A trip once in a life: Raja Ampat and Halmahera plus Lembeh Strait

Raja Ampat and Halmahera plus Lembeh Strait

The better of Raja Ampat, Moluccas and Sulawesi in one lifetime diving trip.

This trip takes us from Sorong in West Papua, through the Moluccas Sea for diving Raja Ampat, Halmahera and the best of Manado in North Sulawesi. The 700 nautical mile journey takes us through a range of different land and seascapes. The trip starts in the beautiful Misool Island Group in Raja Ampat. On the south coast of Halmahera we will dive walls and drop-offs with big fish action. The small islands off the west coast of Halmahera home great coral reefs. The end of the trip in North Sulawesi offers you pristine coral reefs, great fish life and spectacular critter diving in the famous black sand of the Lembeh Strait. A diverse trip with something for everybody!

A MIX OF INDONESIA’S FINEST DIVING

Dives Sites

Misool

The beauty of the Misool Island Group will carry you away. This entire region is one enormous ancient limestone basin and even has limestone as the seafloor. Those who have travelled to Palau can picture these little tropical islands covered of palms, with steep sided walls where wind and sea has worn the rock away.

The islands, or islets, are uncountable. The larger ones, like Misool itself, have canyons and lagoons speckled with white sand beaches ideal for tender boat rides. One can spend hours exploring and never see the same bay. It really is a place of great beauty both above and below the water. It's rightly being considered by the Indonesian government for national park status and by the United Nations as a world heritage site.

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Misool is one of the places on earth where you´ll find the most various species of fish, hard and soft corals, sponges, worms, nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs and all kind of non-vertebrates, like cuttlefish and octopus. You will as well come across Wobbegong shark and Epaulette sharks, which you will only find in the region of “Raja Ampat“. Giant clams as well as fantastic tiny shells. Photographers as well as Videographers will have the dives of their lifetime.

Marengarano Bay

Steep walls with excellent soft coral growth, sponges, sea fans and hard corals are the foreground to schools of barracuda, sharks, eagle rays and jacks. Humphead parrotfish, sweetlips and batfish and many other species can be seen here. Visibility is often 20m plus. For the night dive we move to a protected bay in southern Mandiolis.

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Goraici Island Group

In the morning we reach the islands of Ado, Gafi and Siko – comprising the island group of Goraici. Here we will spend two days where you can expect diverse dive sites with excellent visibility. Amazing reeftops where hard and leather corals compete for space, submerged pinnacles, walls and slopes all with beautiful coral growth.

In the volcanic island of Makian a fantastic view awaits as we cruise closer to the volcano looms high with the sunrise behind. With an elevation of 600m and thick vegetation this will be a sunrise to remember. The natural beauty continues below the waterline. Under the pier we have a chance to do a great muck dive with frogfish, ghost pipefish, scorpion fish and all kinds of eels amongst the coral covered pillars. In the north of Makian, colorful coral contrasts beautifully with the black sand.

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Tifore

Overnight the cruise continues to the remote island of Tifore which lies in between Halmahera and Sulawesi. We will dive in 3 different spots with big fish action guaranteed. On the submerged reef we have a chance to see a big school of barracuda, and with a bit of luck you will watch as they form a barrel above you. Also look out for bigeye trevally, humphead parrotfish, sweetlips and many more. A dive do not miss.

Bangka

Arrival in Bangka, North Sulawesi renowned for its diversity, coral growth and beautiful underwater scenery. Exciting dive sites with huge boulders and rocks overgrown with black coral. Rich coral gardens provide habitat for scores of fish. Pygmy seahorses, leaf scorpion fish, ghost pipefish and frogfish can also be found.

Lembeh Strait

Here our journey will end, but not before we enjoy the special critter dives on offer here. The last dives will be on different dive sites in the Lembeh Strait. On the black sand you can find mimic octopus, hairy frogfish, flying gurnards, Pegasus sea moths and so many kinds of nudibranchs. Muck diving at its best.

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Liveaboard Diving Trip

Our Liveaboard to dive Raja Ampat, Halmahera and Lembeh Strait: Ondina Liveaboard.

Booking: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Useful Information Itinerary Raja Ampat, Halmahera plus Lembeh Strait

DIVING INFO

Diving season: From March to April and from October to December. The periods indicate are the best times for diving in this cruising route.
Rainy season: From January to February and from June to August.
Water temperature: 26-30°C. A 3mm shorty should be sufficient. If you feel the cold easily a 5mm shorty is advisable.
Visibility: 10-30m.
Depths: 5- >40m.
Currents: Usually gently but can be strong.
Surface conditions: Calm.
Experience level: Beginner – intermediate – advanced.
Dive sites: >80.
Length of stay: Recommended 11-16 days on liveaboard cruise.

TRIP ADVISOR

Airport: Arrival Airport Sorong. Departure Airport Manado. International flight to Manado and then domestic flight to Sorong.
Weather: 27-32 degrees. Indonesia has two seasons: wet and dry. In most of Indonesia the wet season is from October to April and the dry from May to September. West Papua dry season October to April, wet season is from May to September.
Time zone: Sulawesi GMT +8 and Maluku and Papua GMT +9.


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