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The 612 jungle-covered islands of Raja Ampat is not just a picturesque attraction at the surface, but it is equally scenic and impressive when you see what lies beneath its waters. Just imagine this: pristine reefs with an array of colorful marine life. This is the reason why scuba diving is popular in this part of Indonesia.
But wait, exploring over 600 islands with a maritime area spanning 4 million hectares is not an easy thing to do, especially when you are on a vacation mode. But no worries, our liveaboard selection will help you maintain a worry and stress-free vacation. Hop onboard with us in this article and enjoy reading our selection while drinking freshly-harvested coconuts.
Overview: A 5-star Phinisi sailboat offering liveaboard diving in Raja Ampat and other Indonesian sites.
Spanning 46 meters long, the Mutiara Laut is a traditional wooden Phinisi vessel that has been sailing through the Indonesian archipelago since 2009.
The standard cabins have double beds and have air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms, and plenty of storage space. If you want to go all-out, opt for the master bedroom at the stern of the boat that has a spacious bathroom, TV, and air conditioning. You can spend your days enjoying the indoor dining room and lounge area or getting a spa treatment on the sundeck.
You’ll never go hungry with their with a la carte options with a mix of Western and Southeast Asian dishes.
Overview: A popular Phinisi style sailboat catering to liveaboard diving in Raja Ampat.
This brand new, five-star Phinisi sailing vessel offers the ultimate luxury liveaboard experience in Raja Ampat. Tiare is crafted with stunning teak wood salvaged from Javanese structures.
With just six cabins, the rooms are spacious and comes with air conditioning, a hair dryer, drinking water, toiletries, and everything you’d need for a day trip (hat, towel, sunscreen, bottle). You can lounge whenever you’d like in the air-conditioned common room and refuel at the coffee, tea, and snack station. Safety is an utmost priority with Tiare, and each diver will be given a enos beacon.
Overview: A Phinisi sailboat offering fully-serviced liveaboard dive trips to Raja Ampat.
The Indo Siren is one of the most popular luxury liveaboards in Raja Ampat and is consistently rated as one of the best. Onboard, you’ll love lounging on the deck or checking your pictures at one of the few camera work stations. Inside, there’s a cocktail bar and lounge room where you can watch sea-themed moves on the 42-inch TV.
Each of the 8 cabins has a TV, bathroom with hot water, air conditioning, a safe, storage space, hairdryers, and towels. Meals are served three times per day buffet style, with alcohol costing a few extra bucks.
Overview: A traditional Phinisi sailboat offering luxury liveaboard trips to Raja Ampat.
Built in 2009, this 131-feet long wooden boat combines luxury with old-world charm that frequents the best of Raja Ampat. The Damai I liveaboard offers unlimited diving with a 4 to 1 diver ratio, nitrox, rental gear (for extra cost), and has trained massage staff onboard.
There are seven air-conditioned staterooms that range from single, twin, double, or master size – each with an ensuite bathroom. Your rate includes three full meals per day, drinks, snacks, and one glass of wine per day.
The Damai I also has a camera room, three lounge areas on deck, an indoor lounge, and a 3G hotspot. During surface intervals, the Damai I offers shore excursions that include trekking around volcanoes, searching for Komodo dragons, and snorkel sessions.
Overview: A steel-hulled vessel popular for its liveaboard trips to Raja Ampat.
Blue Manta is a robust steel hulled liveaboard built in 2014 that can accommodate up to 22 guests per journey. At 20-square-meters, the rooms are spacious and comes with a window, bathroom with hot water, towels, storage space, and air conditioning. Deluxe rooms come with larger windows and more bed options.
Underwater photographers love diving with Blue Manta. Thanks to its dedicated rinse tanks, blow dryers, and camera room. There is also a lounge room with TV, massage area, sun deck, and more.
Meals are served three times per day and typically include Western, Indonesian, and Thai choices. Alcohol is available for an extra charge.
Overview: A purpose-built liveaboard offering dive trips to Raja Ampat.
The Mermaid I liveaboard is a steel-hulled ship that will offer you a stable journey as you explore Raja Ampat. It is 28-meters long and all of its 8 cabins come with air conditioning, a bathroom, TV, bathrobes, toiletries, and towels.
