Forgotten Islands and Misool Snorkeling Trip

13 Day Liveaboard Exploration of Remote Volcanic Island Reefs and the Misool Islands in Indonesia

November 9-21, 2025

This trip is a very unique liveaboard trip that is perfect if you like exploring very remote parts of the world, and seeing the healthiest and most abundant reefs. On this Forgotten Islands and Misool snorkeling trip, you will be exploring areas that very few snorkelers have ever experienced. What a joy to cruise these islands on this large and spacious, traditionally built wooden liveaboard yacht Amira, with only snorkelers on board!

Amira Liveaboard in Indonesia, moored in front of an island.

You will first cruise through a series of semi-active volcanic islands called the Forgotten Islands in the Banda Sea, which are filled with coral reefs so dense in life that you can rarely see what lies underneath. These reefs are home to a great variety of fish and other sea creatures. And you will also have many opportunities to see whales and dolphins from the yacht on the crossings between islands.

The trip also includes a tour through the remote islands of Misool in Raja Ampat, which happen to be our favorite snorkeling destination in the world. Thanks to the incredible protections in the Misool reserve, a 500 square mile Marine Protected Area and No Take Zone, the density and abundance of fish and coral life is like no where else on Earth.

Mixed coral reef teeming with fish in Indonesia

“There is greater biodiversity — that is to say, a larger number and greater diversity of fish, coral, and mollusks on these reefs than anywhere on earth. A single football field-sized patch of Misool’s reefs has nearly five times the number of coral species as the entire Caribbean Sea.” – Marine biologist Dr Mark Erdmann

This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts in the Coral Triangle, run amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world.

Forgotten Islands aerial view in Indonesia.

Watch the Video Below to Get a Preview of This Trip

The Forgotten Islands and Misool Snorkeling Trip Itinerary

World map with Coral Triangle highlighted

You will be traveling and snorkeling in Indonesia, within a region known as the Coral Triangle, which has more species of fish and corals than anywhere else in the world.

Your tour begins in Jakarta (CGK). After your international flight arrives you will check into a comfortable hotel and relax before a group dinner where you will meet your guide and fellow snorkelers.

Forgotten Islands and Misool Snorkeling Trip Map Overview

Early the next morning your group will fly to Saumlaki via Ambon, where you will be met by the crew of the Amira Liveaboard yacht. From the airport it is a short drive to the port where you will board.

Forgotten Islands and Misool Snorkeling Trip Map Detail

That night your liveaboard will depart, and follow the chain of atolls and volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, to explore the Forgotten Islands, before making its way up to the remote islands of Misool in Southern Raja Ampat. The schedule of how many days are spent in the Forgotten Islands and Misool will vary depending on the different ocean and weather conditions forecast. This flexibility is one of the benefits of liveaboard travel, and will give you the best trip possible.

The liveaboard tour will end in Sorong, West Papua. In Sorong your group will catch a flight together back to Jakarta, which completes the tour.

What Will the Snorkeling Be Like in the Forgotten Islands?

After boarding the Amira Liveaboard at Saumlaki, your journey will head north, with a number of open ocean crossings, that mostly will occur at night, from Tanimbar in the south to Ceram in the north. Amira has traveled this area for 10 years, and will take you to exceptional snorkeling reefs that are so remote that many are not even named. You can expect to snorkel 3-4 times per day, unless there is a longer crossing, then there will be two longer morning snorkels.

Forgotten Islands in the Banda Sea, Indonesia.

You will be stopping at different islands, atolls, and semi-dormant volcanoes in the Banda Sea. The volcanic islands will offer you the chance to snorkel over black sand bottoms, where you will be able to find many rare critters that like that habitat. This is an extremely remote area that very few snorkelers have ever seen. You will stop at Palau Manggur, Palau Kur and Palau Kaimeer, an island chain offering stunning fringing reefs, the chance of big fish such as schools of barracuda, jacks, and batfish along with critters in the shallows.

Snorkelers next to a fringing reef in Indonesia.
Hard coral reef with a snorkeler in Indonesia.

You never know what you might find in this area, from Mola Molas resting on the surface, mandarinfish, sea horses, vast schools of butterflyfish and Red Toothed Triggerfish. It will be Blue Whale migration season, so there is a good chance you will be able to view them from the boat on the crossings between islands.

Blue Whale aerial view in Indonesia.

Before entering Raja Ampat to the north, you will stop at a site in the Ceram Islands called Koon. The World Wildlife Fund discovered that this area is one of the largest reef fish spawning sites in eastern Indonesia. Huge schools of Bluefin and Giant Trevally, batfish and pompano may be seen, if the conditions are favorable.

School of Giant Trevally in the Forgotten Islands, Indonesia.

What Is the Snorkeling Like in Misool?

Beautiful soft coral and crinoids at Misool

Located within the famed Coral Triangle in Indonesia, Raja Ampat has the most diverse and healthy reefs in the world, and the reefs of Misool are the crown jewel, and are absolutely brimming with life. Thanks to conservation efforts it is one of the rare places where sea life is not only flourishing, but has increased in health and diversity in recent years.

