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Dive Review of Adelaar in
Indonesia/Komodo

Adelaar: "A clumsy live-aboard with historical past.", Oct, 2015,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 81 reports with 48 Helpful votes). Report 8538 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This 10-day Komodo trip left from Bali, which saved the hassle and extra expense of flying to Labuan Bajo to catch the boat. On the way out, we dived at Satonda and Banta Islands and on the return trip, dived at Sangeang and Moyo.

The Adelaar was built in Holland in 1902 and was initially converted to a dive boat in 1993. It underwent further renovation in 2008. The owner is attempting to maintain the historical integrity of the vessel while operating a first-class live-aboard. Therefore, some compromises are apparent especially pertaining to the dive operation.

The forward section of the boat is elevated from the deck by about 30" with only one small sidestep to use to climb to and descend from this oft-used area. The access can be quite awkward especially if the seas are choppy or if carrying anything. This elevated area is where the outside dining table is located but also doubled as an impromptu camera table.

It was a real disappointment to discover that there is no dedicate camera table nor dedicated camera rinse tanks. Quite unusual for a boutique dive live-aboard. Cabins 1-3 are large enough to handle cameras and battery charging. I was a single guest in cabin 4 that did not have such space. So I commandeered a small desk area in the below-deck hallway for this purpose.

The boat had 2 small fresh water rinse tanks that were NOT dedicated solely to cameras. These tanks ofter had masks, pointers, gloves, etc., in them. Also, they were large enough for only one large camera rig.

Initially, the boat did not have a rinse tank for wet suits. After a couple of days, a tank was provided with divers rinsing their own gear.

The Adelaar is beautifully appointed with a teak interior. Cabins have large LCD screens with access to a large inventory of movies and music.The cabins/bathrooms were clean with good lighting. The shower at times was a bit lacking in hot water. Food was tasty and plentiful with both Indonesian and Western food provided. Soups and desserts were especially tasty.

The dining area is a booth that seats 6. We had 7 guests plus the cruise director. So 2 guests always had to eat apart at a separate table in the cabin area. The booth was ill-designed so that a wing had to be raised/lowered for people to come or go. A bit awkward.
No alcohol was included the basic fare. The boat applied a fuel surcharge of 60 Euros because, as I understand it, Indonesia had stopped the fuel subsidy. I later learned that the fuel subsidy had not applied to private, live-aboard boats. So I am still not sure what the deal is with fuel surcharge. There was no boat apparel available for purchase.

Regarding the dive operation, after a very thorough dive briefing, divers don gear from the raised deck area. It is quick and easy. Then load into the dive skiffs. Most dives sites were less than a 10 minutes skiff ride. Divers were in 2 small groups of 3 and 4 divers; each with a dive guide. Only one skiff had a dive ladder, so the divers in this skiff had to fin kick to get back on board, Upon return to the Adelaar, the crew would unload the dive gear including the cameras that were sometimes carelessly placed in the catch-all rinse tanks. I'm guessing this is how a lens filter got scratched.

The dive guides were familiar with the dive sites and fairly good critter-finders. We had a couple of brief encounters with manta rays but otherwise no large critters. We had plenty of photo ops with the other usual Indo-Pacific marine suspects -- turtles, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, crustaceans, pipefish, eels, stargazers, reef fish, etc.

This is a comfortable boat with a friendly, helpful staff. It's advantage is that it departs from Bali. I would consider another trip on the Adelaar if it rectifies the camera rinse situation.

Websites Adelaar   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport Denpasar, Bali Getting There Can make international connection thru several cities -- Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Inchon.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 72-82°F / 22-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No dedicated camera table and no dedicated camera rinse tanks. Crew sometimes careless in handling camera gear. No dedicated battery charging area.
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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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