Mexico; Galapagos; Red Sea; California; Micronesia;
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas currents
Water Temp 68 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments A totally secure dedicated photo area with lots of bench space and plenty of charging stations and away from wet areas but adjacent to and convenient to dive deck

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This trip was an 11 night Bali to Bima itinerary with much of the diving within Komodo Marine Park; it was a Light & Motion videography/photography workshop conducted by Dan Baldocchi and Michael Topolovac which was excellent for videographers and photographers at all levels. Michael and Dan are extremely knowledgeable and were always available for questions and assistance. The Voyager has been converted from a Norwegian auto ferry; it is big and stable in the water but not configured like a typical liveaboard which makes it somewhat inconvenient to get to the dive deck. But once there, the dive deck is spacious and the photo room is large and equipped with plenty of charging stations. Excellent and attentive divemasters, dive deck crew and tender drivers. The diving is done from three tenders that divers board with tanks on their backs, although for those who cant, the crew will happily put your tank in the tender and help you get set up. Diving is excellent; didnt see much in the way of big stuff (a few mantas and an occasional shark) but the variety of small critters and hard and soft corals and the proliferation of color are amazing. One incredible find was a 2-1/2-foot-long Spanish Dancer nudibranch. We experienced a significant amount of strong current diving, some of which was potentially dangerous and there was not enough discussion during the dive briefings of the nature of the current, the strength or severity of which was glossed over or downplayed. There seemed to be a disconnect between the needs of the photo/video workshop attendees (who expected calm water to focus on photography) and the boats adherence to its itinerary despite severe currents at pre-planned dive sites. The water temperature in the north was about 78 degrees and about 68 to 70 in the south. The boat crew/staff was attentive, friendly and anxious to please. For the most part, food was tasty; nightly dinners each had a different themeGreek Night, Japanese night, Indonesian night, etc., but food wasnt particularly plentiful for a bunch of hungry divers and between-dive snacks were sparse. Only two crew members were assigned to getting meals on the tables and since the food was prepared on the lowest deck but served on the upper deck, meals were often delayed and the service was slow and drawn out because those two guys were constantly up and down three flights of stairs carrying two or three dishes at a time and they had very little help. Cabins are comfortable; not particularly spacious but plenty of storage space. An annoyance is that towels are changed only every three days (not acceptable for a luxury liveaboard) but if you remember to ask, they will be changed more often. Two well-located staterooms that cost more and come with some perks like robes (which guests get to keep), a bottle of wine and a private computer (for email only) and bathrooms were spacious and had new and modern fixtures that worked. Trip included a hike on Rinca Island to see Komodo Dragons and a mini-tour of Bima on Sumbawa Island. This was our 32nd liveaboard trip so we felt we had a good basis for evaluating the trip and the boat.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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