The Dewi Nusantara is one of the largest liveaboard vessels in Indonesia. Its master stateroom is currently the most spacious on any dive boat and evokes the romance of a bygone seafaring era while providing the space of a large hotel suite with the latest in modern design and amenities. The vessel, newly built in 2007, is a solidly constructed wooden three masted schooner. At 57 metres (188 ft) in length, she is truly a large yacht, providing plenty of space for a total of only 18 passengers.
Dewi Nusantara - What's in the name?
Dewi Sri, or Shridevi is the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese pre-Hindu and pre-Islam era goddess of rice and fertility, still widely worshiped on the islands of Bali and Java.
Nusantara is an Indonesian word for the Indonesian archipelago. It is originated from Old Javanese and literally means "archipelago"
Dewi-Nusantara = Goddess of the archipelago! How fitting!
Dewi Nusantara is equipped with a nice salon and restaurant. Dewi Nusantara is fully air-conditioned and it has a big sun and dive deck, which is excellent for relaxing after the dives.
Meals prepared by the onboard chef consist of an international mix with local flair. There is in-room morning coffee service, breakfast cooked to order, buffet lunch and an elegant meal at dinner with table side service plus several snacks throughout the day. Non-alcoholic beverages, local beer (limited selection) and one glass wine with dinner are complimentary while onboard. Non-alcoholic beverages includes fruit juices, soft drinks, plenty of iced water, tea and coffee. Fresh milk may not be available, although UHT long life milk is provided onboard.
On board there are 9 staterooms for 18 passengers. All of the staterooms are larger than traditional staterooms (at 180 sq.ft. each, more than 60% larger than an average liveaboard cabin) and each cabin has private ensuite facilities and air-conditioning. The 470 sq.ft. Master cabin at the stern of the main deck features a king size bed, separate sitting area with a sofa, and table with chairs that reminds guests of the captain quarters from the schooner design that inspired her.
Dive operation and service
Almost all diving on Dewi Nusantara is done from the two tenders. The twin tenders are specially designed to take local conditions into consideration - each 25ft/8m long and powered by a 200 hp 4 stroke engines. They have electric starters and are driven from the front leaving most of the interior free for divers to suit up comfortably and set up their cameras. Each craft has its own oxygen unit, VHF radio, shot & stern lines, and electric bilge pumps etc.
There is always 2-3 dive masters per tender as well as a driver and an assistant. On dive days, up to four dives will be offered. Dives are usually accompanied by a dive instructor after a detailed briefing.
West Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, occupies the western half of the same island as Papua New Guinea. This is one of the most remote areas in the far northeast of the Indonesian archipelago. It takes a little patience to get there, with flights connecting from Manado, Makassar (South Sulawesi) or Ambon (Molukkas).
The reefs of Raja Ampat are just as varied as the marine life. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, sea mounts, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles. The reefs are in pristine condition with miles of perfect hard corals and many varied colourful species of soft corals.
The diving is predominantly drift dives due to the moderate prevalent currents in the area which provide nutrients for the myriad fish and coral. Currents average moderate and vary from none to very strong. Due to these currents and the number of wrecks, Irian Jaya is not really considered a destination for absolute beginners, rather for divers with a few dives under their weight belts looking to get away from the crowds.
Many of Dewi Nusantara's guests are avid photographers who like nothing more than hunting out weird and wonderful critters on the reef and sand. As part of the enhanced Komodo itinerary, two locations to the west of the Komodo National Park have been added – Sangeang Indonesia, an island volcano to the north of East Sumbawa and Bima Bay Indonesia, an inlet that meanders down to Bima town on Sumbawa. There are two specific sites in both of these areas that are producing a dazzling array of rare creepy crawlies on a regular basis – “Estuary” on Sangeang and “Fuzzy Bottom” at the entrance to Bima Bay.
Vibrant local cultures, Komodo Dragons, colorful coral reefs and abundant marine life are amongst the highlights of a Komodo cruise with Dewi Nusantara.
Dewi Nusantara visits several regions within Indonesia, amongst those are Raja Ampat, Komodo, Forgotten Islands and Banda Sea.
Liveaboard diving does not get any more comfortable.