You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives to join this safari.
As with all diving activities, the dive guide has the final decision regarding any divers competency to complete any particular dive.
The region of Raja Ampat, Indonesia is all about diversity - not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with an amazing range of hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, black sand, white sand. Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but all levels of the food chain are well represented - from pygmy seahorses to top predators. In many places brightly coloured soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colourful. The reefs just buzz with life! Manta Rays, Wobbegong Sharks and Epaulette Sharks can all be found in the waters that make up Raja Ampat.
Raja Ampat is huge, 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats, which translates to wildly different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and even some habitats that are special to Raja Ampat such as clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them! There are thousands of potential dive sites. Exploration is still continuing, and on every trip there are chances for new and amazing discoveries.
The luxury Indo Siren is a traditional phinisi, handcrafted from ironwood and teak. The eight en-suite cabins can be used as twin or double bedded rooms accommodating up to 16 guests on board. They feature air-conditioning and a personal audio-visual entertainment system. Towels and bathrobes are provided. The spacious shaded deck area offers personal storage space for dive gear and the lounge features a TV with movie network. There are both covered and open areas for lounging on deck and meals are served buffet style each day. Photographers and videographers have designated charging and preparation areas for their equipment. A laundry and massage service are available on board. Up to four dives a day operate from the accompanying tenders. Aqua Lung diving equipment is provided free of charge and both 12 and 15 litre DIN and international valve tanks are available. Nitrox is complimentary for qualified divers.
The itinerary will vary depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites.
Adunara: a narrow strait where large amounts of rich water pass through attracting and feeding many types of marine life. Small life such as pygmy seahorses can be found here but it is the pelagic action that is perhaps most exciting. Sperm whales have been seen passing through.
Pulau Soangi and Lamalera: This location offers some adrenaline packed dives, situated on the outside of Kawula, Lamalera is a world heritage site but is sadly one of the last remaining places where they still hunt for whales. The local people use the same methods that have been used for generations and you can visit them between dives to learn about their way of life.
Pantar and Beangaban: A great spot for muck diving, the black sand and coral reef are home to Rhinopias, coleman shrimp, frogfish, dwarf lionfish and ribbon eels to name just a few.
Pulau Pura: A friendly community who welcome you as friends into their wooden houses. There are also some good walls to dive on the south of the island where the coral and fish life are very good.
Gunung Api: A small volcano in the middle of the Banda Sea, Gunung Api is one of those very rare and special places that not many divers get to see . Underwater ridges, steep slopes with black sand and walls covered in soft corals, however, the most amazing feature is the amount of sea snakes surrounding the island. Hundreds of frigates can also be observed living on the island.
Pulau Koon: A small island on the southeast of Ceram, half way between Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands. There are walls covered in soft corals, and sandy slopes with hard coral bommies but the most interesting feature is the amount of schooling and pelagic fish; barracuda, bigeye trevally, red snapper, pompano, batfish, and giant grouper.
Manuk: An extinct volcano about 65 nautical miles south of the Banda Islands, is one of 2 places in Indonesia where there are huge aggregations of sea snakes, chinese sea snakes and banded sea kraits, its an incredible experience to be surrounded on all sides by these creatures. The island is surrounded by black sandy slopes with hard coral reefs, volcanic ridges covered in gorgonians with zillions of fusiliers and pelagic fish such as spanish mackerel and dogtooth tuna.
Pulau Nila: Approximately 26 nm northeast of the island of Nila in the Banda Sea, is a submerge reef called Nil Desperandum, consisting mainly of walls and steep slopes going several thousand meters deep, with beautiful hard corals on the reef top. The reef is several miles long; Napoleons, turtles and reef sharks are usual sightings here. Five nautical miles east of Nila there is an atoll called Dusborgh with similar topography, its crystal clear water makrd it another great place to see pelagic fish, tuna, mackerel, jack and rainbow runners passing by.
Banda Islands: Also know in the old days as the Spice Islands, many of the dive sites around the Bandas are wall dives covered in massive gorgonians, soft corals, barrel sponges with some very interesting swimthroughs. Other attractive dive sites feature pinnacles with enormous groups of schooling pyramid butterflyfish, triggerfish and pelagic fish such as tuna passing through, spectacular hard coral reefs next to the volcano and great muck dives with lots of mandarinfish in the local jetty. The Banda Islands, however, offer much more than diving, they are a cultural and historical experience.
Misool: The most southern island in Raja Ampat is surrounded by several hundred small islands and rocks. Some of the nicest soft coral reefs in the world are located in Misool. It is impossible to describe only several dive sites since there are literally hundreds of them. Every year new dive sites are discovered around Misool. Many of the dive sites around Misool are just as fishy as the ones from the Dampier Strait, with same schools of barracudas, spadefish, pinjalo snappers, and zillions of fusiliers. But Misool is also a great macro place. It is known as the kingdom of the pygmy seahorses, as well as having small allied cowries in the gorgonian seafans, and nudibranches. Within each of the following areas, there are always several dive sites. Wagma, Farondi, Balbulol, Sagof, Daram, Yellit, Boo, Warakaraket, Fiabacet, Kalig, Wayilbatan, Wayil, Pele and Nampele (Blue Water Mangroves).