|2015/2016 Raja Ampat / Halmahera / Lembeh Strait
Trips are available on the
MSY Seahorse Liveaboard
see links below for schedules & prices.
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|2015 Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait Trip|
|March 31 - April 12
Sorong to Lembeh
|Cost per person: full - email to get on waitlist for cancellations|
|WHAT:||Liveaboard Dive Trip - mixed underwater photography & non photographer trip|
|WHERE:||Cruise through the islands of Raja Ampat and the islands west of Halmahera. Includes Misool and Lembeh Strait.|
|HOW:||Indonesian liveaboard "SMY Ondina" with special itinerary|
This one-way dive trip visits some of the best areas for diving in Indonesia, including Raja Ampat's Dampier Strait, the Pisang Islands, Banca and Halmahera's Gorachi islands, and Lembeh Strait.
This trip was first offered in May 2008 to a select group of divers who have dived Raja Ampat many times. Consensus is that this Raja Ampat to Lembeh trip produced some of the best images and was one of the most exciting trips we've made.
|email us about
Halmahera Liveaboard trips
|Images, Photo Galleries, Video|
|Raja Ampat Liveaboard Pictures|
|Raja Ampat / Halmahera / Lembeh Liveaboard Trip|
Like our Raja Ampat trips, This charter will offer extra diving and is accompanied by underwater photographer & author Daniel Selmeczi.
We completed this same route in May 16-28, 2008 and again in May 2009. The first group was by invitation only to a selected
few divers who had been on multiple trips with City Seahorse previously. We were all very pleased with the route.
Next to last day we spent at a tiny island between Halmahera and N. Sulawesi. There are not a lot of dive sites there, but where we dived was spectacular!. The highlight is a massive school of more than 1000 barracuda. Some sites had few fish, but others had heaps of fish and quite a few sharks (probably due to the current or lack thereof) ... like the one where we encountered a school of over 1000 Chevron Barracuda, far too many to count, and where on each dive we were surrounded by fish from tiny orange anthias and golden chromis to Black Snappers, Jacks and Napoleon Wrasse while fusiliers bombarded us from all sides. Photographers and divemasters didn't know which way to look and were doing 360's to take it all in.
Mike O. and I did a number of really excellent night dives on sites with pretty corals and on others with muck, but each with a remarkable number of small critters for our macro lens or video. At the end of each day we were tired, but the night dives had been so good that we convinced each other to jump into the darkness once again each night often coming out after others in the group were already in bed.
On our 12 day trip, we spent about 5 days diving Raja Ampat, 6 in straits alongside Halmahera or around tiny islands en route. The last day we spent in Lembeh Strait with some muck diving with the mimic octopus, hairy frogfish, etc. finishing up about 6pm since most of the group were staying additional days at a resort to continue diving Lembeh starting the next day. The ship dropped us at the resort. No surface interval, packing or drying required!
The trip will concentrate mostly on the diving in Raja Ampat and in the straits on the on the western side of Halmahera.
The trip starts in Sorong and after a few days diving around the Dampier Straits, take a different route than normal Raja Ampat trips with a day or two in the Misool area and then head out to dive the Pisang Islands.
Halmahera - Leaving Pisang, bypass the southern end of Halmahera and then dive your way up the west coast through the Goriachi Islands for fish packed reefs, corals to rival those of Raja Ampat plus sharks and pelagics. Expect some macro/muck diving as well.
The trip will finish up in Lembeh Strait with muck diving.
As an add-on to this liveaboard trip, book some diving at Lembeh Strait.
The ship can drop you at any resort in Lembeh, so no drying, packing or surface interval for flying required! We offer add-ons to this trip at a resort on Lembeh Strait with exellent diving and guides.
If you are interested please email us about the Raja -Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait dive trip so that we can inform you of the exact details and answer any questions.
|A few comments from previous Raja Ampat and Halmahera groups:|
Undercurrent: Divers on trip trips created reports on Undercurrent. If you would like a copy of their comments, please send us an email so we can tell you how to find them. Review gave our trips 5 stars in all appropriate categories.
"I met Justin, and he is so happy with the Halmahera trip, makes me jealous!"
"That was the best diving I've ever done. Sooooooooo good to get back in the water again. Many excellent memories.
