Aurora - komodo / raja ampat Liveaboard

Inquiry

Aurora is a spacious, double masted, teak motor-sail yacht, built according to the 'traditional Pinisi style' and designed for a discerning dive clientele. As a guest aboard, you will experience modern comfort combined with the charm of a traditional boat. Aurora has been built following modern and environmentally friendly principles and gives us the opportunity to explore remote areas which only a few - if any - have seen.

Aurora is a romantic liveaboard designed specifically for scuba divers, but also non-divers will have their time of a life onboard. Aurora is a typical Phinisi style motor sailor with two masts, 42m long and our clients will enjoy the charm of a traditional boat combined with the comfort of a modern one. In addition, its romantic appearance, the family atmosphere and the proposed itineraries are ideal for non-divers and lovers of exploration.

Aurora can accommodate up to 14 passengers in 7 double cabins: 3 double bed cabins, 3 twin bed cabins and 1 combined use double/twin. We can host other 2 passengers in a rear cabin (n.8), with private but external bathroom. This is as well a combined double/twin use cabin.

While we can actually accommodate up to 16 passengers, please take into account that best comfort for all guests would be with maximum 14 passengers.

Each cabin is tastefully decorated in a traditional style and has portholes, individually controlled air conditioning, en-suite bathroom with bath towels, shower gel and shampoo.

Aurora - prices

Prices are per person and in USD based on 2 persons sharing a cabin.
Exact pricing is available on the schedule here as prices vary dependant on the time of year, destination and the length of the trip and sometimes special offers are available.

Cabin type 2017 2018
Cabin name from US$ 2,160 from US$ 2,160

Rates include

  • full board in a double/triple cabin
  • soft drinks, local coffee and tea, all meals • up to 4 dives a day
  • tanks, weights/weight belt
  • excursions on land
  • transfer from/to nearest airport

Rates do not include:

  • International and domestic flights • National park tickets (Komodo and Banda Sea USD 75, Raja Ampat USD 130, Cenderawasih USD 200 - these are subject to change without prior notice)
  • Accommodation before and after the cruise
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Rental of scuba diving/snorkeling equipment
  • Nitrox package (see Pricelist) • massages
  • Travel insurance
  • Private tours
  • Laundry service on board
  • Use of sat-phone (emails/calls)
  • minimum Service charge USD 10 per night (obligatory)
  • Fuel Surcharge of USD 200 for all cruises other than Komodo (no fuel surcharge applies if the port of arrival/departure is Bima/Labuan Bajo/Maumere. The fuel surcharge applies if harbours like Bali, Alor or milar are scheduled. We retain the right to adjust fuel surcharges any time when necessary.)

Terms and conditions:

Booking deposit:
30% of booking is required within 7 days of booking - non refundable
70 % is due to 90 days prior to departure - non refundable.
Balance due 90 days before your trip departure date - non-refundable.
Individual booking made less than 90 days before the departured ate are payable in full at the time of booking.
Cancellation at any stage involves forfeit of monies already payed.

Group charter:

Booking deposit:
10% - within 7 days of booking - non-refundable
Second deposit:
20% 180 days prior to departure - non-refundable
Balance due
90 days before departure - non-refundable

