Day 1: Embarkation in Sorong, Raja Ampat (1 dive)
We will pick you up either at your hotel or Sorong airport and take you to the harbor, where our crew will welcome you onboard Calico Jack. Following refreshments and a short tour of the ship, you will be briefed on safety, diving operations, and life onboard. We will aim to depart by noon and head 5 hours north to Waisai.
It will allow time for you to get acquainted with the ship, set up your dive gear & cameras, and meet and socialize with the other guests and friendly crew before an afternoon check dive. You will spend the night close to Waisai at safe anchorage, witnessing your first unforgettable sunset and dinner on board.
Day 2: Dampier Straight (4 Dives) (Mioskon, Chicken Reef, Cape Kri, Yenbuba)
After a short, early morning’s navigation, we begin the day with dives at Mioskon & Sardine Reef. Ironically, sardines are about the only reef fish not found at Sardine reef, but you’ll hardly notice as “fish thunder” (the loud booming sound made when large numbers of fish move rapidly through open water) engulfs you, and swarms of fish block out the sky. Both are excellent dive sites full of schooling fish, including fusiliers, surgeonfish, trevallies, rainbow runners, sweetlips, and bannerfish. The reefs are adorned in sea fans, soft corals, and orange elephant ear sponges.
In the afternoon, you will dive into Cape Kri. One of the most famous sites in the region boasts some of the largest concentrations of big fish in Raja Ampat and holds the impressive record of 374 fish species identified during one 90 minute dive. For sunset, we head west to our anchorage outside the village of Yenbuba, where you will experience your first-night dive at Yenbuba Jetty.
Day 3: Arborek Island/Manta Sandy (4 Dives) (Cape Yenbuba, Manta Sandy, Lalosi, Arborek)
Starting the day close to our anchorage, you will begin the morning with a dive at Cape Yenbuba, a beautiful drift wall dive. While taking breakfast, we relocate 1.5 hours to one of the most reliable Manta ray congregation spots in all of Raja Ampat, the famous cleaning station, Manta Sandy.
It is easy to spend a whole day observing these majestic creatures as they somersault through the water, feeding on plankton and being cleaned by several species of wrasse and butterflyfish.
For lunch, we’ll make our way to Arborek. After a third dive at Lalosi, a seemingly never-ending pristine submerged reef, you will visit the local village and see the traditional way of life for these island people before enjoying a night dive at the Arborek Pier.
In the shallows, the posts at Arborek Pier are covered in soft corals, with pipefish and cuttlefish dwelling more in-depth below. On the reef, giant clams nestle among soft corals, providing shelter for hermit crabs, flatworms, and skeleton shrimp.
Day 4: Penemu (3 Dives) (My Reef, Melissa’s Garden, Penemu Trek, Island Lagoon)
Early in the morning, we will arrive at Penemu’s My Reef dive site, where you will enjoy one of the largest fish concentrations in the area. This site is awe-inspiring, mainly when the current is strong.
Before lunch, we’ll squeeze in a second dive at Melissa’s Garden, a beautiful coral garden teeming with schooling fish and sharks; you will take a short boat tour to Penemu and walk up to the famous viewpoint above Penemu’s star-shaped lagoons.
Here, you will have time to kayak and paddleboard amongst the incredible karst limestone landscape before sunset. A night dive will follow the evening in the Island Lagoon area.
Day 5: Aljui (4 Dives) (Chanel No. 5, White Arrow, Channel Island, Cendana Pier)
Heading further north, we will enter a large natural bay around Aljui.
Here, you will have the chance to dive at Chanel No.5, White Arrow, and Channel Island, a mix of wall and reef dives close to the village and where pearl farming is conducted. The sites are brimming with soft, colorful corals, sea fans, pygmy seahorses, and a wide variety of nudibranchs.
Cendana Pier is also teeming with life and one of the best night dives in Raja Ampat.
Day 6: Wofo (3 Dives) (Black Forest, Wofos Wall, Teman Wofo, Beach BBQ)
We start the day with early navigation to the Wofo Island area. Here, in the morning, you will dive at Wofo’s the Black Forest, a stunning dive traversing the deep black fan landscape rising to a beautiful and pristine shallow reef. The second dive is at Wofo Tembok (a wall dive) and, finally, Teman Wofo.
The evening will be passed on a secluded beach, experiencing one of Calico Jack’s famous beach BBQ parties, where the crew will entertain and socialize with you as you relax on our giant bean bags under a pagoda while being served up our chef’s delicious BBQ dinner. Explore the beach, meet the local hermit crabs, and indulge in a glass of wine as music is played and fireworks light the night sky.
Day 7: Yanggefo (4 Dives) (Mayhem, Citrus Ridge, Lalosi, Batu lima)
An early morning’s navigation brings us to the stunning Mangrove Anchorage in the passage of Gam and Yangeffo. Here you will find some of the most spectacular dive sites in West Waigeo: Mayhem and Citrus Ridge. In the right conditions, you can expect some of the highest voltage diving in Raja Ampat, with currents bringing in massive schools of barracudas, three species of fusiliers, trevallies, batfish, bump head parrotfish, wobbegongs, as well as black and white tip reef sharks.
Lalosi (“Fusilier” in Papuan) is a hard coral seamount located west of Arborek Island, has extremely goof fish life when the current is running. The reef extends for up to half a kilometer, making it one of the better drift dives in Raja Ampat. We will make our final night dive at Batu lima. Magnificent little dive sight where walking sharks are often encountered.
Day 8: Dampier Strait (2 Dives) (Blue Magic, Sardine Reef, Sorong)
We save the very best for the last. During our final diving day, we discover two great dive sites: Blue Magic and Sardine Reef. Both of these sites offer some of the largest concentrations of big fish in Raja Ampat.
Large schools of trevallies, barracudas, sweetlips, tuna, and snappers congregate on these sites. Oceanic Manta can also be seen at Blue Magic.
In the afternoon, we have time to relax on one of Kri’s secluded beaches before sailing back to Sorong, where we arrive later in the evening.
Day 9: Disembarkation in Sorong
After breakfast and the last exchange of photos and memories, the crew and Calico Jack will say our fondest farewells and transport you either to your hotel or airport.
Liveaboard Diving in Raja Ampat
Located in the Northwest corner of Indonesian West Papua, at the Indian and Pacific Oceans’ meeting points, pristine coral reefs (home to 75% of all known corals) teem with such an array of marine life that scientists describe it as a ‘species factory.’
This spectacular variety of marine life (over 1,300 species of fish, 600 mollusk species) combines with some of the natural world’s most exotic birds, including distinct Birds of Paradise. Raja Ampat is the undisputed epicenter of marine biodiversity and one of the richest marine ecosystems in the World.
The Raja Ampat archipelago (which, when translated to English, means ‘Four Kings’) encompasses 40,000 square km of land and sea, consisting of over 1,500 islets surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Batanta, Salawati & Waigeo. The first comprehensive scientific study of the area was conducted as recently as 2001, and a record-breaking census found nearly 1,000 previously unknown tropical fish species. With the unearthing of Raja Ampat’s biodiversity still in progress, international conservation groups, in partnership with local communities and government, established seven ecologically connected marine protected areas (MPA) in 2007. Another five across the Birds Head Peninsula have been added since.
The relative remoteness of Raja Ampat has been the region’s most outstanding defense against overuse and exploitation, resulting in a pristine ecosystem unfettered by the maelstroms of industrialization with ecological wealth unsurpassed anywhere else on the planet.