"I just wanted to thank you for a really great trip - one of the very best I have ever done and from a photographic viewpoint, the most productive ever!"
"I've been on two of Deb's trips - one to St. Vincent and one the past few weeks with her in Raja Ampat. I organize charters myself, and the
reason I've gone with her (and expect to again in the future) is that
she simply constructs and runs outstanding uw photo trips. She goes out
of her way to think of every detail, and directs the dive operators she
uses so as to maximize photo opportunities for her groups. For example,
I saw far more critters in St. Vincent in a week with her than I did in
more than two weeks on a private charter I did in that area with my own
group. Likewise, I had far more and better photo opp's in Raja Ampat
on this trip last week than on a charter of the same length there that
I organized earlier this year. I realize that this makes it sound like
the trips I organize are crappy, and that's really not the case; it's just that Deb's trips are really a cut above.
"I have only good things to say about the trip you organised. The diving was even better than expected. The crew and the boat were excellent, the food was a joy. I had a lot of laughs with Ricard, David and Co. I'd go back any day. I would have liked to stay longer in Misool, maybe an extra day, but that's a personal preference, I had never seen coral like this before (even after 5 trips to the Maldives, and the Maldives is great believe me). I am very suprised we didn't see more sharks, you never said sharks was not on the menu <joke>"
Water Temp : The water temperature will be variable. Ranging from a possible 78°F to 86°F. A 3mm suit is recommended with layering (vest) and hood suggested. 1mm can be worn by most divers in Raja Ampat.
Liveaboard Travel: Will be variable. Some islands are far apart, others very close together. Some days we will stay at anchor overnight, and a few nights will involve a long 10-14 hour cruise.
Conditions: This trip covers long distances with several overnight cruises from 4 to 10 hours. At least 2 nights will be traveling overnight in open seas. Expect some rolling unless the weather is perfect (like it was in May 2008).
Wide Angle Photography: Raja Ampat and west Halmahera will provide ample wide angle possiblities with fabulous corals and fish.
Macro Photography: This trip includes a variety of places for macro photography and concludes at Lembeh Strait, which is world-famous for its macro / muck diving.
Current: While there is a lot of current on certain sites, we do NOT want or plan to drift and try to take photos. We do NOT want guests to be struggling in strong currents.
|About the Liveaboard:|
SMY Ondina is an Indonesian traditional Pinisi ship specifically designed and outfitted exclusively for diving. It was refurbished with improvements in 2014.
(BTW the sail color is traditional.)
We have separate webpages with medium size photos, boat specs and amenities.. be sure to look at the photo gallery and read the captions.
|Cost & Prices:|
2012: 12 night / 12 day Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Resort Liveaboard Trip
Ask about guaranteed single cabins (limited availabilty).
March 31 - April 12, 2015
Dive cruise includes:
|How to Get to Indonesia for the Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait Liveaboard trip|
This trip travels between Sorong and Lembeh Strait.. The best choice for an International flight is into Jakarta.. Lembeh Strait (where we depart from the ship) is a 1 hour drive from Manado. Flights from Jakarta to Sorong and Manado to Jakarta are several per day.
International flights to Manado or Jakarta, Indonesia connect through Singapore, Hong Kong, and other countries. Usually an overnight in Jakarta or Manado is required before going on to Sorong to meet the ship. Two or three nights is recommended so that you are not tired for your liveaboard diving..
We will organize these flights for you, book any hotel overnights you require and arrange for you to be met at the airport in Jakarta and transferred to and from your hotel. Since people come from all over the world for these trips, we are not all traveling together but do tend to meet in Singapore, or Jakarta on the inbound trip. It is normal for single travelers to meet others, share a room or a side trip before or after the liveaboard trip.
Transfers between the airport and ship are included in the package price. Note any hotel overnights and air travel are not included in the trip price.
We are not travel agents but will assist you organize your travel which you will purchase directly from an airline wholesaler or an agent in Indonesia (through us).
You can use frequent flyer miles to Singapore or Jakarta (or other destinations) to decrease the cost of your dive trip. You should carefully check the cost of additional flights as its possible this might not be a good use of your frequent flier miles unless you can get all the way to Indonesia on them.
call us in Texas at 817-626-0636 for information or