Our new cruise started earlier this week. We set out from Sorong harbour on Wednesday (5th March) and will be diving the best of Raja Ampat (in West Papua, formerly Irian Jaya) on this 12-night charter cruise, ending back in Sorong on 17th March.
There have been a flurry of excited messages from the cruise directors on the boat, so here’s what they had to say over last 2 days:
Onboard Cruise News (yesterday – Thursday 6th): “7 pontohi seahorses at Mioskon, Dampier Strait – central Raja Ampat!”
Onboard Cruise News (this morning – Friday 7th): “Tons of fish in healthy new moon current and as a cherry on the cake GIANT MANTA!!!! (Sardine Reef, in Dampier Strait near Waigeo Island, Raja Ampat) – Love Raja, Love Falling Tide!”
Onboard Cruise News (update – Friday 7th): “Just dived with free swimming wobbegong sharks + giant mantas! Thanks ‘Blue Magic’ (central RajaAmpat)!”
Did You Know: Raja Ampat translates directly to “four kings” so it was named for the 4 main islands in the area – Batanta, Misool, Salawati and Waigeo. It’s also an area truly ‘fit for a king’ as it’s the world’s epicentre of marine biodiversity!
Specifically in Raja Ampat, Gerald Allen (world-famous ichthyologist) counted the incredible number of 376 different species of fish during a single dive (at Kofiau Island). If that wasn’t enough, 64% (505) of the entire world’s known coral species have been found in the waters at Raja Ampat and 75% of the world’s total species of scleractinian (hard) corals cover Raja Ampat sea beds! As a result, scientists believe this destination is the world’s no. 1 spot in terms of biodiversity.
In terms of geographical location, Raja is located on the northwestern tip of an area known as Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea (so the east side of the land mass is Papua New Guinea) in the heart of the Coral Triangle … and it’s actually an archipelago comprising the main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Wiageo plus an additional 1,500 smaller islands and cays.
Read more about the incredible diving to be found in RAJA AMPAT: http://thearenui.com/diveRajaAmpat.html
Find out more about this 12-night Raja Ampat itinerary here: http://thearenui.com/Raja-Ampat-13D12N.html