Aurora - schedule

09Aug17
18Aug17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo Promotion
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
19Aug17
26Aug17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
28Aug17
02Sep17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 1800 USD
09Sep17
15Sep17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2160 USD
17Sep17
23Sep17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2160 USD
25Sep17
02Oct17
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
05Oct17
16Oct17
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Ambon
Banda Sea
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
18Oct17
28Oct17
Embark: Ambon
Disembark: Sorong
North Maluku
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3900 USD
31Oct17
10Nov17
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3900 USD
12Nov17
24Nov17
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4680 USD
26Nov17
07Dec17
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
11Dec17
22Dec17
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
28Dec17
06Jan18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3510 USD
14Jan17
25Jan17
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
28Jan18
08Feb18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
11Feb18
23Feb18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4680 USD
26Feb18
09Mar18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
12Mar18
20Mar18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3120 USD
22Mar18
30Mar18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3120 USD
02Apr18
13Apr18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
17Apr18
28Apr18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Ambon
North Maluku
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
01May18
14May18
Embark: Ambon
Disembark: Maumere
Banda Sea
Full
Booking Request
Price from 5070 USD
18May18
26May18
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Bali
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2880 USD
16Jul18
23Jul18
Embark: Bali
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
26Jul18
04Aug18
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Maumere
Alor
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
08Aug18
17Aug18
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Maumere
Alor
Available
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
19Aug18
28Aug18
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Maumere
Alor
Available
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
31Aug18
07Sep18
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
09Sep18
18Sep18
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
20Sep18
27Sep18
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
01Oct18
08Oct18
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
11Oct18
23Oct18
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Ambon
Banda Sea
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4680 USD
27Oct18
07Nov18
Embark: Ambon
Disembark: Sorong
North Maluku
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
11Nov18
20Nov18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 3510 USD
25Nov18
06Dec18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
09Dec18
20Dec18
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
25Dec18
05Jan19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4290 USD
08Jan19
19Jan19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
22Jan19
02Feb19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
05Feb19
17Feb19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 5040 USD
20Feb19
03Mar19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
06Mar19
17Mar19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
20Mar19
31Mar19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Full
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
03Apr19
14Apr19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Ambon
Maluku
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
17Apr19
01May19
Embark: Ambon
Disembark: Maumere
Banda Sea
Full
Booking Request
Price from 5880 USD
05May19
12May19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
15May19
22May19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
25May19
03Jun19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Bali
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
19Jul19
28Jul19
Embark: Bali
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 3240 USD
31Jul19
07Aug19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Bali
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
10Aug19
17Aug19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Full
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
20Aug19
27Aug19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
30Aug19
06Sep19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
09Sep19
16Sep19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
19Sep19
26Sep19
Embark: Labuan Bajo
Disembark: Labuan Bajo
Komodo
Available
Booking Request
Price from 2520 USD
30Sep19
12Oct19
Embark: Maumere
Disembark: Ambon
Banda Sea
Full
Booking Request
Price from 5040 USD
15Oct19
27Oct19
Embark: Ambon
Disembark: Sorong
Maluku
Available
Booking Request
Price from 5040 USD
30Oct19
08Nov19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 3780 USD
11Nov19
22Nov19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
25Nov19
06Dec19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
09Dec19
20Dec19
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD
25Dec19
05Jan20
Embark: Sorong
Disembark: Sorong
Raja Ampat
Available
Booking Request
Price from 4620 USD

Aurora - cabins

Cabins:

7 x corridor/bow:

  • Cabin 1: Kudalaut [Seahorse] -> king size bed plus small sofa for child
  • Cabin 2: Ikan Dujung [Dugong] -> 2 x separate beds
  • Cabin 3: Ikan Pari [Sting Ray] -> king size bed
  • Cabin 4: Baruna [God of the Sea] -> king size bed plus single bed at bow
  • Cabin 5: Lumba Lumba [Dolphin] -> king size bed
  • Cabin 6: Ikan Hiu [Shark] -> 2 x separate beds
  • Cabin 7: Ikan Paus [Whale] -> 2 x separate beds
  • Cabin 8: Cumi Cumi [Calamari] -> king size bed plus single bed
  • Cabin 9: Ikan Kupu Kupu [Butterfly Fish] -> Cruise director cabin and not for sale
  • All cabins with individually controlled AC, en suite bathroom / shower and porthole/window
  • Cabin 1 - Kudalaut (Seahorse)
    King size bed plus small sofa for child

  • Cabin 1 - Kudalaut (Seahorse)
    King size bed plus small sofa for child

  • Cabin 3 - Ikan Pari (Stingray)
    King size bed

  • Cabin 4 - Baruna (God of the sea)
    King size bed plus single bed at bow

  • Cabin 5 - Lumba Lumba (Dolphin)
    King size bed

  • Cabin 6 - Ikan Hiu (Shark)
    2 x single beds

  • Cabin 7 - Ikan Paus [Whale]
    2 x separate beds

  • Cabin 8 - Ikan Kupu Kupu (Butterfly fish)
    King size bed plus single bed

Aurora - itinerary

Raja Ampat 11 Nights / 12 Days Itinerary Sample. Please contact us for itineraries descriptions of other Raja Ampat trips

DAY 1 - SORONG

Aurora Crew will pick you up from Sorong airport; usually flights arrive in the morning via Makassar or Manado. As soon as all the guests are onboard, Aurora will lift the anchor and start to cruise toward Dampier Strait.

