Liveaboard Review

A classic style Phinisi schooner and a 21st-century motor yacht, the SMY Ondina takes divers and non-divers to Indonesia’s best diving sites. Similar in design to most Phinisi boats, the Ondina, named after mythical water nymphs was hand-made in Sulawesi in 2001. Much of the diving aboard the Ondina takes place around Komodo and Papua, but there are cruises to all the hidden corners of the archipelago.
After undergoing renovations in 2004, the SMY Ondina offers guests (divers and non-divers) an adventurous and romantic way to enjoy and explore the incredible underwater world of Indonesia

Our Overall Review


Things we like:

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    Several divers reported that the DM really looked after them as they were flexible in their diving time allowing you to go exploring with a friend on your own.
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    Many people were happy with the food that the chef prepared.
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    The crew became like family always willing to the extra bit and having a smile on their face.
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Things we don't like:

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    Some people noted the anchor caused a loud noise once it was pulled in when the boat departed at night.
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    Many people said not all of the crew could speak English and that created language barriers.
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    The water was ice cold even though body suits were worn.
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Diving on the SMY Ondina in Indonesia

At 32meters/105feet long, the SMY Ondina is a luxury boat that sails all year long between Raja Ampat Marine Sanctuary and Cenderawasih Bay, with its whale sharks. Also, transition liveaboards allow you to explore the Banda Sea Islands, which include the Maluku, Ambon down South, Halmahera and Lembeh Strait – up North. With eight fully air-conditioned cabins with en-suite bathrooms and able to cater for 16 guests, each cruise is a fantastic adventure for the guests.

Boat features

All eight cabins in the SMY Ondina take a maximum of 2 guests per room, and except two cabins in the front with a double bed, all have a double and upper single. The boat has an air-conditioned dining room and lounge for comfort with an HD TV and an extensive DVD library. There are also two covered outside deck areas for relaxation in between dives or at the end of the day.

The boat has a large dive deck, equipped with rinsing facilities to store and maintain the diving gear after dives. The Ondina also offers special facilities for photographers. This includes a large camera table, separate rinsing tanks, charging points with 220volt electricity.

Meals are prepared by the onboard chef and are a mixture of international and local cuisine. The onboard chef also caters to guests with special dietary requirements.

With safety a priority for divers and non-divers alike, the SMY Ondina guarantees safety as the boat has emergency rafts, first aid kits, emergency evacuation DAN “Oxygen Unit”, life jackets and firefighting equipment.

Best time to go

While Indonesia is ideal for diving all year round, the best time to go diving depends on the season. However, the best time to go is between April and August.


Guests are picked at 12:00 midday from their hotels on the departure date. They are transferred to the boat and are then briefed by the dive guide masters before they are checked into their cabins. While the itinerary of the SMY is unique and changes per trip, each trip goes for at least three days and three nights and schedules may vary due to weather conditions, sea conditions, dive certification levels, local government/cultural activities.

A typical dive day has at least 3 to 4 dives at locations that guarantee maximum safety and fun for each guest. There are morning dives on the final day after breakfast before guests are taken back to their hotels by midday.

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