Indonesia is becoming more popular. The last few years has seen some major changes in the popularity of different liveaboard destinations. Scientific studies, political issues and environmental reports on the health on the Great Barrier Reef has caused some unsettled conditions in Queensland Australia. While the liveaboards that are diving the Great Barrier Reefs still provide world class diving, a recent paper in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism stated that the feeling of many tourist is now is the last chance to see the Great Barrier Reef. Terrorist attacks is all but closed tourism in the Red Sea. After actions by the British and Russian governments halting air service to much of Egypt and the issuing of travel warnings many hotels and the majority of dive operators and liveaboards have gone out of business. Thailand has closed a number of dive sites because of environmental concerns.
The coral triangle has seen positive actions. The Philippines has had a very successful expanded liveaboard peak season with the majority of the vessels operating year round.
Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world with over 17,000 islands, the majority not inhabited. It straddles the equator and extends 5,120 kilometers (3,181 mi) from east to west and 1,760 kilometers (1,094 mi) from north to south. Indonesia has four major dive destinations: Bali (both land based and liveaboards), Sulawesi liveaboards (to remote sites), Komodo Islands (Liveaboard and nearby resorts), and Raja Ampat ( Mostly Liveaboard diving). The Indonesia liveaboard fleet was the second largest in the world after the Red Sea, but, given how many businesses have closed there it may now be the largest liveaboard fleet. This large fleet allows divers with a wide range of budgets to find the right vessel for them. Prices range from less than $150 a day to over $1,000 a day.
Raja Ampat is often included in list of the best dive destinations in the world. There are a few luxury resorts in the area but the majority of the diving is done by liveaboards. With thousands of islands, there are nearly unlimited dive opportunities. It is located in a remote potion of Indonesia requiring you to fly in from regional airports which also might require a flight from another domestic airport with international connections. Being in a very health portion of the Coral Triangle is has a large biodiversity. One of the highest in the world. Scientist that have study the area have to admit they have most likely done disservice to the area. Many more species are possible however, only a very small portion of the area has been studied. This is a year round destination.
Bali is another area that is an outstanding dive destination. It is an exotic vacation destination favored by Australians noted for it beaches, nightlife, hiking and of course scuba diving. The liveaboards that depart from here explore other islands out of reach of the day divers. One of the destinations is the Komodo Islands National Park. The towns of Bima in eastern Sumbawa and Labuan Bajo in the west of Flores are the departure point for many of the liveaboards going to Komodo Islands. Diving is available year round but the positioning varies by season.
Sulawesi formerly called the Celebes is another well know destination.
If you are considering a liveaboard, Indonesia should be high on your list to be considered.