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Small Group Dive Adventures to Raja Ampat Since 1999
Offering freedom, flexibility & maximum diving experiences on only the best dive sites in Raja Ampat. Limited participation trips at competitive rates
-- Eco Friendly Diving - Resonsible Tourism

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Eco Friendly Dive Trips
Indonesia Liveaboard Diving

Responsible Tourism and Eco-Friendly Diving

While tourism and liveaboard diving will never have zero impact on the environment and local culture, I'm proud to list the ways my company works to support our Indonesian friends and to minimize the impact of our visits to the reefs.

Locally Built Ship:

  • The ship is a traditional style vessel purpose built for diving in Bima, Sulawesi by hand, by local ship builders.
  • Every effort has been made to keep to the traditional plan as much as possible while still incorporating the necessary features for comfort of the guests.

Indonesian Crew:

  • All but 1 or 2 crew (of 13) are Indonesian. The 1-2 others are Western people needed to work with Western guests and who speak a variety of languages. Most of the crew speak at least a little English or Spanish.
  • Crew members (except dive guides) are hired from fishing boats, freighters, local restaurants, etc. and trained to work with tourists. Some of them are sent out for training. For example a new cook was arranged to work in Bali's restaurants with a great chef to improve his skills while the ship was in dry dock.
  • All maintenance is performed by Indonesian companies.
  • Laundry is done at the end of each trip by the wife of one of the crew members.

City Seahorse Special Team:

  • For the City Seahorse value added charters, a team of local dive guides, cruise director and dive tender driver is hired to supplement (or in some cases, replace, and give the regulars a holiday) the normal crew.
  • When possible, local people from Raja Ampat are hired for the team, otherwise they are flown in from other parts of Indonesia. Team members are required to have experience in Raja Ampat and to respect the reefs and creatures.


  • Gratuities are split equally among the crew and team members. Rather than giving the gratuity to the ship's owners or putting it into a fund for Christmas (which is a normal method in Indonesia) for distribution and the end of the season, the tip is handed in individual envelopes to each crew member at the end of each trip. Some crew support extended families with this money.

Special Assistance:

  • When one of our Indonesian team members has a medical problem or other emergency, we try to help. For examples, a dive guide was injured on a trip. City Seahorse paid for evacuation, transportation, doctors, hospital, medication, surgery so that the divemaster could get the best treatment available to him. When another team member had a stroke, followed the next week by a storm that damaged his house and made it unlivable, we (City Seahorse and Papua Expeditions in Sorong) organized donations from former guests & friends to provide physical therapy. Upon our next visit to the area, the ship's captain and the rest of our team when to the house, made a list of necessary supplies to rebuild/build a new house and prepaid for these supplies. A local man was organized to help with the construction.


  • Most food for meals is purchased from the local markets, fresh and without packaging that must be discarded.
  • Nearly none of the food is imported from outside the country.
  • This reduces the amount of fuel used in shipping or flying food in for the trips.


  • The ship's water maker provides non-potable water for showers, rinsing cameras, etc.
  • Bottled drinking water (necessary) is provided in large refillable containers. Guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottle and to refill it from the large container.
  • There are no laundry facilities on the ship. Laundry wash water is not expelled into the sea near the dive sites.


  • Paper, plastic, glass, etc. is collected during the trip and returned to port for disposal in a landfill.
  • Guests encouraged to bring and refill their own water bottle from the large container minimizing plastic bottle trash.
  • Guests are encouraged, and most bring, recyclable batteries that are taken home with them. Unused disposable batteries can be given to the crew. Guests are encouraged to take exhausted batteries with them for proper disposal.

Reefs & Marine Life:

  • The ship does not anchor on dive sites, always maintaining a safe distance from any site. It does not tie up to islands where the keel can damage the reef or break off a chunk of the island and drag it across the reef. Many times the ship will float free and wait for the divers.
  • Chasing, riding or touching the marine life is not allowed. Dive guides and guests are not allowed to touch living coral or marine creatures. The guides have authority to move any diver, or send that diver out of the water if this rule is not obeyed.
  • Divers are encouraged and helped to achieve good buoyancy skills so that unintentional touching of the reef does not happen.
  • No one is allowed to take shells.
  • The Marine Protected Areas are observed. During a trip, fish may be purchased from local boats that come to the ship outside an MPA.


