Raja Ampat-Halmahera-Lembeh

NEW White Manta 11 Days / 10 Nights

This route offers such a wealth of biodiversity starting with the spectacularly beautiful reefs around the South Raja Ampat area, travelling through Misool to Halmahera and then onto the critter heaven of Lembeh Strait. The cruise runs between Sorong in West Papua and Bitung in North Sulawesi.

The majority of the dives during this trip are around the islands of Raja Ampat (West Papua) and Halmahera (North Muluku). We spend a day diving when we cross from Raja Ampat to Halmahera and again when we cross from Halmahera to Lembeh.

Raja Ampat – This trip starts in the Misool area, where we spend upto 3 days. Corals are lush here and many of the divesites are now world reknown owing to the success of the marine park and large no-take zones.

Pulau Pisang – Pisang means 'Banana' in Indonesian language but it is just a nice name. Pulau Pisang is our stop-off between Misool (Raja Ampat) and South Bacan (Halmahera). As with Tifore, we spend an entire day diving here since it is far from other places. Sloping reefs with amazing soft and hard corals and some lovely schools of fish and macro finds. We sometimes see eagle rays and other pelagics too.

Halmahera – Kepulauan Goraici to the West, and Patientie Strait between, Bacan and Halmahera island in the south of the archipelago. We usually spend 3 days crossing through the dive areas here. Goraici has many small islands and pinnacles and we see a lot of different marine life amongst them. In the Patientie Strait there are 5 islands and many rocks bridging the current rich strait at one of it's narrowest points. There are several divesites around the islands and macro diving is the main dish on the menu. If you like pretty critters like ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses and possibly even blue-ringed octopus, you're likely to be well represented here. However, the strait does boast some pretty strong currents sometimes too, so there are great opportunities to enjoy some of the unique aspects that current brings to a dive. South Bacan is the other area, there is a great divesite for pelagics, with a tremendous hard coral reef in the shallows. There is also a pretty good muck dive in this area.

Tifore – A small island between Lembeh and Bacan / Halmahera. There is only one really good divesite here, but the bunus is that it is..usually...really really good! Undoubtedly the highlight, if we can find them, is a very large school of barracuda. The reef is quite large and quite beautiful. Large schools of golden damsels and redtooth triggers inhabit the steep walls delightfully furnished with big sponges and soft corals. it is common to find yourself engaged in schools of big-eye trevallies and black snapper as the odd large tuna idles by in the blue.

Lembeh Strait – 2 dives on the last day – world famous for its muck and critter diving – long lazy dives offering photographers some of the most weird and wonderful marine creatures in the world. We encourage our divers to use a shore based resort to spend a few days in this area for a great treat either before or after your cruise.

Sample Itinerary 

Note: all schedules are subjected to changes according to weather, sea, diving, local conditions & any unforseen circumstances.

Day 1. (0-1 dives) 3pm trip departure day.  Our staff will meet you upon your arrival to Sorong Airport or local hotel and transfer you to the awaiting White Manta. Arrivals before midday are best so we can make check dive at Red Light District (Lampu Merah) just outside Sorong before we get underway for overnight sail (~11 hours).

Day 2. (3-4 dives) South Raja Ampat, Misool: Fiabacet, Boo, Wayil area.

Day 3. (4 dives) South Raja Ampat, Misool: Wayil & Pele area if weather & currents permit. Sail to Nempele (~6 hours).

Day 4. (3 dives) South Raja Ampat, Misool: Nempele. Exploring the West coast of Misool, a photography must with amazing mangroves in clear, shallow water. Sail to Pulau Pisang. (~7 hours).

Day 5. (3 dives) Pulau Pisang: quiet secluded island offers exclusivity, tranquility and a couple of nice divesites with lots to see. Sail to Pulau Bacan. (~12 hours).

Day 6. (4 dives) Pulau Bacan: reef sharks, jacks, snappers, barracudas and maybe a muck dive too! Sail to Patientie Strait (~7 hours).

Day 7. (3-4 dives) Patientie Strait: the mixture of islands and rocks offer great dives regardless of the moon phase and tidal changes. Protected areas offer some great macro and healthy reefs, whilst current rich divesites offer a variety of action. Sail to Kepulauan Goraici (~6 hours).

Day 8. (4 dives) Kepulauan Goraichi: Wide variety of different divesites with opportunities to see large pelagics, great underwater topography, and macro alike. Sail to Tifore (~11 hours).

Day 9. (3 dives) Pulau Tifore; amazing divesite island in the Molucca Sea equidistant from Goraici & Lembeh, steep walled pinnacle garnished with corals, sponges, reef fishes and pelagics. Sail to Lembeh. (~11 hours).

