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 try 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 viewpoints
- visits to secluded perfect beaches
- excursions to traditional villages
- whale watching
- water activities such as wakeboarding and kayak
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
The itinerary below is an example for North and South combined:
Day 1: Embarkation
Arrival with the plane to Sorong. You will be picked up by crew members at the airport. Embarkation in the port of Sorong. A general orientation follows.
Day 2: Wagmab/Farondi
After an initial general dive briefing, we will do our check dive with you at an easy and protected dive site. Check dive in the sense of you checking your gear and weights, making sure the camera housings are properly sealed and our guides checking your buoyancy. No skill demonstrations are required. Thereafter we will do two more dives around Wagmab and Farondi. We’ve got a wide array of sites to pick from.
There are five dive sites commonly dived, add our secret spots and you get to ten. You can expect impressive soft coral growth, big sea fans, a huge swim through, a cavern, and a superb macro life. For several months of the season, silversides are abundant and the Mobulas come in to hunt.
Day 3: Wayil
Barracuda Rock, Wedding Cake, and Dunia Kecil are the dive sites which we will spend this day at.
In the afternoon, we offer a two-hour speedboat ride into hidden coves to let you enjoy the stunning topside of the limestone islands. In the end, we will get to a pristine white sand beach where you can cool off with a little swim.
Day 4: Fiabatjet
Right in the heart of the No-Take-Zone. ‘Tank Rock’, ‘Nudi Rock’ & ‘Whale Rock’ are the famous and commonly dived sites here. There are five more dive sites in the very proximity which are as good, if not even better. We prefer to go a bit off the beaten track here.
The reefs are covered in soft coral in all colors, you can imagine. Surrounded by the most colorful reef fish. More Fusiliers than one could possibly count. Jacks, Trevallies, Barracudas, Sharks.
And if you happen to dive here on a day with bad visibility, just face the reef. It’s packed with macro life. Several species of Pygmy Seahorses, Nudibranchs, tiny Crustaceans – every niche in these reefs is filled with life.
Day 5: Boo/Warakaraket
The swim-through at ‘Boo Windows’ is one of the signature dive sites of SE Misool. The surrounding reef is covered in sea fans. Even bigger sea fans you will see at our second dive here at ‘Hidung Boo’. We combine this impressive day of diving with at least one dive at ‘Magic Mountain’. Being a cleaning station for Oceanic Mantas makes this place truly magical.
Day 6: Daram
This island group is one of our favorite areas to dive in SE Misool. Since 2010 declared as the second no-take zone in the area the marine life here is abundant and most colorful. We will spend the whole day here and offer three world-class dives. No night dive today as we will head overnight to the north.
Day 7: Yanggelo
In the morning, you will find yourself in the north of Raja Ampat. The main difference to Misool is the pristine hard coral, whilst the south is famous for the soft variation. ‘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 8: 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. Afterward, we will go and visit the little village here on the island.
Day 9: Dampier Strait
The dive and snorkel sites in the Dampier Strait stand for action-packed dives in our favorite kind of fish soup – the one that is still alive and surrounds us in the water. Encounters with Manta Rays are very common here. The reef of the island of Kri is the current world record holder with the highest number of fish species ever counted by a scientist in a single dive. Dr. Gerry Allen came up with 374 different fish species counted. Again: in one single dive.
Dive sites here are exposed to current so it’s all about the right timing to get the most out of it. And we know how to time it here. Popular dive sites here: ‘Kap Kri’, ‘Chicken’, ‘Sardine’, ‘Mike’s Point’ and ‘Blue Magick’.
Day 10: Dampier Strait
For the early birds, we offer optional trekking in the morning to go and see the Red Bird of Paradise. These birds do their mating dances up in the trees just when the sun rises. Another day of action-packed diving in the Dampier Strait lies ahead of us.
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 WW2 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