Air Tickets, Hotels, Add-On Tours:

  • Domestic air tickets are booked using an Indonesian owned agency - no commission is added. A small fee is added to account for wire transfer fees and exchange rate differences.
  • Indonesian drivers with their own vehicle, tour drivers and porters are hired and paid directly for transfers and tours. No commission is added.
  • Whenever possible we work directly with an Indonesian tour guide to arrange add-on tours for the group. The guide is paid directly to make the itinerary, organize accommodations & transportation and guide the tour. The tour price goes directly to your guide. No commission is added. A small fee is added to account for wire transfer fees and exchange rate differences.


DIY Travel:

  • Our guests are provided with intricate details of how to travel to and within Indonesia with the idea that they can range out from full escorted group trips to deal directly with their Indonesian guides for future trips, rather than going through a travel agent at home and a foreign owned agency in Indonesia. We do sometimes work with foreign owned agencies, but only those we know treat their employees with respect and fair wages.

If you have any questions about the trip, the travel or the diving be sure to send an email. I'll reply personally and quickly, unless I'm underwater in Raja Ampat!

DebF (Deb Fugitt)
Owner, City Seahorse, Inc.

Raja Ampat Liveaboard Schedules & Prices Value Added Dive Trip Schedule About Value Added Liveaboard Trips underwater photography course rates Raja Ampat photo course schedule photography course trip details raja ampat itinerary Value Added Prices and inclusions
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City Seahorse Accepted as a Pure Travel Supplier 2012
eco friendly diving
Watch for our Value Added Tours on Pure Travel - NOT coming soon!
PureTravel is marketed as a fair-trade option, putting the visitor's money directly into the local economy of the destination. HOWEVER Pure Travel uses generic images from the country of tours offered on the site which would include images of places that would never been seen on the tour. This is misleading the consumer. I have refused to allow this for my tours.
City Seahorse Value Added Trips Recommended by
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"... the authors highlighted 500 fantastic places across the globe which will inspire people to see the world in a new light, selecting unusual holidays and alternative ways to travel which make a real difference to the lives of local people and the planet. Only a few companies qualify for a special recommendation of this kind, which highlights your company as one of our authors' favorites.!"

Diver's Comments:

"The loveliest reefs in the world... Raja Ampat has held a magical attraction for me, and my visit there has been a long time in coming. Unspoiled reefs and great underwater critters, away from the crowds and the eco-pressures of the rest of the world. I finally got there on this trip, and we experienced a diverse range of habitats and marine life. From mangroves and jungle passages to current swept bommies and manta cleaning stations, this area has it all. I do intend to go back!

"The trip was organized by Deb Fugitt and Tony Matheis to be photo-centric, and this focus made a great difference in my photo productivity, as we went to the right sites at the right times. Sometimes it was still a toss of the dice for currents, sunlight or visibility, but their locale specific knowledge really helped in choosing among our options."


"I don't think I will ever be able to match the trip we took over the past three weeks. Maybe. I have doubts though. Serious doubts.....

I have to say that diving in Raja Ampat exceeded all my exceptionally high expectations. I don't know how I held my regulator in my mouth on some of those initial dives since my jaw was dropping in disbelief at the sheer amount of life. I have never seen anything like it anywhere: not in Belize, Fiji, or even in Bali. It was just unbelievable.

We saw an enormous amount of species in just the first few days. Unfortunately, I don't think anything will ever be able to compare. How do you do two days of diving and see wobbegong sharks, epaulet sharks, eels, seahorses, turtles, banded pipefish, cuttlefish, lionfish, crocodilefish, anenomefish, shrimps, crabs, nudibranchs, flatworms, robust ghost pipefish, sea snakes, and countless species of fish? It was mind boggling to see it all. Sometimes the dives were a kaleidoscope of color with soft coral, hard coral, fish, and crinoids in every imaginable color.

We even had the fortune to see both hard coral and soft coral spawning. Fricking AWESOME!!! !"


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