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Tour Highlights

  • Join us on a SwimTrek adventure in the heart of Indonesia's stunning 'Coral Triangle'

  • Discover the awe-inspiring marine life that exists in this area, including the highest rates of both coral and coral fish diversity anywhere on the planet

  • Visit Komodo Island and come face-to-face with one of the world's most fascinating animals; the Komodo Dragon

  • Complete a series of unforgettable swims, in an area largely unswum by many

  • Relax on board the recently renovated SMY Oceanic yacht in comfortable rooms, large deck areas and our very own on board chef

Join us on an island-hopping adventure as we explore the breathtaking waters and abundant marine life in and around Komodo National Park. This unique live-on-board swimming holiday in Indonesia represents SwimTrek at its pioneering best as we discover unforgettable swimming routes.

This trip is set in the heart of the Coral Triangle, which is home to six of the world’s seven marine turtles species, as well as 76% of the world’s coral reef species and 37% of the world’s coral fish species. This gives the Coral Triangle both the highest coral diversity and the highest coral fish diversity anywhere in the world. With much of this stunning reef and marine life sitting within metres of the surface, as swimming holiday really is the perfect way to explore this part of the world.

Our trip is based aboard Oceanic, our live-on-board yacht, which acts as both our accommodation and escort boat and allows us to travel to some of the most remote locations amongst this picturesque archipelago. It also gives us the chance to make changes to our itinerary when required in order to find the very best conditions and to complete a truly stunning selection of swim over the course of the week.

On top of the organised swims which are included in the trip itinerary, there is also plenty of time to take part in additional activities throughout the trip. These include shore excursions, snorkeling sessions before breakfast or after lunch, or guided scuba dives, which can be paid for locally during your trip.

Who is this trip for?

This trip is for experienced open water swimmers who want to explore the reefs and islands that surround and make up the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. Some of the swims may be challenging due to local weather conditions and currents, so it is important that swimmers are comfortable in this situation. Swimmers should be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 5 km (split over a minimum of two swims) prior to the start of the trip.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in Komodo National Park, Indonesia
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Six nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches
  • All dinners
  • All national park fees, port taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Airport/Hotel transfer to our boat on Day 1
  • Transfer back to the airport on Day 7

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Alcoholic drinks which can be purchased on board our boat
  • Optional tipping for on board crew


Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Day 1

Upon arrival at Labuan Bajo Airport, our SwimTrek representative will meet you at the airport. From here, there is a short transfer ride to our liveaboard vessel; the SMY Oceanic. Once you have had a chance to relax, the SwimTrek guides and ship’s captain will host a welcome drink and briefing on the ship’s aft deck where we will cover the plan for the week in more detail.

We weigh anchor and head for Pulau Kelor island, which lies off Flores’s west coast and around which we will complete a short circumnavigation. The reef here fringes right next to the island and can be within a few metres of the surface which makes it excellent for swimming over. During the swim we encounter a number of different islets and bays, making for an ideal opening swim. Back on board, we enjoy the first of our dinners, a blend of modern Indonesian cuisine with a Western touch.

Day 2

This morning the imposing figure of Rinca Island looms large in front of us. Rinca is home to the legendary Komodo Dragons. We take an early morning walk on the island where we have an opportunity to come face to face with these giant lizards. The island’s interiors consist mostly of dry forests, where you can also encounter other animals such as water buffaloes, birds, pigs, and deer.

After visiting Rinca Island, we set off on our first swim of the day along its northern coastline, where visibility is excellent. In some places the reef hugs the shoreline and in other spots brings us out to the middle of the bay. After a break for lunch, we take the boat across for a swim along the south coast of Pulau Serai Island followed by a short crossing back to Rinca. Manta rays are often spotted in this section. The swimming here is fantastic in this protected location, populated with a variety of wonderful marine life that exists in this area. In the evening we head to Kalong Island for one of the most memorable non-swimming highlights of the trip as we bear witness to thousands of flying foxes ascending into the night sky to gather breakfast on surrounding islands.

Day 3

Today we visit the smallest of the archipelago’s main islands, Padar. This small island features an unusual, natural pink beach which gets its colour from red coral fragments. We begin the day by swimming between 3 islets in southern Padar. where the swimming is potentially challenging as we use the tide to cover greater distances across the bays of the islets.

After lunch on board our vessel, we travel by boat to southern Padar and carry out a stunning coastal swim along the island’s southern coastline. We end our swim at the bay where we’ll begin our walk up to one of the high points of Padar which affords superb views of the Komodo National Park. The view at sunset is one of the most iconic scenes across the Indonesian islands.

