Group Tour – Banda Sea & Raja Ampat – Oct/Nov 2024

Unique liveaboard opportunity! Once a year, you have the chance to combine the Banda Sea (from Ambon) with Raja Ampat (endpoint Sorong) by liveaboard. Will you join our group trip?
Travel period
October, November
Starting at
13 days from €5075,- p.p

Combine the Banda Sea with Raja Ampat

Liveaboard date: October 31-November 12, 2024
Places left:

Are you ready for a diving vacation adventure like no other? EWDR, together with Emperor, is organizing an unforgettable group trip, combining the magical Banda Sea with the enchanting Raja Ampat archipelago. This opportunity comes along only once a year, and we managed to secure the last available spots on the Raja Laut, a beautiful sailing ship

Diving in Raja Ampat and the Banda Islands

On this liveaboard diving vacation you will explore the breathtaking Banda Islands and the southern and central parts of Raja Ampat. In the Banda Islands, dive at top sites such as Pohon Miring, Batu Kapal, Batu Kapal Pinnacle, Banda Neira Jetty and Lava Flow. In addition to diving, this trip also offers land excursions to Banda Neira, where you can visit nutmeg plantations, historic forts and a small maritime museum. A highlight is the sunset dive to admire the mandarin fish in the Banda Sea. In the central and southern sections of Raja Ampat, enchanting dive sites such as Gam, Penemu, Arborek, Cape Kri Area, Daram, Wayilbatan, Fiabacet and Pelee await you. Prepare for encounters with hammerhead sharks, manta rays and a plethora of colorful sea creatures, as well as mysterious critters you will encounter underwater. The Coral Triangle, where Raja Ampat is located, is known as the most biodiverse place on earth. It doesn’t get any better. 

Staying on the Emperor Raja Laut 

You will stay on the Emperor Raja Laut, a yacht inspired by the style of a schooner and built of tropical hardwoods. It offers accommodation for 12 guests in 6 comfortable cabins, including 3 with double beds and 3 with twin beds. Each cabin has a private bathroom, individually controlled air conditioning and a fan. Step aboard the Raja Laut and experience a royal feeling as you explore Indonesian waters. There are still 2 double cabins available and 1 shared double cabin for men, so don’t hesitate to reserve your place for this unique opportunity. 

Best travel time for this trip to the Banda Sea & Raja Ampat

This trip takes place only once a year at the time the Raja Laut leaves the Komodo season (via Maumere and Ambon) and sails to Raja Ampat for the winter.

In 2025, you can do this route (not as a group trip) from Oct. 10 to Oct. 22, 2025. Book early!

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for diving in Raja Ampat

Our recommendation is a 3mm wetsuit, shorty or skin.

Advanced certification required

This trip requires an Advanced Open Water or equivalent certification, as well as a minimum of 50 logged dives.

Tour guide: Rianne Poessé

This liveaboard trip is led by Rianne, co-owner of EWDR. Rianne, also known as the Dutch Mermaid, is a PADI Divemaster and with already about 1,000 dives in the pocket – a fairly experienced diver. She prefers to dive with her camera and video lights so she can capture as much of the underwater world as possible. For the past two years at the ONK, Rianne won first prize in the Reels category. Should you want to learn more about making reels and videos – this is your chance!

What will you experience on this diving vacation?

View itinerary here

Oct 29 & 30 - The journey to Ambon

On Oct. 31, the adventure begins when the Raja Laut departs from Ambon for our diving vacation. To make sure you are all set, it is essential that everyone arrives in Ambon on Oct. 30, as a little delay can happen in a flash and we don’t want anyone to miss the boat!

Good news for those who want to arrive earlier and do some diving in Ambon already: Rianne is already in Indonesia because of another group trip to Nabucco and Nunukan. If you wish to arrive a few days earlier, please let us know. You might even consider joining the first group trip to enjoy a wonderfully long diving vacation in Indonesia.

Travel time from Europe to Ambon is usually about 2 days, departing from Europe on Oct. 29 and arriving in Ambon on Oct. 30. Usually the flight goes via Jakarta. If your flights don’t quite connect, you may have an extra night’s stay in Jakarta. Either way, it is imperative that you arrive in Ambon on Oct. 30 so that you will be ready to board the boat on Oct. 31 in the morning for an unforgettable diving trip.

