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Raja Ampat Archipelago by Liveaboard

Dive in to the epicenter of global marine biodiversity on our snorkeling focused liveaboard trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Named a National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime in 2010!

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Overview

  • Raja Ampat is at the heart of the Coral Triangle and considered by many to be the best marine destination on Earth.
  • Travel comfortably aboard a traditional Indonesian schooner with spacious common areas and two tenders with sturdy dive ladders.
  • Explore fish-filled walls and soft coral gardens. Nudibranchs abound!

This special journey through Raja Ampat, Indonesia was named one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010!

Located in Indonesia's West Papua Province, the Raja Ampat Archipelago is at the heart of the most biodiverse marine region on Earth—the Coral Triangle. Largely unexplored by scientists until recently, new marine species are being discovered here on a regular basis. Coral reefs in Raja Ampat are not only the world's most biodiverse, but they are also some of the most pristine. More than 500 species of coral and more than 1,300 species of fish have been recorded here.

Our trip takes you on an exploration of this remote archipelago aboard a 112-foot motored schooner. Selecting ideal snorkeling sites daily, we will immerse ourselves in diverse and unique marine habitats, exploring multiple islands. Morning excursions will provide opportunities to see the equally diverse bird life, including the magnificent Red Bird of Paradise, Kingfishers, and Sea Eagles.

We snorkel along mushroom-shaped rock islands, which harbor miles of hard and soft corals. In addition to snorkeling in aquamarine waters, we also explore some of the larger islands of the region including Waigeo whose lush green forest is inhabited by many varieties of bird and animal life. We enjoy strolling along white sand beaches, and at Gam Island there is a possibility to see the magnificent Bird of Paradise.

With daily diverse snorkeling opportunities, combined with a mix of island exploration, this is one of the best remote snorkeling expeditions possible.

Trip Dates & Cost

2017: October 19–28. From $6,200 per person.*

2018: October 17–28. From $6,200 per person.*

* Price varies based on cabin selection. There is a single supplement fee of $925 (limited quantities available). Trip prices do not include international airfare. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.


"World-class snorkeling in the most biodiverse marine environment on Earth."

- Gary Nielsen, 2012 traveler


"This is a wonderful way to experience snorkeling, and I would come again as soon as possible!"

- Deborah Sheppard, 2012 traveler

Photos
Naturalist

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1988. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.

Pete Oxford works in some of the world’s most pristine and remote wildlife and cultural destinations as a full-time professional photographer. His images have appeared in major magazines including National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Photographer, and Smithsonian, and have been featured ten times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Pete and his wife Reneé also lead expeditions to some of the world’s richest cultures and most biodiverse areas of our planet.

Dalton Ambat is based in Manado, Sulawesi and has helped to guide Oceanic Society's Indonesia snorkel programs for the last 5 years as an onboard naturalist with Sea Safari. He is a PADI certified master scuba dive trainer with over 10,000 dives and has trained over 1,000 students. Dalton has worked across the entire coral triangle region and is an expert naturalist with a keen eye for the macro critters.

Itinerary

Please note that our 2018 program will be 2 days longer than in 2017.

Day 0: Arrive Jakarta (or Bali)
Arrive in Jakarta (or Bali) on your own and overnight. If you are originating from the U.S., please note that you will be crossing the international date line.

Day 1: Jakarta (or Bali) - Sorong, embark
Today is the official start of our trip. Board an early morning flight to Sorong, West Papua, where you will be transferred to the privately-chartered Sea Safari VIII, your home for the next 9 nights (or 11 nights in 2018), and set sail.

Day 2-9 (or 2-11): Exploring Raja Ampat Archipelago
Explore the reefs and tropical landscapes of Misool, Batanta, Penemu, Waigeo, Gam, Mansuar, and Kri Islands. Each day we will spend 4-6 hours in the water, visiting some of the most pristine and diverse coral reefs in the world.

We will also enjoy stops on land to look for unique birds and enjoy the beautiful landscape. On Gam Island, we will visit a lek (mating display site) of the endemic Red Bird of Paradise for the opportunity to see the male birds perform their mating displays.

Day 10 (or 12): Sorong - Jakarta (or Bali)
Disembark in Sorong, West Papua and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Jakarta (or Bali), the conclusion of our trip. Depending on your return flight schedule, you may fly home on this day or stay overnight (on your own).

Accommodations

Raja Ampat cruise ship

Our expedition takes place aboard Sea Safari VIII, a 23-passenger, 112-foot-long motored pinisi Buginese schooner that features twelve air-conditioned cabins, each with their own complete en suite facilities. The ship's common saloon is air-conditioned and offers a comfortable setting where participants can enjoy the library and socialize. It is spacious and attractive with large surrounding windows that allow continuous views of the spectacular outdoor topography.

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