DAY 2 to 3 - DAMPIER STRAIT

We will arrive early morning in Mansuar area, where we will dive some famous sites, like Sardines Reef, Mioskon, Blue Magic and other incredible places. This area prone to current is charachterized by untouched corals and many different fish schools, while on surface we will be surrounded by lush green islands, with tiny dazzeling white beaches.

DAY 4 - PENEMU

Gettting further south, we stop at Fam. We will be diving on My Reef, a seamount with abundant fish schools of fusiliers and sweetlips, and Keruo Channel, a fascinating passage between 2 islands, its slopes covered with hardcorals and fan corals, and dense schools of tiny silversides. Don’t miss the chance to take a short landtour for a breathtaking view from above of the typical Raja Ampat landscape.

DAY 5 to 6 - FARONDI

We will wake up in Misool National Park a region with thousands of islands. Here you will be able to see the most rich variations of fish, soft and hard corals, all kind of macro, wobbegong and epaulette sharks. Misool is also one of the rare places with the most breath keeping landscape. Don’t miss the show offered by mobulas feeding on a huge school of silversides!

DAYS 7 to 9 - MISOOL NATIONAL PARK

So many Islands to visit and so many different dives spot. We will cruise around JILLIET, FIABAJET, WALIB, WAJIL, JEF PELE, MESENTA, BOO etc… and Aurora Crew will assure you as many dives as possible to completely appreciate this wonderful and beautiful area.

DAY 10 - FAM SOUTH

Melissa’s Garden is our next dive site in the morning. A huge reef with wonderful coral and spectacular fish life. Wobbegongs are one of the highlights here. Sea snakes, pygmy seahorses and enormous tridacna clams can be seen in the shallows. On “Fam Wall” for the night dive we can see Harlequin shrimp, frogfish and many species of nudibranchs.

DAY 11 - ARBOREK

Here you will have the chance to visit a typical local fishermen village, but the morning will be dedicated to spot manta rays, wobbegong sharks and much more, and have a superb end of trip memory!

DAY 12 - SORONG

Big breakfast on board, and then Aurora’s Crew will organize the transfer from the boat to Sorong airport, depending on the flight schedule of the guests.

Proposed Itinerary Labuanbajo to Labuanbajo (subject to cruise directors discretion)

DAY 1 LABUANBAJO

Labuan Bajo, Arrival & Boarding: A 1 hour flight from Denpasar, Bali and you will arrive in the small port town of Labuan Bajo, Flores. Aurora staff will pick you up at the airport for immediate boarding and departure. After snack/lunch we have the boat briefing and depending on the time of arrival, also the diving briefing and we will get ready for our check dive.

Only a few miles from Labuan Bajo’s harbour, lies the small island of Sebayur with nice diving including bronze sweepers, lionfish, eels, and possibly the resident ghost pipefish which makes the perfect “warm-up dive”. The staggered tiers of the neighbouring patch reef is home to many different species of nudis, pipefish, sea fans, sponges and even a few twin-spot lionfish. During the night dive, we might see nurse sharks, nudis and crustaceans.

DAY 2 - GILI LAWA

Gililawah Laut & Gililawah Darat: Literally “Island Facing the Sea”, Gililawa Laut is home to two of the best pinnacles in all of Indonesia, Crystal Rock and Hard Rock. These two pinnacles, both displaying an impressive amount of soft and hard coral cover, are also the gathering ground for huge schools of jacks, giant trevally, white tip reef sharks, surgeonfish, and a whole host of smaller reef fish that float amongst the fields of staghorn coral. Often times dolphins will make an appearance, chasing the large schools of fusiliers around the pinnacles, putting on quite a show. A challenging site, but certainly worth a couple of dives!

Apart from the pinnacles, Gililawa Laut also features a dive known to many as the “Washing Machine”. The swift moving current between Gililawa Laut and its neighbor Gililawa Darat moves divers down a shallow channel and empties into a large bowl-shaped depression with walls 10 meters high. The vortex effect caused by this seems to appeal to sharks, mantas, and jacks, who will often spend time swimming around the bowl, waiting for something good to drop in for lunch.

