Blue Manta Explorer - Raja Ampat Itinerary
Raja Ampat or ‘Four Kings’ is a true divers paradise, a wonderland lost in time, incredible natural beauty dominates above and below the blue waters; steep jungle covered limestone islands, stunning white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, and dense mangrove forests combine to create over 9.8 million acres of National Park. Underwater more than 1000 types of reef fish, 540 types of corals, sharks, Rays, turtles, dolphins and even whales call the park their home. This is the holy grail of dive destinations, truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. We invite you discover a diver’s heaven on earth.
Raja Ampat will immerse you in a diving paradise: rich & varied topography, with the world’s richest underwater bio-diversity and sheer abundance or marine life to keep you coming back for more. The huge variety of coral and fish life is reflected in the diversity of dive sites you will visit; Walls, slopes, caves, canyons, seamounts, muck diving and distinctive signature sites like Blue Water Mangroves and The Passage combine to make Raja Ampat one of the most celebrated and desired dive destinations in the world. The stunning beauty of Raja Ampat's exotic & enchanting islands both above and below the water will leave you in no doubt that this is a true natural wonderland.
Water Temp: 80-86F/27-30C. Air Temp: 80-89F/27-32C.
Visibility: 49-99FT/15-30M. Experience Level: intermediate to advanced.
Best Time to Dive: October to April (less rain & much less wind; perfect for diving).
Please note also that this itinerary is an example only, and will change depending on weather and logistics at the Captain's discretion.
Day 1. (0-1 dives) latest arrival 5pm, Sorong. On arrival our staff will meet you at Airport to assist you and transfer to Blue Manta. Possible check dive at Red Light district just outside Sorong if all arrive early. Then sail over night to Raja Ampat.
Day 2. (4 dives) Daram Islands; Nudi Rock, Tank Rock, Whale Rock, & night dive.
Day 3. (4 dives) Misool; Boo Corner, The Window, Magic Mountain, sail over night to North Raja Ampat.
Day 4. (4 dives) Yangeffo Island; Citrus ridge, Mayhem ridge, Manta Sandy, & night dive. Reef, mangrove & manta cleaning station.
Day 5. (4 dives) Dampier Strait; Sardine Reef, Cape Kri, Friwinbonda, & Sawok night dive. Big fish, sharks, tuna, jacks, barracuda, & more. Night dive looking for blue-ringed octopus and more critters.
Day 6. (4 dives) Mike’s Point, Sardine reef, Manta Spa, & night dive.
Day 7. (2 dives) Blue Magic, Mioskon. Then sail back to Sorong Port. Plenty of time to wash & dry equipment, have lunch, and rest & relaxation.
Day 8. (0 dives) 6am. Check out after breakfast, farewells, and transfer to airport. Departure from Sorong to Manado, Jakarta or Denpasar.
Blue Manta Explorer Trip Schedule:
Departure 5pm 1st day - Sorong, West Papua; or earlier if everyone arrives before and all Trip Preparations have been completed. Free transfer from Airport or local Hotel to on Trip departure day.
8D/7N & 22 dives or 9D/8N & 26 Dives or 10D/9N & 30 Dives 11D/10N & 34 Dives: choose your preferred schedule and enjoy spectacular diving in the world’s most bio diverse diving destination. A trip you will truly never forget.
Return; 6am, Last Day - Sorong, West Papua. After we give you a breakfast and make our farewells we will transfer you to the airport in time for check in & flight or to your chosen local hotel.
Last Dive Ends; 12pm Penultimate Day. Plenty of time for R&R while we sail back to Sorong where we spend our last night on Blue Manta Explorer. This also allows for your minimum 18hrs surface interval/No fly time (as recommended by PADI)
How to get to & from Sorong (SOQ), West Papua: Raja Ampat trips start and finish in Sorong, West Papua. We will be there to meet you at Sorong Airport (SOQ) and transport you to your liveaboard adventure. It is easiest to fly to & from Sorong (SOQ) via Jakarta (CGK), Makassar (UPG Ujung Pandang), Bali (DPS, Denpasar), or Manado (MDC).
International Flights: Silk Air operates regularly from Singapore to Manado. Garuda Indonesia flies daily from Singapore to Makassar, then Domestic flight to Sorong. During the stopover in Makassar, you may wish to take advantage of some rest between flights, just remember to set your alarms in good time for your early flight to Sorong! Ibis Makassar Airport is located right on the side of the exit door.
Jakarta (CGK): If you are travelling via Jakarta, some International & Domestic flights do not always arrive/depart from same terminal building. Transfers between terminals can take some time so please plan accordantly.
Domestic airlines: There are a number of operators who offer domestic flights to and from Sorong; Garuda Indonesia / Sriwijaya Air / Lion Air / Express Air
Book online directly: Garuda Indonesia & Lion Air provides online reservations.
Other airline carriers: You may need an Indonesian credit card.
Hotels: We can help recommend local hotels in Sorong where we can pick you up & drop off on Trip Departure/arrival day. Check out the following hotel options in Sorong; Swiss-Belhotel; Hotel Mariat; Royal Mamberamo; JE Meridien Hotel; Waigo Hotel.
What Exposure suit do I need? Warm, tropical waters with temperatures between 78-82F/26-28C mean a 3mm shorty is fine for most, however if you do get cold easily you may want to bring along a full wetsuit (3mm or more) and hood.
