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Raja Ampat Small Group Snorkeling Adventure

An in-depth snorkeling journey through Raja Ampat’s world famous reefs aboard the boutique liveaboard, Damai I.

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Overview

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore Raja Ampat’s stunning coral reefs in a small group setting.
  • The Damai vessels are specifically designed for cruising in tropical waters and are setting new standards for safety and comfort in Raja Ampat.
  • Our years of experience leading snorkeling trips here will make sure you see the best shallow water coral habitat that Raja Ampat has to offer.

Join us aboard the intimate Damai I for an expedition designed to get you snorkeling in the phenomenal variety of habitats that make the Raja Ampat archipelago so special. We’ll explore shallow reefs with abundant fish, blue water mangroves rich with soft corals and macro life, and known habitats for iconic Coral Triangle species ranging from colorful mantis shrimp to breathtaking manta rays and otherworldly tasseled wobbegong sharks.

Beginning and ending in Sorong, stops on our itinerary include the Dampier Straits, Kri Island, Gam, Wayag, Alijui Bay, Penemu, Batanta, and more. A maximum of 13 guests in 7 cabins and two on-board snorkel guides make for an intimate experience aboard this boutique wooden ship.

Trip Dates & Cost

2020: January 21 - February 1. From $6,200 / person + park fees.

* Trip prices do not include airfare. Limited single supplements are available for a fee of $2,100. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.

Photos
Naturalist

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. 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.

Dalton Ambat is based in Bali and has helped guide Oceanic Society's Indonesia snorkel programs for the last 8 years. He is an experienced snorkel guide and a PADI certified master scuba dive trainer who has logged more than 10,000 dives and trained more than 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. In 2016 he also participated in our marine debris sampling survey cruise from Bali to Komodo.

Michelle Paddack is a senior conservation scientist with Oceanic Society and assistant professor at Santa Barbara City College. She is a passionate marine researcher and educator whose goal is to provide tangible inputs toward sustainable management and conservation of marine ecosystems. Michelle holds a Ph.D. from the University of Miami and has worked with Oceanic Society since 1998. She is co-director of our reef monitoring programs, and co-investigator of the Ulithi Marine Conservation Project.

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrive into Jakarta
Arrive into Jakarta on your own and stay overnight. If you are originating from North America, please note that you will be crossing the International Date Line. You'll want to arrive at least 24 hours in advance to adjust to the time change and give yourself a buffer period before your flights to Sorong.

Day 1: Jakarta - Sorong, Embark
Today is the official start of our trip. Everyone will board an early morning flight to Sorong, West Papua, where we will be transferred to the privately-chartered Damai I, our home for the next 11 nights. Once everyone is checked in, we will set sail.

Days 2-11: Exploring the Raja Ampat Archipelago
We'll spend each day snorkeling and exploring the archipelago's reefs and tropical landscapes. Each day we will spend 4-6 hours in the water, visiting some of the most pristine, diverse, and colorful coral reefs in the world. Here we may come across soft and hard coral walls, colorful nudibranchs, abundant schools of fish, and productive reef ecosystems full of butterflyfish, angelfish, snappers, groupers, parrotfish, sea turtles, and possibly marine mammals and sharks.

We do our best to keep the itinerary flexible depending on external factors such as tides, wind, and weather. Possible snorkeling destinations may include reefs adjacent to Batanta, Penemu, Waigeo, Aljuy Bay, Gam, Fam, Kawe, Wayag, Friwinbonda, Mansuar, and Kri Islands.

For those interested in bird watching, there will be some opportunities to go on early-morning outings to look for unique birds and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We will also visit a lek (mating display site) of the endemic Red Bird of Paradise on Gam Island to see male birds perform their mating displays.

Day 12: Sorong - Jakarta (or Bali)
At the conclusion of our trip, the group will disembark in Sorong, West Papua and transfer to the airport in time for our flights back to Jakarta (or Bali). Depending on your return flight schedule, you may fly home this evening or stay overnight (on your own). Please inquire about our post-trip extensions to snorkel in North Sulawesi or trek in Borneo.

Accommodations

Our expedition takes place aboard the Damai I, a boutique Indonesian liveaboard that was custom-built for snorkeling and diving throughout the Coral Triangle. With an overall length of 40 meters (130 feet) and a beam of over 8 meters (26 feet) the vessel has 7 staterooms with a choice of single cabins, twins, doubles or two spacious master cabins. With sizes ranging from 18sq. meters for the single cabin to +40sq. meters for the master cabins, all are furnished with either queen or king sized beds, ensuite toilets and showers. The vessel has been designed with three large deck areas for relaxing in both the sun or shade and for enjoying relaxing massage and spa treatments.

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