Day 10. (2 dives) Critter dives in Lembeh Strait.  Sail back to Bitung Port where you spend last night on board.  Plenty of time to wash & dry equipment, rest & relaxation, and if need be, an early flight on trip departure day. 

Day 11. (0 dives) 5am-12pm. Check-out after a light breakfast, farewells, and transfer to local hotel or airport. Available departures from Manado to all major regional hubs around Indonesia depending on where you are going next.

Diving days: 10 days (30 dives). Number of dives is at Cruise Directors' discretion. There are some exciting land based activities that may be offered as a substitute to maximise the adventure!

Dive Site Information

  • Water Temp: 27-30 degrees Celsius.
  • Air Temp; 27-32 degrees Celsius.
  • Visibility: 15-30 metres.
  • Current; medium to strong.
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
  • Best Time to Dive: October to April (less rain & much less wind; perfect for diving).
  • Special note: Fishing, spear-fishing, use of dive gloves and any damage to the aquatic life are strictly prohibited in Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area (MPA) and is punishable by law.

Embarkation / Disembarkation

  • Sorong (SOQ), West Papua / Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi.

How to get to Sorong (SOQ), West Papua

How to get from Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi

  • Early morning with Lion Air back to Bali (via Surabaya) or with Garuda Indonesia back to Jakarta.
  • International, Silk Air back early afternoon direct to Singapore.

Trip Schedule

  • Departure: 3pm, 1st Day - Sorong, West Papua. Earlier if everyone arrives before and all trip preparations are complete. Free transfer from local hotel or Domine Edward Osok Airport, Sorong to Raja Manta on trip departure day (transfer time 20-30 mins).
  • Return: 6am, Last Day - Bitung Port, Manado, North Sulawesi. After breakfast and fond farewells, we take you to local hotel or Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado in time for check-in & flight (transfer time 2 hours). Note: latest RM check-out midday, trip return day.
  • Last dive ends: 12pm (midday), Penultimate Day.  Plenty of time for rest and relaxation while we sail back to Manado where we spend last night on Raja Manta. This also allows for your minimum 18 hours surface interval / No Fly Time (as recommended by PADI) before flying next day.

Dive Site Information

  • Water Temp: 27-30 degrees Celsius.
  • Air Temp; 27-32 degrees Celsius.
  • Visibility: 15-30 metres.
  • Current; medium to strong.
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
  • Best Time to Dive: October to April (less rain & much less wind; perfect for diving).
  • Special note: Fishing, spear-fishing, use of dive gloves and any damage to the aquatic life are strictly prohibited in Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area (MPA) and is punishable by law.

Embarkation / Disembarkation

  • Sorong (SOQ), West Papua / Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi.

How to get to Sorong (SOQ), West Papua

How to get from Manado (MDC), North Sulawesi

  • Early morning with Lion Air back to Bali (via Surabaya) or with Garuda Indonesia back to Jakarta.
  • International, Silk Air back early afternoon direct to Singapore.

Trip Schedule

  • Departure: 3pm, 1st Day - Sorong, West Papua. Earlier if everyone arrives before and all trip preparations are complete. Free transfer from local hotel or Domine Edward Osok Airport, Sorong to White Manta on trip departure day (transfer time 20-30 mins).
  • Return: 6am, Last Day - Bitung Port, Manado, North Sulawesi. After breakfast and fond farewells, we take you to local hotel or Sam Ratulangi Airport, Manado in time for check-in & flight (transfer time 2 hours). Note: latest WM check-out midday, trip return day.
  • Last dive ends: 12pm (midday), Penultimate Day.  Plenty of time for rest and relaxation while we sail back to Manado where we spend last night on White Manta. This also allows for your minimum 18 hours surface interval / No Fly Time (as recommended by PADI) before flying next day.

What's included?

  • Round trip transfer local Hotel/Airport - Boat
  • All nights' accommodation on Boat
  • All meals (Western & Indonesian) snacks, hot beverages, coffee, tea, Milo, soft drinks
  • Towels, toiletries & cabin services
  • FOC replacement if equipment breakdown
  • Warm towel & drink after every dive
  • Regular Air Tanks, weights, belt, 5 dive guides (1x Instructor, 4x Dive Masters)

What's excluded?

