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Questions about choosing a Raja Ampat liveaboard

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Dogbowl, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    2,658
    1,774
    I’m looking into Raja Ampat liveaboards and have a few questions...calling all SE Asia experts - can you help?

    So I looked at the Samambaia, Blue Manta and Aggressor and they looked like good options. Then I looked at when there was availability. A trend emerged and I’m not sure why. Most were full throughout 2019 except for some spots left mainly first 2 weeks of January. Can someone tell me why this time seems to be less desirable or not full? Does it have to do with the diving or weather?

    With respect to the length of itinerary, there seems to be 6 days and up. I understand the shorter the itinerary, the less we’ll see. I also know some itineraries are North, Central or South (Misool). I heard great things about Misool so would really like to see it. Can you comment about the 3 areas and will I be missing anything if I do one or the other?

    I’m not tied to the 3 liveaboards I’ve mentioned. It’s just that they were attractive for one reason or another.
     
  2. All Star Liveaboards

    All Star Liveaboards ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Bahamas, BVI, Cuba, Indonesia, Philippines
    97
    59
    The Raja Ampat season is typically November through March for the best conditions. January is a great time to visit. I think it is sometimes a bit slower coming off the holidays. Most boats do run trips at least 6 days if not 9-11 days. Raja Ampat is a very large area with a variety of dive sites and shore excursions to take it. Misool is generally reached on the longer itineraries as it is quite far from Sorong.

    All of the diving in Raja Ampat is breathtaking, but there are some truly incredible sites within Misool National Park and this area can often give a better opportunity for Manta Rays.

    All Star Liveaboards Aurora does have availability November 10-21, a special Manta Trust trip January 8-19, or Jan. 22-Feb 2.

    All Star Liveaboards - Aurora
    aurora@allstarliveaboards.com
     
  3. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    2,658
    1,774
    Thanks for your reply. Let me check out the Aurora.

    How many divers per DM? Thanks.
     
  4. Moray

    Moray Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Here
    178
    39
     
  5. All Star Liveaboards

    All Star Liveaboards ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Bahamas, BVI, Cuba, Indonesia, Philippines
    97
    59
    16 Passengers total with a 4:1 ratio of divers to guides. We have 2 hard bottom tenders that give ample space and allow for a much easier gearing up process and getting in and out of the water.
     
    Dogbowl likes this.
  6. Moray

    Moray Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Here
    178
    39
    Go to liveaboard24.com or Equator Diving and put in your destination and time period you want, and you’ll see plenty of choices.
     
  7. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    2,658
    1,774
    Thanks @Moray . That’s the problem, there are so many choices I’m trying to figure out which boat and which itinerary is right for me.
     
  8. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    3,360
    2,763
    I recommend doing a 10 day if you can. I was there for 7 and wanted more. I like using PADI Travel to search for boats/dates/availability. I went on the Aggressor so if you have specific Q’s about it, let me know. January is a good time to be there. I’m not sure how accurate your availability viewing is but I guess it is a bit late (relative to when they publish and when guests usually book) to be booking in for the 18-early 19 season for Raja.
     
  9. Dogbowl

    Dogbowl Contributor

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Somewhere
    2,658
    1,774
    Thanks! We are looking at 7 or 8 nights, due to not wanting to spend more than 2 weeks abroad, and wanting to stop off in HK to visit a bit. We will include Misool though. How many divers per DM on the Raja Ampat Aggressor?

    My mind is spinning right now looking at flights to Sorong. OMG never had to fly like this before. Currently found reasonable flights on Cathay Pacific from Toronto - Hong Kong - Jakarta, then Jakarta - Sorong on Garuda on a separate ticket. All in about CAD1,700. I heard Garuda is the most reliable in Indonesia but other domestic airlines seem much, much cheaper.

    If anyone has done this trip from Toronto, please let me know how you configured the flights!

    Really just pricing out the whole trip and looking like it will be about CAD7,700 for flight and liveaboard. Hotel and other incidentals on top of that.

    I dunno...we’ll see...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  10. CWK

    CWK Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Probably on a LOB somewhere
    1,050
    645
    Does anyone know of smaller travel agents that specialise in dive travel and have a brick and motar presence in the UK or Europe? I’m trying to avoid internet based travel agents as I like to know what laws apply when things go south. I’m also trying to avoid travel agents that represent as many liveaboards as they can instead of being more discerning.
     

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