Explore the fascinating underwater world of Indonesia on our 11-night

Special MARINE BIOLOGIST Cruises with TV celebrity Monty Halls

2015 Grand Komodo 11N Cruise: Embark BALI, 1 July 2015 - Disembark BALI, 12 July 2015

Monty Halls biography

Monty has been passionate about the oceans and wildlife for as long as he can remember.

He has written 7 books and has presented programmes for TV channels such as National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

Monty is a well-known BBC television presenter, with a particular record of making adventure and natural history series (see more details below).

Monty served as a Royal Marines Officer for 8 years, worked for Nelson Mandela after his release from prison (Mr Mandela's release, not Monty's), and has led numerous expeditions throughout the world. This has included leading a multi-national team to the ruins of a sunken city off India, several circumnavigations of the globe, and numerous demanding projects with film crews and scientific teams.

In 2003 he was awarded the Bish Medal by the Scientific Exploration Society for his services to exploration. He established Monty Halls Ltd in 2004, a business that has grown year on year and now deals in many aspects of film production and corporate training.

  • Find out more about Monty Halls, his passion for the ocean, his TV work and more, at WWW.MONTYHALLS.CO.UK
  • Keep up to date with this specific trip at our FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

  • MONTY TV: Take a look at his series of Great Ocean Adventures (circumnavigating the globe, seeking out encounters with some of the most iconic creatures in the ocean ... taking 37 flights around the world, conducting over a hundred dives... and meeting the giant sun fish off Bali) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-ocean-adventures. Or his more recent projects such as the initial Great Escape (renovating a centuries old bothy, exploring old crofting techniques, and making forays into the extraordinary archipelago that is the Western Isles, one of the most beautiful regions on earth. Basking sharks, whales, dolphins, and otters have all passed by the beach upon which the bothy sits, with the real exploration of the mountains and ridges only just beginning) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/monty-halls-great-escape. Or for a more dive-central Great Escape see his series in Ireland (going back to his roots as a marine biologist by working with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group to establish whether the pod of bottlenose dolphins are a resident group, plus the dissection of a beached whale, tagging massive basking sharks, swimming with a mysterious lone dolphin and diving with curious congers) www.montyhalls.co.uk/tv-series/great-irish-escape.

    Dive KOMODO with Monty Halls

    1 ~ 12 July 2015

    On this trip, explore the remote and mythical dive sites of Komodo National Park and appreciate the magnificence of our underwater world by learning from an expert.

    Embark on this dive adventure from the highly accessible port of Bali - "land of the gods". Join marine biologist and celebrity diver Monty Halls, who will be sharing his stories and knowledge with our guests and offering some of his experience and advice for studying and diving with our oceans' fascinating marine life - especially those we encounter in these incredible waters of central Nusa Tengara, at the very heart of the Coral Triangle.

    Divers keen on coral reefs will be amazed at the range of corals here - from soft to hard and in warm to temperate waters - while those seeking out schooling fish need look no further than the thrilling current dives of Gili Lawa Laut. If it's pelagics and ocean giants you're after, then pack your wide angle lens for the resident mantas and sharks but keep a watch for passing dolphins, whales and the elusive mola mola (sun fish). Or if it's muck diving you crave, then this is the trip for you; get your macro lens ready for truly unbelievable critters such as ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, rare clown frogfish, weird and wonderful nudibranchs (if lucky, the ridiculously cute Pikachu nudi), blue-ringed octopus, pipefish, scorpion leaf fish, coleman shrimp, boxer crabs, zebra crabs and many more!

    Read more about this destination at our page on DIVING KOMODO.


    Set sail from Bali - "island of the gods" - on a 12-day/11-night cruise, to explore all the famous dive sites of Komodo (returning to Bali at the end of the trip). The Komodo National Park offers excellent muck diving, but also outstanding pelagic action. Whether it's nudibranchs and rhinopias you're after, or manta rays and schooling fish, this cruise really has it all.

    This famous dive destination is located within the Coral Triangle, an area that boasts the world's highest marine biodiversity. Situated 200 nautical miles east of Bali, in the Lesser Sunda Islands, the Komodo National Park has a total land area of 75,000 hectares and encompasses a number of islands, the largest of which is Komodo (34,000 hectares). A total of 112,500 hectares of the surrounding waters is also under the jurisdiction of the park rangers, allowing for the protection of over 1,000 species of fish and hundreds of different corals.

