Ambai - komodo / raja ampat LiveaboardInquiry
The MV Ambai is a new 32 meters boat started operations in July 2012. She receives up to 16 divers in absolute comfort. Traditionally built from Iron wood and other tropical hard wood, the boat is however especially designed to offer the best liveaboard diving cruise experience.
Ambai Liveaboard has 8 boutique cabins with individually controlled air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. An inside lounge and restaurant, large shadow deck areas and a Sun deck complete the common parts.
Photographers will enjoy a dedicated room for the maintenance and preparation of their camera, as well as a large screen in the lounge to share pictures and videos. At the rear of the deck, a large dive deck extended by a platform offers an easy and direct access to the three dive tenders.
Last but not least, the staff aboard the Ambai is always ready to provide you the best service at anytime. All you need to do is to enjoy the dives, and let them take care of the rest - even loading and unloading your heavy diving equipment! - Ambai offer free Nitrox to qualified Nitrox divers.
Ambai - galleryInquiry
Ambai - pricesInquiry
Full pricing is available on the schedule here.
Prices are per person in Euro based on 2 persons sharing a cabin.
NITROX for qualified Nitrox divers
Accommodation in a double-bed or twin-bed cabin.
Full board including all soft drinks on board (excluding beer, spirits, wine)
Three daily dives plus some night dives according to the itinerary. All the dives are subject to weather conditions and transit time. There is no diving on the days of arrival and departure, and there are only 2 dives the day before departure. On relocation cruises, long passage time can reduce the number of dives available.
Multilingual guides on board (Europeans and Indonesians).
Land excursions, according to safari program.
Transfer from the airport to the boat and back to the nearest airport only (depending on cruise destination).
Rate does not include:
Harbor and Park Fees : see details in price list. These fees are subject to changes, new fees could be introduced
Scuba diving courses (see price list)
Diving and snorkeling gear (see price list)
Beer, wine and spirits
Souvenirs, laundry, massage service on board, use of satellite phone
Domestic flights to or from the departure airport.
Insurance for cancellation fee
|Diving Equipment Rentals (Euro)||Per week|
|Regulator with octopus||E 7|
|Wetsuit (shorty 3mm)||E 5|
|Fins (+ booties as required)||E 2|
|Nitrox course||E 150|
|Extra large tank (10cf)||E 50-65 per cruise|
Terms and conditions:
30% of booking is required within 7 days of booking - non refundable
70 % is due to 90 days prior to departure - non refundable.
Balance due 90 days before your trip departure date - non-refundable.
Individual booking made less than 90 days before the departured ate are payable in full at the time of booking.
Cancellation at any stage involves forfeit of monies already payed.
10% - within 7 days of booking - non-refundable
20% 180 days prior to departure - non-refundable
90 days before departure - non-refundable
Ambai - scheduleInquiry
Ambai - cabinsInquiry
Ambai Liveaboard has 8 boutique cabins with individually controlled air conditioning and ensuite bathrooms with hot water. An inside lounge and restaurant, large shadow deck areas and a Sun deck complete the common parts.
Ambai - itineraryInquiry
Sorong to Sorong itinerary (subject to change based on weather and sea condition)
Period : from November to April
Highlight : World’s best region for marine biodiversity, schools of fishes, macro and outstanding landscapes.
Raja Ampat is an archipelago consisting of four main islands—Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool—surrounded by over 1,500 smaller islands and reefs. This region is part of the West Papua province in Indonesia.
Raja Ampat certainly represents the world’s richest marine diversity, with the highest number of known species of fish, corals, and mollusks. Certain areas are known for their density of fish; one with groups of Manta Rays, the others with schools of barracudas, parrotfish, humpback groupers and the list goes on. Not to mention the best macro you will see everywhere. Photographers, please bring your full set of lenses: wide angle & macro will delight you equally.
The rich variety of reefs are also not to be overlooked with vertical walls, slopes, dry rocks, caves and lagoons; some covered with hard corals while the others with brightly colored soft corals. Also renowned as the center of pygmy seahorses and gorgonians, everywhere you go you will be amazed by the profusion of marine life that Raja Ampat has to offer you.
