Raja Ampat Liveaboard Snorkeling Trip
Experience 12-14 Days of Snorkeling Bliss in the Coral Triangle
November 2022, March and October 2023, October and November 2024
What a fantastic opportunity to join this snorkelers only liveaboard adventure, experiencing the superb snorkeling in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Your traditional sailing yacht will explore a variety of areas in Raja Ampat, including a focus on the islands of Misool and the Dampier Strait farther north.
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. Misool is our favorite place to snorkel in the world so far.
And the Dampier Strait, which is in northern Raja Ampat, is famous for rare and unique underwater creatures, healthy reefs, and beautiful waters.
Join 15 snorkelers on the stunning 158 foot Coralia yacht, exclusively chartered for this snorkeling-only exploration of the best sites around Raja Ampat.
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 12, 13, or 14 days of exploring the best snorkeling spots in Raja Ampat. It is snorkeling mecca, and you will be getting in the water up to four times a day. There will also be opportunities for night snorkeling.
Where Is Raja Ampat?
Raja Ampat is located in Indonesia, in the heart of the Coral Triangle. It 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.
This tour begins in Jakarta and includes your first night’s stay in the Jakarta Airport Hotel. The next morning you fly to Sorong in West Papua. In Sorong you will board the Coralia yacht, your base for the next 10, 11, or 12 nights. The liveaboard will first head to the southwest to Misool area, and then back north to the Dampier Strait. On day 12, 13, or 14 you will disembark the Coralia in Sorong and head for the airport for your flight back to Jakarta, where the tour ends.
What Will You Experience Snorkeling Raja Ampat’s Reefs?
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 clam 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.
“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
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 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 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 sharks, 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.
After Misool your ship will cruise north to the Dampier Strait, in the central region of a marine protected area. This area is extremely abundant in marine life, large and small, thanks to strong currents that pump nutrient rich waters through the strait. You will experience a great variety of underwater ecosystems, from shallow fringing reefs to sea mounts and walls.
Here you will have the opportunity to visit Manta Ray cleaning stations, with plenty of opportunities to see these big gentle creatures.
Beneath the surface swarms of small fish such as damsels, fusiliers, and anthias, mill about on the reef flats, while not too far away large schools of tuna, trevally, and mackerel congregate. Spadefish, surgeonfish, and barracuda gather under docks and around reef points, while angelfish and butterflyfish decorate both the reef flats and jagged coral towers. Expect fields of soft corals like you’ve never seen them before, and hard coral reefs are healthy and abundant as well.
There will be opportunities to snorkel in mangrove areas which are always a joy to experience. These very unique environments have colorful and varied sponges and other sea life that has adapted to the protected waters in the shaded roots of the mangrove trees.
What Is the Coralia Yacht Like?
Coralia is a beautiful wooden boat built in the traditional way. It is a wonderful home from which you can safely explore the reefs of Raja Ampat. As you cruise between the islands you will view stunning seascapes and enjoy the company of your snorkeling group.
At 158 feet long, 30 feet wide, and displacing 361 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. And with as many crew on board as guests you will be very well taken care of.
There is a sundeck on top, and there is an airy upper deck for dining and leisure, with plenty of loungers for taking in a sunrise or sunset with a drink in hand.
There are also air-conditioned lounge and restaurant areas on the main deck to cool down. When available there is free WiFi, but it is spotty, and only for a quick email check.
The Coralia has eight double cabins. Each cabin is air-conditioned, non-smoking, and has a spacious private bathroom with warm freshwater showers, towels, and hairdryer.
Environmentally friendly, natural soap and shower amenities are provided free of charge.
In the cabin itself guests will find cozy beds, a sofa, working desk, and closet. A safety box, regular, and USB charging stations provide further comfort.
There are four luxurious master cabins on the main and upper deck that additionally feature a private balcony, sun chair and outside sofa, where you can indulge in the tropical scenery and never miss a sunrise or sunset.
The deluxe lower cabins have either one double or two twin beds and porthole windows.
The yacht has a cozy air conditioned 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.
And last but certainly not least, there is a spa on the top deck for massages should you like to relax even more.
In addition to the yacht there are two smaller fiberglass panga style boats that may sometimes be used to bring your snorkeling group to different sites, and they will always be watching your group and ready to assist. These smaller boats have ladders to help you get back on board. If you get tired during a snorkel one of those boats can quickly take you back to the mothership.
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 Dates and Prices:
November 12-23, 2022 – Trip full, request to be waitlisted below.
2022 Trip Price – 11 Nights:
$6900 US per person – Master Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
$6550 US per person – Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
March 14-26, 2023 – One male share space available.
March 2023 Trip Price – 12 Nights:
$7500 US per person – Master Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
$7150 US per person – Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
October 26 – November 8, 2023 – One double occupancy Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin with twin beds available.
October 2023 Trip Price – 13 Nights:
$8150 US per person – Master Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
$7800 US per person – Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
October 26 – November 8, 2024 – Available.
October 2024 Trip Price – 13 Nights:
$8450 US per person – Master Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
$8100 US per person – Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
November 9-20, 2024 – Available.
November 2024 Trip Price – 11 Nights:
$7200 US per person – Master Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
$6850 US per person – Deluxe Lower Deck Cabin (Twin/Double Share)
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.
- 1 night accommodation at Jakarta Airport Hotel
- Round trip domestic flights, transfers, and connections (Jakarta – Sorong – Jakarta) with 44 lbs checked baggage
- 10, 11, or 12 nights accommodation on the Coralia Liveaboard
- Full board (all meals)
- Up to four snorkel sessions for 8 ½, 9 ½, or 10 ½ days
- A guide from Ben’s team
- International flights
- Snorkeling equipment
- Port, Marine Park, and Fuel Surcharge Fees: $250 (subject to change)
- Travel and health insurance
- Alcoholic drinks, laundry and general sundries
- Spa services
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.
More About Ben and Our Partnership
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 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.
All 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.