Scubaspa Zen Indonesia Liveaboard (Diver’s Review)

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For many, the idea of combining the thrill of diving with the tranquility of a spa retreat is nothing short of a dream.

Enter the Scubaspa ZEN Liveaboard (click to view available trips and prices), a vessel that promises not only immersive dives into the rich marine wonders of Komodo but also an onboard sanctuary of relaxation with its unique spa and yoga services.

But does it truly blend these worlds seamlessly? And is it worth the investment for avid scuba divers?

Key facts

Year Built: 2012
Max Divers: 20 (9 cabins and suites)
Nitrox: Yes (Free)
Minimum certification required: Advanced Open Water (or equivalent)
Wifi: Yes (1gb free per guest)
Aircon: Yes

Diving Experience on Scubaspa Zen

When diving with Scubaspa ZEN, there’s an expectation of merging luxury and adventure, a synthesis that provides a unique and unmatched diving experience.

Equipment & Safety Gear

diving speedboat

The meticulous attention to equipment and safety is at the heart of the Scubaspa ZEN diving experience.

Divers embark on their underwater adventures from a specialized dive boat, the diving Dhoni, which is a 21-meter vessel equipped with all the diving essentials.

This includes air and state-of-the-art Nitrox membrane compressors. The Dhoni isn’t just about utility but is also purpose-built for comfort, boasting ample seating, multiple entry points, and even toilet and shower facilities.

Here, divers gear up, allowing the main Scubaspa ZEN vessel to remain tranquil, dry, and devoid of the usual noise and activity associated with diving preparations.

All divers must possess an Advanced Open Water certification or its equivalent due to the nature of many dive sites demanding a certain level of experience.

I think this is a good thing; they make sure every diver has enough experience to feel comfortable so the whole group stays safe and can have a good experience.

I did a liveaboard in Komodo, where they did not have many requirements, and this was borderline dangerous, to be honest.

Especially if you are considering the Komodo itinerary, do get the AOWD or equivalent certification, and I recommend getting 30-40 dives under your belt minimum, and recently.

Diving in strong currents is a whole other thing; some locations will have quite strong downward currents due to effects against the walls; this, let me tell you, is quite surprising.

If you did not dive for like a year, I highly recommend you take a few days to get back to it in Bali (Lembongan is highly recommended, Ghili island I find too crowded)

However, divers aren’t left to fend for themselves; a team of knowledgeable multilingual dive masters/instructors ensures each diver’s safety, guidance, and an immersive experience in the vibrant underwater world of Indonesia.

Diving Itineraries


Komodo has a really unique look to it. The landscape is as mesmerizing as the underwater world, and I really enjoyed the little trips there on land, too (not to mention meeting the infamous dragons)

Duration: Seven to ten-night expeditions between April and September.

Highlights: Komodo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a high-adrenaline diving experience. Due to its strategic location, divers often experience strong currents and upwellings of nutrient-rich waters.

These conditions invite many marine life and promise excellent drift diving experiences.

My opinion: If you are experienced enough and feel comfortable when diving (that means good buoyancy, at ease with your equipment …), you will absolutely love the dives there. It’s really something else. If you are not yet there, I recommend another destination due to the strong currents at some of the sites.

You can encounter manta rays, turtles, dolphins, and various macro critters among the vast marine biodiversity.

Noteworthy dive sites include Castle Rock, Crystal Rock, the Yellow Wall of Texas, and Shotgun.

Raja Ampat and the Bird’s Head Seascape

raja ampat islands
Raja Ampat is as close to paradise on earth as you can get, maybe?

Duration: Varies, but the best times align with the northwest monsoon between October and April.

Highlights: Often cited as the epitome of underwater biodiversity, Raja Ampat offers a diver’s paradise. The region boasts records for the number of fish species in one dive.

Raja Ampat is rich in vibrant coral reefs, mesmerizing blue water drop-offs, and seagrass beds.

reef at raja ampat
The water clarity can be unreal there; it feels like you are diving in an aquarium at times.

Dive sites here often have strong currents, offering experienced divers the chance to encounter manta rays, sharks, turtles, and delicate pygmy seahorses. Above the water, the rare bird of paradise may even grace you with its presence.

The Banda Sea and the Ring of Fire

scuba diver in batu kapal, banda sea
The reef in Batu Kapal

Duration: Optimal in October and early November.

Highlights: The Banda Sea is an underappreciated jewel. Known for its crystal-clear waters and walls blanketed in soft corals, divers might find themselves among schooling hammerhead sharks.

Due to the region’s remoteness, the marine ecosystems here remain relatively untouched, offering pristine diving conditions.

Dive conditions can be diverse, with cooler, nutrient-rich waters upwelling, causing thermoclines, so a full 5mm wetsuit is recommended.

Life on board

Diving might be the main attraction, but life on board the Scubaspa ZEN complements the underwater experience with unparalleled luxury and serenity.

Here’s a glimpse into what one can expect:

The cabins

interior cabin

The Scubaspa ZEN boasts accommodations that are nothing short of five-star luxury. Each cabin is a haven of comfort, marrying modern design with functionality.

Ensuring tranquility after a day of diving, rooms are meticulously maintained, with staff ensuring they’re returned to pristine conditions whenever guests venture out.

The blend of plush bedding, elegant furnishings, and the gentle lull of the sea ensures a restful night for every guest.


scubaspa zen deck at sunset

Onboard, guests are treated to a slew of amenities that cater to both relaxation and entertainment.

The spacious dive deck, for instance, isn’t just a hub of diving activity but a place to unwind and bask in the sun.

The presence of freshwater showers ensures divers can rinse off immediately after their underwater escapades.

For photography enthusiasts, dedicated camera facilities help to capture memories from the deep.


indonesia scubaspa zen food

Culinary experiences on the Scubaspa ZEN mirror the diversity and richness of the Indonesian Archipelago.

With a menu that pays homage to both local flavors and international favorites, every meal is a delightful journey for the palate.

Fresh ingredients, expertly curated dishes, and impeccable presentation make dining onboard a gourmet adventure. Not to forget, the custom coffee blend, which, as many attest, ranks among the best in Indonesia.


massage room on dive boat

True to its name, the Scubaspa ZEN doesn’t just offer diving delights but also a comprehensive spa experience.

After a day of exploring the deep, there’s no better way to relax than indulging in a range of treatments designed to rejuvenate the body and soul.

Whether it’s a deep tissue massage to soothe sore muscles or a holistic therapy to align one’s chakras, the spa experience onboard is all about transcendental relaxation.

Yoga sessions

For those looking to align mind, body, and spirit, yoga sessions onboard provide the perfect opportunity. The gentle sway of the ship, combined with the sound of the waves, offers a unique and tranquil setting for practicing yoga.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, the sessions cater to all levels, ensuring everyone finds their moment of zen.

Conclusion: Worth it?

The Scubaspa ZEN curates an unparalleled maritime adventure, seamlessly intertwining world-class diving with the indulgence of spa luxury.

The great itineraries allow divers to witness the underwater marvels of Indonesia’s prime dive sites, while the dive facilities ensure that every dive is both pleasurable and secure. What truly sets this experience apart is the unique spa twist, transforming a diving journey into a holistic retreat.

  • For those who can afford this luxurious blend, the Scubaspa ZEN is an unrivaled choice.
  • However, if the allure of the spa doesn’t resonate, other liveaboards offer similar diving itineraries at a more economical price point.

Yet, for those captivated by the melding of underwater exploration with above-sea pampering, the Scubaspa ZEN is the zenith of opulence and adventure.

It’s not just a dive trip; it’s a holistic experience, making memories both below and above the waves.

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