Raja Ampat also offer magnificent landscapes for you to explore—labyrinths of quartz islands, vast mangrove forests, deserted beaches and lagoons. You can also go for a tour to the small villages in search of the famous birds of paradise. Our 11 night scuba diving liveboards cruises are one of the very few that visit all the Raja Ampat, up to Wayag on the North and down to Misool, with a selection of the very best scuba dive sites of all the area. Raja Ampat is definitely a must see.
Sorong – Kaimana: Raja Ampat – Triton Bay itinerary (subject to change based on weather and sea condition).
This is the perfect cruises to fully enjoy East Indonesia’s finest marine biodiversity. In this program we take you not only to dive the world famous Raja Ampat, but also to explore West Papua further south in Triton Bay in Kaimana district.
The beauty of its amazing soft corals that stick out to the surface is definitely one of the major marine attractions in Triton Bay. There are over 959 different kinds of coral fish and 471 known types of coral in this area. The other highlights include black coral forests, overflowing schools of sweetlips, vibrant macro lives, and a good chance to encounter whale sharks on “bagans”—the fishing platforms where these giants come to visit from time to time.
The other part of the cruise will allow you to discover or rediscover Misool with its magnificent reefs that are certainly among the most beautiful reefs in the world. Labuan Bajo – Labuan Bajo itinerary (subject to change based on weather and sea condition).
Period : June to October
Located in the strait of the same name at the confluence of the Indian Ocean and the Banda Sea, The Komodo National Park features one of the world’s richest and most diverse marine environments—thanks to the overflowing currents in the area. Also renowned as the home of the famous Komodo Dragon, it is certainly one of the best scuba diving destination that you can find on the planet.
In the north, you can find a collection of the world’s most beautiful varieties of reefs, boasting a rich combination of hard and soft corals, shoals of antheas, wrasses, angelfishes, and also predators—reef sharks, tunas, and giant kingfishes. In the south you will see more soft corals with amazing profusion of colors, and even more macro (and manta rays too!). The water is rather cold and the temperature can drop down to 23 ° C in July and August.
Komodo offers a wide variety of dives: pelagic dives with sharks in strong currents, gentle drift dives, wall dives (colorful drop-offs, monumental boulders, seamounts, pinnacles and sandy slopes) and macro dives. You can also find manta rays, turtles and, if you are lucky enough, some whale sharks !
Bali is just 90 minutes away by plane… but 25 hours by boat! To avoid wasting time in navigation, and to focus exclusively on the Komodo Park, we offer 9-night scuba diving cruise liveaboards from Bima, arriving in Labuan Bajo and vice versa. Find out more on our itineraries by clicking on the links provided above “itinerary”. For the schedule of our Komodo scuba diving liveaboard cruises, please click on “destination trips”.
As the currents in Komodo can be intense, a good experience with current dives is highly recommended. To dive in this area you must be advanced level PADI/CMAS Level 2 or higher, with a minimum of 50 logged dives in the sea. Therefore less experienced divers can also participate with a specific supervision that has to be arranged before the cruise.
Maumere – Ambon: Banda Sea – Ring of Fire itinerary (subject to change based on weather and sea condition).
From Maumere (Florès) to Ambon, the main city of Molluca islands (with some muck diving challenging the Lembeh Strait) will bring you across the Banda sea and the ring of fire, steeped in history and blessed with some of the finest diving in the country, with an immense variety and volumes of both large and small species. traveling for about 850 nautical miles. We visit many different islands and a great variety of dive sites.
We then explore many islands of the Banda Sea along the way, like Wetar, Rampong, Terbang islands, Seroa and Manuk, an Island inhabited by birds and by sea snakes underwater. There are no long passage distances, so we can perform the three dives every day.
Ambai - specsInquiry
Length overall : 32 meters
Width : 7.5 meters
Engine : Marine engine Mitsubishi 600 Hp, 2012.
