THE NORTH MALUKU EXPERIENCE
RAJA AMPAT | HALMAHERA
Best Halmahera Liveaboard
Join us for the best Halmahera Liveaboard!This Raja Ampat and North Maluku itinerary gives you the opportunity to indulge the Raja Ampat’s underwater paradise, and discover the underknown area of Halmahera.
The National Park of Raja Ampat, is the epicentre of Biodiversity on Earth. Dampier Strait, Kawe and the iconic Wayag are the main stopovers of this cruise. Dive with with reef sharks, napoleon wrasses, big eye trevallies, barracudas and oceanic manta rays. Macro lovers will be delighted with a great variety of nudibranchs, and pygmy seahorses such as the Denise or the Bargibanti but also the Pontohi-way rarer!
The reefs of Halmahera are just as good as those in Raja Ampat. Years of exploration in this area, have allowed us to discover amazing and unfrequented dive sites. The reefs are very colourful, with a great amount of healthy soft and hard coral. Obviously, an abundance of life is growing here.
19th May to 31 May 2024
500 nautical miles
Discover 2 areas in 1 cruise
Exclusive and off the beaten path destination
Iconic limestone rock lagoon
Breath-taking volcanic landscape
Stunning coastline, fringed by large coconut tree plantations
One of a kind villages (With muslim and christian living together)
Alexis, CEO and founder of Konjo Cruising Indonesia will be escorting you on board this cruise. Thanks to the years he spent, working as Cruise Director on Liveaboards in Indonesia, he takes you to this unforgettable voyage. He shares with you his knowledge and offers you the very best of Raja Ampat and Halmahera. North Maluku is one of his favorite playground. He will personnally guide one of the dive groups.
Launched in November 2017, Jakare is perfectly adapted to diving and snorkeling cruises. She caters a maximum of 10 guests for a more intimate experience. Finely decorated, this Pinisi is designed for relaxation and peace of mind.
World-renowned marine biologists (such as Gerry Allen) and respected organisations such as Conservation International (CI), all claim that Raja Ampat underwater biodiversity is unrivalled. It hosts more than 1508 species of fish, 537 species of corals (75% of the total world species), and 699 mollusc species. Myriads of tropical kaleidoscopic fish, turtles, schooling barracudas, trevallies and various kinds of sweetlips hover around its rich waters. Enjoy the encounter of an elusive reef shark, or blink at an impressive oceanic manta ray, merely armed with a single mask and snorkel.
Day 1 | Appetizer
We pick you up at the hotel or directly at the airport (depending on your travelling plans) and we take you to the vessel. Welcoming drink and installation in your cabins. General briefing about life and safety on board. Navigation to the Dampier Strait and check dive around Mioskon.
Total navigation of the day: 35 miles | 6 hours
Day 2 | Diving the Legends
Total navigation of the day: 55 miles | 8 hours.
Blue Magic is an underwater ridge located on the south-East of Mioskon. Grey reef sharks, barracuda, wobbegong, giant grouper, schooling jack and spanish mackerel keep the show running. Oceanic manta rays are sometimes joining this underwater festival. Cape Kri is a legendary dive site. Hundreds of species are hoovering along this beautiful reef. Unbelievable. Manta ridge is the best place to observe manta rays in the Dampier Strait. Exposed to fierce currents, it makes the perfect place for those elegant animals for feeding and getting clean by wrasses and butterfly fish.
A visit of the lovely village of Arborek could be organised. The vessel will then navigate to Wofoh to anchor for the night.
Day 3 | From Wofoh to Wayag
Total Navigation of the Day: 30 miles | 5 hours.
Waking up in Wofoh, our guests will be amazed by the beauty of these two tiny islands. White sandy beaches lined by leaning coconut trees display a postcard-worthy landscape. Underwater, the best dive site is Blackforest. The edge between a steep wall and a sandy plateau is fully colonized by blackcoral bushes. On the shallow, an acropora coral garden attracts many small fish. A stop in the mouth of Aljui Bay, leads us to the Purple Haze dive site. Purple and yellow dendronepthya soft coral have taken the power of the space. They grow by hundreds above boulders, pinacle and walls well furnished by macro life. Black Rock, an amazing dive site around Kawe, is our lest stop of the day. Manta Rays and schooling fish run the show among thrilling soft coral reefs.
Navigation to Wayag to drop the anchor for the night.