    Komodo's dive sites stretch from the warm waters of the Flores Sea in the north to the chillier waters down south in the Indian Ocean and vary from gentle coral slopes to heart-pounding adrenaline thrill rides. The underwater terrain presents many contrasts as well, with sheer cliff walls, pinnacles, sandy flat bottoms, underwater plateaus, slopes, caves, swim - throughs, channels, all with differing colours, sizes and types of both hard and soft corals.

    Along the way, dive around Moyo island, Satonda and Bima. Relax as we cruise through the Komodo-Flores channel. Two popular sites at Gili Lawa Laut, called Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, will offer opportunities for critter spotting as well as big fish action. In fact, the dive site of Castle Rock is a nice opportunity to try out a ‘reef-hook' dive as you secure yourself to the rock and float in the current, watching the schooling fish and predator/prey action! Next, dive around Rinca island and head on land to meet the Komodo dragons.

    Currents in this area can be quite strong and we have to dive according to the tides, but with so many great sites to choose from we can always adapt the schedule for the best diving. Try something unusual at Sangeang island as we dive in the shadow of an active volcano... feeling the hot springs bubbling up under the sand.

    In Komodo, it's all about diversity: exhilarating drift diving, interesting muck diving, encounters with pelagics (mantas, sharks, whale sharks, sunfish), macro attractions (pygmy seahorses, blue-ringed octopus, frogfish, ghost pipefish), shallow reefs, walls, pinnacles, seamounts, pristine hard/soft corals.

    In general the water temperature in the Komodo area is around 26-28+ (78-82F+) so usually a 3-5mm wetsuit is fine, but the southern dive sites in Komodo can drop down to 24-26C (75-78F) so some guests prefer a 5mm with hood. For repetitive diving days you may start to notice the cooler thermoclines more than usual, so prefer to wear a slightly thicker wetsuit and/or a hood, but usually 5mm is sufficient. We don't recommend gloves as this can encourage divers to touch corals or delicate reef areas, but for night dives, where you could be more likely to bump into fire coral etc (or the 2 days of diving in south Komodo), many divers do prefer earning a full length suit and hood/gloves.

    SAMPLE CRUISE ITINERARY Grand Komodo (Marine Biologist)

    12 Day/11 Night Bali-Bali Cruise

    Day 1 Embarkation in Bali

    Day 2 Moyo Island/Satonda (2-3 dives)

    Moyo is a small island, inhabited by around 6,000 people, located in the West Nusa Tenggara province off the northern coast of Sumbawa. There are spectacular coral formations and crystal clear waters that make for great diving.

    Angel Reef

    This site lies off the west coast of Moyo and consists of a healthy coral reef with a vertical wall dropping to over 40 meters / 120 feet in depth. Angel Reef has huge elephant ear and barrel sponges along the wall. It is teeming with long fin banner fish and red tooth triggerfish. Search the sea fans here for a chance to see the Denise pygmy seahorse.

    Panjang Reef

    Located just north of Angel Reef is the submerged coral reef of Panjang Reef - 'long reef'. The huge coral garden plateau is covered with pulsing soft corals, surrounded by a sloping reef full of big sponges and healthy hard corals. Bargibanti pygmy seahorses, leaf scorpion fish, ribbon eels and sea snakes can all be seen here.

    Satonda Reef

    Underwater the sloping reef and sandy bottom hide a large array of critters. An early morning dive provides a great opportunity to search for giant frogfish nestled in the sponges, or mushroom coral pipefish snaking among the fronds of the mushroom coral. Nudibranchs, pipefish, even ghost pipefish and Bargibanti pygmy seahorses are regularly seen here.

    Find other trips with Monty Halls:

    2016 Raja Ampat 11N Cruise: Embark SORONG, 12 November 2016 - Disembark SORONG, 23 November 2016

    Your adventure begins at the port city of Sorong at the western edge of West Papua (previously known as Irian Jaya). Famed as the world's epicentre of marine biodiversity, the Raja Ampat area offers vibrant underwater colours but also majestic landscapes; a perfect destination for keen photographers. The waters of the region's 1,500 virtually untouched islands, boast over 1,300 reef fish (25 endemic species), 600 hard corals and 75% of all known coral species, plus 13 marine mammals and 5 species of endangered sea turtles. Wobbegong sharks hide under colourful coral shelves and the elusive Epaulette "walking" shark comes out at night. Jump in at Neptune Fan Sea for a great drift dive, rushing along a gulley past giant colourful gorgonian seafans. Manta Sandy is well-known as one of the most consistent spots for finding congregating mantas.

    This special cruise features talks from marine biologist and celebrity diver Monty Halls, sharing his stories and knowledge with our guests and offering some of his experience and advice for studying and diving with our oceans' fascinating marine life.

    Click HERE