Generator : 3 Yanmar generators: 36 kw, 28 kw, and 16 kw
Fresh water : Fresh water tanks 15 tons, Water maker 10000 lts / day
Capacity : 8 double guest cabins: 6 on the lower deck, 2 on the upper deck. Air conditioning, private bathroom, hot water.
Compressors : 2 air compressors, 1 nitrox LP compressor
Navigation : GPS, chart plotter, Depth sounder, Radar
Communication : Radio VHF, SSB, satellite phone
Safety : Smoke detectors, Engine room CCTV, 2 lift rafts @20 pax, EPIRB
Dive boats : 3 fiberglass dinghies with Yamaha 4 strokes 50 HP outboard engines
Crew : 16 crew including 4 dive guides. 1 western cruise director/ dive instructor.
Ambai - divingInquiry
Raja Ampat diving
Raja Ampat (or the Four Kings) is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Misoool, Salawati, Batanta, and Wiageo which are surrounded by over 1,500 small islands and cays. Formerly known as Irian Jaya, this area is now part of the newly named West Papua province of Indonesia and is located on the northwest tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, on the island of New Guinea.
Put simply, Raja Ampat could quite possibly be the best diving in the world. It certainly is the world’s most bio diverse marine region with more recorded fish, coral and mollusc species than anywhere else on Earth. The variety of marine life can be staggering. Some areas boast enormous schools of fish and regular sightings of sharks, such as wobbegongs. In Mansuar, you may encounter large groups of manta rays and turtles. From the boat and often close to shore you may get the chance to don your snorkelling gear for some unforgettable interaction with resident pods of dolphins or even some passing whales. Other highlights include the innumerable war wrecks, both ships and planes (with new wrecks being discovered constantly).
The reefs of Raja Ampat are just as varied as the marine life. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, sea mounts, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles. The reefs are in pristine condition with miles of perfect hard corals and many varied colourful species of soft corals. The diving is predominantly drift dives due to the moderate prevalent currents in the area which provide nutrients for the myriad fish and coral. Currents are average to moderate and vary from none to very strong. Visibility is normally very good but can vary and is normally at its best earlier in the day so your pre-breakfast dives are not to be slept through!
This is truly “Frontier Diving”. Topside the beautiful islands stretch as far as you can see and are largely uninhabited. At night the lights of local fishing boats twinkle in the dark along the few inhabited shorelines while in more remote areas you may only see a distant spec of light over the entire horizon.
Not many liveaboards dive the Raja Ampat area, making this adventure even more unique and special.
Raja Ampat has a high season from October to May and weirdly enough it is during their rainy season due to the winds in the dry season making parts of the park inaccessable. The rainy season should not be mis-construed though. It is generally mostly a shower in the late afternoon and evening and most of the time the days are nice, wind is minimal and the skys are generally clear or slightly over cast. The seas are calmer at this time of the year as the oppposite season has winds that kick up waves and make it very difficult to dive the more exposed sites in the Southern part of Raja Ampat. The water temperature stays around the 27-30 degrees celcius mark all year round.
Recently due to the popularity of Raja Ampat a lot of boats have been running trips in the so called low season but this is also the dry season and so promotes nicer weather and better visibility but the trade of is that only the northern more sheltered part of the park is accessable but as the area is so vast and there are so many quality dive sites the reports from these northern trips have been glowing so far.
Diving in Komodo is not a new idea but recently it’s being recognised as a premier destination due to the awesome variety of diving to be had. Crystal clear water and dive sites where you never see another diver provide a little something for everyone whether it’s macro or massive you love. One day you can be crawling along the bottom looking at pygmy seahorses, frogfish and unusual nudibranch and the next you are in the big blue on an open water pinnacle as the mantas fly by, the sharks circle and the dolphins hunt and the next day diving a live volcano!! For sheer variety there is no better place on earth.
Komodo is one of the few places left in the world where sharks are not rare and down south is one of the places where manta rays have their legendary aggregations, meaning they are here in the area in their hundreds!!!