DAY 3 - KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

Komodo National Park: Early in the morning or in the afternoon depending on our dive schedule, we will begin our magnificent walk of Komodo Island to see the infamous dragons. Usually a few hours is spent on shore viewing the dragon and we are back in the water by noon.

Pantai Merah: “Pink Beach” lies just across a large bay from Kampung Komodo, the only village on the island of Komodo. A beautiful white sand beach, popular with snorkelers for it’s rich shallow coral reef, the diving is just as popular. A rocky pinnacle, Valerie’s Rock, rises to the surface at its southern end and shelters large schools of reef fish, cuttlefish, and a few giant frogfish. In addition to the abundant fish life, macro is also on the menu. Nudibranchs and pleurobranchs as well as longnose hawkfish and pipefish make their home amongst the black coral covered slopes. Pantai Merah is often subject to strong currents and at times a challenging down current.

DAY 4 to 5 - PADAR AND RINCA

Padar & Rinca: Sitting in the channel between Komodo and Rinca, Padar’s claim to fame is W-Reef. Home to some very unique species of nudibranch, including the Nembrotha Purpolienolata and gorgeous Ceratosoma Magnifica (formerly Miamira Magnifica). The coral pillars of W-Reef, which sit in a strange “W” shaped configuration are literally alive with color. Holothurians cover almost every bare surface, from the bright red and purple sea apples, to the yellow and white cucumbers that clean the reef top. Lionfish and wrasse populate the tops of the pillars, some coming with 5 meters of the surface. Subject to strong currents and an almost permanent surge, this can be a challenging yet beautiful dive. A quick hike up the gentle slopes of Padar provides an outstanding view of both Komodo and Rinca Islands for those so inclined.

DAY 6 TO 7 - HORSESHOE BAY

Rinca; Horseshoe Bay & Nusa Kode: Horseshoe Bay is shaped like its namesake with Rinca Island forming the outer arc and Nusa Kode forming the inner one. The colder plankton-rich waters of the Indian Ocean make this area a bit colder than the northern regions of the Park. Despite the temperature drop, the incredible amount and bizarre array of sea-life still gets everyone in the water even four times each day. Home to some of the most written-about dive sites in Indonesia, Horseshoe Bay is a literal treasure trove of things large and small.

The Indian Ocean waters cause the dive sites here to be overflowing with life, from huge amounts of yellow and orange soft corals to schools of fish so thick they block out the sun. The reef-top of famous Cannibal Rock is littered with anemones, soft corals, and wrasse-choked hard corals. The deeper rocks provide hiding places for an unbelievable array of nudibranchs and crustaceans. Frogfish of different species populate the walls and slopes. Sea apples and other holothurians abound on the rocky tiers.

“Torpedo Alley”, in addition to being home to the electrified rays it gets its name from, is also home to ghost pipefish, frogfish, and its own share of the dazzling array of nudis that call Horseshoe Bay home. With everything from turtles, mantas, and whale sharks coming by, Horseshoe Bay is well worth the extra neoprene. “Yellow Wall”, where the yellow soft corals share space with barrel sponges and huge sea fans that are home to several kinds of pygmy seahorses. Sea apples, fire urchins with Coleman shrimp and zebra crab are particularly easy to spot on this site.

DAY 8 TO 9 - RINCA NORTH

Rinca Nord / Loh Buaya & Komodo Channel: Making it our way back to the north we can stop in front of the second Ranger Station Loh Buaya, next to the macro paradise of Wainilu Island. A somewhat boring underwater topography reveals to the trained eye true marvels displaying in front of your camera and astonished face - many different and rare kinds of nudis and slugs, frogs, ghost fish and many other surprises.

Komodo Channel: “Tatawa Besar” gives us one of the most colorful drift dives in all of Komodo. The eastern stretch of coastline is alternating rocky walls and mangroves. A gentle slope runs out from the coastline to about 30 meters where it becomes a sandy flat. During rising and falling tides, the soft corals covering the slope open up for the passing divers. Eagle rays and turtles are typical customers along this rich coral slope. The coastline is long enough that the drift can last up to 40 minutes and cover almost 2 kilometers. “Batu Bolong”, a huge rock in the middle of an area swathed by the current, attracts plenty of sharks and offers excellent visibility. This dive is also called “Current City”, and can only be dived when the conditions are fine.

