Liveaboard excursions are some of the most authentic experiences available to trained scuba divers. As the name implies, it’s a boat on which you can live for days or weeks at a time. Liveaboard diving trips encapsulate the ultimate escape. You’ll venture far offshore towards the horizon with just invited guests and crew as company. The extended stay gives us what we’re all in search of: time well spent. You’ll get a chance to truly immerse yourself in the culture and aquatic life.
WHY A LIVEABOARD?
Sights rarely seen by the public eye are at your fingertips, on your time. Liveaboards take you to remote diving sites for ultimate privacy and focus on the incredible wildlife. With all the necessary equipment and crew right in front of you, you’re able to take advantage of multiple dives per day at different times. Variances in sunlight and temperature will expose different kinds of species and their unique behaviors. You are but a bystander as they live freely before your eyes. It is one of the greatest expressions of untouched nature you’ll find.
When you return from your dives, you can enjoy meals featuring local specialties and relaxing amenities like hot tubs. We guarantee there’s not a sunrise or sunset like the ones you will wake up and fall asleep to while on board. You’ll see unobstructed views of skies bursting with colors as vibrant as the creatures below. There’s definitely nothing boring about living a boarding life.
WHERE CAN I GO ON A LIVEABOARD?
Ultimate Dive Travel has an exciting, new opportunity in store for divers aboard the Gaia Love Boat in Indonesia. The Gaia, meaning “Mother Earth,” represents a new breed of Indonesian liveaboards that are designed specifically for sailing and exploring the wonders of Earth. Ultimate Dive was the first American wholesaler to check out the liner in person. We were immediately impressed by the amount of detail that has gone into customizing the boat according to divers’ needs.
The 40-meter vessel breaks convention from the traditional wooden “pirate” sailing boats that every other liveaboard company in Indonesia uses. The Gaia is made of sturdy steel, which increases stability and creates smoother sailing. Its modern and contemporary design accommodates 20 guests in 11 ensuite rooms throughout the upper and lower deck. All six upper deck rooms also have an additional private balcony to soak in the sun and picturesque views.
When it comes time to diving, the Gaia is equipped with first-class amenities. There is a dedicated camera room for the preparation and maintenance of underwater camera equipment, plus a lounge with a premier entertainment center for relaxing in between dives. The dive deck off the rear of the boat can hold 20+ divers and houses 11 rinse tanks. Two 5.5 meter diving skiffs are always ready for divers to board easily and safely.
EXPLORING THE AQUATIC LIFE
As if this wasn’t enough to convince you, the amount of marine life you can see is astounding. Here are some of the species you could possibly run into:
Manta rays are some of the most anticipated species to see in the wild — and with good reason!
This massive form of ray is a far cry from the stingray, outside of their appearance. Manta rays can grow as large as 12 feet across and a wingspan of nearly 23 feet long. Mantas are quite literally the “social butterflies” of the ocean, living a pelagic life (in large groups) and traveling in cloud-like formations. If you end up seeing a long line of manta rays, you might be catching males in the act of trying to win a female’s heart. Mantas mate in a prolonged courting process, led by the female. Males are put to the test by essentially chasing the female in a “mating line.” The one that wins the race, wins her. Sometimes, animals are not so different from humans after all.
Nudibranchs are sea slugs known for their technicolor skin. They’re bottom-dwellers, so the only way to see them up close is to dive right down and meet them at their level. It’s odd to think that some of the most beautiful colors and patterns would appear on a lowly sea slug, but that is the beauty of nature in and of itself! Their distinct colors are actually indicative of their food — they literally are what they eat, which helps them camouflage against predators. They even keep some of the foul odors and poisons of their prey and secrete them as a defense against their predators.
Pygmy seahorses are the most recently identified type of seahorse; they weren’t even known until someone placed one in captivity and finally got a second glance. Like a pygmy horse on land, these are simply mini versions of the (already petite) normal-sized seahorse that grow just up to ¾ of an INCH. You can find these critters hanging onto reefs to steady themselves. Their size already makes it hard for them to travel far without getting swept up, so they attach to hosts like coral for survival. Spotting a group of these tiny animals makes for a great photo op.
Ghost pipefish are the ocean’s masters of disguise. Known for their distinct, elongated snout, they are another kind of small fish with paper-thin fins that create optimal camouflage. There are multiple variations of pipefish in the seas, including solid colored and patterned. As infants, some are nearly translucent, which makes it even more thrilling of a sight.
This fish’s name comes from their strange coloration, which are akin to the robes of an Imperial Chinese Officer. They also echo the Chinese heritage with their body shape; their more prominent head and jutting fins resemble a Chinese dragon. Hues of blue, yellow, orange, purple, and green with swirly orange lines cover the fish. Their flamboyant outward appearance is a direct contradiction to their reclusive nature. They are occasionally squirming from reef to reef, so be sure to have your cameras ready!
In addition, the Gaia Love Liveaboard cruises all of the top areas of Indonesia’s incredible coral triangle. You will never get bored on these trips!