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Raja Ampat Snorkelling: Liveaboard Trips in Indonesia

Situated in the main of the Coral Triangle area, Raja Ampat, Indonesia is also home to some of the marine biodiversity in the world. It’s also home to a number of the planet’s best snorkelling and scuba diving, which is best enjoyed via liveaboard trips that range from one to two weeks in length.

Raja Ampat is a beautiful archipelago in eastern Indonesia that consists of more than 2,500 small islands and reefs off the northwestern tip of New Guinea. There are four significant, mountainous islands in Raja Ampat, Batanta, Misool, Salawati, and Waigeo. The archipelago is named Raja Ampat that means “Four Kings” in Bahasa Indonesia (raja=king, and ampat or empat=four). The island encompasses approximately 43,000 square kilometers of land and sea and is thickly populated, with most islands unpopulated.

Raja Ampat (as well as the neighboring Savu and Banda Seas) is home to some of the world’s most exceptional marine biodiversity. Scientists within the previous 15 years only detected this reality. Since then, Raja Ampat has become a hotspot for snorkel, dive tourism and the focus of comprehensive research and conservation efforts by international and local organizations. Nowadays, much of Raja Ampat is protected as a member of the Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area network of seven protected sites covering 1,185,940 hectares (2,930,522 yards).

New species continue to be discovered frequently in Raja Ampat, adding to the impressive totals–over 1,400 fish species and 550+ species of reef-building corals (75% of the planet’s coral species) are located here. Also, there are 17 species of marine mammals, 25 species of mangrove, and other iconic species such as whale sharks, sea turtles, walking sharks, and manta rays.

The islands, many of which are made from rugged, sharp limestone karst, are home to a variety of indigenous and conventional human communities. It also the home to lush forests, rare plants, and endemic birds (including Wilson’s and Red Birds of Paradise).

Raja Ampat is heaven to some of the world’s best snorkeling, with an abundance of pristine, diverse habitats, shallow reefs, excellent visibility, and warm water temperatures. The most fabulous way to snorkel or scuba dive in Raja Ampat is aboard a liveaboard cruise. The liveaboard journey will allow you to explore a variety of habitats, maximize your time in the water, decrease time in transit, and be flexible to local weather conditions and other factors when choosing daily snorkel or dive sites. Below are four liveaboard expeditions at Raja Ampat that you need to know.

Raja Ampat Archipelago by Liveaboard Trips

This is the classic Raja Ampat liveaboard snorkeling trip, which was appointed among National Geographic Traveler’s, exactly “50 Tours of a Lifetime” in 2010. This itinerary hits the highlights of Raja Ampat with a focus on experiencing the most excellent snorkeling available. This liveaboard trip also ventures on a territory to explore more about the forests of Waigeo and Gam Islands and search for endemic birds of paradise.

Coral Triangle Adventure in Raja Ampat

Experience deluxe accommodations and top-notch service aboard along with the El Aleph. You will enjoy in-depth snorkeling or scuba diving amid the many outstanding marine habitats of Raja Ampat. The on-board cetacean expert from Planet Deep has more than 20 years of experience in the Coral Triangle. They’ll guide you to spot and identify marine mammals along the way. When possible, you can also have the opportunity to get in the water to snorkel alongside dolphins and whales.

Small-Group Snorkeling Experience

A notch up from the classic Raja Ampat trips, you can enjoy a smaller group size and the most excellent class of service along with the Damai I. It includes free sunset massages as you immerse yourself in the underwater world of Raja Ampat. You will explore shallow reefs with abundant fish, blue water mangroves rich with soft corals, macro life, and recognized Coral Triangle habitats ranging from colorful mantis shrimp to breathtaking manta rays, and otherworldly tasseled wobbegong sharks.

Raja Ampat to the Hidden Island

Experience a lot of spectacular marine habitats on this exploration, which starts in Raja Ampat and ends in the Hidden Islands of the Banda Sea, among the more remote and exotic destinations in Indonesia. Your adventure begins as you explore the most iconic fish and coral-rich reefs around the Dampier Strait of Raja Ampat. From here, you will travel south to Missol, a haven for manta rays and sharks. After that, you will be continuing to the volcanic Banda Islands.

Vacation in Raja Ampat is more than just snorkeling and diving. It also makes long-lasting memories. Discover more adventures in Raja Ampat by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.