We might stop in “Taka Makassar”, if currents allow, and look out for yet other manta rays. The dive here leads over a channel with rubble and with a few coral blocks. Mantas come here to get cleaned so you can go relatively close to them to observe them. Alternatively, Takat Makassar West (Komodo Channel) is a great night dive.

DAY 10 - LABUANBAJO

Labuan Bajo: Unfortunately our trip arrived at an end and we have to say goodbye but we hope to see you again soon!

You will be served breakfast and afterwards transferred to the Labuan Bajo Airport and checked in by Aurora’s staff. Estimated time of arrival after your 1 hour flight back to Bali.

Aurora - specs

Construction:
start of construction in December 2007, operational since 2010
Tonnage:
189
Length:
40 m overall, 32 m on deck
Width:
9 m
Draught:
2,6 m
Sailing area:
300 m2
Engine:
Nissan 420 HP marinized
Speed:
7-8 knots
With sails:
9-10+ knots
Power supply/Electricity:
2 x generators Mitsubishi, 1 generator Cummings, stabilizer 220 Volt, 50Hz (110 Volt possible with mobile transformers on board) 2-pole plugs all over the ship and cabins Emergency current through battery
Diesel/solar tank:
12.000 Ltr
Water tanks:
12.000 Ltr
Water maker:
6000 lt/day
Safety:
GPS, echo sounder, VHF-radio, radar, compass, 2 life rafts for 50 pax, lifevests, fire extinguisher, emergency oxygen, first-aid kits, mobile phone, Sat-phone with possibility to download emails on board computer
Payment on board:
Cash:
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), EUR, US$
CCard:
Visa, Mastercard, American Express

Dive insurance for the passengers is not included. It is highly recommended that all divers purchase international diving and medical insurance.

Raja Ampat diving

Raja Ampat (or the Four Kings) is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Misoool, Salawati, Batanta, and Wiageo which are surrounded by over 1,500 small islands and cays. Formerly known as Irian Jaya, this area is now part of the newly named West Papua province of Indonesia and is located on the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, on the island of New Guinea.

Put simply, Raja Ampat could quite possibly be the best diving in the world. It certainly is the world’s most bio diverse marine region with more recorded fish, coral and mollusc species than anywhere else on Earth. The variety of marine life can be staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs. In Mansuar, you may encounter large groups of manta rays and turtles. From the boat and often close to shore you may get the chance to don your snorkelling gear for some unforgettable interaction with resident pods of dolphins or even some passing whales. Other highlights include the innumerable war wrecks, both ships and planes (with new wrecks being discovered constantly).

The reefs of Raja Ampat are just as varied as the marine life. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, sea mounts, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles. The reefs are in pristine condition with miles of perfect hard corals and many varied colourful species of soft corals. The diving is predominantly drift dives due to the moderate prevalent currents in the area which provide nutrients for the myriad fish and coral. Currents are average to moderate and vary from none to very strong. Visibility is normally very good but can vary and is normally at its best earlier in the day so your pre-breakfast dives are not to be slept through!

This is truly “Frontier Diving”. Topside the beautiful islands stretch as far as you can see and are largely uninhabited. At night the lights of local fishing boats twinkle in the dark along the few inhabited shorelines while in more remote areas you may only see a distant spec of light over the entire horizon.

Not many liveaboards dive the Raja Ampat area, making this adventure even more unique and special.

Raja Ampat has a high season from October to May and weirdly enough it is during their rainy season due to the winds in the dry season making parts of the park inaccessable. The rainy season should not be mis-construed though. It is generally mostly a shower in the late afternoon and evening and most of the time the days are nice, wind is minimal and the skys are generally clear or slightly over cast. The seas are calmer at this time of the year as the oppposite season has winds that kick up waves and make it very difficult to dive the more exposed sites in the Southern part of Raja Ampat. The water temperature stays around the 27-30 degrees celcius mark all year round.

Recently due to the popularity of Raja Ampat a lot of boats have been running trips in the so called low season but this is also the dry season and so promotes nicer weather and better visibility but the trade of is that only the northern more sheltered part of the park is accessable but as the area is so vast and there are so many quality dive sites the reports from these northern trips have been glowing so far.

