Dewi Nusantara Cendrawasih Bay
Raja Ampat - Cendrawasih Bay
Explore Cendrawasih Bay and encounter incredible marine Biodiversity including whale sharks! Cendrawasih Bay National Park is the largest marine national park in Indonesia. Established in 1993, the 1,453,500 hectare national park is located in the western part of the bay. The park location on a map of Indonesia can easily be found; it occupies the northern coastal area of West Papua resembling the shape of a large bird’s neck.
The steep topography of the western coastal mountains and the Wandamen and Kwatisore peninsulas to the south were created by the convergence of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. This has geologically isolated the bay from the flow of the Pacific tides and has blessed Cenderawasih Bay with a wide variety of endemic species. The marine habitats here contain a number of rare and commercially important species and provide the basis for the local fishing and tourist industries. Guest may even find that some normally deep-dwelling fish species can be found here in relatively shallow waters. Recently, researchers have discovered five new species of fish here alone, including two types of eels. They current count of fish species is 955.
Within the bay there is a huge range of marine life including five major reef types: fringing reefs, barrier reef, atoll, patch reef, and shallow water reef mounds. The fringing reefs are the most abundant bordering most of the mainland coastline and major continental islands and represent some of the last of the few remaining pristine reefs in the world.
The Explore Cruise will predominantly visit the coral reefs and black sand sites searching for critters. The diversity is incredible and all species from the small pygmies, tiger shrimps, frogfishes and octopi to the traditional reef dwellers such as Angelfish and Butterfly Fish, to the larger species of blacktip sharks, dolphin, and turtles all reside in the Bay. To round things out, a few dives will also explore a few well known wrecks from WWII!
The other main goal of the expedition is to try and locate the four to five whale sharks up who make regular appearances in the bay almost all year round. These sharks are supposedly residents of the bay and are very tame and allowing people to swim in close proximity while they consume fishes from the bagans (local fishing boats).
It is reported that the bay's resident whale sharks have learned an unusual behaviour which is to feast upon fish nets filled with small anchovies around fishing bagans. While in other parts of the world fishermen are culling these sharks for their fins, the local fishermen here seem to be friends with these sharks and encourage their visits by offering them bucket loads of anchovies.
The Dewi Nusantara is the perfect home for this Explore Expedition and brings the comforts Dancer Fleet guests have come to expect to the most remote regions of the world.