8 Days / 7 Nights
Approximately 24 dives in total
Open Water – 40 minimum logged dives required
Day 1 – Sorong to Waisai
Day one starts with your pickup from either your hotel or the airport. If we are picking you up from your hotel, it is generally around 07:30 – 08:00, if you are arriving on the day of departure, it is important that your arrival time is before 07:30. We will then head directly to the Ferry Port, where you will be met by a member of staff who will accompany you to Waisai. The ferry crossing is around two hours. Upon your arrival in Waisai, it is only a short walk to transfer to La Galigo. Once onboard you will be met by the Cruise Director and a welcome drink.
After you have been shown to your rooms and unpacked your luggage, it’s time for a welcome briefing before we have some lunch, then you have some time to relax and soak up the amazing surroundings en route to our first dive of the day. Our ‘welcome dive’ is usually conducted at the nearby island of Saonek Kecil. The waters are generally calm, and is a perfect spot to get the diving going. After the sun sets over the eastern Indonesian sky, we will go looking for unusual critters in Saonek Besar, where you might also make your very first encounter with the iconic Tasselled Wobbegong Shark.
Day 2 – Dampier Strait
Whilst in the central Dampier Strait we will conduct 4 dives. The top dive sites in this area are Blue Magic, home to majestic Oceanic Manta Rays, and other large pelagics such as Spanish Mackerel and Bigeye Trevally. Cape Kri, arguably the top house reef in the world, was made famous by Raja Ampat pioneer Max Ammer, and is next on the itinerary.
Sawandarek Jetty, further down the southern coast of Kri island, is where you will probably feel like you’re in an aquarium – only the fish are incredibly numerous, wild and free. And just to top off this (fish) action packed day, we will take you for a night dive on Kri’s south coast, in Yenbuba Village’s Jettyafter you soak in the stunning sunset views with the islands of Waigeo and Gam in the distant, fiery horizon.
Day 3 – Pianemo (a.k.a. Penemu)
The iconic limestone pinnacles have become synonymous with the Raja Ampat experience, and Pianemo lagoon/lookout is just one of many such stunning formations. The best time to hike this hill is early morning, before temperatures rise, but the rewards for climbing are well worth it. Melissa’s Garden is undoubtedly the top dive in this area, with a staggering number of coral and fish species packed into this small piece of marine real estate. Its beauty needs to be seen to be believed.
Keruo Channel and My Reef are among the top choices for the next dive… plenty of amazing coral reefs and lots of schooling fish! Raja Ampat is also known for its macro critters, and a night dive in the Penemu area might result in an unexpected encounter with an unusual Frogfish species or even Blue-Ringed Octopus. As you enjoy a great night’s sleep, we will set sail for the northern islands of Raja Ampat…
Day 4 – Wayag
Awake bright and early to witness sunrise on the equator, cruising between the limestone formations that make up the island of Wayag, in preparation for the morning’s hike. These limestone islands and pinnacles have become synonymous with Raja Ampat, and the bay is also home to a Manta breeding station. The best time to hike this hill is early morning, before temperatures rise, but the rewards for climbing are well worth it. The beaches here are also pristine, with fine white sand and turquoise waters surrounding the limestone cliffs of the islands. After trekking, we will endeavour to dive Figure 8 Rock, a submerged pinnacle home to large pelagic fish, and the occasional passing Manta.
While you have lunch, the boat will cruise to the eastern side of Wayag. Here is where we plan to dive the legendary dive site, Cathedral, which is renowned for its spectacular topography and swim-throughs. Following the dive, we take a short trip to the Wayag Ranger Station, which is also a Black Tip Reef Shark breeding area. Here we will get the chance to do some snorkelling with these baby sharks under the ranger jetty, and also conduct a night dive on the same stretch of reef.
Day 5 – Kawe & Aljui Bay
Kawe is an island located exactly on the equator, and is one of our favourite islands to dive in the north of Raja Ampat. Dive sites visited here are very heavily dependent on day-to-day unpredictable conditions such as swell, but one of our favourite sites in the area is a very colourful coral reef (somewhat ironically) known as Black Rock. Eagle Rock (which comprises 3 separate dive sites) is well known for its Pygmy Seahorse as well as their Manta populations, and we will dive these sites late morning and early afternoon.
Around 4 pm, La Galigo will move into Aljui Bay, one of the world’s most spectacular bays to watch the sunset, and also do some great muck diving at arguably the best night dive site in all of Raja Ampat, the Cendana Pearl Farm Jetty.
Day 6 – Gam & The Western Dampier Strait
We wake up just off the coast in Gam Island. There are some great dive sites around this area with vibrant fish covered reefs and plenty of stunning macro subjects. Two sites we regularly visit in Gam are Citrus Ridge and Mayhem. As we have lunch we will cruise down to the Western Dampier Strait, to a dive site named Manta Ridge, for an opportunity to dive with the Manta Ray population often located here.
In the late afternoon, we take a land tour onto the peaceful Arborek Island. The village itself is tranquil and surrounded by beautiful beaches. Arborek is also home to what we consider to be a fantastic night dive, Arborek Jetty, for a chance to find Walking Sharks, Blue- ringed octopus, and many other critters.
Day 7 – The Central Dampier Strait
We will be making our way back to the central part of the Dampier Strait, and this is a great opportunity to dive Mike’s Point. Legend has it that it was mistaken for a battleship during WWII, and was heavily bombed by enemy aircraft. It has a stunning overhang, as well as gentle-swim throughs in addition to its magnificent coral reef.
We will then take you on a land trip to one of Raja Ampat’s hidden natural wonders, Kali Biru, a river with cool, clear blue waters surrounded by lush tropical jungle. A wondrous sight to simply take in, it also makes a great spot for a swim in an unspoiled, remote plot of paradise.
After an incredible trip, our crew will make sure you’re comfortable, while they prepare a night of food, song and dance to party the night away with you on a pristine Raja Ampat beach, before we set sail for Sorong.
Day 8 – Disembark in Sorong
La Galigo will be anchored in the morning around 05:00am in Sorong, in preparation for you to catch your flight, or check-in to your hotel. Guests are welcome to stay onboard until 11:00am, and our staff will assist you with transportation to your desired location. After breakfast, guests may also take the time to exchange photos and swap contact details to keep in touch with new friends and dive buddies!