It is so wonderful to be able to offer this unique, snorkelers only liveaboard trip focused around Misool Island, in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. The reefs of Misool are arguably the epicenter of biodiversity of the Coral Triangle, which basically means you will see more fish and coral species on this trip than anywhere else in the world. It is snorkeling mecca, and you will be getting in the water up to four times a day.
Join 18 snorkelers on the stunning 170 foot Amira yacht, exclusively chartered for this snorkeling-only exploration of the best sites around Misool Island. If we were not already going to Misool in 2020 we would be going on this trip ourselves!
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.
You will enjoy 13 days of exploring the best snorkeling spots in Misool. This area in Raja Ampat is particularly healthy and alive, and is one of the few areas in the world that is improving in health and diversity, instead of declining.
“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
Raja Ampat is located in Indonesia. First you fly into Jakarta and spend
the first night in the Jakarta Airport Hotel and fly out the next morning to
Sorong in West Papua. In Sorong you will board the Amira yacht, your base for the next 11 nights, and make your way southwest to Misool Island.
Raja Ampat is a regency of over 1,500 stunning islands, the primary islands being Salawati, Batanta, Waigeo and Misool, and it includes Cenderawasih Bay, the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Raja Ampat translates as Four Kings in English, referring to the four largest islands.
You may have heard of the incredible underwater biodiversity of the Coral Triangle area of Indonesia. Well, Raja Ampat is known to have the most species of marine life in all of the Coral Triangle. There are nearly 1,500 species of reef fish, 600 species of hard corals, seven giant clams species, seven species of sea turtles, and 57 species of mantis shrimp. And pelagic life is abundant in the area.
And Misool is known to be particularly stunning thanks to the 500 square mile Marine Protected Area and No Take Zone. These reefs have earned a reputation for being abundantly healthy, and packed with marine life.
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 play host to a wealth of marine life. Fields of gorgonian fans can be seen in the shallows whilst colourful 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 this - the reefs here are in superb condition.
Fish life is very busy on the reefs here, with clouds of smaller reef fish in the shallows over the corals, and larger pelagic species such as barracuda, Horse-eye Jacks and trevally. Mantas are frequently seen, and it's not uncommon to see whales passing by the liveaboard.
There are strong currents in the area, but the snorkel guides are experts at picking spots at the right time, and there are a myriad of snorkeling spots that are protected in almost all weather conditions. So, although you should have a good level of fitness, you should not expect to have to swim against a current for any length of time, and instead will float with the currents.
The Amira is full of luxury and safety features, and is a perfect platform for exploring the reefs of Misool. You will enjoy the beautiful landscapes during your cruise and only snorkelers will be on board!
You will sometimes enter and exit the water from the stern deck of the ship, and there are also a number of quick zodiac boats for picking up and dropping off snorkelers at some locations.
At 170 feet long (137 on deck), 33 feet wide, 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.
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
During the planning, construction and operation of the boat every effort was made to attain highest security standards. For example, there are emergency exits on the cabin decks, fire detectors all over the boat and a large number of fire extinguishers placed all throughout the boat, and plenty of personal flotation devices and lifebuoys on board.
Amira has worked to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, through support of local food purchasing and plastic waste reduction. They also buy carbon offsets for their CO2 emissions, that fund carbon offset projects in Indonesia.
There are three double cabins on the upper deck with multiple windows, and six double cabins on the lower deck with multiple portholes, which accommodate a total of 18 guests. Each room is equipped with an individually controlled air conditioner plus an extra fan, minisafe, and an en-suite bathroom with hot water shower.
The ship has loads of open spaces to hang out and enjoy the views between snorkel sessions. There is a big top deck for getting some rays, and a wonderful shaded upper deck area. There are community areas, dedicated underwater camera rooms, and a huge area for getting ready to snorkel where you can store your gear.
The yacht has a cozy restaurant where you will be served traditional Indonesian cuisine as well as international 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.
As enticing as spending a vacation cruising these beautiful islands on this stunning yacht sounds, it's jumping into the water four times a day to snorkel reefs like the one pictured below that is the real draw. It's something you will never forget.
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.
February 1-13, 2023 - Available.
$6,675 US per person (Twin/Double Share)
$200 US per person surcharge for Upper Deck Cabin
The initial deposit for this trip is $400 US per person. At 12 months before departure there is a $600 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.
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen & 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.
Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have around twenty 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.
experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it 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.
of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio
of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they
are with experiences, they are affordable.
His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.