RAJA AMPAT TO LEMBEH LIVEABOARDS – EXPLORATION CRUISES
(or reverse with Mermaid I)
How to get there?
The closest international airport for Lembeh is Manado – North Sulawesi, which easily can be reached from Singapore. From Sam Ratulangi Manado Airport you will be transferred by car for approximately 1.5 hours to Bitung harbour.
Transfers are included on departure/arrival days from Manado International airport (MDC), Manado & Bitung regions.
To go to Raja Ampat, you will need to fly to Sorong – West Papua Airport. Sorong can be easily reached by domestic flights from one of Indonesia below international airports: Jakarta/Makassar/Manado.
Transfers are included on departure/arrival days from/to Sorong airport, Sorong city regions.
Departures and arrivals
All cruise departure will be approximately 1500 hours and arrival time back will be 0800 hours giving a lot of time to catch a same day flight.
This route offers such a wealth of biodiversity starting with the spectacularly beautiful reefs around the Raja Ampat area and travelling through the Misool to Halmahera area and on to the critter heaven of the Lembeh Straits. The cruise runs between Sorong Papua and Bitung in North Sulawesi or return.
There are 4 key areas dived; Raja Ampat, Halmahera, Tifore (an island between Halmahera and Lembeh), and Lembeh.
Raja Ampat – The trip starts in the area around Waigeo (north Raja Ampat), where we spend 2 days, mostly around the Strait of Dampier (including the manta dive). Then we move to Misool (south Raja Ampat), and spend another 2 days.
Pulau Pisang – These are a set of 2 islands and 2 small rocks between the areas of Misool and Halmahera. We spend a whole day here as the diving is terrific. Sloping reefs with healthy soft and hard corals and “very fishy” diving with schooling Bumpheads parrotfish, zillions of Blue Triggerfish and squadrons Dogtooth Tuna passing by.
Strait of Patinti – Strait in the south of Halmahera. We spend another awesome day of diving here. There are 2 pinnacles in the strait that are full of fish, healthy corals and quite a few blacktip reef sharks. Excellent diving.
Tifore – A small island between Halmahera and Lembeh. Great diving around a submerged reef about half a mile from the island. The reef has a wall on the south and east and sloping reef on the west . The wall and reef offer good dives however the main attractive is looking into the blue ! Massive schools of Barracudas – hundreds and hundreds of barracudas that have made Tifore their home. Really quite amazing !
Lembeh Strait – 2 dives on the last day – world famous for it’s 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 Mermaid Liveaboard’s cruise.
Schedule – 10 days/ 9 nights – 28 dives
Day 1 – Board Mermaid Liveaboards between 12:00-18:00 hours
Day 2 – 4 dives – Diving around Pulau Kri in the Dampier Straits
Day 3 – 4 dives – Diving around Mansuar in the Dampier Straits
Day 4 & 5 – 8 dives – Diving around Wagma-Farondi area, Pulau Boo, Fiabacet, Wayilbatan, Pele, and maybe the bluewater mangroves
Day 6 – 3 dives – Pulau Pisang
Day 7 – 3 dives – Straits of Patinti
Day 8 – 4 dives – Pulau Tifore
Day 9 – 2 dives – Lembeh Strait
Day 10 – disembark around 8:00 hours for transfer to your resort or to Manado for next leg of your journey