Christmas in Raja Ampat on a liveaboard is one of the more memorable ways to celebrate the holidays. Here’s a Raja liveaboard trip report from December 2022.
Pook and wobbegong shark under the coral © firstname.lastname@example.org
December 2022 was my first visit back to Raja Ampat for 3 years – the last time I dived Raja Ampat was December 2019. I subsequently went back in June 2023 for what turned out to be an epic Raja Ampat trip.
Sturgeonfish giving me the eye © email@example.com
This eight day liveaboard trip on Damai 2 did a classic loop around signature Raja Ampat dive sites in Waigeo and Misool, the two most popular areas liveaboards visit in Raja Ampat.
Jacks near the surface © firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlights included a bunch of classic Raja Ampat sites – Cape Kri, Melissa’s Garden, Sawandarek Jetty and Miskion in the Waigeo region.
Lovely soft coral at Boo Windows © email@example.com
Boo Window, Four Kings and Magic Mountain in the Misool, area along with wildcard site Three Islands, also in Misool.
The pointy end of Four Kings © firstname.lastname@example.org
Sawandarek Jetty was reliably epic – for photographers, it delivers a plethora of subjects from the giant turtles to the giant clams to the passing jacks to the sweetlips down at depth, all over a carpet of coral that runs down the slope.
Big turtle on the reef, Sawandarek Jetty © email@example.com
The turtles in particular are just a joy to see everytime – unbothered by divers keeping a respectful distance, they like to imperiously survey the reef and give you the Paddington hard stare if you get too close.
Wobbegong shark in a cave © firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a magical place, and one of my favourites alongside Melissa’s Garden, which is a hard coral paradise. I’ve never had a bad dive at either site.
Sardine cyclone, Three Islands © email@example.com
Three Islands was an unexpected stop which paid off with some remarkable sardine action. Reminiscent of the famous sardine shoals in Moalboal in the Philippines, Three Islands had a mesmersing sardine family hundreds of thousands strong moving in perfect synchronicity, like an underwataer starling murmuration. Stunning to see, especially as we had no idea it was going to happen!
Sardine spaceship, Three Islands © firstname.lastname@example.org
There was a full moon during the trip which delivered strong currents on many dives, along with occasional downpours weather wise. It was quite murky on several dives, but this is normal for Raja Ampat – don’t come expecting gin clear water picture postcard perfect conditions. It was a salient reminder that Raja Ampat does deliver challenging diving on occasion, and you have to be mentally prepared for it – the currents don’t stop just because it’s Christmas.
Big turtle hanging out under a coral mushroom, Sawandarek Jetty © email@example.com
Which brings me to the Christmas Day itself on the boat. Damai’s two chefs did a fantastic job of cooking a huge turkey for Christmas dinner that was more succulent and tasty than you’d get in most restaurants on land, let alone from the cramped confines of a ship’s galley. Definitely one of the more memorable Christmas meals I’ve had!
Snappers and sturgeonfish under a coral bommie © firstname.lastname@example.org
In terms of practicalities, as usual for most Raja Ampat liveaboards, the boat departs and returns to Sorong. There’s a direct Garuda Indonesia flight from Jakarta to Sorong most days. Follow the links below for more information to help you plan your trip if you’re thinking of visiting yourself.
Pook and giant clam, Sawandarek Jetty © email@example.com
The crossing from Waigeo to Sorong took up most of a day and the first day only has a check out dive while the last day is heading to the airport so an 8 day trip is actually 5 and a half days diving.
Goby in the tube coral © firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks as ever to Dive Damai for another great trip.