Komodo diving

Diving in Komodo is not a new idea but recently it’s being recognised as a premier destination due to the awesome variety of diving to be had. Crystal clear water and dive sites where you never see another diver provide a little something for everyone whether it’s macro or massive you love. One day you can be crawling along the bottom looking at pygmy seahorses, frogfish and unusual nudibranch and the next you are in the big blue on an open water pinnacle as the mantas fly by, the sharks circle and the dolphins hunt and the next day diving a live volcano!! For sheer variety there is no better place on earth.

Komodo is one of the few places left in the world where sharks are not rare and down south is one of the places where manta rays have their legendary aggregations, meaning they are here in the area in their hundreds!!!

One of the highlights of these trips is the rare opportunity to walk with the lengendary Komodo dragons. These truly awesome beasts can reach 3 metres plus and can reportedly run at 20km an hour chasing their prey. It’s the icing on the cake, Stunning diving and one of the world’s last surviving dinosaur descendants all one amazing package.

Covering the best of both worlds, from up close and personal with aggragating mantas to shy pygmy seahorses and rare nudibranches Komodo diving has it all. The beauty of Komodo liveaboard diving is in the balance between the large and small animals. One day you will be in the blue swimming with mantas and sharks and the next swimming along a bubbling volcanic reef covered with venting submerged fumeroles blowing bubbles into the water and hiding one of the worlds best kept secret macro dive sites.

These are some of the top sites that most liveaboards visit.

Angel reef, Moyo, Sumbawa diving

We start our Komodo liveaboard with the first dive of the trip and the check out dive. This dive site doesn’t disappoint. A beautiful wall stretching down to 50 metres covered in hard and soft corals very reminiscent of Bunaken in North Sulawesi. Schools of bannerfish and trevally patrol the walls with the occasional reef sharks making an appearance. Ribbon eels hide in crevices and many different nudibranchs crawl over the vast elephant ear sponges that hang from the beautiful soft coral infested wall.

Satonda island bay

A protected bay on Satonda island north of Sumbawa hosts a treasure trove of macro critters, the more we dive here the more we find. The rare Denise pygmy seahorse lives in fans here, frogfish hang out in big barrel sponges and ghost pipefish hide amongst the featherstars that cover the reef slope. In the sandy bottom you can find jawfish with their mouths full of eggs, myriads of anemonefish, mushroom coral pipefish and spearer mantis shrimps.

Sangeang island diving

Sangieng island is a perfectly round volcanic island jutting up from the sea bed. Still active and last blowing in 1996 this well kept secret is one of the world’s finest macro dive areas. With diving available all around the island there is not one specific spot but always new ones to be discovered. Bubbles of volcanic gas seep through the sand creating a surreal atmosphere and a warm black sand bottom hosting rare and unusual nudibranch. Pygmy seahorses, frogfish, Pegasus sea moths and carnivorous shells and all common here, this is my personal favourite dive site as every time we dive here there is a surprise in store of something new that is often not in the books - this site is why you go Komodo liveaboard diving.

Gps point - Gili Banta diving

Gps point is an open sea mount prone to strong currents at certain times of the day. This provides prolific hard and soft coral growth that is home to hundreds of different types of reef fish. Loved by sharks, white tip sharks cruise around the whole dive in amongst the hunting giant trevallies and schooling jacks and surgeon fish, an exciting dive.

Takat Toko, Gili Lawalaut diving

This is one of my favourite sites on the Komodo liveaboard itinerary and is very similar to Gps point this site takes it to the next level. Grey reef shark, white tip sharks, occassional dolphins and a literal fish soup created by jacks, surgeonfish, giant trevallies and bannerfish surround this large sea mount as you hang on to the reef edge and watch the action. Again this site is prone to strong currents but we time our dives to hit around slack tide and a little current brings in the big fish. Great pelagic action, my favourite blue water dive.

Lighthouse reef, Gili Lawalaut diving

An adrenalin pounding drift dive along the wall and around the corner under the lighthouse. Sharks, mantas, dolphins are all frequent visitors on the dive with some of the best coral reef top in the area around the corner out of the current at the end of the dive you can hunt for porcelain crabs, cuttlefish and unusual seahorses whilst waiting for the adrenalin to funnel out of your system and your heart rate to return to normal-this is what Komodo liveaboard diving is all about!.

Crystal rock, Gili Lawalaut diving

A stunning soft coral and sea fan covered pinnacle with crystal water clarity this is a great site for those magazine cover wide angle shots. With at least 5 different types of angelfish, 4 types of trigger and butterflyfish everywhere it is a excellent reef fish dive with frequent visits from eagle and manta rays and the resident sleepy hawksbill turtle.