Oct 31 - Aboard the Raja Laut

October 31 is the day! At 11 a.m. we board the Raja Laut and our diving trip begins. Once you are on board, an important safety briefing is scheduled, where we will give you all the necessary information to make our trip as smooth and safe as possible. You will meet the friendly staff on board and we will take time to fill out and check all diving documents. Then we will assign you your cabin and give you a detailed orientation about the boat.

Our first dive on this trip is a “check dive. This is a relaxed dive that allows you to check your equipment and reacquaint yourself with the underwater world after your trip to Ambon. After this dive, we will depart south to the enchanting Banda Islands, where we will spend the next few days diving and discovering the beauty of the underwater world.

*The sailing schedule below is an example of how the trip may go, depending on the weather and other conditions you may take a day longer or shorter diver somewhere. This is decided by the captain.

Click on the photo to enlarge the folder

Nov 1 to Nov 3 - Diving in the Banda Sea.

The next three days are devoted to diving around the Banda Islands, located in the heart of Indonesia. These islands are blessed with some of the best dive sites in all of Indonesia, and we are going to discover them!

A highlight of these days will be the sunset dive in Banda Neira. Here we go underwater half an hour before sunset to observe mandarin fish.

Other dive sites we will visit include. Pohon Miring, here you can explore a rock formation with a deep crack in the reef, where southern and northern currents meet, allowing you to admire bump-head parrotfish and sponge-covered walls. Batu Kapal, or “Ship Rock,” has a soft coral plateau on top of the reef that slopes down to a sandy bottom at a depth of 20 meters, with schools of mackerel, trevallies, snappers, fusiliers, barracuda and sweetlips for an enjoyable drift dive. Batu Kapal Pinnacle offers a rocky plateau at a depth of 5 meters with beautiful corals and sea fans, and sometimes strong currents with larger pelagic fish. Banda Neira Jetty is a refuge for juvenile fish and Lava Flow reveals a phenomenal recovery of hard coral reef atop a lava platform, with large schools of fish such as snappers, fusiliers and butterflyfish. If we are really lucky we will also encounter hammerhead sharks in the Banda Sea!

Nov 4 to Nov 7 - Diving around Southern Raja Ampat

The journey continues while by boat through the east coast of Seram to the enchanting dive sites in Raja Ampat.

Daram welcomes divers with special dive sites such as Andiamo, where you can enjoy healthy soft and hard coral, schools of fish such as fusiliers, anchovies, barracuda and jacks. Candy Store offers beautiful walls in South Raja Ampat with clusters of fish and beautiful sea fans and soft corals. Two Tree reveals a rich plateau with schools of barracuda, trevally and beautiful soft coral.

In Fiabacet, you can dive at Boo Windows, a site with tunnels and passages, where you can encounter gray reef sharks, Napoleon wrasses and even ghost pipefish. Tank Rock offers an extensive reef with beautiful fish life and soft and hard corals. At Nudi Rock you will discover an underwater landscape with soft corals, sea fans, and abundant fish life, including anchovies, snappers, moray eels, and Napoleon wrasse. Magic Mountain (Shadow Reef) serves as a cleaning station for various fish, with schools of trevallies, Napoleon wrasse, sharks, Spanish mackerel and sometimes oceanic manta rays.

Wayilbatan offers Barracuda Rock with its beautiful plateau and macro life, Dunia Kecil with soft corals and sea fans, and Four Kings with its abundance of fish life. Wedding Cake in the lagoon of Wayil has overhangs which creates a very special underwater atmosphere.

Nov 8 to Nov 11 - Diving in the Central part of Raja Ampat

The last 4 diving days are dedicated to diving in the central area of Raja Ampat. You can prepare for usually three dives a day, and the dives are sure to please you. In the Cape Kri area you will discover dive sites such as“Blue Magic,” where you will encounter an impressive variety of fish, including tuna, mackerel, barracuda and fusiliers.

As you continue diving toward Gam, you will enjoy the dives at Citrus Ridge, a breathtaking dive site with vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of marine wildlife. Dalam, also called Deep Rock, offers a submerged plateau of soft and hard corals, while Mayhem, a long underwater pillar, extends the diversity of encounters, from large schools of fusiliers, snappers and jacks to wobbegong sharks and pygmy seahorses.

Finally, in Arborek, Arborek Jetty awaits with colorful coral bommies where wobbegong sharks relax and giant giant clams can be admired. Lolasi, a coral rock, offers an exciting drift diving experience, and Manta Sandy is an icon of Raja Ampat, a manta cleaning station where you can watch the spectacle of dancing manta ra ys and maybe even discover small critters like pygmy seahorses.

