indonesia raja ampat snorkeling yacht

At anchor in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

The magical isles of Raja Ampat are host to pristine and unusual marine and land ecosystems. Our yacht-based odyssey through the isles of Raja Ampat brings us once-in-a-lifetime snorkeling adventures.

Photo by Ethan Daniels

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Snorkeling Raja Ampat route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5395  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Sorong, Indonesia
Depart: Sorong, Indonesia
Lodging: 11 nights aboard yacht
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Small Boat & Yacht Cruising, Snorkeling, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking
Trip Level: Snorkeling, exploring by dinghy, optional sea kayaking
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Highlights

  • Once-in-a-lifetime expedition to one of the most biologically diverse and remote areas on earth
  • World-class snorkeling above pristine coral reefs
  • Travel aboard a traditional double-masted Indonesian schooner, enjoy spectacular stargazing, anchor in coves with no one else around


We love to snorkel and this is the best in the world. The fish are incredible—a super underwater experience.Rick L.—East Falmouth, MA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Set in the heart of the famed Coral Triangle, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago is an amazing world few travelers ever get to experience. The snorkeling here is world-class, with extravagantly rich coral reefs that support astonishing species—technicolor soft corals, ghost pipefish, tasseled wobbegongs, hawksbill turtles, octopus, eight different species of anemonefish—the diversity is absolutely mind-bending! Topside, you’ll relish a realm of dramatic limestone islands, dazzling aquamarine lagoons, and rare birds—even the red bird of paradise. Our “mother ship,” a 100-foot Indonesian schooner, makes a comfortable home base, and our evenings are spent in exquisite and remote anchorages savoring the utterly unspoiled beauty of our surroundings.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Sorong, Indonesia

Boarding our yacht in Sorong, we cruise into the heart of Raja Ampat, one of the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world.

Days 2-6
Penemu / Waigeo / Uranie Islands

Each snorkel around the limestone isle of Penemu reveals a brilliant spectrum hidden beneath the sea surface, from frogfish and opulent lionfish to the quiet, bearded wobbegong shark. From our North Waigeo anchorage, you’ll snorkel amid the rich Alyui reefs, and on Uranie Island, visit a spectacular beach-lined bay and hike to the summit for a 360-degree view of Raja Ampat’s lush jungle-covered islands. The avian life is wonderful—lorikeets, parrots, kingfishers, eagles, and hornbills are commonly seen here—and you’ll awake each dawn to a chorus of bird calls. Each evening we anchor in a serene setting of turquoise waters and green islands and watch for manta rays feeding around our boat.

Days 7-12
Wayag Island / Gam Island

At Wayag, a stunning island of jungle-covered rock outcrops, you’ll snorkel through mangroves and among schools of silver sardines and juvenile reef fish. Search for leatherback turtles feeding on jellies at Gam Island and enjoy fabulous drift snorkeling near Manta Point and South Kri. On our island hike, we’ll look for the red bird of paradise, first made known to the Western world by pioneering naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, who made his famous voyage here in 1860. Depart on Day 12 from Sorong.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3, Moderate. It is relaxed enough to allow ample time for photography, snorkeling, and exploration by dinghy. On any trip of this nature, however, it is impossible to predict what the weather will have in store and activities often vary with each day. Because the primary focus of the trip is snorkeling, we require that trip members know how to swim and bring their own good quality, well-fitted equipment, including mask, snorkel, and fins. Try out your gear in a swimming pool before you go to make sure that it works for you and is comfortable. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.” We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip, and there will be several drift snorkels (with some current) during the trip. We usually have two to three snorkeling adventures each day of two or three hours each. Our shore landings are “wet” (which involves stepping out of the dinghy and wading to shore). Kayaking experience is not necessary, and we should have the option to use our inflatable kayaks a couple of times throughout the trip. The cook on board prepares simple and tasty meals, a mix of Asian and Western styles with plenty of seafood. Note: Vegetarians who do not eat seafood may find their choices somewhat limited.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Oct 5-16, 2015  Diana Himmelspach
Nov 16-27, 2015  Diana Himmelspach

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$5395 (9-10 members)
$5795 (8 members)
$6195 (7 members)
$6495 (6 members)
Single supplement: $875
Forced single supplement: $500
Internal airfare: $695 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations aboard the yacht
  • All meals included
  • PFDs (life jackets), and boat safety gear

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to/from the trip, internal flights, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule or other factors, airport taxes, expenses such as immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
150 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $500.0 per person
91-150 days prior to departure: 50.0% of trip cost
90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Traditional Indonesian Schooner