Between dives, enjoy movie night on the main saloon, reading from the library, or lounge on one of the two onsite decks. Your trip includes three buffet-style meals and snacks throughout the day. Alcohol available for extra cost.
Overview: A popular Indonesian liveaboard that offers dive trips to Komodo and Raja Ampat.
Built in 2009 and renovated in 2015, the Raja Ampat Aggressor is sturdy, modern, and a great choice for divers wanting a liveaboard that offers incredible value. This 30 meter long liveaboard features comfortable onboard living. Relax in their hot tub, sip at the bar, sun bathe at the sun deck or buy some goodies in their small shop.
There are eight rooms to host 16 guests that range from twin staterooms, master staterooms, and deluxe staterooms. All rooms have air conditioning, TVs, an ensuite bathroom, and windows. The master stateroom has one queen bed. The deluxe staterooms have a queen and twin bed. Your trip includes three meals, juices, snacks, and limited alcoholic beverages.
Overview: A Phinisi-rigged sailboat that offers liveaboard diving in Raja Ampat.
Built in 2004 and stretching a spacious 33 meters long, the MSY Seahorse is a great Raja Ampat liveaboard. These vessel is highly revered especially for those who want to sail through the seas on a traditional Phinisi Schooner – a traditional boat crafted from wood.
All cabins have air conditioning, private bathrooms with hot water, storage space, and more. Only the deluxe cabins have a TV player and desk. Common areas include a sundeck, lounge area with a TV, shaded sun deck, and more. You’ll be served a full breakfast, snacks, lunch, and each dinner comes with a glass of wine.
Overview: An iconic Indonesian schooner offering liveaboard trips to Raja Ampat.
The Ondina is one of the best liveaboards in Raja Ampat for those who love to sail aboard a beautiful wooden schooner. Renovated in 2014, this liveaboard has eight bedrooms that can hold up to 16 guests. Spend time lounging in the hammocks or getting a massage after a day’s dive.
Meals include three-course breakfasts and lunches along with a buffet style dinner. Snacks are available throughout the day and beer is extra. You can dine inside in an air-conditioned dining room, or alfresco on the deck.
Overview: A luxury liveaboard offering year-round dive trips to Raja Ampat.
The Raja Manta is one of the best liveaboards in Raja Ampat for budget divers. You’ll get the full liveaboard experience with friendly staff who service this incredibly stable liveaboard. There is plenty of space to relax on the deck, a bar, and daily activities suitable for non-divers.
There are a variety of rooms to choose from ranging from simple to more deluxe. All rooms have a port-hole window, power outlets, and air conditioning. The deluxe rooms also have a bathroom with hot showers. The Raja Manta serves five meals per day – knowing well how hungry divers tend to get after a few dives. Beverages are included with every meal and alcohol is extra.
Raja Ampat is hailed by many as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. The abundance of corals, unique marine life, pelagics, megafauna, and more make it a dive destination that’s easy to please even the most jaded divers. Raja Ampat means “Four Kings” and is comprised of over 600 islands surrounding the main islands (the four kings).
Raja Ampat is located in the Coral Triangle, a part of the ocean that’s widely recognized as one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. This means you’ll see all types of marine wildlife, and lots of it.
The best time to go scuba diving in Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat is year-round diving destination. However, there are certain months that allows you to experience a specific dive condition or see certain marine wildlife. If you want to see the highest convergence of manta rays, they have a liveaboard booking from September to April. If you want to go warm water diving, choose anywhere from November to April and enjoy the 30°C average water temperature.
Marine life you can expect to see in Raja Ampat
There are over 1,400 species of reef fish in Raja Ampat and nearly 70% of all known coral species in the world. On a typical day, you could see technicolor nudibranchs, manta rays, sharks, great barracudas, sea turtles, and nearly every other kind of tropical marine creature. Wobbegong sharks, manta rays, dolphins, macro life, hard and soft corals, giant trevally, tuna, reef sharks, pygmy seahorse and sea turtles are considered a regular attraction in Raja Ampat.
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