One of the first ships to offer a liveaboard trip in Komodo, Jaya has a wonderfully rich history with the waters on which it sails, and an equally tried and tested method to how it operates. Built fourteen years ago, originally Jaya sailed the waters of South East Asia. Her design, a Phinisi sailing schooner, a traditional method of sailing that has served the Bugis people of South Sulawesi for centuries, she remains to be a strong and renowned vessel in the local waters. Venturing from Raja Ampat on an epic fourteen day liveaboard for the Komodo high season, Jaya then resumes her core role as a liveaboard in Raja for the following seven months. So if you’re looking to book on, make sure you check your dates.
Jaya has a decent sized gear area on deck, with enough space to store your fins and equipment out of the way. It’s kept safely and transported from the ship to the tender on your back, so there’s no worry of it being bashed or damaged. There’s three separate fresh water rinse tanks, one for your camera gear or special equipment, another for your masks, computers and reels and a third with small rinse buckets to freshen yourself up after a dive.
The ship’s cabins cater for up to fourteen guests in total and though not overly spacious, the twin and triple cabins offer all the space you require for two or three people. Cabins include a window ventilation, fans and crucially, air conditioning. It smells and feels clean and the flooring in the walkway is slip proof to stop any dangerous slips. Similarly, the three shower rooms, though not highly modern are perfectly spacious for the requirement and they feel clean.
There’s no big rules on the boat, aside from not knowingly wasting fresh water and keeping the dry area seats dry to benefit you and your shipmates; a reasonable request and something you will find on any boat. The fact is, when on the ocean people don’t want to be wet and water that is drinkable is precious.
For relaxing, socialising and eating there’s the upper deck, with tables and benches – just watch out for the one low beam, despite being padded, we guarantee it’ll still catch you out once or twice on a trip. If you’re lucky it might just knock sense in though, which you’ll need for the card games, we couldn’t help but find ourselves drawn towards the deck when the crew started shuffling!
As the light starts to soften, head to the sun deck for the perfect spot for settling down to a stunning dusky view of the islands. When a night dive isn’t on the agenda, sip a cold beer whilst you watch the swooping sea eagles, it’s the perfect way to relax for the evening , as the stars come out and dinner is served.
The Jaya liveaboard offers scuba diving trips into Komodo National Park for four or seven nights, and expedition trips at the end of season, for fourteen days venturing between Raja Ampat and Komodo, twice yearly.
It’s hard to consider Jaya as a budget liveaboard. OK, it’s not sleek and modern or overly spacious, but it’s got everything you’ll need, including an authentic character, a wonderful chef and exceptional hosts. The staff on board are keen to entertain, feed and inform you. This ticks a lot of boxes because budget should never relate to the level of service, only the facilities.
The schedule runs on time and amends are only in respect of currents. Briefings are engaging and clear whilst the dive guides themselves ensure you’re enjoying the best of what the site has to offer, they’re certainly familiar with the park and their enthusiasm doesn’t wain for a moment. It’s a great team on a beautiful boat and, when the sails go up to catch the wind at the end of the trip, it’s a magnificent one.
Find out more about what we got up to on our four days and three nights here…
Whilst onboard, we were commissioned to created a promotional video for the Scuba Republic, Jaya liveaboard experience:
Visit the Scuba Republic website to find out more and book on for your Jaya experience here.
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