17-27 January 2020
Dive into one of the world’s most breath-taking coral reef ecosystems with MMF’s founders and principal scientists, Dr. Andrea Marshall and Dr. Simon Pierce.
This expedition can take a maximum of 14 guests. All prices are in USD.
Master cabins: $6,500 [Sold out]
Double cabins: $6,300 [Sold out]
Single bed cabin: $6,200 [Sold out]
> 11 day / 10 night liveaboard cruise on the MV Coralia
> Up to four dives a day (air or nitrox)
> All meals, everyday
> Hot and cold soft beverage selection
> Tanks, weights, belts
> Transfers to and from Sorong
> Presentations from Dr. Andrea Marshall and Dr. Simon Pierce
> International or domestic flights
> Sorong accommodation
> National park and port fees (~$250 pp)
> Dive courses
> Dive gear rental *
> Alcoholic beverages **
> On-board massages
> Use of on-board satellite phone
> Encouraged gratuity
> Travel insurance ***
* Included for returning Coralia or Papua Explorer
** Guests can bring alcohol without corkage fees
*** Dive insurance required, general travel insurance is
Indonesia’s waters are home to iconic marine habitats and World Heritage Sites featuring the world’s highest levels of marine biodiversity – with a Conservation International status of ‘megadiverse'.
We look forward to sharing our unique perspective and
in-depth knowledge of the area with you, as we explore the truly magical underwater world of Raja Ampat.
THIS EXPEDITION HAS SOLD OUT
However we would still love to hear from you.
PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM AND A TEAM MEMBER WILL BE IN TOUCH
Introducing your expedition guides
Dr. Andrea Marshall | MMF Co-Founder
Dr. Marshall was the first person in the world to complete a PhD on manta rays. She is the lead author of the IUCN’s Red List assessments for both species of manta rays and is a member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. In 2013, she was inducted into the ranks of National Geographic’s Explorers as an Emerging Explorer in recognition of her efforts to protect these threatened rays.
Dr. Simon Pierce | MMF Co-Founder
Dr. Pierce founded MMF’s flagship research program on whale sharks, and is a world expert on the species. Simon works globally on whale shark conservation issues, and led the most recent IUCN Red List assessment that classified whale sharks as endangered. He is also a scientific advisor to the online global whale shark database, and regional co-chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group.
We are excited to welcome you on board this expedition of a lifetime, as we explore the waters of Raja Ampat, home to the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world.
The Raja Ampat Regency covers over 40,000km2 of land and sea and features more than 1,500 islands, with biodiversity levels considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle. With an abundance of marine life, you will be diving alongside 1,350 species of fish, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species, 27 varieties of marine mammal and large populations of both manta ray species.
Our research teams have been monitoring manta rays in Raja Ampat for the last five years in a bid to enhance conservation efforts for these gentle giants. We look forward to sharing our unique perspective and in-depth knowledge of the area with you – one of the only locations in the world with virtually guaranteed sightings of both reef and giant manta rays.
The expedition will start and end in Sorong. We will be visiting the southern sections of Misool, a community-protected region that is exploding with life, with some of the world’s healthiest and colorful coral reefs. Here we will seek out both reef and giant manta rays at Magic Mountain – one of Andrea’s favorite dive sites in the world.
This region has extraordinary pelagic life, including game fish, sharks, and gigantic fish schools but is also known for great macro life such as pygmy seahorses and unusual nudibranchs. The abundance of stunning dive sites, private bays for kayaking and paddle-boarding, and calm anchorages where we can dine under the stars, allow us to linger for several days to dive as much as possible and explore the beautiful area with its iconic karst limestone formations.
Raja Ampat is one of the only locations in the world with virtually guaranteed sightings of both species of manta ray.
After leaving Missol, we’ll have the opportunity to explore the region around Penemu, visiting the famous Melissa’s Garden and the lovely underwater arch of Batu Rufus. We’ll enjoy a dedicated day finding the bizarre macro critters in the black sands of Batanta, as no trip to Indonesia would be complete without experiencing the wonders of ‘muck diving’. We’ll also visit an uninhabited river region and float through the spectacular underground cave system at Penamu.
Andrea and her research team have been studying manta rays around the Dampier Strait for the past five years. Here, we will again seek both reef and giant manta rays as this is the peak season in the region. We’ll visit the best manta cleaning stations and feeding grounds in the area, including Manta Ridge and Pulau Wai, and will also dive at the most interesting locations for other species such as Cape Kri, Mayhem, the jetty at Arborek, Sardine’s Reef, and Blue Magic.
A visit to Raja Ampat wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Wayag. Uninhabited, and incredibly picturesque, Wayag Island is an icon of Raja Ampat. Covering a total area of 155,000 hectares, it’s known for its beautiful atolls and extraordinary underwater life, including a reef manta ray nursery ground. Breathtaking at every turn, in Wayag we’ll find pristine beaches and unique Karst islands that resemble mushrooms sprouting from the sea.
While in the north we will also visit Kawe, diving the famed Eagle Rock and Black Rock, home to even more manta rays, sharks and game fish. The soft corals bloom in a variety of colors in this region and the currents support abundant life. We’ll also aim for a world-class night dive at Aljui Bay, where we will hunt for enigmatic critters such as frogfish, ghost pipefish and little-known octopus.
Our aim is to showcase the diversity of life and ecosystems within these seascapes, while heightening your experience with our scientific insights. There’ll be opportunities to genuinely explore the area through unique mangrove dives, drift snorkels, black water dives and dynamic reefs that thrive in currents. You’ll be prepared and guided through these adventures and provided with equipment such as reef hooks so that you can hook in, relax and enjoy the show as sharks, game fish, even manta rays hunt and feed in these dynamic environments.
* This is a suggested schedule and one that has worked well for us in the past. Opportunistic changes in this schedule or itinerary due to conditions, animal movements or unpleasant weather will be made at the discretion of the captain, the cruise director and the dive expedition leaders.