The last day we stop in the Dampier Strait, here we make two more dives. The Dampier Strait flows between mainland West Papua and the island of Batanta and the large island of Waigeo to the north. This strait is home to an extraordinarily rich seabed thanks to the large amount of water flowing through it. So expect some action the last day of diving.

Nov 12 - End of the liveaboard, extension or time to go back home?

Today the beautiful liveaboard journey comes to an end. Around noon, you will leave the Raja Laut in Sorong harbor. You are now faced with the choice of starting your journey back home, or perhaps diving somewhere else in Indonesia for a while?

For example, fly on a direct flight to Manado and go diving at Lembeh and/or Bunaken or relax a bit more in the region of Raja Ampat and stay at one of beautiful Raja Ampat Resorts. Check out our complete overview of diving vacations Indonesia for even more inspiration.

The liveaboard Emperor Raja Laut

The boat & cabins

Aboard the Emperor Raja Laut, a regal diving vacation awaits you in enchanting Indonesia. This stunning “schooner-style” inspired yacht, built of beautiful tropical hardwoods, offers exclusive accommodations for up to 12 guests. Accommodation includes 6 comfortable cabins, consisting of 3 with double beds and 3 with twin beds. Each cabin has its own ensuite bathroom, individually controlled air conditioning and a ceiling fan to ensure a pleasant atmosphere.

On the Emperor Raja Laut, you will find spacious teak decks ideal for spending time while cruising. There is also a large dining table, suitable for 12 people – in the middle of the deck. Two large RIBs (rubber boats) are at your disposal to get you to the perfect dive sites quickly and efficiently.

Travel costs

What is included

This group vacation is available from €5075 per person based on two people in one double cabin. Attention! In the double cabins there is one double bed. So you will have to share these. The double cabins are therefore ideal for couples or close friends. Currently, there is also one separate single bed available for a man in a twin cabin. Same price.

The diving trip can be expanded as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about this diving vacation to the Banda Sea and Raja Ampat? Get in touch with us!

Included in this diving trip, from €5075,- p.p.

All divers are required to use a dive computer and an SMB (surface buoy) for each dive, as well as a light for night dives.

Email this diving vacation

Want to save or share the details of this diving trip to Raja Ampat with someone? You can do so by sending the trip by email.

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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation

Raja Ampat diving vacation general information

You dive from the Ribs that come with the liveaboard. Occasionally this can include some spirited current dives.

The Emperor Raja Laut sails itself as close as possible to the dive sites, the last bit you do by rib/zodiac. This often involves several minutes.

You will make about 2-3 dives daily, including night dives. On the last dive day (day before disembarkation) you will make two dives max.

Yes, PADI Nitrox Diver (€170,-)

Diving equipment

DIN tanks and INT adapters are available on board. They strongly recommend that divers with M26 regulators bring adapters suitable for DIN tanks.

Yes, cost €7 per day – reserve this directly when booking.

Yes, this is free. You do need to be certified.

These prices only apply if you book this in advance, while booking the trip. On the spot is also possible but you will pay a little more and in Indonesian Rupees. Therefore, there is no guarantee that everything is still available. So upfront is really wiser.

Equipment Per Day EUR (€)

Mask* €3
Finnish* €5
Wet Suit (3mm)* €6
Regulator* €11
BCD* €7
SMB (Surface Marker Buoy)*
Dive Computer* €7
Torch €6
FULL EQUIPMENT incl. Dive Computer € 30

All equipment and tanks must be pre-ordered.
Please ensure when ordering equipment to include required equipment size along with height, weight and shoe size. All items
marked with * are included in the Full Equipment Package. All divers are required to use a dive computer and SMB for every dive
and a torch each for night dives.


This travel package is €1499 per person and can be expanded as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package. Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates.

The boats have Internet, but coverage is often only good near the port of departure/arrival. So don’t assume you can be online a lot.

Yes, unless you might pay a single supplement. It is important to take a moment at the Raja Laut to be aware that there are only 3 Twin cabins (2 twin beds) and also 3 Doubles (one large bed). Separate sheets can be provided and you never have to share the cabin with someone of the opposite sex. But if you select a double cabin, therefore, you may be in one bed.

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We are EWDR

Afbeelding van Rianne, mede-eigenaar van EWDR