No cruise on MV Samambaia is like the other. Every single trip is tailor-made to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The decision on the itinerary is made by the cruise director as we cruise along and is based on factors such as weather conditions, dive conditions, requests of guests, schedules of other liveaboards, which we are trying to stay away from.
There are however certain constants on every cruise which are:
- Three day-dives of minimum 1 hour duration
- One sunset- or night dive (unless we have to cover a serious amount of miles overnight)
Activities during the surface intervals such as:
- scenic rides through lagoons and coves in our tenders
- trekking to breathtaking view points
- visits of secluded perfect beaches
- excursions to traditional villages
- whale watching
- water activities such as wakeboarding and water skiing
Based upon that, here is a potential itinerary for an 11 nights / 12 days cruise from Sorong to Sorong. This is just to give you a general idea and is subject to change due to weather- and other conditions. Popular dive sites are named. We do however have our secret spots as well, which you will learn about during the cruise.
For a cruise in Raja Ampat there are three potential scenarios:
– North only
– South only
– North and South combined
Itinerary below is an example for North only:
Day 1: Embarkation – Arrival with plane to Sorong. You will be picked up by crew members at the airport. Embarkation in the port of Ambon. A general orientation follows.
Day 2: Dampier Strait – After an initial general dive briefing we take you on an easy check dive. To get used to the gear again, to get the weights right, to make sure your camera housings are not leaking. Two more relaxed dives will prepare you for the diverse and lush diving and snorkelling that lies ahead of you.
Day 3: Yanggelo – ‘Mayhem’ is an action-packed dive which we will hit when there is enough current to keep the fish life going without being too challenging for the divers.
Outside the mangroves of Yanggelo we have three more very attractive dive sites to show you.
Day 4: Jef Fam – The hard coral heaven that expects us at ‘Batu Burung’ is one of a kind. Towards the end of the dive, our guides will introduce you to a huge Giant Clam, that is estimated to be more tun 80 years old.
We have several more dive sites to pick from over the day and in the afternoon we invite you to climb the 312 stairs that lead up to a stunning viewpoint. Around sunset, we will witness hundreds of Fregatte Birds returning to a little rock where they all sleep together.
Day 5: Wofoh – The diving around Wofoh is spectacular and yet hardly any liveaboard goes there. Which we appreciate a lot.
Day 6: Alyui – The bay of Alyui is home to some of the most spectacular macro diving in all of Raja Ampat. Be prepared for a magical experience. At some point during the day we will visit the pearl farm of Atlas South Sea Pearls, which produces some of the world’s best pearls, and get a tour.
Day 7: Kawe – Eagle Rocks is known for being a Manta Ray cleaning station. We do one or two dives here in the morning to head north afterwards. Right before crossing the equator, we do one more dive at another secret spot of ours. Again good potential for Manta Ray encounters but also beautiful coral and great fish life. After crossing the equator we enter the island group of Wayag. The view down from Mt. Pindito is probably the signature photo of Raja Ampat.
Day 8: Wayag – We spend one more day in paradise. Early in the morning, we climb Mt. Pindito to enjoy the breathtaking view. Afterwards we will go diving. In the afternoon we take you on a speedboat ride through this maze of islands to end up at a perfect beach. A memorable experience for sure.
Day 9: Mansuar / Arborek – It’s time for more close encounters with the majestic Manta Rays of Raja Ampat.
‘Manta Sandy’ is one of the most popular dive sites out here and therefore we avoid. Just because we know about even better spots where we will take you.
In the afternoon we will dive the jetty of the small island of Arborek. The pillars are covered in soft coral and all around we find very attractive macro life. Afterwards we will go and visit the little village here on the island.
Day 10: North Batanta – The northern coast of the island of Batanta gives us several opportunities for excellent dive sites to pick from. Beautiful coral reefs, more Manta opportunities, or rather some critter diving?
For sunset we will pull into a bay where Hornbills come in to sleep.
Day 11: Dampier – Towards the end of the week and the end of the cruise for some other liveaboards it can get a bit busy here. We don’t like that and therefore move away to some sites less dived yet very attractive. A WW 2 plane wreck. ‘Larry’s Promise’. Wruzwarez Slope. There are many possibilities. And to conclude our in-water activities we aim to snorkel with feeding Mantas.
On our way back our crew will keep an eye out onto the ocean for you and alert you in time for whale and dolphin encounters. Which are quite common here. As long as you are on the watch out. and we are…
Day 12: Disembarkation in Sorong – Depending on your flight schedule, our crew will check your luggage in for you in advance so you can rest on board and let us shuttle you to the airport when your plane is ready to leave.
Critter Life: Rhinopias, Ghostpipefish, Pipefish, Pipehorses, Seahorses, Pygmy Seahorses, all sorts of Crustaceans, many different species of Cephalopods, Frogfish, Nudibranchs, Pegasus, Ambon Scorpionfish
Big Stuff: Sharks, Tunas, Jacks, Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, Napoleon Wrasses and surprises