One of the highlights of these trips is the rare opportunity to walk with the lengendary Komodo dragons. These truly awesome beasts can reach 3 metres plus and can reportedly run at 20km an hour chasing their prey. It’s the icing on the cake, Stunning diving and one of the world’s last surviving dinosaur descendants all one amazing package.
Covering the best of both worlds, from up close and personal with aggragating mantas to shy pygmy seahorses and rare nudibranches Komodo diving has it all. The beauty of Komodo liveaboard diving is in the balance between the large and small animals. One day you will be in the blue swimming with mantas and sharks and the next swimming along a bubbling volcanic reef covered with venting submerged fumeroles blowing bubbles into the water and hiding one of the worlds best kept secret macro dive sites.
These are some of the top sites that most liveaboards visit.
Angel reef, Moyo, Sumbawa diving
We start our Komodo liveaboard with the first dive of the trip and the check out dive. This dive site doesn’t disappoint. A beautiful wall stretching down to 50 metres covered in hard and soft corals very reminiscent of Bunaken in North Sulawesi. Schools of bannerfish and trevally patrol the walls with the occasional reef sharks making an appearance. Ribbon eels hide in crevices and many different nudibranchs crawl over the vast elephant ear sponges that hang from the beautiful soft coral infested wall.
Satonda island bay
A protected bay on Satonda island north of Sumbawa hosts a treasure trove of macro critters, the more we dive here the more we find. The rare Denise pygmy seahorse lives in fans here, frogfish hang out in big barrel sponges and ghost pipefish hide amongst the featherstars that cover the reef slope. In the sandy bottom you can find jawfish with their mouths full of eggs, myriads of anemonefish, mushroom coral pipefish and spearer mantis shrimps.
Sangeang island diving
Sangieng island is a perfectly round volcanic island jutting up from the sea bed. Still active and last blowing in 1996 this well kept secret is one of the world’s finest macro dive areas. With diving available all around the island there is not one specific spot but always new ones to be discovered. Bubbles of volcanic gas seep through the sand creating a surreal atmosphere and a warm black sand bottom hosting rare and unusual nudibranch. Pygmy seahorses, frogfish, Pegasus sea moths and carnivorous shells and all common here, this is my personal favourite dive site as every time we dive here there is a surprise in store of something new that is often not in the books - this site is why you go Komodo liveaboard diving.
Gps point - Gili Banta diving
Gps point is an open sea mount prone to strong currents at certain times of the day. This provides prolific hard and soft coral growth that is home to hundreds of different types of reef fish. Loved by sharks, white tip sharks cruise around the whole dive in amongst the hunting giant trevallies and schooling jacks and surgeon fish, an exciting dive.
Takat Toko, Gili Lawalaut diving
This is one of my favourite sites on the Komodo liveaboard itinerary and is very similar to Gps point this site takes it to the next level. Grey reef shark, white tip sharks, occassional dolphins and a literal fish soup created by jacks, surgeonfish, giant trevallies and bannerfish surround this large sea mount as you hang on to the reef edge and watch the action. Again this site is prone to strong currents but we time our dives to hit around slack tide and a little current brings in the big fish. Great pelagic action, my favourite blue water dive.
Lighthouse reef, Gili Lawalaut diving
An adrenalin pounding drift dive along the wall and around the corner under the lighthouse. Sharks, mantas, dolphins are all frequent visitors on the dive with some of the best coral reef top in the area around the corner out of the current at the end of the dive you can hunt for porcelain crabs, cuttlefish and unusual seahorses whilst waiting for the adrenalin to funnel out of your system and your heart rate to return to normal-this is what Komodo liveaboard diving is all about!.
Crystal rock, Gili Lawalaut diving
A stunning soft coral and sea fan covered pinnacle with crystal water clarity this is a great site for those magazine cover wide angle shots. With at least 5 different types of angelfish, 4 types of trigger and butterflyfish everywhere it is a excellent reef fish dive with frequent visits from eagle and manta rays and the resident sleepy hawksbill turtle.
