Everyone just loved her! Find out how Emperor Raja Laut won hearts in Komodo

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Emperor Raja Laut

 

Emperor Raja Laut is a fabulous liveaboard sailing Indonesia. Welcoming just 12 guests, she recently hosted a group of pals who fell in love with her charismatic qualities. Not all were divers, some snorkelled and some just went horizontal. All were made to feel rather special and pampered with the crew and guides sharing their time, their knowledge, their diving tales and their flair for creating yummy food.

Read this write up from guest, John Murray, and a few photos from fellow guest, ABC cameraman, Ron Ekkel, who were part of the happy band.

 

"We arrived on Raja Laut on 22nd September where we were greeted by the cruise directors and the crew. All was ship-shape and the excitement was tangible.

Once all guests were settled on board we set sail from Labuan Bajo and cruised through the warmth of the evening for Gili Banta to the north west of Komodo.

The following day we were able to do some diving in Banta Bay and some great snorkelling for the non-divers in the group. That's the beauty of this area and Raja Laut, you can choose to dive or take it easy so ideal for a mix of friends.

Komodo

Although outside the National Park of Komodo the island is pristine and some of the dive sites offer fantastic opportunities to see critters and bigger pelagics.

After leaving Gili Banta we set sail for Sangeang volcano, an active volcano promising some of the most stunning diving in the region. We headed to lighthouse reef and its fringing reef with stunning soft and hard corals; again ideal for snorkellers and divers. After Lighthouse we visited the estuary also known as black magic thanks to the black sand with patches of sea grass and short corals; fantastic for muck diving, sea horses, frog fish and rare nudibranch. The shallows also makes it welcoming for snorkelling.

We also had a chance to dive the famous dive site called Hot Rocks, a beautiful site with black sand and vibrant coloured black coral bushes, feather stars, sponges and whip corals. Famous for the fields of volcanic bubbles, as the name of the site suggests, Hot Rocks was created by volcanic action.

From here we entered Komodo National Park, visiting the sites around Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Darat and dived at Golden Bay where we had plenty of reef fish and beautiful corals.

Woman in KomodoKomodo dragon

We had the chance to dive one of the famous dive sites here, Shotgun. As the name suggests this is not for the faint hearted, better dived on a falling tide. The currents take you at speed from around 10 metres up to 4 metres through a small gulley spitting you out the other side where you can be greeted by manta rays swimming in the currents (and giving you a virtual 'thumbs up').

On to central Komodo, we snorkelled at Mawan and then dived and snorkelled at Takat Makassar. The current wasn't strong so it was a gentle drift and the snorkellers were lucky enough to see a manta thanks to the eagle eyes and 'insider' knowledge of the crew who knew where to find them. Disbelief gave way to total delight as friends scrambled for the water to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

On the 27th, we headed further south down the Komodo Channel to Padar, which sits in the middle of the channel between Komodo and Rinca where we dived at the Three Sisters, three submerged pinnacles covered in soft corals, sea fans and sponges of all variety and colour. Also always a good chance to see the coral cat shark sleeping under the table corals in between the pinnacles. We also snorkelled at Atillas beach before trekking our way up to the summit of Padar to watch the sunset over Komodo and the Komodo channel; a bit of a hike but more than worth it for the spell-binding tranquillity and 'pinch-me' moments.

The next day we headed north to Siaba Besar island where we had the pleasure of diving with six large green turtles and a giant marbled grouper.

Beach, Komodo

During the trip we had plenty of chances for land excursions where we had drinks on the beach enjoying the sunsets and ticked the 'Komodo Dragons' box (not whilst sitting on the beach!).

A fine and truly memorable holiday and one that each of the twelve friends would repeat in a heartbeat."

 

 

» Discover more here and dream the dream.

 

 

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Bryony published on November 15, 2018 12:43 PM.

Direct Gatwick flights to the Maldives was the previous entry in this blog.

Red Sea sailings for Christmas and New Year is the next entry in this blog.

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