Day 4 | Wayag, the iconic Gem
True Iconic jewel of Indonesia, this natural wonder is an unbelievable maze of secret lagoon, white sand beaches and limestone mushroom-shaped rock. Protected from the northern swell of the Pacific Ocean, Wayag is a haven for juvenile sharks, manta rays and other growing fish. Sea turtle are commonly found into the lagoon and known to lie their eggs in a close by island. We plan to dive the spectacular Cathedral, Pelagic Rock and Eight- Shaped Rock.
Cruising eastern Halmahera with a Liveaboard is really unusual. Only few yachts are proposing this route, and they’d rather take the southern itinerary through Misool. So why did Konjo choose to follow this itinerary? Indeed, because there are really good dive sites along the way. Weda Bay Eco Resort stopped to operate the area before of the mining operation close by. But a off the coastline, the reefs we know are still plentiful and ripped for further inspection.
Day 5 | Muor
Muor is an island which streched 2,5 miles off the most eastern cape of Halmahera. Fringed by coconut trees and beautiful reefs, Muor proposed interesting diving, and healthy reefs. Currents bring lots of food for fish who congregate along rocks. Schooling big eyes trevallies, GT and other predators like Spanish mackerel and Dogtooth tunas can be seen in those waters.
Overnight Navigation. 60 miles | 10 hours.
Day 6 | Weda Bay
Shark Mountain is a deep seamount better to be dive with a Nitrox 28%. With a top at 23 meters, it attracts many sharks at depth. Schooling barracudas and jacks like to hover above the reef. Tanjung Putus is an underwater ridge with great coral on the top. Elmos is a submerged reef with a few dive sites a bit further south.
Overnight Navigation to Widi atolls. 60 Miles | 10 hours.
Day 7: Widi Atolls
Widi Atolls have been poorly explored by liveaboards. Widi display 2 different atolls. Few fishermen have settle inside the atoll, living in houses on stilts, or straight on the beach under tarpaulin. Time stands still in this place, with shimmering water and thousand shades of blue. Diving is great around Widi, fish are surprised to see scuba divers, and we will definitely grow the feeling of being the first explorers. A true experience.
The most famous diving is located in the western part of Halmahera. The first time we explored this area, it was completely empty from any resorts. There are 3 nowadays. Fair enough, I would say, as the quality of diving reach 5 stars into the Patintie Strait. A main oceanic current is flowing in between the island of Bacan and Halmahera. It brings all the nutrients needed for the coral reef, and prolific biomass regeneration. Still poorly known, it offers plenty of Worlclass dive sites. Goraichi archipelago consists of four main islands: Siko, Gafi, Laigoma and Tomakomafatu, but is sprinkled by rocks, and islet. A paradise for divers.
Day 8 | Phinisi Wreck and Coconut trees
Pigaraja is a village where both Christian and Muslim are sharing the space together. Earning their living through the trade of Copra, their coastline is edged by Coconut trees plantations and desert beaches. Underwater, divers will get awe-struck surveying this 20 meters long wrecked Pinisi. Thrilling with life, it lies in the sand at 15 meters depth. Coral gardens are flourishing on those reefs, and offers a haven for its inhabitants. A third immersion on the way to the Patinitie strait will end this beautiful day.
Total Navigation of the day: 33 miles | 5 hours. Overnight anchored close from the Patintie Strait.
Day 9 | Current and Pelagic
For their first day, our guests will enjoy the southern and the central part of the strait with Kusu island and Saleh Kecil. Amazing coral reefs, and fish everywhere…
Total Navigation of the day: 33 miles | 5 hours. Overnight anchored close the Patintie Strait.
Day 10 | Exhilarating dives
Another day in the Patintie strait will be dedicated to explore some other great dive sites located in the northern part of the strait. Exposed to the current flow, isolated rock and underwater ridges provides amazing underwater experiences. Encounter with greyreef sharks, schooling barracudas and much more. The coral reefs are exeptionnals on the shallow. Dense cloud of anthias fish will keep you amazed until the last second of your 5 star dive.
Navigation during the day: 12 miles | 2 hours. Overnight anchored close from Halmahera.
Day 11 | Goraichi and Manta rays
This day is the opportunity to discover a poorly know area, crippled with clusters of exotic-named islands. This area streched from the North of Bacan to the Goraichi islands. Kajoa, Taneti, or Muari already gaves us some great diving, but keep secretly hidding some more jewels. The Lilai area, encompas some flat islands made of white sand banks, submerged rubble-made reef, and mangroves. A perfect secluded environnement for Manta rays to get cleaned safely.