Pink beach, Komodo diving

Colder water and lower vis here due to the huge amounts of organic matter in the water due to the southern currents but this is more than made up for by the astounding life available to see here due to this phenomenon. Normally done as a night dive it also makes a good day dive with everything from white tip sharks to pygmy seahorses; zebra crabs, Coleman shrimp, many coloured frogfish, xeno crabs, Spanish dancers, and unusual nudibranchs are hidden amongst the dense coral growth.

Cannibal rock, Rinca island diving

Colder water than the north but touted by many as one of the worlds best 10 sites, yes I know there seems to be way more than 10 “top 10 sites” but this one really is one if you like macro. Everything is here even the rarest of the rare, the Rhinopias scorpionfish. It’s nudi heaven with only the special and the rare getting to appear here, more species than I care to mention along with large and different frogfish mixed in with schools of fish and the resident dopy turtle we do 2 dives here and it’s still not enough!! You will love it, I personally adore this dive site.

Torpedo alley, Rinca island diving

Just next to cannibal rock and where the boat moors is a beach that has wild pigs, monkeys and Komodo dragons in the daytime and hosts a myriad of critters in the waters in front if it at night. Named for the large amount of torpedo rays found here, a member of the electric ray family- no touching! They cover the sandy bottom along with loads of nudis obvious on the black sand bottom along with bizarre crabs and octopus.

Manta alley, Komodo diving

In the cooler waters in the south of Komodo there is a bay in which there are a series of pinnacles that seem to be a magnet for aggregating mantas. They are here in their tens, often we come up having seen over 20 different individuals. Often a little shy, their evasive spins and pirouettes makes the watching of them that much more enjoyable.

Takat Makassar, Komodo diving

This is our other manta site. A little bit more of a risk to see them as it is a huge area and we drift along the bottom in about 10 metres but along the way we always run into loads of turtles, napoleon and humphead wrasse, white tip sharks and very very occasionally you will be incredibly lucky and run into the resident dugong that inhabits this area along with scores of mantas as they migrate north.

3 sisters, Padar island diving

A series of underwater pinnacles reaching nearly to the the surface off the coast of Padar island next to Komodo this site constantly springs surprises on you from silvertip sharks and mobular ray schools to marbled rays and rare nudibranchs.

How to get to Raja Ampat

Sorong is the harbour town in West Papua and the normal departure point to dive Raja Ampat. If you are unsure of how to get to Sorong to start your trip it will depend on where your international flight into Indonesia is landing. We recommend Jakarta or Bali to make your entry point into Indonesia amnd each has it’s pros and cons.

From Jakarta to Sorong most flights route through Makassar (UPG) in South Sulawesi and are over night flights arriving in the morning perfect for a pick up by your liveaboard crew at the airport. The downside of this is that you may be awake most of the night before your board the liveaboard but most boats cruise only on the first day so you can catch up on your sleep during the day.

Flights from Bali are not quite so simple and cannot be done in one day, you will need to fly from Bali to UPG the day before your liveaboard and over night in Makassar and the continue on with the UPG to Sorong flight the following morning, the day of your liveaboard departure, and this ends up being perfect tining to be picked up on your arrival in Sorong at the airport to then be taken to the boat. This takes longer but you will arrive more refreshed than the Jakarta rooute and of course you could always factor in a stay in Bali before or after your trip.

In the past it has not been possible for someone outside of Indonesia to purchase domestic flights in Indonesia so these can be purchased for you by us, if you would like, and added to your invoice. It will be about $650 return dependant on exchange rates, availability and where your entry airport is in Indonesia. The cost of the domestic flights are not included in the trip price.

Recently Garuda, our recommended airline, has made it possible to purchase their tickets online and we recommend you take this approach as it is often cheaper than the set price we have to charge. Other airlines are cheaper but are not so trustworthy or have such good luggage allowances. Again, we highly recommend trip as well as diving insurance just in case something were to go wrong with your flights.

Premier liveaboard diving and its local flight agent can purchase the tickets on your behalf, however, in doing so, Premier liveaboard diving is only acting as an agent for the airline and is not responsible for, and can accept no responsibility for, cancellations, delays, schedule changes, or problems caused by the air carrier. We highly recommend trip interruption and cancellation insurance.

