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Raja Ampat Archipelago by Liveaboard

Explore the epicenter of global marine biodiversity on our Raja Ampat snorkeling liveaboard trips. Named a National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime in 2010!

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  • Raja Ampat is at the heart of the Coral Triangle and considered by many to be the best marine destination on Earth.
  • Our trip and itinerary were developed specifically for snorkelers who want to experience Raja Ampat's incredible marine habitats.
  • Travel comfortably aboard a traditional Indonesian schooner with spacious common areas and two tenders with sturdy dive ladders.
  • Explore fish-filled walls and soft coral gardens. Nudibranchs abound!

This special liveaboard snorkeling journey through Raja Ampat, Indonesia was named one of National Geographic Traveler's 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2010!

Located in Indonesia's West Papua Province, the Raja Ampat Archipelago is at the heart of the most biodiverse marine region on Earth—the Coral Triangle. Largely unexplored by scientists until recently, new marine species are being discovered here on a regular basis. Coral reefs in Raja Ampat are not only the world's most biodiverse, but they are also some of the most pristine. More than 500 species of coral and more than 1,300 species of fish have been recorded here.

Our trip takes you on an exploration of this remote archipelago aboard a 112-foot motored schooner. Selecting ideal snorkeling sites daily, we will immerse ourselves in diverse and unique marine habitats, exploring multiple islands. Morning excursions will provide opportunities to see the equally diverse bird life, including the magnificent Red Bird of Paradise, Kingfishers, and Sea Eagles.

We snorkel along mushroom-shaped rock islands, which harbor miles of hard and soft corals. In addition to snorkeling in aquamarine waters, we also explore some of the larger islands of the region including Waigeo whose lush green forest is inhabited by many varieties of bird and animal life. We enjoy strolling along white sand beaches, and at Gam Island there is a possibility to see the magnificent Bird of Paradise.

With daily diverse snorkeling opportunities, combined with a mix of island exploration, this is one of the best remote snorkeling expeditions possible.

Trip Dates & Cost

2019: October 28 – November 8 SOLD OUT. From $6,800 per person.* Group limit 18.

2020: October 13–24. From $6,800 per person.* Group limit 18.

2021: October 17–28 | October 30 - November 10. From $6,800 per person.* Group limit 18.

* Price varies based on cabin selection. There is a single supplement fee of $995 (limited quantities available); upper deck cabin upgrades are available for an additional $400/person. Trip prices do not include international airfare. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.

"World-class snorkeling in the most biodiverse marine environment on Earth."

- Gary Nielsen, 2012 traveler

"This is a wonderful way to experience snorkeling, and I would come again as soon as possible!"

- Deborah Sheppard, 2012 traveler


Steve Trott is a marine zoologist and the projects development manager at Watamu Marine Association in Kenya, an organization that promotes sustainable tourism, community based waste management, and marine conservation. Steve’s current focus is on finding innovative solutions to the growing marine debris problem while providing financial benefit to coastal communities in Africa.

Wayne Sentman is our director of conservation travel programs and an Oceanic Society naturalist since 1998. He is an experienced guide with a diverse background in marine mammal, seabird, and marine debris research. Wayne also co-teaches undergraduate field programs in Kenya on human-wildlife conflict and on the use of social media and art to raise public participation in conservation. He recently received a Master's in Environmental Management from Harvard University.

Pete Oxford works in some of the world’s most pristine and remote wildlife and cultural destinations as a full-time professional photographer. His images have appeared in major magazines including National Geographic, Time, Outdoor Photographer, and Smithsonian, and have been featured ten times in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. Pete and his wife Reneé also lead expeditions to some of the world’s richest cultures and most biodiverse areas of our planet.

Dalton Ambat is based in Bali and has helped guide Oceanic Society's Indonesia snorkel programs for the last 8 years. He is an experienced snorkel guide and a PADI certified master scuba dive trainer who has logged more than 10,000 dives and trained more than 1,000 students. Dalton has worked across the entire coral triangle region and is an expert naturalist with a keen eye for the macro critters. In 2016 he also participated in our marine debris sampling survey cruise from Bali to Komodo.


Day 0: Arrive into Jakarta
Arrive into Jakarta on your own and stay overnight. If you are originating from North America, please note that you will be crossing the International Date Line. You'll want to arrive at least 24 hours in advance to adjust to the time change and give yourself a buffer period before your flights to Sorong.

Day 1: Jakarta - Sorong, Embark
Today is the official start of our trip. Everyone will board an early morning flight to Sorong, West Papua, where we will be transferred to the privately-chartered Sea Safari VIII, our home for the next 11 nights. Once everyone is checked in, we will set sail.

Days 2-11: Exploring the Raja Ampat Archipelago
We'll spend each day snorkeling and exploring the archipelago's reefs and tropical landscapes. Each day we will spend 4-6 hours in the water, visiting some of the most pristine, diverse, and colorful coral reefs in the world. Here we may come across soft and hard coral walls, colorful nudibranchs, abundant schools of fish, and productive reef ecosystems full of butterflyfish, angelfish, snappers, groupers, parrotfish, sea turtles, and possibly marine mammals and sharks.

We do our best to keep the itinerary flexible depending on external factors such as tides, wind, and weather. Possible snorkeling destinations may include reefs adjacent to Batanta, Penemu, Waigeo, Aljuy Bay, Gam, Fam, Kawe, Wayag, Friwinbonda, Mansuar, and Kri Islands.

For those interested in bird watching, there will be some opportunities to go on early-morning outings to look for unique birds and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We will also visit a lek (mating display site) of the endemic Red Bird of Paradise on Gam Island to see male birds perform their mating displays.

Day 12: Sorong - Jakarta (or Bali)
At the conclusion of our trip, the group will disembark in Sorong, West Papua and transfer to the airport in time for our flights back to Jakarta (or Bali). Depending on your return flight schedule, you may fly home this evening or stay overnight (on your own). Please inquire about our post-trip extensions to snorkel in North Sulawesi or trek in Borneo.


Raja Ampat cruise ship

Our expedition takes place aboard Sea Safari VIII, a 23-passenger, 112-foot-long motored pinisi Buginese schooner that features twelve air-conditioned cabins, each with their own complete en suite facilities. The ship's common saloon is air-conditioned and offers a comfortable setting where participants can enjoy the library and socialize. It is spacious and attractive with large surrounding windows that allow continuous views of the spectacular outdoor topography.

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