Raja Ampat and Banda Islands | Indonesia Dive Holiday

Raja Ampat and Banda Islands - Far East

  • Water temp 27 - 28 C
  • Air Temp 27 - 30 C
  • Visibility 5 - 30m
  • Good for... Macro, Pelagics, Reefs
  • Suitable for beginners No
  • Highlights Dive the wish list destination Raja Ampat with one of Scuba Travel's hand picked liveaboards. This is the ultimate Indonesian dive adventure, packed with big fish to macro and mind blowing bio diversity.

About Raja Ampat and Banda Islands

Raja Ampat and Banda islands is a transitional itinerary, that moves between the macro mecca of Ambon to the big fish walls of Raja Ampat. This is an extended itinerary where you can visit some of the best dive sites in the Centre of the Coral Triangle.

The Ambon to Sorong cruise is special because it takes in two magnificent regions in the one cruise. Beginning in Ambon we head first to the Banda Islands (original Spice Islands) before rounding the east coast of Seram and rejoining the south and central sections of Raja Ampat. The Banda Islands will offer the opportunity for some pelagic action, hopefully hammerheads too, before diving arguably one of the best dive locations worldwide, South Raja Ampat.

The diving is hugely varied. Raja Ampat is the most biodiverse place on earth. Hang out on the walls to look for sharks, manta and other pelagic action, combined with colourful pristine reefs. There are copious amount of fish life, with swirling schools racing up and down the reefs. Sunset Dive for the Mandarin fish in Banda Neira.

Highlights may include
Banda Islands: Pohon Miring, Batu Kapal, Batu Kapal Pinnacle, Banda Neira Jetty and Lava Flow
Banda Land Visits: On this cruise we visit Banda Neira to see the nutmeg plantation, historic forts and small Maritime Museum. A half day excursion
Raja Ampat Central Section: Gam, Penemu, Arborek, Cape Kri Area
Raja Ampat Southern Section: Daram, Wayilbatan, Fiabacet, Pelee

Blue Manta Explorer

Blue Manta Explorer is possibly the largest, purpose built steel hulled liveaboard diving in Indonesia to date. Measuring 45 meters in length (148 feet) the 22 spacious cabins are situated over three decks. Modern and classy, Blue... MORE

Emperor Harmoni

Launched in 2022, Emperor Harmoni is a contemporary Indonesian liveaboard diving the world class sites of Raja Ampat, the Banda Sea and Komodo. With year round departures and longer cruise itineraries we know this new liveaboard w... MORE

Solitude Adventurer

Solitude Adventurer brings the Solitude fleet's fresh, modern liveaboard style to Indonesia. A 36-metre aluminium catamaran, she comfortably sleeps 18 divers, reaching the most exciting sites in Indonesia's big fish dive calendar.... MORE

White Manta Explorer

White Manta Explorer is a 152 ft (46m) by 33 ft (10m) purpose-built steel hull dive vessel. Stable, sophisticated, and reliable, the yacht is perfect for extended itineraries to the most exotic regions of Indonesia. Guests will di... MORE

Scuba Travel works with the most exclusive liveaboards in Indonesia, all diving in and around the Raja Ampat and Banda Sea area. However, there are several options regarding your trip duration so you can find the ideal liveaboard for your once in a lifetime trip to Raja Ampat & The Banda Sea.

Please speak to your travel consultant for specific information about which sites your chosen liveaboard and departure date will (and won't) visit. Specific sites cannot be guaranteed due to weather, sailing conditions and will ultimately be at the captain's discretion.

Liveaboards diving Raja Ampat
Blue Manta Explorer, White Manta Explorer, Emperor Harmoni & Solitude Adeventurer all run itineraries to dive Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands seasonally.

Embarkation Points
Most trips depart from Sorong or Ambon

Trip Durations
You can dive Raja Ampat & The Banda Islands from several liveaboards, each offering different trip durations. This means that the exact itinerary will depend on which boat and duration you chose. Please ask your travel consultant at the time of booking to outline in more detail your proposed itinerary and dive sites.
Please note the exact number of dives on a trip will depend on local weather conditions and diver experience levels etc. The above number of dives are intended as a rough guide only.

Arrival and Departure
Depending on which liveaboard you will be joining you may need to overnight in Indonesia at either end of your holiday. Most trips will also require you to catch a domestic flight to reach the boat. Common stop over points are Bali, Jakarta, Sorong and Ambon.

Raja Ampat North
Some of Raja Ampat's most famous dive areas are found in the northern part where the pelagics are concentrated. Here you find Cape Kri and the Dampier Straits. If you are a photographer it is all about wide angle here, with vast sea fans. Kri is the for many divers one of the undeniable highlights of this itinerary with just everything. Around Airborei you can find huge manta rays which are feeding or being cleaned. Aluji Bay switches from big fish to macro with ghost pipefish, toad fish and bob tail squid. The area is also great for wobegongs and ribbon eels. In Waya you have it all. The corals are out of this world, when the current runs you get pelagics and if not there are all manner of critters and scenic arches. Kawe is an area with such dense marine life you will be blown away.

Raja Ampat South
The best known areas of Raja Ampat in the South are Misool and nearby Fam. Misool is a tiny island surrounded by dense hard coral reefs. Surrounded by mushroom like islets, there are some good speedy drift dives which in turn bring in larger fish including sharks, mobula, barracuda and tuna. In Fiabacet you find the photogenic Boo Windows, a series of arches in the reef which make for the most photogenic image. The reef is swarmed by smaller reef fish. Daram is a soft coral reef with outstanding sea fans and vast barrel sponges. And home to the rare halimeda ghost pipefish, frogfish and flamboyant cuttlefish. Batanta is the ideal spot for some nudibranch hunting.

Banda Islands
The unique location of the Banda archipelago enhances chances of close encounters with pelagics such as big tunas, Spanish mackerels, giant jacks or even hammerhead sharks. Manuk Island is home to an incredible sea snake aggregation allowing divers to submerge with a multitude of banded sea kraits.

Between dives
Between dives there are several opportunities on all over the boats. Go ashore in Banda Neira to see the nutmeg plantation, historic forts and small Maritime Museum.The excursions will vary from trip to trip but all are designed to help you get to see even more of this remote region.

Dismbarkation Points
Most trips return to Sorong or Ambon