Questions related to diving Komodo with children are frequently asked by families booking cruises and private yacht charters in Komodo National Park with us. Whether your children are already certified or thinking of learning to dive, here is a guide to give you a more profound understanding of what to expect when planning for a family diving cruise in Komodo.
Komodo is one of the best diving destinations in the world. The region offers varied seascapes and many types of dive sites. The nutrient-rich water creates a haven for coral growth, countless smaller fish and large pelagic species. However, the richness and diversity of Komodo come from the thorough flow of currents. This makes the dive sites in Komodo mostly suitable for advanced divers. Nevertheless, there are several current-sheltered sites in Komodo National Park suitable for children. We have created a comprehensive guide of the best dive sites for children. In addition, we provide information and tips for parents planning a diving holiday in Komodo with children of any age.
Here we present a selection of the best dive sites for children in Komodo. Keep in mind however that you will have an instructor with you onboard planning the sites and route for your cruise. You can have trust in his/her experience.
Sabolon Besar is an Island in the North of Labuan Bajo. It is a gentle reef slope and there is mostly a very gentle current. It is a great place for starting your family diving trip with a check-dive. Adults and children love it alike.
The bay between Sebayur Besar and Sebayur features a large limestone rock and some protected reefs and walls. Not only is this a great place to dive with your children, but this bay is also ideal for watersports.
The area between Komodo Island, Gili Lawa Darat and Gili Lawa Laut offers some of the most popular sites for experienced divers – Cauldron and Golden Passage. While the channels between the islands feature strong currents, the area also offers many protected bays with easy dive sites.
Water is the ultimate playground
Kanawa Island features white sand beaches as well as some tranquil and relaxed reefs. This is another great place for children to practice scuba diving and gain some experience underwater.
Manta Point, or Karang Makassar, is one of the most well-known sites in Komodo due to the regular aggregation of reef mantas rays. The depth is 7-14 m and currents vary from medium to strong in one direction and are usually done as a drift dive. This site should only be dived with children in accordance with their diving skills and their confidence level. It is, of course, best to have a chat with your instructor onboard beforehand. While diving with manta rays might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, diving in a current can be challenging for children. Manta rays are mostly hovering in the first 8 m and can often be seen from the surface. If in doubt, take off some pressure by making it a family mission. Leave the tanks behind altogether and explore Manta Point snorkeling.
In general, diving in the ocean is possible from the age of 10 years or older, according to the guidelines of PADI, SSI, and other scuba diving federations. A Junior Open Water course can be completed at this age, which will automatically be upgraded to a normal Open Water when they reach the age of 15.
Junior Open Water Divers can dive up to 12 m and have to be guided by a certified divemaster or instructor. Junior Open Water Divers between the ages of 12 and 14 can also attend a Junior Advanced Course (limited to 21 m). These general guidelines also apply to teenagers of 15-17, depending on their diving experience. Below are the most common diving courses and levels.
Discover Scuba Dives, also called Introduction Dives, are a straightforward and easy way to get your children to explore the underwater world. Guided by a certified instructor, children go through basic theory and shallow water exercises. This is followed by an easy dive on one of the beginner dive sites in Komodo.
A Discover Scuba Dive is also the first step towards a Junior Open Water certification. Many of our yachts have permanent instructors on them, and a Discover Scuba Dive for children can be arranged directly onboard. However, it is advised to check beforehand about possible arrangements on your chosen boat.
Generally, Junior Open Water courses in Komodo, as well as almost anywhere else in the world, last between 3 and 5 days. The course includes theory, shallow water exercises, and 4 Open Water dives. It is possible to do a full Open Water course during a yacht charter, but it is important to have the timeframe in mind, as there are plenty of other adventures to have on a cruise.
To have more time for diving in Komodo, we recommend completing shallow water and pool exercises, as well as the theory part of your training, before embarking on your trip. The instructor onboard then needs a “referral form”. Even better if it comes with direct contact with the referring instructor.
If your children are experienced enough and already completed a full Junior Open Water course, or have even dived before, we recommend inquiring about diving arrangements before your arrival in Komodo. As depth is limited to 12 m, children under 15 either need to have their own divemaster/instructor or you dive together as a family. Please plan dives according to the needs of the least experienced member of your family.
Many parents are keen divers themselves and can’t wait to go on a diving cruise with their children. And we totally get it. Offering your children the unique chance to immerse themselves in an underwater world and at the same time, sharing your passion with them, is a wonderful thing. We are happy to support you in any way necessary to make this reality. Still, be mindful of your own enthusiasm and remember that it is important to provide the right pace, location, and flexibility for your children to learn and practice diving.
Komodo cruises offer a broad variety of activities, not only diving, and will be a great family experience overall. Try not to put too much pressure and expectations on the cruise or your child learning to dive. Let the cruise give you and your family an unforgettable holiday on a yacht in Komodo.