  • All flights & hotels stay
  • Marine Park & Harbour fee  
  • Dive & Travel insurance
  • Massage services
  • Laundry services 
  • Nespresso coffee, alcohol; beer & wine
  • Satellite Wi-Fi
  • Diving Gear; dive computer, torch, 15L tank rental, BCD, regulator, wetsuit, fins mask.  
  • Nitrox Enriched Air fills
  • Note; Nitrox & Diving Gear Items priced per diving day and are subject to availability.
  • Note: Exposure suits; 3mm shorty wetsuits available ONLY.   

White Manta Reminders

Domestic Flights

  • Please book BEFORE confirming your International flights to ensure you make your connection to Sorong & from Manado. 
  • We advise you to stay a night in a local hotel in Jakarta/ Makassar/ Bali before the flight next day.  If your  stopover is in Makassar; you may wish to take advantage of some rest between flights, just remember toset your alarms in good time for your early flight to Sorong.  Ibis Makassar Airport is located right on the side of the exit door.  Alternatively, the Harper Perintis Hotel is just a 15min drive from the airport and offers good value & comfortable rooms.
  • Most Domestic airlines do not allow non-Indo credit card online payments. If you cannot book direct we have a local Indonesian travel agent, who are reliable and efficient and can help you with all flight & hotel needs. Their details on request. If booked with credit card please ensure the card is with you upon Check In or have an official Airline form filled in & signed by card holder authorizing the use of.
  • Our ticketing agents are not responsible for any flight delay or cancellation, luggage lost or delay. In any case, please contact our ground staff in Bali for assistance for flight delay issue.
  • Domestic Airlines normally have 20Kg allowance, although you may pay for 10Kg extra when booking, if needed (around US$3/kilo). With an additional 7kg carryon.

Travel Documents

  • Note; late receipt of Passport details may very likely lead to delayed departure & significant changes to the itinerary. We MUST receive guest’s details well in advance in the trip.
  • 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.
  • Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival (VoA); many countries now receive a free 30 days on arrival, some pay USD35 to obtain 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.
  • Departure Tax; Indonesia Passenger Service Charge (IPSC) has changed (Mar-2015) to be included in your flight ticket price.  Please check though as previously it was 200,000IDRp to leave Indonesia, & up to 75,000IDRp for Domestic flights.  Carry small bills, Indonesia Rupiah preferred, as often no change given.

Health & Insurance

  • Dive Insurance; compulsory for this trip.  We also strongly advise you get adequate travel insurance. Please check your travel insurance policy for your diving needs.  If not covered them we recommend DAN (Divers Alert Network) or their Asia Pacific branch.
  • Dive Computer; compulsory on this trip.  We have rentals onboard if you do not have.
  • Follow Safe Diving Practices at ALL times plus No Deco Diving and No Solo Diving.
  • 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.  We recommend World Nomad for their flexible worldwide cover for travel insurance.
  • Malaria Zone; NOTE that in this part of Indonesia we advise you take the proper precautions against malaria.  The following anti-malaria drugs are considered safe with diving; Doxycycline or malaroneMefloquine (Lariam) is NOT recommended with diving.  Good preventative measures include DEET and long armed/legged clothing in evenings. If unsure consult a diving doctor.

Internet/ Mobile

  • Satellite Wi-Fi
  • Mobile signal; local Telkomsel is best local card to buy.  Not long after you leave port we have has intermittent/ limited mobile signal until we return.
  • Telkomsel simpati bsim card is the best and cost only 3usd. Plus credit to add on top!!!

Trip Extras payment onboard

  • By Credit card comes with 4.5% additional handling fee.
  • By Cash we accept US Dollars, Euro, Singaporean Dollars, and Indonesian Rupiah.  Please ensure ALL bills are in good order; NOT worn or torn and unmarked or we are UNABLE to accept.  Exchange rates differ for USD100/50 bills and USD20/10 bills. Current Exchange rate. ATMs available in town.
  • Fuel Surcharge; NO fuel surcharge in place at this time but may be implemented to account for any wide fluctuations.

Trip Extras

  • Marine Park & Harbour fee; US$250 per person 
  • Massage US$35/ hour,  Laundry services (US$5/ basket)
  • Nespresso coffee: US$2, beer US$4, wine US$30-50
  • Satellite Wi-Fi US$30 for trip per person.
  • Nitrox; US$15/ diving day or US$5/ fill.

Equipment rental

Diving Gear; Full Set USD50/ diving day (except Large tank) or if individual items then following rates apply per diving day*

  • BCD US$12
  • Regulator US$12
  • Dive Computer US$12
  • Wetsuit US$8
  • Fins, Mask US$5
  • Large Tank US$12
  • Torch* US$12/ night dive.

Diving Gear Items priced per diving day* and is subject to availability.  Note; Torch rental* priced is per night dive.