Sorong, Indonesia

Our vessel is a double-masted traditional Indonesian sailboat that offers the unique opportunity to explore the incredibly remote, unique, and mystical Raja Ampat archipelago. The boat was built in Sulawesi in 2000 out of Indonesian hardwoods and is 100 feet long with a 21-foot beam. While not luxurious, she is comfortable and well maintained. She accommodates 10 guests in basic cabins that are small but have individually controlled air-conditioning and electricity 24 hours a day. There are no en suite cabins, but there are three shared toilet/shower combinations on the boat. The boat is very sturdy and stable, whether still or under motor. The boat’s crew of seven is attentive, experienced, and helpful, and many have worked on the boat for years. Note: The boat has steep stairs/ladders from the double cabins up to the main deck (the restrooms and dining room are located on the main deck), so it may not be suitable for people with limited mobility.

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Diana Himmelspach

Diana Himmelspach, a native of Germany, discovered her passion for the ocean at an early age and has been diving for most of her life in locations all over the world, always fascinated by what she finds underwater. She’s been aboard almost every departure of Wilderness Travel's Raja Ampat snorkeling adventures and has a deep knowledge and understanding of the ecosystems there. “Din” is also a keen photographer and writer, loves sharing her enthusiasm and experience both in and out of the water (she really knows her fish), and is a fantastic traveling companion. Her warm, friendly manner and consummate skills as a host make you feel right at home. And be sure to join one of her on-board yoga sessions!

Upcoming Trips:

Snorkeling Raja Ampat, October 5-16, 2015
Snorkeling Raja Ampat, November 16-27, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Din was more than great as our underwater guide/teacher/scuba instructor/helper of many/friend. The trip would not have happened nor continued without her tireless labor and effisive personality. Barbara P., Chicago, IL
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was very knowledgeable and a joy to be with. She is a natural caretaker and guide. Katherine P., Chicago, IL
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was absolutely excellent in all regards! A gem! Peter B., Solna, Sweden
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din is an amazing individual, radiating kindness and compassion to everyone. She is also extremely strong, competent,and a superb guide with in-depth knowledge of the reef and its creatures. Deborah S., New Hyde Park, NY
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Waigeo Islands
Din was absolutely wonderful. I cannot praise her enough. She was cheerful, helpful, and more than willing to go the 'extra mile.' Anne T., North Vancouver, BC
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Misool Islands
Din was wonderful—beautiful, kind, helpful, talented in the water and out. Sherry D., Dillon, CO
Snorkeling the Raja Ampat Archipelago:
The Misool Islands

Client Comments

We love to snorkel and this is the best in the world. The fish are incredible—a super underwater experience. Rick L., East Falmouth, MA This is the third time I’ve been to Raja Ampat/Misool with WT and I hope to go again. It’s a snorkeler’s paradise, made even better by Trip Leader Ethan Daniels and the boat staff. Jeanne H., Orinda, CA This is a truly wonderful snorkeling adventure in a beautiful place with a very experienced guide. It is the trip of a lifetime for people who like to snorkel. Leslie J., Winnepeg, Canada The awareness of just how remote we were and the raw beauty of the surroundings seemed like a dream to me! There were moments on this trip that truly filled my soul. Susan F., Sausalito, CA Swimming with a manta ray, the phantasmagoria of color under water, awaiting the dawn and the bird of paradise—awesome! Inge K., Concord, MA It was a fabulous trip. What a unique opportunity to see such a pristine coral reef! I will likely go again. DeAnn C., Cazenovia, NY Raja Ampat is the most beautiful snorkeling place in the world. Bountiful, rich with life and diversity. Can’t be beat! Dianne L., Fairfax Station, VA The beauty of Raja Ampat has to be seen to be believed. It’s hard to imagine that there is a place so remote, pristine, and beautiful left on the planet. Vicki G., Oakland, CA
A truly great trip—one of the best I’ve ever taken. John W., Forth Worth, TX Once again I was sailed off to Shangri La where time has no meaning and only the beauty of the moment surrounds. That is Raja Ampat to me and no one could dream of a more ideal trip. Claire H., Austin, TX This was an amazing trip, absolutely the best 12 days I’ve ever experienced. Karen R., Santa Fe, NM This is the ultimate snorkel trip—the fauna are in perfect balance so you see a large number of incredibly rare species. This isn’t a vacation, it’s a privilege. David S., East Peoria, IL This was a mind-blowing experience for me. I've been a diver for many years and have never seen anything like what we saw on this trip. Other areas in the world where I have dived or snorkeled don't even come close to Raja Ampat. Patrick T., Danville, CA As well-traveled as I am, I marvel that there are still special places like Raja Ampat out there that are a privilege to visit. Chuck P., Chicago, IL