Day 12 | Blacktip sharks and pristine waters
Goraichi Island are a groupe of islands off 30 miles off the Halmahera coast. Completely off the grip, they are some great dive sites. Our guest usually feel like being kind of a diving pionneer. They get blink at the super clear waters of the surroundings, which hosts a numerous population of black tip sharks. Eagle rays and Napoleon wrasses often pay them a visit, while schooling fish keep hovering along dizzing walls and steep pinnacles. A great last show.
Total Navigation of the day: 14 miles | 2 hours. Overnight navigation to reach Ternate: 40 miles | 6,5 hours. In the morning, checkout from the boat and transfer to your hotel or the airport.
Embarkation from Sorong harbour, after landing at Domine Eduard Osok airport (SOQ).
For the international flights from Paris we recommend Quatar Airways. This company works in collaboration with Garuda Airlines and operates direct domestic flights from Jakarta to Sorong (GA-682 | departure at 00h30am arrival at 06:35am).
These flights are quite tiring this is why we recommend you to arrive the day before the departure of the cruise in order to rest in one of the hotels of Sorong.
If you’d prefer arrive from Bali, you will have to transit through Makassar. From Bali via Makassar we recommend the flight operated by Sriwijaya (SJ-726 | departure at 9:35pm arrival at 10:55pm at Makassar). The only inconvenience for any flights, is that you will have to wait for the next flight at Makasar airport until 3am. You will land at 06:55am in SOQ airport. Garuda and Batik Air operate the same kind of flights.
During your transit at Makassar airport (UPG), seek for one of the two lounge rooms located respectively in front of the Gate 1 and the Gate 6. It will cost you around 10 € for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet, and a comfortable seat.
How to leave from Ternate:
To Jakarta, Batik Air operates from the airport of Ternate (TTE) the ID-6141 flight leaving at 4:40 pm and arriving at 6:25pm. This allows you to respect a 24 hour of no flight required after a 12 nights liveaboard. There are no direct flights from Ternate to Bali. But Sriwijaya operates the SJ-599 flight leaving from Ternate (TTE) at 12:35pm, arriving in Bali at 4:35pm with a stopover at Makassar (UPG) for 1h40min.
Domestic flights may be delayed and this is why we do advice you to spend a night in Jakarta or Bali before international flights.
Where to sleep in Sorong?
We recommand you to stay in one of those hotel, as they are following the international standarts in terms of cleanliness and service. We can help you with your reservation and organize evrerything for you.
MAMBERAMO MARINA: The closest from any supermarket and restaurants. Provides a good bar and restaurant considering the city of Sorong.
SWISS BEL HOTEL : The more comfortable hotel in town. Close form the ferry terminal for Waisai, but far from any restaurant. Correct breackfast, but avoid the dining. An extra charge will be added for early bookings.
VEGA HOTEL. The closer from the airport, and the more recently built. The best thing is that you can checkin anytime withour extra charge.
Where to eat in Sorong?
Ask to your taxi to bring you to the Marina, if you want to have good food while sitting watching harbour activities. The Marina is where every sea people, and liveaboard operators meet in between cruises. Perfect for a sunset drink on their terrace, and a followed diner. They are specialize in seafood and fish barbecue, but offer many vegetarian option too.
For a coffee and some good snaks before your flight, we do recommand the MISOOL FILLING STATION handle by the Misool Eco resort. Go upstairs to be comfortably seatted, and have a look to their sustainably-made souvenirs.
What is the water temperature and visibility?
At this time of the year in both Raja Ampat and Halmahera, you can expect very good conditions. Water temperatures vary between 28 and 30 degrees, and visibility goes up to 30 meters. And you will find the same kind of conditions in Halmahera though you may find some thermoclines in the Patintie Strait.
A full 3mm wetsuit is the best option for this cruise.
Who can join this expedition and what level of certification is required?
As diving can be a bit challenging on some of the sites, a minimum of 100 dives is required to join this diving cruise. A minimum of a Padi Advanced certification or a CMAS level 2 certification is required. To offer you the best experience on board, 3 qualified dive guides will be in charge of the divers. And 2 tenders will be used to bring the divers back and forth.
Non divers are more than welcome to join this cruise, as snorkeling and landscapes are absolutely amazing in this area of Indonesia. Discover Scuba diving can be provided for the non-divers, but no openwater, or advanced course will be taught onboard.
Is there Nitrox on board?
Yes. But there is a limited amount of Nitrox filling available. If you want a fullboard Nitrox, please let us know during your reservation.