Aurora - faqs

MARINE LIFE:

The areas where we dive are unmatched for small and unusual marine wildlife. The species list is endless and new ones are still being discovered in these areas. Whales, manta rays, sharks and larger pelagic species are found in the dive sites with higher currents. Strong currents and up-wellings transport nutrient-rich waters throughout these areas.

CLIMATE:

The average air temperature in the regions we visit ranges from 25 - 32o Celsius or 77-90o Fahrenheit.

HEALTH AND INOCULATIONS:

Vaccinations for typhoid, paratyphoid, tetanus, Cholera, Polio, and Hepatitis A are recommended. Malaria is endemic in many parts of Indonesia, please check with your local Tropical Disease Centre for anti-malaria/diver friendly medication.

MONEY:

The Indonesian currency is Rupiah. Rates fluctuate enormously, please check with our cruise directors for your cruise exchange rates.

POPULATION AND PEOPLE:

Regarded as the fifth most populous nation in the world, there are approximately 200,000,000 in Indonesia. The majority, around 60% reside on the island of Java.

RELIGION:

An amazing diversity of religions exists. Predominantly a Muslim nation, islands like Timor, North Sulawesi and Flores are Christian. Hinduism is found mainly in Bali. Scattered throughout the region are a variety of other beliefs.

LANGUAGE:

Bahasa Indonesia, almost identical to Malay is the one national language. Several local dialects exist in each region as well. English is widely spoken in the more popular tourist destinations such as Bali.

Diving Indonesia

Out of 14,000+ islands in the archipelago, there are a plethora of exclusive dive locations in Indonesia, boasting up to 80% of the worlds species of undersea life. With Indocruises we take you to pristine spots not that known in your average dive travel guide and which are still being explored. Explore this vast archipelago in comfort, safety and luxury aboard the Pearl of Papua with our experienced and qualified crew.

Dive conditions in Indonesia

  • Diving all year around is possible.
  • Watertemperature 24°(75°F) to 30°C(86°F) (In the south of Komodo it drops down to 21°C (70°F)
  • Visibility is mostly very good (up to 30m) Diving rules

Safety Procedures and Emergency Evacuation Information:

Hyperbaric chambers (or recompression chamber) in Indonesia There are 6 recompression chambers in Indonesia to treat decompression sickness

Bali: Sanglah General Hospital (in Indonesian language) USUP Sanglah Denpasar JI. Diponegoro, Denpasar 80114 Bali, Indonesia: Phone 62-361-227911 through -15 ext. 232 (hyperbaric medical department) Fax 62-361-22426 Run by Dr. Antonius Natasamudra and Dr. Etty Herawati

Manado (Sulawesi): At the Malalayang Hospital (chamber for 3 to 4 persons) Phone: 0811430913 and ask for Dr Jimmy Waleleng (Phone home 860953). Makassar (Sulawesi): Rumah Sakit Umum Wahidin Sudirohusodo. Contact person: Pak Daniel Address: Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan Km. 11, Tamalanrea Kampus UNHAS Indonesia TEL:++ 62 - 0411 (584677) , 584675. Said to be for 3 to 4 persons.

Jakarta (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (Navy Hospital) in Jl. Bendungan Hilir No.17, Central Jakarta (see text in italian with some addresses - list of help) Kalimantan: The Borneo Divers have the only professional recompression chamber located on Sipadan island (Borneo - Malaysia)

Surabaya (Java): Rumah Sakit Angkatan Laut (RSAL) (Military Marine hospital) Jl. Gadung no. 1, Surabaya: Phone 031-45750 and 41731 (another number given was 031-838153 and fax 031- 837511) Run by Dr Suharsono Available SAR (search and rescue) contact information:

  • SAR Bali : ph 0361 - 751111 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Lombok : Ph 0370 - 633253 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Makassar : Ph 0411 - 554111 Radio : 13545.0
  • SAR Manado : Ph 0431 - 825986
  • SAR Kupang : Ph 0380 - 831111
  • SAR Ambon : Ph 0911 - 351111
  • SAR Sorong : Ph 0951 - 323816

Available SAR (search and rescue) contact information:
Medivac facilities from Travira Air www.travira-air.com