Misool is in a very remote southern part of the Raja Ampat archipelago. It has unique soft corals with vibrant colors and unique structures. You will find a vast range of snorkeling sites like coral covered walls, reef flats, pinnacles, and placid lagoons which all host a wealth of marine life.

Fields of gorgonian fans can be seen in the shallows while colorful hard coral gardens rise to within breaching distance of the surface – this really is some of the finest reef snorkeling you are likely to see anywhere in the world. Not only that, but the reefs are in superb condition.

School of Batfish in Misool

Fish life is very busy on the reefs of Misool, with clouds of smaller reef fish in the shallows over the corals, and larger pelagic species such as sharks, barracuda, Horse-eye Jacks and trevally.

You can see schools of Bumphead Parrotfish. Green turtles and walking sharks are common.

Three Bumphead Parrotfish in Misool

You will see a huge variety of hard and soft corals, and just clouds of fish, and a very high chance of seeing giant Manta Rays and it’s not uncommon to see whales passing by the liveaboard.

Hard corals and tunicates with many small reef fish in Misool
Snorkeler with a Manta Ray in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

The views of the islands in Misool will also be a joy to see from the boat, as you enjoy a sunset after dinner, resting on one of the upper decks.

Aerial view of snorkelers above shallow corals, next to small island in Indonesia.

What Is the Amira Liveaboard Yacht Like?

The Amira is full of luxury and safety features, and is a perfect platform for exploring the reefs of the Forgotten Islands and Misool. You will enjoy the beautiful landscapes during your cruise and only snorkelers will be aboard. The excellent crew on the Amira have explored these islands for over a decade and are very familiar with where the good reefs are for snorkelers.

Amira Liveaboard under sail in Indonesia.

You will sometimes enter and exit the water from the rear dive deck of the ship, but more often will be whisked out to different sites on smaller zodiac type inflatable snorkel boats, that will also stay in the area and watch over your group, ready to take anyone back who is tired.

At 170 feet long (52m), and 33 feet wide (10m), and displacing 400 tons, she is a good sized ship with loads of space for enjoying your leisure time and dining, both in and out of the sun.

Shaded top deck of the Amira Liveaboard.

The ship is relatively new, built in 2010, combining ancient Pinisi ship builder’s traditions, with state of the art navigation and security systems and rescue equipment.

Amira has worked to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, through support of local food purchasing and plastic waste reduction. They also buy Indonesia based carbon offsets for their CO2 emissions.

There are four double cabins on the upper deck with multiple windows, and six single and double cabins on the lower deck with multiple portholes, which accommodate a total of 18 guests plus your guide from Ben’s team. Each room is equipped with an individually controlled air-conditioner plus an extra fan, mini-safe, and an en-suite bathroom with a hot water shower. Room type can be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis.

Upper deck double cabin on the Amira Liveaboard.
Upper Deck Double Cabin
Lower deck cabin on the Amira Liveaboard.
Lower Deck Cabin

The ship has loads of open spaces to relax in, and enjoy the views between snorkel sessions. There is a big Sundeck at the top of the boat for getting some rays, and a shaded Main Deck area, which also doubles as an outdoor restaurant. There are two indoor lounges on the Main Deck, along with the indoor restaurant. On the Lower Deck there is a dedicated underwater camera room, and a spacious area for getting ready to snorkel where you will store your gear.

The yacht has a cozy restaurant where you will be served traditional comfort foods and snacks between snorkels. They can accommodate most special diets such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and so on. But, it is a remote destination and specific food items may not be available.

Restaurant on the Amira Liveaboard.

As enticing as spending a vacation cruising these beautiful islands on this stunning yacht sounds, it’s jumping into the water up to four times a day to snorkel exceptional reefs that is the real draw. It’s something you will never forget.

Trip Details and How to Sign Up

This is a small group charter and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.

Trip Date:
November 9-21, 2025 – One double occupancy cabin available.

Trip Price:
$8290 US per person (Twin/Double Share)

The initial deposit for this trip is $800 US per person. At 12 months before departure there is a $1000 US per person interim deposit, and at six months there is another $1000 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.

Individual travelers – Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.

Inclusions:

  • 1 night accommodation at Jakarta hotel with dinner
  • Round trip domestic flights, transfers, and connections (Jakarta – Saumlaki, Sorong – Jakarta) with 20kg/44lbs checked baggage
  • 11 nights accommodation and full board (all meals) on the Amira Liveaboard
  • 3-4 guided snorkel sessions per day on most days
  • A guide from Ben’s team
  • Marine Park and Port Fees (subject to change)

Exclusions:

  • International flights and visas
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Tips
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Alcoholic drinks, laundry and general sundries

Trip Organizers
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen and Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben’s team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.

How to Sign Up or Learn More?

Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.


More About Ben and Our Partnership

Ben and Nicole in Alor

Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have over 20 years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.

From our experience going on two of his snorkeling trips we found them very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides’ years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.

All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. These are premium trips including nearly everything you will need, accommodation, meals, transportation, and more.

His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips.

Learn More About the Yacht

Amira Liveaboard


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