Day 4

From Padar Island we head north to the Gili Lawa Islands, which lie northeast of Komodo island. Here we attempt a double crossing as we head out from Komodo and then hop to the two islands of Laut and Darat.

After lunch on board we head to Laut’s North coast and swim along the dive site of Crystal Bommie, which has colourful soft corals and schools of various fish; such varied sea life here make for superb swimming! Later in the afternoon, we walk up the hill at Gili Lawa Darat which offers stunning views of the day’s swims as well as the Komodo Strait.

After arriving back on our boat, we’ll head in a westerly direction to the submerged volcano of Gili Banta.

Day 5

Before breakfast you’ll have the chance to snorkel in the waters just off Gili Banta, which is an ancient, uninhabited and slightly submerged volcano. The first swim of the day is along the crater rim, which is home to a wide variety of sea life including devilfish, lionfish and turtles. The dropoff below us is an impressive sight and is one of the undoubted highlights of the week. Staying within the crater for our second swim, we head further west along the rim and use the local currents which form within this area to our benefit, allowing us to cover a greater distance around Gili Banta.

Day 6

Today we swim between the 5 islands of Sebayur Besar, Sebayur Kecil, Suleman, Satonda & Mesa. The swim features a mix of reef, rocks and sand below us as we cross between Sebayur Besar, Sebayur Kecil, and Suleman. There is a diverse range of sea life in this area which makes for truly spectacular swimming within the coral gardens that surround these islands.

After lunch on our liveaboard, its back into the water to continue our island hopping. Our crossings will take us to Satonda and will finish in Mesa, where we have clear views across to the island of Flores. At the end of our two swims here, we weigh anchor and head closer to the Flores shore where spend a final night reminiscing on the previous week’s swims.

Day 7

There is time for a short early morning swim before our last breakfast together and a debrief about the trip before we depart our vessel.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Labuan Bajo Airport, Indonesia

Start Time: 12:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia

Finish Time: 10:00 on Day 7

Vessel: SMY Oceanic, Indonesia

Trip Information

Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Sweater / Fleece
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Walking Shoes / Sandals
Sunhat and Sunglasses Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Waterproof Sun Cream (Factor 30+ Light Clothing for Shore Excursions
Small Daypack Insect Repellent
Towel** Scanned copy of photo page of passport***
Rash Vest

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

**A towel will be provided on board, however, please feel free to bring your own along, if preferred.

***A scanned copy of the photo page of your passport will be required by local authorities

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Suncare

Please ensure you take the necessary steps to ensure you are well protected. High factor, waterproof sun cream, cover ups, long sleeved rash vests and leggings and a good sun hat are all strongly recommended.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distance
Pulau Kelor Circumnavigation 1½km
Rinca Northern Coastal 3km
Pulau Serai - Rinca 2km
Southern Padar 3 Islands 2½km
Padar Coastal 3km
Komodo - Gili Lawa Islands 4km
Crystal Bommie (Darat) 2km
Gili Banta Crater Rim AM 2½km
Gili Banta Crater Rim PM 2km
5 Islands AM 2½km
5 Islands PM 2km
Labuan Bajo 1km

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that marine life is abundant in the coral waters of the Indonesian archipelago. Swimming in the Coral Triangle will be a memorable and fantastic experience, however, you should be aware that certain marine life such as stonefish, scorpionfish, rays, jellyfish, sharks, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In the areas that we swim, there is a long history of snorkelling/swimming, so sea life is used to human interaction. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however, if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
June-July 25-26˚C / 76-79˚F 24-30˚C / 75-86˚F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only. Water temperature can get up to 28ºC but in some areas, such as south Komodo, the temperature can drop to as low as 22-24ºC.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Scuba Diving

During our time on board SMY Oceanic, we have a qualified dive guide travelling with us at all times. For non-qualified divers wishing to dive during the trip, there is a charge of €20 per person per dive, plus equipment hire, and is payable locally in cash. Prices for dives and equipment hire for qualified divers are available on request. A medical form and liability waiver will need to be signed prior to diving.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of 12. The trip will be split into a maximum of two groups based on speed, each of which is accompanied by own safety support vessel/escort. Boat support on this trip includes two inflatable boats piloted by your crew and SwimTrek guides. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

Your liveaboard boat will sail from, and return to, the port in Labuan Bajo.

