MV Empress II is a unique budget liveaboard option in Indonesia. This is a rough and ready option, built for exploration, wreck and technical diving, offering great dives in Raja Ampat and the Komodo National Park.
These trips are not aimed at tech divers but at general recreational divers on a budget. Tech trips are operated by Empress II in the Java Sea. This is a steel-hulled 24m long motor yacht which can take 10 divers (13 for full charter) in a range of 5 lower deck cabins, mostly with shared bathrooms. Socialising and dining activities can take place in the liveaboard's open-air shaded area, shish lounge, wheel room and sundeck. Saloon entertainment facilities include TV, DVD, music system and computer. Guests can also relax on sun mats or bean bags to work on their tan.
There are many unusual features on MV Empress II including an electric dive lift, rebreather compatibility, long hoses and a defibrillator. However such features do not suggest that this is a deluxe liveaboard option. It is a simple, no-frills cruise option for those on a tight budget who want to dive some of the awesome Indonesian dive sites in Raja Ampat and Komodo National Park.
Dive experience: The standard minimum is 12 logged dives and AOWD licence. In case of more challenging trips like Sorong-Triton Bay and Ambon-Maumere, a minimum of 30 dives and AOWD licence is the standard.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, transfers to/from the boat from airport and nearest hotels, dives (as detailed in the trips above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s), tanks, weights and weightbelts.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Nitrox for EANx-certified divers (US$ 5 per fill), scuba equipment (US$ 30 basic set per day), dive insurance, harbor & park fees (Komodo: US$ 170 , Raja Ampat: US$ 200). 15 Lt tank (US$ 5 per tank). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash only).
Optional extras: Alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, torch, dive computer, SMB recommended. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: Komodo: MV Empress II operates from Labuan Bajo. You can fly direct to Labuan Bajo from Bali. Raja Ampat: The liveaboard departs in the afternoon from Sorong in West Papua. You can fly directly to Sorong from Jakarta, Ujung Pandang (Makassar) and Manado. From Bali there are convenient connections via Ujung Pandang (Makassar) and Manado. Triton Bay: Cruises beginning or ending here use the port of Kaimana in the south of West Papua, which you can fly to from Ujung Pandang (via Ambon), or from Sorong. Flores: Fly direct to the port of Maumere from Bali (or via Makassar from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur). Ambon/Banda: Fly direct to Ambon from Jakarta (or from Sorong or Surabaya).
For more information see our travel information section. We can assist with domestic flights if necessary. There is a transfer service from the local airport to and from the boat.
Check-in is at 11am - 12 noon, before the boat departs in the afternoon towards the its first destination. The last dive of the tour will be at around 12 noon on the second last day of the cruise. Check-out is at 9 am (except Komodo cruises - 12 noon). Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: 10% off the published price.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): There is a single bed cabin on this boat. Otherwise, this is optional - single travellers may choose to share another cabin, or pay a supplement of 90% of the published price for their own cabin.
Dive clubs and group discounts: See whole boat charter prices below.
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Pay for 8 divers and an additional 2 divers can go free of charge (total 10 divers).
M/V Empress II normally accommodates 10 guests (13 for full charter) in a variety of 5 lower deck cabins. 1 ensuite cabin with 1 double and 1 single bed (Cabin D). 2 cabins with 1 double and 1 single bunk bed (Cabins B & C), 1 cabin with 3 single beds (Cabin A) and 1 single bed cabin (Cabin E). There is 1 shared bathroom and guests can use the shower on the dive deck. All cabins have air-conditioning and portholes.
All the cabins have:
Air-conditioning (individually controlled, except Cabin E and D share an air conditioner)
Portholes in all cabins
Shared bathroom with hot-water shower, hand basin, towels & toiletries (except Cabin D)
Cabinet, shelves & mirror
24-hour, 220v electricity supply. 2 pin European-style plugs. Adaptors available
2 Motorised dinghies - 15m² Dive deck with toilet and 2 dive platforms - Rinse tanks - Separate rinse tank and table for cameras - 24m² Wheel room (saloon with TV, DVD and sound system and fan) - Open-air dining area - Computer with CD burner - Movie and book library, games and magazines - Fish ID and diving books - Well stocked bar - Water dispenser - 2 Open-air shaded areas one on the sun deck with bean bags - 20m² Sun deck with sun chairs and mattresses