Turtle silhouette amongst the sardines, Three Islands © email@example.com
Raja Ampat Diving Guides and Info
For an overview of what to expect when diving Raja Ampat and useful tips on how to get there and what to bring with you, see our Diving Raja Ampat: A Quick Guide and listen to the Divehappy podcast episodes on Raja Ampat. Misool Eco Resort and Triton Bay. For practicalities on getting there, see How To Get To Raja Ampat, Sorong Airport Guide and the Liveaboard Packing List
Raja Ampat Liveaboard Trip Reports
- Raja Ampat Liveaboard Trip Report June 2023
- Raja Ampat Liveaboard Trip Report December 2022
- Raja Ampat Liveaboard Trip Report December 2019
- Raja Ampat to Triton Bay Liveaboard Trip Report February 2017
- Raja Ampat to Banda Islands and Ambon Trip Liveaboard Report February 2016
- Raja Ampat to Triton Bay Liveaboard Trip Report February 2008
Triton Bay Trip Reports (as part of Raja Ampat liveaboard trips)
Booking Raja Ampat LiveaboardsBrowse Raja Ampat liveaboards by price level and month of departure:
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- Check Last Minute Raja Ampat Liveaboard Deals for big discounts on Raja Ampat liveaboard trips that are departing in the next couple of months
2023 Raja Ampat Last Minute Liveaboard Deals
- Samambaia - 11 Dec 2023 - from €4,567.00 - Raja Ampat North (Sorong-Sorong) - Last Minute Special! Valid for new bookings. (20% OFF)
- Aurora - 11 Dec 2023 - from €2,418.00 - Raja Ampat Central (Sorong - Sorong) - DIVE & SNORKEL) (20% OFF)
- Neptune One - 18 Dec 2023 - from €2,405.00 - Raja Ampat South and Central (Sorong - Sorong) - (20% OFF)
- Indo Siren - 18 Dec 2023 - from €4,372.00 - Raja Ampat (Waisai - Sorong) - Monthly Special! (20% OFF)
- Emperor Harmoni - 21 Dec 2023 - from €2,646.00 - Best of Raja Ampat (Sorong - Sorong) - Special Offer! Valid for new bookings only. (30% OFF)
2024 Raja Ampat Last Minute Liveaboard Deals
- Mari - 06 Jan 2024 - from €1,392.00 - Raja Ampat - Central (Sorong - Sorong) - Individual Bookings: 20% off. (20% OFF)
- Scubaspa Zen - 08 Jan 2024 - from €3,919.00 - Raja Ampat Expedition (Sorong - Sorong) - (20% OFF)
- Aurora - 10 Jan 2024 - from €3,671.00 - Raja Ampat Central/South (Sorong - Sorong) - (20% OFF)
- Emperor Harmoni - 10 Jan 2024 - from €3,591.00 - Best of Raja Ampat (Sorong - Sorong) - Offers valid for limited time only. (30% OFF)
- Amaya Explorer - 13 Jan 2024 - from €2,102.00 - Raja Ampat (Misool) (Sorong - Sorong) - Early Bird Specials! (15% OFF)
- Ilike - 20 Jan 2024 - from €2,528.00 - Raja Ampat (Sorong - Sorong) - Valid only for new bookings. (20% OFF)
- Aliikai Voyage - 23 Jan 2024 - from €4,610.00 - Raja Ampat - North & Central Raja Ampat (Sorong - Sorong) - Special Deals! Valid for new bookings only. (20% OFF)
- Amaya Explorer - 10 Feb 2024 - from €2,082.00 - Raja Ampat - Wayag (Sorong - Sorong) - Early Bird Specials! (15% OFF)
- Aurora - 13 Feb 2024 - from €3,669.00 - Raja Ampat Central/South (Sorong - Sorong) - Mantra Trust Special Trip! (20% OFF)
- Amaya Explorer - 01 Mar 2024 - from €2,130.00 - Raja Ampat (Misool) (Sorong - Sorong) - Early Bird Specials! (15% OFF)
- Ilike - 26 Mar 2024 - from €3,792.00 - Raja Ampat - Halmahera (Sorong -Bitung) - Special Offer! Valid Only for Limited time. (20% OFF)
- Ilike - 13 Apr 2024 - from €2,528.00 - Derawan (Tarakan - Tarakan) - Special Offer! Valid Only for Limited time.(20% OFF)
- Aurora - 20 Apr 2024 - from €4,430.00 - Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh (Sorong - Bitung) - (20% OFF)
- Amaya Explorer - 20 Apr 2024 - from €2,853.00 - Raja Ampat (Wayag - Misool) (Sorong - Sorong) - Early Bird Specials! (15% OFF)
- Mermaid II - 02 Jan 2024 - from €3,040.00 - Raja Ampat (Sorong - Sorong) - 20% OFF! Valid only to new bookings. T&C Apply. (20% OFF)
- Aurora - 23 Jun 2024 - from €4,397.00 - Lembeh - Halmera - Raja Ampat (Bitung - Sorong) - (20% OFF)
- Raja Ampat Aggressor - 28 Jun 2024 - from €4,511.00 - Raja Ampat/Halmahera/Lembeh (Sorong - Bitung) - Travel the World Special! (25% OFF)
- Raja Ampat Aggressor - 10 Aug 2024 - from €2,414.00 - Derawan Islands (Berau - Berau) - Travel the World Special! (25% OFF)