The easiest option is to fly into Denpasar International Airport and then catch a connecting flight to Labuan Bajo. There are also direct flights from Jakarta.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We suggest that you use Skyscanner to search for alternative flight options for this trip. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Flights to Denpasar

To search for available flights into Denpasar International Airport on the Indonesian island of Bali, please visit Skyscanner. Please note that, due to long journey times to Denpasar and connecting flight schedules to Labuan Bajo, we recommend that guests book at least one night’s accommodation in Denpasar.

Flights from Denpasar to Bima Airport and Labuan Bajo Airport

From Denpasar, there are a number of airlines which fly to and from Labuan Bajo Airport (LBJ), including Lion Air (also known as Wings Air) and Garuda Indonesia. Please note that luggage allowances on these airlines is often limited, so please ensure that you book an adequate amount for your trip.

To search for available flights Denpasar to Labuan Bajo, please visit Skyscanner.

Transfer from Airport/Hotel to SMY Oceanic

Transfers from the airport or a local hotel to our liveaboard vessel on Day 1 of the trip are included in the trip price for all guests. For guests who arrive on Day 1 of the trip, you will be met in the arrival area by one of our local representatives and transferred directly to your home for the week on board the SMY Oceanic. If you arrive prior to the trip start time of 12:00, you will be able to leave your bags on board the boat while you spend some time exploring the local area prior to meeting your guides and fellow guests.

For guests who arrive prior to Day 1, you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the liveaboard SMY Oceanic on the first morning of your trip. The exact time of your transfer will be available from your hotel reception the day prior to pick-up.

IMPORTANT: All guests must provide the SwimTrek office with their arrival details, including flight number and arrival time, as well as any pre-trip accommodation plans, at least two weeks prior to the start of their trip, so that we can arrange the necessary transfers.

Return Transfers

Return transfers from SMY Oceanic to the airport or local hotel are also included in the trip price. Please note that these transfers are available on the morning of Day 7 or your trip and will be arranged on location in order to group guests together, where applicable.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation over the course of your trip is aboard the recently renovated MY Oceanic yacht. This beautiful vessel features six guest cabins with en suite facilities and air conditioning, as well as ample deck space to relax between swims or enjoy the meals that are prepared by our very own on board chef. The crew on board also includes our captain and a qualified dive instructor at all times.

Unfortunately, no single supplements are available on this trip. Please also note that bed preferences cannot be guaranteed and will be finalised upon arrival on the yacht at the start of your trip.

Meals

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on your trip are included as part of your package and are prepared on the M/Y Oceanic by our very own onboard chef.

Mineral water, juice, tea and coffee are also included in the price of your holiday. Beer and soft drinks are available to be purchased on board and are charged locally at the end of your trip.

All other alcoholic drinks, including wine and spirits, can be bought at Duty Free and brought on board at the start of your trip.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover such items as meals, drinks, entertainment, souvenirs, etc. whilst ashore prior to and after your liveaboard SwimTrek. The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah, however, Euros and US dollars are also widely accepted. Please note that onboard extras can be paid in cash ONLY.

For optional tipping of crew members, we suggest that an additional €35-50 per guest is budgeted.

Passports and Visas

Non-residents of Indonesia require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. They must also have proof (tickets) of onward travel or return passage.

Visitors from the vast majority of countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, are automatically granted a free tourist visa upon arrival in Indonesia which is valid for up to 30 days and cannot be extended or transferred into any other type of stay permit.

For further information and a full list of countries which are eligible for visa-free travel to Indonesia, please visit the Indonesian Immigration website.

Please note that all visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to Indonesia, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

Please note that electricity on board the SMY Oceanic is 220v and all sockets and plugs are two round pins (i.e. EU standard). For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit ElectricalOutlet.org.

  • I can’t imagine any other experience in the rest of my life being able to top what I experienced on the Komodo trip. Swimming alongside enormous turtles, close enough to touch was incredible. Seeing manta rays, reef sharks, lion fish and all the other types of sea life in their natural habitat is unbeatable. I can’t recommend it enough and may go again!

    Ruth H., Ireland
  • A trip of a lifetime, far exceeded expectations! The Boat, the guides, the crew, the marine life, the reefs, the hikes, the sunsets and the swimmers company! Just didn't want it to end - could've easily done another week!

    Monica B., Hong Kong
  • This one has it all- dragons, volcanoes, superb swimming through teeming tropical waters and a boat you will not want to leave!

    Joseph C., China
  • 1 week aboard MY Oceania - swimming over coral, fish, turtles, manta rays, sharks- crossing channels, and circumnavigating islands with my fellow Swimtrek pioneers was a truly incredible experience. I can’t wait for my next Swimtrek adventure.

    Jane P., Australia