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Raja Ampat and Banda Sea Biodiversity Cruise

Explore more than 1,100 miles of the biodiverse Banda Sea and Raja Ampat Archipelago, including locations where the highest reef fish diversity in the world has been recorded.

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Overview

  • Called the “biodiversity cruise" because it covers two sites where the highest diversity of coral reef fishes in the world have been recorded.
  • Fully appreciate this culturally, geologically, and biologically diverse region as we traverse East Timor, the spice islands, and Raja Ampat.
  • Travel comfortably with one of Indonesia's most experienced crews.

Join us for a 17-day scuba diving and snorkeling adventure aboard the Pindito, a prestigious liveaboard and pioneers of eco-tourism in Raja Ampat. Embarking from Flores Island, we traverse more than 1,100 miles of the biodiverse Banda Sea, ending up in Raja Ampat. Along our route we enjoy daily diving and snorkeling in a range of habitats known for a high diversity of soft and hard corals, macro life including pipefish, seahorses, and nudibranchs, as well as large, open water species like manta rays, barracuda, sharks, and more.

The region's unique geology offers dramatic landscapes above water, and unique formations below the ocean's surface. Along the way we also take time for island visits, hikes, and to look for many whale and dolphin species. These trips book far in advance—inquire soon!

Trip Dates & Cost

2017: September 19 – October 5 SOLD OUT. From $8,795 per person + park fees.*

* Trip price does not include international airfare. 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.

Keoki Stender is a native Hawaiian photographer, educator, diving industry specialist, and owner of marinelifephotography.com, a popular species identification resource for Hawaii and beyond. He studied marine science and botany at the University of Hawaii and shares this passion as a guest speaker and volunteer educator for many organizations. Keoki is a PADI scuba instructor with more than 25 years of experience in the dive industry.

Itinerary

Day 1: Maumere, Flores Island | Embark
At 4:00pm, the ship will embark from Maumere on Flores Island. The port of Maumere is an amazing and diverse snorkel/dive site with pipefish and seahorses, frogfish, scorpionfish, nudibranchs and many other unique species seen here regularly.

Day 2-16: At sea | Daily snorkeling and optional scuba diving
To account for weather conditions and maximize our ability to snorkel, dive, and explore, the experienced Pindito crew will guide us on a flexible route through the Banda Sea and Raja Ampat to Sorong. Stops along our route may include the Alor archipelago, East Timor, Seroea and Manuk, the Banda Islands, Koon, Misool (Raja Ampat), and the Dampier Strait. This geologically, culturally, and biologically diverse region is almost "too good to be true!"

Day 17: Sorong, West Papua | disembark
Arrive to Sorong and disembark at 07:00am.

Accommodations

The 124-foot MV Pindito is the original liveaboard of Raja Ampat. It is a Pinisi style motored schooner with 8 double occupancy cabins (6 with double beds, 2 with twin beds), each with individually controlled air-conditioning and complete en suite facilities. The ship's comfortable lounge features panoramic windows, and there is ample deck space for relaxing, bird watching, or looking for marine mammals.

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