Pink beach, Komodo diving
Colder water and lower vis here due to the huge amounts of organic matter in the water due to the southern currents but this is more than made up for by the astounding life available to see here due to this phenomenon. Normally done as a night dive it also makes a good day dive with everything from white tip sharks to pygmy seahorses; zebra crabs, Coleman shrimp, many coloured frogfish, xeno crabs, Spanish dancers, and unusual nudibranchs are hidden amongst the dense coral growth.
Cannibal rock, Rinca island diving
Colder water than the north but touted by many as one of the worlds best 10 sites, yes I know there seems to be way more than 10 “top 10 sites” but this one really is one if you like macro. Everything is here even the rarest of the rare, the Rhinopias scorpionfish. It’s nudi heaven with only the special and the rare getting to appear here, more species than I care to mention along with large and different frogfish mixed in with schools of fish and the resident dopy turtle we do 2 dives here and it’s still not enough!! You will love it, I personally adore this dive site.
Torpedo alley, Rinca island diving
Just next to cannibal rock and where the boat moors is a beach that has wild pigs, monkeys and Komodo dragons in the daytime and hosts a myriad of critters in the waters in front if it at night. Named for the large amount of torpedo rays found here, a member of the electric ray family- no touching! They cover the sandy bottom along with loads of nudis obvious on the black sand bottom along with bizarre crabs and octopus.
Manta alley, Komodo diving
In the cooler waters in the south of Komodo there is a bay in which there are a series of pinnacles that seem to be a magnet for aggregating mantas. They are here in their tens, often we come up having seen over 20 different individuals. Often a little shy, their evasive spins and pirouettes makes the watching of them that much more enjoyable.
Takat Makassar, Komodo diving
This is our other manta site. A little bit more of a risk to see them as it is a huge area and we drift along the bottom in about 10 metres but along the way we always run into loads of turtles, napoleon and humphead wrasse, white tip sharks and very very occasionally you will be incredibly lucky and run into the resident dugong that inhabits this area along with scores of mantas as they migrate north.
3 sisters, Padar island diving
A series of underwater pinnacles reaching nearly to the the surface off the coast of Padar island next to Komodo this site constantly springs surprises on you from silvertip sharks and mobular ray schools to marbled rays and rare nudibranchs.
How to get to Raja Ampat
Sorong is the harbour town in West Papua and the normal departure point to dive Raja Ampat. If you are unsure of how to get to Sorong to start your trip it will depend on where your international flight into Indonesia is landing. We recommend Jakarta or Bali to make your entry point into Indonesia amnd each has it’s pros and cons.
From Jakarta to Sorong most flights route through Makassar (UPG) in South Sulawesi and are over night flights arriving in the morning perfect for a pick up by your liveaboard crew at the airport. The downside of this is that you may be awake most of the night before your board the liveaboard but most boats cruise only on the first day so you can catch up on your sleep during the day.
Flights from Bali are not quite so simple and cannot be done in one day, you will need to fly from Bali to UPG the day before your liveaboard and over night in Makassar and the continue on with the UPG to Sorong flight the following morning, the day of your liveaboard departure, and this ends up being perfect tining to be picked up on your arrival in Sorong at the airport to then be taken to the boat. This takes longer but you will arrive more refreshed than the Jakarta rooute and of course you could always factor in a stay in Bali before or after your trip.
In the past it has not been possible for someone outside of Indonesia to purchase domestic flights in Indonesia so these can be purchased for you by us, if you would like, and added to your invoice. It will be about $650 return dependant on exchange rates, availability and where your entry airport is in Indonesia. The cost of the domestic flights are not included in the trip price.
Recently Garuda, our recommended airline, has made it possible to purchase their tickets online and we recommend you take this approach as it is often cheaper than the set price we have to charge. Other airlines are cheaper but are not so trustworthy or have such good luggage allowances. Again, we highly recommend trip as well as diving insurance just in case something were to go wrong with your flights.
Premier liveaboard diving and its local flight agent can purchase the tickets on your behalf, however, in doing so, Premier liveaboard diving is only acting as an agent for the airline and is not responsible for, and can accept no responsibility for, cancellations, delays, schedule changes, or problems caused by the air carrier. We highly recommend trip interruption and cancellation insurance.