Are you diving with 12L or 15L tanks and are you using DIN or Yoke valves? Our tanks have both INT valves and DIN inserts. You don’t need to bring an adapter. We can provide 15L tanks on request (rental fee applicable and subject to availability on booking).
When is the best time to visit Raja Ampat? The best time to visit Raja Ampat is between November and April; the Northwest monsoon brings some rain the winds are much milder, making this the best time for diving. Raja Ampat has a hot and humid climate all year around, and there will likely be some heavy showers however they are generally short lived and followed by long sunny periods.
Check List of what to bring? PASSPORT, Dive certification card, log books, Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, book, MP3/Tablet, camera chargers, memory sticks/SD cards, and CASH for any travel necessities.
Check List for Diving Gear: BCD, Regulator, Fin/booties, Mask, snorkel, wetsuit, dive computer, underwater flashlight/torch with batteries, SMB, hood, reef hook. If you do not have any of these items, we have rental gear available; just let us know what items and sizes (if applicable) in advance, as all gear is subject to availability. Please note the use of a dive computer is compulsory for all Indonesia itineraries, if you do not have one, we have them available for rent onboard.
Do I need a visa? Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA): many countries now receive a free 30 day entry on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain a VoA, others will have to obtain Visa BEFORE Arrival. Passport: ensure your passport is in good order, has enough pages, is valid for at least 6 months, and that you are able to enter Indonesia. Check with your local Indonesia Embassy if unsure.
Will I need to Pay Departure Tax at the airport? Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (March 2015) to be included in your flight ticket price. Please check with your airline if unsure.
Should I purchase Travel & Dive Insurance? Dive Insurance with evacuation coverage is compulsory for all trips. We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your travel needs. For dive travel insurance, we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. More information about insurance options can be found HERE.
Travel Insurance: please NOTE: we cannot be held accountable for airline flight changes, delays, or cancellations. We STRONGLY advise you take out adequate insurance to cover such eventualities.
Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times: we do not allow Decompression Diving or Solo Diving on any of our trips.
Is Malaria present in this area? Will I need Immunization boosters? You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel; while the risk is low some health professionals recommend travel vaccines for Hepatitis A/B and Typhoid. Raja Ampat is a low risk Malaria Zone; however it is advised you take the proper precautions against malaria including speaking with your physician or travel medicine specialist for appropriate anti-malarials. DAN provides information on diving and anti-malarials, which can be found HERE. Good preventative measures include DEET-containing insect repellent and long armed/legged clothing in the evening. If unsure about any health matters please consult a diving doctor prior to your trip.
What Currencies are accepted in Raja Ampat? Most places accept US Dollars, as well as Indonesian Rupiah. Please ensure ALL bills are in good order; NOT worn or torn and unmarked or they will not be accepted. Exchange rates differ for USD100/50 bills and USD20/10 bills. There are a number of ATMs available in Sorong.
Is there a fuel Surcharge? NO fuel surcharges in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.
What Plug types are available? We have 3 pin UK standard plugs, 220v in every cabin, salon, dining area, and dive deck. International plugs plus USB sockets are also available. We also have some adapters onboard. Most modern mobile phones, computers, camera batteries, etc. are dual voltage (check labels to be certain), so most guests only require adapters, rather than converters. If a converter is required, please bring your own.
Is there Internet/ Mobile signal available in Raja Ampat? Not long after you leave Sorong, Raja Ampat has intermittent internet/ mobile signal in the north/ central areas of Raja Ampat and very limited in the south. Telkomsel simpati sim card is the best local card to buy and costs only 3USD (plus credit). The Blue Manta Explorer does have 24hr Satellite Internet available onboard at a charge.
How much luggage is allowed on domestic flights? Most airlines allow 10-20kg/pax checked & 7kg carry-on. Additional weight is charged per/kilo (USD2-5/ kilo). Maximum allowance between 20-30kg. Consult with your Travel Agent or Airline carrier for actual details.
How about the weather? What Clothes should I bring? Generally, throughout the day, light clothing such as shorts and T-Shirt should be enough; most often it is hot and sunny with fine clear blue skies. However the Northwest monsoon can bring occasional brief but heavy downpours, you may want to bring along a waterproof jacket just in case.
Will there be any land based visits? Raja Ampat is as stunning above the water as it is below and so we like to include occasional visits to the islands whenever possible. Typical land based excursions include visits to mangroves, snorkeling where the fresh water meets the sea, along with a short walk around the mangroves, we also stop off visiting a local village which is great for our guests and for us to support the locals too; there are numerous beaches we can visit along with some amazing view points.
How much should I tip the crew? Average guest gratuities are around 10% of your trip price, or more if you wish to reward their excellent service, this is entirely up to you of course. (USD or Indonesian Rupiah preferred).
What's included? All nights' accommodation & 3 meals/day onboard, tea, coffee, fruit, snacks, towels, dive guide, all dives, 12 liter air tanks, use of weights & belt, 2-way land transfer from Sorong Airport (SOQ) or local hotel (Sorong only).
What's excluded? Airfare to Sorong (SOQ), accommodation on land, marine park & harbor fee (USD220-250/pax), dive insurance (required), travel insurance, massage services (USD30/ hour), laundry services (USD5/basket), Satellite Wi-Fi (USD30/per person/per trip), Nespresso coffee (USD2), soft drinks, Alcohol; beer (USD4), wine (USD30-50), Diving Gear; 15L tank rental, Nitrox EANx32, Nitrox & Equipment Rental Items.
Credit card: MasterCard & Visa only, all credit card transactions incur 4.5% processing fee.